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My '02 Vinson needs help.

Preface: It spends most of its time sitting in the garage at my place up north. When I get up there every few weeks, it gets a mile or two of use around two-tracks on 45 acres of wooded property. Mainly transportation; rarely if ever used for anything strenuous. It has just over 300 miles on it at 18 years old.

Last year I bought a plow for it and brought it downstate for the winter. I only do my drive and around 100 feet of the street in front of my house. Last year I only had to plow twice, and never more than 4 inches.

Over the last year or so, it began exhibiting what I believe is a carburetion issue. It didn't want to idle when sitting. This fall I noticed that the exhaust was somewhat smoky (white), and it's getting increasingly worse. Exhaust smells very rich. It's clearly not steam and doesn't smell of coolant. Both issues started out as barely noticeable but are getting progressively worse with every use. Last night it wouldn't idle at all without turning up the idle screw to a ridiculous level and was smoking like pile of burning wet leaves.

Fluid levels are regularly checked and it's had its break-in oil change. New spark plug and air cleaner last spring. A couple years ago it was running like crap so I had to pull the carb and clean out the intake. I replaced the hoses at that time.

Thinking maybe a plugged low speed jet is the culprit for the idle situation, but my carb knowledge base is average at best. I've run a half-bottle of Seafoam though it without results. I'm leery of chemicals that can attack polymer components, so I haven't tried it again. I have absolutely no idea what is causing the smoky exhaust.

I bought an Outlaw Racing OR4156 ATV Carburetor Rebuild Kit for it. I thought I'd post before I tear the carb off and perform surgery.

Anything I'm overlooking, or warnings for the rebuild? Any springs that can't wait to fly across the garage or things that are impossible to put back together and better left undisturbed?

Thanks for any advice or tips.

Mike Evans
Waterford, MI
 

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I previously owned a 2006 Vinson, which I purchased with a seriously gummed up carb. Mine would only run with a partly closed choke, even when it was warm. Soaking it didn’t do much. I took the carb off and sent it to be tanked. It came back looking like a new carb. So new that I almost suspected it wasn’t mine. Years and thousands of miles later, that engine runs great with the same carb.

I would suggest soaking it, or having it done in an ultrasonic cleaner. Then rebuilding it with a good kit like a Shindy. You may have a stuck needle seat causing float level to be excessively high. Clean it yourself, or send it out if your not comfortable doing it. I wouldn’t consider that carb to be extremely difficult to rebuild. Time, a clean work area and some patience will serve you well.

Good luck and let us know how you do .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I previously owned a 2006 Vinson, which I purchased with a seriously gummed up carb. Mine would only run with a partly closed choke, even when it was warm. Soaking it didn’t do much. I took the carb off and sent it to be tanked. It came back looking like a new carb. So new that I almost suspected it wasn’t mine. Years and thousands of miles later, that engine runs great with the same carb.

I would suggest soaking it, or having it done in an ultrasonic cleaner. Then rebuilding it with a good kit like a Shindy. You may have a stuck needle seat causing float level to be excessively high. Clean it yourself, or send it out if your not comfortable doing it. I wouldn’t consider that carb to be extremely difficult to rebuild. Time, a clean work area and some patience will serve you well.

Good luck and let us know how you do .
John,

Thanks for the reply and encouragement. If that fixes it, this would be the second time that sitting for too long has caused problems. Not surprising. The half choke does seem to help sometimes.

You recommended a different carb kit than I found. Is there a compelling reason to not use the first and buy another?

Did you use the Shindy kit after the tanking, or was it not necessary? (Not sure if the tanking destroys the rubber bits or not.)

Would a gummed up condition also explain the white smoke from the exhaust?

Mike
 

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John,

Thanks for the reply and encouragement. If that fixes it, this would be the second time that sitting for too long has caused problems. Not surprising. The half choke does seem to help sometimes.

You recommended a different carb kit than I found. Is there a compelling reason to not use the first and buy another?

Did you use the Shindy kit after the tanking, or was it not necessary? (Not sure if the tanking destroys the rubber bits or not.)

Would a gummed up condition also explain the white smoke from the exhaust?

Mike
These carbs are sensitive beasts. If they run better warm with a partial choke, it indicates you are running lean. Black smoke indicates running rich. White smoke can be normal when first started. Typically, a small amount of white smoke on start up is normal. Without seeing exactly how much white smoke you are getting, it is tough to comment. If your coolant level isn’t going down, that’s a good sign. A blown head gasket would give you white smoke and consume your coolant.

I think the best bet for you at this point is to start with the basics and get that carb proper. It is a relatively cheap fix that is easily done. Today’s gasoline becomes unstable after sitting in the tank and can be difficult to clean out. Often members tell us they cleaned the carb several times and still can’t get it right. I would always recommend rebuilding a carb after a thorough cleaning. If you intend to do it yourself, you can do some research here, on the forum . Lemon juice does an excellent job when done properly. There are also videos on YouTube.

