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How do set the float on carb - Motorcycles

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There are a variety of methods depending on the type of carb and the manufacturer's choice. Some use a gauge and some use a rule measurement. Reference to a workshop or repair manual is essential where you will find the measurement and a helpful diagram. Youtube might have a helpful howto video.

Posted on Apr 27, 2017


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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How to set the float level in an etq tg1200 generator

Float levels don't just go bad. But that said you pull the carb and turn it upside down and set the float to be level with the bottom of the carb (bottom with the carb upside down.) Most new stuff doesn't have an adjustment. They break fairly easily. Don't ask how I know.
As long as you have it apart, pull the float and hold it down in a cup of fairly hot water and see if it bubbles which would indicate a hole in the float which would let too much gas into the carb causing flooding.
Make sure you clean the needle valve and seat and the carb inside while you are at it.

Jan 10, 2018 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

How do I adjust the float on my 2000 big bear carb...Carb is a mikuni 5fua L2

remove the carb, take off the bottom float bowl on the carb. Then while holding the carb upside down, you want to set the floats level. You will have to bend the little tab on the float needle to do so.

Oct 18, 2016 | Big Motorcycles

1 Answer

I just bought a used 1990 kawasaki 300 bayou put a new carb on it guy let it set for about a month now when u turn on fuel it leaks out if the over flow tube what could cause this

Floats not set right. Float needle worn. Dirt keeping float needle open.
Clean out carb, adjust floats so when it shuts off fuel flow, float is parallel to base of carb. Blow through fuel pipe on carb and lift floats with your hand, you should not be able to blow through pipe when you lift the floats and float needle shuts off flow.

Feb 28, 2015 | kawasaki Motorcycles

1 Answer

I have a 1981Suzuki gs550l Fule runs out of the back of the carbs Ive replaced the petcock The needles and seats Adjusted the floats to spec and cleand everything very thurowly and fule still flows right...

Float valve seats have o ring seals on some carbs,
check those. Float level must be set correctly
or floats will hit the carb body before needle closes.
Floats must move easily up and down.
Carb body air vent passages must be clear.

Dec 07, 2014 | Motorcycles

1 Answer

2004 crf450r dumps gas out of carb when gas is turned on

your float settings inside your carb are set wrong read my advice to resetting them and you should be ok
You'll need to first start off by removing your carb. Be sure to clean the surrounding area to the best of your ability to avoid dirt and debris falling into your carb; or worse, your engine. After you've removed your carb I would suggest a thorough cleaning using carb cleaner (or equivalent) and compressed air to ensure that all jets and passageways are spotless. Avoid using wire or other tools to clean orifices of jets; it's all too easy to alter their original designed dimensions.

After your carb is clean you can now set your float level. The picture below will allow you to become familiar with the parts that are responsible for maintaining the correct float level in your carb. There are four basic parts, the floats themselves (part of the float assembly), the float assembly tang, the fuel inlet needle valve, and the fuel inlet valve seat.

(Float assembly pivot pin not shown.)

It is always a good idea to remove the float assembly pivot pin (already shown removed) and extract the float assembly and the fuel inlet needle. The fuel inlet needle is a wearable part and over time can deteriorate. A worn fuel inlet needle can contribute to an irregular float level. Most fuel inlet needles consist of an internal spring loaded bumper (which contacts the float assembly tang) and a plastic or Viton (rubber) tip. Inspect the fuel inlet needle tip for wear and/or damage. To give you an idea, Eric Gorr recommends replacing the fuel inlet needle/seat assembly every two years. I've found that the average cost is around $15 for both parts.

(Fuel inlet needle shown with Viton (rubber) tip. The Viton is used to isolate the fuel inlet needle from vibration and to create a better seal against the fuel inlet valve seat.)

