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Discussion Starter #1
.... That ends near the battery box.

'98 vn800a..... Bike has just been brought out from the winter. When I cranked it... It started but wouldn't hold an idle, then gas was running from what I think is the carburetor breather tube, which ends down near the battery box, and from somewhere near the heads. I opened the air filter cover and found a mouse nest behind the filter, not in the carb but in the air intake before the filter. I cleaned out the nest and tried cranking again, air filter cover off, same results - gas dumping from tube in battery box and the lower part of heads Soaked in gas and a small gas trickle from a tube at the bottom of the air filter housing. It won't hold an idle. Exhaust pressure strong coming out of one pipe, weak out of the other.
Any suggestions as to next troubleshooting/repair step?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mileage, 40k...
10+ years in my possession, running strong last fall when I put it away. Needs a clutch.

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OK, you might have two problems:

1. Fuel tap.
2. Dirty carb.
3. Both.

Is this something you want to repair yourself, or?

How long since the valves have been checked?
 

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Anyone with an 800 with some miles on it knows what that engine will do to a valve if they are neglected!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Valves have never been adjusted while I owned the bike. I was hoping to repair the bike myself. Removed the tank and found more nest in the air box, cleaned out air box. Reassembled, cranked it, it wouldn't hold an idle, wear pressure on exhaust from front head. I removed the front head's exhaust pipe and snaked it, it was clean. Inside the actual head where the pipe attaches appear somewhat oily and wet. Opened the top of the carburetor and thats is where I stopped. The diaphragm there appears intact. I'm not sure now how to proceed to clean the carb. Nor am I sure how to take it apart correctly.

Fuel tap? Not sure what that is. Is that the proper name for what I think is a petcock? Interestingly regarding that... When I turn it to prime, Fuel runs out of the breather tube near the battery box.

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An engine that has the valves out of adjustment will never start, idle or run correctly no matter what you do to it.
It is a basic check that must be done first, then the other things can follow.
 

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1. If you have owned and never checked the valves, then it is a safe bet that they have NEVER been done.
2. It is the first thing one does when buying a used machine, if for no other reason, than to establish a starting point, mileage wise, to follow the manufacturers adjustment interval.
If the previous owner said they were just done, a work order must be shown to prove or they have not been done.
3. You have two other issues to tend to...carb and fuel tap.
4. Why do you think it needs a clutch?
 

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An engine that has the valves out of adjustment will never start, idle or run correctly no matter what you do to it.
It is a basic check that must be done first, then the other things can follow.
Theoretically, if someone even could reach such a condition, it would never be with this engine. VN800 engine would be dead for long time before with a dropped valve :soldier:

How often will valves go out of adjustment?
According to a service manual, it's about 6000 miles. It's good idea to check them and never trust previous owner.
 

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Mine is a 96 1500 but when I bought it, it was hard to start, would smoke black, get loaded up and stall, wouldn't restart for awhile. Fuel would leak from vent tube under the radiator which turned out to be the charcoal canister. I pulled the carb apart and found one of the rubber needle tips was cracked. Fuel was leaking into the carb and overflowing into the evap canister which was sending liquid gas right back to the intake (normally vapor). Replaced both needles and problem solved. Starts and runs great. I then removed the evap system completely with help of this awesome forum and some links posted on here.

Hope this helps. Symptoms sound similar. Good luck.

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Discussion Starter #13
Cleaned the carb and fuel tap petcock in the same sitting, as well as changing to fresh fuel. Neither carb or tap appeared terribly dirty but it was enough combined with old fuel to cause me a headache. No leftover parts on the bench. It's a good day.
Thanks for advice and help.

I'll schedule the valve job later.

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Keep your eye on that fuel tap as there is a good chance it will leak, and flood the engine, when you are not looking!
 
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