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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I had been an avid motorcyclist until my float stuck and flooded my engine. :doh:

I have a 1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750, my second bike (the first being an '87 EN450). I love it's power and nimbleness... when it runs.

It has started and run once in the past year since... but sadly it has mostly sat collecting dust in my garage. Other than it not running, it's in great shape. :smiley_th

I really want a bike that runs! I was told I need to sell it or fix it. :( In the meantime I have been riding my bicycle... Hey, it has two wheels and it's the closest I can get to the feeling of the open road.

Any other suggestions? Any one interested in it for parts?

I live in Las Vegas... that wouldn't be such a bad vacation to buy it and come pick it up... :beerchug:

Thanks for your time!
 

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Do you know what's keeping it from running? If it's carb related, and you can remove them but don't want to clean/repair them, you can probably get them refurbished for around $150 here. http://www.carbworx.com/
 

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I might actually be interested in it for parts - depending on how much you were wanting for it. I am in Phoenix, so it wouldn't be that long of a haul to come and pick it up. Let me know, ok?

Also, let me know if you think of parting it out, as I would be interested in that as well.


Thanks!

AZ Kev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hmmm...

Thanks for replying!

Well, from what I remember the mechanic that had looked at it had mentioned the carbs and rebuilding it... he also mentioned the "o" ring might be bad... and a variety of other things, but I am not quite that mechanical and I don't remember all the little bits. :doh:

Nor do I really have the money to pay someone to do a good job... Unless they want to be paid with a good meal or two.... So I think I am giving up on the whole process of getting it fixed (besides, it doesn't help when my husband is sick of it taking up space in the garage...). The guy that owns that runs the carbworks cleans them?

So, AZ Kev... I got the bike almost three years ago and paid $2,300. Since it doesn't run that's an obvious knock down in price... but I'm hoping for about $1,000. The body and other parts are in good shape. Since you are so close you could come out and check it out/haul it. I can post some pictures if need be... Let me know.

Thanks! I appreciate your time in helping me out. :smiley_th
 

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losing $1300 just for some carb work is really a waste... and losing your bike for a stuck float is more of a waste!

Tell your husband... if you're so sick of it taking up space, fix it!! lol

Seriously though, there are a couple tricks you can try to get it working right and you wouldn't even have to take off the carbs. The best way would be to actually take them off, take them apart and clean them, but there's a trick you can use if you don't want to do that, and you may just fix it and avoid selling it for parts when you could have a perfectly good running bike.

One thing I can think of is draining the carbs, putting in some seafoam and let it sit overnight or for a day, then drain them again and try to start it up. That could remove whatever is causing the float to stick (if that's what it is), along with other gum or debris.

Another thing would be to use carb cleaner (as someone else advised on another topic)... you'd have to drain the carbs, remove the fuel lines (very easy to remove) and spray carb cleaner in the lines, letting it drain out of the carbs, thus cleaning what's in it's path.

If I were in your shoes, I'd try both methods before committing to sell the bike for parts.

Just a few thoughts that I hope might help you either keep your bike and really enjoy it, or at least sell it for a fair price.
 

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Oh... was the oil changed after the engine flooded?
 

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Tapping on the float bowl with a screwdriver handle can sometimes unstick a float, and it costs nothing! You can also try shooting the carb cleaner up the drain hole. Nothing to remove but the drain screw. No great mechanical expertise required for either procedure.

And yes, the guy at carbworx cleans and refurbishes the carbs. Nothing but good reviews from members that have used him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I honestly couldn't tell you if the oil had been drained / changed since then or not. I basically put it in the hands of a friend who's a mechanic and they had given up... so I thought it was beyond an "easy fix".

But you guys are giving me hope.

Thank you for your input and suggestions! Glad I found this forum before I gave up completely!

