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Best procedure for starting a flooded engine?
Hold the throttle wide open, crank until it fires. Turn the choke off first, and probably need to turn the petcock off.

If that's what happened, there's probably a stuck float.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
It cranks (and cranks) but will not start. Choke off, petcock off, throttle wide open.
 

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It cranks (and cranks) but will not start. Choke off, petcock off, throttle wide open.
After sitting overnight etc, it probably wasn't flooded any longer. The full throttle start should be tried as soon as it floods.

It probably needed full choke and no throttle.
 

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Too bad it’s not going smoothly.

You can check the fuel levels in the carburetors by using a piece of clear plastic hose, although that’s a pain.

If it’s that messy you might have a lot of gunk in the bottom of the jet chamber. I’ve seen pics of some after sitting for years that had lots.

If things are blocking the floats/jets those things need to come out. If your gas tank was rusting and metal flakes got down in there no solvents are going to clear them out.

This holds true for bikes that sat for years, but I got the impression yours had been running fine for a long time and then this happened?

Hope you get this sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Let me start by once again expressing my appreciation to everyone who has taken their time to respond and offer advice and information. Last evening, I once again tried filling both carbs with carb cleaner (through the bottom drain holes) and tried starting the engine. After a couple of back fires, the engine started and immediately died. I was able to do this twice and that was it. I've had the engine run on one carb a few times in the 14 years I've owned the bike, so I'm wondering what is apparently affecting both carbs. I don't mind working on the carbs; I've done it too many times before. I just HATE taking them off and putting them back on. What do the Air Cut Valves (Kawasaki part number 43028-1053) do and is there any chance this could be my problem? I'm just trying to keep removing the carbs as a last resort. I don't suppose there is an easy to install fuel injection system available to replace the carbs. I'm tired of carbs...
 

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Let me start by once again expressing my appreciation to everyone who has taken their time to respond and offer advice and information. Last evening, I once again tried filling both carbs with carb cleaner (through the bottom drain holes) and tried starting the engine. After a couple of back fires, the engine started and immediately died. I was able to do this twice and that was it. I've had the engine run on one carb a few times in the 14 years I've owned the bike, so I'm wondering what is apparently affecting both carbs. I don't mind working on the carbs; I've done it too many times before. I just HATE taking them off and putting them back on. What do the Air Cut Valves (Kawasaki part number 43028-1053) do and is there any chance this could be my problem? I'm just trying to keep removing the carbs as a last resort. I don't suppose there is an easy to install fuel injection system available to replace the carbs. I'm tired of carbs...

Is fuel flowing from the petcock? You can take the fuel hoses off the petcock, then take the vacuum hose off at the carb and apply some vacuum with your mouth. Fuel should flow.

The air cut valves are there to enrich the fuel mixture when you let off the throttle. The only problem you'll see when they aren't working is popping from the exhaust on decel. So the air cuts aren't the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Opening each drain plug results in fuel flowing out. I assume that shows the petcock is working (?)
 

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Opening each drain plug results in fuel flowing out. I assume that shows the petcock is working (?)
Yes, it should.

Thinking maybe there's a clogged passage in the carbs, or maybe the choke isn't working. The choke on this is really just an enrichment circuit, there's no actual choke plate.

Maybe try some starting fluid or gas in a spray bottle to shoot directly into the air intake of the carbs.
 

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Tech, I had the exact same symptoms you have right now after my ear shave- check/replace your spark plugs. Those turned out to be the culprit for me, after a week of chasing what I thought were carburetor issues. Bike runs perfectly fine now, albeit she's still running a bit rich. Best of luck!
 
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