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I've posted about this before, and there is even a tech article I wrote under Engine and Drivetrain on how to do it. But I continue to be amazed by how screwed up and WAY OFF the factory settings every RSV seems to be! So I just gotta keep proselytizing about it . . .

 

At Don's maintenance day I just reset the floats on three more RSVs, and out of the 12 carbs, only ONE (one carb, not one bike) was even remotely close to the factory spec! And that was the first carb from ANY of the RSVs I have done that wasn't set unbelievably high. Too-high float levels cause rich mixtures and excessive fuel use at speed. Up to now I have only been able to report on the 10% improvement in fuel economy I got from my own bike by properly setting the fuel level. Others for whom I have done the work all said it seemed better, but they didn't go to the trouble of having detailed before and after comparisons. Well, now I have another.

 

Four of us on RSVs rode together from Texas up to Don's in Ohio, about 1,250 miles. I paid attention to how much gas each of us took at each gas stop. Since we were all riding in the same conditions and the same speeds on the same roads, it was an ideal way to get some side-by-side comparisons. I generally took less gas at every stop, and Ponch took the most - every time. And the difference was quite significant. I never tried to calculate the MPG for each bike, but I know he was buying a lot more gas over and over again for 1,200 miles. So that is the "before" state.

 

On Friday morning while I had nothing else to do, Ponch and I pulled his carbs and reset the float levels to the specs from the Yamaha shop manual. The only other change we did was to put in new plugs while we had things apart. To be completely open here, there was some evidence that Ponch's RF plug was not fireing as well as the others.

 

After maintenance day, Ponch and I rode together on the way back to Texas. This was another fantastic oportunity for us to get a real life side-by-side comparison of two RSVs under identical conditions for many, many tanks of gas, and now with Ponch's bike having the floats properly set. Guess what? Ponch and I took virtually the exact same gas at every single gas stop, no matter if we had been doing 50 in the twisties or 80 on the superslab. That is a HUGE change from what he was getting on the ride up just two days before. Actually, I tell a little bit of a lie - while we weren't trying to compare exact fill levels by looking inside the tanks, Ponch generally took just a tad less than I did at most stops - probably just 0.1 gallons on a 5 gallon fill. So Ponch's bike went from being the worst of four in MPG (by a long shot), to actually being the best. We have no way of being certain how much credit the new plugs get for this, but I'm betting the float levels were the biggest piece.

 

OK, I'll stop for now. But if you haven't had the float levels checked on your RSV, your really should think about it. Even if it is brand new. By all means, do not assume the factory got them even close to the right level!! Ride safe,

Goose

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I need to TRY and do mine but a little afraid to do as every carb Ive touched has been destroyed by me..I dont trust ANY Yamaha dealer but there is a place in San Antonio called Extreme Powersports that seems to know what they are doing..Anyone that rides behind me can smell Gas at times and MPG has dropped drastically.

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We filled up in N. ridgeville Ohio got rite on Ohio TP, set cruise at 75mph indicated on stock speedo, up hills down hills only stopped 2 times for toll booths on TP pulled in for gas on Pa TP 222 miles later, took exactly 5 gal. I put Iridium plugs in before we left and Rotella Synth. oil. 2 up loaded, with xl clearview. Damn tolls cost more than the gas:crying: Side note that was the longest non-stop ride for my wife, getting her in shape for Asheville:thumbsup2: Craig

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I've posted about this before, and there is even a tech article I wrote under Engine and Drivetrain on how to do it. But I continue to be amazed by how screwed up and WAY OFF the factory settings every RSV seems to be! So I just gotta keep proselytizing about it . . .

 

At Don's maintenance day I just reset the floats on three more RSVs, and out of the 12 carbs, only ONE (one carb, not one bike) was even remotely close to the factory spec! And that was the first carb from ANY of the RSVs I have done that wasn't set unbelievably high. Too-high float levels cause rich mixtures and excessive fuel use at speed. Up to now I have only been able to report on the 10% improvement in fuel economy I got from my own bike by properly setting the fuel level. Others for whom I have done the work all said it seemed better, but they didn't go to the trouble of having detailed before and after comparisons. Well, now I have another.

