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I don't know why but no matter what I try I can't get both carbs to seat into the motor at the same time. When I get one lined up the other is off by a few mm. Enough to not be able to muscle it back into place. If I try tapping it with a rubber mallet the other will set and the other will pop out. Any tips to getting these to seat properly?
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Rear goes in all the way first, I like to put a spot of white out on each carb the distance it should slip in so when all done I can be happy both are seated.
loosen both clamps so there is no change they are stopping you and a smear of rubber grease or rub a cake of soap over everything then rib spit on it before assembly
 

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Ditto what nick and alex said regarding soap/grease. You may be paying too much attention to getting one carb in place, then the other. On the many times I've had to reinstall by carbs I would simply get them roughly centered, then push down hard and rock like hell front to back. Ultimately, they will fall into place with a thud sound/feel. Don't over think it.
 

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Just FWIW, I've always used "Son of a Gun" or "Armor All" on the inside of the boots and a little on the outside of the carb bodies. I figure it also helps preserve the boots, although that might be wishful thinking.
 

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I'm surprised Straticus has not chimed in here promoting ACF-50. He puts that stuff on his cornflakes.
 
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If I try tapping it with a rubber mallet the other will set and the other will pop out.
haha...one of the infuriating joys of motorcycle wrenching!

just re-installed my carbs the other day...had to put all my weight on the caps with my feet off the ground before they popped back in...didn't think of lubing them
 

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had to put all my weight on the caps with my feet off the ground before they popped back in
That's what I do. Lean hard on them, wiggle around, ultimately they'll pop back in. Mallet will be useless.
 

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I'm surprised Straticus has not chimed in here promoting ACF-50. He puts that stuff on his cornflakes.
Yep. Can't beat the old ACF50 on the boots. It also revives old synthetic rubber and stops it from cracking with age and helps keep the clamps from corroding . I use on my Cooling/Rad pipes as well.

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I don't always get automatic notification of threads :/

Tip: If where you are working is a little cold then use a Hairdryer to warm the boots as it will make them more flexible :)
 
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My dad came up with this method to easily reinstall carbs on old V4 Hondas, which are notoriously difficult to reinstall. I've made a crude MS paint mockup as a visual aid.

Loosen the carb clamps thoroughly, then loosen the rear carb boot(s) and prop them up. On V4 Hondas, we point them up vertically. Seat the carbs in the front boot(s) first, then rock them back into the rear boot(s). It should mostly line up, and if the carb boots aren't 25+ years old, it should slide in without too much more trouble. You may need to peel back the far lip of the rear boot with a screwdriver to keep it from being sucked in as the carbs get pushed down.

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