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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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Discussion Starter #1
So I was looking for floats.
Honda in Canada wants 50 loonies plus tax for a float for a Keihin VD series carb, the kind found on most twin carb Shadows from VT400 to VT1100.
Honda also uses a substitute part # for a whole lot of bikes with differing float heights which is particularly weird given the text in the manual about float height adjustment being evil and you should buy a new one.
I went looking for aftermarket floats and found floats for almost anything except these carbs.
And then I came across these:
So I was waiting for some other carb parts from the USA and thought WTFish I'll give them a shot for 10 USD.

Two weeks later the little box with the floats arrived from China with the mail man, who handed them to me with rubber gloves at arms length.
I had a set of 1988 Honda floats on a shelf and I compared them and they looked identical other than a minor difference in the end caps.
They weighed the same as the Honda floats, floated the same.
Further testing for a week in a jar of gasoline convinced me they were not going to melt, warp or sink at least not in a hurry.

So tonight I fitted them in my project carbs, adjusted the tab to give the rather low 9.2 mm height this particular variation requires and once things get a little calmer around here* I hope to get them plugged into the bike and do some jetting runs to get them dialed in.

* Currently I'm only allowed out on the bike for essentials and being of somewhat elevated health risk, domestically I'm rocking the boat going out at all.
I think my wife pictures me zooming along with a big smile pulling Corona Virus out of the air like a great white whale sucking up plankton in the ocean.

Anyway at some point things will become more normal, I will be allowed out for test and tune days and I will report further on my carb swap and any further findings on the floats.
In the mean time I will keep the bike as it is and only use it for runs for essential items, I will try to time it right to minimize getting "the look".
 

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How did it go with the floats? I am looking to rebuild the carburetor of the Honda NV400 NC12 I have as I haven’t been able to find a replacement carburetor here in Vietnam. The NV400 is extremely rare and I have ordered two renovation sets from Amazon but they seem to not have floats in them. I am also struggling to find a throttle slide as the one in my carburetor is rusty.
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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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By the pictures of your bike it looks just like the vt500 we see here. Maybe those carbs are the same with different jet sizes.
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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Discussion Starter #4
They worked out fine for me.
They should work for your carb too since it is a VD series.

I found they were indistinguishable from the originals once I bent the tabs to suit the float height.
I have not put a lot of miles on the carbs for testing and they are currently off the bike again as I'm running a different set until I get more tuning time.

That is a JDM bike that was also sold in various parts of Asia, it didn't make it to North America, looks like it will make a fun ride once you get it up and running.
I don't have any advice for a slide for that one other than maybe check out the ones for the VT400 Steed, the dual carb versions also use the VD carbs, they are probably the same or close to the same and it is a more common bike with a fair bit of aftermarket support.

@swifty2014 is right it does look similar to the VT500 models so that may also a direction to examine, the VT500E that it looks most like was fairly rare too.

Sorry I can't be more helpful other than to say that Honda has a habit of using the same parts over various models and interchange is not really well documented, but often possible. Best of luck in your search.
 

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Hi guys, thank you for the responses. I will definitely order the floats from Ali as well and hopefully they will fit. Fingers crossed that once I renovate the carburetor it will work to a certain extent and then I can continue my search for a new carburetor with a functional motorbike.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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Since we seem to have all the gurus attention, I am wondering if the simple function of a float requires so much consideration? I am a bit complexed by how the float would fail. Its a plastic piece enclosing air on a pivot. Plus the entire mechanism is protected in the carb body. So is the failure due to interaction? Just dropped the bottom of my 69 Amals and floats OK.
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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Discussion Starter #7
Since we seem to have all the gurus attention, I am wondering if the simple function of a float requires so much consideration? I am a bit complexed by how the float would fail. Its a plastic piece enclosing air on a pivot. Plus the entire mechanism is protected in the carb body. So is the failure due to interaction? Just dropped the bottom of my 69 Amals and floats OK.
I'm no float guru just a bike shed hermit, go away!

