Carb Leaking Fuel - Clueless - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-27-2017, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Question Carb Leaking Fuel - Clueless

i finally got my bike put back together, minus the exhaust and seats. the oil bolt was rounded off and i couldn't get it out without much needed space and visibility by dropping the engine. i've posted my many problems along the way, and here is yet another one.

i charged my battery and tried to start the bike, just to see if i had been successful in reassembling everything. naturally, the answer was no. according to another thread i have going, it's a starter motor or starter clutch issue. neither of which were even a slight problem before i tore the bike apart.

after having turned the petcock valve to "on" to try to start the bike, i started smelling heavy fuel. several hrs later i realized the carb was leaking (thank you JerryH). in the attached picture is where it seems to be coming from. that middle seam there on the carb. is that even possible? i don't know.. i checked all my tubes and everything appears tight and attached.

does anyone know what is going on? i'm at wits end. if it isn't one thing, it's another. i cannot win w/ this bike!! i know nothing about mechanics so anytime there is a problem nothing makes any sense to me. and to think, all of this nonsense started bc the drain bolt was sheared. all i wanted to do was change the stinkin' oil!

thanks all. sorry for rant. losing my marbles.
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1996 Rebel CMX250C
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-27-2017, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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I should add, I did not take the carb apart at all. I just removed it when I tore the bike apart.

1996 Rebel CMX250C
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-27-2017, 07:45 AM
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the circled joint is where the bowl gasket seals the carburetor bowl to the carburetor main body and is probably in need of changing. If it was already shot, the leaky spots may have been obstructed with crap and only leaking the tiniest bit, and even a gentle rap while dismounting it could have dislodged the crap.

2009 Honda Rebel 250; 2009 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit
"The bravest thing for me to do is admit when I am wrong" - unknown
HRF Answer #1 You should take the MSF Rider Course
HRF Answer #2 You need to clean your carburetor
HRF Answer #3 Sorry we assumed if you didn't say otherwise
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-27-2017, 08:14 AM
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The normal fuel level in the carb should be below the bowl gasket level. If its leaking from there, it indicates the float valve is not shutting off effectively. This may or may not be a big issue as the float may just be hanging up from the carb being sideways while removed. In any case, the petcock should always be left in the off position when the engine is shut down to prevent fuel leakage.

2004 Rebel 250, 2003 BMW K1200GT (roadburner), 2004 BMW R1200GS(all purpose),
1973 Norton Interstate (in a box in the basement)
1968 Triumph Bonneville
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-27-2017, 09:52 AM
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Turn the petcock off. Drain the carb. Tap on the carb to try to release the stuck float. Turn the petcock back on to see if successful. You probably want to get the starter working to see if the bike will start, and run before making a final decision, but if it continues to happen, you will need to remove, disassemble, clean, rebuild, reassemble, and reinstall the carb.

I was hoping that you were really enjoying learning how to wrench on your bike, but it seems more like you are frustrated about the whole ordeal. Not to rub salt in the wound, but just to be sure that you have some perspective for future decision making, I think you should do an analysis of how much time and money you have now spent on this problem. Remember that many of us recommended that you take the bike to a real mechanic with real tools, and real experience to get the bolt out at the very beginning before you kept making the situation worse. You decided that would cost too much. Now compare the time and cost of getting a professional to do it initially vs what you have now spent of each. Probably good to remember this when faced with future decisions.

The old adage that we only learn from our mistakes and failures is still true, but it is unfortunate when the backlash is as severe as the one you have suffered. Hope you can get beyond this soon, and one day look back on it and laugh at yourself and your youthful mistakes as a true learning experience.

1999 Honda Rebel CMX250C
2003 Harley Sportster 883 Hugger
1998 Harley FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-27-2017, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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you did indeed say i should take it to a shop, and i did think i would really enjoy it. and i think i would have if it weren't for the mountain of problems i keep running into. i know it's mostly from inexperience. i didn't feel the bike was safe enough to drive to a shop w/ its rotting tires.. i will keep trying to fix these issues. i am learning as i go so i guess that's a plus.

