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Discussion Starter #1
Hi:
I’m a new rider and bike owner.
My bike has sat for a couple of years (garaged). I started it a few months ago and it would run on choke and for a few seconds without choke. I know it’s the crappy gas I left in it ( learning curve) and will only put the non ethanol gas in in the future with stabilizer.
My question is:
Should i monkey with fresh gas with fuel additive ( carburetor cleaner)as well as take off the air box and judiciously use carburetor spray or find the money for the local shop to clean and rebuild the carburetor?
I’ve watched the carburetor cleaning/rebuilding videos and my skill set is not at that level now.
My loca shop rate is $100hr.
The shop claims that if I get it running by the spray method, I won’t be solving the long term damage I’ve already done to the carburetor internal parts?
Any knowledgeable thoughts would be appreciated,
Thanks
Delrayshadow
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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15,252 Posts
Always remind us of what bike it is. If it will run at all maybe some Seafoam or Berrymans in the fuel will help.
Drain the float bowls first to get most of the bottom gunk out. Then see if it will start and go from there.
A manual is a good thing to read.Learn your bike.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Start simple and go up from there.
If the jets are not plugged badly it may clean out and run fine.
If not, then go for the carb rebuild.
Look for rust in the tank and change the fuel filter also.
 
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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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Magic chemicals added to the gas may work they do sometimes for some people.
Based on my experience I'd buy a couple of float bowl gaskets, a couple of cans of aerosol carb cleaner and a JIS screwdriver (looks like a Phillips #2 but isn't) for the screws, and take the carbs off and clean them. Take pictures with your cell phone of all the hoses and where they go before you start and as you proceed, a few minutes extra well spent.
Typically the main jets and pilot jets will be clogged, however if you are gentle and don't soak the rubber stuff with carb cleaner you won't need a rebuild kit, in fact you won't need the bowl gaskets unless you didn't buy them. (-;
A copy of the Honda Service Manual is a must and you can find one from a link in this forum, if you can't find it just yell.
It's not rocket science, more like a simple puzzle, and all will work out fine if everything goes back as you found it only clean.
The first time you take the carbs off it will probably take a few hours so allow a morning for all the work, but it is a thing that gets faster each time you do it.
Some people claim they can pull the carbs of a VT750 ACE in 15 minutes, it takes me longer than that, but I tend to fumble and drop things, you don't want me on your team. (-;
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks
CSroads and everyone else.
I will change out the fuel with a good additive, and try the carburetor spray.
If still is not running well, I’ll let a shop do the work when I can afford it. Going forward, I’ll be mindful to use the ethanol free gas with stabilizer.
Thanks
Delrayshadow
 

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2019 Honda Shadow 750 Aero
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373 Posts
I think that the key after you get it running is not which gas you use but how often you ride it or not. If it sits for an extended period of time you're going to get the same problem over and over.
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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I think that the key after you get it running is not which gas you use but how often you ride it or not. If it sits for an extended period of time you're going to get the same problem over and over.
That is when the choice of gas becomes critical, I leave my bike sitting in winter for 3 or 4 months then I use the alcohol free premium gas and stabilizer.
If a Shadow sits for a week at most, then any decent pump gas will do as long as it 87 octane and no more than 10% ethanol.
 

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Hey Delray, go for it , the manual is pretty good if it's your first time messing with the carbs.. and this forum is chock full of advice, if you don't separate the carbs it's not too bad.. just be gentle and take your time, take pictures along the way and go in reverse for reassembly, and if you get lost ,You Tube has a ton of vids to watch.. TJBrutal costoms has vids on his site as well. Good luck and keep us posted. I did mine and all went well, used the manual, You Tube and this forum, if I could do it, you can too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you Grizzlywolf67!
I would like to be able to do a job like this.
Just afraid of screwing it up!
I’ve messed around with boat diesels for years, but never was a wiz with small combustion engines. Understand them, just never messed with them. If I don’t do this one myself then I hope to do the next project.
My brother trained as a mechanic and is now a great shade tree mechanic. He will be retiring down to Florida soon, then I’ll have a great teacher.
Thanks again for all the replies
Delrayshadow
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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Hi Delray,

Reviewing your posts, you are a new rider and new owner with limited mechanical experience possibly few tools and no shop manual. Carb removal, cleaning, installation and synching is not a simple job. Here's what I would suggest:

Drain the fuel (use it in a car?).
You keep mentioning carb spray but that is the wrong fluid. Find a liquid that goes in the gas tank. Berrymans or Seafoam have been mentioned. Something like Quickstart is a spray to help start the engine but it seems like yours is starting.

If the carbs are too gummed up they may need removal and cleaning but no harming in trying the quick fix. I doubt there is permanent damage to the carbs so what the shop means is the carb jets are so gummed that a fuel additive will not help.

My bikes are stored 6 months and I actually prefer E10 but use a slightly higher PON at 91 when storing. I have been using E10 since 1987.

Once you get a manual, proper tools and have done a bunch of maintenance items, more complicated services gets easier.
 

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What others have said. If it'll start up an ONLY run on choke, your main fuel jet is clogged and the only fix is to remove the carbs, unscrew the jets and either replace or clean. It's typically easier to replace (they're only about $10). If you can get it to run, even poorly, with the choke off, then your jets are only partially clogged and potentially running clean fuel with an additive through them will clean them over time. If that's the case, then drain what fuel you have in there, add fresh fuel, then add SeaFoam or Berrymans to your fuel and try to run it.
Carbs can be kind of scary and you are smart to not monkey with something like that if you don't feel up to it. This forum is chock full of threads from good people who tried a repair and got in over their heads. Seldom do things turn out well in those situations.
$100 an hour shop rate isn't bad, I can't imagine any shop taking more than 2 hours, 3 at the max. It might well be worth your money to have a mech eyeball it. Once your carbs are clean, they should stay fine as long as you ensure you only run clean fuel and not let it sit too long.
 
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