Cylinder full of water...

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Cylinder full of water...

Postby vodka driver » Fri May 11, 2012 11:06 pm

It has been two days since this 2010 was ridden and I have owned her for only two months. After two days of steady rain and strong wind, I tried to start the engine today, she was hydro-locked. I checked the oil before attempting to turn her over and it was to the full mark...did not notice any water on the dipstick, but would I really? Water is clear after all. The rig has been sitting outside in the weather, but this was unexpected! It took me a bit to figure out what the heck was going on as I did not imagine this could even be an issue with such a new machine. The engine was water locked.
Here is how it went for me. Check oil, level fine, she has not used oil to this point (just under 10k since new). Check for fluid leaks, low tires, etc...no visible troubles. Electric start turns then just clicks, dead battery? Try kick start and engine is locked...am I in gear? No, engine is locked. Sure you're not in gear? No, not in gear. $#!+. The engine is locked. Curses ensue. Get out factory tool bag to discover what I already know. I have no spark plug wrench. Was not in kit from previous owner. $#!+. Time went by, perhaps magic happened to cure the problem...yea right. Nope, no magic! $#!+, the Problem has not resolved itself.
Finally got outfitted to remove spark plugs and found left one wet, right dry. WTH? Since I recently read about a vacuum fuel valve failure, the fuel valve was my first suspicion but it would have affected both carbs. Fuel must have leaked into the cylinder, filling it and causing a hydraulic lock on compression stroke. So after removing both spark plugs I turned the engine over with the kick starter. Liquid shot out of the left cylinder and all over the window of the truck parked beside the bike (happened to be my work truck). Thing is that liquid was not gasoline, it was water! Probably rain water is my guess but where did that come from? The engine seems to run fine once cleared and warmed up but pops when cool as it always has. Is this popping telling me that I have an induction leak (where the water came in) which needs attention? Has anyone seen this before? I checked for carb and flange tightness and removed nor tightened nothing. Are the carb to cylinder flanges failure prone?

Where else does water come from in this manner?

Found half a float bowl of water upon draining that left carb. I do not think the water entered that carb through the fuel line.

Anyone have an idea what the issue could be? I am all ears!
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby gobium » Fri May 11, 2012 11:13 pm

My guess , water entered though air filter housing, down into carbs and cylinders

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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby cdscoot » Fri May 11, 2012 11:26 pm

gobium wrote:My guess , water entered though air filter housing, down into carbs and cylinders

If that cylinder is not on the compression stroke one valve will be open to the cylinder allowing easy accesss!
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby URAL CT » Fri May 11, 2012 11:27 pm

There is a fuel vent tube sticking upright on the carb and has an umbrella looking cap over it. That cap is vented providing the needed venting to the tube & prevents dirt & water from getting into the carb..don't ever...ever plug this vent tube. I've seen some carbs with this special cap missing, rain water can get into the carb and maybe flood the cyl. Dunno...where else could water get in? :?: :o Just sayin'... Good luck
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby Ragman » Fri May 11, 2012 11:37 pm

:wink: Probably the secret russian radiator leak..
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby Jimmy » Sat May 12, 2012 12:14 am

that umbrella looking cap has been missing on my rig, for years
... one of these days I'll clamp a t-fitting on it - but until then

vodka driver, you would'nt, by chance, had the bike covered with a tarp or something?
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby JamesG » Sat May 12, 2012 2:58 am

Yeah, either a tarp or branch or a down spout above it is somehow concentrating a stream of water so that it can collect and by chance pour into an opening in the carb. Shouldn't be any serious damage if it didn't sit flooded like that for long and you didn't hammer on the starter and kickstarter wile it was locked.

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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby Lokiboy » Sat May 12, 2012 8:04 am

Now you know why most kick the bike over a few times with the key in the off position. It not only spays some oil around but you catch any vapor locks before you do real damage to the electric starter. :wink:

Also, put a little di-electric grease around the base of the spark plug. Water could have slowly leaked down the treads. One last idea - make sure your carb flage is secure
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby vodka driver » Tue May 15, 2012 10:42 pm

