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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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Old 28th August 2009
jgcable jgcable is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Sportster/Buell Model: 883
Sportster/Buell Year: 1989
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Default float and idle mixture adjustment

1989 Sportster 883 Hugger
Bone stock except for a pair of original HD badged slash cut slip ons. Pipes still have the factory crossover.
Stock 40mm CV carb with the stock 177 and 45 jets
Stock hamcan. Stock air filter. No mods done to it.

I tried to buy a Clymer or Haynes repair manual but they didn't have one for my bike. I asked the guy at the cycle shop but he said the mechanics had already left for the day.
#1 I need to know how many turns out the idle mixture screw needs to be to give me a solid base to start with? I heard from the factory its 1.5 turns but almost all owners eventually drill out the plug and increase it between 2 and 2.5 turns. Keep in mind.. except for the slip ons (which are fairly loud) this bike is bone stock down to the original hamcan.

#2. I need to know how to make sure the float is set up as per factory spec. I have a feeling the float set up has been a big part of my problem with the carb all along. I know where I have to bend it to adjust it but I don't know what the correct setting is supposed to be.
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Old 28th August 2009
williamv1203's Avatar
williamv1203 williamv1203 is offline
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Location: On The Edge... of Scotland
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Sportster/Buell Model: 1203 XLH/Buell Hybrid
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Have a look here for CV carb adjustment and mods...
http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/hd_cv_mods.htm

2 1/2 turns out seems to be the standard starting point as far as turns out on the mixture screw.
There are also threads here on the forum about carb adjustment. One is called 'jetting 101' I think.

Here's a pic from the 86-90 manual for float setting.

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