Bill, thank you much for your comments about Hidalgo. Neat that you have only had one bike while I have had 21, and many of them, I admit, should not have been bought...I have 4 at this time. I need to get the valve checked/adjusted...I got a quote yesterday at a shop for 1.2 hours and compared it to the tutorial on this forum and that sounds very ambitious to me. It is very kind of you to fill me in on your experience with this bike.
Hope all is well with your Vulcan 500. Just a quick question for you. My battery is 7 years old and still charges fine. This week I took the bike out for a ride (2006 model at 40K miles) and after I gassed up and tried to start it it gave this buzzing sound, kind of like how cars do when the starter is shot. Does that sound like what I have? When I got the bike home the battery charged right up as normal, but still the clicking sound. I have my local shop guy picking it up Monday to check it out. Alternator maybe? I thought I would go ahead and get a new battery regardless since it's had a good life already.
The boots are a tight fit by design so a bit of tubbing/pulling is in order to get them to fit. Try seating a rack of four carbs onto an engine. That can get ugly if you let it.
The boots on the airbox side are quite flexible in the horizontal direction so the in/out motion won't unseat them during normal use. Think sideways 'U'. There is a retaining ring around a flange on the airbox side so there's no chance they'll come loose from the box. The detachment was due to the carbs being forced back in a 'not straight' alignment. Don't be afraid to tug on them.
Using grease to help the boots back on wouldn't be ill-advised. But whatever you do DON'T glue them on! (ask me how I know this ) Rubbing alcohol makes a good short-term lubricant also. Needle-noses pliers are a good friend to have too.
I read gabo234's problem with seating the carburetor boots. I had my carbs off for cleaning & adjustment and had no trouble at all getting the boots to seat. In fact, it was a tight fit to even get the carbs to slide back in. However, when the engine backfired thru the carbs the other day and blew the boots off, I had to tug & pull and wrestle the airbox side boots out enough to seat. And then just barely. Is it possible the backfire blew them back and they somehow came unattached from the airbox holes and were shifted back further away from the carbs? And could this also be gabo234's problem too?
I don't know how they seat around the airbox holes, don't remember how they appeared before the backfire, but something isn't right and has changed.
If your wife's bike has at about 10k miles or more on it the sound is probably the exhaust pipe. The test I do is to use a padded screwdriver (or prybar) and gently pry against the exhaust pipe while it is making the noise. If the sound changes it's the pipe.
The only place to get a replacement pipe is from Kawasaki. I use RonAyers.com as they are reasonably priced and ship fast.
For the right side you will need one 18049-1752 pipe and two 11060-1764 crush gasket. (You'll have to remove both pipes) You can probably get by with reusing the gaskets in the mufflers and the crosspipe but if you want to replace them also use two 11060-1759 and one 11009-1865.
Hello Bikerbill. How did you know when your inner exhaust pipe was broken? My wifes 500 is making a pinging noise on the right side that sounds like it could be the pipe rattle. Also where might one find a new pipe at a goo price.