 

Four of us on RSVs rode together from Texas up to Don's in Ohio, about 1,250 miles. I paid attention to how much gas each of us took at each gas stop. Since we were all riding in the same conditions and the same speeds on the same roads, it was an ideal way to get some side-by-side comparisons. I generally took less gas at every stop, and Ponch took the most - every time. And the difference was quite significant. I never tried to calculate the MPG for each bike, but I know he was buying a lot more gas over and over again for 1,200 miles. So that is the "before" state.

 

On Friday morning while I had nothing else to do, Ponch and I pulled his carbs and reset the float levels to the specs from the Yamaha shop manual. The only other change we did was to put in new plugs while we had things apart. To be completely open here, there was some evidence that Ponch's RF plug was not fireing as well as the others.

 

After maintenance day, Ponch and I rode together on the way back to Texas. This was another fantastic oportunity for us to get a real life side-by-side comparison of two RSVs under identical conditions for many, many tanks of gas, and now with Ponch's bike having the floats properly set. Guess what? Ponch and I took virtually the exact same gas at every single gas stop, no matter if we had been doing 50 in the twisties or 80 on the superslab. That is a HUGE change from what he was getting on the ride up just two days before. Actually, I tell a little bit of a lie - while we weren't trying to compare exact fill levels by looking inside the tanks, Ponch generally took just a tad less than I did at most stops - probably just 0.1 gallons on a 5 gallon fill. So Ponch's bike went from being the worst of four in MPG (by a long shot), to actually being the best. We have no way of being certain how much credit the new plugs get for this, but I'm betting the float levels were the biggest piece.

 

OK, I'll stop for now. But if you haven't had the float levels checked on your RSV, your really should think about it. Even if it is brand new. By all means, do not assume the factory got them even close to the right level!! Ride safe,

Goose

 

Sure, keep it up, you're going to make me have to go and check the float levels in my bike. One thing that caught my attention was the comment about gas usage at higher speeds. I get close to 40 MPG right up to 75 MPH, at 80 it goes down to 32 or so. Hadn't thought about the floats causing this but I guess it's possible.

I usually use more gas then the people I ride with but not by much. When we fill up I might take say 4.7 and they take 4.5 or so.

Yep, Yep, I might just have to check those floats.

BOO

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I need to TRY and do mine but a little afraid to do as every carb Ive touched has been destroyed by me..I dont trust ANY Yamaha dealer but there is a place in San Antonio called Extreme Powersports that seems to know what they are doing..Anyone that rides behind me can smell Gas at times and MPG has dropped drastically.

Tom, there ain't no need for you to be payin' someone to do this! Just ride her on up here and we'll git 'er done! Heck, you have offered me so much,you don't even need to bring the usual obligatory beer!! :thumbsup2:

 

And if I'm too far, just let me know - I'll load up the tools and see you down there. But I ain't bringin' the exhaust gas analyzer - you want that service, it is only available in Colleyville.

Goose

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We filled up in N. ridgeville Ohio got rite on Ohio TP, set cruise at 75mph indicated on stock speedo, up hills down hills only stopped 2 times for toll booths on TP pulled in for gas on Pa TP 222 miles later, took exactly 5 gal. I put Iridium plugs in before we left and Rotella Synth. oil. 2 up loaded, with xl clearview. Damn tolls cost more than the gas:crying: Side note that was the longest non-stop ride for my wife, getting her in shape for Asheville:thumbsup2: Craig

Congratulations. 44.4 MPG at an actual 68 MPH (not accounting for any odometer correction) is quite a bit better than anything I have been able to personally verify on an RSV. Best hold onto that thing and be careful how you do maintenance. I would typically get about 39 MPG at that speed.

Goose

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Tom, there ain't no need for you to be payin' someone to do this! Just ride her on up here and we'll git 'er done! Heck, you have offered me so much,you don't even need to bring the usual obligatory beer!! :thumbsup2:

 

And if I'm too far, just let me know - I'll load up the tools and see you down there. But I ain't bringin' the exhaust gas analyzer - you want that service, it is only available in Colleyville.

Goose

 

Kent, I'm simply gonna have to schedule a trip your way. Roxie is just burning too much gas, and I think she might need some float work. I assume this is also a problem on RSTDs?

 

Dave

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goose, do you dry set the float while you have them broke down? i was working on a friends 96 royal and couldn't find any measurements to set the float by, it's a pain in the azzz to tear them down several time to get them right. we set up a jig the check them on the work table. i'll try to remember how we finally did our measurements on the dry settings. i think it was 16mm from base of carb to tallest part of the float(needle closed) and 19 mm from base of carb to the tallest part of float(needle opened and stop touching).

