2004 vulcan 500 carb problems. - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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2004 vulcan 500 carb problems.

Hello everyone! I have a 2004 vulcan 500 that I bought june of last year. About to be a year and I haven't been able to put 400 miles on it yet. I'm ready to ride it so heres the story...I had owned the bike about 2 weeks and the gas got low, i put it on reserve and went to the store and put gad in it. When I came back from paying for the gas there was gas everywhere under the bike. I found out that it was coming from the overflow tube, apparently there was trash in that tank, so me being mr fix it took the carbs off and cleaned them..(big mistake) the carbs were dirty but before i did that the bike was running fine, after I got through and put the carbs back on the bike was running very bad. Spitting and sputtering. (thats the best way I know to describe the sounds) anyway-I took it to the local kawasaki shop and they were going to rebuild the carbs for me. They called and said that the tank on that bike was off either a 750 or 800 vulcan they were not sure, but that I really needed to buy a new tank from them, and they said they went ahead and rebuilt my carbs the best they could but the carbs were to worn out to be fixed right, and I needed to buy new ones. I didnt have the $800 at the time and told them I couldnt. When I got the bike back it would run fine idling but when you gave it gas at first it would spit and sputter again but then do fine. The furtherest(spell check) i had drove it was about 2 miles. I decided to try it on a drive and went about 10 miles and that thing start spitting and sputtering so bad. Anyone have any ideas what would cause that? Anyone think that dealership was just trying to get money from me? I think that the carbs could be rebuild to run fine because it was running fine before i tried to play mr fix it. I just want to know what you all think? Please keep insults to a minimum, I already feel stupid for trying to fix it and making it worse-(ahah) any advice would be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 06:51 AM
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I think the shop was trying to hose you.My bike is 22 years,and rebuilt the carbs no problem.You need to check to make sure you are getting good fuel flow to the carbs from the tank.The filters in the petcock may be dirty.Also make sure that the over flow tube is open & and away from the intake. I'm assuming that the air box is installed correctly?

If at first you do succeed,try not to look surprised!
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 08:52 AM
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Do you have a side shot photo of your bike? I would like to see what the tank looks like. I agree with Blaine. Sounds like they are trying to milk you. Check your air filter, vacuum hoses and gas cap vent. If I'm not mistaken, if the tank does not vent, pressure will build up and may cause sputtering. I have heard of the tank vent caps going bad and needing to be replaced.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by pharoah27 View Post
Please keep insults to a minimum, I already feel stupid for trying to fix it and making it worse-(ahah) any advice would be greatly appreciated
Quite the contrary, I applaud your efforts. It is good to see someone taking the initiative to learn to maintain their own bike, something that is sadly all too rare these days. ;P

I'd lean towards thinking it might be a fuel starvation problem. Pull one of your fuel lines to the carbs, stick it in a jar, and turn the petcock to prime. Does the fuel pour out at a good rate? If not, clean the tank and the petcock.

Does the sputtering at higher rpm stop when you have the petcock set to prime? If so, then check the vacuum system for leaks (on main and reserve settings, a positive vacuum is required to open the diaphragm in the petcock and let gas flow, but on prime it's gravity fed).

Barring all that, then I'd be inclined to think that the main jet is a little clogged. Fill up the tank, pour in a half a can of seafoam and see if it clears up.... Maybe you'll get lucky.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Tried to add a picture but can't seem to figure out how. They done something to the petcock valve not sure what but it has something oozing out of it now that is brown and after it dries it's sticky. They were supposed to have rebuilt it, and about the insults leaf---that was mainly me just joking around. I have talked to another shop around here and they told me they would rebuild the carbs and not to expensive either, I am just a little nervous to take it and drop it off at a shop again--it's a little frustrating when you go to a shop pay money and not getting a bike back that is fixed--i'm just ready to get out on the road and ride-ahah
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:41 AM
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Ewwww, tank rust?

That's a real pita to deal with.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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i'm not sure that it's rust-I think it is something that shop tried to use to seal the petcock instead of rebuilding it like they said. It had this brown stuff all over the petcock valve when I picked it up from the shop-I took the tank off and cleaned it before i took the bike to the shop and there was no rust in it
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:52 AM
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"They done something to the petcock valve not sure what but it has something oozing out of it now that is brown and after it dries it's sticky."

That does not sound right.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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yea I figured it was just a quick fix they did to save them money
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
Quite the contrary, I applaud your efforts. It is good to see someone taking the initiative to learn to maintain their own bike, something that is sadly all too rare these days. ;P

I'd lean towards thinking it might be a fuel starvation problem. Pull one of your fuel lines to the carbs, stick it in a jar, and turn the petcock to prime. Does the fuel pour out at a good rate? If not, clean the tank and the petcock.

Does the sputtering at higher rpm stop when you have the petcock set to prime? If so, then check the vacuum system for leaks (on main and reserve settings, a positive vacuum is required to open the diaphragm in the petcock and let gas flow, but on prime it's gravity fed).

Barring all that, then I'd be inclined to think that the main jet is a little clogged. Fill up the tank, pour in a half a can of seafoam and see if it clears up.... Maybe you'll get lucky.


i'm not sure where prime is on the petcock--do any of you know where i can buy a new petcock valve?
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