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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I got the order of operations messed up, but now that I've got the carbs opened up I have a mystery.

The background:

Last winter I replaced the head gaskets on my '85 GL1200 Aspencade. It worked great all summer, and then in September it started being slow to start. (As if it were flooded.) It also started smelling more of gas in the morning, unless I turned off the petcock. (A tip I picked up here.)

That worked fine for a month (turning off the petcock at each end of my commute), and then it didn't work-- the bike wouldn't start. I pulled the plugs and had a strong smell of gas, and it seemed to me that gas droplets sprayed out when cranking the engine (plugs out), so having read about floats sticking I thought that this might be happening to me.

I bought 4 carb rebuild kits and started on the right side. It looked really good and clean-- the floats were at the right level, so the only thing I've done on the right side is replace the o-rings.

(As I was taking the carbs off, I discovered that the insulator clamp screws were loose, so maybe I'd had a vacuum problem? Are my problems consistent with that diagnosis?)

On the left side, front carb-- I saw a bit of gunk in the float bowl cover (3rd attachment), and one of the jets seemed to require a little bit of cleaning (boiling in distilled water).

On the rear carb, I found a disaster. The valve is sealed shut, so I suspect that I've been running on 3 cylinders and not realizing it. I've removed the two jets that can be removed, along with the valve and seat and will replace with new parts (although I stilled boiled the old parts-- curious to see if these parts can ever be used again).

Here are my questions:
1) The picture with the two arrows (1st attachment)-- presuming that I need to get these cleaned, how do I do that-- I don't think these pieces are removable (if I'm reading the manual correctly).
2) Is all this red gunk rust (in the 2nd attachment)? Why would it show up only on the left side of the bike, and primarily in a single carb? It looks to me like the PO used some sort of sealant on the float cover o-ring, could the gas have been dissolving that and then leaving it in the float bowl?
3) I don't feel like this explains the gas odor that I was smelling, so what have I overlooked?

I did look in the gas tank, and every part of it that I can see looks good.
 

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I am in the process of cleaning my 84 Interstates Carbs as well.
I found that a soak in Pinesol with water about 1 part pinesol to 2 parts water worked well although mine weren't nearly as bad as yours. Pinesol is very mild for that.

You might also try boiling the carb in that mixture I read elsewhere someone was doing that for a rebuild.

Brake Cleaner would most likely be the next level of cleaner I would try and that is recommended as well.

Regarding your picture with arrows, on my 84 the upper arrow point seems to be a blocked port for me. The lower arrow appears to be part of the choke/fuel enrichment system and would need to be cleaned out.

You probably had a stuck float or two on the left side and that allowed the fuel from right side to drain out? Not sure on that. But if you look at the fuel delivery it is essentially an open 4 chamber system. Other than the floats all 4 carb bowls are joined together.

Make sure you pull the float seats and clean the screens as well. Mine were gunked up bad and two were partially collapsed from incorrect installation by po.

One last thing, sealant, some of it does breakdown with fuel especially this corn oil we use today and it is entirely possible that is what you see in there.

For reference I found it difficult to set my floats and made this nifty little gauge from an old rebate card but notice the carb internals from using the pinesol/water soak.

Hope this helps and Good Luck.
 

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1) No need to remove them, at least in the ones I have done.
2) Both rear carb.s are fed directly from the pump, so if the small screens on top of the needle valves are missing or damaged you will get more debris in those carb.s first. Also check for a failed gas filter, and with that much 'stuff' that went through it I would change out the pump as well (more prone to failure now), or at least put a filter AFTER it and before the carb.s because there is stuff in there.
3) Too many things to list.


Bill
 

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Disassemble the carbs as much as you can, then boil the parts for 30 minutes in distilled water with a cup of vinegar. This should get most of the crap out. From there you will need to ensure all the passages are clear. I use Berrymans B12 carb cleaner or brake cleaner along with compressed air. (use the cans only if you have to, you need a compressor) As for the metal parts, once they are cleaned up (be sure the center hole is clear) then they can and should be reused. Most of the aftermarket replacements didn't hold their tolerances tight enough. The float seals and their seats should be reused or replaced only with OEM parts. Too many sad stories of leaks with the aftermarket pieces. All of the o-rings and rubber seals should be replaced. Inspect the vacuum diaphragms closely to be sure they are not perforated. Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
carb cleaned, mostly

Sorry for the late response!

