VN750 Dies with less than half tank of fuel - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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VN750 Dies with less than half tank of fuel

Hello everyone, new kid on the block here with a running problem on my ride. Hopeful someone out there can give me some guidance. My ride is an 04 with under 12k miles. Overall it runs like a scalded dog. Here's my problem, when the tank is less than 1/2 full the bike usually will die out within 50 ft to a mile. It will only do it one time. After a few attempts starting it will fire up and I can continue on my journey home never missing a lick. I had the bike 4 years and has always had this problem. It sounds like it is starving for fuel/ran out of gas.
Here are a few facts:
1. Always happens with 1/2 or less fuel in tank.
2. Temp is always mild to hot outside.
3. After a few minutes of dieing, will usually start back up and run fine.
4. Already had the fuel tank and fuel valve apart, no issues.
5. Checked the tank vent, okay.
6. Ruled out carbs, it runs great except for the time it dies.
Ruled out electrical, the problem will only get worse if there is an issue.
7. Never fails with fuel above 1/2 full.

I feel that it's probaly something stupid but, so far I'm the one thats getting whipped here. Whatever the problem is I would think it would only get worse, wrong. It won't stay broken long enough for me to find the problem.
So my friends out there, I'm all open for suggestions and would be really grateful for any input. Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:11 PM
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Sounds a lot like POOGS. You say the tank vent is okay? Did you spray cleaner or compressed air down it and have it come from under the bike and did you clean the vent holes on the gas cap its self? There are holes on the under side of the cap that need to be cleared as well. Some have had to take the cap apart but I was successful just by spraying carb cleaner in each hole using the red spray tube. Try that and if you don't get cleaner spraying out you will have to take the cap apart. Be careful though, the cleaner can spray out of the opposite hole you are spraying in and get you in the eyes. Hold the cap facing away when you spray each hole. Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:38 PM
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Welcome. POOGS = Phantom Out Of Gas Syndrome. So common we came up with an acronym!

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 07:50 AM
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^ Yep sounds like the POOGS, but there is one more simuliar problem that I had out of my 06...
You don't say where you are, but my bike was bought new in Tenn., but was a California bike with their polution stuff on it, which is legal for Kaw. to sell in other states...
I don't know what it was doin exactly, but it was causing the bike to stall after a short stop in warm weather, dang near got me run over a time or three... Anyway if it is a Cal. bike it will have 2 small lines coming off the rear of the tank, the one on the right goes to the Cal. stuff and the one on the left is the tank vent...(non Cal. Bikes only have the 1 vent line)
I think all you have to do if that is the case is pull the tube off the one on the right (to the Cal. polution stuff) and put a sheet metal screw in the metal tube tank stem... I put epoxy on the screw I put in...
Just another thought, probably is the POOGS, but if not it could be the Cal. polution control bit...
Have a good one...Old Dog...

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 08:56 AM
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POOGS ... hehe ... I never heard of it, lol. It does make sense though. I guess you could test for the POOGS by opening the tank just above half a tank and listening for suction. Plus, If you do that, and the bike doesn't die any more, you can pretty much confirm a case of the POOGS ! The vent in the gas cap is very small, and could easily get clogged. POOGS ... that cracks me up.

~~C8> Ratt
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 10:43 AM
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Yep, sounds like Phantom Out Of Gas Syndrome...(I coined the phrase, these guys came up with the "POOGS" thing...lol)

There is a thread here somewhere about doing a fix to the gas cap...where you enlarge the vent hole or something.

The only other suggestion is to keep a spare key in the gas cap, so while riding you can flip it open if the bike begins to sputter.

This always seems to happen just before you hit reserve, and seems to effect all model years, even though many never report a problem.

My theory on this is there is some weird point where several key things seem to work together and cause the bike to starve for fuel. Always just under a half a tank, the bike is either hot or has been sitting in the sun on a hot day, and best I can tell...the petcock is always on run...not reserve.

Many think they are going to reserve and try to switch over by flipping the lever forward only to find it does not do the trick and the bike dies anyway.

I wish I could document if anyone experiances POOGS who always keep their petcock turned to "reserve". (There is fuel gauge , the reserve setting seems redundant to many)

I sold my bike before I could test this...I had planned to remove both fuel tubes off the inside of the petcock and cut them down....to see if the POOGS showed up with a different amount of fuel in the tank.

The only other option I know of is to just always keep your tank full by topping it off when you get the chance.

KM

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 11:15 AM
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Personally, I think it may be like a hummingbird feeder effect.
Synapse: If the bike sits in the summer sun, pressure builds in the tank. The vent relieves this pressure to atmosphere. Maybe the vent tube also works to prevent vacuum in the top portion of the tank.
Lets say the vent tube is partially blocked. When the rider begins his ride, fuel is removed from the tank through gravity feed to the carbs. As the fuel leaves the tank, pressure is reduced. There may also be a cooling effect on the tank as it moves through the air, further reducing pressure in the tank. I would think that at some point, the pressure may be reduced to vacuum. At some point after that, there may be just enough vacuum in the tank that gravity can no longer pull the fuel through the lines. Fuel flow slows, maybe starving the carbs. After the engine dies or the tank is opened to check for fuel, air is allowed to enter either through the carbs for a “burp” or the upper portion of the tank is restored to atmosphere respectfully. Just a thought.

