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Steve
Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 6880
Experience:  30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004
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Motorcycle

2003 harley sportster no start..wont start..tank

2003 harley sportster no start... Show More
2003 harley sportster no start. it turns great but won't start at all. changed spark plugs, open fuel valve, tank is full of gas, sparks make fire but will not start. tried with choke ''on''. and tried without. wont even come close to starting.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
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replied 6 years ago.

Welcome. Thank you for choosing Just Answer.

 

when did this start?

 

it was fine yesterday but won't start today????

 

has it been setting all winter with old gas in it??

 

tell me everything you can.

Steve

Customer reply replied 6 years ago.

the day i stored it for the winter, i drove it to the colsest gas station, drove it back home and poured fuel stabilizer in a full gas tank. I closed the fuel valve and tried to start it to let it run till the carburator runs out of gas, but it would'nt start anymore.

Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic replied 6 years ago.

the first thing you need to do is dump the gas, add a gallon or two of fresh fuel and try it again.

 

Steve

Customer reply replied 6 years ago.
so you think it might be from that gas i poured in when i stored it? if it still does it after what can it be? and i have another question. it says in my owner's manual to put HD sae 10w40 in my engine, we dont have no harley stores in my area. will any sae 10w40 do the same?
Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic replied 6 years ago.

old gas is old gas. the fuel stabilizer should have prevented it from turning to a varnish like substance and gumming up you fuel system.......but it is still old.

 

if that does not fix the problem, I believe you have a fuel delivery issue.

I am assuming when you say it has spark....it has spark, and I also assume your compression didn't go away over the winter. all that leaves is fuel.

 

unless you live in Alaska, the normal oil for all Harleys is 20w-50.

in any case....you need 4 stroke motorcycle oil.

if you can't find it locally, buy it off the internet.

do yourself a favor and do not put standard automotive oil in your Harley.

** it is ok in a pinch, like if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and need a quart of oil to get home.....but never do that on purpose, for convenience **

 

your petcock (fuel valve) is also vacuum operated. drain the old fuel through the petcock by attaching a vacuum test pump to the vacuum line nipple on the back of the petcock......this will help you verify the vacuum petcock is operational.

let me know what you find.

Steve

Customer reply replied 6 years ago.

Thanx Steve! will check it out tomorow and will come back to let you know how it went and make sure you received my payment. thanx again.

 

Kevin.

Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic replied 6 years ago.

I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.

 

Steve

Customer reply replied 6 years ago.

Steve,

I removed the air filter on my bike to have better view and access to the gas line coming from the shut off valve. Finaly i ended up unplugging that hose under the valve to drain my gas tank. The tank wont drain probably because of the vacuum petcock. while that hose was unplugged,I turned the throttle handle a few times then i tried starting it and it almost started wich last night, it would'nt even stutter and backfire at all. In this case, it probably burnt the gas that was on the pistons. I aint quite done yet but will need more time to check it out. I dont have a vacuum test pump. what can i do. I'm new to all this sh*t brother. thank god you're here and i hope you'll be able to bare with me and keep your cool lol.

Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic replied 6 years ago.

if you turn the petcock to RES (reserve) and crank the engine, you can verify that the vacuum petcock works, or you may find out it doesn't.

either way....now is the time to find out.

 

the messy way to drain the tank is to disconnect the crossover hose at the front of the tank. pinch the hose and remove one end, then be ready with a spare length of 1/4" fuel line. fit the spare fuel line over the exposed fitting on the tank (the one spewing gas) and route it into a gas can. just be prepared for the mess. have some old towels on hand or a bag of kitty litter. no smoking or sparks!

 

let me know what you find.

Steve

 

Customer reply replied 6 years ago.

Damn your good lol I was just about to ask if when i crank the bike the gas should come out from the spare hose i had connected under the valve going to a gas can. No it aint coming out so that means my vaccum does'nt work? Does it need to start for it to drain or just by turning the key ON and make the engine turn it should drain? The vacuum, is it the square black box connected to the valve itself?

Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic replied 6 years ago.

the vacuum diaphragm is inside the square box on the back side of the valve. it should have a small nipple on top of the outer half with a vacuum line attached to it.

 

the vacuum created by cranking the engine is sufficient to cause fuel flow.

 

your best bet is to replace the petcock with a manual type. you can remember to turn the gas on/off right?????

 

I recommend Pingel. they are pricey, but they are well worth it.

http://www.customchrome.net/icatalog/full.aspx?Page=1091

 

Steve

Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic replied 6 years ago.

here is a link to standard Pingels.....not so fancy.....not as pricey:

http://www.customchrome.net/icatalog/Full.aspx?Page=1092

 

Steve

Customer reply replied 6 years ago.
ok and after replacing the vacuum petcock, with a manual petcock, where do i connect that vacuum line that is hooked up to it right now?
Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic replied 6 years ago.

 

you have to plug the hole.

you can either plug that hose and wire tie it to the frame

or

remove the line from the vacuum connection up under the tank and cap that connection.

 

auto parts stores sell vacuum line plugs and caps.

 

Steve