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Warning, this is pretty long, but has a good ending so read at your own risk.

So I just bought this 96 EX500, knowing that the carbs needed tuning. The last few days its really been running like ****, and being very finicky. So last night I stayed up late on the phone discussing the problems with a friend in AZ that works at a dealer to try and get the problems solved. Basically it seemed like it was running rich, but then would die and act like it ran out of gas. Really wierd sympoms, and I really didn't know much about bike carbs, being a car guy by nature. He made some suggestions to try, not having much to go on since he couldn't see or ride the bike. At about 1am we thought it was ok and I went to bed.

This morning at about 8 I headed to a friends house 2 exits up the freeway. I needed to go to the DMV to register the bike and he needed to do the same with a car, so we figured we'd follow eachother and keep each other company in line. I got about 1.5 exits before the bike started acting up and trying to stall. It ended up dying on the offramp and was a real pain to get goin again. It then died again pulling into his driveway. We pulled the tank back off and changed all the settings back to where they had been. Fired up, ran nice got to the DMV just fine. After spending a couple hours there I start heading into my shop, when all of a sudden the bike loses power and gets REAL loud. I pull over to find that a spark plug popped outta the hole. Umm I think thats a bad thing. long story short, my friend comes back and rescues me, we get the plug back in (no damage thankfully) and carry on my way, until the bike stalls again just before getting to the shop.

I had a class at noon, but since it was already 12:15 by the time I sputtered into the shop, and I didn't trust the bike to go another mile to school and back I decided to just bite the bullet and pull the carbs. I opened up the Haynes manual that the previous owner gave me, and called up Dynojet to get some suggestions from them on how to setup the jet kit to work with my pipe and filter. Tore everything down, and everything looked like it was already set up correctly. Until I got to the floats. When I went to check the measurement they give in the book I found that even with the float all the way down the needle valve was still almost entirely seated. Problem found! Basically what was happening was when the bike would sit for a few minutes the float bowls would slowly fill and the bike would run pretty well, but after just a couple minutes it would burn through all the gas in the bowls and the maladjusted valve wouldnt' allow it to fill up again quick enough, causing the extreme lean condition and stalling on the freeway, and also the rich condition at startup when the bowl was full and it could actually get gas. I carefully bent the little metal tang and got the floats right where the book said they should be. After that I replaced the spark plugs for good measure, fired it up and took it for a ride. AND IT RUNS BEEEEAAAUUUTIFUL! :grin: :grin:

I'm still gonna bring it out to my friend in Phoenix in a couple weeks and have him help me synch the carbs, as I'll be there for an offroad competition anyways, but it already runs 200% better than before.

I know that was pretty long winded, I actually tried to shorten it down a bit, it was a very long day. I left out the details about running all over town for parts and trying to fix the ex's car as well, but I think you get the jist of it. I was pretty intimidated about getting into the carbs without anyone to help, but once I got started it was actually pretty easy, just nuts and bolts really, and a couple needles, and springs and really funky lookin screws, simple right?


Don't you just love it when you do something minor like that and it solve's your problem. Its kinda like when your stuck on a stupid computer program that won't work, then after hours and hours of trying this and that you hit gold and everything works as it should. That has got to be the best feeling in the world...aside from a few other things.....
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