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 Post subject: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:32 am 
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Joined: Oct 28, 2008
Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
After far too long away from riding, I'm finally getting the Vulcan back on the road. Tore the carburetors apart and thoroughly cleaned them out piece by piece. Got things reassembled last night and was looking forward to taking it out for a test ride. There's a problem: the throttle is binding badly enough that it doesn't always return to closed at all, and definitely not with a nice immediate snap.

Here's what's weird:
1) The throttle plates snap shut immediately when the cables aren't attached
2) Both throttle cables move freely when not attached to the carburetor rack
3) When the cable ends are attached, I can open and close the throttle normally as long as the throttle cables aren't secured in their brackets

Any suggestions on what I'm missing?

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:31 am 
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Joined: Sep 9, 2004
Motorcycle: Suzuki Gsf1250
Rebel: 450
Country: Canada
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City: Rusagonis
Push/Pull swapped?
If the throttle handlebar housing turns freely, and the cables slide freely in their sleeves, and the carb springs snap back as described, I'm thinking cable routing.
brent

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:34 am 
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Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
If push and pull were swapped, I wouldn't be able to use the throttle grip to manipulate the throttle at all, right?

Cable routing certainly makes sense. Like I said, everything works if the cables aren't in their brackets. I'll look at it again this evening and see if anything looks weird routing wise.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:03 am 
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Motorcycle: Rebel 250 plus a few others
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Definitely sounds like a routing issue. If the cables are good until you mount the carb ends in their brackets, check for binding of the inner cable right at the bracket. Sounds like the cable jacket is not coming straight off the bracket as it should, but is immediately pulling sideways.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:33 pm 
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Motorcycle: Suzuki Gsf1250
Rebel: 450
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City: Rusagonis
yeah, sorry, fastpakr, I was just being facetious with the push-pull comment. I suspect routing.
One other thing you might consider: if everything works fine until full and final assembly, there might be some sort of binding that is occurring when you tighten down the handlebar throttle housing clam (the part that gives access to the throttle cable barrel nuts. Just a thought (saw it happen once, but its a long shot).
brent

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:31 pm 
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Motorcycle: 98 Valkyrie
Rebel: 250
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This is a third vote for routing. Very typical routing issue. That, and idle changing when you swing the bars.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:19 am 
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Joined: Oct 28, 2008
Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
Had a few minutes to stare at it again this morning. I can't see any weird angle where the cables come out of their housings, but discovered that it also works fine with the return cable removed from the system even if the pull cable is securely attached at the bracket. Thanks for the encouragement to stick with routing as the probable cause. That's definitely the right area.

In other news, I opened the fuel valve and fuel immediately came out of the overflow. Guess I'm pulling the carb assembly again. Ugh.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:23 am 
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Motorcycle: Suzuki Gsf1250
Rebel: 450
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City: Rusagonis
There are a lot of bikes out there without the second cable, and they work fine, so if it becomes too much of a nuisance, don't be afraid to just unhook the cable at the carb (or remove it completely)
I;ve done this on a bike for which the cable was just no longer available.

On the carb thing, don't forget the 'tap' cure: turn off petcock, drain carb(s) completely, give each bowl a sharp snap or two with the handle of a screwdriver or something else that won't just break the bowl, close the drain screw, open petcock. Sometimes that's all it takes to free a stuck float.
brent
brent

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:20 am 
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Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
I don't think they're stuck, given that I assembled them on Sunday evening and everything was moving freely. Unfortunately there's probably something sitting in the seat that I just missed.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:14 pm 
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Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
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City: Roanoke
Fuel flow problem solved. ID10T error: I hooked the fuel line -into- the overflow, not the inlet pipe. Swap things around and everything is peachy.

I've got the return cable disconnected for the time being. At some point I'll get back to it, but as Brent suggested it really does seem superfluous.

