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  #1  
Old 19th October 2011
bigdutch bigdutch is offline
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Default A little help with vacuum operated petcock?

Hey guys. Let me briefly explain. My 1995 883 sat for quite awhile, like 6 months. Took her out, started right up, ran great, then parked it. She proceeded to leak gas from the carb until the gas tank was bone dry .... even with the petcock set to OFF. So I thought maybe the vacuum operated petcock crapped out. I replaced it with a standard petcock (because that is all I had) and just capped the vacuum line. Bike runs fine, but now I'm getting gas leaking out of the overflow tube from the bottom of the float bowl. That problem is fixed by turning the new petcock to OFF.

What next? Rebuild the carb? It's never been done, the bike just sat for 6 months with shitty gas in it, on top of the fact that the bike is 16 years old.

I guess my question is .... is it the carb or the petcock? Is the float stuck or does this new problem stem from removing the vacuum operated petcock?

Is it ok to replace a vacuum operated petcock with a standard one? I'm going to do the carb rebuild anyway, but should I go to the dealership and purchase a direct replacement vacuum operated petcock?

Some one please explain to me the purpose of the VOES? Why is it there? Is it just a dummy switch for people who forget to turn off the gas or is there more to it?

Thanks for any help dudes .... sorry for rambling on.
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  #2  
Old 19th October 2011
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chopfather chopfather is offline
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The petcock is probably fine, you just need to clean the carb and check the float to make sure it is set correctly and that it actually floats. Check the carb section for some posts on carb cleaning if you are unsure of how to clean everything and put it back together correctly. Clean everything well and you should be good to go.
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  #3  
Old 19th October 2011
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ChinCactus ChinCactus is offline
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Replacing the vacuum petcock with a standard is ok. I did it ten years ago on my 95 XL. The VOES on the other hand is part of the ignition advance and is defiantly needed.

My Sporty occasionally leaks from the overflow in the spring at idle but the first ride cures it so I never look into it.
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  #4  
Old 19th October 2011
alank alank is online now
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Either the float isn't floating, or the needle valve the float is supposed to shut off is gunked up and needs to be cleaned. Not a big deal at all and a common thing on engines setting for a long time.
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  #5  
Old 19th October 2011
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jharback jharback is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alank View Post
Either the float isn't floating, or the needle valve the float is supposed to shut off is gunked up and needs to be cleaned. Not a big deal at all and a common thing on engines setting for a long time.
+1

Sometimes a quick fix is to just give the bowl a good sharp rap with the handle of a screwdriver. Often times that will un-stick the float. If it continues to do it tho' you'll need to give the carb a thorough cleaning and probably replace the float.
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  #6  
Old 19th October 2011
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As the other guys mentioned, replacing the vacuum petcock with a standard one is OK. I'd say the petcock was your first problem, as the tank still emptied itself when turned OFF.

I took my '93 out for a short ride this weekend and had fuel coming out of the overflow hose as well. First time I've had this happen on this bike since I bought it last year.

I rapped on the carb a few times with an air compressor hose at the gas station I was stuck at and it stopped leaking...
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  #7  
Old 19th October 2011
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hmiller hmiller is offline
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Don't hit the float bowl too hard, a light tap is good. If it doesn't stop flowing it's probably just crud in the needle valve
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  #8  
Old 19th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmiller View Post
Don't hit the float bowl too hard, a light tap is good. If it doesn't stop flowing it's probably just crud in the needle valve
+1 to your post and the others that have said a stuck float needle is the problem. Yep, try tapping on the float bowl with anything you have handy, and that usually clears the problem.

I also agree that the petcock was "A" problem in the beginning, but not "THE" problem. It shouldn't be leaking out the carb even with the petcock turned on (a non vaccuum one), so the leak is the carb float needle, and the "secondary problem", which was not an issue other than failing to shut off, was the bad petcock.
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