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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I'm a newbie here and I joined because I am now in possession of an '81 gl500i (at least I believe its an interstate model). When I bought the bike it was not running because the previous owner had sold the carbs at some point. So after some searching I found some carbs hooked everything up and (thank you god) the bike starts.



My problem though is that the carbs (please forgive my language its the best description of whats happening) pisses gas. I'm not entirely sure what to do with it now. My roommate thinks it might just be the drain screws because the floaters look fine. Does anybody know of any other things that might be causing this or where I can find a pair of drain screws without having to buy a whole new carb?
 

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Do you know where they are leaking from? Are both carbs leaking or just one?



If the float needle is not seating properly it will cause the fuel to overfill the carb and leak out the overflow and from the bottom of the float bowls (there are usually drain hoses attached to the bowls and routed to the bottom of the bike but if you just bought the carbs there may not be drains attached). If there is dirt or rust in the seat where the float needle seats it will cause problems.



Another possibility is that there is a crack or split in the brass overflow tube in the float bowl. You may have to remove the bowl and examine them, sometimes these can be hard to see. You can pour some gas in the bowl and see if they leak.



The drain screws could be not seating and causing the problems too.



If you have not done so already it probably would not hurt to remove the carbs and give them a good cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you know where they are leaking from? Are both carbs leaking or just one?



If the float needle is not seating properly it will cause the fuel to overfill the carb and leak out the overflow and from the bottom of the float bowls (there are usually drain hoses attached to the bowls and routed to the bottom of the bike but if you just bought the carbs there may not be drains attached). If there is dirt or rust in the seat where the float needle seats it will cause problems.



Another possibility is that there is a crack or split in the brass overflow tube in the float bowl. You may have to remove the bowl and examine them, sometimes these can be hard to see. You can pour some gas in the bowl and see if they leak.



The drain screws could be not seating and causing the problems too.



If you have not done so already it probably would not hurt to remove the carbs and give them a good cleaning.


They are draining from both sides, though the left does drain faster than the right. I have yet to put the drain tubes on them as I wanted to find out if the bike would even start up at first. I'll be honest when I was able to start it up for the first time I was very relieved.



I had a feeling you were going to tell me to give them a cleaning. I'll open it up and see if I can find any cracks. Thanks for the help. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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Before you open them up there are two screws one on each side of the carbs.The left hand side one is easy to get to but the right hand side one is on the same place on the right hand carb so you need a long necked flat-blade screwdriver.



With a receptacle under the overflow tubes and the petcock off open these screws out to drain the bowls.You may be lucky and it frees up the float needle valves.If not do as per other post.
 

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For all we know the drain screws may already be open, carbs may have come that way when he got them.



Welcome to the forum, in no time you'll have a top-notch running machine.
 

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For all we know the drain screws may already be open, carbs may have come that way when he got them.


My roommate thinks it might just be the drain screws because the floaters look fine. Does anybody know of any other things that might be causing this or where I can find a pair of drain screws without having to buy a whole new carb?


Marshall, from his quote above it sounds like they thought about the drain screws.



I was thinking about this,,if after shutting off the petcock and the carbs stop dripping

gas,,when you open the drain screw on the bowl, very little or no gas comes out,,that may indicate that the problem could be the drain screw or a cracked overflow tube.



If there is a couple of ounces or more of fuel comes out when the drain screw is opened, then there is probably a problem with the float either sticking or debris in the float valve seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the welcome and the replies.



I realize that I probably didn't describe my problem very well. The drain screws are closed. I can not tighten them down anymore. That's why I'm thinking that even if its something inside the carbs that's wrong I'm probably going to have to get new screws anyways. I don't know for sure. I am going to clean them because well, I did find them off of ebay and if I can get them to stop draining like a sieve then I'll be happy.



Also side note...I'm a girl, I'm not upset at all about thinking I'm a guy (I play a lot of video games, it happens) Just an FYI.
 

