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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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Medic, your avatar makes me dizzy!! LOL :googlyeyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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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.
 

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The seafoam or other fuel system cleaners will not only clean the small area's but the larger area's like the float bowls on the carbs in addition to the tank itself.

After you put the cleaner in and ride it around to mix it up well, is where the letting the bike sit part comes in. The longer the cleaner sits in the carb bowls, tank, etc... the more larger area's get cleaned. Then riding while engines hot to get the loose varnish burned out of at combustion cycle. It takes more heat and pressure to get varnish or water out and not just loose. This is true no matter what type of fuel system cleaner you use.

Your engine dying could be caused by various reasons from bad gas to engine issues to cold engine with choke off by mistake. My choke is by my knee's so I could bump it easily without knowing until I slowed down or sped up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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.
What is the procedure for draining the float bowls? I'm new at this, but I can give it a try if it might help. Bike is running better now, but still backfires bad on decel (I'm looking into marbling) and sputters or runs inconsistently at times.

I've heard a lot about synching the carbs. Is there any easy way to do that without having to buy (or build) some sort of device. I'd just like to tweak them a bit to see if it helps, but I'm not sure if that is even possible without taking the carbs off or something elaborate. I'm trying every quick & easy fix I can find!
 

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http://www.vn750.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=677&size=big&cat=548

Here's a link to a pic I took when I had the carbs off...the third time, I think. The float bowl drain screw is clearly labeled. You have one on each side of your carbs. Just to the right of that screw in this pic, you'll see a, um, pendulous part of the carb - that's your drain. Hook up some plastic hose to the drain, and put the other end into a clear container (gives you some idea of what's coming out of your carbs). Then open the drain screw until you get fuel flowing through your hose. It'll stop once the float bowl and the lines are empty, so don't panic! Once you've finished one side, close up the drain screw (CW) and see if you've got any junk in your float bowl (i.e., look at the fuel in your container). Repeat for the other side.

Sync'ing the carbs can be semi-done without a sync tool, but with the carbs off the bike. Might as well spring the $2 and make one. There's a weblink that I'll go pick up and put in this post (edit).http://www.powerchutes.com/manometer.asp
 

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Seafoam takes awhile to work...

Here's an excellent article on SEAFOAM. The bike set for about 7 years with gas in the tank and carbs. After a half a can of Seafoam, the bike was still sputtering, then the guy filled the tank again and threw in another half can of Seafoam, still not much help.
Then he let the bike sit for awhile and Eureka! The engine smoothed out and the sputtering stopped.

Seafoam must be mixed well with the gas to work properly.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/sea-foam/
 
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