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Discussion Starter #1
I am having trouble adjusting the idle on this carb. Here's my symptom. We got sticks/debris/bad fuel/water in the line and have since emptied and cleaned the gas tank thoroughly, replaced with new fuel, and replaced the spark plug. It starts right up. It's a Honda after all!

It won't idle properly or smoothly. It spits and sputters and when the throttle is released it dies but will start right back up as long as I hold the throttle with a few RPMs. It continues to sputter. We have lots of power (even when it sputters) and even at higher end of RPMs, but it still sputters. It will run, but not smoothly. I can't change the sputtering or idle RPMs no matter what I do. Any help would be appreciated. I read threads where a new OEM carb was recommended. Should I thoroughly clean the carb and soak it or buy a new carb? BTW, this carb was not rebuilt, not soaked, not cleaned, gaskets not replaced, nothing done to carb. I just opened it and looked around inside. No gunk/buildup of any kind visible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I took it completely apart and cleaned everything. As well, I installed a new carb kit including all new o-rings and gaskets. The question I have is on the pilot screw, I took it out and found only 1 o-ring at the top near the screw head. The diagram shows a tiny washer on the needle end seated on top of the spring and another o-ring on top of the washer. When I pulled it, those were not there. This is a 1998. I know the diagrams and repair manuals are for multiple years. What is the configuration for this 1998 and are the washer and o-ring supposed to be on top of the spring in this year's model???

I cannot get this thing to run smooth at all. Sputtering and seemingly backfiring with loud bursts through the exhaust. HELP!
 

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Yes, the washer and o-ring are supposed to be on the tip, but if they are missing it will not cause the problem you are having.

Backfiring out the exhaust usually comes down to a ignition problem. Either the spark is weak or out of time. A good spark can appear weak if the incoming fuel mixture is excessively rich. Check the timing of the flywheel - insert a straw into the spark plug hole and bring the piston to TDC - check that the "T" mark on the flywheel is visible in the inspection hole on the alternator cover - if not find out where the "T" mark is in relation to TDC of the piston.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the info. Checked for timing. There is an "F" mark occasionally at TDC. The "T" is also there. But it is at TDC, exactly where it's supposed to be doing what you said to perform the test. The machine was definitely burning rich which I believe is why is was sputtering badly enough later in the game to cause the plug to foul. Black smoke out the tailpipe indicates too much fuel? That's what's occurring. The machine would not run at all after the most recent carb disassembly which is the time I used to install the new rebuild kit and it ran like crap after that installation and got progressively worse until the plug fouled out leading to no ability to restart. It would not start again no matter what I did, short of removing the carb again and reverting back to some original parts. So I took the plug out to check it, which looked wet, oily, and black. I assume "rich". Tested the spark by attaching the spark plug wire to the plug and grounding the plug against the block. No spark was visible. Went down and got a brass wire brush at the direction of a local parts guy. I cleaned the plug, reinstalled the plug and it fired right up. However, it will not hold an idle at all, just like before. When I let off the throttle it dies but fires right back up It still sputters. no better with or without the new carb rebuild kit. I should note that it runs this way without the washer and o-ring on the end of the pilot screw. I did put the o-ring and washer on the pilot screw and retried. No difference. Also, the new throttle needle was shaped slightly different than the old one but it was installed with the new rebuild kit. It ran like crap. The new one was a bit longer and the taper at the tip was more gradual and came to a much sharper point. I put the old one back in and it runs better than with the new one in. That may also be just my imagination though. The idle adjustment screw is new and has absolutely no affect on idle speed whatsoever. Why is that? The o-ring on the idle adjustment screw is new and seats well as is the needle itself. Is there a vacuum leak somewhere causing these adjustments not to have any affect? The pilot screw is backed out 2-5/8 turns per the repair manual (now with the washer and o-ring...makes no difference in the way it runs). Anything else I should do? I'm about ready to buy a whole new carb and be done with this. Nothing I do remedies the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Honda Gurus, please help. I am at my witt's end. for 2 weeks I have been doing everything under the sun to attempt to experience and change for the good or bad. No matter what I do, no difference occurs. I have cleaned the carb, rebuilt the carb with new jets and o-rings. I have dipped the carb for 24 hours and blew it our with an air hose. I have replaced jets, returned old jets, changed throttle body needle, returned the throttle needle, No matter what I do, there is no change. The beast will NOT hold idle. The idle adjustment needle has no effect on how it runs. It will not increase or decrease the idle rpms. It is running rich as I deduced by the minute puffs of black smoke out the exhaust upon revving the engine and the black, wet spark plug. I even got a new spark plug. No difference whatsoever. When I let off the throttle, it dies. It pops and sputters at all rpm levels. It has power when I drive it. It shifts and goes when I need it to go...but it sputters and pops. It's not smooth and dies when I let off the accelerator. The pilot screw is in to the stopping point and out 2-5/8 turns per the repair manual. It is acting as if there is a vacuum leak somewhere or a blockage in an air inlet causing the air intake to be minimized and the fuel to be too much leading to the blackening of the plug and exhaust. I have very little advice to go on now as not many have replied to my threads. Help!
 

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just saw your post when I pulled my pilot screw same thing one o ring but when I looked in carb. hole it was stuck in carb got it out with thin wire might check in side to see if yours is stuck in there. just an idea. I had my 2000 recon idle up and done cant get it stable it races up then down bought a new carb same problem still fighting problem maybe we need to look at something else anyone have any ideas good luck with yours let us know if you fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I sent the carb to Arteman's Cycle Repair in Clinton, IL. Here's what the problem was. By the way, EVERYTHING is good now. We took the bike to Kawasaki in Medford, OR. It just stopped running (vacuum leak caused that). Kawasaki/Honda of Medford was going to charge me in excess of $350 to do the repairs. I said, "no way". I pulled the job from them. Upon my arrival, they handed me a box of crap! there were hoses attached but incorrectly. Parts in the car were missing, primarily the little sleeve that goes around the throttle needle...it's a brass piece that fits into this area for the throttle needle to fit down into. Among other parts, many of which were wrong or missing. That is definitely not how I gave the bike to them. I fear that because they didn't get the job, they got butthurt and sabotaged the parts so I couldn't fix it, given that I have no experience. Steve Arteman offered to have me send the carb to him and he would take a look at it. He charged me NOTHING but the postage to send the carb back and forth. He put the correct parts in and connected the hoses to the right places and the carb is PERFECT and it runs better than when I bought this thing in 2004! It's a Honda so I expect all of my Honda bikes and equipment to run flawlessly. So here's how this thing runs now. I turn on the key, crank the electric start 1-2 revolutions, no throttle, it starts and purrs....LIKE A HONDA! Now that's what I'm talkin' about! STEVE! THANK YOU! I'm sending Steve a $20 tip for his help as well. Do I need to give thanks on this forum in any different method than I did here?
 
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