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Discussion Starter #1
My recently purchased, low mileage 1996 VLX is very hard to start when cold. With the choke pulled out, the engine fires up but runs only a second and stalls. After about six or more attempts, I can get the engine running and keep it going by giving some throttle and pushing in the choke. When it can handle more RPM's, without stumbling, I give it more throttle and warm the engine about 2 minutes before taking off.

I have a friend who just bought a 1994 VLX and, with the choke on, it fires up and runs on the first try. I can live with a 2 minute warmup in 40 - 50 degree weather, but the hard start does not seem right.

Are all 600 VLX's so hard to start when cold? Mine is a 1996 deluxe with two carbs and 4,000 miles. The maintenance manual indicates I should check the Starting Enrichment valves (SE valves) They may be a little gummy and not engaging fully. Is there an easy way check the SE valves?

Once the engine is running, if I pull the choke out the RPM's go up a little, but not a lot. Sometimes I have to giggle the choke lever, when it is fully out to get the RPM's up.

:?:
 

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The VLX has a rep for being cold natured, but not THAT cold. Mine will sometimes die after the first crank when it's 30F or below, but fire right back up and run ok (with a little help from the throttle for half a minute).
I'm not familiar with the setup of a dual carb model. Someone will chime in here soon.
 
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garyklee said:
The maintenance manual indicates I should check the Starting Enrichment valves (SE valves) They may be a little gummy and not engaging fully.
I think you're on the right track. My ACE does the same thing if it sits for any length of time. If you add 3 ounces of SeaFoam carb cleaner (available at auto parts stores) to a full tank of gas, it should help with your hard starting.

Your bike should start right up with the choke pulled out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
DynoBobSlick said:
If you add 3 ounces of SeaFoam carb cleaner (available at auto parts stores) to a full tank of gas, it should help with your hard starting.

Your bike should start right up with the choke pulled out.
Thanks DynoBobSlick,

I'll try the SeaFoam - carb cleaner in the tank. I hope that can loosen up the starting enrichment valves on each carb. Otherwise, I have to pull the gas tank along with a number of other procedures to get to the carbs.

I bought the bike from the original owner with only 2,000 miles on it. It's a 1996 so it must have sat in the garage for a very long time. He did say that he had to have someone come out to work on the carbs.

The engine fires right up when warm and runs and idles just fine. (I've put 2,000 miles on it since I bought it.) When it sits over night, specially in cold weather, it is very hard to get it fired up as I mentioned. All things indicate the choke is not functioning correctly.

Thanks for the SeaFoam tip - way easier than getting to the SE valves.
 

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:D :D Hi My ride 88 vt600 vlx starts first time every time
in cold weather with full choke, :D :D I use a clothes peg
to keep it open for a while till it warms up to idle speed.
 

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NO PROBLEM AT -2 YESTERDAY

Garyklee,
I went out yesterday after the low went down to -2 degrees. The high was only 14 degrees and my 2005 VLX600 started right up. I go out and start it at least once or twice a week just so it doesn't freeze up. I let it run for a while. Won't take it out on the rode with the nasty black ice. Don't want to hurt the bike or myself...
UTAHMAN
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: NO PROBLEM AT -2 YESTERDAY

UTAHMAN said:
...
Won't take it out on the rode with the nasty black ice. Don't want to hurt the bike or myself...
UTAHMAN
Utahman,

Yep, I've had first hand experience with black ice. I was climbing over a mountain on a winter bicycle tour and saw what I thought was just some water running down the road from melting snow. Wrong! It was black ice. Both wheels shot out from under me in a flash and I smacked the road hard on my right hip. I was lucky, no broken bones. But hitting black ice on a motorcycle would be a very bad scene.

The only time you'll see black ice in San Diego is out in east county up in the mountains. I rode last weekend at lower elevations with temps in the low 40's and levis and long johns were not enough to keep my legs warm. I can't imagine riding in weather at -2!!!

Anyways I doubt if I could get my bike running with the choke not working right. I'll check around to see who carries Seafoam locally.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TiBookGuy said:
garyklee,

See posting...
http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=421360#421360

especially the first and last post. But yes, under normal curcumstances, it starts with just a "tap" of the starter.

Try some SeaFoam and let us know what happens.
Thanks, I saw this thread earlier before you wrote the last posting. I'm 99% positive my choke (SE valves) are not working as designed. Most likely due to the original owner storing the bike for too long without stabilizing the fuel in the tank.

I've gotta call around to find this SeaFom. I tried Gumout carb cleaner with no results. My VLX will always start with one tap of the starter when warm - no choke needed.

When the temp is below 50 degrees and the bike sits over night, it is a real bear to start as described.

I wonder whether the low speed drive home with carb cleaner in the tank uses and cleans the carb's low speed jets - perhaps the same that are used during start-up and idle? Do you think the lower driving speed made a difference in cleaning the choke related SE valves?
 

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imthedaddy said:
:D :D Hi My ride 88 vt600 vlx starts first time every time
in cold weather with full choke, :D :D I use a clothes peg
to keep it open for a while till it warms up to idle speed.
There's an easier way than the clothes pin. Under the rubber cover over the choke body (not the knob itself) is a collar that is supposed to keep the choke from turning itself off. If you twist it, you can tighten it up and toss the clothes pin out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update on SeaFoam carb cleaner

Thanks for the SeaFoam tip,

In this case seafoam is not enough to clean the SEV valves. I've ridden through three tanks of gas using 3 Oz. of SeaFoam in each tank and it has not completely cleaned up the sticking starting enrichment valves that the choke activates on cold starts. The bike still takes about eight fire up attempts before it will run without stalling.

It's pretty clear I'll have to get to the carbs and manually clean the SEV valves to get the choke working right again. I decided since I have work on the carbs, I may as well rejet with a dynojet kit.

I'll post my results once the job is done and I've run through a couple of tanks of gas. I'm curious as to how the rejet will impact gas mileage. I'm currently getting between 57 - 62 MPG - 57 for commuting and 62 for back coutry riding with few stops. Some VLX owners claim they get more MPG's after a rejet which seems counter-intuitive but plausible if you don't have to twist the throttle as much after the rejet.
 

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Thanks for the update! I try to ride mine enough nothing has time to get gummed up. I am interested in how your rejet goes, I like my stock exhaust but if a rejet would improve performance I'd go for it. Yours is a bit more complicated than mine since you have two carbs and I only have one, but I'm looking forward to your results anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Trueseaker said:
I am interested in how your rejet goes, I like my stock exhaust but if a rejet would improve performance I'd go for it.
For those of you interested, I completed rejetting my 96 VLX this weekend. If you've never worked on your bike before, I have few recommendations:

1. Make sure you have the Haynes workshop manual. The DynoJet instructions assume you already have the carburetors removed.

2. Label the hoses after you remove them. I used a marker and masking tape. There are too many dang hoses on late model carburetors. Once you have them all off, it's not intuitive where they reconnect to.

3. Rejet one carburetor at a time so you don't lose track of what you've already done.

4. Finally on my bike, the plug for the pilot screw is quite small in diameter. It's just slightly larger than the drill bit supplied in the kit.

The entire job took me most of Saturday because it was my first time. Now that I know what I'm doing I could do it in a quarter of the time.

My Impression of the results:
There is a very noticeable difference in throttle response and it is definitely worth the effort. On my test ride the bike seemed to come alive and had more acceleration snap to it then ever before. This makes the bike even more fun in the twisties.

When I had the carburetors out, I also cleaned out the SEV valves which is why I embarked on this project in the first place. :D
 

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Thanks for the update. I have the Honda service manual so I'm all set there. I do have a couple of questions for you though:

1.) How much did your jet kit cost?

2.) Are you running stock exhaust?

Thanks, ~Josh
 

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So......

Did cleaning the SEV help with cold starts?
(Inquiring minds want to know...)

Gumpy
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Trueseaker said:
I do have a couple of questions for you though:

1.) How much did your jet kit cost?

2.) Are you running stock exhaust?

Thanks, ~Josh
Hi Josh,

I purchased the 1145 Dynojet kit from a seller on eBay:

http://stores.ebay.com/Yamaha-of-Troy-Racing

The cost for my bike was 62.95 plus 5.95 shipping. The two carburetor kits are more expensive. I'm running the stock exhaust. The kit comes with two sets of main jets:

108 main jets for stock exhaust
112 main jets for after market, high flow system

I suppose there's a bit more response to be had with after market exhaust systems, but the stock system sounds acceptable to me and more importantly doesn't piss off the neighbors and family when I fire up the bike at 7:00 AM to leave for work.

:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gumpy said:
So......

Did cleaning the SEV help with cold starts?
(Inquiring minds want to know...)

Gumpy
Thanks for asking, that was the original point for this whole thread.
Yes! The VLX now fires up on the first try. It's still a cold-blooded beast and needs warming for a couple of minutes before driving off, but the original problem has been solved.

Also for those of you with varnished up SEV valves, I discovered that on my 96, it is not necessary to remove the carbs to clean the valves. You only need to remove the air cleaner assembly to expose the right-side SEV valve and the left-side can be accessed directly.

The SEV valves are covered by a black rubber housing. You can pull the rubber housing away from each carb just enough to shoot some carb cleaner into the valve opeinig. The valve is spring loaded so pulling the housing uncovers the valve opening and works the little cylinder valve plug at the same time. When I did the right SEV valve, I noticed it was definitely stuck - I shot more cleaner and worked the valve plug loose and that did the trick.

I guess I could have stopped there, but now I have a jetted VLX which puts a grin on my face every time I ride it. Hey and I did it myself...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Impact of carb re-jet on gas mileage

I promised to get back with the gas mileage results after re-jetting my VLX with Dynojet 108 mains.

Prior to the re-jet, I was getting:
57 - 64 MPG.
After about 5 or 6 tank refills, my average is now
55 - 66 MPG.

The 55 MPG was mostly freeway commuting at 75 MPH. The 66 MPG was a long back roads ride with a friend returning to the sport rather cautiously. Both rides were at the extreme ends of gas consumption.

I'd say that at freeway speeds, gas mileage has dropped a bit. On the other hand, long canyon cruises at moderate speeds and lower RPM's seems to have yielded a slight increase in gas mileage - 1 -2 MPG.

So the answer is - gas mileage has both dropped and increased after the re-jet. Anyone want to come up with a theory on why?
:eek:
 
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