Needing advice to get running - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Unread 07-11-2019, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
GAB
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Needing advice to get running

Hey guys I am trying to get my wifes 09 running. I bought it last October and rode it home and noticed it needed tuned up and the bike has only 850 miles on it. Parked it a few weeks later and april this year tried to start it with no luck. I have installed a new battery, new NGK DR9NE plugs pulled carbs and soaked them for a couple day after removing all jets. I put a complete carb rebuild kit in and everything looked clean and diaphragms looked good too. I also removed the petcock and soaked it and did a complete rebuild on it too. I removed the air box and cleaned it good removing the filter and cleaned and oiled it. I checked all hoses to make sure I am getting good flow and nothing pinched. I did check and clean the gas cap vents. I havnt adjusted the floats yet since they looked close and havnt synced the carbs yet either. I did get it started and didn't seem to want to idle and only run for a few minutes. I noticed gas was coming out the upper T vent line after it would run for a few min. in the on position, or in the prime position with motor off. Does this upper t vent hose go into airbox or is it just loose to the rear? It was running a little rough when it did run. I left the cap open just to eliminate that issue. Any ideas on what I can try next, I am running out of ideas.
Thanks in advance.

Last edited by GAB; 07-11-2019 at 11:09 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Unread 07-12-2019, 12:38 AM
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The vent hose I think you are talking about, vents to atmosphere. Sounds like you have an issue with your carbs. Either the floats, or the carbs aren't cleaned well. You can use a brass guitar string, number .10 to .13 to clean out the Jets after you soak them.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Unread 07-12-2019, 02:57 AM
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If you bought carb kit then you probably replaced float needles as well, this really requires float adjustment and bowl fuel level check at the end. Also check needle seats for deposits and clean if there is any.
Get service manual if not already.
That upper t vent is open to atmosphere, hose goes there and under (or somewhere on the side of the bike)
Fuel petcock should have free flow only on PRI position. If fuel is flowing on ON and RES, you have petcock issues that needs fixing ASAP. Carburetor float needles will always leak no matter how new they are, fuel just seeps past rubber tip and seat slowly overfilling carbs (will take 3-7 days usually, with free fuel flow, depending on the needle condition, tested this few times) that's why you need fully working petcock.
Start from fuel petcock, then adjust float height and check bowl fuel level at the end.
Fuel overfill is bad, fuel can get into cylinders and mix with oil, oil gets thinner and you probably know what happens overtime with bad oil.
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Last edited by MARKOEN500; 07-12-2019 at 02:59 AM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Unread 07-12-2019, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys

Mark I do have a Kawasaki service manual, but its very limited in its descriptions sometimes and pics are hard to see even with a magnifying glass. The petcock is working, but I am going to check it again. I only get free flow in prime and over flows t valve either running or not. If its running in ON it will run for awhile then some will come out the t valve hose. I think your right about it being the floats or float valves, I replaced the float valves with the rebuild kit. I think I can check the floats while leaving carbs on with using clear hose and seeing where level height is, but can adjustments be made with carbs mounted? Is it possible maybe I didn't seat the float valve properly to cause the overfill if I find that is the cause?
I wont be able to check it for a few days, but I will follow up to let you know my findings.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Unread 07-12-2019, 01:21 PM
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Forums, Google and YouTube are your friends here, plenty material over internet. You can probably get Haynes manual as well if you wish.

If petcock is fine then float or float needle (valve) causes issues. You need to measure and write down float height after every adjustment so you know how much mm to tune floats up or down for adequate fuel level. With carbs on the bike you will mess float height and it will be almost impossible to adjust, so take them off the bike.
Float valves itself aren't directional so can't be put wrong, but looking at the manual exploded view, valve clip ''is'' directional, that 2 pimples on valve clip or however they are called, should be facing inwards, don't know how important that is though.

Use q tip with toothpaste to clean valve seats. Seats should be shiny.
Also what Venom said, use guitar strings to clean jets.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Unread 07-13-2019, 06:20 PM
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Welcome aboard GAB!

Figured I'd chime in here and hopefully give some pointers that will hopefully help out.

The fuel coming out of the upper T vent (as you called it) is most likely a symptom of a sticking float or dirty needle seat. Working at the shop, it would probably surprise you to know that a good 80% of freshly rebuilt carbs will leak a little at first. As you're installing them, you tend to jostle the float around, and it doesn't seat back fully closed usually due to it being dry. The usual trick is to give the bowl a couple good taps with something hard, but not hard enough to break anything... screwdriver handle, or similar. That's the first thing to try when you first rebuild a carb and have a leak as you're describing.

