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CV Carb Tuning

CV Carb Tuning

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Published by: mark_day on Dec 01, 2010
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CV Carb Tuning

Kiv Cornelius Do not under-estimate the ability of the stock Keihin CV carburetor to produce good horsepower. The stock CV40 carburetor has a venturi diameter of 38.5mm. Properly tuned, a CV carburetor is capable of supporting 80+ horsepower in modified engines. A stock bike of 1340cc (80 CID) can develop up to 64 horsepower with a well-tuned and modified CV carburetor. These steps are similar for a Tc88 1450/1550. Information for this article was gleaned from the following sources: http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/hd_cv_mods.htm http://www.silvercrow.com/cvcarb.htm Maurice Riggins (past article on the Sportster list) My personal experience! 1. REMOVE THE CARBURETOR Remove the carburetor as described in the service manual for your model bike. You might get away with leaving the throttle cables connected. It is much easier to remove the carburetor and use a workbench. Leave the choke cable hooked to the carburetor and disconnect the pull-handle end, taking the entire choke cable/carburetor assembly with the carburetor. It is faster to cut the fuel line hose off rather than trying to save it. 2. MODIFY THE IDLE MIXTURE ADJUSTMENT The aluminum plug covering the idle mixture adjusting screw needs to be removed. Turn the carburetor over and locate the plug toward the rear of the carburetor, in back of the float bowl. Using about a 1/16" drill bit, carefully drill a hole through the small plug. If the plug does not fall out while drilling, remove the drill bit. Carefully insert a small self-tapping sheet metal screw into the plug. This will allow enough grip to remove the plug by pulling on the self-tapping screw with a pair of pliers. Underneath you will find a slotted screw. Turn this screw clockwise until it is GENTLY seated. Over tightening this screw can damage the carburetor and needle. Back the idle mixture screw 2 1/2 full turns. This provides a starting point for tuning. 3. SLIDE MODIFICATIONS Remove the top of the carburetor (slide vacuum chamber cover) being careful to loosen the throttle linkage stop plate. There is a spring under the top cover, so hold it with a finger until all screws are loose. Holding the carburetor upright,

Additional jet sizes and jet needles are listed below. carefully placing the accelerator pump rod into its rubber boot. Place the jet needle into the slide. On the bottom of the slide are two holes. 4. The center hole is for the jet needle. These washers will raise the jet needle taper. . The slide/diaphragm assembly can now be removed. Do not over-tighten the new jets when installing them. the main jet will be replaced with a jet 10 larger than the OEM. If you use the XL needle (pn# 27094-88). Using a flat blade screwdriver. the main jet will be replaced with a #165 jet (pn# 27116-88). These two items can be removed by turning the slide over and pouring the parts into you hand. Carefully remove the fuel bowl. The second hole is off center. Keep the shavings away from the rest of the carburetor. These parts are needed to reassemble the carburetor.050" or 1/16" thick) of the small brass washers over the long end of the needle jet. REPLACE JETS Turn the carburetor over so the bottom is facing upward. If you did not get thin brass . DO NOT file too deep or you will cut through the wall of the slide creating a hole. making sure the washers remain in place. Under the spring seat is the jet needle. The 130/210 SE CV44mm spring. for a 1340cc replace the stock #42 slow jet with a #45 (pn# 2717089). This hole needs to be drilled to 1/8". Set the slide aside for now. thus ruining the slide. This smoothes the airflow. DO NOT file the flat parts that contact the carburetor body as this could cause improper operation. Use a fine flat metal file to CAREFULLY smooth this edge from the 90 degree to a “rounded” 45 degree. If you use the OEM needle. Replace the float bowl. 5. Remove the float bowl by removing the four screws. This is the vacuum port. RE-ASSEMBLE THE CARBURETOR If you use the OEM needle. or for a TC88 the #45 with a #48 jet (pn#27165-90). Remove any burrs that exist and clean the slide. plus a TC88 may use a #5 or #10 larger main jet depending on engine modifications. pn# 27728-99 is suggested. The jets are brass parts that are screwed into an aluminum body. Drilling note: Rather than risk ruining the slide by drilling it. You may need to take some fine (400 to 600) emery paper and polish the chamfer a bit if the file has left grooves or roughness. richening the low RPM fuel mixture. This is the edge OPPOSITE the side the vacuum hole was on (the front). Jetting Notes: Be sure to use jets numbered for the CV carburetor! The HD part numbers listed are correct. Inside the slide you will see the plastic spring seat. place 1 (approx.remove the cover and spring. another option is to use a different vacuum piston spring. If that doesn’t work put the original back in and then drill it! Another optional modification that can be done is to chamfer or “radius” the front bottom edge of the slide. Make sure this hole is a clean straight hole.