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Kent, I'm simply gonna have to schedule a trip your way. Roxie is just burning too much gas, and I think she might need some float work. I assume this is also a problem on RSTDs?

 

Dave

As far as I know, the factory setup problem is with all 2nd gens. I cannot begin to suggest a viable explanation on why the factory is so ridiculously far off on the setup of new carbs; I just know they are.

 

The other possibility is that the specs in the shop manual are wrong, but the evidence says that ain't so. The consequence of having the float levels set too low is starvation under hard acceleration, but I can assure you that I do not have that problem with my carbs set according the factory shop manual.

 

I continue to be amazed at how little interest I seem to be able to generate in this needed maintenance. When I personally show people how far off the factory setting is (trust me, it is HUGE, and it will knock your socks off when you see it), I can't understand how they can shrug their shoulders and walk off. I guess the difference is just so huge they can't believe it and think I am some sort of a crackpot? I take great pains to show that what I do is based on the shop manual spec and not my imagination, but that does not seem to make much difference.

 

It doesn't make any difference to me how someone else's bike is set up, but I'm still willing to help other members here check this out if they are interested.

 

Here's a suggestion for you Dave - ride that thing up here and track your mileage carefully. After we make the adjustment, you can accompany me back to Port Arthur and we can finish my ride up the eastern Texas border. And you can stay here while you are in town before and after the loop.

Goose

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goose, do you dry set the float while you have them broke down? i was working on a friends 96 royal and couldn't find any measurements to set the float by, it's a pain in the azzz to tear them down several time to get them right. we set up a jig the check them on the work table. i'll try to remember how we finally did our measurements on the dry settings. i think it was 16mm from base of carb to tallest part of the float(needle closed) and 19 mm from base of carb to the tallest part of float(needle opened and stop touching).

I don't have the manual in front of me, but all the details are in the article in the tech library. For what it is worth, I remember that 22/64 is midpoint in the spec (I had to calculate this out at Don's since he did not have a caliper). :080402gudl_prv:

Goose

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Kent, What's the usual time frame for removing the carb assembly and are there any shortcuts you found ? I can do carbs but have questions about the cabling for the throttles.

The work isn't that hard, but there are a lot of things to do. Pulling the carbs takes about an hour if you've done it before, but probably twice that the first time. I could do the whole job in about two hours if I didn't spend so much time talking and looking for my beer! The only shortcut is to leave the heater wires connected to the carbs and disconnect the plug instead. That will probably save you at least 1/2 hour of farting around! And there is probably no real need to check and adjust the throttle position sensor, but since you cannot really do this with the carbs on the bike, it really makes sense to take the time while they are out. But be aware the manual is wrong (as usual) on which wires to measure! Just going from memory here, but when it tells you to set the minimum resistance by measuring resistance between the yellow and black wires, they really mean yellow and blue. Just figuring that out will take some time!

 

Nothing special about the throttle cables except to be careful to not pull on them too hard so you don't bind them up in the cruise control junction box. When you put them back on, adjust them so all the slack is out, but no tighter or the throttle will bind up and not fully return to idle. :080402gudl_prv:

Goose

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As far as I know, the factory setup problem is with all 2nd gens. I cannot begin to suggest a viable explanation on why the factory is so ridiculously far off on the setup of new carbs; I just know they are.

 

The other possibility is that the specs in the shop manual are wrong, but the evidence says that ain't so. The consequence of having the float levels set too low is starvation under hard acceleration, but I can assure you that I do not have that problem with my carbs set according the factory shop manual.

 

I continue to be amazed at how little interest I seem to be able to generate in this needed maintenance. When I personally show people how far off the factory setting is (trust me, it is HUGE, and it will knock your socks off when you see it), I can't understand how they can shrug their shoulders and walk off. I guess the difference is just so huge they can't believe it and think I am some sort of a crackpot? I take great pains to show that what I do is based on the shop manual spec and not my imagination, but that does not seem to make much difference.

 

It doesn't make any difference to me how someone else's bike is set up, but I'm still willing to help other members here check this out if they are interested.

 

Here's a suggestion for you Dave - ride that thing up here and track your mileage carefully. After we make the adjustment, you can accompany me back to Port Arthur and we can finish my ride up the eastern Texas border. And you can stay here while you are in town before and after the loop.

