Best Carb Cleaning Fuel Additive

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Zanotti, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Zanotti

    Zanotti Been here awhile

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    I have a 2001 Bonneville with carbs that's running a bit rough. I probably should just bite the bullet and strip and clean the carbs. It doesnt get enough seat time and the fuel sits in there more than it should.

    Before I go that route, anyone have a favorite carb cleaning fuel additive? I have used SeaFoam in the past with some success, but its not that special.

    Most of what I see in the store is injector cleaner, since I think all cars have gone that way. Maybe Techron would work the same, but back in the day there were carb specific cleaners.

    I am open to ideas.

    [​IMG]

    Z
    #1
  2. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    I'm partial to Seafoam. Get it in your carbs and let it sit for 24 hours. That seems to do the trick.
    #2
  3. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Whether they're listed as fuel injector or carb cleaners, they're gonna do the same thing. In fact, I'd bet that if you see any bottles labeled for cleaning carbs, they probably have an identical solution in another bottle labeled for cleaning fuel injectors. I've used either Seafoam or STP multi-use formula, and couldn't tell the difference between the two. I'd wager that most of the cleaners are pretty similar and would work similarly.

    Good luck with it. Hopefully a fuel treatment will keep you from having to tear down the carbs!
    #3
  4. Jamming

    Jamming Desert RAT

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    Seafoam! I use it all the time in all of my vehicles. I add a couple of ounces every few tanks on the bike.
    #4
  5. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

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    BG Supercharge. It's a professional use product so no Wal-Marts etc. Find a shop that sells it here
    #5
  6. emti

    emti Been here awhile

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    Im using "Startron" in my V strom, seems to work well, engine seems to run smoother, seat of pants testing, ymmv. emti
    #6
  7. Zanotti

    Zanotti Been here awhile

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    I went to Advance Auto Parts and bought a can of SeaFoam. While there, I also noticed a spray can of the same.

    I plan on taking out the aircleaner and spraying directly into carb. (Not today, its 101 degrees outside.)

    I fully expect a huge mess - but isnt that what this fun is all about?

    I watched on their web site doing this on cars, so why not a bike?

    Advice before I youtube my demise?

    Z
    #7
  8. Midnightventure

    Midnightventure -

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    I like the Techron myself. It's a little pricier but seems to work pretty good. I have a 95 Trans Am that ends up sitting a couple of weeks at a time. Sometimes it will get to running rough right when it starts up. I put a bottle of the Techron in and it goes back to running like a new car like it normally does.
    #8
    9Realms and tellicotom like this.
  9. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    Elbow grease, it is pretty reasonable if you get it close to home and there really has not been a superior additive made at this point.
    #9
    JohnCW likes this.
  10. motomike14

    motomike14 Thumper Crusader

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    Option 1: Seafoam. Used it in many of my vintage bikes. Works great.

    Option 2: Remove, soak in Yamaha carb cleaner, away you go.

    If you're going to let the bike sit, really consider draining your float bowls in between rides. Will save you a lot of headaches.
    #10
  11. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 PITA but useful

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    I've never tried that expensive as sh#t Yamaha stuff. But I like seafoam.

    Best thing is elbow grease like GM said though...:D
    #11
  12. boxermoose

    boxermoose Regressive airhead

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    As a last ditch try get some Berrymans B12 and make sure to run the whatever amount of fuel you have treated thru the bike without letting it stand add fresh before parking

    Otherwise take the carbs out and do a proper cleaning job - there is no real free lunch here, some additives might make it better or livable & some of the ones mentioned above may be a bit better for a EFI bike
    #12
  13. Wuwei

    Wuwei Long timer

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    Start using StaBil marine formula (the blue stuff) in every tank of gasoline. Especially with today's ethanol gas you don't have more than a couple of weeks before it starts to go bad and begins to gum up the works.
    #13
  14. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    A tank of gas lasts you a couple of weeks? I fill mine up a couple of times a week.
    #14
  15. Wuwei

    Wuwei Long timer

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    The OP says his bike sits a lot. That's when the fuel stabilizer helps the most, but the stuff in marine StaBil also helps to keep your entire fuel system clean and working well, IMHO.
    #15
  16. StumpThumper

    StumpThumper Adventurer

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    Removing the air cleaner and spraying carb cleaner won't get you anything but a clean intake that probably doesn't need cleaning. They do that on cars to clean the throttle body. The dirty parts in a carb are in the float bowl. Before you remove the carbs put a heavy dose of Seafoam in the gas tank, drain the float bowls and let them fill with the treated gas. Let it sit overnight and then go for a ride. It should clean them out. If not you'll have to remove the float bowls, remove the jets (the pilot jet is the small one that gets stopped up) and clean them. You may have to run a small stiff wire through it if its totally gummed up. A high E string from a guitar works well. If the jet is clogged the entire idle circuit probably needs cleaning as well. You need to remove the idle mixture screw (it will probably have an epa cap on it that needs to be removed) and squirt some gumout (spray seafoam may be as good, I haven't tried it) in the hole. Before you remove the mixture screw count the turns as you turn it in until it gently seats. You need to put it back to the same position after cleaning. Follow that with compressed air. You should see the gumout spray out from the idle jet hole and out the front of the carb if its clear. Repeat the gumout and compressed air until it does. I like Gumout carb cleaner for cleaning parts inside the carb. Marine Stabil and Seafoam in the gas usually keep my carbs in good working order. Not as good as riding them but sometimes you can't put enough miles on them to keep them running right without chemicals. Hope this helps.
    #16
  17. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Yeah... I guess I may have been in a dickish type of mood with my last post. I blame alcohol!
    #17
  18. MerrellJr

    MerrellJr Adventurer

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    I am the care taker of by best friends bike. He passed away 3 years ago and the widow wants to keep the bike up.
    It at one point sat in her garage for 5 months, I rode it to my house and Cleaned it up. Added Seafoam to the fresh tank and rode it for a half hour before parking it. The bike has only been out 4 to 6 times in the past 3 years. It seems I catch it when the gumming up starts. i top off the tank with fresh fuel and put a hundred or so miles on it. The seafoam really does help. Finding the time to run it clean is even better.
    #18
  19. Pike Bishop

    Pike Bishop Pull Down the Ponzi.

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    +1 :nod
    #19
  20. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

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    IMHE When carbs are already varnished, tossing them in an ultrasonic cleaner is the best.
    Second best is a good soak in B-12 Chem tool.

    When carbs are in the process of varnishing up,Sea Foam.
    It's also kick ass fuel stabilizer.
    #20