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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I rediscovered this morning that Honda parts are stupid expensive. Of course I knew that before, but now I'm really annoyed.

Here's the scoop:



An aftermarket carburetor rebuild kit on e-bay is $59.99, and pretty much includes EVERYTHING except the accelerator pump.





I just spent $55.00 for a pair Honda OEM float needles.

(plus $14.95 for the Randakk float bowl gaskets)



The Randakk website warns that some of these aftermarket float needles may be out of spec and cause may problems, but I was hoping to get some real world experience from CX owners.

Frankly, I am sick and tired of paying these extortionate prices that Honda charges.



So, anybody out there try the e-bay kits?
 

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Several years ago a professor who studied carburetion in his university fluid labs said that aftermarket jets can be grossly (10%)out of spec. This is an accuracy/quality issue, so it may apply to needles as well. He strongly recommended OEM jets for maximum racing performance. He also said that using steel wire to clean jets does enough damage to be seen in testing (although not necessarily in "seat of the pants" evaluation). That said, folks use steel wire to clean brass jets every day and ride on. If it were me, and the needles showed no visible or "feelable" damage or wear, I would re-install the original Honda needles. There is little enough vibration in these carbs and wear is not usually an issue unless there are many many miles behind the tail light. Unlike the old British twins for example. I've refreshed numerous CX/GL carbs over the years and never replaced any parts or pieces with new yet. Obviously damaged or missing parts I just take from another carb. That's just me though.
 

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Any reason you didn't just buy the whole shooting match directly from Randakk, GeorgeFix or TAS?

Chances are what you got is going to be fine, I wouldn't have gone and bought the Honda needles unless a problem arose.



Of course Larry is the expert here, next time he logs in he'll probably have more answers than we could ever need but they'll be good reference.



Which bike are you putting these on, you list several in your signature line.
 

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Tim, I've only used aftermarket carb kits on my CX500D when I owned it and never had a problem. I got them from Sirius Consolidated in Kitchener.



The only Honda part I will buy from them is the head gasket, which I am going to order right after supper since they are open till 9 PM.



For my CX650E head gaskets are $32.45 each from Honda Powersports as opposed to $59.99 for a complete gasket set from Ebay (plus shipping)



Stan
 

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I agree with Rich. I have found that all the aftermarket needles, jets, emulsion tubes and sometimes the jets are quite a bit out of stock measurements. The float needles are usually too long for the carbs with the plastic floats, and I have seen them where the rubber tips aren't even attached. The come right off. Slide needles are usually smaller in diameter and would make the carb run richer. Emulsion tubes usually have much smaller holes in them too. This would cause a poor balance of the entire delivery system.



So, if at all possible, save your money and stay with OEM parts that came with the carbs. ACV valves, bowl gaskets and O-rings are usually all you would need if you have undamaged internal parts. And of coarse a proper cleaning of all the jets and passages. I use properly sized drill bits to clean them and am NOT an advocate of using just any wire to clean out jets. With attention to detail and a good balance anyone can get a great running bike with what they came with.
 

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Well said, Larry. I have gone thru probably 25 - 30 carbs in the last several years and have yet to replace a metal part. ACV valves and O rings, yes, but nothing else. I did order a float needle for the CB550, but the problem turned out to be a split overflow tube.



Why folks are spending the money to replace perfectly good stuff is beyond me. But, if it makes them feel better, have at it.
 

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I've gotten several carbs to rebuild where the rider said it ran pretty good but didn't seem to run quit right. When I open them up and find the after market parts in them it becomes obvious to me. After I install all the oem parts from parts carbs I have they can't believe the difference.



BTW Tim, Randakks bowl gaskets are good since they are thicker. But I have never had a bowl leak with the K&L bowl gaskets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Something got into my carb bowls and literally destroyed the float jets.

I have never seen anything like it.



The best way that I can describe it is that it looked like tiny particles of sand were in the bottom of the float bowls.

(before you ask, I always run a fuel filter, and the tank has been professionally lined at a radiator shop).

Whatever this material was had adhered to the float needle body.

The needle was literally stuck inside the jet, and took a surprising amount of force to remove it.

I don't have a picture, but it looks like the float needles were actually disintegrating.

I started scraping this "sandy" material off of the four 'wings' (I don't know what the real term is) of the needle, and found that the normally polished metal underneath had turned black.



I'll try to get some pictures of it before I clean them.

Really bizarre.
 

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Did you ask how long it should take for the tank lining to cure? Rickbert had his done and the redcoat lining wasn't supposed to be ready for a month or so until it all dried. You may have ended up with some type of chemical leaching out of the tank and finally set up and cured in the carbs. I had to totally redo and clean Ricks carbs again. I would say your going to end up doing the same.
 

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ACV valves, bowl gaskets and O-rings are usually all you would need if you have undamaged internal parts.



That's good info to know. I've got a set of bowl gaskets in the event I ever have to pull them and the ACV valves seem to be available in quite a few places. Are these a mission critical part as well or are the aftermarket ones you see for sale of acceptable value?



