Honda Shadow Fuel Issues and Float Valve Adjustment

on July 30, 2019

Got Honda Shadow fuel issues? Here are some of the top fixes! Is your Honda Shadow’s float valve letting too much fuel into your bike? Need some help navigating this issue? We’ve got you! 

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A customer writes, "My Honda Shadow sat for 10 years. I’ve cleaned the carbs but now I’m having issues with fuel running out: the decel pops and fuel runs into the bottom end. So I replaced the jets with OEM jets and purchased an OEM float valve kit per Honda's suggestion... can you give me advice on what to do next? The last time I checked it looked like there was gas in the oil…"


The diagnosis

First off, if you're getting fuel into the bottom end, you have a problem with the rings. Note that if you haven’t already, you’ll need to address the Honda Shadow’s carb first (like the customer did), because that's where the problem is starting… but if you're getting a lot of fuel in the bottom end and the carb is running fine, you've got problems. (Need to tune or rebuild your Honda Shadow’s carbs? We’ve got everything you need – shop it all right here.)


Inspecting the float valve

So let’s start with your Honda Shadow’s float valve first. If you’re experiencing the same problem as the customer above, your Honda Shadow’s float valve is probably letting too much fuel into the cylinders. The raw fuel is not getting burnt; instead, it’s washing the oil off the cylinder walls and trickling down into the bottom end (crank case). That’s not good.


Here's what we recommend for addressing fuel issues in your Honda Shadow:


  1. Make sure your float valves are at proper height. Check, then double check. (Not sure how? Here’s a brief tutorial!)


  1. Inspect your float valve closely and replace if needed. The float needle and seat should both be very clean. (Need a new float needle? Shop here for Honda Shadow float needles.)


  1. SECRET TIP: If you have a new float valve, your float seat looks fine and your float levels are good but you STILL have overflow, then try this quick trick! Take a Q-tip with some Mother’s Mag & Aluminum Wheel Polish on it… put it in your drill, stick it in the float seat and start spinning. You want to polish all the brass on the seat for your float. This will clean off any varnish and help you get it all nice, shiny and ready to roll. If you try this trick and the brass on your Honda Shadow’s float seat is still looking dull or has weird splotchy patterns on it, that’s not good. Time to take it to the pros!


For more on this process and how to address your Honda Shadow fuel issues, watch this video:

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