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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The petcock on my '98 vn800 seems to have a problem. The last few days the bike has been running very rich. It actually cut out 10 miles from home and wouldn't restart. I removed the air filter cover and there was fuel in the airbox. I cleaned it up and let it sit a while and was able to start it, but it didn't run well and idle was very slow. I managed to get home, but it would not idle. I have checked the vacuum line and it seems to be OK. I thought it may have been a stuck float, so I changed the position of the 'selector' from ON to RES and it seems to be running OK in that position. So I think the problem is the petcock. I also noticed that when the 'selector' is in the PRIME position there is a slight leak from the front of the petcock, but this is ONLY when on PRIME. It seems like some maintenance is needed, but I don't know what? I guess the leak can be stopped with a replacement 'O' ring, but what do I do to stop it 'flooding' the carb when it's in the ON position? Help!
 

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The petcock allows fuel to flow from the tank into the carb.
If the carb is leaking into the engine it is most likely not the petcock.
The ability of the petcock to seal off the fuel when the motor isnt running is a petock problem.
BUT if the carb dumps fuel into the engine, the float is most likely the problem.

Turn petcock to off.
Remove the fuel line from the petcock to the carb.
Turn petcock to on.
If there is no flow the petcock is holding like it should.

Attach a hose to the carb and fill it with fuel if the carb can hold back the fuel the floats and needle and seat are working.
 

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A faulty petcock and a leaking float valve can indeed be related if fuel is getting into the air filter; Gents it seems we have already had this discussion whereas sfair gave us a schooling on a petcock leaking and the float valve being unable to hold back the fuel at all times; Do the test as vulcandoc suggested; if fuel comes out the petcock in ON or RES then the petcock is bad; replace it; and if not then its the carb; simple test
 
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