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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, here goes.....I've got a 98 zx6r. Been having trouble with it idling really high like the choke is stuck on. Really sucks to ride. I also need a new clutch, and there's a weird "knocking" noise coming from below. The last time I tried to fire it up, nothing. So I figured I'd take it to the dealership where I got it and see what's up. The guy calls me a little while ago and says it needs a new battery, plugs, and carbs cleaned before they can even diagnose any of the other problems......$400! Holy ****. Is this dude totally crazy or what? These sound like things I could do at home with a little help. Another problem is the place is 3 hours away and it cost me $100 to get it there. WTF? Any suggestions? :confused:
 

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It sounds like you have 2 choices: Pay the bill or bring it home and fix it yourself. :wink:
 

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I don't know. There are others here who can answer better than I, but what will you do if it's too high? My guess is you'll either pay it, or take it home and fix it yourself.
 

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400 is a bit high. Maybe the guy was high balling the estimate so that you are prepared. Changing spark plugs, cleaning the carbs and replaceing the battery can be done for way less than that if you do it yourself. Your looking at sparks which may or may not be about 5-10 dollars each depending on what you need. battery will run you about 30-60 dollars depending on what you want/need in a battery. cleaning the carbs would cost you a bit of time and about 6 dollars to buy some seafoam and let them soak in them for a little while. As far as your idle being too high, I would check the clamps that wrap around the intake boots, the screw that tightens them may have come loose and twisted itself into a position that makes the throttle on the bottom of the carbs hit it and not allow it to close fully thus causing it to stay open making your idle high. Had a problem like that on a bike before and couldnt figure it out for the life of me. I turned the idle adjustment down as far as it could go, i synced the carbs, i cleaned them, i did everything possible to them and still not luch until one day i just so happen to noticed that the throttle wasnt being allowed to close fully because of that screw. moved the screw out the way and made sure it couldnt come loose again, and problem solved. I would also consider having your carbs synced.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies, guys. Guess I just gotta bite the bullet and pay up. Or should i say SAVE some money and pay up.....:frown:
 

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Sounds like it would be relatively easy to fix yourself. Replacing battery is not a big deal, and cleaning the carbs is something that my hubby and I did to my bike last year without any problems. It took a little while, but certainly an easy fix. We also replaced my spark plugs, and while it takes some doing to access the area, it's another simple fix that will cost you under $10. Then you'll have the satisfaction of working on your own bike, too, and can brag about it (like I do :biggrin: )
 

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nu2kawi
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Your time is cheaper than theirs. Do what you can for yourself, then figure out if it's worth it to you to have your bike fixed. Can't cost more than a new bike. You're either going to get rid of it or bite it. Not much of a choice. It's a machine, all need up-keep and work eventually.
 

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Scootter_man
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All I can say is MOO! That man is sure milking you for some cash.
 

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Eddie Lawson is God!
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We need to make the rent too. Can YOU do it? If you want to ride, you have two choices. Learn or pay. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the suggestions that ANYONE can wrench bikes. Especially when said individual works out of a tacklebox. Your mechanic is applying sound mechanical practice. You own a ten year old motorcycle. You NEED a battery, plugs, and a carb clean at the minimum to make the bike idle. Your noise could be anything from a clutch basket rattle (which could be fixed by a carb sync. WAIT, you don't have a $150 Carbtune like I do) It could be a camchain tensioner, (Can YOU tell the difference between an upper and lower engine noise? We all know the answer.) Could be a rod knock. (if it is, you're BEAT)

I am amazed when somebody posts "Use Seafoam, It's a mechanic in a can" I use it too, but I know when. It doesn't resuscitate junk.
 

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400 bucks sounds about right. It would cost me that much just to have them rebuild 4 carbs here. Throwing in a battery, spark plugs, etc and 400 bucks isnt too bad at all.

If you're mechanically minded you can do it yourself. But you'll be paying 100 bucks to truck it back to your place, and 100 bucks to truck it to the dealer AGAIN when you realize you've still got an engine knock.

I've been wrenching on my own bikes for a while but I'd never attempt anything much more invasive than valve clearances/clutch job on a street bike. Someday when I have a spare maybe, but not yet.
 

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I'd be happy you found a dealer to work on your 10 year old bike. Pretty much all the dealers around here refuse to work on older bikes. A few have posted a letter to the editor printed in a bike magazine from a dealer. I can understand their side: You take your bike in and pay $400 with a expectation that it will run and be like a brand new bike after spending $400. Well in reality that $400 worth of repairs just brought to light another few thousand $$$$ worth of repairs you or the dealer didn't even know about. You expect them to now fix your bike for the $400 you paid, and there's no way they can do that without loosing a ton of money, and have you back in two weeks for the next thing that breaks.

I think if you are even somewhat mechanical, just go buy the service manual for your bike, yes it's probably $45-90 but the first time you use it you have paid for it. The battery and plugs are a simple fix but pulling the carbs and cleaning, while not difficult is a time consuming job and I think that's why the $400. The dealer has to pay his mechanic and don't quote me but I would think it would take at least 3-4 hours to properly remove and clean the carbs. Our local dealers charge $75-85/hour so at 4 hours and $80 you're already at $320 without parts.

The other benefit to doing it yourself, is: no one is going to care for your bike like you will. You have a vested interest in doing the job well, so you will take that extra few minutes to clean the carbs really well, or check that valve adjustment "one more time" so you KNOW it's perfect. No mechanic is going to take that time on YOUR bike.
 

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"The other benefit to doing it yourself, is: no one is going to care for your bike like you will. You have a vested interest in doing the job well, so you will take that extra few minutes to clean the carbs really well, or check that valve adjustment "one more time" so you KNOW it's perfect. No mechanic is going to take that time on YOUR bike."

I wouldn't say NO mechanic I personally fix everything like its my own and I know a few other that do also.
Unforunately as you can tell in ELR's post alot of us mechanics get offended when talked about in this manner.
The job isn't easy and yes there are some things you can do by yourself but if the bikes already there you aren't saving anything if you put the battery in or change the plugs the still have to take it apart to do the carbs.
Most mechanics do not even see 1/3 of the hourly rate a shop charges.
In the future i would ask around and find a reputable independent repair shop.
 

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In the future i would ask around and find a reputable independent repair shop.
+1. The characters you meet at one are worth the price of admission by itself.

Although when I have having carb problems (before I was more learned on the subject) he thought the gastank was a dummy tank. I was a little hesitant to leave it with him after that :? They did an excellent job. Which I might add came to about 250 dollars for two carb rebuilds.
 

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You take your bike in and pay $400 with a expectation that it will run and be like a brand new bike after spending $400. Well in reality that $400 worth of repairs just brought to light another few thousand $$$$ worth of repairs you or the dealer didn't even know about. You expect them to now fix your bike for the $400 you paid, and there's no way they can do that without loosing a ton of money, and have you back in two weeks for the next thing that breaks.

You hit it correctly, bross. There are nightmares sitting in the back of every shop that will never be worked on due to these exact things.

Find someone who works on older bikes.
 

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I say work on her yourself. Price is what I would think....but I still wouldn't want to pay that price if I could do it myself. :shrug: Good luck. -S
 

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I'd be happy you found a dealer to work on your 10 year old bike.
winter time is the only time you will get a shop to take one that old in, then they are probably going to want a chunk of change up front so they don't end up with more money in the bike than it is worth.


$400 isn't really that far out of line for labor depending on the area. Destination would charge 4 hours for a I4 bike, if your local labor rate is pushing $100/hr...

parts are extra. you never know if you will need needle and seats or other parts once you get inside.
 
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