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Does anyone else have a hard time putting the carbs back on? I struggle to feel confident that the carbs are sufficiently deep into the engine-side boots, and the air-box boots are a huge pain to put back on. I'm posting in hopes of getting some tips to make this easier.

The way I do it now:
1) place both engine-side boots
2) attach the throttle cables and choke cable to the carb (off to the left side of the engine)
3) slide the carb body into place and into the engine-side boots
4) spend about 30 minutes per air-box boot with a screwdriver trying to get it to keep shape, not get pushed completely into the air-box, and seal all the way around.

Does anyone have a better way? It is very welcome!
 

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That is about the best way I have found to do it. However, I do use spray silicone lubricant on the boots and carb to ease assembly, and my screwdriver is bent
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I may be off base here I never worked on a 450. On my cb 400 A after attaching cables I pull the choke all the way out to keep the arm from catching on the boot. move the carbs in from the left side and tilt them down as far as they will go. place the carbs in the lower part of the boot then pull back back on the carbs and pull up into place. this should put the carbs into the lower part of the boot and all you have to do is take a screwdriver and slid the top of the boot on to the carbs. Any way it works on my 400.

Bill
 

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I have struggled with this problem with nearly all of the vintage bikes I've worked on in the past 15 years. The problem with most of them is that the 'boot' is hardened from heat/ age and no longer has the flexibility it had when new. I've learned to replace the boots-both ends if necessary- and it solved the problem and likely prevented any potential vacuum leaks.

The worst (and the first) time I had trouble was trying to re-install the four carb unit into my '87 Concours. It was impossible until I spent (relatively) big bux. Lesson learned.
 

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I think all CB's from all vintage years suffer from this PITA process. If you have a nice repainted frame, I would suggest taping up the frame as wrestling with the carbs will introduce nicks and scratches on the paint.
 

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Leave the airbox boots sitting in the sun while installing the carbs, they'll soften up some with the heat and be more flexible
 

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what I did different was remove the neutral safety switch, installed the engine boots on the carbs, inserted carbs into the airbox boots, and raise the front of carbs/boots into place, making sure the o-rings stay in place in the groove in the boots, plus plenty of wd40
 

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What I have found best for me is making sure the boots are properly installed and then push the carburetor all the way into the boots, it should sit and not fall out. After you should be able to work the air boots on, starting with the bottom portion working onto the carb 1st then squeezing it into the air box. I’m able to install it in under 15 minutes this way. There is a YouTube video about a guy changing the boots. This technique was used by him and that’s where I picked it up from. It helps a ton, check him out. I’ll post a link tomorrow if you guys need help finding it.


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On my 400a, I have had an easier time during both disassembly and reassembly by taking off the right side engine boot along with the carbs. It's a bit tricky to work a wrench in there with the carbs on, but it makes things slide in and out with a lot less effort and gives me a little more play to manipulate the carbs back into place in the airbox boots.
 

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Sorry I should have stated in my post I put the motor side boots on before installing the carbs and I remove the change switch to give a little more room on the right side.

Bill
 
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