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  #1  
Old 10th June 2007
dela06 dela06 is offline
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Question Engine turns over but won't start

I am brand new to this and I'm a new rider, however, I don't think the problem is as straightforward as it seems. I went about 5 miles to the store without any problems. Got back on the road to come home the bike immediately stalled without warning. I pulled it over and tried firing it back up but it wouldn't go -turned over but wouldn't start. I ended up leaving it sit there for a couple of hours and when I returned it started back up without a problem. After driving maybe a mile it again stalled without warning. Again, after leaving it sit for a little while it started back up, only to die a few miles further down the road. This time it started back up in the time it took the light to turn green.

It's an 03 Sportster with a screamin eagle carb and exhaust. I checked the spark plugs and they look great. Pulled off the air cleaner - no better. It's died while switched to both main and reserve. Suspected bad gas but I ran fine on 2 gallons of it last time I rode. Is there a fuel filter or screen that might be clogged? An electrical problem? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10th June 2007
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Yes, there's a screen up in the tank above your petcock. It comes out by removing the petcock. There's also a vacuum diaphram in the petcock that only allows fuel to flow when the engine is running. They go bad, and it can be replaced with a non-vacuum petcock.
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Old 10th June 2007
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Also check to make sure your jets in the carb aren't getting clogged. Has it sat around alot or anything?
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  #4  
Old 10th June 2007
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Check the vacum line to the petcock as it may be collapsing on itself and shutting off the fuel supply to the carb. Those little rubber hose's over time tend to flatten themselves out and close off the vacum to the fuel supply leaving you stranded on the side of the road, but amazingly work after several hours of sitting.
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  #5  
Old 10th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dela06 View Post
I am brand new to this and I'm a new rider, however, I don't think the problem is as straightforward as it seems. I went about 5 miles to the store without any problems. Got back on the road to come home the bike immediately stalled without warning. I pulled it over and tried firing it back up but it wouldn't go -turned over but wouldn't start. I ended up leaving it sit there for a couple of hours and when I returned it started back up without a problem. After driving maybe a mile it again stalled without warning. Again, after leaving it sit for a little while it started back up, only to die a few miles further down the road. This time it started back up in the time it took the light to turn green.

It's an 03 Sportster with a screamin eagle carb and exhaust. I checked the spark plugs and they look great. Pulled off the air cleaner - no better. It's died while switched to both main and reserve. Suspected bad gas but I ran fine on 2 gallons of it last time I rode. Is there a fuel filter or screen that might be clogged? An electrical problem? Thanks.
Recharge and check the battery....
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  #6  
Old 10th June 2007
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Check fuel line coming off of the petcock to the carb as well. Mine had a kink in it and was not letting gas get to the carb. It may not be the problem, but if it is, it's an easy fix.

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  #7  
Old 10th June 2007
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and
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  #8  
Old 11th June 2007
dela06 dela06 is offline
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Thanks for the responses. The longest it's been sitting is a week and the battery is good. I haven't looked at the jets yet. No kink in the line from the petcock to the carb. I've got to get a syphon and then I can check the rest.

(I also reread the original post - very confusing. Thanks for bearing with it)
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  #9  
Old 11th June 2007
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Check with fuel cap loosened, it may not be venting.
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  #10  
Old 11th June 2007
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I believe you have a bad ignition module inside the cam cover. When it heats up, it fails. When it sits and cools off a little bit, you have spark again.

You need to check for spark when it cranks but won't start. Carry a set of spark plugs with you. When it dies, crank it over to see if it starts. If it does not, then pull one plug wire and insert a new plug in it. Touch the plug to the cylinder head or motor mount and crank the bike over. Hold from the spark plug boot not the spark plug shell in case it DOES have spark. If it sparks, you're going to get a good shock. If you crank it over and you don't see any spark, then you have an ignition problem, and my guess, since it's 1998 - 2003, is that your ignition module failed.

Related:
http://www.xlforum.net/vbportal/foru...?postid=757254
http://www.xlforum.net/vbportal/foru...ad.php?t=53836
http://www.xlforum.net/vbportal/foru...ad.php?t=58797

My $.02

--Chris
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