Newbie w/ carb issues - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie w/ carb issues

I'll introduce myself and explain the crazy way I came to own a bike again another day.

I bought a 2007 V-Star 1100 Classic on Father's Day. The bike was purchased new just over three years ago and has less than 1500 miles. Most recently it has been sitting for an undetermined amount of time. The seller did dump the old fuel about three months ago and add new gas, but it was running rough (spittin, sputterin, backfirin, and an overall lack of power.
The only mods added are Hard Krome pipes and a jet kit that was supposedly installed by Houston Yamaha a little over a year ago.
I ran a heavy mix of Sea Foam through a tank of fuel with no improvement. Changed the plugs and found the rear plug to be dry. Getting plenty of spark, but no fuel to the rear.

I pulled the fuel cut off solenoid and found some grit on the little plunger. I grounded the solenoid and turned the ignition off and on and it appeared that the solenoid was sticking. Can anyone tell me what the purpose of this part is, and could it be responsible for my issue? Since the bike sat so long, do y'all think that the jets could be completely clogged? I'm hesitant to think that the problem is just grime in the carb since the front carb appears to be fine.

Can the two fuel cut off solenoids be swapped? They have slightly different part numbers and different colored wires, but appear to be identical in nature. My thought process is to swap them and see if my issue reverses itself and I lose fuel to the other cylinder. Other than a few minutes turning wrenches this would be a cheap way to diagnose.

Thanks for any help in advance......Q
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 10:09 PM
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Guess I'm figuring the carbs are blocked. If no gas gets through the Sea Foam can't do much.

Some info here.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 12:46 AM
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From the description of your problem and sequence of events your fuel cutoff solenoids have nothing to do with your problem. It only has 1500 miles on it and it sounds like it has sat for 1 to 2 years. That's what has caused your problem. All it needs is a complete carburetor rebuild by a competent mechanic, preferably at your local Yamaha dealer. The reason I recommend a Yamaha dealer is because they will have access to any of the OE parts, o-rings, etc. that may be needed to refresh them correctly. They should be completely stripped and soaked in a quality carburetor solvent that will desolve all of the dried up sediment left behind from the dried up fuel. After soaking they should be brushed and cleaned with a standard cleaning solvent and carefully blow compressed air through every circuit to completely clear it. It's the only way to be sure everything is thoroughly clean. If it's done shodely with a can of contact cleaner you can do it quicker but chances are high you won't get everything completely clean and will still suffer rough running to some degree. All it takes is a partially colgged pilot fuel delivery circuit on one of the carburetors to make it sputter, backfire, idle rough, not idle at all or run rough in general. All of the newer fuel formulas for the past 3 or more years are much drier than ever before, leaving behind residue and little crusty flakes once it dries up and evaporates. It effectively chokes down every circuit it runs through and you can see the greenish residue in the float bowl, chamber, jet needle and venturi. On top of this you need fresh 87 octane fuel and make sure you have good fuel flow to the carbs. Your Star model will not benefit from higher octane fuel. You'll only be wasting your money. Once you get the carbs clean and it runs well keep them that way by running the motor for about 5 minutes, ONCE A MONTH, during those months that you can't ride. This is normally sufficient without the use of any fuel preserve additives. I hope this steers you correctly. If you have further questions don't hesitate to ask. By the way, the purpose of those fuel solenoids is to shut off the fuel supply if the bike goes on its side.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 02:28 PM
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Carbs which sit with old fuel in them can "gum up". What actually happens is a residue forms and if severe enough, it can narrow or clog jet passages, effecting performance or starting. Sometimes fresh fuel will partially dissolve the plaque, setting it free in little globs that can plug up a jet.

This is not however a reason to throw yourself on a dealer's spike for a "complete rebuild of the carbs". Carbs need rebuilding when things are worn.

Get a book, follow the directions and figure out how to take them off. Remove the fuel bowls and remove all removable jets and soak everything is carb cleaner. (Hint regarding those four fuel bowl screws...TIGHTEN first, THEN loosen. Things will go better).

Be prepared to saw or Dremel a straight slot if the cross-point rounds out. Also be prepared with a small ViceGrip to grab a screw head and rotate it. Replace them at your Sears store with sockethead screws for future work.

Using the spray carb cleaner, you'll see the brown disintegrate and flow away. Let the jets soak overnight if you think it's necessary. Buy a set of jeweler's loupes at Harbor freight for $2 and look through the jets.

None of this stuff is hard to accomplish...especially if you have a digital camera and record every configuration before you disassemble it. The satisfaction achieved is very rewarding, as is saving hundreds that the dealer definitely will be happy to relieve you of.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 07:13 AM
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I'm not experienced with carb rebuild but I did partially disassemble mine a while back and cleaned them. I resisted disconnecting the throttle linkage just to cut down on things that may go wrong.

I'm an aircraft mechanic but would take my bike to an experienced mechanic to do a rebuild if required. I used these de-structions to guide me. I thought it may be of some use to you.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 09:13 PM
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To answer your question about the fuel soleniods. They are for shutting off the fuel when the engine is about 1000 rpm from redline. They can be removed but if a dummy signal is not installed the check engine light will come on.
As for the running issues. My guess is you will have to remove the carbs and thourghly clean them. Problem with the E10 fuel is it gums up and breaks down faster the the old fuel of late. Also check the fuel filter, and petcock.
Hope this helps.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 11:05 PM
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I bought an '02 V Star 650 three months ago, with 2350 miles. Yes, about 250 miles a year. And I don't think it had ever been serviced, except an oil change by the owner (found a funky Fram filter in there).

Nevertheless, it runs great. After I bought the bike and started visiting forums, I read lots of warnings about bikes sitting idle, so I was plenty worried, but mine is fine. I just wanted to throw this out so that you don't freak about your bike sitting so long.

'02 V Star 650 Custom

Last edited by bluesjr; 07-07-2010 at 11:09 PM.
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