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2009 Vulcan 500
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Hey everyone, so ive made a couple posts since picking this bike up. Its a 2001 1500 classic carb model. Had been sitting for about 2 years and didn't run. 45k miles on the clock but in excellent overall shape. When the owner initially told me all it needed was a battery to run I knew that wouldn't be the case. Hooked up a battery and attempted tonstart and all it did was pour fuel from a vent line that runs unto the back of the intake.

I pulled the tank and carb and went through it. Nothing looked bad inside and I feel like I did a decent job. Installed a new fuel filter, changed the oil and new battery. Hooked up a small auxilary tank so I could run the bike and be able to look for leaks without having the main tank on. It fired up and once again poured fuel from that vent hose. After idling for about a minute fuel stopped comming from that hose. If I don't touch the throttle it will idle and sounds good. Apply throttle and wants to fall on it face and die. If I feather it a little I can get it to rev up and seems to rev pretty clean. Let it back to idle and once again wants to die out with just a little throttle applied.

Bike has vance and hines longshots, kuryakyn hypercharger, carb has been jetted with a dynojet kit. I had received the packaging with extra jets. I didnt make any changes to the carb itself as I was told it ran well prior to sitting so didn't want to throw anything off blindly swapping jets or making adjustments. Im not a fan of carbs so this drives me nuts seeing as ill probably have to take it apart again. Any initial impressions or thoughts?
Transition ports are clogged just behind the butterfly..gonna have to take it back out and run some guitar string through them .
Did you remove the pilot jet and clean it as well.
Do you have an idle mixture screw cap?

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Bummer, knew I'd have to pull it out again. At least having done it once it should be easier a second time. I do have a couple guitars but not sure I have any extra string. Anything else that would work? And its safe to put something into those ports and not cause issues? I'll get the carb back off and see what I can make happen.
You have to bend the wire and it has to be stiff enough..may be able to use a single strand from an old clutch cable.

You only need about three inches of string..might have enough dangling loose on one of the smaller strings.

Remove and clean the pilot jet.
Remove the cap for the idle mixture screw...so you can mess with it later.

Back out the mixture screw about three turns...spray a little cleaner on at the tip of the idle mix needle..and some on the ports just behind butterfly..they are online with the idle mix screw needle.

On the air breather side of the carb there are two holes that are at the bottom of the throat of the carb...the one in the middle is for the main..offset one is the pilot circuit...put straw in the off set hole and give it a few blasts...clean pilot jet re install pilot jet..this is to provide resistance and force more cleaner through the transition ports...

put straw and cleaner back in the hole described above on the air breather side of carb..hold open butterfly and blast
Poke some small wire through transition ports..blast again from hole on breather side for pilot circuit.
When you see an even pattern with all the holes..they are good.

Remove pilot jet and again and clean incase anything loose tried to pass through it.

Turn mix screw back to where it was..if it was capped...then short yourself a quarter turn less going back in.
Your carb should clean out easy enough...its the smaller ones that are are harder to clean.

Once the carb is in your hand..15 minutes.
Just as well take out the main and tube and clean it as well while you are there.

Almost forgot...wear eye protection..you have a good chance of getting some on your face before its over


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You are wanting to spray through the hole on the left..you leave the pilot in while doing that or all the pressure will come out of the bottom where the pilot was..if you have a helper they can block the hole where the pilot jets goes with thier finger.
If your wire is small enough you can sink down in the transition ports quite aways.

Did you clean the pilot orifice?..kinda difficult to find a wire that will poke through there as its so small..torch tip cleaner should go through there with a 45 jet.
Also aftermarket jets alot of times have the wrong size orifice doe to poor manufacturering.
The jets are easy on the keihin carbs..45 pilot in .45 mm..it relates directly to orifice size.
If you double the orifice size it quadruples flow...a 48 will provide about 14 percent more flow..which will let you screw the idle mix back in some..and increase the flow a little to the transition ports.
You may not need it if you can get everything good and clean....after everything is good and clean and three turns out on the mix screw still has that lean spot while just barely cracking throttle then increase the pilot one size...then start out about 2 and a quarter out on the mix screw.
So...if you are sure everything is absolutely clean and it still doesn't pull enough fuel through the transition ports..then go up a size on the pilot..see if a 48 is available...you could put a 48 in it now and be fine if you want to know for sure and not have to pull carb again.







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Jets are all nice and clean. I do have a 48 pilot on hand i can swap in. Just worried I won't get the mixture set right and it's not accessible once the carb is on the bike from what I can tell anyway. I could do the 48 pilot and 2 1/4 on the mixture and would get me in the ball park? Its at 3.5 turns out on the 45 right now. It did idle well when I wasnt touching the throttle.

