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Dan S
2nd December 2004, 17:07
Just back from Iraq, and picked up my first HD.

All I know is that it is a 91 sportster 883.

It has a Screaming Eagle kit (I'm not sure what that is) and plain straight pipes.

I picked it up as a complete junker, but I got it running (kinda).

The carb leaks gas, and it won't start in the cold, as the choke seems to not work. It also leaks all kinds of oil from somewhere in the engine that I can't tell yet, but not enough to worry yet, I think.

I'm guessing that I need to rebuild the carb first.

My question is how do I know which carb I have and where is a good place to get a rebuild kit? (Assuming that I am even right that this is the problem)

Any other advice on getting a derelict bike in fighting shape would be great.

Thanks in advance for your help

cantolina
2nd December 2004, 17:17
Just back from Iraq, and picked up my first HD.

All I know is that it is a 91 sportster 883.

It has a Screaming Eagle kit (I'm not sure what that is) and plain straight pipes.

Are you sure the pipes are plain? Do they say Screamin' Eagle on them?

I picked it up as a complete junker, but I got it running (kinda).

The carb leaks gas,

Probably clogged with gunk or grit in the float bowl...

and it won't start in the cold, as the choke seems to not work. It also leaks all kinds of oil from somewhere in the engine that I can't tell yet, but not enough to worry yet, I think.

I'm guessing that I need to rebuild the carb first.

Yes....easy enough to do with a manual.....don't spend any money till you get it running ok ;)

My question is how do I know which carb I have and where is a good place to get a rebuild kit? (Assuming that I am even right that this is the problem)

You may not even need a "kit". A thorough disassembly/cleaning (MANUAL) will do you wonders....check all measurements....if in doubt about the floats, take'em to a dealer or indy and have them checked/adjusted... (cheap).

Any other advice on getting a derelict bike in fighting shape would be great.

Thanks in advance for your help

You're doing fine so far.....don't rush it (really hard part...lol) and you'll do fine...

Welcome to the group and keep us informed! :clap :clap

Dan S
2nd December 2004, 17:54
Chuck,

Thanks. I picked up a manual and will start on the carb cleaning tonight.

As for the pipes, they have no writing on them (unless it's under the various scratches) and are just straight, hollow pipes. No baffles or anything.

I am assuming that the screaming eagle kit is just an aircleaner? Must mean that this is the stock carb as depicted in the manual, so as long as I can follow directions, I should be able to crack the code on this baby.

Thanks again.

Dan

gwcrim
2nd December 2004, 18:56
Dan, ditch the drag pipes. You'll want a set of slip ons. Cycle Shacks are about the best buy for your buck. Just cut off the drag pipes so that they fit and you're in the boat.

As for the carb, there isn't much to rebuild on one. Ya might need a new gasket for the float bowl and that's about it. Get a couple of cans of carb cleaner and have at it. Compressed air will blow out the passages, if you have that available.

Let us know if we can be of more help. And thanks for serving!!!

:usa3

PlanB
2nd December 2004, 19:04
Yes, Dan, Welcome back!

I did the same thing as you did when I got back from Vietnam...within the first week, I had bought the coolest 650 Triumph chopper that I could find in South Carolina!

So enjoy this new adventure...you earned it! And I'm sure you'll find that everyone on here is willing to help you if you get more questions on your new scoot!

I'm sure we're all hoping you got a good deal on that thing, and will share some pictures soon!

Dan S
2nd December 2004, 19:51
gwcrim, planb, thanks for the help and encouragement. I paid 2500 for the bike, and I hope it was a good deal too! I'm kinda novice, but I am assuming that "Drag Pipes" is slang for the straight, hollow, loud pipes on it now? What is better about slip-ons? (I assume a muffler of sorts that slips on the pipe is what a slip on is)

I'll get pics on as soon as I figure out how, and then look for some advice on cleaning this thing up and customizing it a bit. I'll just start with getting it running reasonably well for now.

Crim, I dig the little Iwo Jima guys on the bottom of your post!

Thanks again, and I'll let you know how tonight goes with the carb (if I can get my tail out of work at a decent hour!)

Dan

cantolina
2nd December 2004, 20:02
Running baffled exhaust will improve your performance.....

Go to it..!!!!

Good Luck!

Albie1200
2nd December 2004, 20:02
Welcome Dan, I just finished reading the latest American Iron, and they have part 3 of a fuel system article that talks about a leaking carb. The mag says to check the float for either dirt or misadjustment. Not sure if this helps as you did not mention where the gas seems to be comming from.

gwcrim
2nd December 2004, 21:21
Dan, slip ons provide baffles that break up reversion waves. Reversion waves from open pipes (drag pipes) kill low end power. And an 883 needs all the power it can get!

If you have the chance, take a ride on a twisty road with drag pipes, then put mufflers on and ride the same road again. The difference is very noticeable.

sportsterrific
2nd December 2004, 21:42
Dan, welcome and enloy your new bike. Take your time fixing it up. Besides this excellent website, there's a ton of Harley Literature out there, and the bike as you may have alsready discovered, is easy to work on.
BTW, Screamin' Eagle (SE) is Harley's factory performance division. Many of us have the SE air cleaners on our Sporty's

IronMick
3rd December 2004, 04:49
Hey Dan,

Welcome back, and welcome to this forum.

I bought my first Harley [not my first bike and not my first winter project bike] about 1 year ago. It is a 1998 883 -> 1200. It was a winter project bike.

I stripped it down one section at a time. Dismantled virtually the whole thing except the engine. Started with the front wheel, fender, brakes; did the bars, headlite, etc; then the fuel tank, seat. carbs, etc; then the back wheel, fender, battery box, etc.

Cleaned and inspected everything. Great fun. As someone said already it is an easy bike to work on. Do you have a manual? It is a necessity. I bought a factory manual [FM] from the local harley shop. Worth the $100.00. Some use also Haynes or Clymer.

I bought my second one, the 1980 IronHead at the beginning of Seprember. It is my winter project for this year. It will get the same treatment.

Dan S
6th December 2004, 16:34
I took all of your advice, and went to the shop for a manual. Now I have the carb and aircleaner off and am putting a good cleaning to it. I'll let you know how that works out. Of course, you know how these things lead, I'll end up pulling off all the pieces/parts this winter just to try and learn the bike anyways, just like Mick. Once I figure out what the mods are that have been done, I'll be asking a load of questions, so thanks in advance for your help to a novice.

Dan

Dan S
8th December 2004, 19:02
Took the carb apart, cleaned the snot out of it, and found the accelerator pump rubber was cracked and rotten. I think that is causing the steady stream of gas coming out the bottom of the carb.

Because it was midnight, I just slapped the carb back in, and low and behold, the thing fired up right away, and idled perfectly, even in the cold!

Now all I need to do is buy the acc pump thingy and I'll be on the road. Like you all said, pretty easy to work on, especially with the manual.

Next I'll ask you all about the oil leaks, but first -- I ride!

Thanks for getting a newbie going!

Dan

Shark Doctor
8th December 2004, 19:57
Gotta ride! That's why you got her!!! Then you can clean her up, dress her up, and show her off. Little acne cream here and there, and life is good.

Welcome home, Marine. And thanks for all you do...