Wow, I wish I'd come across the pine sol advice sooner in this process (or even last year when I did the heads). I may take the first three back apart just to put them through this cleaning process.

I'm still concerned about whether I've got the opening (in the first photo, it's the bottom arrow - BigBro1 said it's part of the choke/fuel system?) cleaned well enough. I tried to blow through it (with mouth and air compressor), and couldn't force any air through it. (I even opened the choke valve and couldn't get anything through.)

Is there some way for me to make sure that this is clean/clear enough? (I compared to a sister carb, and a wire will go in about 1/4 - 3/8 of an inch before it's blocked in each carb, so maybe that's normal?)

Or-- since this is just the choke then maybe regular doses of seafoam is enough to get it cleaned out?
 

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First I am not an expert.

I know when I took an air compressor blow gun fitted with a small piece of rubber hose, the air came out of the seat in the Choke/Fuel enrichment system and also some came out of the air bypass going into the air flow path to the vacuum side of the carb toward the engine. That to me spelled choke system.

This is most likely the same carb as in your picture so you can see the molded passages that had been drilled it definitely has a bend about 3/8" in from that brass tube.

Be cautious of putting rubber like Float needles into a dip. I used that pinesol and it worked great. Berrymans or some other materials, eat rubber.
Except some of my gaskets were hardened, I wouldn't be afraid of reusing them after a pinesol soak. The ones that were still pliable, were still pliable and clean after an overnight soak in the pinesol mix.

Good Luck.
 

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OK,
Here are my questions:
1) The picture with the two arrows (1st attachment)-- presuming that I need to get these cleaned, how do I do that-- I don't think these pieces are removable (if I'm reading the manual correctly).
2) Is all this red gunk rust (in the 2nd attachment)? Why would it show up only on the left side of the bike, and primarily in a single carb? It looks to me like the PO used some sort of sealant on the float cover o-ring, could the gas have been dissolving that and then leaving it in the float bowl?
3) I don't feel like this explains the gas odor that I was smelling, so what have I overlooked?

I did look in the gas tank, and every part of it that I can see looks good.

The red gunk is what I call corn syrup , it's the residual left over from the ethanol in the gas. The most likely explanation is that the vacuum leak was so sever that gas wasn't being drawn out of the float bowl. when ehtanolated gas sits it leaves a residue that looks like rust. The reason you don't see it in the tank is probably because you didn't let the gas in the tank sit that long without being used . This also what most people see when they think they are seeing rust in the tank by the way.

Good quality aftermarket rebuild kits are as good or better than OEM but not much cheaper at retail.

Be sure you get all of the ports clean , the hardest one is the one from the non- removable jet to the accelerator pump .

Be very careful about setting the float height it's hyper-critical.

I rebuild at least one set of carbs a week and have for quite a while and it still takes me 6-8 hours to do a set of four so take your time and be sure you get every thing perfectly clean.

Good luck
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The red gunk is what I call corn syrup , it's the residual left over from the ethanol in the gas. The most likely explanation is that the vacuum leak was so sever that gas wasn't being drawn out of the float bowl. when ehtanolated gas sits it leaves a residue that looks like rust. The reason you don't see it in the tank is probably because you didn't let the gas in the tank sit that long without being used . This also what most people see when they think they are seeing rust in the tank by the way.
Ah! This explanation seems to make sense, thank you.

Good quality aftermarket rebuild kits are as good or better than OEM but not much cheaper at retail.

Be sure you get all of the ports clean , the hardest one is the one from the non- removable jet to the accelerator pump .
I have the K&L kits-- I was able to reuse the original parts on the first three, but the float valve and seat were too stuck together; those will get replaced.

How do you make sure that the non-removable jet to the accelerator pump is cleaned enough? The manuals warn against using wires to clean any of the holes, but how do YOU do it?

