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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 1998 sportster a few weeks ago and about a week ago I started seeing fuel dripping out of the drain line that comes from the carburetor when the bike was off and petcock was in off position. When it started it would do it for a few minutes then stop but now it is continually flowing and draining my tank onto the garage floor over night. The bike runs fine, I just took it for a 5 hour ride with no problems. It seems to only leak when the bike is leaning to the left because when I park it and it leans more to the right it doesn't leak a drop. The previous owner said something about the petcock O ring being bad but I haven't had a chance to change it out but I don't think that would cause this problem. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Brandon, active duty USMC
 

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Wayward Son
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Leaking petcock o-ring sould not cause the problem as you describe.

A bad, stuck float, yes. An application of Seafoam may fix it. But pulling the carb and going through it would be the better way.
The tiniest piece of crud in the gas that gets through the filter can be a real PITA.
 

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Yup, check the float level.


Also, check if it leaks with petcock in the off position.


If the petcock gasket was bad, you would be able to feel gas right underneath the selector valve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I turn the selector to off every time I turn the bike off and I feel gas on my fingers when I turn the nob so I knew that I need to change that but I'm more worried about this at the moment.
 

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See if the 2 screws on the petcock will tighten up any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What I'm wondering is if the petcock is off, shouldn't it cut fuel off to the carburetor? Why is it dumping the entire tank, if the float is stuck wouldn't it just dump the fuel in the 3 ounce carb bowl?
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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I had one of these bikes its a great bike. I also fought this issue and lost. First off, are you shutting the petcock off or switching to reserve thinking your shutting it down? That could be the reason for the petcock not working. As for the float, I'd clean the carb as everyone has suggested, but if it does it again, ditch the carb.. I spent way too much time and money trying to get mine to work. Replaced it with a Mukini carb. End of problem.
 

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What I'm wondering is if the petcock is off, shouldn't it cut fuel off to the carburetor? Why is it dumping the entire tank, if the float is stuck wouldn't it just dump the fuel in the 3 ounce carb bowl?
Yes, that is why I'm saying fix your petcock.

Could be as simple as tightening the 2 screws on the face of the petcock.
 

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Harley Rider
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Yes, that is why I'm saying fix your petcock.

Could be as simple as tightening the 2 screws on the face of the petcock.
I didn't know people kept them as pets. Just saying.:devil
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I decided to soak the whole carb in sea foam, and I changed the needle and seat for good measure. Still leaks like siff just like it did. Ended up breaking one of the brackets off that holds the hinge pin for the float off trying to get the hinge pin back in. Soooooo instead of the float going from 45 degrees when down to like 130 degrees when up, it just goes straight down when the bowl is off because it was the side with the stopper. Not sure if that really matters because it still goes up and down but will probably get stuck down when bowl is empty. Tried tightening down petcock screws, made no difference. Time to change petcock and carb?
 
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