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Discussion Starter #1
i bought this 2004 vulcan with 1000 miles on it during the lock down of covid.
it was great until one thing after the next kept happening.
after replacing the spark plugs and air filters. which were covered in oil, she still wont start.
she trys to turn over but it sounds bad and laggy.
like a very deep and slow "rumble" i guess you could call it.
sounds clogged and bogged down.
my next move was to clean the oil out, give her some new and change the oil filter, someone else suggested my fuel line was clogged.
im thinking of it sitting for so long maybe its gunked up?
or im thinking there could be oil in everything hence the oil in air filters and spark plugs.
if thats the case, where am i at with this.
any suggestions?
 

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If it’s been sitting a long time you should change all the fluids. Time is not your friend with any of them. I’d be willing to bet the more experienced folks on here will suggest removing the carbs and cleaning them out. I haven’t had to do this so I’m no authority on that. Also, how does the gas tank look inside? Is it clean or rusty? Was there old gas in it? Gas can go bad in about a month without any stabilizer in it and that will certainly prevent it from starting up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If it’s been sitting a long time you should change all the fluids. Time is not your friend with any of them. I’d be willing to bet the more experienced folks on here will suggest removing the carbs and cleaning them out. I haven’t had to do this so I’m no authority on that. Also, how does the gas tank look inside? Is it clean or rusty? Was there old gas in it? Gas can go bad in about a month without any stabilizer in it and that will certainly prevent it from starting up.
awesome, sounds good. gas tank looks rusty as well. i cant speak for the date of any of the fluids personally. im willing to assume as much. the bike was barley touched... most work has been done by me hands down and ive barley rode it hahah. ive been trying to avoid the carb cleaning method, as it is only 1000 miles but then again, ya never know. i would like that to be my last option, it doesnt seem too fun.
 

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With only 1000 miles, that means that the gas tank has only been run thru maybe 8 tanks of gas; in other words, the gas has been sitting in the fuel system and carbs for ages and probably very varnished up. You're almost certainly going to have to pull the tank and get it cleaned out and rust-free, in addition to cleaning the carbs.

In a pinch you can try emptying the fuel tank and filling it with Evaporust and sloshing it around for a day or two to get rid of the rust. You may have to replace or rebuild the petcock/fuel outlet on the tank as well depending on its condition. Once the tank is rust-free and very clean, use only ethanol-free gas from here on out to prevent additional rusting and varnish issues.

You can try a quick fix on the carbs by draining the fuel out of the bottom of the bowls using the small hex screw and fitting on the bottom of each carb, flushing some Berryman's B12 through it, and filling the fuel lines with the stuff and letting the carbs sit full of B12 for a few days, then flushing again. You may very well have to pull the carbs. I certainly had to on my bike, but after cleaning them once about 4 years ago, I haven't had to touch 'em, especially since I run ethanol-free fuel.

Good luck, this forum is super helpful, and we definitely wanna see a low-miler back on the road and racking up miles again
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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The oil everywhere was probably due to the fact that the float needles are sticking and filled your crankcase with gas, which raised the oil level. The overfilled crankcase thus sent oil back out through the intake...

Sent from my A501DL using Tapatalk
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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... so yes, a carb cleaning is probably needed

Sent from my A501DL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #7
With only 1000 miles, that means that the gas tank has only been run thru maybe 8 tanks of gas; in other words, the gas has been sitting in the fuel system and carbs for ages and probably very varnished up. You're almost certainly going to have to pull the tank and get it cleaned out and rust-free, in addition to cleaning the carbs.

In a pinch you can try emptying the fuel tank and filling it with Evaporust and sloshing it around for a day or two to get rid of the rust. You may have to replace or rebuild the petcock/fuel outlet on the tank as well depending on its condition. Once the tank is rust-free and very clean, use only ethanol-free gas from here on out to prevent additional rusting and varnish issues.

You can try a quick fix on the carbs by draining the fuel out of the bottom of the bowls using the small hex screw and fitting on the bottom of each carb, flushing some Berryman's B12 through it, and filling the fuel lines with the stuff and letting the carbs sit full of B12 for a few days, then flushing again. You may very well have to pull the carbs. I certainly had to on my bike, but after cleaning them once about 4 years ago, I haven't had to touch 'em, especially since I run ethanol-free fuel.

Good luck, this forum is super helpful, and we definitely wanna see a low-miler back on the road and racking up miles again
great suggestions here, after reading all of this i think my best bet would be to empty out as much as i can and clean the carbs. i think ill try the b12 first and see how that goes. i appreciate the response brother!
 

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i bought this 2004 vulcan with 1000 miles on it during the lock down of covid.
it was great until one thing after the next kept happening.
after replacing the spark plugs and air filters. which were covered in oil, she still wont start.
she trys to turn over but it sounds bad and laggy.
like a very deep and slow "rumble" i guess you could call it.
sounds clogged and bogged down.
my next move was to clean the oil out, give her some new and change the oil filter, someone else suggested my fuel line was clogged.
im thinking of it sitting for so long maybe its gunked up?
or im thinking there could be oil in everything hence the oil in air filters and spark plugs.
if thats the case, where am i at with this.
any suggestions?
The carb filters are oily because fuel leaked from the tank, through the petcock, into carbs, down through cylinders, and into the oil reservoir. Happens on lots of inactive bikes all makes. I recommend not overacting. The bike is basically new condition so do the simple stuff first. Remove the tank and clean it out. If it's really bad, most radiator shops can clean it. Spray carb throats, without removing anything, liberally with plain old carb cleaner. Removing or dinking around with carbs is far more complicated that some will say, and you can cause more problems than you solve. Change the spark plugs and oil/filter. Make sure you have a nice new hot battery. I bet it starts up. Have a good strong dose of injector cleaner fluid or seafoam in the gas for the first few tanks. Then ride the heck out of it, using lots of gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The carb filters are oily because fuel leaked from the tank, through the petcock, into carbs, down through cylinders, and into the oil reservoir. Happens on lots of inactive bikes all makes. I recommend not overacting. The bike is basically new condition so do the simple stuff first. Remove the tank and clean it out. If it's really bad, most radiator shops can clean it. Spray carb throats, without removing anything, liberally with plain old carb cleaner. Removing or dinking around with carbs is far more complicated that some will say, and you can cause more problems than you solve. Change the spark plugs and oil/filter. Make sure you have a nice new hot battery. I bet it starts up. Have a good strong dose of injector cleaner fluid or seafoam in the gas for the first few tanks. Then ride the heck out of it, using lots of gas.
thanks a lot! i appreciate it a ton.
 

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First suspect is the water pump seal, then head gaskets or cylinder base gasket.

Head gasket can show up with a spark plug looking steam cleaned if it's been burning coolant.
 
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