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Old September 4th, 2019, 07:01 PM   #1
Zolland
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Thinking carbs are dirty, any input before I start tearing the bike apart?

Hey all!

I just snagged a 2005 250R off a friend for a great deal. I've noticed recently that something is a little weird and I'm thinking the carbs need cleaning. Before I start tearing the bike apart I wanted to post here to see what ya'll think... here are the symptoms:

1) Bike can't idle below around 3k. If I adjust the idle screw even the smallest bit it will dip to around 1k/500. At this point the throttle is SUPER delayed and unresponsive which makes the bike super hard to handle. This forces me to set the idle to 3k.

2) With the bike idling at 3k, it occasionally dips down to 2k and then back up to 3k (usually when I've come to a stop). Thinking this is also what makes it hard to get it idling lower than 3k (as these dips would stall it or get it damn near close to).

3) Revving the throttle has good response in high rpms. When reving from 3k to around 6-8 (giving it a little flick while it's parked), it hangs for about half a second and takes a while to get back down. I haven't noticed what it's like higher than that as I've been riding it around and not focused on the rpms.

So what do you guys think? I'm not the best mechanic. I spent the last year restoring an OLD 1975 Suzuki TS185 which gave me some experience.. Slightly dated 2 stroke experience, but experience none the less!

I would really appreciate some experienced minds to give me some advice. Let me know if you have any questions or want any more info. I could even include a video if the descriptions aren't detailed enough!

Thanks
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Old September 4th, 2019, 08:28 PM   #2
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A way to get a set of EX250 carbs back to factory spec is to send them to Gordon, "Ducatiman". He will clean them and adjust them to exactly original settings.
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Old September 4th, 2019, 08:51 PM   #3
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That's an interesting idea. Any chance do you know what he would charge for these carbs? Sounds a little expensive to ship them across the country to get cleaned :/
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Old September 4th, 2019, 08:55 PM   #4
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Just search "Ducatiman" here on the ninjette.org and ask him these questions. Everyone who has used his service seems extremely happy with the results.
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Old September 5th, 2019, 01:22 AM   #5
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What's history of bike?
How long had it been sitting around before you got it?

In addition to dried petrol varnish requiring mechanical scrubbing to remove ("carb cleaner" sprays don't actually remove varnish), there are many seals, o-rings and rubber diaphragms that may need replacing. Search for "clean carb ducatiman" and you'll find many examples of what may go wrong. I wasted several weeks of time and hundreds of dollars on sprays and elixir soaks that did no good. Sent them to ducatiman and bike ran like brand-new!!!
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Old September 5th, 2019, 05:42 AM   #6
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I get my parts from Ducatiman, but do all my own carb rebuilds.

You need an ultrasonic cleaner, small air compressor, carb cleaning wires, spray carb cleaner, Simple Green, distilled water, various picks, wrenches, screwdrivers, allen keys, and study time about how your carbs come apart and go back together.

If you are doing only one set of carbs it makes sense to send them out.

I have a bunch of bikes. So far this year I have done 22 carb rebuilds. Everything from old Russian side car bikes (carbs need attention every couple miles), Honda CX500’s, 250 Ninja’s, I have a few on the bench waiting their turn. Between my son and I we have 11 bikes with carbs. The oldest being a 1939 BMW R71 to the 1942 Harley WLA all the way to a 2006 Ninja.

I also do WWII vehicle carbs. Like Jeeps, Weapons Carriers, halftracks, and even a Weasel with it’s cool studebaker engine. I even set up a parkerizing tank for the steel parts.
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Old September 5th, 2019, 05:46 AM   #7
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@Zolland obvious your need to set idle high is to compensate for an internal issue, possible idle circuit or wacky sych? Now 15 year old carbs should be renewed anyways. All consumables (orings, rail seals and float valves) automatically replaced, intense clean, followed by careful setup and wet testing, thus assuring carbs will go back on ONCE, with no frustrating, repetitive, time wasting "do overs".

USPS Priority Flat Rate service great bang for the buck, quick, reasonable $ using their medium flat rate box, I think around $14.

I'll PM you with further info, your option to go forward at that point. Here's an example of recent work (from the outside). Note these came to me seriously neglected over a period of years...owner reported total success in running !
Attached Images
File Type: jpg blklagoon3.jpg (98.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg bklalgoon1.jpg (120.3 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg blklagoon2.jpg (89.3 KB, 4 views)
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www.customcarbservices.com
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Old September 5th, 2019, 05:59 AM   #8
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I agree with all above, but when I got my 2005 250, with 17,000 miles on it, it had your symptoms when cold, but after about five miles or so it was fine. That was caused by the valves being out of adjustment. When the engine was cold they didn't quite close, it it would idle at either about 500 rpm or 3,000, but nothing in between.

After adjusting the valves, it was like a different engine, easier to start and warming up quickly. I rode it for a couple years and it started having symptoms like backfiring on downhills and finicky starting. I sent the carbs to Ducatiman this spring, and when I got them back to my door less than a week later, I finally learned how a 250 is supposed to run. I normally do all my own engine work, and have cleaned and jetted carbs many times, but these things are much more complicated and harder to get truly clean than anything I've worked on before. I'm sure I could have gotten them restored to new condition myself, but not having experience with these things, I know it would take several tries.