In the attached pictures, I'm showing where I've been blowing compressed air into and expecting air out of. I'm not feeling any air pass through, and have thinking that it's due to the gunk. However, as you can see from the first photo, it does actually look relatively clean and you can see a sleeve of some sort inside the hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just thought of another question-- if ethanol is eating the rubber fuel lines, are there any drop in replacement fuel lines that I should use while I've got the carbs off the engine? If the OEM fuel lines are even available, I'd be afraid that they've been on the shelves for so long that they'll suffer the same fate as the originals when introduced to E10 gas.

In other words-- I'm looking for a source for fuel lines for the '85 Aspencade; any pointers?
 

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For Hoses I purchased from Honda out of bulk supply or local auto parts store as appropriate.

On your choke/fuel enrichment from last picture.
I noticed the actuator valve is still in the carb. I marked it with white in the attached picture.
I found with that in the diaphragm on the end of it closed both fuel and air passage.
If you remove it you should be able to blow air through from the pickup inside the bowl.

The plunger is a brass valve that slides in the body. When you actuate it opens the fuel port and seems to also open the air port allowing a blended mixture of air and fuel into the airflow path for cold starts.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
arked it with white in the attached picture.
I found with that in the diaphragm on the end of it closed both fuel and air passage.
If you remove it you should be able to blow air through from the pickup inside the bowl.
Thanks for taking the time to help me out BigBro1 -- I took the actuator out again (I'm pretty sure I'd removed it during the first soak), and I still can't get any air through that last jet. I'm currently soaking it in a fresh batch of water+pinesol, with the problematic jet on top, about 1/2" out of the water so that I can tell if any of the mixtue happens to be moving through the clog.

It feels like I've got few choices choices here:
1) iterate a few times on soaking/scrubbing to see if eventually whatever is in there comes out
2) try using brake cleaner (I haven't tried that one yet)
last choice) ignore it and just run with three cylinders able to get any choke

Any thoughts on how many iterations it could take before I ought to just give up and opt for "last choice"? I'm hopeful to get the bike back on the road by monday or tuesday.

What to the mechanical purists do when they hit this type of problem?

Alternatively, are there any forum members around the Mill Creek/Lynnwood/Everett (Washington) area willing to give me any in person advice?
 

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I had one idle jet that was clearly blocked after all my soaking and cleaning.
I put a bit of wd40 into it and let it sit overnight.

The next evening as I was starting to build up carbs, I had my air compressor set on around 40 psi and a short piece of 5.5mm rubber fuel line on the end of it.

I slid that hose over the jet and grabbed it real tight like a clamp actually holding the end so it didn't become an air powered projectile. Then I pressed the trigger on the blow gun. At first nothing then I started hearing a slight seepage. Suddenly I heard a small pop and it was flowing air through that #35 idle jet with the same sound as my other 3.

It didn't happen at first but it seemed to kinda slide out with that air pressure behind it.

Don't know if that will work for you but I do know WD40 is a silicone penetrant so it could help breakdown whatever might be in that tube.

I am across the sound from you or I would help. I seem to remember there are a couple of wingers on here that are up in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had one idle jet that was clearly blocked after all my soaking and cleaning.
I put a bit of wd40 into it and let it sit overnight.

I am across the sound from you or I would help. I seem to remember there are a couple of wingers on here that are up in your area.
Thanks, you've been a great help already. I'll give the wd40 (or maybe pb blaster would be better?) a try.
 

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I use a syringe that I get from the farm supply store and fill it with the strongest carb cleaner i can buy.



You can use a welders tip cleaner on the passage but not on any jet that meters fuel or air
 

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fuel lines

I just thought of another question-- if ethanol is eating the rubber fuel lines, are there any drop in replacement fuel lines that I should use while I've got the carbs off the engine? If the OEM fuel lines are even available, I'd be afraid that they've been on the shelves for so long that they'll suffer the same fate as the originals when introduced to E10 gas.

In other words-- I'm looking for a source for fuel lines for the '85 Aspencade; any pointers?
you can purchase the fuel lines from Advance auto. they have a good selection.
 
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