How-To: Honda Shadow VT750/VT1100 Carb Clean & Rebuild 1995-2007

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Does your Shadow need the carburetors cleaned or rebuilt? Don’t feel like paying dealer labor rates? Follow this 1hr 30min step by step How-To video and get your bike up and running again!



Year, Make, Model

The motorcycle featured in this video is a 2002 Honda Shadow VT750. The video also covers 1998-2007 VT750’s and 1995-2007 VT1100’s years as well. Note, this model has dual carbs, for single carb models, check out this How-To video.


Service Manual

Coming soon!



This Shadow was not getting any fuel in order to fire up, even with the choke on. The only way it would run is by spraying some starting fluid inside the carb throat.



Once the carburetors were apart, I found the pilot jets and choke tubes completely plugged up. The choke tubes supply fuel from fuel bowl to enrichment/choke port for cold starts, while the pilot jets supply fuel at idle to ⅛ throttle positions. These are classic symptoms of letting fuel go stale and eventually leading to varnish build up.


The fix

The only way to clean the carburetors is to completely disassemble them and give them a thorough cleaning. There are no shortcuts (believe me I would love to know of any) or anything magical that you your into your tank to make this whole process easier. Once apart, you can dip the components in solvent, soda blast, and use carburetor cleaner in a aerosol can.

honda shadow vt750 vt1100 carburetor clean rebuild


Carb removal & install tips

First off, I did not follow my own advice and read the service manual prior to tackling this project. Apparently, it is easier to remove the carbs with the intake manifold (rubber carb holders) attached to the carbs. I eventually removed the RH side boot, and the carbs slid right out. When installing the carbs, make sure to spray some silicone spray on mating parts to help everything go together with less effort.


Purge and inspect the fuel system

The service manual covers how to bypass the fuel pump relay in detail. Why would you want to do this? Well, there will be stale fuel in your fuel filter, pump, and lines. So empty out your tank, fill with fresh fuel, and purge the lines. This will guarantee fresh fuel into your freshly cleaned carbs, and should make firing it up much easier. Make sure to inspect your tank for rust. If you find rust, see this post on how to clean and seal it. Finally, make sure your fuel filter is clean, replace if necessary.


Pilot jet & fuel screw setting

If I were to do this carb rebuild all over again, I would have installed larger pilot jets, 1-2 steps up from stock. The fuel screw during tuning ended up 3.5 turns out, which tells me the pilots are too small. Ideally, you want the fuel screw out 3 turns max. Larger pilots would make throttle response much better. For more information on pilot jet sizing, see this post, and watch the video below.



Below are tools used in this video, and can be purchased from Amazon.

Berryman 0996 Chem-Dip Carburetor and Part Cleaner – 0.75 Gallon

Vessel Megadora 980 Impacta P2x150 #2 JIS Cross Point Impact Screwdriver

Vessel 125943 908 P3x150 Impacta Screwdriver



Although the float needles were in “OK” condition, they started to show some signs of wear. There was a faint wear ring on the tip of the needle. Normally I reuse these parts, however given what a PITA it is to remove and install these carbs, I’m not going to chance having to go through it all again! The carb gaskets have seen better days, so I replaced them as well. Below is a rebuild kit that is way cheaper than going OEM.

K&L Supply 18-9348 Carb Repair Kit (qty 2 required)

Liquid Wrench M914 Heavy Duty Silicone Spray Lubricant – 11 oz.

Gumout 800002231 Carb and Choke Cleaner Jet Spray – 14 oz.


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