Float Stuck... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Float Stuck...

Hey!

So... I was told my "float stuck" which is why my 1990 Vulcan VN 750 died in the first place...

It's sat for a year in my garage. I had a neighbor mechanic that had tried to fix it and actually got it running! But, it was short lived.

At this time I know the gas is bad... but, what do I do? I am not mechanically inclined (though I can change the oil) and I am not rich (I am told this would cost an arm and a leg to fix--more than what the bike is worth?).

I live in Vegas. Any mechanics nearby? Any one interested in using it for parts? Any suggestions?

Help!

The only two wheels I've ridden in the past year are my bicycle... I miss my Motorcycle! The power, the nimbleness... the freedom!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 11:18 PM
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You have to decide if you are going to be a motorcycle owner and rider. If you are, what you already have (if it truly is just a fuel system issue), is the best way to own a bike, and be riding again on the cheap. If you have a dry place big enough to work on it, the best mechanic buddy you can find is a service manual, and the Clymers repair book. This is a great forum full of helpful people to get you through the aspects of repair. If all you have is a stuck float or clogged fuel system, DON'T SELL IT ... FIX IT! Even if you get rid of it, you'll get a lot more for it if it is running.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:49 AM
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That should definitely NOT cost you more than the bike is worth. Seems like you just need to give the carbs a thorough cleaning. This forum can help with that. For starters, you'll need a couple cans of carb cleaner and you can actually do this job with just a screwdriver, if I recall correctly, to take off the carbs, take them apart, clean them, put them back together and put them back in the bike.

Another thing to try is to drain the fuel in the carbs (they each have a drain screw on the bottom) and fill them up with seafoam (available at LOTS of places, including wal mart and most auto parts stores) and you let the carbs sit at least overnight with the seafoam in them.

This method could save you the trouble of taking apart the carbs, so might as well give it a try first.

Any questions you have, post them and someone is bound to help you soon.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:12 PM
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You also need to drain the oil, if the float was stuck, becuase in all likelihood gas dripped past the pistons into the crank. This should absolutely not cost more than the bike is worth to fix though.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:26 PM
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Worth a try here.... drain the float bowls (there is a bolt on the bottom of each you can reach with a screwdriver) pull the fuel lines off the petcock and SPRAY Gumout carb cleaner down the lines using the red spray tube. Be sure you wear eye protection as it might spray back at you.

Then try blowing air down the tubes with some "canned air" like you use to clean off cameras or computer parts. Switch back and forth between the canned air and the gumout...letting the excess gumount drain out the bottom.

Then close the drains, fill the carbs with fuel and try starting again.

Most times a "stuck float" really means there is a bit of crap stuck in the valve that the float opens to let fuel in. This keeps the valve from closing and the carb floods with fuel....

Conversely, the valve can be stuck shut. This will be evident if no gumout drains out. Sometimes tapping hard on the float bowl with the end of a screwdriver or wrench can free it up...then you should do the cleaning proceedure I outlined above.

If all this fails, you likely will have to remove the carbs.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Wow!

I am so happy that I stumbled upon this forum!

Thank you for all of your input!

I will definitely have to look into what you all are saying and reassess the situation.


From what I had been told previously it was an awful lot of work and a big hassle... I don't remember what exactly the verdict was that the mechanic had said since it's been so long. So, I am going to ask him again what the issue(s) were he came across.

Thanks again!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 10:09 PM
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Yea, if you tell this group exactly what the issues are, we can help you out a lot more. A stuck float is definitely not a big deal, or at least not enough to give up on the bike... if there's something else you're not remembering though it might change things, but we can't tell without knowing all the issues/symptoms. Greatest luck though.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Some Answers...

Okay! So, I have some answers as to what has been done so far with the bike.

According to the mechanics (I had actually had two mechanics work on it):

-The oil had been initially changed after the engine flooded.

-Carbs were drained, but not entirely sure about the fuel lines (at least the second mechanic hadn't).

-Instead of seafoam, a product similar to Ajax was used... in the cylinder head / compartment-- which was to rescuff up the cylinder wall to reseat the ring.

-There had been low compression in one of the cylinders and after the Ajax procedure, the compression returned / increased.

-There had been a valve adjustment as well.

-With all of this done, the bike actually did run for a little bit for the first mechanic... but it did not run great; it idled high and didn't run smoothly at all (I think he had said it would surge, or didn't have any power when he tried to accelerate).

-I went to pick it up and drive it home, but when he got it started and it ran for a few minutes... but then it died and he couldn't get the bike started up again.

-The second mechanic had no luck because one of the keys went missing and the key he used worked in the ignition with some wiggling, but wouldn't open the gas tank - it started to bend- and so he couldn't change the gas.

The key was the kicker... and that's why he gave up... and I had forgotten about it... Whoops.

Guess there is a bit more than just the float sticking. But the float was what started the giant snowball in the first place. Then it sitting and not getting any attention in between efforts... and now it's just a sad story.

So, now that you "know" what went wrong and what has been done to the bike... is it fixable? Or should I part the bike out? (The seat's great, the covers, the tank, the pegs...etc. are still in great shape.)

Sigh...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 01:59 AM
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Ajax? hmm. never heard that. I would like to know more. If you are having compression problems then you dont need to worry about the carbs. Sounds to me though like you need to find a better mechanic. I dont know where you live but if your near me I can help you out. I cant believe a key stopped him!!??? What if you brought it there for him to fix the gas cap?????? I had the same problem on mine. Took me a beer and a cigarette to figure out to knock the little pin out of the hinge on the tank lid and take it off. I admit that i was stumped for a few, but I am doin this at home. I would have lost my freakin marbles. lol. I guarantee the cops would have been there. lol. wouldnt be the first time either.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzSche View Post
Okay! So, I have some answers as to what has been done so far with the bike.

According to the mechanics (I had actually had two mechanics work on it):

-The oil had been initially changed after the engine flooded.

-Carbs were drained, but not entirely sure about the fuel lines (at least the second mechanic hadn't).

-Instead of seafoam, a product similar to Ajax was used... in the cylinder head / compartment-- which was to rescuff up the cylinder wall to reseat the ring.

-There had been low compression in one of the cylinders and after the Ajax procedure, the compression returned / increased.

-There had been a valve adjustment as well.
-With all of this done, the bike actually did run for a little bit for the first mechanic... but it did not run great; it idled high and didn't run smoothly at all (I think he had said it would surge, or didn't have any power when he tried to accelerate).

-I went to pick it up and drive it home, but when he got it started and it ran for a few minutes... but then it died and he couldn't get the bike started up again.

-The second mechanic had no luck because one of the keys went missing and the key he used worked in the ignition with some wiggling, but wouldn't open the gas tank - it started to bend- and so he couldn't change the gas.

The key was the kicker... and that's why he gave up... and I had forgotten about it... Whoops.

Guess there is a bit more than just the float sticking. But the float was what started the giant snowball in the first place. Then it sitting and not getting any attention in between efforts... and now it's just a sad story.

So, now that you "know" what went wrong and what has been done to the bike... is it fixable? Or should I part the bike out? (The seat's great, the covers, the tank, the pegs...etc. are still in great shape.)

Sigh...
No valve adjusment needed on this bikes. They have hydraulic valve lash adjuster lifters.

I think your problem is that the carbs still need cleaning and adjusting.

02 honda sabre 1100
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