How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Steve Your Own Question

Steve
Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 6320
Experience:  30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004
11090168
Type Your Motorcycle Question Here...
Steve is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

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

Resolved Question:

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: 3 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Steve replied 3 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: replied 3 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.

Expert:  Steve replied 3 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: replied 3 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?
Expert:  Steve replied 3 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: replied 3 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.

Expert:  Steve replied 3 years ago.

I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.

 

Steve

Customer: replied 3 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.

Expert:  Steve replied 3 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: replied 3 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?

Expert:  Steve replied 3 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

Expert:  Steve replied 3 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: replied 3 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?
Expert:  Steve replied 3 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

Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 6320
Experience: 30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004
Steve and 2 other Motorcycle Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Last | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Harley Tech

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1297
    35+ Years Experience on Harley/Honda Specialising in HD Tuning Super Tuner etc
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/harleytech/2008-09-21_185638_phpts91u2_c2pm.jpg Harley Tech's Avatar

    Harley Tech

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1297
    35+ Years Experience on Harley/Honda Specialising in HD Tuning Super Tuner etc
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EX/extremeccs/2012-6-10_19914_steve11024x768.64x64.jpg Steve's Avatar

    Steve

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    6027
    30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jpolicky/2009-4-3_43150_200009a.jpeg.jpg Jeff Policky's Avatar

    Jeff Policky

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    2381
    Yamaha Gold, Suzuki Gold, Honda Bronze, Polaris Bronze, BRP
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Guest/2008-01-28_125643_phpbZSI1u_c2AM.jpg TIMOTO's Avatar

    TIMOTO

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1101
    Honda registered technician, silver level award, former Kawasaki/Suzuki tech, 40+ years exp.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LoriExpertsMod/2010-04-15_002245_192503.jpg Andre Pilon's Avatar

    Andre Pilon

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1027
    Over 25 years experience, ICS, MMI, Owned shop for 12 years, worked tech-support for Harley Davidson
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GlennAII/2008-5-26_12926_YUMMY_2.jpg Glenn Adams II's Avatar

    Glenn Adams II

    Motorcycle/ATV Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    6 years Motorcycle/ATV/Water Craft; 4 years auto; 18 years carpenter
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/asphaltcycles/2012-7-31_151258_311842101502880177646218277720n.64x64.jpg asphaltcycles's Avatar

    asphaltcycles

    Motorcycle Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    383
    I operate a motorcycle dealership and CCS Ducati Race team.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Motorcycle Mechanic
Steve
Steve
Motorcycle Mechanic
6320 Satisfied Customers
30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004