What I'm saying is for the engine to run the way it should, the carbs have to be very clean and working properly, and the valves have to be adjusted to the right clearances.
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Old September 5th, 2019, 06:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zolland View Post
That's an interesting idea. Any chance do you know what he would charge for these carbs? Sounds a little expensive to ship them across the country to get cleaned :/
A typical shop would charge twice as much and do half as good of a job.

Ducatiman does more than just clean them. They not only look like new, but are also checked and adjusted so only minor adjustment are needed. All consumable parts are replaced and it's tested.

Unless you have the knowledge, equipment, and time to learn, it's an inexpensive way to make sure that part of the project is done right so you can move on to other things with confidence.
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Old September 5th, 2019, 08:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Unless you have the knowledge, equipment, and time to learn, it's an inexpensive way to make sure that part of the project is done right so you can move on to other things with confidence.
Yes, thanks for putting it into word that are short and to-the-point, this is exactly what I was trying to say to the original poster.
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Old September 5th, 2019, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
What's history of bike?
How long had it been sitting around before you got it?
Forgot to mention the history! It sounded like it hadn't been sitting for much time at all but the owner before my friend had swapped the engine. The one I'm using has around 10k and the one previously had >50k. No idea why that happened haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Unless you have the knowledge, equipment, and time to learn, it's an inexpensive way to make sure that part of the project is done right so you can move on to other things with confidence.
I'm convinced, if I end up getting them cleaned Ducatiman is my guy!
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Old September 5th, 2019, 10:38 AM   #12
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@ducatiman Wow those look amazing! I just remembered to mention that the engine had been swapped by a previous owner.

As a question to everyone, do any of my symptoms sound like they could be caused by an adjustment issue? Maybe the air/fuel mixture? I just want to exhaust all of my options before getting the entire carb cleaned.

I don't say this to doubt Gordon's work! Just want to see if there's any way to fix the problem before spending more money. I'm a little tight on funds after dropping the money to buy this thing haha
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Old September 5th, 2019, 10:57 AM   #13
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Check the idle mixture screw settings - they should be around 2.5 turns out.

Check around the carb manifolds for cracks and leaks around the clamps. You could have a vacuum leak.

If those are fine, most likely the idle mixture passages or Pilot Jets are plugged.
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Old September 5th, 2019, 12:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zolland View Post
Forgot to mention the history! It sounded like it hadn't been sitting for much time at all but the owner before my friend had swapped the engine. The one I'm using has around 10k and the one previously had >50k. No idea why that happened haha
With 10k on clocks, it should be getting its 2nd valve-adjustment. Take care of that and do compression-test before messing with carbs further.

Then on carbs, do:

- pilot-screws 2.5-turns out
- left-right carb sync
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Old September 5th, 2019, 01:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Check the idle mixture screw settings - they should be around 2.5 turns out.
These will be blocked by plugs, no? I can check when I get home though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Check around the carb manifolds for cracks and leaks around the clamps. You could have a vacuum leak.
I'll grab some starter fluid and check for leaks today or tomorrow, that's a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
With 10k on clocks, it should be getting its 2nd valve-adjustment. Take care of that and do compression-test before messing with carbs further.
You think a valve adjustment could be a DIY project without a garage? Seems like it might take multiple days if it's my first time. I say this because the dealership I just called gave me a ballpark quote of more than $650
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Old September 5th, 2019, 02:17 PM   #16
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If the covers are still over the idle mixture screws, they're easy to drill out.

I would certainly not pay anyone $650 to adjust the valves. I don't know how experienced you are with things like that, but it's not hard if you take your time and work methodically. The folks here will help if needed. Is there anyone nearby who has been through it and can help you through it the first time?

Here's some information about adjusting the valves: https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/How_do..._the_valves%3F
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Old September 5th, 2019, 03:48 PM   #17
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Thanks for the link! Sadly I just moved to the city so I don't know anyone with mechanical experience. Maybe a coworker but I'll have to ask around.

I have confidence that I could figure it out, there's a lot of material out there on the topic. The only thing I worry about is just sitting outside on the curb for like 6 hours haha but hey maybe it'll give me a chance to meet some neighbors!
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Old September 5th, 2019, 04:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zolland View Post
You think a valve adjustment could be a DIY project without a garage? Seems like it might take multiple days if it's my first time. I say this because the dealership I just called gave me a ballpark quote of more than $650
Wow, I got quoted $350 and that's still way too high. Takes about 2-4hrs. Depending upon how nimble your fingers are, there's short or long list of parts above engine that needs to be removed. I can do it with radiator in place, some people need to remove it.

Can certainly do on kerb if you've got tools: feeler-gauges, valve-adjustment tool (or 8mm-socket & screwdriver), 1/4" torque-wrench for locknut.

Might want to get cover for bike as well, you may want to walk away for breaks with bike disassembled. I find stashing everything under cover keeps curious folks away.
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Old September 5th, 2019, 04:19 PM   #19
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Holy Cow and folks complain about Harley service prices.