The bike was and still is sitting under an open sky without a tarp or even tree branches covering it. As to the "umbrella cap" mentioned above, does anyone have a picture, diagram, or description of where said cap should be located? After Friday's nightmare with the left cylinder and carb bowl with water, (cleared of course!) I rode the $#!+ out of the bike over the weekend, found some dirt roads to tear up, and generally had a good time. I'm near Seaside, NJ if any fellow Uralers in the area may want to go for a ride. Some of my neighbors and co-workers have seen a Ural in desert camo around, but I have not had occasion to speak to that fella yet. Hell, I haven't even met another Ural owner, only folks who have ordered them or wish they had! Anyway, the water filled cylinder is the oddest thing I've ever encountered in my years with machines.
I was severely suspect of the vacuum actuated fuel valve and made double sure the liquid was not gasoline. It was water and I have no explanation for it except maybe the "branch pipe" as it is labeled in the manual. It was found a quarter turn loose. It sure doesn't seem like much but perhaps it was enough to let the water in. Just the same, it turned out being an inconvenience instead of a problem because the bike has proven itself reliable and open to punishment since then. Here is to hoping this will not be a continuing trouble!
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby vodka driver » Tue May 15, 2012 10:46 pm

Lokiboy wrote:Now you know why most kick the bike over a few times with the key in the off position. It not only spays some oil around but you catch any vapor locks before you do real damage to the electric starter. :wink:

Also, put a little di-electric grease around the base of the spark plug. Water could have slowly leaked down the treads. One last idea - make sure your carb flage is secure


I used a zinc based anti-seize compound on the spark plug threads and properly torqued the plugs. Based on the plug tightness, I do not imagine water got in there but everything seems possible.
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby vodka driver » Tue May 15, 2012 10:54 pm

cdscoot wrote:
gobium wrote:My guess , water entered though air filter housing, down into carbs and cylinders

If that cylinder is not on the compression stroke one valve will be open to the cylinder allowing easy accesss!


Perhaps, but only left carb and cylinder. How to explain that? The parking spot is rear tire down, otherwise pretty level.
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby Niteblues » Tue May 15, 2012 10:56 pm

Sounds like you missed the Jersey Devil Hunt this past weekend. There was a whole gaggle of Urals out at Atsion, Batsto, Apple Pie Hill, etc.

At last Fall's Jersey Devil Hunt, STANZUKOWSKI tried to do an amphibious crossing of one of them there Pine Barrens waterholes...and lost. We watched him clear the cylinders and carbs of water, then crank it over and continue the ride for the next two days. No harm, no damage. That's the second time I have seen a Ural go under water without hardship.

I do not have one of those caps on my left carb and in real serious downpours, I sometimes get a bit of water in the carb. It usually just sputters, coughs and then fires up. One time I had to drain the bowl with that little allen wrench on the carb drain screw underneath and then I was back in business.
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby BRO » Thu May 17, 2012 8:31 pm

Found my left lower black rubber elbow slightly loose & a pour fit as the clamp had slipped rearward. Rain could have easily passed in to the carb during a long down pour.
Have you checked the fitting of those air duct elbows?
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby vodka driver » Thu May 17, 2012 9:12 pm

BRO wrote:Found my left lower black rubber elbow slightly loose & a pour fit as the clamp had slipped rearward. Rain could have easily passed in to the carb during a long down pour.
Have you checked the fitting of those air duct elbows?



You know, I did check the position and tightness of those clamps. Two of the four on the left side (upper and lower rubber elbows) were snug, but not tight. We had a little rain early this week and no water in the carb. I think I will remove those rubber elbows and check the mating surface. That couldn't hurt!
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Re: Cylinder full of water...

Postby CTHal » Thu May 17, 2012 10:29 pm

I once bought a 650 Ural that had been stored under a tarp for a while in wet weather. I found about a cup of water in the sump, and water in the right cylinder. It appeared that the water drained from the tarp onto the top of the air cleaner housing, made it into the air cleaner, down the air tube into the carburetor, and then into the cylinder. It splorted out a lot of rusty water onto the sidecar tub when I kicked it over. I flushed the engine several times with diesel fuel, changed all fluids, and drove it for a year, then sold it.

I have a Dnepr that was stored outside with a loose spark plug. Yup, water collected in the cylinder, and now it needs a new cylinder. Water has a way of creeping past spark plug bases into engines. I have seen that on lots of old tractors, military trucks etc. Even though the plugs are "tight" enough to hold compression, water still leaked by. I don't like to remove and install spark plugs more than a few times, in case the crush washer gets too crushed. A lot of people over-tighten spark plugs. Spark plugs have a recommended torque....but who ever torques them? OK...if you torque your plugs, chime in! H.


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