Stuck Float? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Stuck Float?

So I left my bike under a tarp for three weeks while away on vacation and I came back to find that it no longer runs properly. The bike starts right up if it has been sitting for a few minutes, however driving more than a block down the road prompts backfiring, sputtering, hard starts, little power, and eventually stalling out. I'm thinking that the float valve on the left carb is stuck because when draining gas through that carb, it starts strong but then turns to a dribble- enough to idle but not run the bike? Also, driving it up and down the street in this condition fouled up the spark plugs, is that normal? I have tried sea-foam, spraying carb cleaner into different orifices of the carb (I am fairly inexperienced) and none of this seems to help. Could it be something other than the carburator? Help!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
So I left my bike under a tarp for three weeks while away on vacation and I came back to find that it no longer runs properly. The bike starts right up if it has been sitting for a few minutes, however driving more than a block down the road prompts backfiring, sputtering, hard starts, little power, and eventually stalling out. I'm thinking that the float valve on the left carb is stuck because when draining gas through that carb, it starts strong but then turns to a dribble- enough to idle but not run the bike? Also, driving it up and down the street in this condition fouled up the spark plugs, is that normal? I have tried sea-foam, spraying carb cleaner into different orifices of the carb (I am fairly inexperienced) and none of this seems to help. Could it be something other than the carburator? Help!
I wonder water in the ethanol "enhanced" fuel has separated while sitting for 3 weeks and that is what the engine is trying to burn.
Try draining the tank and fill it with fresh gas.

If the float valve is stuck, or has some crud stuck in between the needle and seat, you may be able to back flush it out with some spray carb cleaner through the little red straw stuck into the carb bowl drain.
Keep spraying until you get cleaner coming out the vent tube going to the right ear (air filter housing).

Gordon

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Purchased May 16, 2008
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Last edited by OlHossCanada; 08-27-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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I used a mix-in-tank fuel additive which was supposed to re-mix the water and gas, didn't seem to help. I think I'm going to open up the carb and see what the deal is. I just checked the fuel filter too and it has a big hole in it so there could be a bunch of gunk stuck somewhere.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Problem solved

I must say that the carb removal/install on this bike is so difficult that I suspect the engineers had some serious revenge on their minds when they designed this thing. Coupled to the fact that the Clymer manual sends you off on a few easter egg hunts for no good reason (remove the thermostat?). But we did it and although didn't find anything terribly suspicious in the process the bike is finally back together and runs like a champ.

Probably because we finally put in new plugs too. Nota Bene: try new plugs first.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 09:39 PM
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Taking the carbs on and off gets easier after the first 10 times... lol I can take them off in about 10-15 minutes, put them back on, probably in about 20-30... putting them back on is definitely tougher.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 03:07 AM
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Carbs Remove

Might need to form a posse and go find that carb engineer Installing is a real pain after the XXX times.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 04:04 PM
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I'm having this same issue so I was wondering if you have had any luck with this?
My front carb is the one leaking and when I tried to disassemble it I got the rear carb off but the screws from the front started to strip so i stopped while I was ahead. I blew through the drain hole to see if anything would come loose but nothing came out, just bubbles.
What should i try next because I'm very close to just trailering her up and taking her to a mechanics.
(Side not- My car was hit by a taxi driver saturday night so this is my only means of transportation at the moment so the quicker i have it running again the better) Thanks for the help

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 04:36 PM
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Here's something that happened on one of my carbs... might help out.

Notice a cylinder on top of the float valve needles that you can push into the valve needle and it will spring itself back out? This was stuck on one of mine. After pushing it in by force it started to work right again.

Just something to check out if everything else seems ok.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 06:02 PM
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ok well now i have my carbs off again, The front carb is definitely the one that is flooding so during dis-assembly the rear casing came apart nice and easy, i checked the float there and all is good. Move on to the front one and it turns out two out of 3 screws are stuck extremely bad and it is starting to strip heads. my next resort is to drill out the screws and just get new ones if that is what it takes. Advice please before I do something I will regret

1985 Vulcan 700 - Fenrir

No regrets. Thats my motto, that and everybody wang chung tonight.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 07:44 PM
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Mine were REALLY stuck too... I can tell you what I did, but probably just do it if you are ready to drill the screws out anyway...

What I did was to use a flat head screwdriver that fit exactly into the screw's phillips head slot. This lets you use a lot more toque before they strip. Also, me sure it really goes into the slot. On some screws I use a hammer on the flat head screwdriver to make it go in as much as it will so it won't strip the screw.

Using the hammer also helps loosen up things... a few taps on the screw's head (or on the flat head screwdriver sitting on the screw's head) with the hammer will help loosen up rust or whatever is holding the screws stuck.

Just try not to break the carbs themselves... I put them on a big crumpled up rag to diminish the impact of the carbs on the table.

If you're uncomfortable with this, just look up another method... it's what I did, but might not be what you want to do. I've gotten many stuck screws like this though, so that's possibly why I'm comfortable doing it.
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