XR600 - carb removal!

I just bought a 1999 XR600 and I'm trying to figure out what the procedure is for removing the carb. The manual says it comes out on the right side. Do you pull the intake side out first or the airbox side. Do you remove the throttle cables first or after? There has to be an easier way to do this - I feel like I'm forcing everything - what am I doing wrong? Also - is it possible to change the pilot jet without removing the carb. I tried last night and just screwed things up. I couldn't get the splash plate back on and then when I got it back together the needle valve must of been stuck open because gas was poring out everywhere - thus my need to remove the carb and check the float level, needle valve, etc.

I live in New Mexico at an elevation of about 5500 feet. I noticed that the carb has a 158 main and a 68 pilot. The bike seems to sputter at low speeds if I'm just cruising with the throttle held steady. When I got the pilot out it seemed to be clogged - so I will try it now. Does my existing jetting sound OK for this elevation?

Thanks

It does take a bit of force to get it out. When I do it, I take the cables off first. Then back it out of the rubber boot on the engine. Sometimes I have to use a screwdriver as a lever to get it to pop out. Move it down and to the right , then take it out of the airbox boot.

Depending on other mods like a pipe, it seems more like sea level jetting. I think stock is a 152 main (but it could be 155). The stock pilot is way too lean, but a 68 may be to fat as well for 5500 feet. I think I have that jetting in my bike and it starts to get to rich at about 7500 to 8000 feet.

Take a careful look at the choke plate and flapper when you have the carb out. This is a known issue with XR600s. They break from metal fatigue and get sucked through the engine. :thumbsup: My flapper was hanging from a thread and the entire plate have a big crack going almost all the way through it. I have completely removed my choke. Cold starting can be hard, but I have a new cold start routine. I lean the bike over so the carb floods. Gives me a couple of trys before I have to do it again. I have been able to start my bike this way when it was a chilly 33 in the morning.

Thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate your help.

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