Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Crmpacer
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Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:37 pm



Seafoam seems to be all the rage these days. I am looking to start a thread discussing the pros, cons and share our collective experiences with Seafoam or similar products. Love it or hate it Seafoam looks like it is here to stay and the better educated we are, the better we can utilize this handy tool.

**The following discussion is not meant as a recommendation or testimonial but simply a tool to help you make an educated decision before you weigh the option of a chemical vs. mechanical carburetor rebuild. It is always recommended to follow a manufactures instructions and use proper safety equipment when using any highly flammable chemical product.**



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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:47 pm

My first time use of SEAFOAM:

After twelve years of owning an Industrial supply house I found myself returning to school and surviving off of a single income family budget. My daily commute to classes (40 mile round trip) was hurting our family budget due to parking fees and gas consumption so I discussed things with my wife and decided to buy an older motorcycle to commute with. I found a 1982 GL500 Silverwing on Craigslist and traded a shotgun and $300 for it (negotiated him down from $1100). The bike needed some TLC but was running and he proved it was ride able through all the gears.

The day after I got it home I decided to take it for my inaugural ride up my street but the bike was super hard to start and would not stay running. I realized the guy I got it from must have been prepping it before my arrival to make sure it would fire up when prompted and run down the road. As a first time bike owner my immediate thought was to rebuild the carbs. Since I had never done it before the thought was daunting. I posted my prob. on Facebook, seeking some advice, and a buddy said try Seafoam first.

Without reading the directions (I am a man, what can I say) I dumped an entire can into the 1/3 tank of old gas and hoped for the best. Utilizing some starting fluid, holding down the starter button (not recommended) and goosing the throttle I could get the bike to sputter but it would quickly die. My goal was to simply get the fuel pump to inject Seafoam into the carbs so it could soak. The first day I would let the bike sit for an hour (letting the newly introduced Seafoam soak inside the carbs) and repeat the process. The next morning I noticed a difference. The bike would now start without the use of starting fluid but still not idle without holding the throttle open a little and ran exceptionally rough. Several times throughout that day I held the throttle at 2500 - 3000rpm for five to ten minutes and then let it sit for an hour or so and repeat the process. During the upcoming week I would get up before school, start the rough running bike, hold the throttle open for a few minutes to cycle some seafoam and let it sit. Half a week into the process I was seeking advice on a discussion board and an experienced mechanic suggested topping the tank off with fresh gas because, while seafoam is flammable, it does not have the makeup for efficient combustion.

I filled up the tank with fresh gas, added another can of seamfoam, and Viola the bike fired up and started sounding much better. I continued the process of starting it in the morning and afternoon and added riding it up and down my street until whole tank was consumed. Without making a single adjustment or removing a single screw I had my new bike starting right up, idling like a champ and riding without hesitation.

I quickly put 1000 miles on the bike and have not looked back. A few weeks ago I scored a 1982 Honda Goldwing Aspencade that had been sitting unridden for over a year and am trying to repeat the process to get it running and idling as intended.

My bike has saved me an average of $250 per month and I love the feel of the winter wind on my face. Being born and raised in Alaska I simply love the feeling of riding in 20 degree mornings with nothing more than a pair of work gloves, a T-shirt and a windbreaker.

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:21 pm

I have a background in Chemical sales and got sticker shock when I bought my first few cans of Seafoam. After experiencing wonderful results from my first trial use I wanted to use it on more of my powered products. My hesitation came when I considered buying a gallon ($65).

The cost inspired me to utilize my background to see if I could make my own Seafoam. I pulled the MSDS sheet off the manufactures website and discovered that Seafoam was manufactured out of three common products that are readily available and can be purchased at a fraction of the price.

The first ingredient was Pale Oil - This is a generic term to mask the proprietary formula but from experience I know this is a lubricating agent of some kind. This could be motor oil, diesel fuel, kerosene, transmission fluid, mineral oil etc. After reading several other articles online I believe it is safe to assume that this is either diesel fuel or kerosene. (This is your lubricating agent)

The second ingredient is listed as naphtha. This can be found at your local Lowes or Home Depot near the paint strippers. (This is your agent for removing varnish build up inside the carbs)

The third ingredient is listed as IPA or 91% isopropyl alcohol. You can pick this up at your local grocery store of pharmacy. (This is your drying agent)

Here is one of the best articles I found (there are several good ones online). Feel free to do your own research and try this for yourself.

http://hildstrom.com/projects/seafoam/

Recommended mix of 4 parts Diesel or Kerosene - 2 parts Naphtha - 1 part IPA or HEET fuel additive.

