Carb Success! Finally... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Carb Success! Finally...

Well, tonight I think I can finally claim success over these dang carbs... I'm a longstanding Kawi fan, but generally of the inline 4/parallel twin type. Short history includes a KZ550, KZ1100, KZ440 (converted to Mikunis), KZ250 (converted to VM26) - none of them ran right when I got 'em and all of them worked well when they left... Currently, the stable includes a VStrom 1000, Ninja 650, TW200, and a TTR90 & BW80 for the kids.

All that said as the backdrop for when my dad started having issues with his Vulcan, couldn't get it started, then when it did start, it wouldn't idle. This started about 5 yrs ago. With all this successful carb tuning under my belt, I explained that it had been so long since he rode it that the pilots were gummed & the carbs needed cleaned. And that was my first visit to this forum & to the Verses... By the time we (I) got it back together again, I told him if he did that again, the Vulcan was going to the dealership, because I was NEVER going through that torture again!

Next year, same problem. With some more assistance this time, it wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered, but I couldn't get it to idle right & refused to tear it down a second time.

Next year, same story, only this time it didn't idle that great and was only running on one cylinder under power. I gave up...

Bored again last week, and armed with some extra information, I headed into the carbs again. But this time instead of battling the carb R&R, I just started checking what I could access with the carbs on the bike. Confirmed that all the rubber bits were where they were supposed to be, drained both bowls and checked float height the Budweiser way, (drain each carb into a separate Budweiser bottle and compare fluid heights side by side) (OK, that's not really checking float "height" per se, but it was enough of a sanity check to know that the floats were working properly...), removed the air filters and added ether until it ran.

Pulled the bowl screws and flushed up both mains and anything else exposed with carb cleaner, and it starts without ether now, but won't run without the choke on. Fiddle, fumble, scratched my head, grabbed my cordless Dremel and whittled into the pilot screw plugs with a diamond grit ball bit. Pulled both plugs and pilot screws out and hosed the mess with carb cleaner through the screw holes. Runs on it's own free will now without the choke applied. Took it for a spin, only running on one cylinder...again. Fiddle, fumble, scratched my head, pulled the bowl covers again and pulled the needle jets with the 1/4 drive ratchet & an 8mm socket. One of them was GREEN and full of goobers. Score 1 for me.

Now running again on two cylinders, it became apparent that it was only idling on 1 cylinder. It would hold around 1700 rpms on two cylinders, but eventually drop one jug and go to 1k. Suspected the rear was dropping off as it's pipe wasn't nearly as hot as the front. Confirmed by pulling the spark plug wire for the rear jug. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, Zzzzzzzzzzz... Apparently THAT is spark leakage... Not pleasant, could have been worst, and confirmed my suspicions.

Finally, tonight with a little bit of luck and a 90 degree offset screwdriver extension, I was able to pull the pilot jet for the rear carb out without removing the carbs! And sure enough, it was about as plugged up as I've ever seen a pilot jet. After about half a can of carb cleaner and going through half a dozen tiny wire sizes, I got it opened up, hosed out, and reinstalled.

Now it idles AND drives...what a concept!

Bear in mind, this all took about a week of evenings to accomplish, and included an oil change and the like, but persistence & patience finally won one for the team. Still need to fine tweak the pilot screws and figure out why the idle jumps to 1500 from 1200 when I lean it onto it's side stand, but I think now, after about 4 years of mental torture, I can say I've licked these dang carbs.


All this work, so next week I can pull it all apart for the ear shave...
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 12:24 AM
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I believe you will need to re-jet if you do the ear shave! so more carb work for you. Good job on getting it running again.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 12:31 AM
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Good for you, I enjoy projects like that. Keep them running and make some money at the same time.
Congrats on the running bike.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shark88 View Post
I believe you will need to re-jet if you do the ear shave! so more carb work for you. Good job on getting it running again.
Coasters from Sherms, K&N RC-3240, 40 pilots, and 138 & 140 mains are in the mail. Everything else is available locally.

Just feel a lot better having a sane baseline to start with before jacking with everything.

