Author Topic: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?  (Read 999 times)

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Offline tbharker

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Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« on: June 04, 2018, 10:31:42 pm »
I've owned this '86 Connie for 7 years. Every year, after winter, the carbs are gummed up, so this past winter I drained the carbs (what a nightmare).

Long story short, I filled up the tank this spring, and fuel started flowing out the tops of all four carbs, but only in the PRI position. When I turn it to ON, the flow stops. Bike runs GREAT (so carb drain did it's thing).

I can run it in the ON position, no problem. I'm just wondering why the PRI position causes it to overflow, or if that's just normal if I leave it in the PRI position for too long.

[Other notes: nothing is connected to the second, smaller, brass nipple on the petcock. Am I missing a hose? Also, I'm not entirely confident I have the hoses connected to the correct ports on the low end of the tank...]

Offline Mettler1

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 11:08:59 pm »
  Do not try to start the engine UNTIL the fuel problem is fix!! Fuel should NOT ever leak out of the carbs UNLESS they have a real problem. Read about HYDROLOCK!! and what it can do to your engine!!  :o :o  You should be able to turn your petcock on and not have any fuel leaking from the carbs!! Sounds like something very wrong with your fuel system!!


  Do some reading and watch some videos about HYDROLOCK!!


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Online DC Concours

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 11:18:18 pm »
How does it run on the on setting if the vacuum line is not connected? How have you not had a hydrolock yet?

You need to rehook the vacuum line check or replace the petcock and your carbs need a full overhaul.

Offline Stasch

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2018, 01:08:53 am »
Quote
fuel started flowing out the tops of all four carbs, but only in the PRI position. When I turn it to ON, the flow stops. Bike runs GREAT (so carb drain did it's thing).

DC Concours is asking some good questions.

Your post is a bit confusing.  Not trying to bust your chops, but to get better info.  The fuel cannot come out of the tops of the carbs unless . . .  possibly . . . . you have somehow connected the fuel line to one of the carb vent tubes?

If the vacuum line isn't connected you will run the carb bowls dry.

Quote
so carb drain did it's thing

Does this mean you have overflow tubes in your carb bowls?

Kinda need to sort this and your connections out before you start thinking about rebuilding stuff.

(edited for spelling and grammer)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 03:25:39 pm by Stasch »
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Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 02:46:57 pm »
  Do not try to start the engine UNTIL the fuel problem is fix!! Fuel should NOT ever leak out of the carbs UNLESS they have a real problem. Read about HYDROLOCK!! and what it can do to your engine!!  :o :o  You should be able to turn your petcock on and not have any fuel leaking from the carbs!! Sounds like something very wrong with your fuel system!!


  Do some reading and watch some videos about HYDROLOCK!!


                 https://sites.google.com/site/shoodabenengineering/

Solid advice. Trust me, I've read up on hydrolock--I don't think you can read through this forum (or any forum related to the Connie, for that matter) without the discussion turning to the dreaded hydrolock! For the time being, I'm not hydrolocked, but the more I read, the more I'm convinced my Connie will inevitably die of hydrolock.  ;)

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 02:54:40 pm »
How many miles on your bike and when were the carbs last serviced? Yours is an old bike so carbs definitely need servicing if not serviced before. also consider changing the petcock and get the over flow tubes.

Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 03:37:36 pm »
How many miles on your bike and when were the carbs last serviced? Yours is an old bike so carbs definitely need servicing if not serviced before. also consider changing the petcock and get the over flow tubes.

Bike has about 60k miles on it, I've had the carbs professionally serviced almost every year, including last year, because they got gummed up over the winter. The carbs seem solid still (a new servicing seems overkill, unless there's a fear something 'dried up' over the winter). It doesn't seem to me that's the issue.

I just put a brand new OEM petcock on the bike a year or so ago. I could do ALL the recommended upgrades, but at this point, I'm just trying to get her running before the summer is over.  :)

Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 03:38:47 pm »
Quote
DC Concours is asking some good questions.

Your post is a bit confusing.  Not trying to bust your chops, but to get better info.  The fuel cannot come out of the tops of the carbs unless . . .  possibly . . . . you have somehow connected the fuel line to one of the a carb vent tube?

Okay, I don't have the fuel line connected to a carb vent tube--it's just connected to the same fuel line it's always been connected to. That said, the major question mark is the missing vacuum line--maybe that's allowing the carbs to fill up and seep out somewhere? Admittedly, I don't know carbs well enough to make an educated guess. Further, I don't know exactly where it's coming out of the carbs, only that it's not the drains on the bottom, but rather from up above where I can visually see (and all four start overflowing at the same time).

Quote
If the vacuum line isn't connected you will run the carb bowls dry.

