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Old 01-03-2009, 01:12 PM
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Default Carb problem

Hi. I just bought a used snowmobile and the motor doesn't run well. I think the carb needs to be cleaned. The previous owner didn't run the sled for 2 years and left gas in the tank. The motor does not stay running unless you are working the throttle, and when it is running, it is backfiring and wants to die out. Can I clean out the carb myself or should I take it to a shop. If I can clean the carb, how is the best way to do it? I already tried to spray a can of carb cleaner into the carb without much noticable results.
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1
Default Carb Problem

A semi cheap fix might be to get a can of Sea Foam, you can get at most auto parts store for $6 -$7. Pour the whole can into 1/2 to 3/4 gallon of fresh gas and put in your tank. Start up and run for 15 to 20 minutes of high idle and goosing the trottle every once in a while. After about ten minutes it should start to breakup gunk in the carb bowl and clean out the jets. If this doesn't work then time to call the mechanic and rebuild the carb. You will also get a black liquid run out of the exhaust. This tends to breakdown the carbon build up on the valves. Good luck
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:28 PM
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ffishman ffishman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Schaumburg, ILL, USA.
Posts: 7,377

If there is any "junk" in the carb, you will have to pull it off and give it a good soaking and cleaning. Sea Foam is great if its not too bad. I use it a lot, but it will loosen up the junk and that in turn can clog ports.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:11 PM
boatkeeper boatkeeper is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 17
Default Clean them good!

I would remove and soak them well, you use sea foam to soak them but keep them wet for at least a 1/2 hour or more. Be sure to spray well into all areas well then rinse with carb cleaner and blow out with compressed air. Don`t take a chance with dirty carbs on snowmachines they love to blow up!
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:37 PM
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Hombre Robusto Hombre Robusto is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,500

Get a rebuild kit and be done with it. You probably have worn jets and seats, along with gunk in there.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:51 PM
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Pokey Fisherman Pokey Fisherman is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,006

If its been sitting that long you are going to have to take it apart. No seafoam will help when it gets real bad. If it had ethanol in the fuel you will get a algae growth that blocks jets. if your good with tools you can do it yourself, just remove everything in carefully and lay it down in order so you can assemble it again.
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:22 PM
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perchjerker perchjerker is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Dearborn, Manton MI
Posts: 17,260

what kind of sled is it?

I had an old Yamaha and no matter how I cleaned it, it did not help. Then I discovered the emulsion tube that runs though the center of the bowl had to removed and cleaned, it was pressed in and there was a trick to removing it
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:47 PM
PJM PJM is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Vadnais Heights, MN
Posts: 3,422

Tbay 305

The carbs need to be taken a part and soaked in a product like Berryman's B9 Chem Dip. This product contains Methylene Chloride and Cresylic Acid which will clean the ports inside the carbs. The stuff smells nasty but it works. Sea Foam will not work..............
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:43 AM
Burr Burr is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Moorhead, MN, USA.
Posts: 7,656

Kind of depends if it's a 2 stroke or 4 stroke if you can do it yourself.

If it's a 4 stroke, I don't have any experience and you'd be best to take it in.

2 Stroke carbs are pretty simple. If you have access to air pressure you could remove and do yourself. Generally there is no carb kit needed on a 2 stroke Mikuni carb, just take it apart, clean, and reassemble. The jets are small enough you really need the air pressure to clean out some of the passages. When reassembling I use Iso alcohol as the last cleaning fluid. Alcohol evaporates completely, and quickly.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:59 AM
MarkG MarkG is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: N. Illinois
Posts: 2,282

You didn't provide any info on the brand or model,but I agree with burr. It's most likely a slide valve Mikuni which are about the the most simple carbs in the world to clean and work on. They usually are only attached to the intake with a rubber boot and hose clamp. The hardest part sometimes depending on make and model of snowmobile,is removing the airbox on the air intake side of the carbs,so you can even get to them.

Here is a link to a step by step procedure. I think the sled shown is a Polaris,but most carbed 2 stroke sleds are about the same. (There is one step in this link that says use a fine wire to clean a jet...this is debatable,as you can actually damage a jet that way. But overall a good guide as to how they disassemble and what to clean.)


Caution,,if a twin carbed motor,mark the carbs left and right so they go back on in the same position they came off. They are often jetted differently and absolutely should not be mixed up.

Also drain your fuel tank completely and replace with fresh gas. DO NOT RUN THAT SLED FOR REAL on OLD GAS. Oherwise your next post will be asking us how hard it is to replace burned pistons !

Last edited by MarkG; 01-04-2009 at 10:12 AM.
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