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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I put gas on each spark plug and had cleaned them a bit, got the bike hooked up to correct charger, turns over and pops a bit but nothing - any advice boys? She sounds one step from running if u know what I mean, I’m original poster btw
 

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It sounds to me like a fuel problem, although a problem with the ignition can't be ruled out yet.

Did you try dribbling a little gas directly into the spark plug opening when the spark plugs were out, like Troy J. suggested?
Did you pull the air filter and check it's not clogged, like Swifty suggested? Try starting the engine without the air filter in.
Can we assume that you are using fresh gas? I find that the 10% ethanol stuff I can buy locally can go bad in as little as 6 weeks.
Is the fuel filter clogged?

The fact that the bike was running badly previously and now isn't, is a good clue as to the cause. It might help to restate the machine's original condition and everything that was done, point by point. You might also get some good clues by searching the forum for threads with similar sounding issues. There's also quite a few Utube videos on Honda Shadows.

Personally, I'd start pulling off the air conduits, until I was looking at the carburetor throat(s) and give them a little dose of starting fluid with the choke plate(s) wide open. Be careful, the stuff is very flammable. If you can get her to run on gas through the spark plugs or starting fluid sprayed in the throats, that strongly suggests a fuel problem.

As Troy J. suggested, the quality of work that comes from a shop can be highly variable. I consider the Keihin CV carbs to be pretty complicated, the slow jets have tiny holes, and there are some internal passages that are sealed with factory plugs and can't be access. Immersion and blowing out with compressed air is the only option. Some folks use ultrasonic cleaners. If you search the forum, I think you will find several stories where folks had to remove and clean their carbs more than once. It's not that hard to reassemble them with something backwards, or missing.

Is your machine dual or single carb? I understand that on the single carb machines the fuel pump was deleted and instead a vacuum operated automatic petcock was designed in, which was recalled at some point. There's more info on this here: Can The Fuel Pump Be Removed From My Bike? - TJ Brutal Customs Support

Because so much of the stuff we need to get to when fixing our machines is under the fuel tank and seat, a lot of mechanics will run carburetor equipped engines from an auxiliary testing fuel tank during tests. Something like this: Motorcycle Shop Auxiliary Gas Fuel Tank Tool For Carb Tuning Honda Suzuki Yamaha | eBay Using a gravity feed gadget like this can eliminate issues with the fuel pump, fuel filter, petcock, and so on. It's wise to use one of those inline fuel filters that mounts into the fuel hose.
I made mine from an empty quart oil can. It gets hung from a steel strut that bolts to one of the seat mounts.
294041

294042


Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
It sounds to me like a fuel problem, although a problem with the ignition can't be ruled out yet.

Did you try dribbling a little gas directly into the spark plug opening when the spark plugs were out, like Troy J. suggested?
Did you pull the air filter and check it's not clogged, like Swifty suggested? Try starting the engine without the air filter in.
Can we assume that you are using fresh gas? I find that the 10% ethanol stuff I can buy locally can go bad in as little as 6 weeks.
Is the fuel filter clogged?

The fact that the bike was running badly previously and now isn't, is a good clue as to the cause. It might help to restate the machine's original condition and everything that was done, point by point. You might also get some good clues by searching the forum for threads with similar sounding issues. There's also quite a few Utube videos on Honda Shadows.

Personally, I'd start pulling off the air conduits, until I was looking at the carburetor throat(s) and give them a little dose of starting fluid with the choke plate(s) wide open. Be careful, the stuff is very flammable. If you can get her to run on gas through the spark plugs or starting fluid sprayed in the throats, that strongly suggests a fuel problem.

As Troy J. suggested, the quality of work that comes from a shop can be highly variable. I consider the Keihin CV carbs to be pretty complicated, the slow jets have tiny holes, and there are some internal passages that are sealed with factory plugs and can't be access. Immersion and blowing out with compressed air is the only option. Some folks use ultrasonic cleaners. If you search the forum, I think you will find several stories where folks had to remove and clean their carbs more than once. It's not that hard to reassemble them with something backwards, or missing.

