Question about 1980 Suzuki Gs 550 L

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Hello l have a suzki gs250 82model leaking fuel from rear of the carby (pilot air screw)+the overflow. have checked the float hight needle and seat seems to be cutting the fuel off ok. bike runs but very rich any help would be great thank you darren

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  • andavtr Mar 07, 2009

    thank you FTjoe

    l will have a look at the float hight again but fuel is coming out of every hole on the carby. when l move the choke back and foreward it seems to stop and worked for a short while thank you




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Gas leaking out of the overflow tube is definately a float or float tang problem. if you are sure the tang on the float is adjusted probably, then the float may have a hole in it and it is no longer "floating" to shut off the supply of fuel. i'd remove it and submerge it in gas for a bit and look for air bubbles escaping and also see if it no longer floats after you release it from being submerged. if either happens, then replace the float.

running rich is an improperly adjusted air screw, wrong setting on the jet needle (long needle attached to the carb slide with a circlip), clogged airfilter or wrong jet (main or pilot) size. i'd try to find out the settings for these items and adjust accordingly.

hope you get it all sorted out and get this classic back on the road!

Posted on Mar 07, 2009


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I am getting fuel leaking from the bottom of the carb and I have adjusted the screws on the bottom of the carb but it is still is a 1997 flstf fatboy

Carburetors have a Float Bowl on the bottom. This float bowl has a small amount of fuel, that the carburetor uses. (The float bowl's amount of fuel, is replenished from the gas tank. The fuel is gravity fed from the gas tank, through the Fuel Line)

The float bowl has a Float Needle inside. The float needle is attached to the Float. The Float resembles a thick doughnut. On one end of this doughnut, is a flat piece of metal shaped like a U on the end. Looking at this -> U shape, there are two holes at the top. There is a metal pin that goes through these holes, and the pin is attached on it's end's, by the main body of the carburetor.

The flat metal U shape, and the metal pin, works together to form a type of hinge, allowing the float to pivot on it.
Where the U shaped hinge is attached, the float needle, clips to it.

The float needle has a tapered neoprene tip, and sits in a Float Needle Seat. This seat is a barrel shaped piece of brass, and has a tapered hole at the bottom. Fuel comes up through this seat, and the float needle regulates how much fuel can come in.

As the float drops down, it draws the float needle out of the float needle seat, and fuel comes in. As the float bowl fills with fuel, the float rises, and pushes the float back up, also pushing the float needle back into the float needle seat, cutting off the flow of fuel.

There is a specified height of the float, in relation to where the float sits in the float bowl. If the float sits too high, the float bowl fills up with fuel, and overflows. This overflow goes through an Overflow Tube, on the carburetor.
(If the float sits too low, the engine starves for gas)

A LOT of times, crud builds up in the gas tank, makes it's way through the fuel line, and gets into the float bowl. It can get in-between the float needle, and the float seat, thereby flooding the carburetor out, and fuel comes out of the overflow tube.

The float bowl is also attached to the carburetor with a brass main jet nut. At the bottom of the float bowl, this will look like a brass head of a bolt. Under the brass head is a small O-ring. This can leak. First step is too insure this is tight. (Do Not Over tighten! This is part of the main jet, and is expensive! It's Brass)

Where the outer part of the float bowl itself, attaches to the carburetor, there is another O-ring.
A large one. This O-ring, like the main jet O-ring, can deteriorate over time. Additives that gasoline has in it, heat from the engine, and heat from the sun does this. Plus just age. Neoprene breaks down after time.

It could also be that the neoprene tip of the float needle has broken down.

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This only comes into play when the engine is running. With the engine off, and fuel leaking out, you have crud under the float needle, or one or more of those O-rings has deteriorated.

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