From:Doug Miller
Subject:RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Battery & Starting Question Date:Fri Oct 18 23:42:53 2013
Response to:18859
If you have oil coming through the head gasket at the top of the motor You need to seal the head before any real check can be made of the operating condition of the engine.

Remove the head, check the "flatness" of the head and the cylinder correct as necessary, get new gasket or add a "form a gasket" to both sides of the gasket and then try to get it to start. You might burn a form a gasket out quickly but if it runs better and does not leak for a while you know to get new head and cylinder faces and a new-more seal-able gasket.

a little oil leaking at the head-pipe may be common but is indicating the muffler may be plugged putting to much back-pressure into the engine. I've burned the carbon out, a scary way to clean the muffler. And I have pressed the center tube out and scraped, wire brushed and air pressure blew most of the carbon off the center tube. Then burned the outside case, still scary though hanging on the clothe-line with nothing flammable near.

I'm glad your bike is sneaking toward a ride-able bike.


I think that its more than just varnish.. I ran the bike a couple times maybe for 10-15 mins at a time and now see oil build up were the exhaust header meets the motor and it seems to be coming out of the top of the motor as well. Ill try to take some pics and post to give you a better idea of what im talking about. could this be the mix has to much oil and its coming out or is this normal for the bike to clean itself out???

Good news! If it is just varnish in the carb causing the roughness, running it with the SeaFoam should clean it up - give it a bit of time running down the road with the choke off. Also, remember that all the time you were trying to start it, fuel and oil was being deposited in the exhaust pipe and muffler - the fuel has mostly flashed off by now, but the oil hasn't. It might have to get fairly warm to burn all of that off and stop smoking.

I think that you mentioned earlier that some debris came out of the tank when you drained it. If it looked like rust, that has gone into your carb as well. The tank is not too hard to pull and flush. My Dad had a couple of old bikes with dirty tanks that he pulled the fuel petcock out of and put in a brass plug to seal the tank, put in some kerosene and a couple of cups of pea gravel and "shook the b'jesus out of it" for 15 - 20 minutes.

You would not want to do this without pulling the fuel petcock, since it has a brass screen on it that the gravel would destroy. Flush with kerosene several times when you are done. My Dad was a hot rodder in the late '40s - early '50s, so there are likely more refined ways to do this now - I just don't know what they are. ;=)

If it doesn't smooth out, you may need to pull carb, take it apart, and clean it. It may also be that your points and/or condenser are toast as Dave Hennessey mentioned.

Who knows when it was last tuned up, so doing that wouldn't hurt.

Sounds like you are making forward movement.


Finally got the bike to start up last night and wanted to thank everyone for the advice and expertise in getting my bike to run.

I got the bike started but it runs very rough, doesn't want to idle at all and wants to shut off if I don't throttle the bike or play with the choke. Theres lots of smoke coming out as well. What could this be? Could it be a carb issue? I read in a manual about decarboning the exhaust and don't know if that's something I can take on myself.

Junk? You're talking about all the things that not only made America strong but fed us or gave us a lifetime of memories! A lot of that junk is still doing the same thing today!!! I DO agree with you that 'points is points' and there was a time where that was just a given thing to have to deal with them. Now-a-days a 'Check Engine' light means going and getting some snot nosed kid at the Dealership to hook up a computer, read a code and go "Uh oh, this is going to cost you........$$$$$". I'll take 'points' any day of the week :-) And Dave, you're more of an expert than you give yourself credit for.


Also, listen to Dave Hennessey - he is an expert. From what I have read here, he has owned and worked on more lightweights than of us have ever seen.

WRONG! I have worked on a tremendous amount of junk in my years, and the points on a Hummer-series work just like the points on a 1928 Model A Roadster Pickup or a farm tractor or a 1960's Chevy 283 or 327. Points is points. But I'm really not a lightweight expert. Mutt, Jim Garrett, and a few others are the real experts.

Yay! Got spark. Now it's time to move to the fuel system. Fill the tank, remove the gas line, and turn on the petcock. Gas should come out in a steady stream, making a big puddle on your garage floor. Replace the fuel line.

Now clean it up and drink a beer* while the fumes evaporate.

Every bike has an individual starting procedure, which you have to discover from trial and error. It really helps if you follow the scientific method, change only one variable at a time, and write down what you did and what the results were.

Here's the Factory Starting procedure, compiled from a 1948 and a 1959 Rider's Handbook - the same except they had different petcocks. Slightly abbreviated.

A. Turn on the gasoline supply...

B. Prime the carburator by pressing the carburator priming pin for a few seconds.
[ when gas comes out, wait 1-2 seconds then let go ]

C. The carburator choke is open when the choke lever is all the way down. Moving the choke lever upward, as far as it will go, fully closes the choke. In warm weather, it is not necessary to use the choke at all. In cold weather (near freezing and colder) start cold engine with choke closed. Open choke as engine gets warm.
[ if it's 70 degrees out, push the choke lever down ]

D. Turn on ignition with the ignition light switch.

E. Hold motorcycle in a nearly vertical position with right leg.
[ straddle the bike and lean a little to the right ]

F. Open the throttle about half way by turning the throttle control grip inward.

G. If the transmission is not in neutral...
[ always start in neutral ]

H. Start engine with vigorous strokes of the starter crank.

I. If engine is started with transmission in other than neutral...
[ always start in neutral ]

Dave's Recommendations
1) Follow the factory procedure. If it doesn't start after 8-10 kicks, stop. Go drink a beer*.

2) Follow the factory procedure again. If it doesn't start after 8-10 kicks, stop. Go drink a beer*.

3) Follow the factory procedure again. If it doesn't start after 8-10 kicks, stop. Go drink a beer*.

4) Post a message on the Hummer Exchange with your results.

5) Drink the other 3 beers in the 6-pack.

* OK, I'm being a little facetious. If you don't like beer, substitute orange-juice or vodka-tonics or whatever tickles your fancy. The idea is to give both you and the bike a 10 or 15 minute rest so you both can "reset".

After three tries, give up for the night. Whatever you're doing isn't working. Stupidity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over and over but expecting different results.

Call us in the morning...