® Carburetor rebuilding special tools

I once had a student who declared to the whole class that the Snap-On and Mac catalogs contained all a mechanic should ever need. He disdainfully mocked the notion that anyone should ever need to repurpose, invent or modify a tool. McGyver doesn't belong in the shop, he said. I remember being astonished at this, because by that time I had already made a living as a mechanic for a long time and had found innumerable and significant instances where improvised and special tools made the difference.

For seeming eons career Honda powersports techs have known that the world's best spark plug sockets are made from those that come in Honda's cheesy on-bike tool kits. Things such as cut down Allen keys and reshaped wrenches and specially reground screwdrivers are equally legendary in their usefulness. And items borrowed from the scientific and medical professions such as squeeze bulbs, syringes, burettes, manometers, hemostats and dental picks have long been accepted as common in powersports. Household items too. My wife guards her cling wrap, baking soda, ammonia, petroleum jelly, turkey baster, paper clips, tree wire, hair dryer, clothes pins, spray adhesive, beeswax, clothes hangers, dish soap, and even her pot scrubbers! And every mechanic has at some time borrowed his significant other's oven and freezer.

And the factories have thought the same way. Harley-Davidson, in a service bulletin on the Twin Cam, employs an ordinary office binder clip as a special tool. Honda in connection with the early Shadow enlists the lowly thumb tack. Every manufacturer offers factory-designed special tools that make tasks more professional; they can even affect the vehicle's warranty. Improvisation is not bad practice but good practice, when thoughtfully carried out. It may be "a poor workman who blames his tools", but at the same time there is no substitute for the correct tool.

Here then is a celebration of special tools used in the rebuilding of carburetors.


  1. Custom made 90 degree gear head pilot screw tools, including one with the D shape required for the GL1500
  2. Factory Honda 8mm sync tool, modified
  3. Drill ill bit for removing inline four Suzuki pilot covers on the bike (handy, but not used in decades as it's a bit crude)
  4. Special slide hammer for removing V4 pilot screw covers
  5. Factory Honda flt level gauge
  6. Four more sync tools, incl one for the CX500
  7. Special Snap-On pilot screw screwdriver with four sided square handle for counting in quarter turns
  8. Factory Honda pilot screw adjuster, haven't used this one in many years because this cable-driven tool not as precise as the gear head versions


  1. Torx screwdriver for Mikuni RS (racing) carbs
  2. Collection of taps, some with very special threads such as for GL1100 6x0.5 pilot screw cavity
  3. Mini torch
  4. Keihin FCR slide needle adjust Allen screwdriver
  5. Group of tools, air blower for jets, pilot screw o-ring grabber, drill bit for special cases
  6. GL1200 enrichener thread repair tool
  7. GL1000 pilot screw thread tap
  8. Two tools used to extract broken pilot screws
  9. Factory Honda jet measuring wire set
  10. Jet drills used for measuring
  11. Mityvac for testing vacuum petcock diaphragms and float valves



This is a specially designed and manufactured tool to do a very unique carburetor task.


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