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Sportster Motorcycle General Discussion and Problems For discussing problems about your Sportster motorcycle that don't fit anywhere else.

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  #1  
Old 15th April 2008
G's1200c G's1200c is offline
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Default Starting problem after shipping.

Alright I have been tooling around with her for days now and can't figure out what to do. Here is the background: I recently moved from Hawaii to Connecticut (before you say WTF, I'm in the Navy) and had to ship my bike. When I shipped her I had to drain myt fuel tank, which I managed with some difficulty. Now that the weather is getting warmer here its time to get the bike running again how ever I can't get fuel to the carburetor. I have tried all sorts of searches but nothing seems to match my proplem, so now I am trying this. I have pulled off what I believe is the fuel line. I pulled this same line off when I tried draining the tank however no fuel comes out. I had to remove the tank and take the pet cock off. I have tried sucking on the line to see if fuel comes out but it doesn't, just like it didn't when I tried draining it. It was running great before I tried draining it as well. I thought maybe a clog, but when I blow in it it is clear and free. I can hear bubbles in the tank. Now I have noticed a smaller line that comes off the back of the pet cock to the carb, but it seems too small to be fuel line. Please any advice or someone can tell me where I am going wrong. I may be doing this the completely wrong. PLEASE PLEASE HELP. The weather is perfect for riding and I only have a little while longer in port.
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  #2  
Old 15th April 2008
Gone Gone is offline
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Well I have to say Welcome back from Hawaii....I just left there abvout four months ago!! I have to ask you first have you tried to use some starting fluid just to see if it will start? I'm just asking cause I had the same trouble before I left Hawaii. I found out it was the gas there is really crappy to begin with. Your bike has a Diaphragm on the back of the Petcock thats why you cant get any gas out. but can blow air back in...its a kind of vacuum pump for the carb.. the other small gas tube coming of is the vacuum for it. My suggestion would be to try the starting fluid first, mine would start with the starting fluid but would not run after. I took it to Cycle City and it took them about twenty minutes to fix it. The jet was clogged in the carb... so that could be another possibilty. I hope this helps ya a bit, and welcome to the forum.

Bob
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  #3  
Old 15th April 2008
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You have a vacume petcock. that smaller hose going to the carb is the vacume line, which opens up the diaphram in the petcock and allows fuel to flow. If you can take off the smaller hose and either suck on that or use something that will create a vacume onto that line (brake bleeder maybee) you should get the fuel flowing.
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  #4  
Old 15th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeLI_77 View Post
You have a vacume petcock. that smaller hose going to the carb is the vacume line, which opens up the diaphram in the petcock and allows fuel to flow. If you can take off the smaller hose and either suck on that or use something that will create a vacume onto that line (brake bleeder maybee) you should get the fuel flowing.
Yup....the line you pulled off is probably the vacuum line. No fuel will flow until your carb starts pulling after it's started.
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  #5  
Old 15th April 2008
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Hey Bro,

Try turning the petcock all the way straight up. I don't have my bike with me or the owners manual, but on the reserve setting I think it may "bypass" the vacuum feature that everyone was talking about. Not sure but I think I read that.

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  #6  
Old 15th April 2008
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I agree with those who think the problem has to do with the vacuum petcock. I run the gas out of the carb for winter storage and the first start in the spring takes a few seconds of cranking before fuel fills the carb bowl. It shouldn't take more that 5-10 seconds of cranking though. I'm guessing you've gone beyond that point. So let's start with checking some basics like tech support will have you check when your computer wont work, you know, the is it plugged in type of questions.

1) You've put gas in the tank again, right.
2) Both rubber lines are connected to the petcock, right.
3) Both rubber lines are still connected to the carburetor, right.
4) The petcock is in the on position, right.
5) You put enough fuel in the tank to draw fuel in the on position, right. Try it in the reserve position.
6) The lines to the petcock are in good shape, right. No vacuum leaks on the vacuum line?

At this point if it still won't start I would either try starting fluid or squirting plain old gas straight into the carb and/or check that fuel will come out of the petcock in the on position when a vacuum is applied to the vacuum line. It should at least start squirting gas directly into the carb.

If all this fails beat it with a Big Hammer!

Let us know how it turns out.
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  #7  
Old 15th April 2008
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Get a Pingle petcock.You don't have to worry about the vacume line ,and you get better flow.Which translates to quicker throttle response. Seemed to with mine at least.
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  #8  
Old 17th April 2008
G's1200c G's1200c is offline
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Hey thanx guys for the posts I finally have the fuel going to the carb, but my battery is bad and won't hold a charge. what kind of battery is a good replacement if not an HD battery.
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  #9  
Old 17th April 2008
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Glad to hear ya got it started! I'm not sure about the battery, I'm sure there are many people here who will give ya good advice about the battery though. Me personally I would just go to Wally world or Sears... even though I hate Sears!! lol
Just my two pennies
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  #10  
Old 18th April 2008
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3 year old battery and it went bad?
Did you have it on a trickle charger?
They really help.

I replaced mine after 5 years, just in case.
Took it in to the Harley dealer and had them run a load test on it.
Read 100%

The Harley batteries are very good if you treat them right.
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