starts for about a second then dies - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Carbs and Fuel System
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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starts for about a second then dies

Hi, new to the forum but have been reading it for about a week or so since i got my Vulcan 750. its a 97 and has about 25000 miles on it. i had made the deal over the internet as a trade and the guy told me that it just needed front brakes and it was having a problem idling. It turns out he had another Vulcan, and was robbing parts off mine before i got there. i got most of the parts, never seeing a Vulcan up close put me at a dis advantage (didn't now what i was looking for to be missing). i did get most of the correct cosmetic parts except for the chrome piece that goes on the right side and appears to screw into the right rear cylinder. i saw the holes but didn't think anything about them, and a friend was out last night helping me diagnose the not starting problem and said that air blew in his face when i was trying to start, so i found two screws that would fit into the holes and plugged em up, but i cant verify it blowing as i never felt it...

I have it all together, did a bunch of preliminary cleaning of the gas tank, and petcock, those are functioning correctly. It seems to be getting gas.

here's what it does, i'll go out there and it's cold, i put it on full choke and it starts for about one or two full rotations, then dies and won't fire back over, but sometimes acts like it wants to. I've tried no choke and 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full throttle, and it did one time run a good rev, and then die, but that was last night. i was freaking out because it wouldn't start and stay running then i noticed the oil sight glass had no oil in it so i stopped everything thinking maybe it was just pulling all the oil into the engine off the oil safety, and killing it. I added 3 quarts of oil today and tried again this time more confident i wasn't doing permanent damage to the engine. i got it doing the same thing and would run the battery down trying to get it going, i've spayed a bunch of b12 into the carbs hoping to maybe knock out some goo.
waited til the battery charged and tried it again, i managed to get a couple good and loud back fires, and it started for about 3 seconds (woot) but then died again, and repeated all above.

i've tried turning the idle knob at different settings and cant seem to get this bad boy to fire off and stay running. any ideas? i'm really hoping not to have to pull those carbs, they look like more fun than a barrel of rusty monkeys, to remove.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:13 AM
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Put the bike on the centerstand with the engine not running. The oil level in the sight glass should be almost to the top of the glass, not over it. If you can't see a bubble, drain some out. If you needed three quarts of oil, it was way low. When the engine is running, you won't see oil in the sight glass. If you do, there's too much oil in it.

Your battery may be weak. You can jump it from a car battery but do not have the car engine running.

Pull the plugs and see what they look like. May be time for new ones, and many here favor the iridium plugs. http://www.dansmc.com/spark_plugs/sp...s_catalog.html

The carbs may need cleaning too.

Where are you in Arkansas?

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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i added the oil and wouldn't dream of putting a bike back together without putting it on it's center stand (if it has one). I love the sight glass, had too many small bikes that didn't have one. Of all the bikes i've sat on in the past month, to me this bike felt the best, sets up easy, feels very balanced and didn't seem to wallow when the wifey was on the back, so i was lucky to get the trade.

So you think i should just suck it up and remove the carbs? i've been dreading it.. is there another way?
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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actually, later i think i might add some pictures of variious things for you guys to look at to see if i've missed something or, am missing something, it really irked me to find that guy had started feverishly removing stuff...
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 12:07 PM
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Make sure that you have a good hose on the carb vaccuum to the petcock. That is your on and off to the fuel.
BTW welcome.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by billdozer1000 View Post
So you think i should just suck it up and remove the carbs? i've been dreading it.. is there another way?


I'd try filling the carbs with SeaFoam and letting them sit overnight, then spray down the fuel nipples with Gumout letting the bowls drain.

I'd also make sure the gas is fresh and let some run through a screen before connecting back to the carbs to make sure there's no crap going into the carbs.

If it runs for a few seconds and dies... it's usually a clogged jet.

Are the air filters OK?

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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i've added fresh gas, after i cleaned the tank a bit, i'm curious as to which hose is the vacuum, there's two i'm not sure about their function now that a vacuum is mentioned, the one one the back of the tank i assumed is a vent, which i cleaned out just a few minutes ago and had a small amount of fuel in, and the one in the middle of the petcock, i'm gonna go see if it's clogged as soon as i get away from the comp. I thought about one of the jets being clogged, but if i tried to start it at say 1/4 or 1/2 throttle wouldn't that bypass the primary jets? oh yeah the answer to an earlier question, i live in hot springs, ar
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 02:17 PM
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The middle one on the petcock is the vacuum line.

You're not as close as I hoped, but very near some good riding!

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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thanx for the vote of confidence, i finally found the bowl drain, and the left carb had some real nasty rusty water came out, the other side was fine only a small amount, but it looks like the carbs are coming off, which side do you recommend removing them from?
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 02:51 PM
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Bill--pulling carbs is a night mare!!! Try Knife's way first, get some sea-foam and fill carbs and let sit overnight and flush with fresh gas till nothing but clean fuel comes out. This may or may not cure your gummy carb prob but sure beats removing them if you don't have to. Chance is your pet cock is gumed up also, easy to get off and if you are real careful can dis-assemble and re-assemble without new parts-- By the way you will get the best advice here! RB

04-3,200 miles bought July 2011 with 928 miles. Loaded with acessories to many to list here, see my albums for more details! I also make a custom tank bib specific for the 750 if anyone is interested, ck my albums for some pics.
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