Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, fellow riders, I have been having issues with my Vulcan 500 ever since I bought it. The most pertinent issue is that it has issues starting. Sometimes, all I hear is the starter motor but the bike never actually turns on. On occasion, when it does run, it idles really rough, and soon dies. I have replaced many parts, including the battery, and the spark plugs, and nothing has fixed it. I have read threads that have similar symptoms to me, but nothing in those threads have actually fixed my problem. I also took apart the carbs and emptied the float bowls, which were nearly completely clean. Is this a pilot screw adjustment issue, a stator issue, or something completely different? Any help or suggestions would be completely appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So I'll have to completely disassemble the carbs to make sure every part is clean? And how many turns of the pilot screw should I do when I put it back together? I have it set at 2.5 right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
So I'll have to completely disassemble the carbs to make sure every part is clean? And how many turns of the pilot screw should I do when I put it back together? I have it set at 2.5 right now.
When you cleaned them before did you just clean out the float bowls?

It's the jets you really need to clean.

A lot of people use brass wire but I find plugging them into the end of a bicycle pump and pumping them pushed all the junk out of the holes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Sorry, I haven't replied, I've been waiting for a carb boot to come in, as I accidentally tore the original one trying to fit it on the carburetor. Also, to answer your question, yes, I did clean the float bowls and also used compressed air lightly to clean out the jets. I managed to turn it on a little bit and I noticed that a little bit of white smoke was coming out around the carb area. Does this mean that there is somehow a vacumn leak that I can't see?

Edit: Also, I have been theorizing, could it be possible that because I installed a K&N Filter back when I purchased the bike that it is messing with the fuel/air mixture? If so, would that be a pilot adjustment fix or should I just go back to the stock air filter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Sorry, I haven't replied, I've been waiting for a carb boot to come in, as I accidentally tore the original one trying to fit it on the carburetor. Also, to answer your question, yes, I did clean the float bowls and also used compressed air lightly to clean out the jets. I managed to turn it on a little bit and I noticed that a little bit of white smoke was coming out around the carb area. Does this mean that there is somehow a vacumn leak that I can't see?

Edit: Also, I have been theorizing, could it be possible that because I installed a K&N Filter back when I purchased the bike that it is messing with the fuel/air mixture? If so, would that be a pilot adjustment fix or should I just go back to the stock air filter?
Yes, the k&n filter could be messing with your AFR. You may not need to rejet, but you probably need to adjust your pilot screw and tune your carbs. They are probably running lean with the increased air flow. You can try that and see where it gets you. One of the more experienced guys will probably be coming along to give you advice about the first part of your question.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
The '500 is pretty highly tuned from the factory. There's not much one can do to improve it w/o getting into the internals, swapping cams, etc. It already makes 46 HP out of carbureted, normally aspirated 498cc engine. That extrapolates to 92.7 HP per liter from a from an engine with a heritage that goes back to the 454 LTD in 1985. Messing with the A/F ratio after changing the factory intake or exhaust can turn into a case of chasing your tail.

Before you go changing the pilot screws anymore, clean and put the stock filter in. You don't want to add more variables until you know what's going on. Make sure the boots are seated well, the vacuum hoses are connected and crack free. The manual specifies the pilot screws should be out 2 1/8 turns; 2 1/2 turns is on the rich side. Also, you just barely bottom them out to get the zero point. They're fragile.

Make sure the vent Tee is facing back. Have there been any other changes? Fuel filter added to the fuel line? I tried that and it lead to starvation. Also try running it with the fuel cap open. There's a complicated set of passage ways in there that can get clogged, causing a vacuum in the tank. That usually doesn't crop up until the engine has been running, but give it a shot. Have you tried running it with the petcock on reserve or PRI?

Also, what did the plugs you removed look like? And the current ones? Black, tan, ashy grey? Wet? Dry? Smooth or crusty? What does the exhaust look like when you get it running - anything? Black? Does it smell gassy when you try to start it? Do both exhaust pipes get hot? What impact does the choke have? What other work did you do to it? How many miles are on it? When was the last time the valves were adjusted? Does it have spark at both plugs? Are the battery terminals tight and grounds good? The '500 acts really weird when those get loose or corroded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
I am going to have to disagree with Venom831 and Phreon about the air filter choice. The K&N stock replacement air filter will not affect the AF ratio. The flow limiting part of the intake system is the 'snorkel', not the air filter.

However if you remove the airbox and install K&N 'pod' air filters then, yes, you will have to rejet and do other things to make it run right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
I am going to have to disagree with Venom831 and Phreon about the air filter choice. The K&N stock replacement air filter will not affect the AF ratio. The flow limiting part of the intake system is the 'snorkel', not the air filter.

However if you remove the airbox and install K&N 'pod' air filters then, yes, you will have to rejet and do other things to make it run right.
I concur. I immediately thought "pod" when I saw K&N. Didn't know they made a factory replacement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
I am going to have to disagree with Venom831 and Phreon about the air filter choice. The K&N stock replacement air filter will not affect the AF ratio. The flow limiting part of the intake system is the 'snorkel', not the air filter.

However if you remove the airbox and install K&N 'pod' air filters then, yes, you will have to rejet and do other things to make it run right.
Part number for K&N stock replacement air filter:

https://www.knfilters.com/search/product.aspx?prod=KA-5096
Yeah, that's Amazon's price (I looked it up). Do you notice any performance gains? Or anything else that makes it worth 3X the OEM filter cost?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
Do you notice any performance gains? Or anything else that makes it worth 3X the OEM filter cost?
I have not observed any performance gains. The reason I went with K&N is the ease of maintenance vs the OEM filter.

Spray-Wait-Rinse-Dry-Reoil

I have seen the OEM filters disintegrate over time. I have not seen this with the K&N.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top