Why is everyone replacing carbs? - ATVConnection.com ATV Enthusiast Community

Why is everyone replacing carbs?

  #1  
Old 03-04-2019, 08:11 AM
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Default Why is everyone replacing carbs?

OK...admittedly new to the Forum, but I've been messing with bikes since before Honda came out with the Elsinore and I never saw a carburetor that couldn't be cleaned and fixed rather than replaced.
Yes, that was an over-simplification. I had a CZ with a Jikov carb that wasn't even good for a trot-line sinker. And I know they sit in floods, and there are previous owners that can tear up a stainless steel ball bearing with a rubber hammer, but of the 30 or so posts I've read so far, it seems like half start the troubleshooting process by replacing the carb! True, they didn't have $.50 Chinese carbs "back in the day", but seems to me you're opening a whole new can of worms with a new carb.
So I'll stop ranting and ask a question...am I completely out of touch with today's technology (not counting EFI) or is it legit to swap carbs like tires now?
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:16 AM
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Well, as far as replacing a carb just because it won't start, that's not optimal. I've gone to a bigger carb for a small performance gain. If I could get a new carb for the price of a rebuild kit, I'd probably do that.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:26 AM
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Are the Chinese carbs quality enough for the to be a viable option? Like I said, I have ZERO experience with them.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:11 AM
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This is where we run into the oxymoron of Chinese quality.

One thing they used to do (not sure if they still do) on their new quads was put a gel pack in the bowl to absorb any moisture. You could take the carb apart and get it out, or let it run fuel through it and it would dissolve. Most of the time. Wasn't uncommon to have the gel pack clog a jet. So you'd end up taking the carb apart anyway.

As for it being a viable option, I'd day yes if you're putting it back on a Chinese quad. I would not put one on any of the major manufacturers. The thing you run into with that is a few of them outsource their smaller quads to import builders mostly from Taiwan. Better than straight Chinese, but possible they could share some of the parts.

If it were me and I was putting on a new or used Chinese carb, I'd take it apart and inspect the inside before I put it on.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:47 AM
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A good rebuild on a factory oem carb is a far better choice than any aftermarket import carb. Simple fact is you just cant trust the import stuff. If the oem carb worked before then it will work again. Carbs quite working from dirt and gaskets drying out. Quit looking for a quick fix and take the time to do it correctly..
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:04 AM
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Couldn't have said it better myself.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:44 PM
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Chinese carbs have gotten a lot better in just the past 5 years or so, but I always tell folks whom I help that your factory KeiHin or Mikuni carb should only be replaced if it is ruined by corrosion. Yeah, I have stripped the pilot screw heads off trying to get them out, and broken off the float pivot tower trying to get the shaft out. Don't even ask about the infamous pilot screws on Goldwings.

Anyone who wants to swap carbs for bigger or after-market is going to have to go thru the rejetting/tuning process, and that can be frustrating. Not to mention taking them apart to remove the "extras" that are sometimes inside them. I have used maybe 20 Chinese carbs, but avoid them if I can.

BTW, Taiwanese machines I have had usually have Japanese KeiHin carbs.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kymco 450i View Post
A good rebuild on a factory oem carb is a far better choice than any aftermarket import carb. Simple fact is you just cant trust the import stuff. If the oem carb worked before then it will work again. Carbs quite working from dirt and gaskets drying out. Quit looking for a quick fix and take the time to do it correctly..
Most of these people are replacing good Mikuni carbs with cheap Chinese knock-offs. I don't know about carbs specifically but lots of Chinese goods are made by prisoners, slaves, and children. Even if they know what they're doing, they don't have any incentive to make anything of good quality. The "extras" sr.ruedas mentioned can be metal shavings among other things. If a hole isn't plugged with metal shavings it may not have been machined in the carb in the first place. You'll probably have to take apart the new carb and the old carb to the right jets from the old one to put in the new one. Why buy a new carb take two apart to fix one? Why not just take one apart and fix it?
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Frank View Post
Even if they know what they're doing, they don't have any incentive to make anything of good quality.
Mainland China certainly acquired a rep for making lousy stuff, but some of it is really well-made. It is more about quality control and inspections. e.g. China's Foxconn makes $1000+ iPhones, and my cheapo Nokia Lumia 635 ($50 new). Both very well made. I am sure a lot of product gets rejected BEFORE it ships.

Zama was originally a Japanese company that made carbs for small engines. It has been acquired by Stihl, and the carbs are now made in China. I have bought carbs directly from China that are identical to the Zamas, but with the logo removed with a router. Made in the same factory, no doubt, but a much lower price.

You have to open those up, too.

Some of the Chinese carb companies are now starting to put their names on their products. Koso, for example. Decent quality, much better than even 10y ago. Still not quite a Mikuni or KeiHin.

 
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:11 AM
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Many years ago, we had a member of the ATV Connection go to China and spend about 6 weeks at a factory. When I say factory, it was a company that made washers and dryers getting into the atv business. No real quality control. No torque wrenches at all. If it rolled down a set of stairs and stayed intact, it was good to go. Lots of stories of bad working conditions, cheap and unskilled labor too.

Humorous and sad at the same time.
 

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