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Eli Won't idle

ARCHIVE_bama900 Feb 11, 2007

  1. ARCHIVE_bama900

    ARCHIVE_bama900 Guest

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    Bought a ZL900 that had been sitting for a while.

    OLD SYMPTOMS: hard to start, would idle with choke on but if you touched the throttle the engine died. If you let the choke out the engine died.

    --> I removed carbs and cleaned.

    NEW SYMPTOMS: Starts right up, idles strong with choke on, engine revs with throttle, but if you let the choke out the engine still dies.

    Note: When I cleaned the carbs I did not remove the plugs and idle mixture screws because the generic manual I have said it usually isn't necessary. Did I blow it by not removing and cleaning idle mixture screws? Anything else that could be keeping it from idling?

    Thanks.
     
  2. 99 out of 100 times the idle problem is due to the pilots jets being clogged. They are very small and with my old eyes hard to see if they are clogged or not. Some folks take a small piece of wire or nylon fishing line and run through the jets to get them unclogged. Two other items to check is to make sure you have good fuel flow coming from the tank and that the carb floats aren't sticking. But normally with the carb floats the problem is gas overflowing the bowl because it doesn't shut the flow of gas off. Easy way to check the flow would be to set the petcock at prime and open the bottom of each carb drain screw and make sure gas flows out. But most time when someone says they took the carbs off and cleaned them they didn't get the pilots totally clean since you normally need to run a wire or fishing line in the jet to get it opened.
     
  3. ARCHIVE_bama900

    ARCHIVE_bama900 Guest

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    I was afraid it was going to be something that required taking the carbs back off. I soaked the pilot jets and blew them out with compressed air. I made sure I could see light through each one before reinstalling. Is it possible that was not enough? Also, would not removing the idle mixture screws possible be a source of the problem?

    Fuel is getting to each carb.

    Thanks.
     
  4. ARCHIVE_Elimax

    ARCHIVE_Elimax Guest

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    This may be an overly simple solution, but have you tried to increase idle rpm's by rotating (clockwise) the idle speed knob on the left side of the carbs?

    It may be currently set too low.
     
  5. ARCHIVE_bama900

    ARCHIVE_bama900 Guest

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    Tried that. It still dies on me.
     
  6. ARCHIVE_zlMark

    ARCHIVE_zlMark Guest

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    If you look at the engine side of the carbs there are air bleeds.(open throttle to see) these come in play when the bike is at idle or just off idle. if they are plugged then it wont run for **** without choke on. Clean thse with carb cleaner and compressed air. you can hold throttle open while spraying in the pilot jet hole and see the cleaner come through.

    BTW if you have stock jets and are trying to run with airbox out then that is why it wont run.
     
  7. ARCHIVE_bama900

    ARCHIVE_bama900 Guest

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    I'll give it a shot. Much appreciated.
     
  8. Keep us posted on what you finally figure out. A lot of folks say to get a jug of carb cleaner, like at NAPA and let all of the metal parts soak for a few days in it. Have you check to make sure you have good fuel flowing through?
     
  9. ARCHIVE_bama900

    ARCHIVE_bama900 Guest

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    well I've found one problem, a bad float needle, or maybe several. It's overflowing into the crankcase. Nothing leaking on the outside so I didn't notice it at first but when I let it sit for a week and came back the gas tank was empty. Must be a ton of gas in the crankcase right now.

    There are carb rebuild kits available on eBay. Anyone know of any other sources for ZL900 carb kits? And what is the correct fuel height? I understand how to check it, but what is the correct fuel height above/below the bowl gasket?

    Also, there is a vacuum hose running from Carb #2 to the fuel petcock, I got that. Carb #3 is capped. There are vacuum hoses connecting carbs #1 and #4, what do they do?
     
  10. ARCHIVE_zlMark

    ARCHIVE_zlMark Guest

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    Vacuum hoses go to a tee then to the air suction valve. The fuel height is 17mm with the float valve spring not compressed. TIP: find yourself something to prop the carbs at the proper angle to which the float valve springs aren't compressed while measuring. Take your time. it very important to get these as close as you can. Don't forget to sync carbs too!

    I had same trouble with mine. Turns out the fuel filter was letting paint chips get by it. Installed inline filter. Make sure you don't run/crank(hydraulic lock) bike until you get fresh oil.
     
  11. ARCHIVE_furchin

    ARCHIVE_furchin Guest

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    carb kits

    You may want to check out www.oldbikebarn.com I'm not sure that they do have them but it would be good to check. They offer alot of different things. You should be able to check all available items for the ZL through their bike selection process. Furchin
     
  12. ARCHIVE_bama900

    ARCHIVE_bama900 Guest

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    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    As for as setting the float heights, let me make sure I am clear. What two points am I measuring between to get the 17 mm?

    Carb rebuild kits are on the way. Hopefully I can get this baby running in the next week. I don't know what it's like where you all are, but it's 70 degrees and sunny down here in the South.
     
  13. With the float bowl removed, you are measuring from the float bowl mating surface (where the float bowl bolts to) to the bottom of the float, when the tang on the float arm is JUST contacting the float valve.

    Be carefull.....the adjustment is very small and its such a guesswork job that you could be there for a very long time.

    Hope this helps.

    KK
     
  14. ARCHIVE_bama900

    ARCHIVE_bama900 Guest

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    New float needles did the trick. Also found some vacuum leaks in and around the airbox. Sealed everything up and she runs great. Thanks to everyone who offered advice.
     
  15. Glad to see another Eli on the road, its just getting nice up north, so I have my fingers crossed that sitting around over the winter didn't cause much damage to mine.
     

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