Katana of the Month - May 2008  XMAN75

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Katana How-To's & FAQ's A forum filled with write-ups, FAQ's, and visual aids for
mechanical & cosmetic modifications to your Katana.

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Old 05-29-2006, 03:20 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 177

Default Cleaning / Fixing Carburetors ... WRITE UP w/ Pics

Ok so I see alot of questions on leaking carbs, i.e engine flooding when left for a while or hard starts when first start of the day etc..

So heres a write up to help people dismantle their carbs and rebuild them.

note: When removing the carbs try to drain them with the float bowls facing down, This means remove them from the bike but dont tip them over or around to much.

I found its alot easier to leave the throttle cable on the carbs but detach the choke cable from the carbs.

First things first lets get a pic of the carbs so you know what to remove

And my carbs with the k&n air filters

Next we need to know the tools for the job

A standard phillips and a flat head with a smaller flat head and I just like to use a razor whenever I can cause it makes it all that much more dangerous.

Now lets crack into these bad boys.
Start by removing the tops of the carbs, there are two screw holding each top

Pull the entire top with the spring out, now remove the slide with the needle.
Is this what you have?

Good, lets move on.

Remove all 4 and set them aside

IMPORTANT note to remove the o-ring located to the bottom right of the screw hole in the picture, these may have stuck to your "top caps" we removed earlier. So search them down and set them aside.

Now lets move along to the bottoms

Remove the 2 screws from each float bowl.
tip: if the screws are stripped or really stuck good you can use a dremel with a small cut off wheel to cut a slot in the screw that will allow you to use a flat head screw driver.
Replace any screws you cut.

Remove the gasket from the float bowl

Man look at all that crud

Remove the float assembly, shown in brown plastic

Inspect O-rings where my forefinger and thumb are pointing, these are often said to be the problem when your kat carbs are leaking fuel but I say its usally just dirty needles or damaged/worn needles.

Remove float needle pictured in front of my middle finger

This pic shows the float halves and float needle.
Look at all the debris that came out of there, WOW

Remove main jets

Ok time to clean, cleaning weapons of choice

To clean start on the outside of the carbs and get them real good then rinse and go to the inside pay extra attention to the inside of the float bowls.

Next clean the bowls themselves real good inside and out, try to get ALL of the brown rust colored crap out.

Clean the top caps and lightly clean the fuel needles, main jets, and float assemblies.

When you clean the slides pay extra attention to the shafts, alot of gunk can get built up on them cause them to slide slower and get hung up, this kills performance and response.

Ok now clean the float needles, after your clean them leave them soaked in gas until reassembly to keep them from drying out.

If you REALLY REALLY want some clean carbs you can throw the carbs disassembled and float bowls into the dishwasher after a good sink scrub down.
Use standard dish washer soap and fill the extra little spot with some more soap.
I usally spray them down with some fast orange then some liquid soap over the bad areas.
Load them with the ENGINE side of the carbs facing down, this would mean the INTAKE or AIR FILTER side is facing up, run one cycle then flip over with INTAKE side facing down and run again.

When using any orange type cleaner remember that it has alot of citris acid in it which means it will cause the aluminum to corrode VERY QUICKLY, so you must wash all of the orange cleaner off with soapy water directly after using it or you will have alot of white looking fuzz on your carbs and thats NO GOOD.

Now let it all set overnight disassembled to ensure everything is fully dried out.

note: when setting to dry overnight face carbs with intake/air filter side DOWN and engine side UP.
Now spray all linkages and throttle linkage springs with wd40, spray inside each barrel with wd40 covering entire butterfly valve.


Ok so heres my carbs all setup and ready to be reassembled but hold the phone, why not polish em up a lil since there sitting right here?

Look at how clean them springs are

So lets do it.

Polishing weapons of choice

Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish works great IMO

We can only really do the bowls since the carbs are casted and are pitted badly. If you can sand them down smooth then you could polish them as well.

For now we can do the float bowls though.

Start by applying the polish on a paper towl and rubbing into the metal until it turns from white to black.
Then remove the black residue with clean paper towel and repeat until desired results are achieved.


Start by reasembling the tops. Insert the needle into the slide then install the slide and finally the cap and screws, just do one at a time.

Heres the order of the needle spacers in case you forgot

It goes small plastic spacer, e-clip, big plastic spacer, bottom to top.

Flip over and install your main jets.

Reassmble the float assemblies

Install float assemblies

Reinstall gaskets on float bowls

Reinstall float bowls and marvell at your hard work

Now go put em back on and get out there and tear up some pavement
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Old 05-29-2006, 04:31 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 77


I'd like to add --

It's important NOT TO MIX UP PARTS BETWEEN CARBS. If you decide to take all four apart at the same time, please remember to label/organize things appropriately. I prefer to take them apart one at a time.

Also, carb cleaner needs to be blown through the passages. The holes are very small and very easy to block, particularily the idle enrichment.

Finally, a degreaser such as the one shown above will remove all oils and rust non-stainless materials very quickly. Instead, I recommend using a petroleum based degreaser (not before removing ALL RUBBER PARTS of course). Paint thinner, acetone, diesel fuel, compressed carb cleaner, anything like that.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:23 AM   #3
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Needlenose vice grips are GREAT at getting stripped bowl scrwes off .
Take off the little rubber plug and the pilot jet underneath . You'll need a PERFECT size screwdriver to get that out , so be careful .
Brake cleaner seems to clean better than carb cleaner . And get a bottle of compressed air from Wal Mart while you're there .
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:06 AM   #4
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Pretty good write up..
I think there could be some more details..
Like what about the FA screws?
and "Ease the floats out very carefully! they are $80 EACH!"

I like using Egg boxes, they keep things like springs and
slides from rolling away. Also small yogurt containers with lids. Mark then 1,2,3,4 and keep the small parts in them..
You never know when something could come up and
distract you from the task.. (Now who's jet was this??)
Another tip?
Use two coffe cans to set the carbs on.
The bodies will fit into the open top and
allow you to put pressure on things like the bowl screws without grinding the carb tops into the bench...
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:59 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 177


Good tips, I just wanted to start this to give people a crash course in carb rebuild / repair / cleaning so they can stop saying "I need new carbs mine are leaking" and just man up and fix em.

I did forget to mention it is important to take note and seperate parts so you know how they go back together.

Ive ripped apart so many bike carbs that you can mail me a set in pieces and ill send em back perfectly working like new with everything like it should be

Dont worry, jet a couple bikes that have work done to them without a dyno and you'll be right up there too
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:51 PM   #6
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I personally clicked "File | Save as" and just grabbed the whole thing onto my long term storage. Not many web pages that rate like that.

Thanks for passing the knowledge to us newb's out here.

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Old 06-04-2006, 05:15 AM   #7
Tank Slapper
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Allentown,PA
Posts: 372


Thanx for the great write-up I will be using this in conjuction with Trinc's Jet kit install when I receive my Ivan's Jet Kit on Tuesday and go to clean my carbs and install the Jet kit.
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:02 AM   #8
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which screws are the ones that i need to count the turns on? i have a set of carbs from a friend's FZR 600 that i told him i'd clean up.

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Old 06-07-2006, 12:52 AM   #9
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If they haven't been jetted yet , there will be brass caps over said screws . If it HAS been tampered with however , the will be the ones just outside the float bowls towards the engine . Little flathead deals .
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Old 06-27-2006, 08:53 AM   #10
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Hi this write up is really great thanks a lot for taking your time for us
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