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I have a 1996 Vulcan 1500 that has several issues, I was comming back from Daytona and had to pull over real quick due to an accident, any way, never cut the bike off but once I pulled back on to the highway it started cutting off and back firing. I limped home about 12 miles (live in Jacksonville) and went on to work. Tried to crank it the next day and all it did was back fire through the carb and throw flames out of the top exhaust pipe, the bike has 16,000 miles. I changed the plugs (which were oil soaked) and last week I even changed the battery just to make sure, same result. Back fires when cranked and will only run for about 2 seconds, lot of grey smoke, help??
 

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I'd start with the carbs. Check them inside out if there seems to be any sign of leaking etc. Are the plugs soaked with oil or are they just wet from gasoline?? You know what to do if they're oily... I think the exhaust smoke would be very brown colored, if the engine gets too much gas. How about your oil level?
 

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I had the carb rebuilt, twice actually and still the same thing, it will at least crank and sort of run now but, it's also now back firing out of the carb when running and still smoking continually, next suggestion???
 

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Grey smoke can be cooling liqued. Blue grey smoke can be oil. Does the bike use oil. One of the problems of the vn1500 is bad pistons or piston rings. Measure the compression of the cylinders front cylinder 50 - 85 psi bij 300rpm. rear cylinder 110 - 156 psi at 300rpm the differance between front and rear is the KACR mechanism that reduces the compression of the front cylinder during cranking.

If the compression is not good the pistons or piston rings are bad. or the valves are worn out or leaking. Leaking can be the result of to much carbon on the valves.

You said that the sparkplugs were oil soaked. That is the reason i give you this advice

The dutchman
 

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Just got through going thru the same thing with my 96 1500. Read my thread "weird carb problem" in the cruiser section.
 

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Question...was the bike running good up to the point when you pulled over quickly?If it was it would normally rule out things mechanical like pistons and rings valves timing etc...remember I said normally not always.
This may sound stupid but over the years i'v found 2 things important when fixing bikes and cars..a good test drive and talking to the customer to determine what was going on when the problem FIRST started..and this you know better than anyone.
I'm gonna toss a few things at you...Sudden stopping and pulling over.. gas sloshing and DIRT/RUST moving in the tank and carbs..maybe causing a needle valve not to seat when the float moves up..causing the plugs to foul and backfire?
Is the smoke because its pig rich..what you call grey someone else might call black,who knows.Oil soaked plugs OR gas fouled mixing with the carbon build up on a 96 bike?The 96 1500's had a TSB and recall on carbon build up and had a FREE valve spring update and I think new valves..I know my valves were done at this time but dont remember who paid for it me or Kawasaki. But there were carbon related issues that were covered by Kawasaki.Gas fouling in a engine with carbon build up can look like a oil fouled plug to some.
Also for the heck of it..whats the oil level like?If dirt caused a float not to seat then the gas would keep flowing and go into the crankcase..this will cause a multitude of problems including lifters not pumping up and the motor backfiring.
Just a few things to consider...

As always..
Just my 2 cents worth
Posttal AKA Ralph
Ralph's Corner
 
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