1996 Rebel CMX250C
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-27-2017, 02:00 PM
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Duckster is correct, the fuel level should be below that gasket, but I'm not sure it would be with the bike on the sidestand. If the float is stuck, or the float needle valve is leaking, then gas should be coming out of the fitting right on the very bottom of the float bowl. That is the overflow. If you have a drain hose on it, pull off the hose and see if there is any gas coming out. Just touch it with your finger to see if it is wet. There may not actually be gas dripping.

I certainly understand where 76Paw is coming from. And for many people he is right. I've never been that way. When I started out working on mechanical things as a pre teen, I made a lot of mistakes too. By the time I was 16 I successfully rebuilt a car engine. You don't learn if you don't make mistakes. Yes they can be expensive. But going to a shop will definitely be expensive, and they don't always do things right either. When I bought my new 2016 Rebel, and they brought it out after setup, I gave it a quick once over. I found the chain so tight it had absolutely no play at all in it. I pointed it out to them, and they adjusted it. Had I trusted them to do it right, I could have done some serious damage. I never take things to a shop, because I am a mechanic, and I actually care about doing things right. Many mechanics are only interested in making money, and do very sloppy work, especially on other peoples stuff.

Much has been made of my aversion to electronics on motor vehicles. There are a couple of reasons for feeling the way I do. Number one is that I simply don't trust them. They can fail without warning, and there is no way to visually check them. The second thing is that I like to work on my vehicles, but have no interest at all in electronics. I like mechanical things. I have made very little effort to learn how to work on electronics on motor vehicles. I did do it when I was employed as a mechanic, but didn't understand what I was doing. I "went through the motions" connected up the computer diagnostic equipment, put in the software, and followed the instructions. That and a logical, methodical approach usually got the job done. I have no idea what goes on in a microprocessor, and don't care.

I have no problem trying to help someone with mechanical issues, especially when they are just starting out. Fortunately I had a very patient farm mechanic who helped me over and over again when I was just starting to learn how to work on mechanical things.

However, consider your situation. Are you mechanically inclined? Do you want to learn, or do you just want a rideable bike and never have to work on it again? If you have no desire to work on mechanical things, then your best course of action would probably be to sell your current Rebel, and buy a newer one in better condition. The Rebel is one of the best made bikes ever, it just seems like you got one with a lot of problems caused by abuse and neglect by previous owners.

Regardless, I will try to be of as much help as I can. It can be difficult to diagnose problems over the internet. It is much easier when you have what you are working on right in front of you.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-27-2017, 05:18 PM
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I 100% agree with you Jerry, and in no way do I want eek to get the idea that we will not do everything thet we can to help him. I have encouraged him to ask questions, and continue to do so. We will try our best, but we can only guess based on the info provided.

Unfortunately, we can only give advice. We aren't usually close enough to actually give any hands on help. We also have no control over whether our advice is accepted or not. The owner still has to make his own decisions and live with the results.

In this case, I and a few others, including you Jerry I believe, recognized that eek was struggling with that bolt, and that he had limited tools or experience to fix it before he made it worse. That is why we recommended taking it to a mechanic, or friend, or somehow getting help. There are many jobs for him to learn on and for us to help him with. This was just one that had all the red flags of turning into the disaster that it eventually did.

We not only have the desire to help everyone, but to also try to keep them out of trouble if possible, save them money when possible, and make the best recommendations that we can based on what little info we can gather. We don't always get it right. Sometimes we are not sure, and maybe we could have been a little more emphatic, like in this case, but we are always striving to do our best to help, and to never make a situation worse.

1999 Honda Rebel CMX250C
2003 Harley Sportster 883 Hugger
1998 Harley FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-27-2020, 11:13 PM
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Dealing with a similar issue on my 1985 Rebel 250. Appreciate the posts and will follow the advice earlier in the thread to see if I can end the leakage. Looking forward to the smell of gas not being so intense when I open the door to my tiny garage.
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