Ride safe and good luck with your project!

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:32 pm

One note to keep in mind. Seafoam is going to release all of the krud that is built up in your carbs and it will foul your spark plugs. I recommend buying two sets of plugs. One cheap set ($2.99 each) to install while you clean out the system and one set of iridium ($10 each) to use after you are done.

This may be overkill but you don't want to ruin an expensive set of plugs and have to replace them.

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:31 pm

If your intent is to reuse your spark plugs then here is a few tips from the manufacture that may help you save a few dollars.

http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/techinfo/s ... dplugs.asp

Also one other:

http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Spark-Plugs

Clean, properly gaped spark plugs are essential for engine performance and gas consumption.

Ride safe and best of luck with your project.

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:44 pm

Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep an eye on your fuel filter and change it if needed. Dirt, debris and rust can collect in the filter and strangle your fuel flow and put a strain on your fuel pump. If the Seafoam (or simple vibrations) releases any debris from your tank or petcock it will build up in your filter and can effect the performance of your carbs.

I would add that to the list when working on a non-runner.

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:07 am

Found this hint online. It fits well with the task:

Pulled from this site - http://www.randakksblog.com/shade-tree- ... /#more-671

Clearing Clogged Carb Jets

Sometimes clogged carb jets can be cleared with a simple trick.

Warm up the engine completely. Remove the air cleaner, then raise the idle speed to about 3,000 – 4000 rpms using the curb idle screw. Next using a heavy shop rag or towel, “suffocate” the engine by completely blocking the intake opening. Remove the towel before the engine stalls. Repeat several times.

This procedure will temporarily create a very high vacuum situation. That can sometimes dislodge whatever might be blocking a jet and clear it.

This has worked for me on more than one occasion. It’s worth trying before you crack open the carbs!

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby SteveB123 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:42 am

A "chemical rebuild" only potentially addresses issues that are (a) soluble in the chemical and (b) in the fuel path.

Damaged air cut off or accelerater pump diaphrams, sticky air cut off valves, uneven slider movement, air leaks, fuel leaks....all must be dealt with for correct operation.
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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:30 pm

Crmpacer wrote:Seafoam seems to be all the rage these days. I am looking to start a thread discussing the pros, cons and share our collective experiences with Seafoam or similar products. Love it or hate it Seafoam looks like it is here to stay and the better educated we are, the better we can utilize this handy tool.


Well being that it's been around for almost 80 years, I'm pretty sure it is here to stay!! :)

http://www.seafoamsales.com/our-history/


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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Baunix63 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:02 am

Seers,

I own a GL500, too.
This bike is a Diva in starting, after standing some days. So it´s quite normal that you need starting liquid, another battery to fire it up.
For me it is a common procedure every spring. I need abaout 1/2 hour to get it idling smooth.
Michael from Bavaria

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby patbrandon1 » Wed May 01, 2013 1:08 am

I have a shot at buying a 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade GV1400LX with 13,000 miles on it. Haven't seen it in person yet, but if I can get him down enough, I think I'll get it, if just to try the homebrew seafoam. The owner says the carbs need cleaning. Was stored 3 years with gas in the tank, and he isn't sure if he put any fuel stabilizer in the gas. I'd rather it was a Wing, but if the homebrew works, I could make a few bucks, if not, one less Suzuki.

I do use Seafoam, but want to try the brew on something I won't cry about if it dies. :D :D

Seafoam has been very very good to me over the last 35 years. I had this old Chevy mini van that I used to haul tools and lumber when it was raining out. It was a real POS, but did the trick for my work. A mechanic told me I needed a new transmission when I took it in after it started slipping. I used Seafoam in the tranny, and I was able to run it another 4 years with the same tranny. And then I even sold it for $200 to someone, and last time I heard, it was still running fine. That is a total of 7 years.

So I kinda hope I get to try the homebrew on something pretty wasted, and let you all know the results. I will include pics, and vids, if I do. I just hope nobody minds if it is a Suzuki that I am testing and posting about. ;) ;)

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Britanicus » Wed May 01, 2013 2:07 am

In these days of the world being filled up with Chineese garbage, anyone buying anything Japanese deserves a bit of credit.

