Lacquer thinner as a fuel system cleaner??? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 05-21-2008, 09:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lacquer thinner as a fuel system cleaner???

Someone that works on Hondas quite a bit told me to pour one cap of lacquer thinner into a full tank of gas and this will break up deposits and clean up the carbs. Anyone heard of this? I want some agreement before doing this as I don't want to screw up my bike.

Background:
I'm having popping and cracking (backfire) on decel. 03 Shadow Spirit 750 that sat for 3 years. Tanks cleaned 3 times, new plugs, fuel line and fuel filter. Bike is fine after accelerating a few seconds. Think the carbs are loading up but I'm no bike mechanic...yet!
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Seafoam.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryHatter
Seafoam.
+1 on the Seafoam, after using it in a couple tanks of fuel then see how it does, otherwise you might need to adjust the A/F Mixture Screw.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Seafoam is the nectar of The Gods.
(or so i'm told)
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have heard of using lacquer thinner also. I have never tried it because it seems like using the wrong tool for the job. Seafoam, Techron fuel system cleaner, and things like that are specifically made to attach the bad stuff in a carb, while leaving the seals and other parts in tact. Using lacquer thinner might clean the crud out, but it might also wreck other parts.

Seafoam recommends one ounce per gallon of gas. A bike hold between 3 and 4 gallons, typically. This is why I wonder about the "one capful" of lacquer thinner. That's about half an ounce, maybe even less. That's 1/8 the concentration of a regular fuel system cleaner, and I my thinking on that dilution ration is going in two directions: either it's too little to do anything at all, or it has to be that small amount to prevent it from wrecking the engine.

In any case, I buy the stuff made for the job.

Like we say in our engineering department, "When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." Use the right tool for the job, and don't "force something to work" if you can avoid it.

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Old 05-22-2008, 08:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Where can I get Seafoam at? I have heard it is awesome in all gas engines. Do you just mix with the gas and ride it? Now the barking on a decel isn't normal? My 01 Spirit does it on a decel but I didn't think anything of it. I am sure that this is posted elsewhere but how do I solve this? I did not remove the baffels from the stock pipes or modify it at all and the bike runs tip top and accelerates smoothly. Maybe it is good to go? Please any insite is helpful. I have only had the bike 3 weeks. Thanks! (Now I got to get me some seafoam!)
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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In my area, both Napa and Autozone carry Seafoam. Use it according to the directions on the can. (1 ounce per gallon)

Remember that a typical Seafoam treatment in a car is a tank full of gas, usually 15 gallons. In a bike, the treatment is actually 5 tanks of fuel to run 15 gallons through, so don't expect 100 miles of riding to solve every issue.

Some popping on deceleration is normal. Some people richen up their idle mixture a little and that usually cures it. Unless it's backfiring (sounding like a gun shot!) then it won't hurt anything, and actually, I think it sounds kind of cool. If the sound doesn't bother you, then it's not a problem and you can ignore it.

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Old 05-22-2008, 09:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've used laquer thinner on bikes when fuel has been left in the carbs and has evaporated out over time. You don't mix it like using Seafoam (great stuff). Pull the tank, hook a funnel to the fuel line and fill it up. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the solvent do its thing and then start the bike. It'll run pretty rough and please do this in a VERY well ventilated area. The solvent should clean out everything from the bowls, jets, ports, you get the idea. I have only used this trick when the carbs are so gunked up the bike won't run.

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Old 05-22-2008, 07:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubes_rock
Seafoam, Techron fuel system cleaner, and things like that are specifically made to attach the bad stuff in a carb, while leaving the seals and other parts in tact. Using lacquer thinner might clean the crud out, but it might also wreck other parts.
Very good point, bought seafoam and we'll see how it goes.

Thanks for all the input guys!
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