Is your machine dual or single carb? I understand that on the single carb machines the fuel pump was deleted and instead a vacuum operated automatic petcock was designed in, which was recalled at some point. There's more info on this here: Can The Fuel Pump Be Removed From My Bike? - TJ Brutal Customs Support

Because so much of the stuff we need to get to when fixing our machines is under the fuel tank and seat, a lot of mechanics will run carburetor equipped engines from an auxiliary testing fuel tank during tests. Something like this: Motorcycle Shop Auxiliary Gas Fuel Tank Tool For Carb Tuning Honda Suzuki Yamaha | eBay Using a gravity feed gadget like this can eliminate issues with the fuel pump, fuel filter, petcock, and so on. It's wise to use one of those inline fuel filters that mounts into the fuel hose.
I made mine from an empty quart oil can. It gets hung from a steel strut that bolts to one of the seat mounts. View attachment 294041
View attachment 294042

Good Luck!
I got her to start ! She ran for about 20 seconds with choke open, before giving one dying shotgun blast out of the exhaust. This was with air filter off and starter fluid at carb. Spark plugs were cleaned a bit with carb cleaner before but going to change them now, if that doesn’t work than it’s officially back to the carb. If anyone has any other ideas I’m all ears, when does it come time to adjust fuel mixture, idle, or jets???
 

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Sounds like you are saying that your machine has a single carb?

Personally, I'd look into that vacuum shutoff petcock I mentioned in my last post.

If you don't have that on your machine, then I'd investigate the fuel pump and fuel pump cutout relay. And the fuel filter in either case.

Make sure your carb is / carbs are getting fuel.

The guy at TJ Brutal customs says on that link I posted that he can get just about any Shadow to run gravity fed. Sounds like a good idea to me.
 

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I bought this 01 vlx a few weeks ago and I have spent a good number of long nights learning how to take it apart, got the carb and fuel tank cleaned, rebuilt etc at the local Honda. Before the service the issue was what seemed like rich idle or clogged fuel, as rusty sludge was everywhere from the tank to the carb. Now... I have put it all back where it belongs except the seat, turned it over in bursts of 5 seconds until the BRAND NEW DURALAST GOLD battery died... Any idea what would have changed from the old crap idle, throttle response etc, to not starting at all after a proper cleaning? Maybe because I used the old petcock? I don’t have thousands to spend replacing every little piece so any help in the right direction is appreciated as I am happy to replace anything that NEEDS to be replaced but I can’t spend 18 hours every Saturday trying to figure it out... felt I didn’t make this clear enough... turned over fine 10 plus times, seems like I’m missing spark or fuel.....
Can I ask why you're doing all that work to that Bike. It's really not worth the effort. I made the mistake of buying one of those things several years ago and took a bath on it by getting rid of it as fast as I could. Totally boring bike. The thing is only 40 hp with a 4 speed transmission. First time I opened it up I thought something was wrong with it because it was so slow. That taught me to check spec.s before buying a bike.
 

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You may be able to use an aftermarket fuel pump, might need inline fuel pressure regulator but still cheaper than Honda pump.
My Goldwing runs a carbureted cage pump that was 20 dollars on ebay, as example

The rubber isolator bootd between airbox.carbs,.and carbs to cylinder are known to dry and crack
They go on a certain way including special clamps
Easy to overtighten or not get pushed on enough making air leak
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
You may be able to use an aftermarket fuel pump, might need inline fuel pressure regulator but still cheaper than Honda pump.
My Goldwing runs a carbureted cage pump that was 20 dollars on ebay, as example

