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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All!

I think I've got an unexpected blockage in my carburetor pilot circuit, but I wanted to try and get a 2nd opinion (or more) before I start the disassembly needed to pull the carb. Also, any time/labor saving hints might be helpful...

The patient is a 2014.5 with 59,200 miles & a stock, unmodified carburetor (no .22 mod, KLX needle, etc.). There have been no previous symptoms or complaints related to this condition (aspiration), but it had been in some dusty/sandy conditions...

Symptoms: Pull the clutch, bike won't keep an idle, which drops and dies. Starts OK with throttle and keeps going if you keep on the gas, but dies once you roll off. I turned the idle way up just to make it home, and it's OK at mid-high throttle, but sounds like it's missing at slower RPMs and dies at idle. Enricher does not seem to affect starting, but kills the bike when idling.

What I've done: All the easiest stuff - checked the vacuum and fuel lines (all OK), checked the vacuum switch on the petcock (I sucked on the vacuum port and fuel came out from the other port as long as I sucked), checked/changed spark plug, and changed the air cleaner (it was a little dusty, but it wasn't bad).

So, what do you think? Also, is this something I can fix by leaving the carb in place, rotating it, and cleaning it out from the bottom - or will this require the full carb-ectomy for disassembly and cleaning?

I'm bummed out that my bike is under the weather, but I'm glad that it finally got me home and I will be looking forward to gettin' it fixed. Once resolved, I'll make sure everyone knows what cured the patient.

Gracias, danke, and thank you!

~Tom
 

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It sounds as if you don't let your bike sit too long without running. So on this basis it seems odd that the pilot jet would be clogged, but your symptoms suggest that might be the case.

You can rotate the carburetor, remove the bowl and extract the pilot jet, but you've done considerable work to get to that point. So if it were me I'd remove the carburetor and strip it for a close inspection. Once you remove the pilot jet you should be able to look through it after holding it up to the sky. If not, it's surely plugged and needs some soaking in carb cleaner or other suitable solution. Even if you can see through the jet I'd soak it in cleaner and run a soft copper wire through it for good measure. At this point you may want to install a KLX jet kit or the MCP "miracle cure" jet kit before carb reassembly and installation.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply - I ride the thing constantly, so I don't think any restriction was from the usual varnish that comes from sitting around, but is probably more likely to be degraded rubber; the only thing "suspect" that I found when I tore it down was the end of the vent tube at the back of the gas tank as pretty pretty well frayed and split.

One thing to add - the poor idle symptom came on immediately without any "adverse" actions (e.g., dropping it, modifications, etc.)

You're right about pulling the carburetor - I should have done that yesterday when I had the tank and seat off, but I was feeling optimistic - so I buttoned it back together and took off for a ride. It idled and worked well for a mile or two, so I filled the tank, but then the poor idle symptoms returned. You can probably tell that I'm really trying to avoid having to remove that full tank, and I'm really kicking myself for not pulling the carburetor yesterday.
 

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Well, if you're adverse to removing the gas tank, rotate the carb and remove the bowl and pilot jet.

But be careful that you do not break the plastic enrichener fitting that terminates at the carburetor.

Jason
 

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To me, your idling symptoms suggest a broken plastic choke cable nut at the carburetor. Brass plunger not staying seated.

(Symptoms: Pull the clutch, bike won't keep an idle, which drops and dies. Starts OK with throttle and keeps going if you keep on the gas, but dies once you roll off. I turned the idle way up just to make it home, and it's OK at mid-high throttle, but sounds like it's missing at slower RPMs and dies at idle. Enricher does not seem to affect starting, but kills the bike when idling. )
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the warning - I've been reviewing videos on the removal (or "the twist") all morning, and it looks like pulling the enricher plunger is one of the hardest steps in the process, since it's not readily accessible...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the note about the choke cable nut - I've never messed with that, but I'll give it a good look when I get into it. For what it's worth, the bike started well on Sunday morning (with enricher pulled) and idled fine - until it didn't. It gave all the symptoms of "out of gas" - a silent stall - and the problems started immediately thereafter.
 

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To me, your idling symptoms suggest a broken plastic choke cable nut at the carburetor. Brass plunger not staying seated.

(Symptoms: Pull the clutch, bike won't keep an idle, which drops and dies. Starts OK with throttle and keeps going if you keep on the gas, but dies once you roll off. I turned the idle way up just to make it home, and it's OK at mid-high throttle, but sounds like it's missing at slower RPMs and dies at idle. Enricher does not seem to affect starting, but kills the bike when idling. )
I doubt that a broken plastic enrichener nut would produce intermittent problems.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm open for anything, and the enricher nut is easy enough to check but the intermittency of the problem does have me baffled - sometimes it seems to idle acceptably, but after a mile or less, the idle starts acting up again.

I wonder if there's some piece of garbage down in the bowl that gets sucked up into the pilot causing poor idle, but then occasionally dislodges - and opening the pilot circuit again...?

Thanks again and I'll let you know what I find.

~Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RE: Petcock -

Thanks for asking, but no - I've never worked on the petcock (it's stock). That was my first thought with the "out of gas" sputter/dying. I checked that out when I removed the tank yesterday (it wasn't full at the time). I hooked some vacuum line to the vacuum port and gave it a couple of sucks to see if gas came out the other port, and gas did dribble out at each suck, so I think that's OK. The petcock was my first suspect, as it seems that it's prone to failure.
 

