Cleaning carbs without removing them - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2007, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaning carbs without removing them

Probably another dumb newbie question, but what is a good way to clean the carbs without removing them (or much else) from the bike?

It looks like I can remove the big air hose going into the carb, and give it a good dose of carb cleaner. Are there any other good ways to clean them out a bit without a lot of effort? I just bought the bike so I'm not much of a mechanic yet. I'm trying to find easy solutions to the low rpm sputtering and backfiring (which sounds like a common problem).

I'm going to do the plugs this week, and run some seafoam through also. I tried a small amount carb cleaner additive in the gas but it doesn't seem to have helped much.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2007, 11:07 PM
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A good sploot of Seafoam is your best bet if you're not ready to start pulling the carbs apart yet. That may help with the sputtering and such - and if so, no reason to pull something apart that, at the moment, is nicely together!

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 10:26 AM
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I have used successfully half a bottle of chevron fuel injector cleaner... since my bike stays parked about 5 days a week it seems to help let the cleaner work through the gunk for a long time. My carbs have never been removed (93 vn750) and have found very good results.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 12:13 AM
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Heck, if you're pulling the intake boots off the carbs anyways, you're already halfway there, just pull the carbs. There's no substitute for opening up the carbs and giving them a good soaking in a real parts cleaner. I bought a gallon paint-can sized parts cleaner at the local auto parts store (one of the big retail names, I forget which) and it has a basket in it, to soak the parts good. If you're careful, and just take your time, it's pretty easy and straightforward. Some tips:

Pick up a Service Manual 1st, the process is explained in easy, step-by-step instructions, with pictures for most stages.
Only pull apart one carb at a time. The jets are probably different sizes anyway, and you don't want to mix them up.
Let the parts soak for at least an hour. If you've got some good varnish built up, can take that long to soften it up. You can clean out other parts, like the coasting enrichener while you wait.
Don't put any plastic or rubber parts in the cleaner.
Use compressed air to blow the parts clean and dry. I cleaned my Virago's carbs without using the compressed air, just put them back together wet, and I don't think I got all the gunk out. I'll end up pulling them again to do the job right.

I tried the Seafoam, it worked a little. I tried spraying the carb cleaner right up the bowl drain. Made matters worse.
Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 08:22 AM
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 07:34 PM
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Is that better?? heh heh
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 03:44 AM
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Is that better?? heh heh

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to give the seafoam a try, just dumping it into the gas. Seems to have helped a bit, but it made the bike stall for no reason while I was driving down the road. Bike just shut down and coasted. Started right up, but it sure was strange. I used about 3 ounces in a full tank, so I don't think I overdid it.

I did the plugs, which helped a bit too. I also found that one of the exhaust baffles was missing. Well, I knew it was missing but didn't think much of it, but it definitely made the bike run like crap. I put it back in, and now its running smoother.

I still want to do a good carb cleaning, and may try to adjust them a bit. I'm getting there, slowly. I've never had a bike before, so its hard to tell if its still running rough or that is normal!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Damn crappy internet...ugh. Sorry about that.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Spaceboy View Post
I decided to give the seafoam a try, just dumping it into the gas. Seems to have helped a bit, but it made the bike stall for no reason while I was driving down the road. Bike just shut down and coasted. Started right up, but it sure was strange. I used about 3 ounces in a full tank, so I don't think I overdid it.

I did the plugs, which helped a bit too. I also found that one of the exhaust baffles was missing. Well, I knew it was missing but didn't think much of it, but it definitely made the bike run like crap. I put it back in, and now its running smoother.

I still want to do a good carb cleaning, and may try to adjust them a bit. I'm getting there, slowly. I've never had a bike before, so its hard to tell if its still running rough or that is normal!
UNless the Seafoam loosened something up, hard to imagine that it would cause your bike to stall out. Have you drained the float bowls on the carbs yet to see what's coming out of there (and, hence, what's been going into your carbs)? Might give you an idea of how much cleaning they need.

C
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