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Motorcycle Repair/1994 Honda Shadow VT1100C


I just rebuilt the carburetors on my Shadow, fired it up, and gas is leaking from the little nipples beneath the float bowl on both carburetors. Does this indicate the floats are stuck or the carburetors are flooding?

Thank you,
Tom Huff

Tom, yes, the overflow tubes on the carburetors are there to release excess fuel if the float valves stick open.

Often, when you put carburetors back on the bike with empty bowls the floats hang way down and the needles get cocked in the float valve seats causing overflow conditions. Shut the fuel off and try firing the bike up and shaking it side to side and/or tapping on the bowls with a screwdriver handle to jar the needles back into place.

As I recall the needles have to sit into little slots on the base of the float, which physically keeps them in place during open and close cycles, so if assembled properly, the problem is probably just a temporary dislocation of the needles in the seats.

Bill Silver

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Bill Silver


Need help with vintage Hondas from the 1960s? I am an expert with 250-305cc bikes in particular and most all of the other pre-91 models, in general. I do NOT claim to have a great deal of experience on Gold Wings, Cruisers, ATC/ATVs and dirt bikes.


I have owned/ridden/maintained Honda motorcycles for 35 years. I have written five books on Honda repairs and collecting. I was a service manager for two Honda shops back in the 1980s.

VJMC (Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club) of North America

VJMC newsletter, as editor for two years and as contributing editor currently.

3 years auto shop in high school, teacher's aide in Automotive Technology in Jr. College, Diesel mechanic course in college, self-taught mechanic and automotive writer.

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