Carburetor Do or Do Not - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Carburetor Do or Do Not

My bike will start and idle for a 5 minutes or so then die. I have replaced all fluids, replaced spark plugs, pulled and cleaned the petcock, replaced fuel. The only thing I have not done yet is pull and clean the carburetor. I am a novice mechanic I guess you could say. I am not sure I dare open up the carburetor. Trying to decide if I should give it a go or just take it to a shop. Any advice, experiences?

Thanks! (2000, Vulcan 800)
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Kiddrock24 View Post
My bike will start and idle for a 5 minutes or so then die. I have replaced all fluids, replaced spark plugs, pulled and cleaned the petcock, replaced fuel. The only thing I have not done yet is pull and clean the carburetor. I am a novice mechanic I guess you could say. I am not sure I dare open up the carburetor. Trying to decide if I should give it a go or just take it to a shop. Any advice, experiences?

Thanks! (2000, Vulcan 800)
Around here, it's $350-400 for a carb rebuild. I had the same mechanic do the rebuild on my 05 VN800B when I got it in 2010 (it had sat for 4 or 5 years). Haven't had to open it up since. Well worth having a pro handle it, in my opinion.

After the rebuild, remember to put fuel stabilizer in the tank (I use Spectro) when the bike will sit for a while.

Now for the diagnostics ... when you say the bike dies, does it rev up and then die, or bog down and die? The former is too lean, the latter too rich. It sounds like a lack of fuel pressure, so there's either a pinhole in the fuel line, a leak in the carb, or the petcock isn't quite clean enough.

-John

2016 Vaquero
2005 VN800B
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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So I will fire it up with the choke out and it will run which sounds fine. I push the choke in about half way and let it run. It does rev up but I have assumed its because I have the choke on. It will run for about 5 min or so and then bog down and die. After that it if I restart it, it will only run for a min or two before bogging down and die. When I pulled the petcock last night I did notice a tiny crack in the fuel line right as it comes off the petcock. It wasn't big enough to leak fuel but maybe for air to get in the line? I cut that portion of the fuel line and hooked it back up the rest of the hose looks okay. I haven't fired it up after doing this, but maybe I should. What do you think?
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:17 AM
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17 years old....time for the carb to be torn down, cleaned, inspected, any suspect parts replaced and adjusted to Kawasaki specifications.

Get a service manual and with forum help, you should be able to do the job.
An excellent learning experience.
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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It has 20K miles and was sitting in a garage for about a year and a half.
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:20 AM
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It has 20K miles and was sitting in a garage for about a year and a half.
My wife's bike was 13 years old and had 6500 miles on it, and had sat for 3 months ... needed a carb rebuild.

Just do it, it'll make the bike happier.

-John

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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I feel okay about pulling the carb and cleaning it but if something is bad I am worried I may not know just from looking at it.
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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One more thing to note. The other day I ran the bike on Prime for a bit and after a few minutes gas started coming out of the Carb. Is this normal for the prime position? I know its flows freely in Prime so I thought maybe it wasn't that surprising.
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 10:14 AM
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(I wrote the following before reading your last post, so you definitely have a problem with your carburetor. Do as sfair suggests)

KD, I agree the carburetor is due for a good cleaning and adjustment, but reading your original post, one thought came to mind. On the surface it sounds like the carb bowl is filling up too slowly. Five minutes is a long time, so some gas is getting to the carb bowl. If your petcock has a "Prime" position, that position allows gas to free flow to the carb. Try the prime position and see what happens. If the engine runs normally, then there may be a problem with the petcock when in "Run" position. If the engine has the same problem in prime position, then remove the petcock rubber hose and check for free flow of gas. If there's just a trickle flowing, then I'd assume there's a restriction in the petcock itself or some crud in the tank fouling the petcock gas intake filter screens.

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Last edited by redfish; 02-03-2017 at 10:19 AM.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 10:16 AM
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gas started coming out of the Carb. .
See post #4.
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