Now that you've made sure you aren't going to have any issues from worn parts you can reinstall your needle, float assembly and float assembly pivot pin and continue on to set your float level. The float level measurement is taken from the top of the floats (when the carb is positioned upside down) to the gasket surface of the float bowl as illustrated in the next picture. You can use an open-end wrench (sized per your spec), a small metric ruler, or a float level gauge. The tolerance for your float level is usually around +/- 0.50mm.


When setting the float level be aware that the spring loaded bumper on the fuel inlet needle valve may have a tendency to compress under the weight of the float assembly which will skew your measurement. Before you obtain your measurement you'll need to make sure that the float assembly tang just barely makes contact with the spring-loaded bumper. Sometimes it is easier to hold the carb body at a 45-degree angle to avoid compressing the spring in the fuel inlet needle.


If you find that your measurement does not match your float level spec then you can carefully bend the float assembly tang to achieve your desired measurement. Be sure to recheck your work, and if you feel confident that your float level is spot on then you can reinstall your carb and get back to riding.

Jun 20, 2011 | 2004 Honda CRF 450 R

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Need float specs fuel leeks out overflow on carb. hanging should it be right below the gasget at the toe or the seem?

I would suspect that your problem is something other than the float setting. If your carb has been running properly until recently, there may be trash in the needle and seat. Float settings don't just change by themselves. Once they're set, they stay that way until someone changes it. I'd be glad to send you the float settings but you didn't tell me what kind of carb you're running on the bike. Harley riders are noted for changing the type of carburetor they run on their bike. If you're running the stock Keihin carb, the float level has to be set with the carb on an angle. To illustrate this, I'd have to send you a picture. I'd be glad to do so if you're contact me directly as this forum only allows a file size of 150Kb or smaller. Contact me at and I'll send you a picture of how to set the float level of the Keihin CV. If you are running a different type of carb, let me know and I'll send you information on that one as well if I have it.

Good Luck

Mar 20, 2011 | Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom...

1 Answer

What is the float level setting on a hd keihin cv carb? HD stock #27421-99a

You'll have to contact me directly for that information. The reason is that the float level is not set in the more conventional manner like other carbs. The float level is set to0.413 - 0.453' from the "bottom" of the float to the lower face of the carb body with the carb tilted at an angle of 15 - 20°. A picture is worth a thousand words in this case. For a picture, contact me directly at wd4ity at

Good Luck

May 08, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson FXD Dyna Super Glide

1 Answer

What is the float height setting for a 1984 harley davidson ironhead sportster with stock carburetor

With the float bowl off and the float assembled in the carb, hold the carb on it's side with the needle and seat hinge upwards.

Set the float height to 0.630" to 0.670" (16-17mm) from the "bottom" of the float to the gasket surface where the float bowl gasket seal is.

These carbs are notorious for leaking past the needle and seat even when the float level is set correctly. They make a tool for refurbishing the seat in the carb as it is not replacable but the tool is very expensive for what it is and the amount of use will get out of it ($100). Sometimes I've set the float level an additional 1mm low (18mm) to put more pressure on the needle if it does leak. Good Luck!

Nov 13, 2009 | Harley Davidson XLS 1000 Motorcycles

1 Answer

Float setting for BS34ss carb

I have a set my float to 22.0 +- 1.0 for a Mikuni carb.
To set floats, drain the carbs, pull the carbs from the bike invert and remove float bowl.
With the carb inverted, take off the float bowls. Take off the gasket. Use a vernier caliper or an accurate device to measure from the carb body to the top of the float block.
Here is are a couple of good sites about carbs and such.

Aug 10, 2009 | 1979 Suzuki GS 400 E

1 Answer

Fuel dumping out overflow on scooter

Overflow on carb bowl?
Metal float-set too high-pinhole in float.
Plastic float-same answers for metal float.
Foam float-set too high-float is gas soaked, too heavy.
Replace float.
New carb, check float setting,can be set too high from factory.
Check carb bowl and under needle for trash. Any trash in bowl or under needle, clean snd add fuel filter.

Oct 22, 2017 | Motorcycles

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