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Discussion Starter #1
I asked a friend to help me work on the carbs on my Vulcan 500, and apparently he got pretty aggressive with the screws. Fast forward a few weeks, and one of the gaskets on the bowl is leaking. I'm trying remove just the bowl if possible, or the entire set of carbs if need be, but every screw that holds the carbs to the rail, and all but two bowl screws are ruined. Since I can't get the carbs off, the space is so tight I can't get anything in to hammer the screws either. I'm considering cutting them, and just getting new ones, but I'm not even sure how I'd work that magic with such tight spaces. Does anyone have any ideas? The only one I have left (I've been dealing with this for days) is setting the bike on fire. Of course everyone would turn to dust, except those damn screws, just to mock me.
Thanks so much!
 

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Pull the carbs to allow full, unlimited access to the bowls. Working carbs on the bike is an exercise in frustration...if not an accident waiting to happen

Thin vice grips on the stripped bowl screws should "break" them free.

Replace the bowl screws with allen heads.

Just to be clear.,...you are not trying to remove the screws on the metal brace bars with the carbs installed, are you?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pull the carbs to allow full, unlimited access to the bowls. Working carbs on the bike is an exercise in frustration...if not an accident waiting to happen

Thin vice grips on the stripped bowl screws should "break" them free.

Replace the bowl screws with allen heads.

Just to be clear.,...you are not trying to remove the screws on the metal brace bars with the carbs installed, are you?
Unfortunately the ones on the bracket holding the carbs to the bike are even worse.
 

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Once off per CCService, two methods work great if vice grips don't work. CCS is right, you will need to remove the carb.

1. Cut a slot in the top of screw with a hack saw, then use a flathead screwdriver that FITS perfectly into your new slot. Or . . .
2. Find a torque bit that fits snug into the stripped out Phillips head. Many times it will bite into it nicely allowing for removal.
3. Cutting the head off is last resort, keep trying.
 

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Unfortunately the ones on the bracket holding the carbs to the bike are even worse.
Bracket? No, the carb "brace bars" do not hold carbs to bike. They only hold the carbs in a "rack".

You need to loosen the manifold clamp screws (2) ...roll back the airbox boot springs (no need to remove), remove the tank, loosen the airbox (to allow some up/down/back movement). Others may be able to help with carb removal procedure on your Vulcan as I'm only familiar with the EX (Ninja) version.

Once carbs are off, some options for stubborn screw removal include...a hand impact driver or dremel slots in the screw heads. Its pretty basic removal stuff. If doing the 8 brace screws...they can be bitchy...the impact driver is vital here. Once stripped, dremel a slot then using a flat head fitting in the impact driver.

Worst case scenario...consider my services...I stock bowl orings and complete stainless steel buttonhead screw sets. I do this stuff on routine basis. PM me if you choose.

Note the carb screws are JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) size ...not phillips. A #2 phillips, though it appears correct, is prone to slip...then strip the heads. This is likely the case here.

Attached a pic of buttonheads installed on a set of my carbs.
 

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An example...though from a 250 Ninja...this is a "split" set of carbs...though shorter..notice the brace bars clearly visible. They hold the carbs together, spaced correctly in a "rack".
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I got them off! Thank you guys so much! I didn't pay enough attention apparently and didn't realize they were only held onto the bike by the rubber "boots." At this point I can get the screws off, I'll likely just replace them all. Seriously thank you so much!
You'll likely see me here soon asking how to get the carbs back on. I remember attempting to so so a while ago and ended up very annoyed. My friend was able to get them back on, but I wasn't there and didn't see the magic.
I really appreciate the help, and so quickly, and friendly. I'm new to bikes, this is my first actually, so it's great to have such an awesome community!!
If anyone has any tips on how to get carbs (the airbox side) back onto the little rubber boots, it would help me out a ton!
 

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I had similar problem, my screws were stuck and I stripped heads on 4 bolts. Drilled with left hand drill through and bolts started coming off luckily.

Consider using allen bolts instead of standard cross bolts and you won't deal with stripped head again, I replaced all cross bolts on my bike with allen ones, much easier to deal with. You can buy nice stainless steel allen bolts cheap and put antiseize on them when you're assembling carbs...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had similar problem, my screws were stuck and I stripped heads on 4 bolts. Drilled with left hand drill through and bolts started coming off luckily.

Consider using allen bolts instead of standard cross bolts and you won't deal with stripped heads again, I replaced all cross bolts on my bike with allen ones, much easier to deal with. You can buy nice stainless steel allen bolts cheap and put antiseize on them when you're assembling carbs...
That's a great idea! I'll get some allen bolts tonight. I hate Philips heads (and Japanese equivalent) they're designed to strip.. Why does anyone use them!
 

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As for the intake boots. If your intake boots are soft you can follow this tutorial: Carburetor Maintenance - EX-500.com best and easiest way to put them back.


If your boots are hard and you can't fold the ends of the airbox rubbers back over themselves like I can't:
>You'll see 2 springs around intake boots, roll them back.
>Attach throttle cables.
>While putting carbs in their place, watch out for intake rubbers, move them with fingers into airbox so carbs won't cause damage to them.
>After the carbs are in their place, position intake boots and carbs so the boots will be barely attached to the carbs.
>Now comes tricky part. Engine side boots; one side is wider and one narrower. Wider side goes up, obviously. Put these boots from the top so the narrower side will slide between carbs and engine easy while forcing carbs back into airbox so you'll have more room to squeeze engine side boots. You'll need to use little bit of force, don't be afraid but don't go crazy squeezing them between.
>After attaching engine side boots to both carbs and engine, start wiggling carbs up and down and force intake boots to slide onto carbs using fingers. You should be able to attach them easy if intake boots are soft enough.
>Roll springs back on their position, tighten engine side boots clamps
>That's it.


Hope you'll understand...
And if you decide to use hair dryer, set it to minimum heat, you can harden these boots very easy and then you will have bigger problem like I do right now.
 
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