The Carburetor Chronicles

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Carb Chronicles Page # 1

All right, it is time for me to admit it.

I have never rebuilt a carburetor.

There, I said it.

So I decide I need to prove my manhood.

In my life I have done each of the following and come to the following conclusions regarding the true "gutcheck" nature of the activity.

Military service, not good enough. Fistfights, not good enough.
Bedding a few women (this include the occasional moped, and perhaps a hooker or four), not good enough. Drinking copious amounts of alcohol, over and over again, not good enough. Puking in at least four different countries, not good enough. Killing the occasional pretty bird with a shotgun, not good enough. A night or two in jail in Memphis, not good enough. A few more days in other jails in less interesting cities, not good enough.

If I am truly to march among men the time has come to rebuild a carb.

It is time to face my fears and tackle what I previously believed to be an invincible enemy. The enemy I have chosen comes in pairs and his name is Bing.

Did I mention my new enemy came attached to a new (to me) motorcycle. My wife gave me a pass to buy another bike because she does not want me to screw around with the 69 R60 because she has developed an emotional attachment to the bike (god I love her) and she does want a man with limited mechanical ability (me) to fuck it up (god that woman can frustrate me). So she says "I know a guy who is selling one of those bikes that you like, why didn't you buy it" (god I love her).

A 1981 R100T now sits in my garage. Once it was in my garage my little brother and I promptly took off the god-awful Luftmeister fairing (coming soon to a flea market forum near you along with a tank cover with pockets and a BMW logo).

I then dropped $95 dollars on a new gel battery from the dealer so I could come home, find out what a pain in the ass it is to install, and then kill it trying to start the bike. For $95 dollars it should start any bike, in any condition, anywhere and at any time.

It didn't, but then you knew it wouldn't.

I suppose at this time it would be fair to note that the bike has been sitting for like, six or seven years. I know you know it was not going to start, but we already covered my poor ass wrenching skills, besides would that have been a cool story. "I bought this BMW that had been sitting for six years and it started right up" Too bad it ain't gonna happen. I knew it wasn't gonna happen too, but man I really, really wanted it to.

Six years of shitty gas sitting in a float bowl has forced to confront my fears. I have always believed that carbs are products of black magic and dark sciences and I have never so much as started to take one apart. I know this makes me less of a man. I know.

The time has come to draw my line in the sand. Below you will see the enemy I have chosen and I have decided to go forward without benefit of a manual because there is not one to be found in my town and I am not waiting to hear the bike run (maturity and patience are not my skill sets). I bought the rebuild kit ($45 fucking dollars for about 1/8 of an ounce of rubber and cork, no hard parts) and the dealer gave me a exploded diagram from the parts catalog CD.

Updates, with photos to follow (no making fun of my garage). It is cold as hell and I have a crappy heater so I will come in to thaw out and give some real time updates, maybe.

To the bold go the spoils of war, fuck Clymer, fuck Haynes, I march into the unknown alone armed with B-12 Chemtool, barely enough knowledge to be dangerous, the Dakar Rally on TV, and the Reverend Guinness to guide me.

Pray for me my brothers.


If I can do it, you can, too.


Pray for me my brothers . . . . . and sisters.

The staging area. Oh yeah, there are gonna be a lot of mixed metaphors here so lit majors may want to stick to the pictures.

My wife bought me the jack and stool (god I love her, I mentioned that right?)


It's not so bad, just remember to take your time and don't force anything, at first. You'll end up with a table that look like this:


which is cool. You want boxes and trays to keep everything sorted. Soak all parts in kerosene or biodiesel or some basic solvent, get the gunk off. Have a source of compressed air nearby with a nozzle tip to get everything dry before going back together.

You MUST replace the enrichener gaskets, and use a smidge, a mere dab of mild Loc-Tite on the screws for the enrichener cover. Silicone grease is good for any rubber part. Make sure your jets and needles are matched, and that your needles are set to the same notch.

You DO have a full set of replacement gaskets and O-rings, right? How are the return springs? Replace them if they're saggy or rusted. Oh yeah, be absofuckinglutely sure your floats are set to the right spot - the seam on the float is parallel with the lip of the float bowl when the fuel just starts to dribble out. If not, adjust the tang on the float arm.

Have fun, have a beer, be sure to keep left from right, and don't let anybody fuck with you while you're doing it, you'll be fine. Plenty of helpful advice on the Airheads site.

Dude, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Seriously, somebody pray for me. Who is the god of carbs anyway?

Coming off ok, so far. The only thing holding this baby on is the hoses and the cables. Seems simple enough.

Now it is time to start breaking shit. I'll bet a dollar somewhere in a book or on a website it says not to use pliers on the knurled part of whatever in the hell these things on the ends of the cables are called.

Seeing Andrews post made me feel just a little more feminine. I really have no fucking idea what I am doing. Here is the next staging area. That is right I am going to do it in a box. I am gonna drop stuff, I just am. And there are so many little bitty parts.

Oh shit, probably ought to cover the gaping hole in the side in the side of the cylinder.

go to the kitchen and grab a muffin pan if you can find one. or a baking sheet. stick a magnet to it, and it might prevent you from losing some of the bits.


Time to start the fight with this little shit and his brother. I'll be back later.








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