Last problem I see is the brake light. Works fine from the brake pedal but not from the lever, and the switch tests good with a meter. Guess I need to chase the harness back to find the break. Probably something unplugged...

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Oct 16, 2005
Motorcycle: 2014 CB500XA
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Country: USA
State/Province: AZ
City: Green Valley
If you are discussing a small switch with a protruding cylinder that is pushed in when the brake is released, they are quite cheap (under $5 for Hondas) and easily replaced. The wiring harness is another whole ball of wax. I had to replace that switch on my NX250, and was very glad that the problem wasn't in the harness.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:00 am 
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Motorcycle: Suzuki Gsf1250
Rebel: 450
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City: Rusagonis
Although I cannot explain it, I have had a couple of those front brake switch levers 'test' ok, but did in fact need replacing. Best way to troubleshoot quickly is to borrow one from a bike that is working in this regard, and see if replacing your switch solves the problem.
brent

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:13 am 
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Joined: Oct 28, 2008
Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
You guys are on a roll. I tried jumping the connectors going to the switch and the light came on immediately. Pulled the switch to bench test it and found out that it was working intermittently, maybe 10% of the time or so. Just bad luck that it worked when I tested it last night, leading me down the wrong path troubleshooting.

I sprayed some starter fluid into the only opening I could see and cycled the switch continuously. It's working about half the time now. I'll give it another few minutes this evening with cleaner and compressed air. If it starts working most of the time I may just try riding with it for a couple of days and see if it improves with use.

Would WD40 be an appropriate option for squirting into the switch? Not sure what to use in this case. I figured at least starter fluid would evaporate quickly and leave no residue.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:49 am 
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Motorcycle: Rebel 250 plus a few others
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For 5 bucks get a new switch.. The contacts are obviously damaged and or dirty, and when you consider what the switch does, (turning on your brake light to advise cagers behind you that your brake is applied) , why would you try to save a buck when you could have a new reliable switch.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:53 am 
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Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
If I can get a switch for that price, I'll gladly do it. The ones I've seen are closer to $30. I'll gladly replace it if it's not repairable, but if a few minutes of work gets it going again...

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:46 am 
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Joined: Sep 9, 2004
Motorcycle: Suzuki Gsf1250
Rebel: 450
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Try Ebay:' Honda front brake switch rebel 250'; they're less than $10, free shipping. Not OEM Honda, but they DO work well; bought a few of them over the years.
In my (limited) experience, once they start to fail, they don't get better in any reliable fashion, given the important job they do.
Brent

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:52 am 
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Joined: Oct 28, 2008
Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
It's for the Vulcan, but that was a good tip. There were some OEM knockoff units on eBay from sellers with good feedback for just under $10. I've ordered one - thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:46 am 
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Motorcycle: 2014 CB500XA
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Country: USA
State/Province: AZ
City: Green Valley
This sounds like a successful conclusion. Good for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:53 am 
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Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
For what it's worth:
I sprayed WD40 into the switch, then cycled the switch 100 times and blew it out with compressed air, then repeated that process with electrical contact cleaner. Reinstalled the switch afterward, and I can't make it -not- work. Seems to be perfect at this point (though I still have a replacement coming as a spare).

Wish I could say the same for the rest... Was trying to dial in the idle mixture screws when I realized the petcock was dribbling fuel on the valve cover. If it's not thing it's another...

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 Post subject: Re: Vulcan 500 throttle bind
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Oct 28, 2008
Motorcycle: 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
Rebel: Other
Country: USA
State/Province: VA
City: Roanoke
Work on the 500 is now on hold as I wait for a petcock that won't try to burn the house down.

Good news though: I found a Vulcan 750 yesterday that was in surprisingly good condition. Picked it up for $500 and am very happy with it. It's going to need a bit of catch-up maintenance (tires, air filters, thorough carb cleaning, etc) and has an oil leak to deal with at the generator cover, but all the important stuff is solid. Took it on a short test ride and ran it through all the gears. Very pleased.




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