Question about 1985 Honda VT 500 C Shadow

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  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Jul 05, 2010

    If you needed a coil, it might miss occasionally or not run at all. Have you checked the air filter?



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Have the shop do a compression check. Chances are the valve faces are carboned up and/or burned. it is likely the valves just need to be re-seated using valve grinding compound. Th cylinder head gets removed for access to the valves.

Posted on Jul 06, 2010


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After running for 20 to 30 minutes, engine looses power and stops. Will start up again immediately. Recently replaced spark plug, air filter, fuel filter and an oil change.

This type of issue has 3 possible senerios. In 35 years, I have experienced each of these by themselves, or sometimes multiples at the same time. This is a tough issue, but can be resolved with enough patience and a test area.

#1 Fuel Related
Depending on make and model of mowers:
a) Fuel tank outlet plugged (some have a screen filter, some are 90' angle and plug with rust and debris inside the corner of fitting)
b) Fuel lines collapse when they are routed thru fasteners and between frame and seat decks
c) Fuel cap vent clogged
d) Fuel filter clogged
e) any fitting that has an orifice that can trap debris or rust will eventually become clogged
f) fitting on the side of the carburetor
g) some systems have a filter inside the line at the opening of the carb inlet
h) fuel pump
i) vacuum hoses to fuel pump
j) debris under inlet needle/seat on carb

#2 Ignition related issues due to time and heat
a) Flywheel looses magnetism (not too common, but does happen)
b) Ignition switch or circuit breaker overheating
c) wire connection on plug-ins to switch or wire harness
d) points/condensor breakdown
e) ignition/armature coil
f) spark plug wire
g) electronic trigger/coil overheat

#3 Exhaust Valve and/or sticking due to overheating
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Starting problems

Hi and welcome to FixYa,

A way to verify start the bike from the cold. Note which exhaust will not heat up after the start (carefully). If the exhaust not heating would be from either cylinders 1 & 4 or 2 & 3, then it would be an electrical/ignition problem. If on the other hand what will not heat up will be the exhaust of 1 & 2 or 3 & 4, then it would be a carb/fuel problem.

Alternately, removed all the sparkplugs, reconnect to the cap and lay on metal part, start the bike. Note for absence or presence of spark on plug ends.

Good luck and thank you for asking FixYa.

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