® Randakk carb rebuild video errors
Video copyright 2006
This document 12-4-2020




I got to know Randall Washington (aka "Randakk") when he was just starting to be known for his carb rebuild kits, and we collaborated on the CBX, DOHC, and CX500 kits. We had a good working relationship, almost a friendship, for several years. While Randall was never a mechanic, he was apparently a very capable rider and also very successful in a previous career as a corporate exec. He was more desk jockey than wrench wielder, though that did not take anything away from him. He became a very well-known vintage Honda advocate. My copy of this video is an unlabeled advance copy Randall sent me for review in 2006. I never reported back to him with my review of this 4-hour project out of kindness. The following is from my notes.


Pretty obsessive about keeping cylinder-oriented parts together. An experienced mechanic knows the difference between parts that need to go back together in original orientation and those that don't. There is almost nothing on a carburetor that is like that.
Mistakes float bowl vents for vacuum circuits. The brass tubes on the air filter side of the GL1000 carburetor are float bowl vents. This is automotive technology.
Not enough emphasis on float bowl screw threads. One of the top three issues on these carbs is stripped float bowl screw threads. Repairing them is part of a rebuild, and the issue begs for advice on prevention.
Fails to warn about bypass pucks falling out. Unlike all other Honda carburetor models, the idle bypass port covers ("pucks") on the GL1000 carb bear careful attention because they easily fall out.
Uses pliers on float pivot pins. You never want to do this. It ruins the pins and increases the chances of snapping off the pivot posts.
Calls air bleeds "vacuum ports". They're not. They are air bleeds.
Calls mesh screens "flame traps". Nope. They are hardware traps.
Promotes rebuilding carbs while leaving them in their two banks. This is a false benefit. You cannot get to everything that needs attention if the carbs are not completely disassembled.
Relies on compressed air to confirm circuit cleanliness. Professional rebuilders use liquid, not air, to confirm circuit flowability.
Very cheap, Harbor Freight type screwdrivers in evidence. Carburetors not only demand high quality screwdrivers, they even require custom-ground ones.
Doesn't grease o-rings. A peculiar oversight.
Tightens plenum screws by hand. The Phillips screws that bolt the air chamber ("plenum") together need gentle tightening by impact.
Suggests testing ignition coil secondaries cap to cap. This is incorrect. The caps are tested separately and the coils are tested separately.
Promotes Marvel Mystery Oil, most harmfully as a vacuum top lubricant. First, it is no good and actually harmful to the engine. Second, it also is bad for the carbs as it hastens carbon formation.
Does not grease linkages. Minor, but it needs to be done.
No grease or glue on plenum center gasket. The plenum center gasket benefits from a slight amount of sealer or grease. The plenum halves are not perfectly machined and their surfaces are very narrow.
Does not press in idle air bleed elbows. The brass idle air bleed holding elbows fall out of the carbs unless they are properly pressed in.
Calls GL1000 ignition coils "anemic". They are not. They were actually used as hot rod coils on Honda inline fours back in the day.
Says felt throttle shaft seals are not available. The felt seals became available before this video was produced. Motorcyclecarbs.com (now out of business) in Atlanta had them. Since then several sources have also emerged.
Says dip cleaning carbs ruins felt seals. This is not so.
Bolted down manifolds before attaching cables. Bad technique. The cables and the aircut valve are much easier to install with the manifolds not yet bolted down.
The vacuum gauges shown have water contamination. One of the drawbacks of using mercury manometers.
No torque wrench use in evidence. Very unfortunate. The manifold bolts in particular need a torque wrench.
Fails to blip throttle between sync adjustments. This is known and practiced by every knowledgeable mechanic.
Uses an incaccurate method of measuring float level. The most accurate method is with the carbs in their operating orientation, i.e. right-side-up.
Overly-agressive vacuum top bronze bore burnishing. While the bronze bores in the vacuum tops do need to be cleaned, burnishing them heavily is ill-advised. You don't want them to become looser-fitting.
Describes tops and slides as factory matched. This is a fallacy. Just because Keihin (and therefore Honda) made them available only as a set does not mean they were "matched".

For more powersports maintenance fallacies, see this article.

More book critiques: Julian Ryder, Mark Paris, Sean MacGregor


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