Once you have this situation fixed, then we can work on the idle. With a leaky carb, it'll flood itself out and never idle correctly.

Do be VERY careful if you try to run any kind of wire through your jets, especially steel or brass wire. Your jets are made of brass, and guitar strings use a harder alloy (yes, the brass ones), and can potentially damage your jet. If you absolutely must run a wire through the jet, use ONLY copper or aluminum wire. Both are softer than the brass your jet is made of, so damage will happen to the wire itself before the jet. At the shop, we soak the jets, then blow them out with compressed air (about 90 psi). If that doesn't work, then we resort to a wire, if applicable. Often if they're that far gone, a replacement is the better bet.

To set resting float height, and do it properly, you need a special tool, with the carbs in place on the bike. You ~can~ make your own tool to use, but the carbs can only be properly checked on the bike.

Last edited by MN-Rider; Yesterday at 07:50 AM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 07:31 AM
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Are you saying the float position can only be set while the carbs are mounted ??????
On what planet are you on?


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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OK This is my first vacuum controlled bike carb to work on and havnt messed with a carb since the late 70s. I re checked my petcock and it was working as it should and tapped the bowls lightly to jog them. I started up and was running decent for a minute or two and died. I noticed the right pipe started to run a little whit smoke. I am thinking the bowl is overfilling.
So I have these questions to proceed.

1) Can I use a clear tube on the bowl drain and make a J with the tube higher than the carb to see where the level is? Or can I make a tool? I can order one for $19

2) Whats the proper way to insert the float valve needle? (want to make sure I did it right) any certain direction or push it in as far as it will go?

3) The manual says to remove the carb to adjust the tang on the float arm, can this be accomplished without removing the carbs? If so please explain so I can try it if needed. Or do you have to remove the carb , adjust , put em back on, check the float level again and if more adjustments needed remove again?

The service manual is very vague on these procedures and I want to get it right. I don't have the experience with these yet and I thank you all for any help you can share from your experience.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulcandoc View Post
Are you saying the float position can only be set while the carbs are mounted ??????
On what planet are you on?
I am saying that according to the manual the carbs must be mounted to determine the float height.

Their procedure is to mount the carbs, let the bowls fill with fuel, and then meter the float level with an outside tool via the bowl drain port.

Odd? Yes. Other than bench mounting the carbs and rigging a fuel filling system, I see no other way to spec the float as per the manual. There are no specs given for free height adjustment (such as found in many Honda carbs).
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAB View Post
OK This is my first vacuum controlled bike carb to work on and havnt messed with a carb since the late 70s. I re checked my petcock and it was working as it should and tapped the bowls lightly to jog them. I started up and was running decent for a minute or two and died. I noticed the right pipe started to run a little whit smoke. I am thinking the bowl is overfilling.
So I have these questions to proceed.

1) Can I use a clear tube on the bowl drain and make a J with the tube higher than the carb to see where the level is? Or can I make a tool? I can order one for $19

2) Whats the proper way to insert the float valve needle? (want to make sure I did it right) any certain direction or push it in as far as it will go?

3) The manual says to remove the carb to adjust the tang on the float arm, can this be accomplished without removing the carbs? If so please explain so I can try it if needed. Or do you have to remove the carb , adjust , put em back on, check the float level again and if more adjustments needed remove again?

The service manual is very vague on these procedures and I want to get it right. I don't have the experience with these yet and I thank you all for any help you can share from your experience.
Now, here we go...

#1: The answer is yes, you can make your own tool. Look at a couple online to figure out their markings and spacing between the marks, and craft your own if you wish. The key is to make sure it will accurately show level every time.

#2: I'm not 100% sure on this, as I haven't worked on a set of these particular carbs yet. Generally there is a stopping point of some sort, along with a retaining feature. Without being 100% sure while sitting here at my desk, I don't want to give you the wrong answer, so hopefully someone who has recently worked on a set of these carbs can answer.

#3: A couple members have posted that they were able to remove the float bowls with the carbs still mounted. It apparently isn't the easiest act to accomplish, but it is possible. If you can remove the float bowl, I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to make the adjustments to the float tang without removing the carbs. Pull the bowls, pull the float, adjust, reinstall everything.
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