I did attempt to spray through that hole on the left but probably didn't have the pilot in at the time. Also ran out of carb cleaner so need to pick up a few cans as well as a can of compressed air. I also tried using a strand of wire from a metal bristle brush and even that I couldn't get an angle to drop the wire into those small ports. Ill leave the main alone for now since ive yet to be able to ride the bike and see how it performs but have 2 more larger sizes if needed. As far as the needle goes ill just leave it as it was with the clip position and washers. Ill just keep spraying away and hope I get it clean enough to run better.
Two and a quarter will be close..with the 48.you can start with two and half if you want...is the mix screw easy enough to get to with the carb on?
Usually the mix screws don't do much after three turns..so am I going to call it three out for a good idle..2 and a half ..two and quarter should be pretty close..
Then let it warm fully up and go ahead and play with the screw a little for best throttle response..little quick blips to eight throttle...should hit with a deep sound and pick right up...all cv keihins have a magic spot


When releasing the throttle if the idle speed drops down..then comes back up..you need to turn the mix screw in a little .


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Ive read that its suggested to get an extended mixture screw, baron makes one for around $25 which is costly for one screw. But otherwise its barely accessible once the carb is installed. Partly why id almost want to leave everything as it was and just make sure it clean. Ive had carbs before with the screw turned 3.5 out and thats about max before youd worry about it possible rattling loose. Maybe ill do the 48 at 2.5 turns out and see if I can maybe find a tool that allows me to reach the screw. But im sure the 48 would provide some benefits. Im considering picking up a can of berryman chem dip from the auto store and letting the carb soak in it overnight just as as extra method of cleaning.
If its hard to get to..go with two and a half...if your idle turns out a touch rich..turning up the idle a scosh leans it a little...just like that starving for fuel just coming off idle thing..as the transition port isn't slotted but has holes which create 'dead spots'...its just like a Harley..its why they pop and backfire just off idle...sometimes just turning out the mix fixes them..if not then next pilot up in size..the last trick but only if it can not be cured with jetting is to bevel a couple millimeters on the butterfly where they line up with the transfer ports...its last resort but does work..last resort as its permanent.
Also what helps is running the plug gap favoring the wide side of the specs..helps ignite a leaner mixture...you can check those while carb is soaking..sometimes carbon will shrink the gap a little.


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Are you sure 45 is the stock jet size..I came up with 42..which means its already been upped one size

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It does appear that a 42 is stock so the 45 i have now is upgraded. Mixture screw is pretty far out still for having a larger pilot. But ill keep settings as they were and just make sure everything clean. If I have to remove everything again I will but hope to be able to actually test ride once back together. One question I have is about the needle. I know its a different needle and has the adjustable clip. Usually ive read people will shin the stock needle with a washer under the clip to raise the needle a hair. In my case there was 3 washers on top of the clip. Wouls this just be adding slight more tension to the spring that sits on the needle retainer? I believe in the jet kit instructions I read about putting the washers on top. Not something I've done before. But as mentioned above jll leave everything as it was and get things clean. Ran before so should run again. Should be able to to test again this afternoon.

I wont go the dip route. Worried about the plastic elbows having issues in the solution. And im sure they will break if I attempt to remove them. Will pick up a few more cans of carb clean and compressed air and go through the passageways as much as I can.
I read some more later after I posted that.some was coming with the 42 and some 45..dependant upon model.
If the prior owner used three washers to raise the needle he was trying to fix a low speed lean condition...which has no effect at just barely cracked throttle.
So we are three and a half turns out..and a raised needle...all signs of fighting leanness...toss in that 48 in.

Has anyone drilled a hole through the butterfly?..this could be causing your issue.

As long as the needle and washers fit up inside the plastic holder..then it shouldn't be adding any tension to the spring..even if it is..the raised needle will have mare than made up for the difference.

I am pretty sure once you get that grunge out of the transition ports..she will come off idle..its usually a white grayish crud and chokes down the holes.


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Whats odd is the washers aren't under the clip they are on top. Ive shimmed needles before and always put the washers under the clip which would then raise the needle. But these washers sit on top of the clip. Pretty sure the jet kit instructions even said to do this but ill double check. Its how it was when I originally took it all apart and threw me off a little. But that would cause more tension on the spring with the washers being on top thus pushing the retainer up a hair but only a very small bit. Id almost want to start from scratch on the jetting but ill just get things clean and go from there. It idled and revved just didn't want to come off idle so I should be okay once that pilot circuit is clear.

No holes drilled in the butterfly. Everything looks correct as far as the jetting kit instructions from what I can tell.
The increased spring tension may have been an effort by the aftermarket supplier to prevent slide quiver..they usually don't quiver when they are running right though..some people drill out the port hole to make the slide raise faster..which can induce quiver.
Look for signs of your spring being cut..people do that to..if its been cut then leave the 'shims' in..if it hasn't been cut I would take em out..it hurts nothing by the slide opening sooner..it can quiver though if it's too light on tension.


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That dark varnish line show the slide wasn't quivering.which is good.
In the other photo..appears to be crunge in two of the holes..just a matter of finding stiff enough wire that has a small enough diameter to poke em clean.
If you have an air compressor..you can can blow air through the off set hole on the filter side...left hole in a picture I posted a few posts back..say 20 ..25 psi of so..it can sometinesb dislodge the crud after being softened by the cleaner


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The supplied jet kit included drill bits and instructions talking about drilling out the hole in the slide. Not 100% sure if it was drilled though. Ill pull the carb back back off if need be but for now will keep everything as it was for a baseline and try to get it rideable and go from there.
Got you.

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