Okay, so I ran it for a few minutes today and it ended up stalling out after a minute or two. So I think you're right--the bowls have run dry, and it was just running on whatever fuel was left in the carb bowls from when I had it on PRIme.

Quote
Does this mean you have overflow tubes in your carb bowls?

To be completely honest, I have no idea if I have overflow tubes or not. The guy I bought it from had done quite a bit of customization (most of it not great), so I'm constantly finding new things I need to undo and/or redo.

(1) Is there a diagram somewhere of how the fuel hoses should all hook up? I've searched a few times, but haven't found anything definitive. Clearly I've screwed up the hookups, and it's been so long since I took everything apart, I can't remember. I thought I'd labeled the hoses to protect myself from memory failure, but I must have gotten fuel on the tags, so the ink disappeared... 
(2) I've got three nipples on the low end of my tank, and three hose ends--should one of those be connecting to the vacuum line, or a fourth (if I connect the nipple on petcock for the vaccuum line to a hose, where does the other end go?)? I've read that at least a couple of these nipples have something to do with California smog, or something, but I only know enough to screw something up.
(3) two of the hoses are clear (or were, back in 1986), and the third is black and just seems to be some kind of vent or drain, hanging down in the the middle of the bike. The hoses are pretty hard--can I just replace them with standard automotive fuel line, or do I need to find some transparent hose somewhere?

I'm not really sure how to upload pictures to this forum, so here are a couple dropbox links to images, if it's any help:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/s0lg1nlsiig40yi/COG_TANK.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lzvec2fkwi1mgkk/COG_VENT.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9kp62wu5t1c7kke/COG_PETCOCK-carbs.jpg?dl=0

Offline Stasch

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 05:22:48 pm »
Quote
Is there a diagram somewhere of how the fuel hoses should all hook up

Yes, a Clymer or factory service manual will have this info.

There are 2 barbs coming out of the petcock.  A fat one towards the outside (the fuel line) and a smaller one to the inside (the vacuum line)

The fuel line connects to a 'T' connection between carbs 2 and 3 down near the bottom  (count the cylinders / carbs from left to right while seated, 1 through 4, starting with 1 on your left).

The vacuum line needs to connect from the smaller petcock barb to the number 2 carb's vacuum port found at the front of the carbs just before the rubber manifold that connects to the cylinder head.   Carb 1 and 4 vacuum ports are connected to the breather / reed valves on the cylinder cover when OEM, many remove the breather reeds in which case 1 and 4 need to be capped.  Carb 3 vacuum port is plugged when OEM, but is often used to feed an after market cruise control.

If you have an OEM petcock, which it sounds like you do,  there is no 'OFF'.  PRIME is a free flow gravity feed used to prime empty carb bowls or when the fuel in those carb bowls has evaporated due to storage.  'ON' and 'RES' only allow fuel to flow when the vacuum from the carbs holds a diaphram open to allow fuel flow.  The concept is the fuel only flows when the bike is running - no need for manual ON or OFF as the lack of vacuum is supposed to allow a spring to close the diaphram to turn the flow OFF. 

The BIG IF is if petcock is leaking down into the carb bowls even when there's no vacuum.  That is where overflow tubes come in, (not OEM) allowing access fuel to flow out of the tubes onto the ground, rather than to back up into the airbox or worse, into a cylinder(s) that may have partially open intake valves - leading to potential for the big H - hydrolock.
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Offline Stasch

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 05:29:52 pm »
Quote
To be completely honest, I have no idea if I have overflow tubes or not. The guy I bought it from had done quite a bit of customization (most of it not great), so I'm constantly finding new things I need to undo and/or redo.

This is easy to determine.  You need a ~1/8" tube to attach over one of the nip-ples.  Gently blow some air through it.

If air passes through, you have overflow tubes.  If air doesn't flow - you don't have 'em.

I can't speak exactly to the 3 tubes at the rear of the tank as that sounds like a Cali model, so read the following with that in mind.

On the 2 hose non-Cali models, one is an air vent, the other is an overflow tube for fuel that gets sloshed or spilled in the filler cap hole when fueling.  Both route to the bottom of the frame next to the where the battery vent hose exhausts.

The 3rd Cali hose MAY go to the charcoal canister if it still exists on the bike.  Others will have to chime in here.  A service manual will cover all of this too.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 05:48:41 pm by Stasch »
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Offline Stasch

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2018, 05:42:21 pm »
In your 3rd pic, you can see the number 1 carb's vacuum port with a hose on it - looks like it is an OEM connection to the reed valve connection from ports 1 and 4 to the cylinder head. 

The other vacuum ports are in the same position on carbs 2 through 4.

If you are missing the vacuum line connection to the petcock it will not allow fuel flow UNLESS its defective, and then probably not in an amount sufficient to keep the bike running for long. 