The rubber isolator bootd between airbox.carbs,.and carbs to cylinder are known to dry and crack
They go on a certain way including special clamps
Easy to overtighten or not get pushed on enough making air leak
I'm pretty sure the 2001 shadow vlx 600 doesnt have a fuel pump but I could be wrong
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
If you had rust it needs a petcock or if screen inside, clean that.
Were fuel lines replaced?
Whats filter look like?
I have seat off, don't see any fuel filter anywhere. I've gotten the carb and fuel tank rebuilt/cleaned at the local honda dealer. Bike was running like crap when I bought it, did oil change to see dirty oil, gas tank to see dirty gas, petcock/screen cleaned, spark plugs recently pulled, cleaned and gas sprayed on em before start, didnt make it start, but the airfilter, off, with starter fluid eventually did get it running for about 30 seconds and she sounded pretty purty for a shadow, just wondering what i can do to get it started again and keep it that way at this point.
 

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I’ve never heard of ‘spraying’ gas on a spark plug before. That’d be one step back from my method of gas in the cylinder or starting fluid, I’d guess. Once the ether got it going, there was probably enough vacuum to pull any gas from the carb before it died again. I know it’s hard, and takes a LOT of patience, but work your way back through the system again to make sure your fuel is flowing, without obstruction.

Axman‘s idea to rig up a gravity-feed bucket is a VERY good one. Would save a lot of time, especially if you have a vacuum fuel petcock. If it ran good for those twenty seconds, it may not need any carb adjustments. The key is to get it running consistently. THEN you start adjusting to smoothen it out. If you’re running it and the plugs are white and you get a lot of popping during deceleration... and the screws are at or near the end of their adjustment, that’s when you think about changing jets.
 

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I have seat off, don't see any fuel filter anywhere. I've gotten the carb and fuel tank rebuilt/cleaned at the local honda dealer. Bike was running like crap when I bought it, did oil change to see dirty oil, gas tank to see dirty gas, petcock/screen cleaned, spark plugs recently pulled, cleaned and gas sprayed on em before start, didnt make it start, but the airfilter, off, with starter fluid eventually did get it running for about 30 seconds and she sounded pretty purty for a shadow, just wondering what i can do to get it started again and keep it that way at this point.
With running like crap and an after fire and running with air filter off makes me want you to review this thread:

This model carb has a Needle Jet which goes missing unless very careful when pulling it apart. (May be the previous owner missed it when putting together making it run like crap in first place. Check the above thread - post # 10. I have the same bike, but I'm not clearly understanding your problem completely to give an ideal suggestion. This model doesn't have fuel pump. Its just a vacuum operated petcock and if if the carb bowl has fuel filled up when cranked, then its all good. Given it ran for few seconds I'm assuming the sparks are good. You may've to focus on Carb mainly - Needle jet - Pilot screw and check for any blockage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
With running like crap and an after fire and running with air filter off makes me want you to review this thread:

This model carb has a Needle Jet which goes missing unless very careful when pulling it apart. (May be the previous owner missed it when putting together making it run like crap in first place. Check the above thread - post # 10. I have the same bike, but I'm not clearly understanding your problem completely to give an ideal suggestion. This model doesn't have fuel pump. Its just a vacuum operated petcock and if if the carb bowl has fuel filled up when cranked, then its all good. Given it ran for few seconds I'm assuming the sparks are good. You may've to focus on Carb mainly - Needle jet - Pilot screw and check for any blockage.

I did the spark plugs today and an oil change yesterday, the oil was as dark as the otherside of the moon and the sparkplugs were too, it almost started first try but started about 3 or 4th try with some starter fluid on the open carb. It ran and sounded mean for about 20-30 seconds again and then it sounds almost like it just couldn't maintain idle and just chokes itself out ~ also if i touch the throttle it dies instantly. I will review that carb post, In a perfect world it would be the makeshift fuel-line the last owner put on the bike that is the issue, but somehow i doubt that is the end of my problems.