$650 for valves on a pregen is crazy.

Ask them for a price if you pull off the plastic and of course reinstall.

Or $650 is their “I don’t want to mess with your valves” price.

At an hourly rate of $100 bucks equals 6.5 hours. Really they probably charge $70-$80 per hour. I quest they think it take all day.

Find another shop.
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Old September 5th, 2019, 04:22 PM   #20
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I'll give you one piece of advice that I learned when I did my valves: Be very careful to not drop anything down into the opening the timing chain is going through. I dropped a piece of brass shim stock I was using for the clearance measurements, and it took me a hour to fish it back out. At least I was lucky enough to be able to get it out.
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Old September 6th, 2019, 04:27 AM   #21
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Tie a string on it and use steel. If it does fall you can pull on the string or use a magnet.
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Old September 6th, 2019, 05:31 AM   #22
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Tie a string on it and use steel. If it does fall you can pull on the string or use a magnet.
I'll second that!

I learned that lesson back in '88 when adjusting the valves on my Ninja 750. My helper dropped the feeler gauge down the cam tunnel. Luckily it was steel and I could eventually remove it with a magnet. Put a string on it after that.

That particular feeler gauge still has the string attached...
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Old September 6th, 2019, 03:47 PM   #23
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@Triple Jim @Cafe Racer @jkv45 Lol looks like I'll be purchasing string AND steel feelers, this sounds like a headache I do NOT need.
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Old September 6th, 2019, 03:54 PM   #24
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@DannoXYZ I also feel like it would help to fix the carb first before messing with valves. A valve issue would make the engine run poorly in general, not just at idle RPMs right? I just want to fix problems and do maintenance incrementally instead of trying to attack every problem I see.

It would also be cheaper and easier to start with the carb. Unless the valves are the most plausible thing to be causing this idle problem, I'm thinking that's the best place to start. What do you think?
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Old September 6th, 2019, 04:21 PM   #25
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Quote:
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@DannoXYZ I also feel like it would help to fix the carb first before messing with valves. A valve issue would make the engine run poorly in general, not just at idle RPMs right?
As I posted above, the problems I had with out of adjustment valves included poor starting, and wanting to idle at 500 rpm or 3,000 rpm but nothing inbetween. High rpm running was fine.

If it were mine, I'd start with valves, because you can chase carb problems all year if the valves are out of spec.
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Old September 9th, 2019, 10:45 AM   #26
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@Triple Jim Shoot sorry to make you repeat yourself I totally missed it above. I'm to start working on checking the valves this week then send in the carb if the valves are looking good. Thanks for the advice!
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Old September 9th, 2019, 11:15 AM   #27
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@Triple Jim Shoot sorry to make you repeat yourself I totally missed it above. I'm to start working on checking the valves this week then send in the carb if the valves are looking good. Thanks for the advice!
You're welcome, and no problem. The trouble is that you can adjust valves if the carbs are not working right, but you can't adjust the carbs if the valves are out of spec, particularly if they're not fully closing when cold, which is common.
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Old September 10th, 2019, 12:45 PM   #28
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The trouble is that you can adjust valves if the carbs are not working right, but you can't adjust the carbs if the valves are out of spec
That's great advice right there. I've already started taking the plastics off last night and hopefully the tank tomorrow! I'll get to those valves in no time. I'm just a little worried I'll adjust them incorrectly :/
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Old September 10th, 2019, 01:35 PM   #29
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Here's some info to read over before you start -

https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/How_do..._the_valves%3F
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Old September 10th, 2019, 03:46 PM   #30
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Here's some info to read over before you start -

https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/How_do..._the_valves%3F
Where have I seen that link before?
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Old September 11th, 2019, 05:31 AM   #31
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Where have I seen that link before?
Ha - somewhere back about 10 posts...
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Old September 11th, 2019, 07:26 PM   #32
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@Triple Jim @jkv45 hahaha that link has been super useful!

I've just gotten all the plastics off and noticed some stuff that looks a little off. It looks like I have some leaks and need to replace some gaskets... just not sure which ones. Any ideas? I just want to order any gaskets I need right now so they can hopefully get here by the weekend

https://i.imgur.com/eoXRbMH.jpg
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Old September 11th, 2019, 11:37 PM   #33
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Yeah, replace all valve-cover gaskets

https://www.ronayers.com/oemparts/a/...der-head-cover

1x 11009-1574 GASKET,CYLINDER HEAD COVER
2x 11009-1575 GASKET
4x 92055-1225 RING-O,HEAD COVER BOLT

Use torque-wrench on valve-cover bolts. Many people overtighten them in vain attempt to get leaky gaskets to seal. But bolts bottom-out and won't clamp any tighter on shrunken leaking gaskets.
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Old September 12th, 2019, 03:34 PM   #34
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@DannoXYZ Cool cool, just ordered them but aren't estimated to get here until the 20th Looks like I can do the adjustments but won't be able to put it all back together for a while which is a bummer.

Thanks for the link tho!
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