Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Former Marine
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on a 454 for a friend that I just can't seem to get right. It runs real strong when it's warmed up, but it takes forever to get it running. I cleaned the carbs and had found that the main jets were completely clogged, so I cleaned them out real well. The left side mixture screw is capped off and looks like you aren't supposed to mess with it, but the right side is able to be adjusted.

So far I have rebuilt the ignition switch because it was bad, replaced the left side header because it was cracked, and I rebuilt the fuel petcock because it leaked real bad.

Do you know of anything that would cause the hard starting im seeing? just to be clear, the battery is super and it turns over real well, and the choke does make a difference when its running so Im guessing its working ok... I don't know if the floats are set right because they were stuck before I cleaned them.

Please let me know what else I can check.
 

·
RideOrDieWarren
Joined
·
652 Posts
As far as the idle mixture screw covers. You can remove them. They are there because of the EPA to keep riders from changing the settings. The cover is about an 1/8 inch thin. Drill a small hole in the middle and attach a small screw. Pull on the screw with a pair of pliers and it should come right out.

Usually after a carb clean, or any work on them, requires a carb sync.

Hope this helps some.
 

·
The Cruising Gunsmith
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
It runs real strong when it's warmed up, but it takes forever to get it running. //// the choke does make a difference when its running so Im guessing its working ok... I don't know if the floats are set right because they were stuck before I cleaned them.

Please let me know what else I can check.
Sounds like it's running lean on the pilot jet system, engines need a very rich mix to start up when they are cold. It also sounds like the choke doesn't rich it up enough to start cold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
Yeah, unplug that left side pilot screw and make sure they're both at the same level. Screw it in until it stops, counting the turns. Then screw it back out, adding a half a turn or so. Then, do the same on the right side and see if it improves your idle.

Also check your plugs and air filter. The plug in my right cylinder wasn't gapped right (too small) and I noticed a huge improvement. I'm surprised it was even able to fire.
 

·
Former Marine
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You know, with all the talk of pilot screws I realized that since they couldn't be removed I obviously didn't clean under them and they are likely gummed up... Thank you!

The main jets were completely gummed up when I started and I almost bought new jets... but after a 3 day soak and a stiff wire I was able to get them cleaned out. It runs real strong for a 454 and once its starting its going to be a sweet ride! I really like that they went all out and moved the pegs forward and put water cooling on this bike.

Thanks allot!
 

·
Obsessed by Z1's
Joined
·
520 Posts
Hard starting is rarely the idle circuit - it's much more likely to be the enrichment (choke) circuit. The choke pickup tube is a thin brass tube that hangs down into the float bowl. The end has a pin-hole sized opening. This gets clogged and the bikes become very hard starting.

Additionally, if the spark is weak (low battery power), the bike will also show signs of not wanting to start.
 

·
Former Marine
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hard starting is rarely the idle circuit - it's much more likely to be the enrichment (choke) circuit. The choke pickup tube is a thin brass tube that hangs down into the float bowl. The end has a pin-hole sized opening. This gets clogged and the bikes become very hard starting.

Additionally, if the spark is weak (low battery power), the bike will also show signs of not wanting to start.
Ok, this makes sense... I wasn't aware that that pickup was for the choke circuit, ill have a look. The battery is in great shape, and the spark is super. Like I said earlier, it runs fantastic once it's warmed up, so I don't want to change anything if I don't have to.
 

·
Navy Vet Search & Rescue
Joined
·
8,842 Posts
Sounds like you have the problem cause identified but if it still starts bad after checking/fixing the above items, check the +12 to the coils and make sure it's a full 12v. Lower voltage will not show up when you visually examine the spark, but sure makes a difference on starting.
 

·
Former Marine
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hard starting is rarely the idle circuit - it's much more likely to be the enrichment (choke) circuit. The choke pickup tube is a thin brass tube that hangs down into the float bowl. The end has a pin-hole sized opening. This gets clogged and the bikes become very hard starting.

Additionally, if the spark is weak (low battery power), the bike will also show signs of not wanting to start.
Yeah there is definitely nothing getting through that tube... I also have no way of cleaning it apparently.
 

