Time To Clean Carbs?
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  1. #1
    nslemmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Columbus, Ohio
    I've had this bike (1980 CX 500 Deluxe) since memorial day. It has been great! It had low miles and I've put almost 2000 on it since I've had it. I now have an issue I was hoping to get some thoughts on.

    For the first couple weeks every so often (pretty rarely) while stopped and idling the bike would die, without warning. After I synced the carbs, adjusted the idle, valve check, it seemed to be doing better but would still suddenly stall at idle now and again. (Maybe unrelated to my current problem but maybe not)

    Just this week the idle speed is either higher than normal (around 1750) or is lower than normal (around 850) and won't stay running for more that 5 seconds at the low speed without having to give it some throttle. Today it was low, yesterday is high, 2 days ago normal, 3 days ago low, 4 days ago normal, 5 days ago high. While riding when the idle is low everything seems fine when up to speed, (maybe a little power loss) but at idle it wants to stall. I've noticed that I can pull the right side spark plug cap off when it is idling low and there is no difference in idle speed. But when I give it some throttle there is a noticeable performance drop with the right side cap off. I've checked that there is spark on that cylinder, even cleaned the cap components and replaced the resistor and rod with brass stock, but left the spring. The plugs look fine too. This has left me to believe that it is probably a fuel issue at idle. Also the right side carburetor idle mixture screw seems to maybe have a slight leak and I don't remember noticing that when I looked at it a few weeks ago.

    -I'm wondering if it seems time to take apart and clean the carbs, or is there a specific carb fix that wouldn't require me to take them totally apart?

    -Any checks that would be recommended before I begin to tear the carbs apart?

    -I do have Larry's book as a reference if I get into taking them apart.

    -Are there any modifications to these carbs that would be recommended if I get into cleaning and rebuilding them?

    Thanks for any thoughts you may have!
    1980 CX500 Deluxe

  2. #2
    Triple 0 - Licensed to Kibitz fibonacci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Tampa, FL
    If the bike has set for more than six months (sometimes even less) at any time, it's a good idea to clean the carbs. While it may seem intimidating if you've never done it before (I never had and was intimidated the first time), cleaning them is really not that difficult, especially with Larry's book in hand.

    That being said, the carbs may or may not be your issue - it could also be electrical. You could do a compression test. It only takes about five minutes if you have the tester to eliminate compression as an issue.

    Wiki link

    '83 GL650 ("Beatrix) Kiddo"

    Who is John Galt?

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

    "Don't worry about it, I'll worry about it - I'm gonna be up anyway" Joe Walsh

  3. #3
    Senior Member stern-69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I would say do the carbs, but do them re Larry's book, as it details things very well, and at the end your carbs will be super clean and can be elimminated from any problem that remains. The carb is very important and many things can make it run bad or not at all, and thats why its important to clean it well (rebuilt mine 3 times, but until I used Larry's book the problem didnt go away. Now they are 100% perfect and the bike shows it). The general rule is unless ALL parts and jets are removed from the carbs and ALL orifices cleaned well, it wasnt cleaned right. If it took less than 6 hours to do the job then its wasnt done right. May seem fussy, but if your going to go to the trouble of rebuilding them, best to do it properly the first time, or you end up with carbs that are not clean but still rule out the carbs during troubleshooting, leading you to spend days chasing a problem that IS in the carbs.
    1982 CX500C
    1979 GL1000

    For detailed service and repair info, see the CX WIKI Pages
    Rebuilding a carb, do it right with Larry's Carb Book

    Some people are like answering machines..... they ask but are incapable of listening

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  5. #4
    nslemmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks Guys, I'm ordering the gaskets, etc. this week and will be getting into it next weekend. I'm looking forward to see how it turns out. Thanks again.
    1980 CX500 Deluxe

  6. #5
    Senior Member DanCX500's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    South West MN
    Dan :happy3:

    :blob6:My link to the cam seal delete plug
    '81 CX500c 41,000+ miles.
    CXGL WIKI<------ Check here for help!
    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
    Always check the stupid stuff before panicking. This applies to everything in life.

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