~ The thing with my carb is that I got it worked on at the one place that is considered official in my area of Long Island, New York ~ Fun Wheels, Inc. The only honda motorcycle dealer for about 40 miles. Everyone with a japanese bike near me has most likely dropped it off at some point and they specifically told me they were rebuilding the carb, seperately charging me for a cleaning and also the rebuild kit install. I ended up paying 290$ for carb rebuild and fuel tank to be cleaned/sealed. This makes me want to assume the carb is at least of working order and also that I now have to keep additional costs to a minimum, trying not to let the bills run too high before the bike has even hit the road once.

PS: I am going to see If I can get the bike starting, running on video so maybe one of you veterans could see my dilemma. When it starts it seems like it could run forever and then in a moment, it is suffocated and dead before you know it.
 

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Crank it for a bit then drain the float bowls with the drain screws and see if 1 or 2 ounces of gas runs out.
The fuel supply may not be working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Crank it for a bit then drain the float bowls with the drain screws and see if 1 or 2 ounces of gas runs out.
The fuel supply may not be working.
I drained one of the floats, gas came pouring out.... so what the hell does that mean for me? Gas is getting into the carb, and spark plugs seem to be wet. Now im confused.
 

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If you drained a float, there's your problem right there, ... floats won't float if they are full of fuel, and they NEED to float.

If you drained ONE of the float BOWLS, that suggests there is more than one.

If you have more than one Float Bowls, then you have more than one Carb.

If you have dual carb, that's probably not a 2001, although it might say 2001 on the title. It's not unknown for dealers to title imports when they get SOLD, and not when they get BUILT. Pretty sure the single carb VT600C was introduced in 1999, but one with dual carbs could certainly have still been in dealer stock a year and a half later.

To the best of my knowledge, dual carb VT600s had a fuel pump, and single carb VT600s had a vacuum operated petcock and were gravity fed. Either way, I'd bet $100 there's a fuel filter intended to be somewhere in the system, perhaps built into the carb? Previous owners can change a lot of things, though.

For the sake of clearing up confusion of everybody trying to help you, it would be helpful for you to either figure out exactly what you are working on there, or post some pictures for everybody to see. Having asked several times if the machine is single or dual carburetor, and getting no answer, I'm personally going to drop out of this one.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
If you drained a float, there's your problem right there, ... floats won't float if they are full of fuel, and they NEED to float.

If you drained ONE of the float BOWLS, that suggests there is more than one.

If you have more than one Float Bowls, then you have more than one Carb.

If you have dual carb, that's probably not a 2001, although it might say 2001 on the title. It's not unknown for dealers to title imports when they get SOLD, and not when they get BUILT. Pretty sure the single carb VT600C was introduced in 1999, but one with dual carbs could certainly have still been in dealer stock a year and a half later.

To the best of my knowledge, dual carb VT600s had a fuel pump, and single carb VT600s had a vacuum operated petcock and were gravity fed. Either way, I'd bet $100 there's a fuel filter intended to be somewhere in the system, perhaps built into the carb? Previous owners can change a lot of things, though.

For the sake of clearing up confusion of everybody trying to help you, it would be helpful for you to either figure out exactly what you are working on there, or post some pictures for everybody to see. Having asked several times if the machine is single or dual carburetor, and getting no answer, I'm personally going to drop out of this one.

Good Luck!
Farewell my friend, It is a SINGLE CARB, for anyone who is wondering. Absolutely no fuel filter in between the tank and the carb so I am lost as far as that.
 

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It’s just hard to tell when we’re at arm’s length.

Okay, so gas is getting into your bowls. Could it be possible TOO much is getting in? So the float might be sticking open inside the bowl?
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
It’s just hard to tell when we’re at arm’s length.

Okay, so gas is getting into your bowls. Could it be possible TOO much is getting in? So the float might be sticking open inside the bowl?
I guess it is possible, would that mean the petcock is actually shot? Everything was pretty much complete garbage in the fuel system, but i figured cleaning the petcock screen would be alright. Is it possible the petcock is allowing too much fuel to the carb? What would cause TOO much gas to get into the float?
 
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