Whitish powder inside carburetor. Fouling float needle and seat.
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  1. #1
    Senior Member kayakerinkeywest's Avatar
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    Whitish powder inside carburetor. Fouling float needle and seat.

    This is actually happening to my motorcycle but I imagine it would do the same to outboards. I am getting a buildup of a sort of white powder inside the carburetor's and specifically in the float bowls. What is happening is that it is causing the float needle and seat to get stuck and basically shuts down fuel to the motor. Inside the carbs seem fine but the float bowls have a nice light layer of white powder that basically will scrape/rub right off. Originally I was having the problem with just one carb but now the other carb had the same stuck needle/seat on the float bowl. They are really stuck in there. Once I got the needle freed, I can put it back in and feel the almost grittiness. The seat is actually entirely white now from the powder.

    After the second time freeing the one carb, I did run about two thirds of a tank of gas through before it clogged up and had added some seafoam to the gas.

    This is the first time I have had this problem.

    1) Is it bad fuel ie water or something else?
    2) I am going to drain all the gas out of the tank and start fresh, but is there anything else I should do?P1060417.jpgP1060418.jpg
    Last edited by kayakerinkeywest; 10-06-2017 at 07:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WaVeCrAzEd's Avatar
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    Isn't that from ethanol gas? It's the protein from the corn.

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately that's life with the fuel being produced now (ethanol adds to the issue). Whenever gas sits in the carb bowl for any length of time this is the result. Carb bowls are vented which allows air to begin the process of the fuel breaking down. Not as big of an issue with injected engines. Best way to combat it is a ethanol specific fuel additive and running the engine a least every couple of weeks. The engine should be run long enough to exchange out the fuel in the bowl for fuel thats well into the feed line, usually 5/10 minutes. Some just shut off the gas and let it run till it dies. I don't like running two strokes out of gas and there is still residual fuel in the bowl with this method. Just about every carb you pull apart now days has some amount of the ashy residue you found. Brake cleaner works well for cleaning it out. Also make sure you check the main and pilot jets while you have it apart. A welding tip cleaner works well for carefully cleaning out all of the passages in there. Just remember your only clearing them and not making them any larger. Good luck and ride safe

  4. #4
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    Give this a shot...

    I've had what looks to be the exact thing happen a couple times and did the following:

    - Bought the linked ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor Freight [[URL="https://www.harborfreight.com/25-liter-ultrasonic-cleaner-63256.html"] but imagine any cleaner with heat function will do well.

    - Remove carb/s and fuel lines, disassemble carb (remove gaskets), drain fuel lines and gas tank.

    - Fill cleaner with 2:1 Simple Green concentrate to water and submerse all parts (minus gaskets). Run minimum of two complete cycles and your going to be amazed at what comes off, and how your carb/s look almost new. I even put my gas cap retainer clip and chain through a cycle to remove corrosion.

    - When cycles are complete remove parts and let completely air dry before blowing off/dry with compressor. Make sure fuel lines are cleaned out as well so contaminants don't get in carb and clog jets.

    - Reassemble carb/s and then reinstall all parts/fuel lines. (Hopefully no parts left over when you think you're done.)

    - With first fresh tank off good gas add Sea Foam additive. Crank her up, grab your helmet (I'm career military...safety first) and enjoy your ride.

    Hopefully this works as well for yours it did for me and Happy Maintenance.

    Kevin

  5. #5
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    Ride it more often and use rec fuel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kayakerinkeywest's Avatar
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    Rebuilt the carbs last night and emptied the gas tank. It was kind of what I thought, water in the fuel. Not a ton but enough in the 7 liters worth that I got out that it was probably a decent amount cumulatively. The Seafoam was doing a bit of good as there was some beading going on which caused discolored gas and then the pockets that were at the bottom of the two liter bottles which were straight mucky water. The dust was really only in the bowls as I think they are a different metal than the body or re-acted differently with the components. Surprising how much powder would come out of each bowl.

    This is my daily driver so it is always running. I've got one bad needle that I need to replace which clogs the fuel but the engine still runs off the other carb. With the heat I think it bakes out all of the liquid and leaves that powder residue since no fuel is allowed in the bowl.

    Hopefully. a new batch of fuel and running it continuously a few tanks worth (lots of riding this weekend) and the problem will be solved.

    Thanks for the help.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kayakerinkeywest's Avatar
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    2 Hours driving around and all is good. Starts up instantly and idles/drives smooth. Nice.

    Dissection of a PIA.
    1) bad fuel (water).
    2) clogged secondary carb float needle and seat. Primary carb worked so would start and rev to 4000 rpm but nothing after that. Still driveable albeit very limited.
    3) after clearing secondary carb twice, primary carb also joined and now motor would no longer start.
    4) while fixing above, I lost all power. Totally dead. I have had an intermittent power problem when extreme turns of the handle bars so spent a day looking for a short. Traced it to the ignition key switch (ignition on) wire inside the revolving switch. $150 piece of plastic and crappy sautering (a known issue). Got lucky and was able to solder it myself and it held. But....
    5) Starter would not turn over, just a click at the solenoid. Checking the battery I was metering 12.8 V on the meter and when it was running 14+ volts to the battery before it died. Spent another day checking wires thinking there was another short that was not allowing enough current to the solenoid. Finally, tried jumping and it started up. Took the battery and checked on load tester, 3 volts. Dead. Ordered new gel battery.

    The fix.
    1) drained fuel tank
    2) rebuilt/cleaned carbs
    3) new battery
    4) soldered ignition wire/switch
    5) Rage

    It seems simple now, but man brutal. Why all at once. Not very nice.
    Runs now so I guess that is better than not. LOL.

    Now I need to go fishing but this crappy wind. Oh well, more riding.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Northern's Avatar
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    Glad that you got this fixed. Now back to fishing videos! If the wind doesn't go down...... maybe a mid Key bridge video? ? ? ?

  9. #9
    Senior Member kayakerinkeywest's Avatar
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    Forget that. All those bridges are about to topple over. LOL.

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