Kinda feel like an idiot for taking this long to sort everything out, but not letting that kill my buzz for actually getting it sorted out.

For not being a huge V-twin guy, this bike sure is a joy to ride... I don't know how to explain it, but it's just different. Speed isn't so important, wheelies are out of the question, being able to pull a solid U-turn in the side streets isn't just turning around...

Now, I'm having difficulty separating myself from what the bike is, and what it could be with Progressive suspension front & rear, a good wind screen, a good set of luggage, etc.

Already has a fair wind screen, Mustang seat, throttle lock, highway pegs, W&M lamo saddlebags - it could just be so much more...

Last edited by abyssdncr; 05-17-2011 at 02:43 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:44 AM
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Sounds like your dad needs to be using Sea Foam on a regular basis. Will help keep the carbs clean and the gas fresh.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abyssdncr View Post
\ Confirmed by pulling the spark plug wire for the rear jug. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, Zzzzzzzzzzz... Apparently THAT is spark leakage... Not pleasant, could have been worst, and confirmed my suspicions.

:
Ya. That grabbing the plug wire live is great if you start getting chest pains from repairing the carbs


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Acquired 2/2011
Oiled
Tank cleaned
New Fork seals
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Idle jets-RT-3.0, Lft-2.5 turns
Sea Foamed
New Batt for grins
Stupid hose in the rt ear found and fixed
Major clutch adj.
New Petcock
New Shimko tires
De-goated before I got it.
Iridium plugs
YEA! New choke cable!!
Gonna do the Spline Lube soon(Chged tires before I found this site)

Replacement for my FXDWGI
Why didn't I find these before I spent $22 grand!!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:36 PM
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Here's a visual reference to what he is referring to:
Pilot (slow) jet is in the center.
Main jet on the left.
These are under the bottom cover.

Curious. Why 138 & 140 mains?

Last edited by VoIPDoc; 07-21-2012 at 04:14 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VoIP Doc View Post
Here's a visual reference to what he is referring to:
Pilot (slow) jet is in the center.
Main jet on the left.
These are under the bottom cover.

Curious. Why 138 & 140 mains?
Well, I was guessing...mainly. Ordered the jets from ActionMotorSports @ $2.55 per jet, so I got two sets. Can't figure that the the single filter will flow quite as much as the pods (138s), but they certainly might (140s).

Planned on starting with the 138s and having the 140s on hand in case it wants more juice. Wasn't planning a 138/140 split...

Pretty sure I got the rest of everything sorted out tonight with the air screws - seems to like 1.75 turns out the best. Nice healthy sounding 1000 rpm idle & starts cold with no choke. Was dying every time I turned the bars far right, right after I started it and turned the bars to back out of the driveway, but a cable free play adjustment seems to have cured that little nuance.

Doesn't look like all my parts will be here until about this time next week, so I hope to get a couple three tanks of gas through it between now & then.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abyssdncr View Post
Well, I was guessing...mainly. Ordered the jets from ActionMotorSports @ $2.55 per jet, so I got two sets. Can't figure that the the single filter will flow quite as much as the pods (138s), but they certainly might (140s).

Planned on starting with the 138s and having the 140s on hand in case it wants more juice. Wasn't planning a 138/140 split...

Pretty sure I got the rest of everything sorted out tonight with the air screws - seems to like 1.75 turns out the best. Nice healthy sounding 1000 rpm idle & starts cold with no choke. Was dying every time I turned the bars far right, right after I started it and turned the bars to back out of the driveway, but a cable free play adjustment seems to have cured that little nuance.

Doesn't look like all my parts will be here until about this time next week, so I hope to get a couple three tanks of gas through it between now & then.
Interesting...I just finished an ear shave and went with 142 & 40, 2 shims under jet needle, 2 1/2 turns....I can't believe how well it runs.
I bought 140/40 too, but chose to go with the larger jets.
For those that care, I have documented the ear shave and will post soon....documentation takes longer than the shave
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VoIP Doc View Post
For those that care, I have documented the ear shave and will post soon....documentation takes longer than the shave
I hear you there - did you go with individual pods or the single filter? (not to jump the gun on your writeup, of course... )
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