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Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

  1. #1
    Member iloveboobs's Avatar
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    Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

    So, I'm not going to write up a "how to", but I figured I'd share some of my maintenance experience on my 1996 Kawi Ninja ZX6R.

    As I posted in a previous thread (http://www.nestreetriders.com/forum/...s-welcome.html), my bike had recently started to run poorly, so I decided to do some maintenance, specifically, an oil change, a spark plug change, an air filter change, and a carb cleaning/sync.

    I would have loved to just bring it to a dealership and have them sort it out, but I'm not made of money and I already felt like I had spent way more than I was really comfortable with to buy the bike, register/insure it, and buy a bunch of gear.

    This is my first bike, and prior to this, I had literally zero mechanical experience, but after reading through NESR, KawiForums, and a few other sites, I felt like I could handle it. Here are the sites that I used:

    mrmaxstorey's youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exa467_eoXw) - this is an awesome 3 part youtube video on how to clean motorcycle carbs.

    KawiForums (http://www.kawiforums.com/zzr600-zx-...up-w-pics.html) - a thread with good pictures and description of the process.

    Some Guy Named McDonald's Website (http://www.themcdonalds.net/richard/...ynchronization) - good pictoral writeup on carb synchronization.

    ZX6R.com (http://zx6r.com/service-manuals/1258...ce-manual.html) - this thread is just a link to download an f-series ninja service manual for free.

    Even though I was going to save money on labor, I did have to buy a bunch of supplies/tools:

    1 rear stand (not really necessary, but was nice to have)
    4 qts. oil
    1 oil filter
    1 oil filter wrench
    1 oil pan
    1 ratchet set
    1 ratchet extension/knuckle set
    1 can of carb cleaner
    1 air filter
    1 MotionPro SyncPro
    1 box of disposable rubber gloves (even if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, carb cleaner is nasty stuff)

    So, long story short, by using the manual and the sites above, I was able to get the job done with really no major problems.

    The oil change was a snap. The manual spells it out, and there are plenty of youtube vids on how to do it. I did it while half drunk on margaritas and had no problems. The two things I would mention are 1) the oil filter wrench was really f-ing useful, but maybe not necessary if you have a big enough channel lock wrench, and 2) don't forget to coat the inside of the oil filter with some oil. I was enjoying the margaritas too much to take any pictures.

    The carb cleaning was way more time consuming than I thought it would be, but most of that was because I had never done one before. It took me ~ 10 hours (don't laugh), but I bet I could do it in about 3 hours now that I know how. The hardest part by far was removing the throttle cable (mostly because the previous owner had stripped a crucial screw, so I had to take the entire throttle assembly off the handle bar). Apparently old Japanese bikes use JIS screws, which a regular phillips will easily strip. As far as remembering which screws went where, I took lots of pictures as I went along and put organized them in containers/plastic bags (either by cylinder or by major component). Most of my organization wasn't even necessary, since the hoses sort of fall into place and the bolts/screws often only fit in the one place they need to. Also, I found an awesome little roll of brass wire at my hardware store that made cleaning the jets very easy. Oh, and word to the wise, don't get carb cleaner on any of the non-metal parts of the carbs (and definitely don't soak the parts in plastic/rubber containers). Like an idiot, I started soaking the parts in plastic containers, but quickly switched them to some fancy wine glasses that I never use.

    Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1062-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1067-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1081-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1085-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1086-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1094-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1098-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1103-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1104-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1110-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1106-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1108-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1109-jpg

    The spark plug removal was much harder than I thought it would be - only because I didn't have the spark plug tool that comes with most bikes. The spark plugs are located deep within the engine, and it took me a while to figure out a ratchet head/extension/knuckle combination that worked (and wedged a rubber gasket in the socket to grab onto the plug - a magnetized socket would probably work, too). Also, I realized one of the spark plug boots had come loose, causing a freaking spark to jump from the cable to another cable (instead of the plug). Check this shit out (with sound!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9X2tBuxE_I .

    After cleaning the carbs, I used a Motion Pro CarbSync to sync them. Setting up the tool was harder than actually syncing the carbs. The one thing you don't want to do is rev the engine with the tool attached - it will suck the liquid into the engine. Also, I read that some people had a problem setting up an alternate fuel source to conduct the sync, but I just reconnected the tank, turned it around backwards, and out it on the passenger seat. The tool was pricey (about $80), and there are plenty of tutorials on how to make one using cheap parts from HomeDepot, but it worked great and I'm glad I got it. Also, I'll pimp it out to you guys for pizza and beer. Here's a quick vid of the end result of the carb sync: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmqzpVpavAw .

    Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1115-jpgCarb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-img_1114-jpg

    So yea, after spending all weekend working on the bike, it now runs better than ever. It took a lot of time and was pretty nerve wracking before I knew whether or not it would work, but in the end, I learned a lot and didn't pay a dime to a dealership. Overall, definitely a great experience.

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    Last edited by iloveboobs; 06-05-12 at 09:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

    Nice job, thanks for all the great info. I'm going to be tackling it myself. When I'm ready I'm gonna be calling on you!

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  3. #3
    Lifer
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    Re: Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

    I appreciate you taking the time to document and share. But can I ask a lesser importance question? I see you were excellent in tracking your parts, and you used some small tuperware containers. If you have a significant other, how do they feel about that? I was trying to heat up a rubber boot on an air filter to get it to slide over a carb in a frying pan on the stove (sitting in water) and my gf was all pissed off about it. Something about gasoline in her food. I guess my comment about "whoa, this thing wreaks of gas. Must be soaked in it" as I went to drop it in the pan didn't sit so well?

    I'm new to bikes, but not new to DIY on my car. Every job sucks the first time. Stick to it! The more you do it, the more comfortable you'll get and previously hard tasks are walk in the park. I had a similar problem with my Kawasaki and the spark plugs. The damn holes are so narrow that you need a deep socket AND it has to have thin walls, so basically, nothing available in a store. Pretty sure the best option is the type that came with the kit (which I don't have) that looks like a tube of metal with hex'ed ends. Allows you to use a crescent wrench on it once you slide it in. Otherwise, even with a socket, it's a bitch to clear my old-school frame.

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  4. #4
    got milk? drinkingmymilk's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    I appreciate you taking the time to document and share. But can I ask a lesser importance question? I see you were excellent in tracking your parts, and you used some small tuperware containers. If you have a significant other, how do they feel about that? I was trying to heat up a rubber boot on an air filter to get it to slide over a carb in a frying pan on the stove (sitting in water) and my gf was all pissed off about it. Something about gasoline in her food. I guess my comment about "whoa, this thing wreaks of gas. Must be soaked in it" as I went to drop it in the pan didn't sit so well?
    Is this a serious question? Buy your own to leave them in the garage. http://www.amazon.com/GladWare-Conta...976807&sr=8-13

    As for warming the boot. Heat gun, or a bit of lube rubbed aroung the ring with your finger goes a long way. I'm a guy and I'd be pissed if someone was boiling a carb boot on my stove.

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  5. #5
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

    Quote Originally Posted by drinkingmymilk View Post
    Is this a serious question? Buy your own to leave them in the garage. http://www.amazon.com/GladWare-Conta...976807&sr=8-13

    As for warming the boot. Heat gun, or a bit of lube rubbed aroung the ring with your finger goes a long way. I'm a guy and I'd be pissed if someone was boiling a carb boot on my stove.
    Boiling it is the only way. For older boots it actually puts moisture back into the rubber and makes it more pliable. You could get your own pot though haha.

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  6. #6
    got milk? drinkingmymilk's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    Boiling it is the only way. For older boots it actually puts moisture back into the rubber and makes it more pliable. You could get your own pot though haha.
    Really? I've never heard of that. My 99 f4 was the last thing I'll ever own with a carb. Getting them on last year was a simple push with lube.

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  7. #7
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

    Quote Originally Posted by drinkingmymilk View Post
    Really? I've never heard of that. My 99 f4 was the last thing I'll ever own with a carb. Getting them on last year was a simple push with lube.
    I also use it for petcock gaskets, etc.

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    2011 Pit Bike Race CHAMPION!

  8. #8
    Default hondarider102's Avatar
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    Good to see someone attempt something that they never have, it's all pretty easy If your willing to spend some time and learn

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    Corey

  9. #9
    Member iloveboobs's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R

    Um, go the extra mile and spend five bucks on your own tupperware. That's what I did and I got no flak from the lady (although, to be fair, she didn't know that I replaced the tupperware with our fancy wine glasses). No (discovered) harm, no foul.

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I forgot to mention, I also switched out the fuel filter - took all of 3 minutes. Old and busted, meet new hotness:

    Carb Clean/Sync on 1996 ZX6R-fuel-filter-jpg

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    Last edited by iloveboobs; 06-07-12 at 09:29 PM.

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