Day Four To Ten -- While waiting I fixed the air filter, petcock, gas cap, and seat release

Cabin fever will make you do crazy things. Fortunately for me, my crazy is limited to hobling around my garage on crutches and highly addictive pain killers trying to fix up a motorcycle... the very same kind of contraption that got me on those crutches to begin with. I obviously don't learn lessons like I should.

So, while I had 4 days where the project was at a complete stand still... I figured I'd tackle all the other less than fun things I'd left off. Fixing the seat release, fixing the petcock, and later when I tried to make the tank work I learned the gas cap needed fixing. Here's the projects:

Vaccum Operated Petcock (Fuel Valve) Rebuild

Never have I ever nor will damn near anyone ever see a petcock this destroyed. Just look at how full of rust and debris it was!

This required some pretty serious cleaning, and fortunately for me I've got some prior experience working on Vaccum Operated Petcocks from my girlfriends CBR 600 F2, so this wasn't exactly difficult. Unfortunately though... the crud and damage seemed really extensive, and the gaskets had obviously not sat in gasoline for a long time, just rust, so they were all pretty much a basket case. I ordered a rebuild kit online, and assembled it. No pictures to show, but here is the puppy all said and done!

Fixing the Vulcan 500 Seat Release... IE a demonstration of how safety wire rocks!

So the Vulcan 500 seat release wasn't working when I got the bike. Previously when it had been ridden it was a "gravity assisted" seat, in the seat gravity pulling down on your ass squished the seat onto the frame and kept it from moving... mostly... ish.

The first generation of Kawasaki Vulcan came with a key operated seat unlocking mechanism, which is great until the cable to actuate the seat release rusts solid and will never work again. Fortunately, with a tiny drill bit and some safety wire, I was godo to go again in no time flat!

Fixing a busted Air filter on a Vulcan 500 - IE: Can you use superglue to fix a foam filter (YES)

Pretty simple really. I pulled the OEM foam filter to clean and oil it so as the bike would be perfectly happy for life and... like most things on this bike it was suffering from years of neglect. The glue holding the filter together started to fail. Welp... poor mans ingenuity to the rescue again. $1.99 super glue works and does the trick!

Vulcan 500 Gas Cap modification

So the final bit of repair work and modification I needed to do was take care of the gas cap. On these motorcycles, the gas cap is actually a part of the emissions system! The gas cap has a two way diapgrahm in it that restricts the movement of air into and OUT of the gas tank. This prevents fumes from excessively leaking out, and it keeps the gasoline from dumping out of the tank at an unreasonable pace.

Unfortunately, the means by which the gas cap regulates air pressure is accomplished is through very tiny air passages and very small mechanical features. The solution... dig em out First, dig out the hole on the bottom of the gas cap a bit. This is one of the primary air passages believe it or not...

Next up, is the Daipgram assembly once you remove the cover picture above. Personally. I just removed the whole damn thing by grabbing it with some needle nose pliers and yanked it out. It was gunked up beyond repair, and honestly the amount of protection this provides the environment is long saved in the amazing mileage this bike gets.

Lastly, clean the passages that go from the gas cap to the tank vent passage. Douse them with carb cleaner, and scrape them on out! For additional airflow you can go right to the hole at the bottom and just wiggle a screw driver around in it to expand the metal and allow more air to flow through it. Needless to say, all of this fixed my tank venting issues!