Vulcan 800 Carburetor Problems - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Lafayette, LA
Year/Make/Model: 1998 Vulcan 800 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 800
Gender: Male
Posts: 3
Vulcan 800 Carburetor Problems

Hey guys. A little back story on the bike. It's a 1998 Vulcan 800 classic. My buddy bought it about 3 years ago and never really rode it. It wound up at my house, where I rode it now and again, but it started giving me trouble. Going down the road, even at normal speeds, the bike would lose power and cut out. If you waited a minute or two the bike would fire back up. My guess was that the rust in the tank (at the time there was a lot) was clogging up the petcock and starving the engine for fuel. So the bike sat for found 2 years at my house.

Recently, I got bitten by the motorcycle bug again, and took possession of this Vulcan. I've cleaned as much rust out of the tank as I could. Rebuilt the carburetor 3 times now. The last two times there have been no signs of rust in the fuel bowl. Did the Russian Wolf afterburner removal, and swapped in a new battery.

Well I keep getting the same results. The bike is hard to start and if you give it anything more than idle it starts to sputter and die. I know the carb was tampered with by one of the previous owners. The metal cap over the idle mixture screw is missing and it was backed out either 4 or 5 turns. From this forum, I know that is a lot for stock jets. I dialed it back in a 2.5 turns.

That beings said, I have no idea what size jets or needle is in this carb. I would prefer to start fresh and hear what sizes y'all think I should get. Besides the afterburner mod, the only other thing on the bike that would effect this are the Vance and Hines pipes.

PS: Is the accelerator pump supposed to have 1 or 2 o-rings?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: A stone's throw from Luckenbach, TX
Year/Make/Model: 1996 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 800
Color: Blue-Green
Gender: Male
Posts: 330
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Sounds like your bike runs crappy just like mine did when I got it. I recently semi-rebuilt a POS 1996 800 Classic. And I just got back from a Twisted Sisters/Kickapoo ride half way across Texas and back this past weekend. The bike performed flawlessly!

FIRST: How many miles are on it and are you getting spark to both plugs? If good sparks then you are correct, you need to go back to 100% stock on the carb. Ignore the V&H exhaust for now; I too have an aftermarket exhaust--Cobra.

Please put your city and your bike in your profile--the mod is going to ask you to anyway and it is helpful to folks wanting to help you.

TIP: Loosen only the carb side of your manifold boot to remove the carb and leave the engine side on. Use a long ball end allen, makes life easier loosing that allen bolt time and time again. Also, before you go all out, CHECK THE BOOT FOR AIR LEAKS. If your carb is on right now, get your bike to idle steady somehow then squirt starting fluid at the boot joints from the left side. If idle increases, you have a leak. (Some folks use carb cleaner.)

Main 135
Pilot 48 (order a 50 also)
Jet needle N2PE
1 3/4 turns out (for now)

Make sure your fuel mixture screw isn't damaged and has its spring and its O-ring. Also . . .
How many miles?
Does it have the original fuel line? (Usually gray and flared on petcock side) Also, is there an aftermarket shut off valve on it?
When you turn your petcock to ON or RES does gas leak out? It should be a positive shut off in those positions. Is there a full flow if set to PRIME?
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1996 Vulcan 800, Blue/Green
JUST SOLD: 2016 Indian Scout, Black
SOLD LAST YEAR: 2006 Triumph Rocket III, Black
SOLD LAST YEAR: 1967 Honda 305 Dream, Black

"Going up the country . . . "
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 09:39 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: A stone's throw from Luckenbach, TX
Year/Make/Model: 1996 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 800
Color: Blue-Green
Gender: Male
Posts: 330
Garage
Snakebit, did you figure out what was going on?

1996 Vulcan 800, Blue/Green
JUST SOLD: 2016 Indian Scout, Black
SOLD LAST YEAR: 2006 Triumph Rocket III, Black
SOLD LAST YEAR: 1967 Honda 305 Dream, Black

"Going up the country . . . "
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-13-2018, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Lafayette, LA
Year/Make/Model: 1998 Vulcan 800 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 800
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Tex,

I had gotten impatient while waiting for responses and decided on a different route. I wound up buying a 170 main jet and 52 pilot get, knowing I was going to grampsize the bike. Also during this time I learned that the needle was an aftermarket, as it was adjustable. I reassembled the carb with the OEM needle. During my test rides the motor would bog down on initial acceleration, and every so often give a "lean cough". I switched back to the aftermarket needle and played with the adjustments until I felt the bike operating in an acceptable manner.
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