Goose

 

Hi Kent:

 

I was one of the few who witnessed you demonstrating the carb float issue on Friday at Don's. To say that I was amazed is an understatement. Amazed, and somewhat intimidated also. I would not want to attempt pulling the carbs, and then setting the floats by myself, at least the 1st time, there is just a little too much involved there for my limited experience wrenching carbs.

 

Although I do get impressive fuel economy with my 04 midnite venture, I would still like to check the floats, I am quite aware of just how important that is.

 

That being said....Beth said today that we could be in Texas in 2-3 days travelling the superslabs.........it just "might" be in the cards to pay you a visit and go through some "Goose training" for a day. (nothing like a self invite, eh?)

 

I'll have to see how vacation time plays out for us this year, we are going 7 days a week here at the salt mine. Beth was quite impressed with what went on at MD, and we will be surefire attendees from here on in, both for the camraderie, and the knowledge that gurus like yourself are more than willing to share. My hat is off to members such as yourself who are willing to share your knowledge and experience with these great machines.

 

randy

(gunkylump) or as yamamama calls me.....glf:hihi:

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Tom, there ain't no need for you to be payin' someone to do this! Just ride her on up here and we'll git 'er done! Heck, you have offered me so much,you don't even need to bring the usual obligatory beer!! :thumbsup2:

 

And if I'm too far, just let me know - I'll load up the tools and see you down there. But I ain't bringin' the exhaust gas analyzer - you want that service, it is only available in Colleyville.

Goose

Goose I will be getting in touch to work out a time frame..like to do it before the Rally if possible. Working this week but start my week off Saturday. Talk soon,Tom

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Thanks Kent.

 

Ok. I'm first in line for a carb float adjust at maintenance day 2010. Whats your favorite beer?

 

How long does it take if you supervise and I do the work?

 

:240:

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Randy, Tom, Randy, et al,

 

You all are welcome here any time! Happy to help you do stuff like that, or just sit around and bench-race. But Tom's the only one who doesn't have to bring beer! :big-grin-emoticon:

 

Just know I am not trying to be anyone's personal mechanic, meaning I HELP you do the work, not do it for you. And you have to listen to all my meaningless prattle while we work!

 

So "COME ON DOWN!"

Goose

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I would like to set my float levels and will attempt it when I have the time and the weather is bad enough so I don't want to ride.

 

I will read the procedure in the shop manual that I downloaded from this site for free but more importantly, I will read the procedure posted in the VRTech section.

 

I do hope it improves my fuel economy and I do like the feeling I get when I get to turn some wrenches on my vehicles.

 

THANKS for the motivation to do this REQUIRED procedure!!!!!!

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Goose,

 

Since you seem to be the resident carb expert around here (and I'm thankful that we have someone like you!), I have a suggestion that would really help those of us who aren't within reasonable travelling distance from you, or have other issues that keep us from paying you a visit.

 

There is a man named Fred Harmon who is well known in the Gold Wing world for his maintenance videos. I believe that initially he started with a small video or two on cd, which were available for the asking. He now has maintenance videos that cover every conceivable maintenance function on the 1500 and 1800 Wings. They are not free, but they are excellent for those who are wanting to start doing their own maintenance.

 

Perhaps you could consider making a video of the entire process for setting the float levels....removal of the carbs through reinstallation. You could easily sell that video to guys like me who would like to try this but are a bit hesitant....

 

Give it some thought (please?)

 

Joe

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goose, do you dry set the float while you have them broke down? i was working on a friends 96 royal and couldn't find any measurements to set the float by, it's a pain in the azzz to tear them down several time to get them right. we set up a jig the check them on the work table. i'll try to remember how we finally did our measurements on the dry settings. i think it was 16mm from base of carb to tallest part of the float(needle closed) and 19 mm from base of carb to the tallest part of float(needle opened and stop touching).

OK, since Taz insisted on broaching this subject, I guess I'll have to address it, at the huge risk of loosing all credibility here. :shock3:

 

First, let me stress that you read the details of my tech article on this job - I tried to be very specific on the one and ONLY correct way for ME to check and set the float levels on this bike. That requires the carbs to be out of the bike and opened up.