Good luck with the fix .
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 11:22 AM
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I had the same poogs attack my scoot. My problem ended up being in the gas cap portion of the venting. I ended up removing the gasket material (Way loose anyway) inside the gas cap & that deffinitly freed up the vent. Haven't had an issue since. But like you I thought I had a major problem. Damb POOGS! lol
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 11:23 AM
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If it is POOGS (and it sounds like it) then it will not go away until the gas cap vent and vent line have been cleaned and are venting the gas tank properly. POOGS is nothing more than a failed gas tank venting system; either clogged or failed check valves. The process or cleaning them only takes 15 minutes and a yearly spray of carb cleaner down the vent tube should keep it from happening ever again (no enlarging of holes, spare keys, keeping gas tank above 1/2 full, etc. needed). Below is my writeup on how I solved my POOGS problem. I wish we could get this added to the Verses, along with the steps for cleaning a CA model gas cap vent.

I just went through this on my ’06 (non-CA model), exact same situation too (stall at ˝ tank gas). Try this (again '06 non-CA model, other models and CA emissions may differ):

Step 1: Clean the gas cap vent tube:
  1. Place a piece of paper in front of the REAR tire
  2. Open the gas cap
  3. Spray carb cleaner into the vent tube located on the tank, near the base of the gas cap hinge. Use the straw attachment for the spray can.
  4. Observe the drips onto the piece of paper. Continue spraying until it runs clear.
  5. See UPDATE 5/5/2010 below for root cause of this particular POOGS

Step 2: Clean the gas cap vent mechanism
  1. Open the gas cap and remove the key.
  2. Cover the tank inlet tube with a rag, tape or a piece of paper to prevent dropping parts in the tank. I used a large PostIt note, which worked well.
  3. Remove the two brass screws that hold the latch mechanism on the bottom of the gas cap.
  4. Remove the latch mechanism. Note: there is a loose component in the base that covers the latch spring. Be careful not to drop it into the tank or on the floor during removal.
  5. Inspect the latch, clean as necessary (chances are this is NOT where the problem is), then set aside.
  6. Careful not to loose the 5 small springs mounted on posts under the latch mechanism. You can leave them where they are or remove them for safe keeping.
  7. Before proceeding remove the small collar from the male latch connector (look for the round key cylinder). The collar acts like a bearing when opening and closing the latch using the key. It is loose and easily lost. Slip it off and put it aside for safe keeping.
  8. Remove the two short screws at the base of the gas cap vent, but DO NOT yank the vent off yet.
  9. The vent gasket is glued to the cap (at least it was on mine) and the vent assembly might be stuck to the gasket. GENTLY, wiggle the vent back and forth to loosen it and prevent damage to the gasket.
  10. With the vent assembly removed, inspect the gasket for tears or bulges. You should see the outline of the venting path depressed into the gasket (this is normal). Spray with carb cleaner (just a little) and gently wipe with a clean cloth. Inspect the cloth for signs of debris.
  11. Now for the root of the problem; Remove the small round plastic check valve/liquid separator located on the underside of the vent assembly. GENTLY ply it out (needle nose pliers works well), careful not to damage the silicone valve covering the base of the check valve. Remove the gasket as well and place it aside. Inspect and clean the check valve, ESPECIALLY the tiny 90 degree elbow which leads to the vent hole. NOTE: there is another silicone valve cover permanently mounted in the gas cap vent itself (part of the pressure release part of the valve). DO NOT attempt to remove it or you will damage it. Just make sure it is clean and functioning.
  12. Now check the vent hole. This is where you are most likely to find the problem.
  13. Hold the vent assembly up to the light and look up from where the plastic check valve was mounted. See any light where that tiny 90 degree elbow fits? Follow the vent channels on the opposite side of the vent assembly. Any blockage?
  14. Unplug the holes and clean the venting channels.
  15. Reassemble.

Step 3: Repeat Step 1 frequently (at least once a year) to prevent this from happening again. AND/OR relocate the vent line as outlined in the UPDATE below.

UPDATE 5/5/2010: My Phantom has been uncloaked! I took a closer look at where/how the rubber vent tube exits in front of the rear tire. I found that the tube had been (and still is) rubbing against the rear tire. The 'black fluffy carbon' blocking my vent was probably rubber shavings caused by the vent tube rubbing against the tire. I've temporarily rerouted the vent tube to exit along side the coolant overflow tube to eliminate the vent tube/tire rubbing. I still plan to flush the vent once a year to reduce the possibility of dirt and dust reaching and blocking the actual gas cap vent.


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZCraggRatt View Post
Personally, I think it may be like a hummingbird feeder effect.
Synapse: If the bike sits in the summer sun, pressure builds in the tank. The vent relieves this pressure to atmosphere. Maybe the vent tube also works to prevent vacuum in the top portion of the tank.
Lets say the vent tube is partially blocked. When the rider begins his ride, fuel is removed from the tank through gravity feed to the carbs. As the fuel leaves the tank, pressure is reduced. There may also be a cooling effect on the tank as it moves through the air, further reducing pressure in the tank. I would think that at some point, the pressure may be reduced to vacuum. At some point after that, there may be just enough vacuum in the tank that gravity can no longer pull the fuel through the lines. Fuel flow slows, maybe starving the carbs. After the engine dies or the tank is opened to check for fuel, air is allowed to enter either through the carbs for a “burp” or the upper portion of the tank is restored to atmosphere respectfully. Just a thought.

Good luck with the fix .
That's all fine & dandy except for the fact that our bikes are vacume fed & not gravity fed.
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