Wow! You've got to see these things to believe it. I've NEVER seen
carburetors so gunked up.
Check out some of the pictures I
have by clicking on the thumbnails above. Here's how I cleaned them:
- Get the carburetors off the bike. I did this by loosening all of the
screws that held the rubber boots to the air box (on the intake side)
and the engine head (on the downstream side of the carburetors). I
also had to remove both the throttle open and throttle close cables. Lastly, I removed the two fuel lines that were connected to the fuel
tank (I removed them AT the fuel tank).
- Remove the float bowls. (See 7/31
picture) This was as simple as taking a screwdriver and
prying the metal clip upwards. Once that was done, I took the
butt end of a screwdriver and lightly tapped the bowl until it
loosened. Then I carefully removed the bowl to expose the
"meat" of the carburetors.
- Clean the jets (see the 8/31 pictures) Lots-a-work
here. As you can see from the 7/31 picture above left, there was
a LOT of "varnish" on the jets. They were 100%
plugged. The entire contents of the bowl were COVERED with a crusty
layer of varnish. I removed as much as I could with my fingers
and a small flat-blade screwdriver (only on the non-jet parts).
The jets I let soak overnight in a bath of carburetor cleaner. After
soaking, I took an old toothbrush and cleaned them all off. I carefully
stuck a piece of wire I knew to be smaller than the jet opening up
the jet to be sure it was clear. I then soaked them some more
and forcibly blew some carburetor cleaner
through them. I also soaked a few Q-tips in cleaner and cleaned
out anything I could. After cleaning out the jets, I would hold
them up to the light to see if I could "see the light"
- Clean everything else Obviously, pretty much everything
needed to be cleaned. Most of the cleaning was done with either
a Q-tip or a toothbrush. Basically EVERYTHING got disassembled
(I only did ONE carburetor at a time in its entirety though!)
- Polishing Ahhhh, the finishing touch. I took some
fine steel wool to the exterior of each of the bowls and the part of
the carburetor bodies that I could get at. (I DON'T polish the chrome
- only the aluminum). The steel wool helps to knock off most of the
major oxidation (fancy word for rust). After the steel wool, I
took each of the bowls to the bench polishing wheel for the finishing
buff and coat of protection. At this point, I could spray a
protective aluminum coating (like Nyalic)
on, but I've found the shine is better without it...and the protection
it adds isn't that important if the bike is garage kept and loved).
- Reassemble When putting everything back together, I
check for proper alignment, good gaskets, no binding, and a good
fit. Where appropriate, I use a bit of fuel-proof gasket sealant
for sealing. I also checked to see that all of the floats closed
the needle valve completely without forcing.