Have read MANY posts on carbs/stuck floats...need advice still - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Carbs and Fuel System
From the gas tank to the carbs
All fuel system discussion

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Clemente, CA
Posts: 40
iTrader: (0)
Question Have read MANY posts on carbs/stuck floats...need advice still

I have a 1993 VN750 that I bought in 1999 with 7K miles on it. It sat for 4 years in a garage...I tried cleaning the carbs myself and put it all back together to find that fuel would just flow out the carb vent hose. So I took it to the shop and $750 later I had a great running bike with new floats and pins.
I rode it for about two year, probably 4-5 times a month...then I got a new job and it sat for another 2 years.
Now I'm trying to get her running again, and I"m experiencing the same fuel out the carb vent line issue. I drained the fuel tank and floats first, before trying to start her. One float was completely dry, the other had a tiny bit in it, but not dirty. It starts right up, but I have to give it good throttle to keep it running...smoke and fuel smell comes out the pipes...
I've tried running her like this 3 or 4 times...tried using the handle of a screw driver to unstick the float...drained the floats, and no dirt coming out.
I just put in some Seafoam into my tank today, drained the floats again (first), and now it seems even more fuel is coming out the vent line. I turned the petcock to the OFF position, and it will then idle and no fuel will spill out the vent...I tried the screwdriver handle tapping again, let it run for a minute, and the shut it off before the fuel ran out.
SO MY QUESTION IS (sorry for the super long review of my issue):
Should I keep trying to run her every few days with the Seafoam in the gas now, and keep tapping the carbs? Or do you think my floats are toast and I need to suck it up and take it to the shop again?
Thanks for any help.
knicol is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 08:29 PM
AZ Kev's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 282
iTrader: (1)
I will be keeping a CLOSE eye on this thread, as I am experiencing the exact same issue - but I have been riding my bike 3 to 4 times a week reglularly. Ran it low on gas the other night, it made 2 loud backfires, died, and I haven't been able to keep it running since.

When I can get it started, it pours smoke out of the right exhaust pipe, and will only stay running if I give it throttle. I am wondering about this "stuck float" trick - what exactly is that?

Appreciate any info or links. Thanks!

AZ Kev

Arizona Kev

1989 VN750
7800 orig mi when purchased Jan 2011
Turned 11,000 mi Nov 2011
Taillight relocation kit
Chad's highway peg mounts
Emgo Pegs
Aftermarket mirrors
Dunlop D404's

Otherwise, all stock

"But it's a dry heat - like the inside of an oven"
AZ Kev is offline  
post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 10:39 PM
Fire Axe Man
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 61
iTrader: (2)
the stuck float trick is to tap mildly (mind its aluminum) with the handle of a screw driver on the carb near the float area, screw driver handle or something similar so you can't hit it hard enough to crack or break something...

Just can't leave well enough alone...

86 vn750
Ears Shaved
Custom Exhaust
Custom Seat
Hardtail 3 1/2" drop rear
Custom turn signals
15" apes
Custom grips
Custom forward controls
Custom paint
many more mods to come
Mike23Impala is offline  
post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 11:00 PM
bigbluezuk's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Leeds, AL
Posts: 98
iTrader: (0)

Those floats have been known to crack..then they are sinks . Did the repair shop actually replace them for sure? Might they have sealed em up with some fuel safe silicone or something and then 2 years later the silicon degraded and its a sink again?

SEEMS to me like all that tapping and sea foam would do at least something.. Except unsink a float.

1995 VN750 - 10K
bigbluezuk is offline  
post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 02:01 AM
Senior Member
Ceal's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,687
iTrader: (2)
I really think your petcock might be the culprit here. Same thing happened to my bike because the petcock wouldn't close. I took it apart and did some stuff to it to get it to close properly and only let fuel pass with vacuum (as it's supposed to) and the problem went away.

If you wanna check this, just disconnect the fuel lines, but be prepared for fuel to come pouring out. This is when the petcock is on the "ON" position. When you turn it to the "OFF" position it closes with or without vacuum.
Ceal is offline  
post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 02:05 AM
Senior Member
Ceal's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,687
iTrader: (2)
Oh I just thought about a safer way to do it (which is common sense anyway lol). Put it in the "OFF" position, disconnect the fuel lines (fuel will still spill out from the lines, so be prepared) and after that, just turn the petcock to the "ON" position and if it's what I think it is, there will be a stream of fuel coming out. Return to the "OFF" position to make it stop or at least diminish it greatly.

If I'm right, you just need to rebuild the petcock.
Ceal is offline  
post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 06:55 AM
Members who have donated towards server costs
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 369
iTrader: (0)
The problem is not the petcock. Even if the petcock remains open, the float valve should prevent flooding. So the float needle valve probably does not close properly because there is dirt between the needle and the needle seat. Tapping the float bowl with a screwdriver handle won't help. Seafoam may help and if not, the float bowl has to come off.
pappa is offline  
post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 12:58 PM
Old Truck Junkie
niterider's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Roby Texas
Posts: 4,130
iTrader: (15)
The bike set for two yrs. You will probably need to re-clean the carbs. When setting a bike for that lenght of time one needs to condition the fuel to keep it from gumming up the carb and fuel tank.

02 honda sabre 1100
niterider is offline  
post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Clemente, CA
Posts: 40
iTrader: (0)
Thanks everyone for the input...I don't think it's the petcock, as that was bought new when I had it fixed the first time, as well as me paying for new floats and needles (according to the shop receipt).
I'm gonna try firing it up another day or two and see if the Seafoam gets me anywhere. I'm hesitant to pull the carbs and try to clean them myself, but I do want to save the money. Last time I was able to pull the carb out without too much trouble (I have a service manual), but I remember putting it back in was a HUGE pain in the A$$.
Also, last time I pulled it out, the floats and pins looks clean and moved freely. Is there anyway to test the floats when the carbs are pulled, and any suggestions on the easiest way to pull/test/clean/replace the carbs.
Thanks again everyone, I truly value the knowledge and advice...I have many other projects I need to do on this bike that I will be searching this forum on, but getting her running is first priority.
knicol is offline  
post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 04:02 PM
Junior Member
michaeldavis77's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: greers ferry,ar
Posts: 8
iTrader: (0)
I'm in the same boat, ran fine till it started spitting gas out of the tail pipe. I tried the seafoam and it got worse. Even though it runs fine, it won't make it up a small hill. You have taken them off before, how hard is it and do i have to sync the carbs if i just cleaned them? That wind sure needs to be felt, but my funds are telling me no. Would like to try to clean them myself, but it seems to be a witch to take them off.
michaeldavis77 is offline  
Sponsored Links


carb , fuel , seafoam

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Once registered, your User Name"cannot be changed". We can make exceptions within 7 days, but after that, it is set in stone.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome