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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, this past weekend I got my bike to the point where I can put fuel in it and it will no longer leak! Wohoo! My battery is good and is trying to crank. The problem I am running into now is that my bike will not start. I previously checked all ignition wires and am getting a spark on them (test spark plug). I have not tested the plugs in the engine themselves. I pulled the fuel lines off the top of the carbs and fuel came out of them, so I know fuel is making it to the carb. Here's the question. How should I proceed? Pulling that carbs on this model is booger due to the top boots from what I understand (especially from the right side...radiator hose and two ignition wires..yay!!), so I really don't want to pull the carbs. Do I check the spark plugs themselves? If so, what size socket? I have a socket set, but the spark plug socket doesn't seem to fit. I have seafoam and b12 cleaner, so I'm ready to clean, one way or another. I just want to avoid pulling carbs.

One last thing: my bike is missing the choke lever, which I have on order and should be to me by Friday. Once I have it, I can actually choke my bike...yay!

Thanks to everyone for the help. I feel like I am slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
 

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When you're able to choke the bike like is necessary, try it and come on back with the results. In the mean time get some seafoam in the carbs if you haven't already.
 

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How long has the bike been down? If it's been a long time, you'll have to pull the carbs. For the sparkplugs you need a 18mm thinwall, 6 point deep socket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How long has the bike been down? If it's been a long time, you'll have to pull the carbs. For the sparkplugs you need a 18mm thinwall, 6 point deep socket.

At least 6 months, probably closer to a year. From what I understand, the bike died on him (he said the engine got hot on him, then died) and he basically put it in the garage and didn't mess with it until me. Now I'm trying to get it running. Pulling the carbs on this bike is a pain due to the upper carb boots...is that correct? I've tried to "roll" the boots up but had no success in getting them to roll up all the way around..oi.
 

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All the Shadows are a pain but I'm betting that your carbs are pretty gunked. The more you work on the bike the easier it gets. I had an 82 Magna which is a V-4 engine that was even harder to get the carbs on and off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All the Shadows are a pain but I'm betting that your carbs are pretty gunked. The more you work on the bike the easier it gets. I had an 82 Magna which is a V-4 engine that was even harder to get the carbs on and off.
Interesting..you'd think Honda would try to make it easy on the "little man". it looks like I'll be pulling some carbs, in addition to checking out the spark plugs and getting the choke lever installed. Once I've got that done, since I've physically cleaned the carbs, should I still run seafoam through it?
 

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Interesting..you'd think Honda would try to make it easy on the "little man". it looks like I'll be pulling some carbs, in addition to checking out the spark plugs and getting the choke lever installed. Once I've got that done, since I've physically cleaned the carbs, should I still run seafoam through it?
If the bike has only been down 6-12 mos. the seafoam may be all you need. At least I'd try it before pulling the carbs and all that's entailed. I'd be more concerned about the bike getting hot enough to kill it and the after effects. I'd make sure it was mechanically sound and doesn't rattle like a can of rocks or use a lot of oil before I'd put a great deal of money into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
swapped out the plugs, make sure I could get spark. had to use some starter fluid, but it's running! i let it set for about 5 minutes and then tried to "goose" it. it hesitated on me, so I'm wondering if a) it wasn't warm enough yet (the choke level hasn't been installed) or 2) the idle jet (i think that's right) needs to be cleaned.

thoughts, anyone?


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Don't disassemble the carbs until you let it warm up & get the choke fixed. My bike takes about 3 miles of riding, or about 10 minutes of idling, before it's warmed up enough to run correctly. And I'm parked in a temp & humidity controlled garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow. Thanks for the heads up. Used to have a Suzuki 600 bobber that warmed up in about three minutes. Guess I should have accounted for the larger motor and two carbs. Thanks!


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
so, not to ask a ignorant question, but when I get my choke leve on my bike, do I need to start it with the choke lever all the way up or down? the arrow points down, so i'm assuming that means with it down it would be fully choked, yes? this is what I would want to start it up cold.




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john

1987 honda shadow vt 700
 

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so, not to ask a ignorant question, but when I get my choke leve on my bike, do I need to start it with the choke lever all the way up or down? the arrow points down, so i'm assuming that means with it down it would be fully choked, yes? this is what I would want to start it up cold.




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john

1987 honda shadow vt 700
Yes, down to choke. Start out with the choke fully engaged at first. You may find that you only need partial choke to start. You'll figure it out when you start cranking it, what she wants.
 

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Yes, down to choke. Start out with the choke fully engaged at first. You may find that you only need partial choke to start. You'll figure it out when you start cranking it, what she wants.
its always what SHE wants!
:mrgreen:
 

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My 1983 shadow 750 is very cold blooded also and needs a lot of choke to get it running and stay running well. I am glad you got it running on starting fluid at least, now you know it CAN run and now all you need is fine tuning or some carb work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
so i've got the carbs off (yeah that was a pain) and have clean the components and such. im replacing the boots, but before I do, i'm just wondering: i see some rust and dirt in there...it would be a good idea to try to clean it with some wd-40 and a brush, yes? since these aren't easy to get to with the carb on? also, any tips on getting the boots where they need to be before i attempt to 'slide' the carb in and reattach everything?

honda, you made a great bike that is a pain to work on sometimes.


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john

1987 honda shadow vt 700
 

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so i've got the carbs off (yeah that was a pain) and have clean the components and such. im replacing the boots, but before I do, i'm just wondering: i see some rust and dirt in there...it would be a good idea to try to clean it with some wd-40 and a brush, yes? since these aren't easy to get to with the carb on? also, any tips on getting the boots where they need to be before i attempt to 'slide' the carb in and reattach everything?

honda, you made a great bike that is a pain to work on sometimes.


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john

1987 honda shadow vt 700
It doesn't hurt to clean it out. Before reinstalling, soak the boot in hot water for a few minutes to soften it up. Shake off the water and the rest with evaporate. It makes that old rubber a lot easier to work with.
 

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so i've got the carbs off (yeah that was a pain) and have clean the components and such. im replacing the boots, but before I do, i'm just wondering: i see some rust and dirt in there...it would be a good idea to try to clean it with some wd-40 and a brush, yes? since these aren't easy to get to with the carb on? also, any tips on getting the boots where they need to be before i attempt to 'slide' the carb in and reattach everything?
Are you seeing dirt in the intake? Past the boots? Am I reading this correctly?

If that is the case, you do NOT want to spray WD40 and knock crud loose with a brush. You will end up sending this crud into the combustion chamber. Instead, spray WD40 on a cloth and wipe it down to pick up anything loose.

I would recommend stopping there if you're not comfortable. But...if you want to clean it more than that, get a small felt or nylon brush for a Dremel - not a wire brush! - and sweep from the inside to the outside. Going the other way will push debris into the intake again. You could plug the ports with a rag and use a handheld brush, but a Dremel with a brush attachment will be much faster and more effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
when putting the carb \ boots back on, what's the best order to do it in? lower boots on, then carb on, the upper boots? lower boots on the carb, then put it in? this is going to be tight know matter what. oi. I did do a "dry fit" just to make sure it all fits, and it does. so now it's just getting it back on the bike.


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