Guess I gotta reassess the situation. :smiley_th
 

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SuzSche,
If nothin' else, get your mechanic friend on this forum for discussion about your bike. I really would hate to see a bike with what sounds like a minor repair problem be sold for parts ! I think you would be glad you fixed it. I think the VN750 is a great bike to ride. Easy to handle, balanced, and nimble. I'm sure we would all be glad to help. Heck, If I lived close by, I'd come help you work on it for beer. :)
 

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Beer and pizza. Universal trading token for garage mechanics! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Answers!

Okay! So, I have some answers as to what has been done so far with the bike.

According to the mechanics (I had actually had two mechanics work on it):

-The oil had been initially changed after the engine flooded.

-Carbs were drained, but not entirely sure about the fuel lines (at least the second mechanic hadn't).

-Instead of seafoam, a product similar to Ajax was used... in the cylinder head / compartment-- which was to rescuff up the cylinder wall to reseat the ring.

-There had been low compression in one of the cylinders and after the Ajax procedure, the compression returned / increased.

-There had been a valve adjustment as well.

-With all of this done, the bike actually did run for a little bit for the first mechanic... but it did not run great; it idled high and didn't run smoothly at all (I think he had said it would surge, or have any power when he tried to accelerate).

-I went to pick it up and drive it home, but when he got it started and it ran for a few minutes... but then it died and he couldn't get the bike started up again.

-The second mechanic had no luck because one of the keys went missing and the key he used worked in the ignition with some wiggling, but wouldn't open the gas tank - it started to bend- and so he couldn't change the gas.

The key was the kicker... and that's why he gave up... and I had forgotten about it... :( Whoops.

Guess there is a bit more than just the float sticking. But the float was what started the giant snowball in the first place. Then it sitting and not getting any attention in between efforts... and now it's just a sad story.

So, now that you "know" what went wrong and what has been done to the bike... is it fixable? Or should I part the bike out? (The seat's great, the covers, the tank, the pegs...etc. are still in great shape.)

Sigh...
 

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The way I see it, if you have good compression (no engine damage), it's worth trying to fix. I really don't have much confidence that the mechanics you had working on it were vary familiar with the bike, especially the one that was beaten by the gas cap! You can easily remove the cap by removing the roll pin hinge. I know, after 12 years of storage, I had to do that to get mine open. It was badly rusted.
It sounds to me that your bike is in dire need of a fuel system enema, and a tank of FRESH 97 octane gas for starters.
Some of the folks on this forum are true masters of the VN750. Great bunch of helpful folks here. :smiley_th
 

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I'm with Ratt, I think the first thing it needs is to get the old fuel out (which is probably now turned to gum) and put in fresh fuel.

So basically, you'd need to drain all the old fuel, give the carbs a good cleaning and put in some fresh fuel.

There are various options on the carb cleaning... the best is to take them out, take them apart and clean them, but it's also the most complicated one. Filling them up with seafoam or running carb cleaner through them is easier but less effective I think.
 

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Aren't the valves self adjusting? And he charged you for this?

There are several ways to use SF to help with carb problems. You can soak the carb in SF without ever taking it off the bike. Pull the fuel lines off the petcock, remove the drain screw on the bottom side of the carbs, and catch the fuel so it doesn't get all over the bike. Replace the drain screws and pour Sea Foam (a used syringe from the veterinarian works well) into the fuel lines until the carb is full. Let sit for at least a day, drain the Sea Foam (can be filtered and reused) add 8 ounces of Sea Foam to a tank of fresh gas and ride it like you stole it. SF will not dissolve rust or other insoluble contaminants from a carb.

If that doesn't clean the carbs, it's time to pull them and give them a thorough cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Options...

Thanks so much for your help! I am still overwhelmed with the mechanical side and figuring it out. But, I will definitely see what I can do...and I just found out that my neighbor is building up his own motorcycle! He said he'd be willing to take a look at it.

I appreciate all your help!

:smiley_th
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
oh, and no... since the first mechanic took too long and let it sit he didn't charge me anything. And the second mechanic is a co-worker... who also didn't "charge" anything - he likes to fiddle with bikes in his spare time...
 

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I say take the chance and have the carbs cleaned or rebuilt. Why sell for alow price for parts when it could be not the most expensive thing.
 
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