pull choke out all the way. Letting the bike idle for 15 minutes to warm up is not desirable. Replace the carburetor. The repeated up and down movement of the diaphragm causes it to stretch. as the plastic will break fairly easily. About 30 seconds later. but will not accept any throttle. directing the fuel line and choke cable into position as you move the carburetor into place. If you think the diaphragm is damaged. make sure the hose is connected. The throttle lock can be used for this purpose during initial adjustments. Connect the fuel line hose to the fuel petcock. This is a common source of problems after carburetor modifications are performed. the entire slide/diaphragm assembly must be replaced. Install the slide spring and the carburetor top being careful not to misalign or pinch the diaphragm. Try using the cap to position the diaphragm. Assembly Tricks for the diaphragm: The diaphragm is easy to misalign or pinch. place the jet needle into the slide without using any washers. The diaphragm frequently has the appearance of being too large to fit into the groove. A damaged diaphragm will have the symptoms of the engine being able to idle. WARMING UP THE BIKE Warm the bike up to full operating temperature. The modifications made to your bike should allow it to run well enough for a sedate test run around the block. Replace the spring seat into the slide and over the jet needle. making re-assembly tricky. 6. If you have a late model bike with the vacuum line connected to the fuel petcock. PUT THE CARBURETOR BACK ON THE BIKE The carburetor is now ready to be installed back on the engine. use half or no choke at all. This speeds up the warm-up time and also allows a feel for the improvement to throttle response from the modifications. pulling on the edges to stretch the diaphragm a bit. a single small washer of up to 1/8" thick can be used. push the choke all the way in and use the throttle to keep the bike idling while warming up. As the bike comes up to . Remember to replace the vacuum hose from the VOES to the top rear of the carburetor. If you are using the XLH needle. The carburetor is not as lean as the factory settings. Prior to final adjustments the engine may not idle properly. Carefully place the edges of the diaphragm into the groove around the top of the carburetor.washers. adjusting choke to reduce the fast idle to a reasonable speed. If you find any. Place the carburetor slide into the carburetor body. Checking all the work to make sure screws and hoses are properly installed. You can "wiggle" the top and feel when the diaphragm is properly located. check for any pinholes with a bright light behind the rubber. It will allow you to evenly push the diaphragm into the groove. DO NOT follow the owner's manual directions for cold starting. Be careful not to over-tighten the choke cable-mounting nut. Place the fuel line on the carburetor before you place it on the bike. 7. Start the bike. Make sure the washer is the smallest that can be found. The new procedure is as follows: If the engine is cold. If the engine is warm.

proper operating temperature. adjustments to the idle mixture and idle speed can be performed. .