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I would guess that the drain screws are OK, and that it is the floats that are either sticking, or the leak is coming from the needle/seat juncture. Both are easily enough to clean and return to proper working order. As Allan said, a good complete carb cleaning should be top on your list. And you have found the resources to help you thru doing this.



And being a lady is a plus in my book. I think most of us are impressed with ladies having the initiative to acquire mechanical knowledge, and want to help with the process. So, welcome to the forum and ask questions and post photos.
 

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I am going to clean them because well, I did find them off of ebay and if I can get them to stop draining like a sieve then I'll be happy.
This link has a couple of pics showing some of the circuits in a set of these carbs, it may give you an idea of where to clean. If you have any questions, just ask, there are lots of people here willing to answer any questions you may have.

http://choppercharles.com/cs/forums/74577/ShowPost.aspx#74577



Also side note...I'm a girl


That's alright, we won't hold that against you,,
 

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Here you go, this will help you explain Allan.









If you want anymore let me know.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The picture help a lot, thank you.



I do have a question. Does anyone have a preference in the type of cleaner I should get or can I just get generic carb cleaner?



Oh...also the link for cleaning carbs on the reference guide leads to a blank page...is there somewhere else I can look for instructions on this?
 

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The picture help a lot, thank you.



I do have a question. Does anyone have a preference in the type of cleaner I should get or can I just get generic carb cleaner?



Oh...also the link for cleaning carbs on the reference guide leads to a blank page...is there somewhere else I can look for instructions on this?


I've been adding/updating my web pages.This is not complete but should help,



http://www.pdsrecording.site90.com/cxgl500/Carbs.htm
 

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The picture help a lot, thank you.



I do have a question. Does anyone have a preference in the type of cleaner I should get or can I just get generic carb cleaner?



Oh...also the link for cleaning carbs on the reference guide leads to a blank page...is there somewhere else I can look for instructions on this?


Chi, How is the carb cleaning going? Did the link stitch put up give you any help? To let you know, all the carb sprays out there won't do these carbs justice. The low jet, in the center tube, is usually in need of being manually cleaned with a .018 drill bit. It needs to be pulled out to do that though. Even if you clean the carbs in an ultra sonic cleaner, you'll still need to manually clean the jet. If you do the sonic cleaning without pulling the jet, there is a way to manually clean the jet out with it still in. I recently soldiered a drill bit to a paper clip to do some testing. If you do the same you may end up with pretty good results. It's better than not doing it at all.

Here's a picture of what I did.

Good luck with it and ask lots of questions.
 

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Larry,

She has a GL,,don't the idle jets screw out on them?
 

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I have found that very few of the 81 models have the screw out low jet. I'm not sure if I mentioned it in my book, but I suspect that the 81's that had screw out jets were late in that year just before they released the 82's. More than likely she has the pressed in style. Maybe we'll know more when she comes back to the forum and checks in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have found that very few of the 81 models have the screw out low jet. I'm not sure if I mentioned it in my book, but I suspect that the 81's that had screw out jets were late in that year just before they released the 82's. More than likely she has the pressed in style. Maybe we'll know more when she comes back to the forum and checks in.


Thanks for all the help and the pictures they've really been great. Larry I ordered your book so I'm sure that will be one of the biggest helps. I took the bowls off to see if the overflow tubes were cracked and they are not so I guess that's a good thing.



Funniest part about all of this is that every time I tell some one that I'm working on the carbs the inevitable question is "What do carbs actually do?"
 

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In a perfect world, the carbs provide a 14.7 to 1 mixture of atomized fuel and air mixture to be drawn into the combustion chamber. Needing to do this at different RPMs and atmospheric pressures creates the complexity. They also have to regulate this mixture to allow for the engine to be sped up or slowed down.
 

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That, and be a pain in the butt for people Learing to work on autos in a more or less fuel injected world
 

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If you put plastic tubing on the drain line then run the tubing up toward the seat and open the drain screw you can see the level of the gasoline in the float chamber. It should be below the tops of the float bowl. If the level is up near the top of the float bowl it is the float valve. If it is low then it is probably a leak in the overflow pipe.
 
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