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Discussion Starter #1
2001 KLR 650.
I can get it started but it will only idle. The second I apply throttle it dies. I have cleaned the carb, checked the fuel lines, gas level in carb, good gas, petcock, breather tubes, etc,. I cannot figure out why it will not run...

When I do force the throttle and get it to rev, it back fires and the exhaust gets red hot. I cannot back off the choke or it will die.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated! Might it be the valves?

Thank you in advance!!

Al
 

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awallner -

Some of what you say makes me believe that it is incredibly lean. That makes me think that there is something really wrong on the carb; perhaps it was assembled incorrectly.


Can you give us more background? Is this a new bike to you? Any idea what might have been done to it since it last ran correctly?


There are some bits in the carb that can fall out and roll to the darkest recesses of the work area and never be noticed. It's possible to assemble the carb without them and it all seems fine. Having that happen will wreak all sorts of havoc.


Please, give us some more background and we'll see if we can work through it with you.


T
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Tom,
It had been sitting all winter and did not run it much last year. When I went to start it up this Spring is when I had the trouble.

Then I took carb off to clean it, was very careful when working on it even laid down white paper on the table. Followed manual etc. Used air to clean out areas with carb cleaner.
 

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awallner -

Well, let's start at the tank and work our way down.

First off, you should be using good, fresh gas and your air filter should be newly cleaned. Bad gas and clogged air filters cause a lot of issues.

The KLR has a vacuum operated petcock. Both the vacuum line and the petcock can go bad. When that happens the petcock may deliver enough fuel to run at idle, but crap out above that.

To test the petcock, get a length of vacuum hose and stick it on the back of the petcock. Remove the fuel line from the petcock and get something to catch the fuel. Apply a vacuum to it (you should be able to suck on it and open the petcock - I know of know genteel way to say that). If the petcock works, fuel will flow quite copiously. If not, then either the fuel pipes are clogged up or the vacuum bits in the petcock have gone south. If you have a bad petcock I would recommend replacing with a non-gravity operated petcock - see here.

If the petcock does work, then suspect the vacuum line; remove it and inspect/replace it. If it does need replacement, see if the bike works better.

The next item in the chain would be the float level in the bowl. There is a simple test for that using a piece of clear tubing that gets attached to the nipple on the bottom of the carb. See here and subsequent posts for a discussion; Damocles set me straight on this procedure.

If all of the above are good, then you may want to drain the tank of all but a half gallon and give it a good dose of Sea Foam. Let it run on the Sea Foam for a bit and see if it gets better. Since all you can really do at this point is idle, be very mindful of the temperature guage and don't let it overheat.

Let us know what's going on!

T
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you!
This gives me some homework and things to try —*I'll take it easy on sucking on the petcock;-) I'll follow up and let you know the results.

Al
 

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Welcome to the forum, awallner. You are in good hands. My only suggestion at this point is to follow Tom's guidance, ONE STEP AT A TIME. If we fiddle with eight things, then find the problem went away, we won't know where to look if the problem repeats itself down the road. This method Tom is walking you through should isolate the issue, so you know where to look the next time...

Hopefully there won't be a next time. The biggest part of being lucky is being ready.
 

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...I'll take it easy on sucking on the petcock

Watch it buddy - family forum!:)

See what I mean about no genteel way to say that?

Keep us in the loop.

T
 

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I know you feel you cleaned the carb, but pull the jets out and completely verify that they're clean and that there's no obstructions.. Sounds like your main jet has a little bit of crapola in it...

As the other said one thing at a time, and I always say to start with the simple stuff first.... Pull the bowl and pull the jets..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey guys, first off, I really appreciate all the feedback and help, it is fabulous!

I have gone through all the checks and I am still having the same problem.
I even created Hurricanes' block off gasket option...
Rechecked the jetting and float.
Ran it for some time with the Sea Foam and, even as before, was able to rev it but unable to get it to run consistently — had to keep revving it to keep it running. Still only idles with full choke.