perhaps nicely. Make a mental note of the position of the clock position of the screwdriver. open the throttle slightly. turn the idle SPEED screw in (clockwise) about two full turns until the engine is idling fast. Method #2: (This is the method I like. Once the engine is fully warm (rear rocker cover is hot to the touch). ADJUSTING IDLE MIXTURE Method #1: 1. Under normal circumstances. the star shaped screw below the right switch housing. turn the idle mixture screw inward (clockwise) slowly until the engine starts to stumble. Start the engine. If the engine responds quickly with a gratifying blast and no backfiring through the carburetor. Blip the throttle a time or two and observe the results.) 1. Adjusting the idle mixture screw out to far results in an overly rich. perhaps not. you have your idle mixture right. Once the engine has started push the choke in about 1/2 way and then wait about 2 minutes. the idle mixture screw should be between 2 and 3 turns out. 2. Seems kind of complicated at first. The engine should be idling. With a flat blade screwdriver. Leave the idle SPEED screw (top right side of the carb looking at it above the air cleaner) where it was before. 3. fully release the throttle lock and make sure the throttle is fully closed. and if you must do so to keep the engine running. then turn it out (open. Now turn the idle mixture screw outwards until the engine begins to run smoothly. adjusting the idle stop screw as necessary to maintain proper idle speed. I think it provides the most accurate setting for the transition between the bottom circuits. Then push the choke in all the way. If the engine will not idle on its own during this procedure. but if you read through the whole procedure before starting it will make sense. 2. You can keep it there with the throttle lock. . With engine warmed up and at idle. low RPM fuel mixture leading to poor gas mileage and carbon buildup in the combustion chamber. If backfiring occurs through the carburetor then adjust the idle mixture screw out another 1/8 to 1/4 turn. turn the idle MIXTURE screw (the one you drilled the cap off) full in (clockwise) G E N T L Y until it seats). counterclockwise) exactly two full turns.8. With a flat blade or Phillips screwdriver. raise the idle by adjusting the idle set screw until it does.

If it seems to accelerate some when you let off the 1/8. turn the idle MIXTURE screw back out the two full turns and go back to step 3. Fumbling around with the wrong screwdriver usually results in burned knuckles. 5. Make sure the screwdriver works before the engine is started. To test the main jetting. noting the feel of the bike.4. Idle Speed note: The proper idle speed for TC and EVO Twin engines is 9001000 RPM. This allows the screwdriver to get past the various obstructions that exist between you and the idle mixture screw 9. If the idle speed is too low. To adjust the idle speed. As it is turned back out counterclockwise the engine speed will increase and stay there for awhile as you continue turning out. Now turn the idle SPEED screw out (counterclockwise) just until the engine dies. 6. a long. The engine should not die. restart the engine. Note the points where the engine speed started to drop and set the idle MIXTURE screw in the middle of that higher speed range. As the idle MIXTURE screw is turned in clockwise. If it does. The idle speed is set correctly. increasing the idle speed setting (in clockwise another turn). here is a very basic guide that will get the adjustments close. It will result in the idle speed being a little high. With a flat blade screwdriver turn the idle MIXTURE screw in (clockwise) *gently* until it fully seats. Now turn the idle MIXTURE screw out (counterclockwise) exactly two full turns out (counterclockwise). Immediately let off the throttle about 1/8 turn and note the feel of the bike. your . flat blade or #1 Phillips screwdriver should be used. The following takes a good ear for engine speed. insufficient oil will be pumped. Now the idle mixture is set correctly. but improper oiling will contribute to engine overheating while idling in traffic and premature engine failures. and then the engine speed will starts to drop as the mixture gets too rich. Tricks of the trade: A small. 7. flat blade screwdriver about 3" long should be used to adjust the idle mixture screw. which will give more oil to lubricate the engine. If you do not have access to a dyno facility. This is an easy way to set it without a tach. Resist the temptation to lower the idle excessively. so you may want to refer to a higher authority after this. the mixture will become lean and the engine speed will start to decrease. you must be in fourth or fifth gear and running fairly high RPM (4000+) then open the throttle all the way to the throttle stop. and let it idle a minute or so to stabilize. The oiling systems need better than 700 RPM to work properly. It may sound good. FINE TUNING The details of carburetor tweaking and plug reading are a very involved subject.

or worse yet. and engine damage will soon follow if proper steps are not taken richen the mixture. which exercises either low speed or main jetting. Plug reading is as much an art as a science. Too light. taking years of experience to understand what the plugs are really telling us about the engine. Checking the plugs this way will provide the most accurate reading. If your plugs are black you are too rich. Use your common sense and seat of the pants feel and you will get close enough to do plug reads. Do some riding.main jet is too lean. If it hesitates or the top speed is poor (i. this decreases your gas and performance but will not harm your engine. Adjust your main jetting accordingly by increasing or decreasing the jet size by 5. . making sure the plugs are a nice light tan color is good enough.e. Don't read the plugs until the fine-tuning has been done and then make sure you use new plugs. For most street riders. and then stop immediately shutting down the engine before it is at idle speed. less than 80 MPH) you are too rich. bone white you are too lean.

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