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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to the forums and this is my first HD.

I'm not new to bikes...or riding.

Today I drove 350 miles on my newly purchased 2000 heritage classic.
I noticed first off that it idled ok...but when on the sidestand would die.
Then...I started it...ride 6 miles and parked. When I went about ten minutes later to start it..it puffed what looked like white smoke from the breather. I naturally let it clear before trying again.

I also noticed a LOT of throttle lag at highway speeds.
It's as if it's not getting the fuel or simply can't burn it.
It spits at 70 MPH when I give it full throttle. It takes FAR too long to gain speed past 60 or 70.
I suspect it needs a tuneup REALLY badly. I suspect the carb needs cleaning, I suspect the plugs need replacing etc.

I just got it home so haven't had a chance to get into it.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Carb cleaner? Sea Foam?
Could the gas tank have crap? Is there a fuel pump?
Why would it idle rough or not at all on its sidestand?
That problem actually got better after three tanks of fuel and 350 miles.
but mileage SUCKED! About 26 to 28 MPG running interstate at 80 MPH.
It should be better!
 

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Is it carburated or fuel injected ?
Check for water in tank.
If it's carburated take of float bowl and check for water.
EFI has a fuel filter in tank that can be checked.
Check for leaky intake seals at the jugs.
 

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Check for leaky intake seals at the jugs.
+1

You can use some WD-40 and while the bike is running, spray the WD-40 around the intake seals, if the idle quality changes while doing this, you know its the intake seals.

Also may be worthwhile to get a carb rebuild kit and give the carb a good once over.
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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It's only got a fuel pump if it's fuel injected, gravity feed it it's carbed.

I'm guessing if leaning it over on it's kickstand causes it to die, it's carbureted, and that something's jambing the float or seal, I'd think it's drowning at idle with the carb tipped. That would make me worry even worse that the oil is contaminated with fuel, if it was ever left to sit with the fuel turned on, even for a few minutes.


That problem actually got better after three tanks of fuel and 350 miles.
As to carb cleaner, with alcohol in fuel and if you've used even a tankful of Big Oil fuel with additives, that prolly isn't the problem. Plugs clogged with ash is a possibility, if they look like they have cigarette ash on them I'd suspect valve guide seals leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As in the title... it is a carb.

Since yesterday was the first day I'd been on it... I've not had time to try anything yet.
today, as soon as the temp hits 70 (at 66 now) I'm going out to check the plugs and air filter as well as maybe try the WD40 trick
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh yeah...and the bike has a replacement dipstick with the temp gauge on it. Naturally...it leaks like a sieve. I'll have to get to the dealer for the stock one unless anyone has suggestions
 

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Oh yeah...and the bike has a replacement dipstick with the temp gauge on it. Naturally...it leaks like a sieve. I'll have to get to the dealer for the stock one unless anyone has suggestions
Shouldn't be leaking unless your tank is overfilled.
 

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That's a symptom I've heard caused by the carb float being stuck, ( if the fuel valve was left open ) large quantities of raw gas dripping into the engine can make it past the rings and flush the oil out. See if the dipstick smells strong of gasoline.

Needless to say, I'd change the oil regardless... hope it's not just blackened gasoline


Many years ago I had a friend park a VW bug on a steep hill for a couple of days, headed uphill. He came back to find a big trail of oil running down the hill behind his car. The carb float was stuck, and all the gas, from the tank being much higher than the carb, had drained past the rings and out the oil fill.
 

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That's a symptom I've heard caused by the carb float being stuck, ( if the fuel valve was left open ) large quantities of raw gas dripping into the engine can make it past the rings and flush the oil out. See if the dipstick smells strong of gasoline.
MMm yea I dont know when HD came out with vacuum slaved petcock but alot of people have removed them for an aftermarket
anyway. The Petcock was ALLWAYS shut off when you wer'nt on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Today I cleaned the air filter..it appears to be a K&N filter..but is branded HD ??????????

washed it REALLY well. Dried it. Re-oiled it.

On the way back from Austin yesterday, I used a whole contained of STP gas treastment.
Today, I changed plugs. I used Autolite. Cleaned air filter, cleaned carb (carb and choke cleaner), put seafoam and marvel mystery oil in the gas tank.
It seems to be doing better.

Also..another thought. This bike was initially out of Missouri. Now, we're in Deep south Texas. Could it be that there's a slight carb adjustment for altitude...weather?
Still a little jerky on the throttle...bogs on full throttle...it just doesn't seem right
 

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What did the old plugs look like?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What did the old plugs look like?
BLACK!!!! One electrode in the plug was noticeably shorter than the other.
The front cylinder was BLACK and had large NOTICEABLE soot deposits on the plug.
I'll go out and remove the new ones here in a bit..to see what those look like.
I suspect it's running WAY too rich but I don't know how to adjust it.

Any ideas?
I have noticed that the bike was apparently for sale for several months and probably just sat there at the dealer.
It appears as though it came from Missouri and ended up at Austin Texas.
The bike appears to have had a lack of maintenance. Someone didn't give it the TLC I have been used to giving my things and particularly my other bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
MMm yea I dont know when HD came out with vacuum slaved petcock but alot of people have removed them for an aftermarket
anyway. The Petcock was ALLWAYS shut off when you wer'nt on it.
hehe....I'm on my bike daily! I NEVER EVER EVER turn off the fuel valves:)
 

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hehe....I'm on my bike daily! I NEVER EVER EVER turn off the fuel valves:)
Well look under there and see if you got an extra line going into the petcock, coming from the carb. if so then the petcock closes when no engine vacuum is available if not the only thing holding back all the gas is your float/needle valve. Usually they dont work that well with age. even 5 minutes could be a problem.

