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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1990 Vulcan 500, here is a picture of the carb. Should that grey tube be connected to the bottom of the petcock? This is how it was when I bought it:
249757

I know the tube connected to the fuel filter connects to the side of the petcock, but I think that grey tube should be connected to something? I feel like fuel isn't going into the carbs.

The petcock has a connector on the side and bottom and has three positions reserve/on/off. What position should it be on when starting? I have read about a prime position but this one doesn't have one.
 

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I have a 1990 Vulcan 500, here is a picture of the carb. Should that grey tube be connected to the bottom of the petcock? This is how it was when I bought it:

I know the tube connected to the fuel filter connects to the side of the petcock, but I think that grey tube should be connected to something? I feel like fuel isn't going into the carbs.

The petcock has a connector on the side and bottom and has three positions reserve/on/off. What position should it be on when starting? I have read about a prime position but this one doesn't have one.
The petcock should be on "on" for starting unless the fuel is low in the tank then you will want it on reserve. In the tank there is two pick up tubes coming out of the petcock with one being taller or longer than the other. When the fuel falls below the tallest one "on" then it can be picked up by the shorter one, reserve. In the pic I see your fuel line with the fuel filter and sometimes I have seen where the petcock has a vent line OR it will be coming out of the tank. If the petcock has two nipples, obviously one smaller than the other, then that is where I'd assume it goes or there is possibly a nipple on the tank, again smaller than the fuel line, that it attaches to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is a picture with the tank on:
249772

There is a nipple under the tank on the right side that isn't connected to anything, and a nipple under the petcock that isn't connected to anything.
 

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I am having a little trouble following the pic and info. Does the petcock have two nipple on it? If so is the fuel line connected to the one for the fuel in the last pic you provided? On the one coming out of the tank is it a metal tube made on the tank or welded in? If so that is a vent line. If there is only one nipple on the petcock and the gray one reaches the tank one that is where it goes and the one on the petcock is for the fuel. If there is two on the petcock you have a different situation going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am having a little trouble following the pic and info. Does the petcock have two nipple on it? If so is the fuel line connected to the one for the fuel in the last pic you provided? On the one coming out of the tank is it a metal tube made on the tank or welded in? If so that is a vent line. If there is only one nipple on the petcock and the gray one reaches the tank one that is where it goes and the one on the petcock is for the fuel. If there is two on the petcock you have a different situation going on.
I apologize for the confusion, the petcock has two nipples on it. A fat one on the side that fuel comes out of and one in the bottom that wasn't connected to anything. The nipple under tank seems to be part of the tank and isn't connected to anything. I think it is for overflow because if I move the tank around sometimes fuel comes out of it.

There is an aftermarket in line fuel filter put in that I may take out entirely. I believe these bikes have a filter in the tank and the in line filter is not stock and may be messing with the vacuum that the carb uses to pull gas in?
 

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I believe these bikes have a filter in the tank and the in line filter is not stock and may be messing with the vacuum that the carb uses to pull gas in?
Nope, that would not have anything to do with that. Here is a basic overview of how it works. Piston is at TDC (Top Dead Center) and the plug fires. This is the power stroke to propel the bike as the piston is forced down. After BDC (Bottom Dead Center) the exhaust valve opens and the piston pushes the exhaust out. After TDC is reached the exhaust valve is closed and the intake valve opens and the "vacuum" from the piston going down pulls the gas into the cyclinder. Then the intake valve will close around BDC and the piston forces it way to TDC compressing the fuel, like packing a firecracker with powder, and the plug fires starting the power stroke again and the process repeats. Only way the filter would stop the process is if it was dirty and not even letting gas get to the carbs. Easy enough check is pull the line where it plugs into the carbs and turn on the petcock. If gas comes flowing out most likely it is not inhibiting the process.

Alright, after some investigation I am thinking you have a CA model. The fuel line with the filter goes on the bigger nipple of the petcock and the smaller gray hose on the smaller nipple of the petcock. The other nipple made into the tank is some breather for CA models I am assuming. I found the below in the service manual:
Pull the hoses off the tap. (Tap meaning petcock so for regular models it is not specifying anything to do with that other nipple made into the tank)
For California vehicles, the breather and fuel return hoses
must be disconnected from the tank fittings before tank re-
moval........."

Doing some online searches I was able to find both the owners and service manual for your bike. I will post the links below. I believe a particular model number will tell you if you have a CA model or not. In the service manual you will want to look over the chapters on Fuel System 2 to 1 Fuel System, Fuel Tank, and Evaporative Emission Control System ( CA Model Only). If you do have a CA model there is a purpose to the nipple made into the tank and you will want it hooked up correctly. I have never came across CA models on bikes so I am not familiar with the emission systems used on those models.

