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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought my neighbor's 83 KZ550LTD, he's had it in is garage (not running) since 1992. This is my first ever bike I own and really have no idea where to start. He said he parked it because it was leaking gas (from the carbs) and that it needed the "floats"or something to that effect. Due to the inactivity I may have to re-build the carbs for all I know which is not much. I am "mechanically inclined" and have done maint on cars but never on motorcycles. The bike is really dusty (spider webs everywhere)and the chrome has some superficial signs of rust. The fork, at the top, has rust that is pitted. Now on to the really important stuff, the gas tank has what it appears to be some "velvetty" mold like growing in it and I did notice some rust but it has not eaten thru the metal. What can i use to clean it ? I was told that mineral spirits may do the job but am unsure as to the procedure. I know I have to change the oil and filter and just ordered a new battery today. Should I rebuild the carbs or just replace the damage parts? Another thing I am doing is flushing the brake line and refilling with new brake fluid. What else should I be looking at?
Any and all help is appreciated.
Thanks,
Will
 

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re

will - try posting in the vintage bike forum - those guys can prolly help you :wink:
 

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There is this stuff that neutralizes old gas,but I cant remeber what its called.You should ask about that.I dunno if the radiator shops there do this but here they do this thing where they dip the gas tanks into this vat and that does the job,maybe you can ask about that as well.Sorry if this isnt any help,if I remember what the stuff is called I will let know
 

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Hi will! Welcome! There is a website dedicated to the kz series of motorcycle. KZRIDER.COM, has owners of your exact bike, I'm sure, who have done every process you will need to do, and will gladly share the info. Do a search, first, and if your questions aren't answered, post in one of the forums, and someone will answer. I'm sure you'll get it going.

Ride safe...God bless!

-Ron

Don't forget to search here, too, and let the vintage guys know you're here, and share everything you do. That's how everyone benefits. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks All,

I really appreciate all the tips/help offered so far. Keep them coming!. I am ordering the service manual today and will start to disassemble and clean the bike (one part/system at a time). Also plan to keep a log of the progress and put it on my server for folks to see (will provide link later). I am planning on doing most of the work myself and as I said before I have done heavy-duty maint on cars, like replacing engines and transmissions. My main concern was getting tips from folks that "have been there and done that". I'll try to scour the "Vintage" forums for previous posts/available help.
Again, thanks.
Will.
 

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Drain and rinse out the tank with fresh gas - try seafoam to clean out the tank and fuel lines. Check the petcock filter (inside the tank) that it is not all gummed up with crud - install a small inline fuel filter at first. The leaking gas from your carbs may be due to a faulty float which cuts off fuel supply when the bowls are full - might be a faulty gasket as well - probably worth taking them off.

Check brake line fluid - flush with new brake fluid and bleed. Check all brake line hoses for leaks. Check tires - old tires become hardened and do not grab the road well. Change oil once with cheapo stuff, run it a bit then drain and replace with good oil and change filter at same time. Give the poor thing a good clean and spray everything with WD 40 and wipe down. Lubricate clutch/throttle cables - check and replace air filter.
If this is a chain drive clean and lubricate chain and measure length to ensure it is not overly worn (details in haynes book). That should keep you busy for a while :D
 

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Will,

If the rust is surface rust a little soda with aluminum foil will remove the rust. This sounds funny, but that is what I used on my pipes. They are nice and shiny now.

Heather
 

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Check the petcock position, too. If it is in Pri (prime) it will be gravity feed and can overflow the two carbs on the left side if it's on the side stand, even with proper float adjustment.. Sometimes people think Pri means primary. I'm not sure which petcock is on the 550, but mine has main and reserve settings also. Either one will stop the flow when engine vacuum is removed (engine off) if the petcock is functioning. If the gas is coming from the overflow tubes, it could be that, or floats out of adjustment. I'd try the simple stuff first, just in case. Also smell the oil when you change it to make sure gas isn't getting in there due to a clogged overflow tube, and improper float adjustment. If it is, you should fix the floats before you waste the oil change. usually you can dip a rag in there and whiff it, too. Again, Kzrider .com has a huge archive of kz specific info.

Ride safe...God bless!

-Ron
 

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Rust

IF you have rust in the gas tank and are very careful you can remove everything from the tank including hte petcock, gascap...everything but the tank itself...have plenty of water running. and use Muratic acid and water to eat the rust. Once clean you should use something liek seafoam or additieves to the tank to keep the rust out..mainly keepo the tank full..Adding a little capful of 2 stroke oil to the tank on occasion will keep the tank coated as well. and will NOT hurt the carbs or fuel system in any way. Rebuilding the petcock while you have it off is advisable as well. BE CAREFUL IF you use the MURATIC acid...(1 part acid to 8 parts water will get you a clean tank...)
 
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