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Discussion Starter #1
Got a used 2001 250 recon for work on the cheap. It runs, but not well. Ive been trying to fix it up but can't get it all the way there.

At first it would only run when the choke was set just right. I got a carb rebuild kit and rebuilt the carb- first time for me. Cleaned everything, put in all the new jets & o-rings. I couldn't figure out how to change the slide needle so it is the original. I reset the two adjustment screws to original position. Ran great at first, then sat for a few weeks and went back to poor idle.

It will only start & run on 1/2-full choke now. I've adjusted the idle screw with no luck. Idle can pretty variable, sometimes need to give it gas but sometimes it will jump and rev up. Usually have to gas it to keep it running.

I've use carb cleaner to check for air leaks and can't find any. I've change oil & spark plug, cleaned & oiled air filter and lubed throttle cable. I replaced some of the fuel line when I did the carb b/c it was starting to crack. Some line on the carb had been replaced already. There is one screw on bottom engine side of carb I can't reach to adjust so I haven't yet.

Anyone have some advice on what's wrong? Thanks!!
 

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The carb you are working on is a simple design complicated by an add-on air cut valve. The hose routing is critical. One guy on here gave up, sent his carb to me, I fixed it and sent it back to him.

You also confuse me when you say you adjusted the 2 adjustment screws and then ask about the screw on the bottom engine side of the carb. There are only 2 adjustment screws - one on the side of the carb to set the idle speed and the one on the bottom to adjust the fuel/air mixture at idle. What other screw are you adjusting?

At any rate, turning screws will not fix your problem. The carb needs a through professional chemical cleaning. Be careful with the spray carb cleaners. They can sometimes do more damage than good. Carb kits rarely fix running problems unless the only problem is a clogged jet and then proper installation is critical. It's the mechanics job to install and adjust correctly.

If you insist on doing it yourself; go to an automotive supply (O'Reilly's is the one I use), get some Berryman Chem-Dip (about $75 for a 5 gal bucket with part basket (part number 0905)), completely disassemble the carb as the cleaner will destroy rubber, soak the parts up to 24 hours if necessary (2 to 4 hours is usually sufficient depending on the condition of the carb), then assemble the carb, calibrate the adjustments, assure that the hoses are connected to the proper nipples, install, make final adjustments and ride to your hearts content. BTW, to adjust the fuel screw on the bottom of the carb you need a special tool. I use the MotionPro 08-0229 (about $100 from any motorcycle shop)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I thought the exterior hoses on the carb were strange. I got them back where they were originally, but that could have been the wrong setup. Would this explain anything?

I cleaned the carb as best I could, no varnish left I could see. Was not dipped. I adjusted both screws to where they were before I put the carb in, but now can only reach the one on the side to adjust.

How much damage will I do if I keep running it with the choke? I only ride about 30 min/ day carrying gear in and out of the woods.
 

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You probably will not do any damage other than fouling a spark plug occasionally or breaking the choke butterfly (it is spring loaded and is constantly fluttering open and closed when running when running on or partially on) - carry spare plug - use premium fuel with PJ1 fuel system/injection cleaner and over time it may finish cleaning the carb and you will be able to run without the choke
 
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