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Hi Koolaid, I went through the same thing after my bike sat all winter. I removed the carb and thoroughly cleaned it and it works great again.
Can’t say for sure but it sounds like we both had/have a clogged pilot jet circuit.

I’m not sure about your year bike but mine is a 2011 and it has a duckbill filter in the fuel inlet hose at the carb. Mine looked clean but I blasted it with carb spray for giggles. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Mine did, drove me batshit nuts. disclaimer...ButtUuggly is a 2006.
Perhaps, but it's very unlikely; it either leaks or it doesn't.

You probably twisted the carb in order to get to its guts and unknowingly cracked the cheesy plastic bit that terminates the enrichener cable to the carb. But why it produced intermittent problems is a mystery.

From what I can gather KLR Kool-Aid! has never touched his carb, so a broken plastic enrichener fitting is unlikely.

Jason
 

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Perhaps, but it's very unlikely; it either leaks or it doesn't.

You probably twisted the carb in order to get to its guts and unknowingly cracked the cheesy plastic bit that terminates the enrichener cable to the carb. But why it produced intermittent problems is a mystery.

From what I can gather KLR Kool-Aid! has never touched his carb, so a broken plastic enrichener fitting is unlikely.

Jason
Many people have snagged the enrichener cable with the forward tank mounts when removing or reinstalling the fuel tank for other maintenance, inadvertently breaking the plastic fitting.

KLR Kool-Aid,
I use a 12mm crow foot on a 6" long 3/8 drive extension to initially loosen or finish tightening the plastic fitting. The rest of it is 2 index finger tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update - clogged pilot and broken "choke" ferrule

Hi All -

I'll keep this rather short in summary, the results are inconclusive.

I ended up pulling the whole carburetor, and although there wasn't any junk in the bowl, the pilot jet was cruddy to the point that you couldn't really see light through it lengthwise although the emulsifier holes were OK. It got cleaned out with a bread-bag twist tie, and while I was there, I checked the main jet which looked OK.

Buttoned up, test ride, no real changes - didn't start readily with the enricher, but needed half-throttle to start. Took it around the block a few times and had to work at the idle-stop screw to keep it alive. Curses and back to the drawing board...

When I pulled the carb the second time, the enricher ferrule cracked (looks like a manual "choke" is in my future - any recommendations are welcome!), but I got it and pulled the pilot jet one more time and really gave it a good cleaning and soaking to the point where you could easily see the dot of light through it. I also sprayed carb cleaner through the empty pilot circuit and saw the cleaner come out the little holes at the throttle plate.

I feel badly for breaking the enricher ferrule, but otherwise I'm feeling optimistic, but I am occasionally a fool, so I'll be hoping that everything is sorted out once I replace that enricher and the carb gets reinstalled correctly. I'll let you know what happens next...

Thanks again for all the sage advice and commiseration - having a broken bike really hurts my spirit, especially now that the weather is getting nicer.

~Tom.
 

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Hi All -

I'll keep this rather short in summary, the results are inconclusive.

I ended up pulling the whole carburetor, and although there wasn't any junk in the bowl, the pilot jet was cruddy to the point that you couldn't really see light through it lengthwise although the emulsifier holes were OK. It got cleaned out with a bread-bag twist tie, and while I was there, I checked the main jet which looked OK.

Buttoned up, test ride, no real changes - didn't start readily with the enricher, but needed half-throttle to start. Took it around the block a few times and had to work at the idle-stop screw to keep it alive. Curses and back to the drawing board...

When I pulled the carb the second time, the enricher ferrule cracked (looks like a manual "choke" is in my future - any recommendations are welcome!), but I got it and pulled the pilot jet one more time and really gave it a good cleaning and soaking to the point where you could easily see the dot of light through it. I also sprayed carb cleaner through the empty pilot circuit and saw the cleaner come out the little holes at the throttle plate.

I feel badly for breaking the enricher ferrule, but otherwise I'm feeling optimistic, but I am occasionally a fool, so I'll be hoping that everything is sorted out once I replace that enricher and the carb gets reinstalled correctly. I'll let you know what happens next...

Thanks again for all the sage advice and commiseration - having a broken bike really hurts my spirit, especially now that the weather is getting nicer.

~Tom.
Well I think you're making progress. Here's a link to brass part to replace the cheesy plastic one that you broke. https://steadengineering.com/shop?olsPage=products

Jason
 

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KLR Kool Aid, take a look at the Steadengineering site. the part looks nice, ($33 ouch) but even more important are some pretty basic instructions. I recall the same carb twist method you used and I used care to not damage that plastic barrel. But if I did have to repair it, I was scratching my head about how to go about it. The instructions are pretty good, and not in need of a brain surgeon.

good luck.

line6distortion
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks line6 - I found a very similar unit on the internet for a couple of bucks less, but has a nice easy nut for adjusting tension. I cannot wait to get it, install the carburetor, and install the manual enricher to see if it all works as hoped.

On that cost note (ouch) - after five years of BMW ownership, I've been really happy with the KLR's maintenance costs - I've spent less maintaining the KLR for 59K miles than I'd spend on the BMW for 6K miles.
 
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