 

OK, here is where my credibility is probably going to go down in flames . . . The shop manual clearly tells you how to check the fuel level in the float bowls while they are on the bike! Yamaha even has a special tool specifically for this. But it just doesn't work!!!!! (The method, that is, not the tool - I ain't got that tool). I cannot explain why I couldn't get it to work, and all logic, fluid dynamics, physics, geology, other sciences and mystic visions say it MUST work. But it don't. (poor english intended) You simply connect a tube to the bowl drain, open the drain screw, and measure the gas level in the tube held next to the diaphragm cover. What could be simpler, right? Liquid MUST seek it's own level in an open tube, right? Well, not on this bike. See, I told you I was gonna loose all credibility here! Now everyone KNOWS I'm a crackpot!!

 

I farted around with that tube for an hour! Never once got a reliable fuel level. And yes, I'm pretty sure I made sure the drain screw was way open! At first, the gas only ran into the tube to the lowest level; it would absolutely not come back up to anywhere near the bottom of the float bowl, let alone diaphragm level, even with the key on so the fuel pump ran enough to ensure the bowl was full. So then I dropped the open end of the tube to let the gas completely fill it, but when I raised the open end again, the gas would not drain fully back down to the required level. I guess this makes sense, since the float valve had to be closed, but my point is I tried all sorts of different things to try and get a reliable and repeatable external fuel level. And I failed miserably. The only thing I didn't try was to start the bike and let it run, where maybe all the dynamics of the fuel pump running, vibration, and normal fuel flow through the carb would have produced the correct results? But by that time I was just pissed off at it. And now I don't care. Ya see, EVERY one of these bikes that I have checked has had the floats way off, and there is no way to adjust them without pulling the carbs anyway! So that is where I start.

 

Go ahead, laugh at me and point - see if I care! (now where did I put that damn beer?)

Goose

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Goose,

 

Since you seem to be the resident carb expert around here (and I'm thankful that we have someone like you!), I have a suggestion that would really help those of us who aren't within reasonable travelling distance from you, or have other issues that keep us from paying you a visit.

 

There is a man named Fred Harmon who is well known in the Gold Wing world for his maintenance videos. I believe that initially he started with a small video or two on cd, which were available for the asking. He now has maintenance videos that cover every conceivable maintenance function on the 1500 and 1800 Wings. They are not free, but they are excellent for those who are wanting to start doing their own maintenance.

 

Perhaps you could consider making a video of the entire process for setting the float levels....removal of the carbs through reinstallation. You could easily sell that video to guys like me who would like to try this but are a bit hesitant....

 

Give it some thought (please?)

 

Joe

Ya know Joe, that is a heck of an idea! I have briefly thought about it before, but never seriously. I just focused on trying to do a good tech article for things like this so everyone could access the info for free. But now you got me thinking . . . a very dangerous thing . . .

 

I've got the equipment to do it, just never considered going to the effort. But I can see the possibility of doing one for the carb floats, carb sync, exhaust gas analyzer, clutch, gauges, changing tires, rear drive pins, etc. Heck, I'm even getting ready to do my swing arm bearings, steering head bearings and valves, so maybe this is a good time to start? I'll have to see if my wife wants to try being a camera man!

Goose

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Ya know Joe, that is a heck of an idea! I have briefly thought about it before, but never seriously. I just focused on trying to do a good tech article for things like this so everyone could access the info for free. But now you got me thinking . . . a very dangerous thing . . .

 

I've got the equipment to do it, just never considered going to the effort. But I can see the possibility of doing one for the carb floats, carb sync, exhaust gas analyzer, clutch, gauges, changing tires, rear drive pins, etc. Heck, I'm even getting ready to do my swing arm bearings, steering head bearings and valves, so maybe this is a good time to start? I'll have to see if my wife wants to try being a camera man!

Goose

 

That would be awesome!!

 

Let me know when the float level instructional video is ready for sale. I'd like to be customer #1......of course, it will be serialized with a small bronze plaque on it won't it?? Or at least maybe the cd could be autographed so I can recover my money after you become world famous!! :hihi:

 

Joe

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Ya know Joe, that is a heck of an idea! I have briefly thought about it before, but never seriously. I just focused on trying to do a good tech article for things like this so everyone could access the info for free. But now you got me thinking . . . a very dangerous thing . . .

Goose

That would be very good. It may have even saved me at least one or two times of pulling the carbs offa the Royal Star TD. There would be plenty demand for a dvd that covered a several areas. Just being a specific dvd for one item, like for carbs and another dvd for suspension would be quite cumbersome for us less talented folks.

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