VN800 bobber build finally done. Need help - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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  • 1 Post By Tynker
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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VN800 bobber build finally done. Need help

I bought this old 2000 Vulcan 800 a year and a half ago for $1100. Tore it down to the frame basically. Repainted, powder coated, new front wheel, handle bars, custom leather seat, bags, grips, new headlight. Fenders. Debaffle, air filter mod Blah blah blah.

FINALLY this past weekend I got fluids in her and got her running. But one small problem. I can’t get it to start on its own. I have to spray starter fluid in the carb a couple times. Then it starts and runs fine after that. But once I let it sit and cool down, I’d have to do starter fluid again to start it.

Took it for first test ride around my neighborhood. Probably a total for about 3-4 miles. Never above 40mph. And everything seems to run smoothly except one thing.

When in gear it seems to idle and run great. But as soon as I put it in neutral OR I hold in the clutch. It seems to idle or rev up a little higher.

So my questions are that.

1. Starting issue
2. Higher reving when in neutral or clutch in
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 12:51 PM
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I'm gonna go ahead and say it's carb-related. Probably too lean.

Have you rebuilt the carb since you got it? That's where I'd start. That, or the petcock.


2016 Vaquero (mostly stock)
2005 VN800B Bobber (Blue Collar Bobbers kits)
1979 KZ650SR
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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We did do a petcock rebuild and also bought a dynajet jet kit stage one for the carb. It’s been about a year since I did it so I can’t remember exactly what we did. But I think we replaced the needle and cleaned the carb up.

The air filter has been modified and exhaust debaffled. So maybe we didn’t do the carb rebuild and jet kit correctly?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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So I took it up to the local Kawasaki shop and they did a carb clean. He said it was pretty dirty. Bike now starts a little better. No more start fluid needed. But still takes a few seconds of cranking before it starts.

But main issue remains. When bike is cold it seems to run fine. But after a few mins when it warms up is when issue starts. I don’t have an RPM gauge. But if I did. I’d say when I’m in gear the RPMs are normal where they should be. But if I put it in neutral or pull the clutch in, it’s like the RPMs jump up. When I’m sitting at a red light it sounds and feels like I have the throttle open a little. In order to not sound like I’m open throttle, I have to have it in gear and half the clutch half way released. Does that all make sense? And if I’m at a light in nuetral, it’s reving up. If I throw it in 1st, the clutch clicks a few times pretty hard like the engine is reving.

So what can this be? My guess is they didn’t tune the carb correctly or at all. Maybe they cleaned it. But other than it starting better. It’s doing the exact same issue. Or could this be something completely unrelated and not a carb issue?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 04:40 PM
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Nice transformation, love the color scheme. I’ve never encountered this but something that comes to mind is the choke cable. Have you checked if it’s worling properly or if it’s hanging up somewhere in the line?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 05:20 PM
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The "choke" is really an enriching device, and it sounds like it is stuck in the open position, or was not seated when the carb was apart. The dealer might not have removed it when he cleaned it. You might remove it and clean the seat and the small needle and re seat it.It is an easy job with the carb off, but can be done with the carb still mounted on the bike.
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Last edited by Tynker; 03-13-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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So I had a buddy come over and we tried to check out the carb. I wasn’t sure what the shop did so I ordered a new dynojet stage 1 kit for the needle and also ordered 165/50 jets. We were lazy and didn’t pull the tank and just pulled the carb out. Found out the needle and the 165 jets were correct. But there wasn’t a 50 jet there was a stock 48. Also the e clip was in the 4th position instead of the 2nd. We didn’t have any sealant for the diaphragm so we just put it back in there dry. Seemed as though that’s how it was done previously anyway. And the AF screw was turned out about 7-8 full turns. So we put back to 2.5 turns.

Got it all back together and bike wouldn’t start. Tried it so many times the battery died. Can figure out why. We followed the Russ wolf tutorial for the scooterize to a T ( I have the modded air and debaffled exhaust)

So today I decided to tear the entire tank off and pull the carb again. Realized we didn’t screw the carb in at all with those 2 Allen screws underneath the tank. Since we didn’t pull the tank. We never saw them. So when we put the carb in. We basically just pressed it up flush. But it wasn’t secured in by any means. I’m hoping this is the issue. But I’ve also realized my petcock doesn’t work correctly. Even in res or on gas pours out when I pull off the hose. So I’ve ordered a new petcock and going to replace that now that the tank is off and drained. I’m also going to use a gasket sealant on the diaphragm this time.

So far we’ve changed the jet from 48 to 50, changed the AF screw from 7-8 turns down to 2.5 and found out the entire carb wasn’t screwed in and seated at all. Not to mention the petcock doesn’t work. And going to seal the diaphragm this time. Hopefully all these issues fix my problems.

As for the choke. What should the choke do? Currently I can pull the choke out and it will stay out. And I can then push it back in (bike isn’t running of course). Is that all I’m looking to do? How do I check it’s seated correctly etc. since owning the bike. I’ve never choked it before. Which may explain why it never started right up.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Here's what we have changed since coming back from shop (once I'm done)

1. 48 jet to 50
2. 7-8 turns on AF screw to 2.5
3. Sealant on diaphragm
4. Changed E clip position on needle from 4th to 2nd
5. Properly seated the carb with the Allen screws under the tank
6. Sealed off the air filter housing the KN filter sits inside that had holes in it (silicone)
7. Replaced petcock

Once I get the petcock in the next day or two. I’ll put all back together and see what happens.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I do have another question about hoses. My bike has EPA delete. Done before I bought it. There is a nipple on the back side/top of the carb. Should there be a hose connected to that anymore? There’s also another nipple on the petcock. Neither of these two places had any hoses on them when I got it back from
The shop.
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