Should be an idle adjustment screw under the carb
Also wonder if your enricher valve is working right.
 

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Still wondering if the oil smells like gasoline. That oil overflowing or blowing out the dipstick still makes me suspect gasoline contamination, and that could also make the plugs black, because if the oil is overfull, when the engine is running it will be blown out into the air cleaner and into the engine.

IMHO, the notion that riding every day means you don't have to close the fuel valve is asking for trouble. If the valve isn't vacuum operated, it is supposed to be closed every time the bike is turned off. At least that was the case the last time I had a carb'd Harley.
 

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And also the diluted mixture of the oil and gas will be pulled up past the rings and into the combustion chambers during the intake stroke.
 

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Setting up might have got a bug nest in a vent line, problems at speed, have to wonder about timing also with the black plugs. could go back to a lame battery.
 

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My guess is that your problems at speeds is due to factory jetting and settings, with a free-flow airfilter. It's not a surprize that the plugs were worn uneven, (They will due to different cylinder temps. Rear cylinder is always hotter) nor that they were black, as the dealer will start a bike and rarely let it run to full operating temps, and if roadtested, the rider will baby it around the parking lot or on a short, slow ride.

Start by checking your air/fuel adjusting screw. Is it still covered from the factory? If so......uncover it and adjust the carb correctly and get back to us.

If it's already uncapped.... You need to adjust your a/f mixture. Test ride it....

If it still bogs, I'm willing to bet your main jet is too small. (If a 170, go to a 180, if a 180, go to 190 etc....) Factory mains are set for the cleanest running engine.

You might want to look into a bad float or improper flat level. This will cause poor running and will also cause poor fuelk mileage.

MOST IMPORTANT....look at the needle and seat. The needle's tip is a gray, rubber material called "Viton". It can tear or become distorted. You can buy just a needle from HD. It will cause ALL of the problems you're discribing.....

Also check the fuel line from the petcock to the carb and look for kinks or hard bends.

The factory petcock works off vacuum, to open a diaphram and allow flow. If it were bad, you'd rarely be able to get the bike to start, let alone stay running. They're very sensitive to failure.

You've cleaned the airfilter. Check with HD and the part number and make sure that it's a servicable airfilter, no matter what it may *appear* to be like, or seem like. Some filters are now oil permiated cotten weave, but NOT cleanable or reusable.

If none of this helps, get back to us.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Still wondering if the oil smells like gasoline. That oil overflowing or blowing out the dipstick still makes me suspect gasoline contamination, and that could also make the plugs black, because if the oil is overfull, when the engine is running it will be blown out into the air cleaner and into the engine.

IMHO, the notion that riding every day means you don't have to close the fuel valve is asking for trouble. If the valve isn't vacuum operated, it is supposed to be closed every time the bike is turned off. At least that was the case the last time I had a carb'd Harley.
I'll respond to two points from your post:

The oil...is the ill-designed dipstick in the oil tank. Non-threaded aftermarket replacement simply has to be seated properly. Otherwise it leaks oil and being under pressure will easily blow oil. That problem was solved. I cleaned it...REALLY well...and put it back. I chock that one up to experience.

#2: Closing petcock: I've owned several bikes over the years and NEVER EVER once closed the valves.
Not closing the petcock should NOT cause a problem. If it does you have another problem somewhere.
The HD should be no different.
I'll be willing to bet I can poll a thousand bikers and find very few that turn off their fuel valves when they park them at night.
I don't turn it off on my suzuki...never have..nor my previous honda, kawasaki or yamaha and I don't intend to start now.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My guess is that your problems at speeds is due to factory jetting and settings, with a free-flow airfilter. It's not a surprize that the plugs were worn uneven, (They will due to different cylinder temps. Rear cylinder is always hotter) nor that they were black, as the dealer will start a bike and rarely let it run to full operating temps, and if roadtested, the rider will baby it around the parking lot or on a short, slow ride.

Start by checking your air/fuel adjusting screw. Is it still covered from the factory? If so......uncover it and adjust the carb correctly and get back to us.

If it's already uncapped.... You need to adjust your a/f mixture. Test ride it....

If it still bogs, I'm willing to bet your main jet is too small. (If a 170, go to a 180, if a 180, go to 190 etc....) Factory mains are set for the cleanest running engine.

You might want to look into a bad float or improper flat level. This will cause poor running and will also cause poor fuelk mileage.

MOST IMPORTANT....look at the needle and seat. The needle's tip is a gray, rubber material called "Viton". It can tear or become distorted. You can buy just a needle from HD. It will cause ALL of the problems you're discribing.....

Also check the fuel line from the petcock to the carb and look for kinks or hard bends.

The factory petcock works off vacuum, to open a diaphram and allow flow. If it were bad, you'd rarely be able to get the bike to start, let alone stay running. They're very sensitive to failure.

You've cleaned the airfilter. Check with HD and the part number and make sure that it's a servicable airfilter, no matter what it may *appear* to be like, or seem like. Some filters are now oil permiated cotten weave, but NOT cleanable or reusable.

If none of this helps, get back to us.
I appreciate the information.
I can't determine the type of air filter. It appears to have a stage 1 kit installed.
I'm gonna take it to "Dirty Dave", one of our local HD experts.
I think it just needs adjustments...I'm going to buy the K&N filter so I KNOW for a fact what it has.
Thanks again for the information.
BTW, there's a brass screw at the bottom of the carb. It's accessible while the air cleaner is on.
I thought it was the idle mixture. I don't think it is. If I run it all the way in...it doesn't die.
I ran it all the way in...two complete turns out. Went for a ride and noticed a little difference. Went and turned it 1/2 turn in...and it didn't want to start..but did and ran the same...but without a backfire...
I'm gonna leave it to an experienced person.
 
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