500 Owners Manual

500 Service Manual
 

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The petcock "opens" with vacuum.
The side connection, I believe is for the vacuum connection.
I am not sure of the California setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nope, that would not have anything to do with that. Here is a basic overview of how it works. Piston is at TDC (Top Dead Center) and the plug fires. This is the power stroke to propel the bike as the piston is forced down. After BDC (Bottom Dead Center) the exhaust valve opens and the piston pushes the exhaust out. After TDC is reached the exhaust valve is closed and the intake valve opens and the "vacuum" from the piston going down pulls the gas into the cyclinder. Then the intake valve will close around BDC and the piston forces it way to TDC compressing the fuel, like packing a firecracker with powder, and the plug fires starting the power stroke again and the process repeats. Only way the filter would stop the process is if it was dirty and not even letting gas get to the carbs. Easy enough check is pull the line where it plugs into the carbs and turn on the petcock. If gas comes flowing out most likely it is not inhibiting the process.

Alright, after some investigation I am thinking you have a CA model. The fuel line with the filter goes on the bigger nipple of the petcock and the smaller gray hose on the smaller nipple of the petcock. The other nipple made into the tank is some breather for CA models I am assuming. I found the below in the service manual:
Pull the hoses off the tap. (Tap meaning petcock so for regular models it is not specifying anything to do with that other nipple made into the tank)
For California vehicles, the breather and fuel return hoses
must be disconnected from the tank fittings before tank re-
moval........."

Doing some online searches I was able to find both the owners and service manual for your bike. I will post the links below. I believe a particular model number will tell you if you have a CA model or not. In the service manual you will want to look over the chapters on Fuel System 2 to 1 Fuel System, Fuel Tank, and Evaporative Emission Control System ( CA Model Only). If you do have a CA model there is a purpose to the nipple made into the tank and you will want it hooked up correctly. I have never came across CA models on bikes so I am not familiar with the emission systems used on those models.

500 Owners Manual

500 Service Manual
I agree and thanks for the help. After doing some research online I believe my bike isn't a 500 LTD because it was made in 1990, it is the predecessor to the LTD and is an EN500A. I can't find a service manual for it, the closest I found is this Haynes manual.
KAWASAKI EN450 TWINS WORKSHOP MANUAL Pdf Download | ManualsLib
It says that when removing the tank I need to remove the fuel and vacuum lines from the tap (petcock), so the reason I'm not getting fuel may be the vacuum line which I assume goes to the left side of the carburetor.

I don't think I have a CA model because I bought the bike in new Jersey and that is pretty far. Also I think the tank on the ca model has two nipples on the bottom for EPA nonsense and mine only has one.
 

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I agree and thanks for the help. After doing some research online I believe my bike isn't a 500 LTD because it was made in 1990, it is the predecessor to the LTD and is an EN500A. I can't find a service manual for it, the closest I found is this Haynes manual.
KAWASAKI EN450 TWINS WORKSHOP MANUAL Pdf Download | ManualsLib
It says that when removing the tank I need to remove the fuel and vacuum lines from the tap (petcock), so the reason I'm not getting fuel may be the vacuum line which I assume goes to the left side of the carburetor.

I don't think I have a CA model because I bought the bike in new Jersey and that is pretty far. Also I think the tank on the ca model has two nipples on the bottom for EPA nonsense and mine only has one.
Ok, then. I went by the year you said it was to look up the info and by what I had seen there was only one 500 made in 1990. I made the assumption it was a CA model because of the info it stated for the '90 500 model. To stop shooting in the dark I'd suggest looking at the title for the info and verify it to the bike for a double check. The link to the service manual I posted above is for a 1990 EN500 Vulcan 500 LTD. Like I said I only seen one 500 made in '90.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, then. I went by the year you said it was to look up the info and by what I had seen there was only one 500 made in 1990. I made the assumption it was a CA model because of the info it stated for the '90 500 model. To stop shooting in the dark I'd suggest looking at the title for the info and verify it to the bike for a double check. The link to the service manual I posted above is for a 1990 EN500 Vulcan 500 LTD. Like I said I only seen one 500 made in '90.
Thank you for the help, attaching the small grey hose to the bottom nipple worked, it starts and runs fine now. 👍👍
 

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Great!! You will still want to follow up on getting the nipple made into the tank connected especially if gas comes out when it is tipped. You don't want gas leaking onto a hot engine. My guess is if you pull the tank you will see a hose not connected that goes to it. Most times the manufacturer does not give you much room to connect or disconnect these breather/vent lines. Usually one can only lift the tank an inch or two to access them so don't be surprised if it is a bit of a PITA. And you are welcome. Enjoy the ride!
 
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