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Sportster Motorcycle Air intake, Carburetor, EFI, Fuel, and Exhaust Problems, advice and/or how tos for Sporster and Buell motorcycle carburators, Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), Air Intake, Fuel and Exhaust.

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carburetor, electrical issues, intake manifold, sportster 1200

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  #1  
Old 28th January 2022
shtbskt shtbskt is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster 1200 xlh
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Exclamation Sportster ignition/vacuum/carb/fuel/electrical issues?

Hello all. This is my first post here, but I’ve spent a lot of time on this site and it’s been super helpful over the years.

I’ve got a 2000 Sportster 1200. The bike got dropped on its right side about 9 months ago by a special needs friend of mine. The damage was minimal, but it bent the foot peg on that side, broke the knob on the end of the front brake lever, and *blew the ignition fuse*. The bike sat for a while afterwards until I got around to fixing it. When I started, the bike would start and idle and rev fine sitting still, but when going down the road it would stumble at mid-high rpm.

Initially I thought the gas was old, so I drained and refilled the tank. Same problem.

Next, I cleaned the carb and replaced the exhaust gaskets since it fell on that side. The main jet was noticeably clogged, so I thought I’d discovered the issue, but…

Once I got everything back together, the bike would only start and idle with the choke out. Going down the road with the choke out, the performance was great, but as soon as I pushed the choke in, it would die.

Next, I took the petcock out and cleaned it, changed the jets, tried a few smaller and larger jets, recleaned the carb, swapped the spark plugs (twice), checked the coil resistance, replaced the intake manifold seals, replaced the carb float bowl seals, replaced the gasket between the intake and carb, replaced the vacuum hose on the carb…

Nothing worked. Then, it stopped firing up altogether. I’m at a loss. Could it be an electrical issue? Wondering because when it was dropped the ignition fuse blew and I haven’t figured out why. Any ideas where to start?
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  #2  
Old 28th January 2022
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sportsterpaul sportsterpaul is offline
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The latter year “rigid” mounts did have issues with the ignition, mostly heat related, in stock ones it’s located under the nose cover. Yep, right side just above the brake pedal. You might open up that cover and see if anything jumps out at you?
Also, a couple issues I had with my 2000 were the small gage wires dropping down from the frame backbone to the coil, (pink and white), were taunt and did fracture several times. When I pulled some excess down and added a couple”esses “ into them, no more problem with them. The second issue was when I ran to a buddies house to use his garage, was installing a tachometer and new shocks. Got them on and bike wouldn’t fire up. I spent several evenings trouble shooting, (I’m not the brightest bulb on the shelf), and had the new tach on and off many, many times. I just knew I had screwed something up and it had to be related to the tach install. Finally, as I walked back around the bike, bumping it, when I knelt by the exhaust I saw a shadow moving through the bike, WTF? Looking in I find the negative cable fractured in half! Both of the battery cables had been taunt as were the coil feeds, so I made up some longer cables, installed them and voila, problem solved. May not apply to your bike but wouldn’t hurt to check them. Good luck and keep it safe......
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Last edited by sportsterpaul; 29th January 2022 at 00:18..
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  #3  
Old 28th January 2022
shtbskt shtbskt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterpaul View Post
The latter year “rigid” mounts did have issues with the ignition, mostly heat related, in stock ones it’s located under the nose cover. Yep, right side just above the brake pedal. You might open up that cover and see if anything jumps out at you?
Thanks, I’ll check that out. My dad suggested that as well. I’ll let you know how it goes. Is there a way to test it?
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  #4  
Old 29th January 2022
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sportsterpaul sportsterpaul is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XL1460C
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If you go to “Sportsterpedia” you can click on it in my signature, go to the EVO section as there is a wealth of information located in it. Also, if you’re keeping the bike you should look into picking up a factory service manual. A tremendous asset when working on or trouble shooting your bike. Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 29th January 2022
Iron Mike Iron Mike is offline
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Vac slide functioning?
Perhaps your not being able to utilize the transfer to mid range ect through jet needle/ needle jet because slide diaphragm is not sealing. You would run on enrichener circuit.
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  #6  
Old 29th January 2022
shtbskt shtbskt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Mike View Post
Vac slide functioning?
Perhaps your not being able to utilize the transfer to mid range ect through jet needle/ needle jet because slide diaphragm is not sealing. You would run on enrichener circuit.
Yes the slide is functioning and I can see gas injecting into the carb. The problem IÂ’m having now is that it only runs when itÂ’s choked or when IÂ’m giving it gas through the throttle. The mixture screw doesnÂ’t do anything for it either.
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Old 29th January 2022
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Falling on the air cleaner side: check your intake manifold for leaking seals.
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Old 30th January 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shtbskt View Post
2000 Sportster 1200. The bike got dropped on its right side
<SNIP>
Once I got everything back together, the bike would only start and idle with the choke out. Going down the road with the choke out, the performance was great, but as soon as I pushed the choke in, it would die.
This sounds like a CLASSIC case of an air leak - The enrichener is needed to add fuel because too much air is being swallowed by the intake.

It is important leave the intake manifold slightly loose after replacing the intake-to-head seals. Then temporarily mounting the carb. Then adjust the manifold for a clean, centered, alignment between carb & intake.

Then remove the carb, tighten down the manifold. Reinstall the carb with a new seal to the intake and make sure the alignment is still good, before tightening down the carb mounting bracket. Then the carb mounting screws.

Be sure to read over the lengthy Sportsterpedia section on the carb, especially regarding the alignment.

Sportsterpedia - Getting Ready to Tune Your CV40 Carb

There is a lot of information on that page. Read over it a few times to get an in-depth understanding of the various parts of the CV40 carb. Pay attention to the Idle Drop Method of setting the Idle and be sure the Transfer Ports are working properly.


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  #9  
Old 2nd February 2022
shtbskt shtbskt is offline
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Thanks for the ideas. I didn’t realize that mounting the manifold was so finicky. I had to order a new carb because I damaged it and I thought I might as well upgrade. I’ve got high hopes that somehow the pilot jet pathway was still clogged and the new carb will work, but I’ll attach it using the steps in the guide. I think I’m close since there’s only so many things it could be.

I figured out the blown fuse issue: it was a pinched wire inside of the handlebar switch housing. A good excuse to rewire the switches and run them inside the bars ��
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