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Wed May 01, 2013 7:13 am

patbrandon1 wrote:I have a shot at buying a 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade GV1400LX with 13,000 miles on it. Haven't seen it in person yet, but if I can get him down enough, I think I'll get it, if just to try the homebrew seafoam. The owner says the carbs need cleaning. Was stored 3 years with gas in the tank, and he isn't sure if he put any fuel stabilizer in the gas. I'd rather it was a Wing, but if the homebrew works, I could make a few bucks, if not, one less Suzuki.

I do use Seafoam, but want to try the brew on something I won't cry about if it dies. :D :D

Seafoam has been very very good to me over the last 35 years. I had this old Chevy mini van that I used to haul tools and lumber when it was raining out. It was a real POS, but did the trick for my work. A mechanic told me I needed a new transmission when I took it in after it started slipping. I used Seafoam in the tranny, and I was able to run it another 4 years with the same tranny. And then I even sold it for $200 to someone, and last time I heard, it was still running fine. That is a total of 7 years.

So I kinda hope I get to try the homebrew on something pretty wasted, and let you all know the results. I will include pics, and vids, if I do. I just hope nobody minds if it is a Suzuki that I am testing and posting about. ;) ;)



Sounds like a great project. A few things I learned using Seafoam, especially working with small engines, is that more repairs are needed due to neglect and improper preventative maintenance than actual breakages, air gaps or miss adjustments. There IS a time for a rebuild - parts do wear out, shrink and break but its not always the first choice for me anymore.

When dealing with carbs especially - Many times small engines are used sparatically, put away for long periods without stabilizing the gas and varnish builds up over time which effects performance. We have been taught that when a motor is not running correctly and its a fuel issue than things must be worn out and a rebuild is in order. I have done this more times than I can remember because that was how my dad taught me. When I first started playing around with Seafoam I realized that not every carb is out of whack or has bad seals or floats. Many times it is a matter of the fuel and air not mixing properly and strangling combustion. The engine that sputters, shutters, backfires etc is trying to tell us it can't get a full diet of air or gas and that makes them grumpy. It takes just the right amount of air and fuel to make it purr like a kitten (its corny but that's how I taught my son).

Most small engines are put into use with the carbs in correct calibration but varnish throws that out of wack. Take away the varnish that may be holding things open, keeping them closed or clogging vents and you should still have a properly adjusted carb that can now breath, drink and therefore purr.

Again, its not a sure fire bet but when you are facing a rebuild cost of either $250 in parts or $550 to have a pro do it, I feel its worth a $30 investment on three cans of seafoam and taking the time (min one week+) to give it a try.

Seafoam + Creating a high pressure carb vacuum = Saved money for me.

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby jobob330 » Wed May 01, 2013 8:26 am

i'm a little surprised that no one has talked about sea foam being a agent that keeps the rotgut gas we have nowadays from going bad. this to me is the biggest problem for gearheads like me who have a garage full of gas engines and can only use one at a time. i use seafoam and also another fine product called stabil. the gas formula we have around the big cities is horrible and starts to decompose after just 23 days. leave it in the tank for 6 months and you have a mess. inside the carbs the small to tiny passages clog with a sort of scum like crud. the idle jets in most bikes and lawn equipment are small.. like .015 or so. putting this stuff (a small ant) in the tank every once in a while keeps the gas fresh for maybe 6 months or more. if i can't use this i drain the fuel and run the engine until it dies. using this stuff keeps me from rebuilding carbs every year or so. johnny

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby SteveB123 » Wed May 01, 2013 8:42 am

jobob330 wrote: the gas formula we have around the big cities is horrible and starts to decompose after just 23 days.


Do you believe a different composition is used in small markets?

Gas going bad over time certainly isn't a new phenomenom.
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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Wingsconsin » Wed May 01, 2013 9:48 am

Here is what gas that has been left un treated for a LONG time turns into...
This is a jet from the Suzuki GS650 I am restoring...Suzuki make a nice product by the way so don't knock it..I bet the Cavalcade will be a nice ride if you get it going..




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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby PAPete » Wed May 01, 2013 10:33 am

SteveB123 wrote:
jobob330 wrote: the gas formula we have around the big cities is horrible and starts to decompose after just 23 days.


Do you believe a different composition is used in small markets?

Gas going bad over time certainly isn't a new phenomenon.