·
Former Marine
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well that did it! I finaly unplugged those two copper tubes, man they were stuck bad... The thing started right up and ran perfect! and it was 17 degrees here :)

Thank s allot everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
hey guys...I'm new to the forum. I'm also new to the street bike
crowd, I've only ridden honda 250 dirtbikes before now but only when moving cattle out on a ranch and not much more than that.
so...I'm really stepping out on a proverbial ledge here. I'm 51yrs young, and starting over in life after a divorce and am now living the single life and wondering what the hell is next. I got inspired by the story of a man named greg frazier, who has covered the world 4 times on a kawasaki 650 dual sport bike.
Around the world with motorcycles, Harley-Davidson to BMW, adventure global touring with Greg Frazier
and having seen the movie "Easy Rider" about 30 times, I've finally decided to do something exciting with the rest of my days on earth like go out, buy a motorcycle and travel some.
I'm buying a 1990 kawasaki 454ltd, and I dont know anything about it, other than what I've read about it being a very reliable and trustworthy, and nearly maintenence free, street cruiser. I dont have the bike yet, because Im still making payments on it, only $850 to go before I can bring it home.
my questions to this forum is about riding tips, tricks, tweaks, and the need of some understandable knowledge in a practical sense with regards to this wild ride Im about to embark on. ANY advice from anyone would be much appreciated.
thank you for your help,

easy rider, mobilemover
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Thanks, thats in my plan to do so far. I've looked at some websites for gear....and there is so much, that I'm not really sure what to select yet. I want full protection head to toe, but I dont want to look like Robocop. heh heh heh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,728 Posts
You won't look like that, just like a person who wants to get up from a wreck, not carted off in an ambulance!

If you can find it in the book stores, "Twist of the Wrist" is a good one to read.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
thanks again....by the way...I noticed that quote is from the movie sweeny todd. I liked the song they sing about making the
meat pies.......very goulishly clever. bon appetite
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,728 Posts
I heard that line, and laughed like he!!. I liked the movie, it fits my dark, sarcastic nature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Thanks for the info on how to post correct info......
I just recently bought a 1990 Kawasaki 454ltd.
It has been in storage for 5yrs, with the gas tank drained, carbs drained, and covered with a tarp in a storage bldg, up on center stand. The bike is nearly in a like new condition all over, it has only been driven for 5950miles. The original owner developed arthritis in both knees and just parked it in storage.

I bought a manual and went through the step by step process of carefully removing both carbs, and disassimbling them and cleaning them throughly.
both carbs were very clean inside, so I only removed the basic essentials to clean out the ports and where any gum or varnish would hide. I've replaced the battery with a new one, added fresh gas, checked the oil level, closed the bottom drain holes on both carbs, and cranked over a couple times. It will start with the choke full on, but will not stay running; also if I try to give it some throttle, it bogs out or dies, if I ease up on the choke, it might start and run, but run rough, or else die again. I cant tell if I'm getting good enough spark at the plugs, but then, it will start right up so I figure that it must be getting spark at the plugs, I just know know if the ICC unit is allowing enough spark to the plugs, or it's something else. Like vacume. I noticed when the carbs were apart, there was a spring loaded diaphragm inside that seem to act as a "gate" in the opening of the throttle body, to allow for more air flow/vacume; so, my deduction for a bad idle is that there is not enough vacume getting to one of the carbs and pulling that spring loaded diaphram up high enough to allow for more air through the carbs and a better throttle response. does that sound right to you?
what else could do to make this run smooth. I have no reason to think that any settings have been "toyed" with since it was covered with a complete tarp, in a locked bldg, so I have'nt tried to monkey with any of the idle adjustment screws or anything else.

also one last thing, do you know about what goes between the upright bars behind the front seat, just above the tail light? mine is missing.
thank you for any help you can advise.....

mobilemover
 

·
Navy Vet Search & Rescue
Joined
·
8,842 Posts
Sounds like the pilot jets are clogged. Did you clean them and the passages in the pilot circuit. Could also have some air/vacuum leaks. The rubber manifolds that the carbs mount into have a tenancy to harden and crack with age. If you can get it to idle steady, spray the manifolds all over with carb cleaner and listen for the rpm to change if you hit a leak.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top