Either my carbs were properly rebuilt some time back or well taken care of because it runs like a champ but in time I know I'll end up with problems and those are probably going to be the first things to go.
 

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Oh that's ugly Tim. Have you been using racing fuel in there that may have alcohol?



Marshall, even if the ACV's don't have holes in them after years of service, they tend to shrink down in diameter. When this happens it make it very hard for them to seal and will cause the bike to run rich. So changing them out when you do a rebuild is ALWAYS a good investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Larry,

I've had the carbs for about three years (when I bought my silverwing) and had been using 76 and Shell gasoline up until recently.

I stopped using 76 due to the ethanol about a year and a half ago.

Shell is rated as a top tier fuel, but it turns out that after MTBE was banned as an oxygenate, they began adding 10% Ethanol.

I did not find this out until about four months ago when my wife noticed the sign on the pump.

Apparently, the damage had already been done.



As a result of these photographs, and Stan's personal experience with them, I decided to go ahead and get the aftermarket needles from Sirius Consolidated.

For one, they are less susceptible to damage from alcohol, and for another, they are $17.50 cheaper per needle.



At the rate the Republik of Kalifornia is going, we may have no choice but to run ethanol gas in the next few years, so I might as well be proactive about it.

Further, I had those carbs rebuilt three years ago with the Randakk Viton kit, and except for the float bowl, all gaskets all look like they came out of the package yesterday.
 

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Marshall, even if the ACV's don't have holes in them after years of service, they tend to shrink down in diameter. When this happens it make it very hard for them to seal and will cause the bike to run rich. So changing them out when you do a rebuild is ALWAYS a good investment.


Oh, long before I ever have to pull the carbs it's going to be a tossup as to whether I get your book and try it myself or send them to you. As I've mentioned before I'm on the lookout for an extra set so I can get them done but all I've seen come up on eBay lately hasn't been correct or looked like they'd even be a challenge for you to tackle.



Luckily it ain't broke so I'm not going to fix it. :)



The only thing I might possibly run into is he rejetted the things to deal with the straight pipes he had on it, I'll only know that after I've run a new set of plugs through it for a while now that it has the totally exact stock exhaust back on there.



Final parts are going on this weekend then I've just got to wait for a nice run of above 60*F days/nights without any high humidity in the forecast before I get the paint done, then the beast will be ready to come back home.
 

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Tim,

I agree that shell has always been a high rated fuel, but now I have another reason, other than price not to use it. We all should remember this one.

IF you have a problem getting the floats at the right height I have a little trick that I have not published anywhere till now. You will probably find the needles will be too long making the floats sit too low. To achieve the 15.5mm or .610" float settings, I have had a few occasions where I have filed the tip of the spring plunger in the end of the fuel needles. You MUST go slowly with this and only file down a tiny bit at a time and then install it and check the setting. If you go too far it will make the needle too short and raise the fuel level in the bowl. (that's good for 650's. But that's another story)



The other issue as I mentioned above is the rubber tips are not always attached really well. If you can pull the tips off with your fingers, mix up some JBweld and put a tiny dab of it under the rubber and let it cure overnight. This will ensure they won't come off during riding. Make sure that when you press the tip back in with the glue under it that you don't pull it back off and cause air bubbles under the seal. Air bubbles would allow the fuel to work it's way in and possibly loosen the bond. By the way, do the gluing BEFORE you file the tips to set the height.
 

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ACV valves, bowl gaskets and O-rings are usually all you would need if you have undamaged internal parts.



I'm starting to rebuild my carbs right now. I was debating on wether to get the whole parts kit or just the seals. My carbs had some varnish in them, but nothing a little elbow grease and simple green didn't take care of. I'm planning on ordering Larry's book but where is a good source for the seals?
 

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According to the Brit classic bike mags I read, their ethanol-added fuel is dissolving all the old tank liners, plus the fiberglass tanks used on some aftermarket kits. I don't know if there is a solution yet.
 

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According to the Brit classic bike mags I read, their ethanol-added fuel is dissolving all the old tank liners, plus the fiberglass tanks used on some aftermarket kits. I don't know if there is a solution yet.


I just read an article about Ducati plastic tanks are melting/deforming due to American fuels and dealers are delaying and/or refusing to honor the warranty on those tanks per the companies orders. If they do honor the warranty they put back on the bikes tanks that will do the same thing again and when it is out of warranty they don't do anything.
 

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Sterno666, I just sent you a PM about the book and parts.



I just tried to call POR15 about their sealer but they are closed until Monday. What I did find though was in their description of the tank sealer. They say it will hold up to the new alcohol fuels. The problem for those using plastic or fiberglass tanks would be how to get it to stick to the inside of them.



Copied from their site;

US STANDARD TANK SEALER

U.S. STANDARD FUEL TANK SEALER was formulated and developed in our own laboratories due to the demand for a high-tech sealer impervious to all fuels, including the new Stage II fuels which have a high alcohol content. It has superior strength and fuel resistance, and does not contain Methyl Ethyl Ketone, a highly flammable and deadly carcinogen (cancer-causing). U.S. STANDARD FUEL TANK SEALER is non-flammable and is environmentally safe.
 
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