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How to Unclog a Carburetor Jet

by Chris Gilliland

A common problem that plagues carbureted motorcycles is the tendency to develop a clog during extended periods of inactivity. Clogs are caused by the slow degradation of fuel, which turns into a greenish sludge that clogs the carburetor's fuel jets and passageways. This effectively strangles the carburetor and prevents the motorcycle from being fueled properly. Cleaning a clogged carburetor can be a tedious job, especially when it comes to clearing the tiny jets. Fortunately, the job can be made easier with the right tools.

Step 1

Pour an equal amount of water and cleaning solvent into a metal pot or container. Place the container over a hot plate or similar heat source and bring the solution almost to a boil.

Step 2

Disassemble the carburetor and carefully remove the clogged jet from the carburetor.

Step 3

Remove any rubber O-rings that may be attached to the jet and submerge the jet into the warmed carburetor cleaning solution. Allow the jet to soak for 10 minutes.

Step 4

Remove the jet from the cleaning solution and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Allow the jet to dry naturally.

Step 5

Check that the jet has been cleared by blasting compressed air through the jet. If the jet is still clogged, pass a small, stiff wire through the jet and soak the jet for another 10 minutes.

Reinstall the jet into the carburetor and repeat as necessary.

Warnings

  • Carburetor cleaning solutions can damage rubber components. Be sure that any O-rings, seals, or bushings are removed before placing the carburetor and jets into the cleaning solution.
  • Jets can be damaged very easily, so take your time when removing the jets from the carburetor.

Items you will need

  • Carburetor cleaning solvent
  • Metal pot or container
  • Hot plate or other heat source
  • Air compressor
  • Wire

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