Suzuki's GS-series of motorcycles was introduced in 1977 as 550cc and 750cc four-cylinder machines, quickly expanding to larger 1,000cc models as their popularity grew. Today, many GS motorcycles are being restored and returned to active riding duty, but many of these examples need a thorough cleaning first. Although it wouldn't appear to be a critical component, the gas tank's fuel valve -- or petcock -- can accumulate sediment and dirt over the years, preventing the flow of fuel or creating leaks while not in operation. The cleaning process is straightforward and shouldn't take much time.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Plastic tubing
- Gas can
- Ignition key
- 10mm socket
- Socket wrench
- Phillips screwdriver
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 gallon water
- Petcock gaskets
Pull the fuel line off of the fuel outlet on the bottom of the petcock. Slip a length of plastic tubing onto the outlet. Place the free end of the tubing into a gas can. Turn the petcock's lever to the Prime position, marked as "Pri" on the petcock's face, to drain the gas tank's fuel supply into the gas can. Pull the tubing off of the petcock once the fuel has drained completely.
Unlock the rider's seat latch with the ignition key, then lift the seat into its fully-opened position. Unscrew the mounting bolt from the base of the gas tank with a 10mm socket and a socket wrench. Lift the rear of the tank up and pull the vacuum hose off of the back of the petcock. Pull the gas tank away from the frame until the tank can be removed completely.
Set the tank on a clear work space. Unscrew the petcock's mounting screws from the bottom of the gas tank, using a Phillips screwdriver, then pull the petcock out of the tank.
Remove the screws from the front and back of the petcock, using a Phillips screwdriver, then pull the face and back plates off of the petcock's body. Remove the gaskets, lever and spring from the petcock. Pull the fuel screen off of the inlet tubes on the top of the petcock. All rubber and plastic parts must be removed from the petcock at this point.
Spray the petcock's inlet and outlet tubes with a carburettor cleaning spray to loosen any sediment or debris trapped within the petcock. Blow compressed air through the petcock to clear the loosened debris.
Place the petcock in a boiling solution made from 1 cup lemon juice mixed into a gallon of water. Let the petcock soak for a least one hour. Remove the petcock and rinse immediately in warm, clean water. Clear the petcock's inlet and outlet tubes with compressed air. Allow the petcock to dry completely before continuing.
Reassemble the petcock, using new gaskets. Tighten the petcock's face and back plates with a Phillips screwdriver. Reinstall the petcock onto the gas tank with a Phillips screwdriver, then mount the tank onto the motorcycle with a 10mm socket. Reconnect the fuel line to the petcock.
Tips and warnings
- Petcock gaskets are available for most Suzuki GS models in the form of a petcock rebuild kit, available from your local Suzuki dealership.
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