You need to find out where the fuel is leaking out of the carbs when PRIME is on.  If that doesn't get fixed, the same thing will likely happen once the vacuum line is properly installed and the bike is running.

Is the fuel line properly connected to the 'T' between carb bowl's 2 and 3?  Is it leaking there?

There are additional fuel tubes connecting carbs 1 and 2, then 3 and 4 near the bottom of the carb bodies so fuel can get to all the carbs - could be leaking there.

While odd that all 4 began leaking simultaneously, its possible some type of carb cleaner was used that degraded the rubber for the orings that seal the fuel feed tubes, orings sealing the carb bowls, the rubber tips of the float valve, etc.

I would want to know where the problem spots are before I took it all apart, even if you plan to send the carbs off for a rework.  (I highly recommend SISF for this)  It could be from a loose connection or other source.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 05:47:26 pm by Stasch »
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Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2018, 05:36:53 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback and tips and help so far!  I’m just getting back to this, after a few weeks of business travel.

I think the fuel was just filling up the bowls and overflowing because I had it on PRIme. When in the ‘ON’ or ‘RES’ positions, the flow instantly stops, but once the fuel runs out from being in PRI, it dies. Which leads back to my missing vacuum hose problem.

I can’t locate the hose that’s supposed to hook up to the petcock. I can’t find it, anywhere. The fuel line is there and easy to locate, but I can’t find any other hose that’s not connected to anything, which seems very odd to me. Tracing from the petcock, where should the vacuum line go (and where does it connect on the other end?)?  I’m at a loss, because by my thinking I should have a hose with one unconnected end isn’t there somewhere, but I simply don’t.

I pulled out the Clymer manual, but can’t find a diagram showing that hose.

Help? I just want to ride :( (I have three bikes—one has been in the shop for 8 weeks (‘99 Husaberg FS600E), one has a sticking throttle (‘71 Suzuki Savage), and my Connie (‘86 C10) is hiding the vacuum hose I need. I need to be on two wheels!
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 05:39:57 pm by tbharker »

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2018, 05:46:04 pm »
first things first.

prime has no need for vacuum.

your carbs need work. they should not oveflow even if on prime.





Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2018, 06:12:38 pm »
Maybe this will help identify the right hose? All the hoses are simply marked “hose”...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6m779wbhkwpppil/COG_carbdiagram.jpg?dl=0

Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2018, 06:16:14 pm »
first things first.

prime has no need for vacuum.

your carbs need work. they should not oveflow even if on prime.

I talked to a motorcycle mechanic. He said it sounds like the prime is working correctly—it doesn’t need the vacuum to run, but perhaps having it missing is causing the bowls to fill and then overflow.

In any case, I’ll need to find the vacuum hose/connection at some point, or this thing will never fly. Even if I have to pull the carbs off, I’ll just find myself in the exact same predicament if I don’t have a vacuum hose to connect to the petcock.

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2018, 06:28:26 pm »
A good bike will run just fine on prime. I have done that for many, many miles when I flip the petcock the wrong direction (when I meant to flip it to reserve).

If I remember correctly the vacuum hose goes to carb #2 (diag #16) and is a regular vacuum hose you can buy at any parts store. Someone can check my recollection.

Your more immediate problem is not to worry about the vacuum line but to see why the carb floats are not cutting off fuel when the bowls are full.

You are about to end up with a busted engine if you don't listen to us here.



« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 06:58:45 pm by DC Concours »

Offline Bob H

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2018, 06:39:33 pm »
Agree, you are risking hydrolock, a ruined engine likely.  Fix the leaking carbs first!


Petcock vacuum hose comes from cylinder #2.  It's disconnected from the petcock and laying against the reed valve cover in the attached pic.


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« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 06:42:34 pm by Bob H »
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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2018, 06:47:32 pm »
Correct Black line in pic is vacuum clear line is fuel.  DC concours is correct the carbs need work. They shouldn't leak in the prime position unless the floats are sticking. It will leak in the run and reserve positions also once you get the vacuum hooked up. and the engine is running.
LEAKING CARBS-HYDRO LOCK= JUNK ENGINE

Offline Stasch

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2018, 12:04:36 am »
Quote
perhaps having it missing is causing the bowls to fill and then overflow.

No, the bowls overflow when the float valves fail to seal. 

This occurs with or without overflow tubes.  Overflow tubes can only control WHERE the fuel goes when overflow occurs.


There are a lot of questions I still have on where this leaking is actually coming from.

Quote
I've had the carbs professionally serviced almost every year, including last year, because they got gummed up over the
winter

This makes me wonder a LOT of things. 

Why are they getting gummed up every year?

Is the professional telling you how to avoid that?  They should be.

What is the professional doing when the carbs are professionally serviced?

Do they remove and dis-assemble the carbs completely?

Is carb cleaner used indiscriminately, or were the carbs 'dipped' while assembled?  If so, this could have created leaks from any number of areas due to orings and rubber parts becoming degraded by such treatment.

Your best bet is what's already been suggested several times:  Get the carbs serviced and rebuilt with new orings etc, by a known good professional that has successfully serviced hundreds of ZG1000 carb sets - ie: SISF.
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Offline Mcfly

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2018, 12:32:41 am »
Keep in mind that this fuel system is gravity fed, so there's no additive that will effectively
resolve this issue (DAMHIK).  Many (including me) have had carb issues.  My local dealership said they
fixed my carb issues, and it lasted 3-4 months.  You need the carbs properly repaired, and
as mentioned above, one of our industry members "Steve in Sunny Florida" is as reliable
as they come.  My carbs are going on 5 years without issue after his work.  I confidently
recommend him (as others will).  Send him a PM.  He's a good guy. 

You've got a bunch of very knowledgeable guys telling you the right things.  I've been
there too...  They also recommended I start maintaining my own bike...  It's a very
basic bike mechanically, and worth getting to know. 

The C-10 is great bike when it's set up right.  Good luck!!

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Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2018, 07:17:30 pm »
Thanks for all the help and advice so far guys—I really do appreciate it. My plan is to pull the carbs and ship them to an expert to look over. I definitely don’t want hydrolock (it comes up in just about every thread in this forum—I’m not looking to skunk the engine), and am happy to pay someone in-the-know to look these over.

That said, before I tear these out, I’d like to understand how they should go back in so I’m not at an impass when I get them back. My primary confusion RIGHT NOW is simply understanding how things SHOULD be hooked up. I seem to recall when I picked up my bike from the bike mechanic last year, there was a fuel issue right when I picked it up (may have been the exact same issue), but he tinkered on it for an hour, and when I came back it seemed to be resolved. Now I wonder if they didn’t screw up the hose connections then, and I just didn’t drive it enough before I drained the gas for the winter. That, or everything dried up over winter (I’ve tried both methods, and seem to be screwed regardless, but I digress...).

In summary, for today, I’m just looking to get a proper understanding of how my hoses should be connected. There’s a very good chance that the motorcycle mechanic that worked on the carbs last connected everything up, found himself with an extra hose, and just tossed it. I’m great at putting stuff back how I found it, but I’m not experienced enough to deduce if things aren’t as they should be now.

I’ve attached a couple pics. This is just the stock image from the Clemmer, but in the first I’ve tried to illustrate how the hoses are hooked up to the carbs now, and in the second, how I think it’s been advised they should be hooked up. In the second, I find myself with a vacuum hose connection, but am left with a hose that’s unconnected.

Hoping someone can help me. Summer is passing by, and I haven’t been able to progress this issue at all (I need to get out and ride!). I have an enduro I’d be riding, but it’s been in the shop since MAY (due to hard to find parts and a mechanic that’s not that motivated, I think).

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yxcy26yt65fs64i/COG_CarbHoses-2.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jstqq2olcbo86m4/COG_CarbHoses-1.jpg?dl=0

Offline Mettler1

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2018, 12:48:14 am »
  "send the carbs to an expert?" I presume you mean SiSF -- https://sites.google.com/site/shoodabenengineering/intake-and-exhaust

    He is the ONLY one I would trust to do my carbs correctly!   :) :)
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Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2018, 10:54:41 am »
That carb vacuum just needs to be capped off. Take a 1" length of vacuum hose and put a machine screw or small bolt in the other end that fits tight in the hose.

BTW Steve is the right option for carb rebuild.
He also as an instructional youtube on how to remove and replace the rack of carbs.
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Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2018, 08:02:27 pm »
  "send the carbs to an expert?" I presume you mean SiSF -- https://sites.google.com/site/shoodabenengineering/intake-and-exhaust

    He is the ONLY one I would trust to do my carbs correctly! 

Great--thanks! I've definitely read through some of his stuff, but appreciate the link—I'm checking it out now!

Offline tbharker

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Re: Leaking carbs... or petcock... or?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2018, 08:07:22 pm »
That carb vacuum just needs to be capped off. Take a 1" length of vacuum hose and put a machine screw or small bolt in the other end that fits tight in the hose.

BTW Steve is the right option for carb rebuild.
He also as an instructional youtube on how to remove and replace the rack of carbs.

Thanks so much—I thought I was going crazy until I realized the hoses were wonky! I heard they fired the guy who worked on my bike, just after he did so, but that's little consolation. :-[ I'm lucky I didn't hydrolock! I wonder what else he fixed...

Thanks again, all--looks like I have some vids to watch on YouTube this week.