I recommended Shindy kits because many of us have used them with positive results. They make a quality kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
These carbs are sensitive beasts. If they run better warm with a partial choke, it indicates you are running lean. Black smoke indicates running rich. White smoke can be normal when first started. Typically, a small amount of white smoke on start up is normal. Without seeing exactly how much white smoke you are getting, it is tough to comment. If your coolant level isn’t going down, that’s a good sign. A blown head gasket would give you white smoke and consume your coolant.

I think the best bet for you at this point is to start with the basics and get that carb proper. It is a relatively cheap fix that is easily done. Today’s gasoline becomes unstable after sitting in the tank and can be difficult to clean out. Often members tell us they cleaned the carb several times and still can’t get it right. I would always recommend rebuilding a carb after a thorough cleaning. If you intend to do it yourself, you can do some research here, on the forum . Lemon juice does an excellent job when done properly. There are also videos on YouTube.

I recommended Shindy kits because many of us have used them with positive results. They make a quality kit.

Yeah....my first fear when seeing the white smoke was a blown head gasket. I don't smell coolant in the smoke and the level isn't dropping so that temporarily ruled it out. Considering that the bike's only got a little over 300 miles on it as has never seen any even moderately rough service, I'm leaning toward stale fuel issues.

I reviewed a few of the carb rebuild vids on You Tube last night. I see that the fuel petcock is also an issue on these things. I ordered a new one for $10 that eliminates the vacuum operation as suggested by several of the posters. I'll likely replace the old one since I'll take it out to check the filters during the carb surgery. The vids brought to mind another possible problem.

I went out and checked the bike. It's been run with it in PRI for who knows how long. D'oh! The bike is used by several family members when at the cabin. Someone must have put it in the PRI position and I never noticed it. I can see where someone might think that PRI means PRIMARY. I need to check the airbox tonight to see if I'm getting fuel in there. I didn't see any when I replaced the air filter before plow season last year. I'll also check the oil for fuel contamination. Then I'll see how it runs with the petcock in the ON position tonight.

I'm still rebuilding the carb and cleaning it. My new Ultrasonic cleaning tank should be here in a few days. I have several small-engined tools that could use a good carb cleaning and rebuild so I ordered one last night.

I'll post results.

Thanks again.
 

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Yes, definitely check the oil for contamination. I would change it and drain it into a glass container (I’m thinking large pickle jar) and see if it separates.

Hopefully you will be ok.

Good luck with the rebuild. Post back and tells us how you did.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got started on it last night. Started it up with the petcock in the ON position now. Took a little while, but it finally fired up. After a few revs, it smoothed out and idled surprisingly well. Still a little rough, but far better than it has been lately. Exhaust was back to what I remember as normal at startup in the cold weather. I figured I'd better check the airbox for gas.

Much to my surprise, I found nearly an inch of gas/air filter oil mix in the airbox. Siphoned it out and wiped out the box. Wrung out the foam filter element that I put in last winter and set it outside to dry out. I ordered a new one in case this one turns out to be unusable.

Checked this morning. No fluid in the airbox. I will check the condition of the spark plug this evening.

I'm going to run it for a couple of days and see how it does with the petcock in the correct position to accurately assess the situation before I tear into the carb.

So far, it seems that a combination of the petcock design and my ignorance were the root of the problem.

What are your feeling on replacing the vacuum petcock with a standard one? (not right now, but down the road) Seems like the auto shut-off feature might well be absolutely necessary unless I want to try to remember to shut the fuel off after every use.

Mike
 

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Switching from a vacuum style fuel petcock (On/Pri/Res) to a non vacuum style petcock (Off/On/Res) is perfectly fine if you want to go down that route. I’ve seen numerous people do this over the years apposed to replacing it back with the OEM fuel petcocks witch are a bit pricey and can become troublematic over the years. If you do decide to go this route, buy yourself a Yamaha Raptor fuel petcock (Off/On/Res). They are way cheaper then the Suzuki OEM fuel petcocks and are a direct bolt on. Only thing you would need to do is cap the vacuum port on the carb where the vac line use to hook up to.


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My '02 Vinson needs help.

Preface: It spends most of its time sitting in the garage at my place up north. When I get up there every few weeks, it gets a mile or two of use around two-tracks on 45 acres of wooded property. Mainly transportation; rarely if ever used for anything strenuous. It has just over 300 miles on it at 18 years old.

Last year I bought a plow for it and brought it downstate for the winter. I only do my drive and around 100 feet of the street in front of my house. Last year I only had to plow twice, and never more than 4 inches.

Over the last year or so, it began exhibiting what I believe is a carburetion issue. It didn't want to idle when sitting. This fall I noticed that the exhaust was somewhat smoky (white), and it's getting increasingly worse. Exhaust smells very rich. It's clearly not steam and doesn't smell of coolant. Both issues started out as barely noticeable but are getting progressively worse with every use. Last night it wouldn't idle at all without turning up the idle screw to a ridiculous level and was smoking like pile of burning wet leaves.

