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Motorcycle Repair/1987 Honda Rebel 250 - Gas Streaming thru Overflow Tube


Bill, I can really use your advice.
Before I stored my 1987 Rebel 250 I drained the gas, cleaned and coated the gas tank, cleaned the carb and replaced the gasket.  Now that I'm wanting to start it, when I turn the gas on, the gas flows to the carb but then goes thru the overflow tube.  I've changed the float valve but it did not correct the problem.  It is not leaking anywhere else.  What else can be causing the gas to go thru the overflow tube??   Thank you.

John,  Well, things that come to mind are:

What did you coat the tank with for storage?

There's a fuel screen up inside the fuel tank that may have deteriorated and allowed whatever was floating around after you refilled the tank into the petcock and carburetor float valve. Make sure that your screen is clean and intact or replace it with a new one.  #4

The float valve seat is part of the carb body, so you can't remove it, but you should try to clean out the fuel line between the petcock and carburetor.

Make sure that the leak is at the overflow tube and not at the drain screw that has an o-ring on it, which might be leaking.

Sometimes the solid floats will become porous and absorb fuel and then sink, so the float valve never closes. In rare cases the brass overflow tube will develop a vertical crack running lengthwise down the entire tube, so check that carefully.

When you put fuel into a dry float bowl the float is hanging way down and sometimes the float needle will get cocked in the seat and not close properly. IF that is the case, then let the carb fill to overflowing, shut off the fuel, shake the bike from side to side and start the engine. Often that is enough to push the needle back up where it belongs.

Hope one of these suggestions will help you to fix the problem.

Bill Silver

Motorcycle Repair

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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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