I think this was a reference to the fact that in large metropolitan areas in the winter months there is an additive in gasoline to reduce air pollution. This additive is not required in more rural areas.
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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Wed May 01, 2013 11:08 am

I had mentioned creating a vacuum within the carburetor to build pressure and force some of the varnish and crud free. Here is a quick video on how works.

I would only use this or similar techniques on a motor that has a clean, rust free tank and a viable fuel filter. The last thing you want to do is force rust and contaminants into your carb or combustion chamber and really cause a problem.

It is important to note that the pressure build up from combustion is going to cause your bike to attempt to find air sources from anywhere it can. If it can not find air from your intake it is going to put pressure and test the integrity of any thing pliable within your system.

[youtube]


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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Wingsconsin » Wed May 01, 2013 11:44 am

Is there OIL in that bike..? Sounds like a mess....tick tick tick tick
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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Wed May 01, 2013 12:04 pm

Wingsconsin wrote:Is there OIL in that bike..? Sounds like a mess....tick tick tick tick


To date:
New plugs,
Oil Filter/Change
Adjusted valves
Synced Carbs

If you hear an issue and can help me identify the cause I would love to glen some knowledge and get some direction. I have only been riding for four months and this is my second bike. I rely on friends, blogs and forums to get as much help as I can. I am not sure what the bike is supposed to sound like so the fact that it is running is music to my ears. ;)

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Wingsconsin » Wed May 01, 2013 12:14 pm

I am not sure what is going on there...but my 1980 GL1100 Interstate sounds like that for about 20-30 seconds when it's first started..then smooths right out...re-check the valves perhaps.? or maybe it's just the sound with the lowers and side covers off...? and the camera picking it up somehow..? It just seems to 'tick-tick-tick' to me...?

Might be an exhaust leak ..?
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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby patbrandon1 » Wed May 01, 2013 1:00 pm

Wingsconsin wrote:Here is what gas that has been left un treated for a LONG time turns into...
This is a jet from the Suzuki GS650 I am restoring...Suzuki make a nice product by the way so don't knock it..I bet the Cavalcade will be a nice ride if you get it going..


Sorry if it sounded like I was knocking Suzuki, I really wasn't intending to. My first bike was a Suzuki 90, and ran forever. I was just not sure if the Cavalcade GV1400LX would be welcomed on this Wing forum for pics and vids. After re reading my post I can see why you may think I was dissing them. The reference to wasted meant the carbs being bad, and one less Suzuki means my family (Suzuki owners all) would be out one less. And I would cry if I trashed something I have invested time and a lot of $ into, but the Cavalcade would get the homebrew treatment straight away, and if I trashed the motor, I could part it out, and not be out much $, if any.

But one question for you Wingsconsin, I've looked around the net some, but do you know of any good forums for the Cavalcade GV1400LX's? I know they only made about 8,500 of these bikes, and used parts are hard to find.

And for Crmpacer, about the vid and ticking sound. It is often picked up by a video camera. I made a few vids that sounded like that, but it really didn't sound bad in person. A windscreen helped reduce the tic sound on vids for me. Just some experience with it from me.

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Wed May 01, 2013 1:40 pm

patbrandon1 wrote:
Wingsconsin wrote:And for Crmpacer, about the vid and ticking sound. It is often picked up by a video camera. I made a few vids that sounded like that, but it really didn't sound bad in person. A windscreen helped reduce the tic sound on vids for me. Just some experience with it from me.


Thanks so much for that. I went out and restarted the bike to hear what I was missing and it sounded much better in person. It must be the pickup on the I-Phone. The last thing I need in this project is another set back or a ghost to chase.

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Crmpacer » Thu May 02, 2013 2:15 pm

Bike Update:

I was able to take my bike out on the road for the first time today. I have spent the last three weeks pushing two tanks of gas treated with Seafoam, through the carbs and the difference has been amazing. I now have the bike starting, idling and running. Its still not perfect (little hesitation and sputter at low RPM) but the fact that I got to ride it is awesome. I am hoping that getting it out on the highway with some treated gas will really flush things out.

$35 in Chemicals + 3 weeks of starting the bike twice a day vrs. $500 rebuild cost. The beauty is I am getting similar results.

Be safe out there!

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Re: Lets Talk Chemical Carb Rebuild - SEAFOAM

Postby Johnyy Smoke » Thu May 02, 2013 6:02 pm

Seafoam cannot rebuild a carburetor, it is not a miracle cure, but it does have a place for regular maintance. That's about it in a nutshell Regards, Johnyy




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