I've decided to attempt the mid-body gasket replacement on my vintage 2000 slant FCR carb, stock on the DRZ 400 E. If you are like me you have scoured the forums for info on doing this service but found maybe 2 or 3 pictures of a taken apart FCR, dead end threads, and tons of negativity.
BUT! Is it really that difficult of a repair to perform correctly? Well I have had my carb on and off at least a dozen times, trying different jets, cleaning, etc. For the last 3 years I've been getting by with the coast enrichener circuit bypassed to at least get enough fuel in the idle circuit to run ok. But it just wasn't working anymore. I could clean the carb out and get it to run for a little while, but after sitting it wouldn't start again. I tried ordering a refurb FCR-MX over a week ago and the guy has gone MIA and nothing shipped. I ordered from keihin-fcr.com. I would advise avoiding... But will update if I hear back and he has a decent reason for the delay. Anyways, it made me seriously look into the "unserviceable" midbody gasket. I mean, you can buy the gasket here: https://www.ebay.com/i/401380298480?chn=ps
So today I ripped the carb apart again, but this time to the very last fastener, separating the carb bodies. I even found my smoking gun, in the one picture with the hoop thingy removed you can see the gasket has expanded and spilled into a passageway. This passageway leads directly to the pilot jet, blocking it's flow. Though as you can see every rubber piece inside is completely trashed. Which makes sense, do you really expect these gaskets to last 20 years? Or in this case 18? If you have taken apart your FCR and went, wow that fuel bowl gasket is recked yo! I need a new one! Well you can bet your mid-body gasket looks the same. Really I see no reason I couldn't get this sealed back up with a new gasket and some fuel-proof RTV to replace the epoxy seal around the edge. Why wouldn't it work? Just doesn't make sense to me all the negativity you find toward this repair.... But I haven't finished yet so who knows if it will actually work on the bike. But I think it'll run like new when I'm done. I hope it works out for me and I can inspire some others who would otherwise be forced to buy an 800 dollar carb to do this repair instead.
Wish me luck!