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Project Zeal, Carby Carbs

It’s taken a bit of working to get the motivation to write this post. Work on the bike has kinda slowed to a crawl, but I stripped the carbs and have started putting them together again.

So I removed the carbs and took the float bowls off them in the last post, to discover that carb one had a lot of gunk in it, and the other three were a little crusty from sitting.

The next day I started to strip down carb one, to see how bad it was. I took the floats and jet housings off first

These are the jets from carb two. You can see the difference in size between the two jets. The pilot jet lives down the deep recess between the two other jets.

Speaking of pilot jets, the pilot jet for carb one was completely blocked solid, and took a lot of soaking in carb cleaner and poking with a thick strand of wire to clear it. The other two jets on carb one also had debris in their holes, but the pilot was the worst.

Remember, this is what the jets looked like. It’s no surprise.

I then started separating the carbs, as they are all linked together

The seals on the main fuel feed were in very bad shape with multiple cracks in the rubber. Thankfully I ordered replacements from Litetek.

I pulled the cap off carb one, removed the spring and needle

And removed the slide. Under the diaphragm was this black stuff. Its been on all of the carbs so far. It’s almost like powered plastic shavings? Theres no obvious wear on the slides.

I cleaned all the black stuff out and removed the choke needle

Organisation is key

This first carb was a bit of an experiment on following the instructions to a tee. I’ll soon learn not to do that. Following the instructions I removed the throttle plate and shaft

This was to replace the shaft seal, which wasnt worn or hard anyway

Next up I removed the pilot mixture screw. This was covered in some sort of oily mixture. Just FYI too, all my carbs had this screw set at 2 full turns from fully in.

I purchased a small 2.5L ultrasonic cleaner, so gave it a shot with the carb body since it was stripped. It started out like this

I filled it with about 50:50 water:simple green, got the mix to 65c, and dropped the body in. I soaked it for about an hour and it came out like this, with no scrubbing. It was pretty effective, although im sure if I just used some brake clean I would have got the same results in minutes; and I did, on the other carbs (I scrubbed with a tooth-brush and brake clean whilst I waited on the cleaner to finish). At least I know the ultrasonic cleans out all the tiny little holes and channels in the carb.

My makeshift parts washer

You can see I didn’t remove the slide housing. I tried to pull it out earlier and it wouldn’t budge, so I left it.

Now, that’s where I left the carbs that day. The next day I finally had my syphon arrive (thanks to a run-around by the useless couriers), so I could drain the Evapo-Rust from the tank. It had done a pretty decent job of stripping the surface rust. The inside is mostly clean, but unfortunately it did spring a small leak at the back of the tank where there is a seam. This was the nail in the coffin, I had to do it properly.

I used the syphon to drain the tank back into the bottles. The liquid came out pretty dark, but I should be able to get a little more use from the solution.

I also had some small bits just chilling in the bottom of the tub the tank was sitting on (to catch leaking liquid, which it did well), sitting in the fluid that had leaked out.

All of these bits were really rusty, including the idle adjustment screw (which I thought was a write off). The idle screw came up really well

Its pitted, but no longer rusty. Compared to how it was, it’s a miracle.

All the screws and hose clamps that I left in the solution came out well too. It’s quite powerful stuff. Once its taken out of the solution I rinse in water and then coat in WD40 to stop it rusting again.

Since the tank was now leaky, I couldn’t just stop here and put it back on the bike. Looking around, I decided to purchase a tank refurb kit which comes with a cleaner, rust remover and a tank sealer. The sealer should stop it rusting again, and will block the tiny leak. I was trying to avoid having to seal the tank as it is likely messy to do, but this should mean it lasts a lot longer. It should arrive in a couple of days.

I was feeling a bit unmotivated so left the bike for a bit. A couple of days ago I decided to get back into the carbs and see if I could get one back together again. I tried a bit harder and got the slide housing out of carb one

This is where I should have gone off script and just left it alone, but I didn’t. I had the seals, so decided to do them. I removed the seal at the top and the square seal

The top seal was quite flat, but in decent condition really (not hard and no cracks). I fit the new seals and slotted the housing back into the carb body

And then it all turned to custard. The instructions say to push the housing down and to nip up the screw, but don’t rely on using just the screw to pull it together…. clearly I didn’t push hard enough. The first screw went ping, and snapped into two pieces. Nuts. Because im a muppet though I forgot to use the washer under the screw, so I thought “hmm, maybe thats why it snapped”. So I grabbed the screw from carb two… and snapped that too. Good thing I purchased a set of Easy Outs a while back.

They are little hollow brass screws, so very little structural integrity.

I rage quit and went back into the house and left it there. I ordered three new screws out of the states for a few bucks each, so they should be here in a week or so. Sigh.

Yesterday I couldn’t be bothered with the carbs but wanted to do something to feel useful, so I bled the brakes. Both brakes had really bad feel. The front lever was really soft and spongy, and the rear wasnt much better. I had figured I was probably up for a rebuild of the cylinders and calipers anyway, so what harm is there in bleeding it and seeing what happens?

It’s funny how much easier bike brakes are to bleed than a car. I can lean on the lever whilst closing the valve to do the front, and pump the rear with my foot whilst working the valve. No need for a second person.

The res was full of slime when I got it, but I flushed that all through

And both calipers played nice and bled well. Minimal air, but foul fluid

Now both brakes actually have solid feel and feel pretty good. I don’t know if the calipers are still sticking as the bike can’t move, but at least I might be able to put off spending too much on the brakes immediately. All the hoses look visually good with no cracking.

Whoever the bloody sadist is that designed where the rear brake fluid res is located should be slapped hard. Its located in such a way that to get the cap off you have to remove a side panel, unbolt the res and have it hanging in the air, otherwise the cap doesnt clear the frame, and there is no way you could pour fluid in it.

Moving along; This morning I was considering just selling the damn bike for parts as it was pissing me off and I was getting pretty demotivated with it all. So much work to do, and nothing going right, but at the end of the day that’s not how I work.

So having a short day at work today, I shot home and went straight into the garage. I swapped the O-ring on the slide housing back the old one, and using the screw from carb THREE, I managed to get it nipped up nicely without snapping it.

All the jets also went back in after a thorough cleaning.

The float needle seat went in next, with its new O-ring

And then the needle, float and bowl

Finally it was the slide, needle, springs and cap, to top it off

That’s carb one, done and ready to go.

I then stripped, cleaned and assembled carb two

Now I have a pair of carbs. Just need the screws to arrive and I can do the other two and then bench sync them. I’m hoping to have the carbs ready to go when the tank is ready, so that I can assemble and fire it up on my stand and see what the gearbox is like. After that, it’s a full tear down to do the frame.

Oh yeah, I think I forgot to mention that I got a rear stand. No room to use it where the bike is at the moment, but once the car is living outside and I’m stripping the bike it will have all the room for activities.

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