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Moto Guzzi California III 1989 Misfires

Discussion in 'Loop & Tonti' started by David Mentzer, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. David Mentzer

    David Mentzer Just got it firing!

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    I just bought a 1989 Moto Guzzi California III that had sat for about 5 years. Bought it from a good mechanic. Carbs are spotlessly clean, New spark plugs, points, condenser. Valves adjusted properly. Idles just fine!

    When I roll on the throttle, it misfires and the unburned gas pops in the exhaust, even shoots flames behind. When it does this the charging light on the dash flickers.

    Sounds electrical, but what to check?

    I haven't changed or checked the coils (yet). Is there a way to check them other than replacement?

    Any other hints on what to check?
     
  2. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Start with the simple stuff. High tension leads, spark plug caps, spark plugs. Also check that the timing is set correctly. You rotate what looks like a distributor to set the timing. It had electronic ignition from the factory, so if it has points and condensers an older "distributor" was installed. I've seen new condensers fail, so I'd check those carefully, or just replace them. Timing marks can be observed on the flywheel by removing the rubber plug. Lastly, if the guy you bought it from is a good mechanic, have him fix it.
     
  3. David Mentzer

    David Mentzer Just got it firing!

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    Thanks. Timing sounds like a good things to check. But, the charging light flickering when it misfires seems like a key symptom. Can't figure out what this may indicate...
     
  4. Trout

    Trout GT Reference

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    May indicate very little or nothing to do with causing the backfire.
    May be a symptom of the backfire especially if engine loses RPM's.

    Always start with basics by eliminating simple first.
     
  5. St. James

    St. James Just got it firing!

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    I recently ran across a similar issue. The '73 Eldo I was putting together for an army vet, was running poorly and the culprit was the copper plugs. When I put the platinum plugs from my '74, she came to life. Additionally, I replaced the cap and rotor. I noticed that when I put the copper plugs in the '74 she too would misfire. Good luck getting her going.
     

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