You are right there is not too much that can go wrong with the floats they are plastic and don't often crack, leak, dent or get heavy and sink like the soldered brass ones of ancient times.
In regular use they are trouble free.

They do tend to accumulate deposits over time that tends to make them get a little heavy, they are cleanable if the solvent is not too aggressive, but tend to retain an orange colour rather than the original white.
The pivot hole for the pin can get out of round, the metal tab that contacts the needle can get weak causing changes in float level, the rivets that hold the tab to the plastic can back out.
Problems with the tab are generally caused by aggressive adjustment in the past, by the 21st Century Honda eventually recommended replacing the float if the fuel level was out of spec. rather than readjust it by bending as was shown in earlier manuals even though it was physically the same part.

At one point Honda had different part numbers on these for different models of bike, now days in the OEM listings there are substitutes that do not differentiate and I guess if your brand new float doesn't meet the float height specifications you have little choice other than bending the tab!!!

These were the last of the adjustable floats on Shadows when Honda went to the Keihin VE carb the whole thing became plastic including the tab and if out of spec. you are also meant to replace them, although I have heard of people heating and bending the tab that doesn't sound like my kind of fun.

That is the story. (-:
 

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...They do tend to accumulate deposits over time that tends to make them get a little heavy, they are cleanable if the solvent is not too aggressive, but tend to retain an orange colour rather than the original white...
Mine are definitely no longer white but are still within spec. My engine has been fed Top Tier PON 87 E10 all its life (1995) and a Stabilized PON 91 E10 once a year for 6 months storage perhaps that is keeping the carbs cleaned.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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When wondering how the float circuit works just look in the toilet tank. Exact same principle.
 

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Okay guys, I know this is changing the topic, but after speaking to a few mechanics, even with the renovation kit they are unsure if they can get this carburetor to work. Where do I begin searching for a new one? I am completely lost and heart broken that I can’t rebuild this bike.
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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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Discussion Starter #12
So far I can't see anything that a good cleaning and new hoses and possibly other rubber bits would not fix.
Judging from the sealant used at the carb bowls somebody has been into them before who did not know what they were doing.
Carburetor bodies rarely wear out, they just get dirty and clogged up.
A bike sitting for a long time with old fuel in it is the biggest cause of problems.
Many people, mechanics included don't like to dig into them as they can be time consuming and potentially frustrating and so they spend crazy money to replace them instead.

I'd guess a pair of carbs from a more common and somewhat newer Honda Shadow VT400 Steed with the twin carbs would replace those with little if any problem.
Other than the drive difference they are as far as I can tell close to the same engine.
I would replace all the rubber fuel lines and the carb boots too.
 

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The carbs should still be usable unless they have damage. The throttle shafts may wear but it still will run, The passages may clog, but still are cleanable, jets can be replaced, Slides, diaphrams, etc.
It may take extra time and care but they should still run.
 
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So the restoration set that I ordered from the US is delayed until December, I am starting to doubt if they will arrive, fingers crossed. We took the carb apart today and started cleaning it. It would be awesome if we can get it to run until the parts arrive and then we do a full restoration.
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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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Discussion Starter #15
You have a lot of cleaning to do, it generally appears to be all there and recoverable.
The slide diaphragms seem free of holes.
Do you have any parts sources locally?
Not a whole kit, but somewhere you might get individual pieces, float bowl gaskets and possibly a needle and seat for the floats?
That one float needle is missing its wire clip.
It also looks like new slow jets might be needed, judging from the condition of the screwdriver slot they have been in and out a few times before and the small hole in them often gets worn large by peoples cleaning attempts.
I'm thinking these carbs are not too bad, other than they have been poorly maintained and have obviously sat for awhile with bad/old fuel in them.

I'm wishing you luck on this project these carbs look recoverable to me.
 
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