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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, Aaron here.
I got my Vulcan last year, and have just dealt with this issue with sea foam and high hopes but it hasn't gone away.
My 800 has a hard time starting in the morning, cold days, and at night. It likes to putt along sometimes after starting, and can sometimes jerk, like it shutoff and started again quickly.
I'm going to assume that my carbs are dirty, and my low-jet may be partially clogged. I had quite a bit of experience cleaning out carbs on my 1980 Honda cx500, and know how my way around that bike, but the only maintenance I have done on this bike, is clean the air filter and change the oil and oil filter.
How difficult is it to remove the carbs on this bike and clean it out? And where is a good, dependable source for a rebuild kit, just in case...:confused:
Thanks again.
Aaron
1999 Vulcan 800 Classic
 

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Not too hard to remove. Remove air filter cover, then 2 bolts hold the back of housing on. This will expose the carb. Remove the 2 bolts holding the plate across the bottom of cab that the air filter housing attaches to. Now the hard part. I think its a 3mm allen wrench needed to loosen the 2 screws on the boot holding the carb onto the intake. By the battery, there is a plate that goes side to side that has 2 phillips head screws holding it in place, this is the bracket that holds the enricher knob (choke knob) in place. Pull carb free while slipping the choke knob through and out the right side. On the front of carb as its mounted to bike, you will see the throttle cables, remove the phillips head screw and unhook the cables. The carb should now be free. On the subject of the enricher/choke, is it staying out when you start it cold? When you pull the knob out, there is a ring right behind it that you can tighten like a thumb screw that will put tension on the cable and hold it out while it warms up. These 800s are cold blooded creatures by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, that sound easy enough. So the gas tank shouldn't need to be removed? The YouTube video I watched showed the tech removing the gas tank, I'm assuming its just for ease of access. I don't have an ultra-sonic cleaner, but if I did, will that help with these carbs, or are all the ports, and canals easy enough to clean with a can of carb/brake cleaner?
 

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Gas tank removal does make it much easier. I think you can buy or rent the sonic cleaning kits fairly cheap, I know most auto parts store do have a small soaking tank for cheap, $30-40? I've always just used a spray can of carb leaner on my 800, but it doesnt set long periods of time, and if I think it may be a month or more, I fill the tank and add 4oz of seafoam, then ride a mile back home before parking it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ok, so I removed the carb last night, did my best to clean it out. I took off everything I could, but the float bowl wouldn't come off, because of a seized screw, and I really didn't want to fudge that up. After I re-installed everything, it ran like crap. The pilot screw is set to 2.5, and everything else is reconnected. From what I've been told on a facebook page, my carb is probably sucking in a lot of extra air from the carb boot (engine side). As I'm sure you know, that allen screw is really tough to get to without the proper tools. So I am going to pick up a set of ball end allen wrenches, and see if that really is my issue.
This is the link to my first facebook post after I re-installed everything. My bike was acting like a zombie. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2517506110/permalink/10154626095391111/?comment_id=10154626888001111&reply_comment_id=10154626892656111&notif_t=group_comment_reply&notif_id=1463435890231497
 

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Chances are you will need to open the float bowl to clean out the pilot jet. Pick up an impact driver, it'll take make short work of the stuck screw. Then you can really clean & adjust the carb properly.
 

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Float bowl must come off; not an option. To not take it off, and clean/diagnose inside it would be a waste of time to even pull it in the first place. Inside that bowl is where all the action is . . . and getting float blow screws out always suck on ALL carbs. We all hold our breath when attacking the carb for the first time on our new/used bike, and we all have our tricks to get it off.

Start with a NEW phillips bit that fits perfectly. #2 works on most. Getting an impact driver like gearhead said can work too. If not, and the phillips slot is rounded/wasted, do what my 15 year old grandson taught me: Find a torx bit that fits snugly, hammer it in softly until it bites, then try it. That works most of the time. If not, cut a slot in it with a hack saw then use a flathead. Last resort, cut it off flush, then drill it out and try an EZ out. If that doesn't work, then just drill and retap it once the bowl is off. Sucks but necessary to get inside. Good luck!
 

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When I 1st did the jets on my 05 800, I had 1 screw that would not move with a screwdriver. I was able to grip the head of it with a pair of channel locks and got it to break loose. Once it moved just a little, the screwdriver worked t finish removing it. Try this before pounding, cutting or drilling the screw.
 

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Excellent point Rick. I have used channel locks in the past too and it works sometimes if you can get a grip. I forgot to put that trick in the list! My grandson redoes/restores dirt bikes and I used to be the 'carburetor man' until he learned how. I have lost count of the number of float bowl screws that gave us fits. Your tip of using channel locks indeed worked on a couple!
 
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