The carburetor is the most common problem area in all small engines. The carburetor is where the fuel mixes with the air to be burnt. Carburetors are on almost all types of combustion engines. When an engine sits for a long period of time without being ran, the fuel will start to break down. Make sure you replace the fuel in your tank before you start your engine after cleaning the carburetor otherwise you will just recreate your troubles.
The carburetor being cleaned in this is off an old motorcycle and will look like most other carbs off a motorcycle or ATV. While most carburetors won't look the exact same as the one being shown, they still will have most the same functions and layout.
Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver Flat screwdriver Needle nose pliers Wire brush Wrenches or socket set
Supplies needed: Carb and choke cleaner Carburetor and parts cleaner (optional) Gasket set or carb rebuild kit (recommended)

The first step in taking off the carburetor is turning the fuel valve off on the fuel tank. Track the fuel line down to the carb and remove the hose. (If the line is old and cracked you will want to replace the hose to ensure there are no leaks.) There will also be an overflow hose coming out of the carburetor, remove this hose too. Next, loosen the screws in the clamps in the front and rear of the carb. The carburetor should be loose; you should be able to wiggle and twist the carb to remove it. The carb will be held in by the throttle cable. The throttle comes off by twisting the top cap. When you unscrew it and it comes off the slide will still be attached to it. The carb should now be removed.
After removing the carb, you need to remove the throttle slide from the cable(still attached to the vehicle). This can be a tough task but the picture shows it completed to show the parts. After you have the cable unhooked you can pull everything off the cable, and should have the parts in the picture.

The float is the bottom part of carburetor and is the first thing taken apart when cleaning the carb. To remove the float bowl, unscrew the four screws on the bottom of the carburetor. Remove these screws with care because they strip very easily. The float bowl then can be pulled off the carb. If you are not replacing the gasket be sure to not tear it. Cleaning the parts will be addressed later so don't start cleaning yet.
Picture 2: Remove the float pin by pulling it out with a pair of needle nose pliers. After the pin is removed, the float can be removed. In some carburetors, the needle will be hanging on float and will come out with it. In this carburetor it is not this way so some steps will be out of order.

This step will differ from carb to carb, but the jets will need to be removed. In this carb there are some splash plates that needed to be taken off, not all carbs will have these. Jets are screws that have a hole through the center of them which the fuel flows through to mix with air. The plates need to be removed to get to the jets. The main jet is short and fat; will have a hex head or a flat screwdriver head. The pilot jet is long and skinny which will take a flat head screwdriver to remove.
On this carburetor the float needle is held in by a fuel splash plate. Remove this plate so the float needle can be taken out to be cleaned.

The last step before cleaning the carb is removing the last parts from the outside. The air screw and the idle screw can be removed with a flat head screwdriver. They are located on the sides of the carb. The idle screw is the larger screw which adjusts the idle when the engine is idling.
Remove the air screw. The air screw is the smaller screw which adjusts the air flow through the carb when the engine is running.
If the choke can be removed from the carburetor, remove it. Turn the top with a wrench and the choke like slide out.

BEFORE CLEANING CARB AND PARTS REMOVE ALL GASKETS AND O-RINGS. The easiest way to clean the carburetor and the parts is to soak them in a gallon of carb and parts cleaner, however the can is pretty expensive for just one use. Follow the instructions on the can for cleaning. Parts can also be cleaned by spraying carb and choke cleaner.
Be sure so wear safety glasses, gloves are recommended, for cleaning. Parts should be scrubbed with a wire brush and then sprayed with carb and choke cleaner. Spray the cleaner into the holes that the jets, air and idle screws, float needle, and choke came from. When cleaning the jets, be sure to spray cleaner into the holes. To make sure the jets are clean, look through them into light to make sure the hole is cleaned. If jets are not completely clean, blowing compressed air through the hole will remove left over debris.

Install the parts in the opposite order in which they were removed. In this case, the float needle and the fuel splash plate were installed first. The jets and the splash plates were installed next.

Install the outer parts of the carburetor first. Start with the choke, then the air screw and idle screw. When installing the air screw(the skinny screw), screw it in all the way then back the screw out a turn and a half. This is the baseline, after the engine is running you can adjust it so the engine idles properly. The idle screw should be screwed in just enough to hold it. The baseline adjustment will be in a later step. Next install the float. To install the float, line the holes up with the holes in the carburetor and slide the float pin in. The pin will slide around freely, just make sure it is centered so it is secure. To make sure the float needle is working properly, move the float up and down to make sure the needle moves freely. If the needle gets stuck in the up position it needs replaced.
Install the float bowl onto the carb with the 4 screws on the bottom. The carb should now be complete, without the throttle.

The last step of the project will be to adjust your air and idle screw, to do this the engine must be running. If you want to increase the idle, screw the idle screw in. Screw the air screw out to richen and in to lean out.

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This project began just over two years ago when my wife decided she wanted to buy an old Volkswagen Beetle to get around the dirt roads of the Lake Region of Rio de Janeiro, where or beach house is located. I started documenting this process in a forum topic "Steampunk Volkswagen anyone?" and now two years later, I'm finally ready to reveal to the Instructables community the results of the largest project I have documented to date:
Behold the Steampunk VW Bug, or in Portuguese, "Vaporpunk Fusca"!
I am not a mechanic! And it's quite possible that many of the things I did to this car might not be up to code anywhere in the world! The reason we bought this particular car is that for the most part it was mechanically and electrically sound, so there is very little in this 'ible regarding the mechanics of a 1975 Volkswagen Beetle. Most of what was done to this car is cosmetic, and had no impact on the actual functioning of the engine or electrical system.
And a note to classic car enthusiasts: Some may cringe at the makeover I gave this car, and to those I point out; This car was a workhorse, bought from a bricklayer and nearly run into the ground for more than a quarter of a century. To continue the analogy, there were two paths this workhorse could have gone down - one led to the glue factory, and the other the stud farm. We have given this car a new lease on life, in a quiet little beach town, where it will spend it's retirement shuttling a small family to the beach in style a few months out of the year, and spend the balance of it's time being pampered and protected from the elements. Was it possible to restore this car to it's 1975 original condition? Maybe, with unlimited time and an unlimited budget, neither of which I had. So I did my best to make this car functional, attractive and unique.
And some steampunk purists may object that this doesn't really qualify as "steampunk" since it doesn't run on steam, etc. etc. Well I did my best within reason to add wood and bronze or brass where there once was chrome and plastic. And in the DIY and unique/one-of-a-kind/counter-consumerist traditions of the genre, I think it certainly has strong steampunk elements and influence. But yeh, it's also heavily influenced by 70's California surf culture. So maybe it's the birth of a new genre: "Surf-punk"?:-)
A note about terms:
The Volkswagen Beetle was originally introduced in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and literally translates to the "People's Car." When it was introduced in Brazil in 1953, this term was difficult to pronounce for Brazilians, so somehow it became know as the "Fusca." ("Folks car"/"Fus-ca," maybe?) While the last German manufactured model rolled off the assembly line in 1978, in Brazil the Fusca was still produced well into the 1990's and new parts are still being manufactured today. As a result, the Fusca is still a very popular car in Brazil, and many can still be seen chugging down the highways.
And in Portuguese, the translation for "steampunk" is "vaporpunk." Thus was born the "Vaporpunk Fusca." For a great resource for all things Fusca related, check out the awesome blog: