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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just bought a kawasaki zephyr 550 for a decent price and one of the main issues with the bike is that the carbs leak a little gas...Was hoping that someone hear could give me a couple possible reasons to better help me search the net or better yet fix the problem.

The weird thing is that the bike runs fine...idles fine...starts up fine...etc. etc. so that is what is making me believe that it is not a major problem...but I could be wrong.

Here is a picture so you can see where the leak starts...my "guess" is that there is a gasket/seal that is broken and the gas is seeping trough...but obviously im no expert.

Thanks for any help/input you have!

 

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You need to clean the carbs and get the fuel float needle to work properly. This calls for carb removal and dissasembly (oh joy). If you take your time and dissasemble properly you should not need any parts as they are huge bucks times four. I had good results with Zep deggreaser in disolving fuel crud. This stuff discolors aluminum and turns it gray so only use it on the inside parts. It does not appear to harm rubber parts but be carefull anyway. Wear gloves as it is a base and dries out your skin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply.

Looks like I will be having a grand ole time working on the inside of some carbs for the first time lol.

Anyone have any good recommendations for cleaner for the parts that are stained due to the gas leakage? I am planning on buffing/polishing it later to shine it up some.
 

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If you can buy a cleaner called DrMechanico. Hard to find but did not discolor aluminum (your results may be different). It can also be used to clean carburators. The carb cleaner is very unhealthy and eats rubber, DrMechanico and Zep are rubber friendly
 

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If you rebuild the carb you shouldn't need to buy any of the mechanical parts, but you'll definitely need to replace the gaskets. Even if you don't tear them up in the process of taking it apart, you still need to replace them all. And be careful to put all the jets back in the right holes, they can be tricky. Draw yourself a diagram if you need, to make sure.
 

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kch88 said:
If you rebuild the carb you shouldn't need to buy any of the mechanical parts, but you'll definitely need to replace the gaskets. Even if you don't tear them up in the process of taking it apart, you still need to replace them all. And be careful to put all the jets back in the right holes, they can be tricky. Draw yourself a diagram if you need, to make sure.
Why replace good parts and have you priced the parts that you recomend to replace? The diaphrams are pricey. Personally I do not replace the rubber gaskets that are in good condition. Never had a leak yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think he said not to replace any parts? And to draw a Diagram if I need to incase I forget how to put it back together. :)
 

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I've always been told to always replace gaskets when you take stuff apart. I've almost always adhered to this rule, except in special situations, with well trained mechanics using that fake gasket compound stuff to replace gaskets on a time crunch. For example, my air intake on my car is currently sealed with pieces of old gaskets that came apart, and the gaps are filled with liquid gasket, and it's working just fine. I just don't recommend this to people who don't do mechanical work very often. Gaskets are cheap and personally, I'd rather have my carb work right the first time I rebuild it, rather than having to do it all over again because I didn't replace 8 bucks worth of gaskets.

Now as far as diaphragms go, they're a lot more durable then gaskets and are probably fine. I wasn't referring to all rubber pieces such as floats and such (although you should check for wear on all rubber pieces), I was just referring to the rubber gaskets (which after this amount of time probably look more like paper). Check any rubber, plastic, etc pieces for wear, replace any that seem worn (definitely replace gaskets whether they seem worn or not, I can almost guarantee you'll tear them up taking them apart), and you should be fine.
 

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There are no gaskets inside the carbs only preformed "O" rings and they typically do not tear appart. If he goes replaces all of the rubber parts in the carbs and intake manifolds he will pay close to the selling price of the bike
 

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i would recomend taking them apart over top of some sort of tray there are some small pieces you dont want to loose. i took mine apart in my driveway to blow the jets out and lost a little brass spacer.
 

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He can do whatever he wants, and I'm not sure if there are gaskets or not in his carb, I don't have a diagram. That place where it is leaking looks like a prime place for a gasket between the two metal pieces. I never said he should replace every piece of rubber in his carb and intake manifold. I never mentioned his intake manifold at all. If a rubber piece (or any piece) is damaged or worn, replace it, end of story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I cracked open one of the carbs...the screws on the other 3 are stripped so im going to have to get them out another day...plan on replacing them all with allen head screws to make it easier next time.

The inside of the bowl (bottom part) looks real clean...in fact so did the top part. The float seemed to be clean as well...the gasket looked fine...but this is just one of the four carbs so maybe this one didnt leak.

I did notice when taking the tank off the bike that only one hose was hooked up to the petcock (the bottom one that leads the gas to the carb) what exactly is the other hose for? And if that was not hooked up would that for some reason cause the carbs to leak?
 
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