Fluid levels are regularly checked and it's had its break-in oil change. New spark plug and air cleaner last spring. A couple years ago it was running like crap so I had to pull the carb and clean out the intake. I replaced the hoses at that time.

Thinking maybe a plugged low speed jet is the culprit for the idle situation, but my carb knowledge base is average at best. I've run a half-bottle of Seafoam though it without results. I'm leery of chemicals that can attack polymer components, so I haven't tried it again. I have absolutely no idea what is causing the smoky exhaust.

I bought an Outlaw Racing OR4156 ATV Carburetor Rebuild Kit for it. I thought I'd post before I tear the carb off and perform surgery.

Anything I'm overlooking, or warnings for the rebuild? Any springs that can't wait to fly across the garage or things that are impossible to put back together and better left undisturbed?

Thanks for any advice or tips.

Mike Evans
Waterford, MI
Do you treat the gas at all with stabilizer?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have in the past, but I've had issues with additives causing problems with O-rings and gaskets so I'm leery.

I keep very little fuel in the thing, and run it to just about dry at least once a month. That way I'm putting fresh gas in it regularly. I don't fill it up and let that same gas sit in the tank for months. It's only got 300 miles on it and it's 18 years old. A full tank would sit in it for a very long time.
 

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I don’t buy stabilizer anymore since I started using Seafoam. Simply because Seafoam actually has a fuel stabilizer additive in it. So dual function, it cleans and it stabilizes. Can’t go wrong with that.


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I don’t buy stabilizer anymore since I started using Seafoam. Simply because Seafoam actually has a fuel stabilizer additive in it. So dual function, it cleans and it stabilizes. Can’t go wrong with that.


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I was a big Seafoam believer until the first time it messed up a carb on my lawnmower. I let some Seafmoam-ed gas sit in the tank for a winter; 6 months or so. The fuel inlet valve seal swelled up like an 80-year old prostate, which had the effect you might be picturing. Gas would dribble into the bowl so that the thing would run like gangbusters for a minute or two, then die. After sitting for a few minutes, it'd start right up only to die again just as quickly.

Took me awhile to find that darned seal. Had to finger-twist drill it out and press in a new one.

The carb was otherwise very clean though.

When I use it now, it's more as a cleaner than as a stabilizer. I pre-mix it with gas in a fuel can. I then only fill the tank enough to run the engine for 20 minutes or so. I repeat this a few times until its running well. Then I just about run out the last bit of mixed gas and refill the tank with fresh gas. I'll run it a little more to get the mixed gas out of the lines and carb.

Anyone else leery of Seafoam for storage, or is the one bad experience clouding my judgment of a beneficial additive?
 

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I’ve used Seafoam in my 300 KQ for years during the long winter months, (6+ Month Winters) where I reside. I’ve done this for years with no issues. I do this for almost everything I store for more then 3 months time. I don’t hear of to many people saying bad things about Seafoam.


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I’ve used Seafoam in my 300 KQ for years during the long winter months, (6+ Month Winters) where I reside. I’ve done this for years with no issues. I do this for almost everything I store for more then 3 months time. I don’t hear of to many people saying bad things about Seafoam.


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Well... You seem to have far more experience with these machines than I. I will continue my short refill routine, but will add Seafoam for the extended winter months.
 

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It’s really all about personal preference. I for one use to use Sta-Bil. I was recommended Seafoam from a member here on the Forum years back. Can’t remember who it was but they highly recommended it. I first used it during the summer a couple times to clean the fuel system. I think it was the second season using the stuff that I realized it also had a fuel stabilizer additive in it. So I just stuck with that and it’s never given me any issues. But I also take my quad out usually twice during the winter when it’s real mild out. Just below freezing temperatures. I usually let it idle a good 15 minutes then take it out for a short 10 minute spin. Again, it’s all about personal preference. There’s some people on this Forum who only use Sta-Bil. And if that’s what you’ve been doing and it works, I wouldn’t change what your doing. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”.


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Glad you got it resolved, but I'd like to give my input.
  • Shindy carb rebuild kit is the way to go; Made in Japan.
  • I'd throw away that cheap ebay petcock & get a used Suzuki one from ebay, or rebuild the current one. That's probably why you have fuel in the airbox. Those cheap ones fail quickly.
  • Fuel stabilizer & ethanol free fuel is the way to go. I've got 10 small carbureted engines in my garage without issues. I use Sta-Bil Marine. Fill up your car with it and siphon some out if you don't want to carry gas cans.
  • OEM air filter as well. Aftermarket high flow will mess up the power curve to gain at the peak.
I've restored a couple of old 3 wheelers, so carbs are always a consideration.
IMG_2343.JPG
 
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