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TUne up my XR 400


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Hi,

I picked up this xr400 off my friend, I got it pretty cheap I think 1,000$ .... but the CA license plate is 400$ due to 5 years of penalties for not registering or non-oping it (unless I can get around them with some tricks??) .

So anyways, I got the bike running, It takes a lot of kicks (15 or more) to get it running, and the bike seems to idle only when the choke is on. It will idle for a few minutes with the choke on, and with the choke half on. But when I pull the choke off it quits. It seems after Ive run the bike for a few minutes with the choke on, that it kind of heats up and wont run as well as when the bike is cold. Any advice on adjusting the carb to fix this? The bike doesnt have a spark arrestor, does that affect the idle? I was considering having the carb cleaned at the mechanic shop but that costs 120$ and Im trying to save $$ since I need a few parts for this thing.

The bike needs new handlebars, brake lever and brake pedal, and a kickstand, So i dont want to waste money on getting a mechanic to troubleshoot the carb.

Anybody in Santa Barbara CA who wants to help me tune this baby up?

Here is a picture of it after a little cleaning

eTBJ8.jpg

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You can clean the carb yourself. It's pretty simple. You've come to the best place to learn how. Lots of posts here on anything you need to know. Learn to use the forum search function and you'll be on your way.

Make sure you're using the choke correctly. It's like a light switch. Up is on, down is off.

Dump any old gas in the tank and carb float bowl. Doing that plus cleaning the main and pilot jets, along with the fuel screw assembly and that passage will most likely get you going.

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Sounds like someone pulled the baffle and did not re-jet. Sounds like a lean condition IMO, or a plugged up pilot jet. Get atleast a 58 pilot and 158 or 160 main jet in there ASAP if it doesnt have them now. Or, pop the spark arrestor back in (assuming you have it) and see if that helps richen you up. Also make sure the mixture screw is approx. 2 turns out from lightly seated. Jets are cheap and it will only take you a few minutes to swap them out. Good luck!!!

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Hey guys, thanks for instilling confidence on my purchase price.

I got a plate, it just needs to be zipped tied to the back fender, and Im not paying the back reg fees yet, Im trying to get the old owner to sign a paper saying the bike was stored in Arizona (which it was), so I shouldnt have to pay back reg fees in CA right??

Ive got turn signals in a box I might throw on, but probly not!

I want to try to tune the carb myself, and tried searching the forums for carb cleaning instructions and it seems everyone refers to a honda repair manual or clymers manual which instructs one on the steps to clean it. Does anyone have advice on where I can view the steps online to clean the carb and the fuel screw assembly as youve suggested or possibly send me the pdfs?

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Nice bike, good luck with the CA DMV. I had the same situation with my xr 400. I paid late fees and the paper work then goes to Sacramento. Started the transfer in early Feb and I just got the title the other day. This was after more then two dozen calls to Sacramento. A manager at my local DMV fianally helped me out. It took her about two minutes and it was done. KEEP ALL YOUR COPIES THAT YOU GIVE TO THE DMV...

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Oh and when you pay the fees make sure you get something that says what you have paid for. Not just a paper with a lot of numbers on it. On the lighter side the carb is easy to rebuild, not much to it. A few new rubber gaskets and some carb cleaner.

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So when I pay the late fees they dont just give me a sticker on the spot? I have a pink slip from the past owner, and I still have the plate. Will they not give me new registration and a sticker for it right there? Ahhh... i was hoping there wasnt going to be a dmv nightmare with this.

Im still looking for a post on this site that shows me exactly how to get the carburetor out of my xr, and what gaskets I need to order..

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They gave me a temp registration and stickers and a new plate but not the title. Had to wait for the title. I hope yours goes easier for you. Pulling the carb pretty easy, even easier if you pull the sub frame. See if you can find an online manual it has a good section on the carb. You can also look at the factory parts diagams to see the different parts you might want to replace. When I did mine I replaced the soft parts and gave it a good cleaning, be careful with the float. Oh and make sure you put it back together the correct way. I say that from my own mistake...

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Sure as long as you have at least a temp registration. The problem for mine was the temp registration would expire every 30 days. They still might give us a fix it ticket if we do not have all the equipment that is street legal. I might add I have never had a problem whith that as long as you pass the attitude test.

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So when I pay the late fees they dont just give me a sticker on the spot? I have a pink slip from the past owner, and I still have the plate. Will they not give me new registration and a sticker for it right there? Ahhh... i was hoping there wasnt going to be a dmv nightmare with this.

Im still looking for a post on this site that shows me exactly how to get the carburetor out of my xr, and what gaskets I need to order..

HaHa,😏 no gaskets needed. However, I don't play around when I pull my carb!

Carbs015.jpg?t=1279941221

Remove the gas tank, seat, right number plate, unbolt the exhaust and the subframe...😏 There, that didn't take long. Now… you can remove the carb. Cleaning will work better if you use a bread wire or something similar, to scrape the residue from the jets and passages, not just carb cleaner spray.

What size are your jets? You need at least a #58 or #60 pilot and a #160 to #165 main jet at sea level. Jets are cheap and well worth playing with.

On my stock carb (38mm Keihin) I was running a #58 pilot at 2-3/4 turns out on the adjustment screw. (probably could have been less turns if they had a larger pilot jet) and a #160 main (you really need to play around to see what you're best performer is). Just keep going up one size at time until the performance doesn't get better then go back to the last best jet.

I’m sorry if I’m not very complete tonight. However, I will give more info when I am not falling asleep.

Perc

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I was in a similar situation, except I paid $2200 ($990 for DMV purposes) for my CA plated 03 (from Thousands Oaks..not far from you). The guy said it owed $100 or so registration going back to 07 - Finally got the paperwork I needed to reg it last week...long story...so go to DMV, tell them it's plated "Oh well thats two separate transactions then ...for a total of $387!" You have to pay the back reg on both the green sticker and the plate...but yes they did give two different reg docs, one green sticker, and one plate tag.

Oh and mines a pig to start too...sat for over two years....I got the jets...now just need the time...since I'm working o/t to pay the reg.

It's a vicious circle 😏

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