Do you think it could be tight valves?

Again thank you for your feedback and help.

Al
 

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Al-

Did you drop the jet per Paper"s suggestion? Cleaned it out with fishing line?

Are you absolutely sure that all three pieces in the top of this photo (which I pirated from Redondo Ron) went back in? Especially the collar, which falls out when you're not looking and rolls under the workbench?



vatrader?

T
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks Tom and vatrader,
Yes I did, I even did it one more time this morning fishing line and all— makes it four times I cleaned the carb and double checked...

Scratching my head...
 

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If you are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the jets and passageways internally are free of any obstruction, lets try a few more trouble shooting efforts.

Before we go there....a boring not-so-distant-past experience I had with a carburetor. A neighbor brought his chain saw to a local shop because it wouldn't run off of idle. Pull the throttle trigger, it died. Started and idled OK. He was told the carb needed rebuilt or replaced, and priced the work at over $100.00. He opted to wait on the repair, and headed for home with the saw. Stopping by my place, he asked me about the saw, and if there might be a less expensive alternative. I asked him to leave it, and I'd take a looky-see. Next day, I got the saw running at an idle. I sprayed aerosol carb cleaner around the carburetor body, looking for an air leak, which might indicate a bad seal. If this were the case, typically the engine would rev up when the carb sucks in the available fuel present in the air being sucked into the bad seal. Nadda. I pulled the carb off, found everything to visibly be present, and in good condition. I used a house brand spray carb cleaner in all the orifices and passages, put it all back together, and still had the same issues. Next day, I went back in, thinking I had overlooked something. Cleaned everything with air pressure and carb cleaner. Re-assembled, and still had the same issues. Day three, I go back in. Now, the can of carb cleaner I was using was empty, and I pop the top off of a fresh can of Auto-Zone house brand Carburetor 'Valucraft Carb Cleaner". I sprayed and waited, blew compressed air through everything, repeatedly. Re-assembled the carburetor. First pull of the starter rope, and it ran as new. It has supplied a house with wood this entire winter without incident. I contend that with todays fuel additives, in particular ethanol blended fuel, we are looking at varnish / chemical buildups that we have never faced before. The chemical used to combat and remove this buildup is critical. I'm not sure we have a single product effective in removing these new contaminants. Sea Foam is popular, and overrated. The moral of the story is that what may appear to be clean, may not be.

With the engine running, use a can of aerosol carb cleaner with a straw dispenser, spraying around the intake boot, between the carburetor and the engine. Spray around the entire carburetor. If you hit a bad spot, the engine RPM's will change. Sucking in air through a leak instead of a regulated air / fuel mix will result in symptoms as you describe.

If that does not produce any change, I would go back in and carefully reexamine the diaphragm on the slide. If it has developed a hole, tear, rot, it will not function as designed. Also producing the symptoms you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I will go over it again and use the aerosol carb cleaner trick to see if I get a response.

Thank you!!!
 

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As VAtrader mentioned, spend the extra time and expense for the good stuff.. The best I've ever found was NAPA's spray carb cleaner, but the stuff at Walmart just doesn't seem to do the work..

I'll be grabbing some Auto-Zone cleaner today!!
 

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Bear in mind

(as in be prepared)

that carburator

(french word for "don't F**k with it")

cleaner is HIGHLY flammable.

(for reasons that escape my limited ability to rationalize)

Should a thermal event occur, particularly beneath a gasoline tank, some method of rapid fire suppression

(other than a hastily tossed cup of coffee)

could prove handy to have readily available.

Individual results may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Guys,

Thank you for all the advice and help, no fires, no sore lips from breathing on hoses, some new swear words, and a family who is relieved it over — I have the KLR running!

Due diligence on the carburetor proved to be the trick. Nothing special just cleaning and re-cleaning. My is that gunk stubborn, she still back fires a bit when I down shift but otherwise runs really well again.

Thank you all for your advice and support!

Al
 

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Al -

Glad it all worked out for ya!

T
 
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