Phantom Out of Gas issues.. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Phantom Out of Gas issues..

Hello again!

I've spent some time searching and while I've found many who have experienced this problem, I failed to discover a solution aside from "open the cap and let it sit for a few"!

I was on a nice ride with some buddies Wednesday, just about 100 miles. When I got to half a tank, we had just met another buddy and started riding when Vanessa started sputtering and finally died on me. I tried to switch to the reserve tank, tried to pop the clutch a few times, and finally had to stop to pull over and open the tank. After a few minutes things were fine. We continued along and as we headed home it happened again at about 1/4 tank! Same thing, let her breathe and I made it home!

This is SOOO frustrating, as I'm sure many of you know! But I'm planning to be riding to D.C. with 40-60 other bikes at the end of May and I NEED to get this resolved before then. Can anyone help me with a permanent solution to this madness?

Thanks again! All input is appreciated.

NIL ILLEGITIMUS CARBORUNDUM

Phil aka Art
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 09:20 AM
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That has to be frustrating! If you think about it, it has to be something that is clogging the venting system through the filler cap. I had my bike for 3+ years and put nearly 20,000 miles on it and never had it happen to me. I remember some who found small blockages in the vent, but I don't know how to tell you where to look for it. Seems like using a small piece of wire poking through the vent and/or blowing air through a rubber tube, some were able to remove a small bug that had crawled in there or some dirt or something and the problem went away. I'm just saying, it has to be something that can be fixed in my opinion, considering I had the same bike for 3 years and 20K miles without ever experiencing that problem... I hope others will offer up suggestions for where to look and clean the vent!

Of course, the vent from the carb getting bottomed out in the right ear also causes a similar problem, but I'm sure you've checked that and probably cut the 45 degree into the end to keep it from bottoming out...

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 10:35 AM
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Take the cap apart and clean it.
Another problem that I have had is that the engine will stall after sitting in HOT weather. I have decided that it is high pressure in the fuel tank causing it to flood after the needle valve opens. The pressure causes a surge of fuel to enter the carbs and causing them to flood. From now on I am going to release the pressure before start up.

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Last edited by niterider; 04-30-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 11:11 AM
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My Phantom has been uncloaked!

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.

Step 2: Clean the gas cap vent mechanism
  1. Open the gas cap and remove the key.
  2. Cover the tank inlet tube with tape or a piece of paper to prevent dropping things 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 during removal. Inspect the latch, clean as necessary (chances are this is NOT where the problem is), then set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Remove the two short screws at the base of the gas cap vent, but DO NOT yank the vent off yet.
  8. 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.
  9. With the vent assembly removed, inspect the gasket for tears or bulges. Spray with carb cleaner (just a little) and wipe with a clean cloth. Inspect the cloth for signs of debris.
  10. 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, 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.
  11. Now check the vent hole. 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? Unplug the holes and clean the channels.
  12. Reassemble.

Step 3: Repeat Step 1 frequently (at least once a year) to prevent this from happening again.

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

Last edited by cglennon; 05-05-2010 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Update
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 12:07 PM
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Cleaning out the vent tube that runs from under the cap to the tube under the seat with mechanics wire did the job for me!!!!

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 02:26 PM
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Dumb question here. If I'm understanding it right. The hose attached at the back of the tank is associated to the small hole by/under the gas cap. Which then is vented via the cap? I've never cleaned that passage but I have had my cap apart & cleaned. I was leary of shoving or spraying anything in there. I didn't really know where it went. I had an idea, just never asked. That would be an easy fix.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanuck69 View Post
The hose attached at the back of the tank is associated to the small hole by/under the gas cap.
Yes.

The vent line/hose operates in both directions; sucking air in to relieve vacuum and venting air out to relieve pressure ('06 model, older models and CA emissions might differ). If there is dirt in the vent line, then it could/will be sucked into the gas cap vent hole eventually.

In my case the vent line was loaded with fluffy black carbon (probably oxidized fuel). I suggest placing a piece of paper in front of the rear tire (where the vent exits) before flushing the vent line. Use the flush drippings on the paper to visually inspect the conditions of the line (i.e., drips are black or dirty, so clean the gas cap vent as well)

The vent line on my well maintained '06 with only 9K miles was pretty dirty. That's not a lot of time or mile and tells me that I need to flushing the vent line often, at least yearly. I'll bet that simply flushing the vent line often will reduce, if not completely eliminate, the phantom out of gas syndrome.


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 07:58 PM
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On Calif smog control bikes, the watching for fluid to drip from tube at rear tire will not work. The tube from the rear of the tank goes to a breather box , no fluid will drip from any line. Like Bman said you can try to clean it out to the tube that is at the rear of the tank. The tube from the tank to the breather box, you can remove it and see if it is clogged by flushing it out.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, well I've disassembled the cap and cleaned everything out there. I also sprayed brake cleaner into the vent and hose to ensure it was clean. No issues with passage and only a slight bit of yellow in color for about 15 seconds then clean as vodka.

I'm about to put it all back together and go for a spin, but it seems so weird that there was NO apparent blockage!

As I sit here writing this, I'm also going to add blowing some air through the vent line to see if anything comes out.

NIL ILLEGITIMUS CARBORUNDUM

Phil aka Art
"Vanessa"
1995 VN 750 (bought as 2nd owner 11/2008)
26,440 miles
MF Battery
Stator replaced (55 Days!)
V&H Cruisers
Relocate rear turn signals
Highwayman Saddlemen bags
Wingerline Highway bars
Ear Shave
Rejet carbs
R/R relocate
Coastered
Kuryakin ISO Duallys all around
HD Heritage seat
12" ape hangers

To Do:
Some sort of new grips
Mirrors
Paint Job- should I do it myself?
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 08:59 PM
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So, i need to spray directly into the vent hole in the cap? then it will drain out the front tire area?

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