Question about 2003 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger

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Wont stay running,like its out of gas. but its not

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It may indeed be out of gas. You can have a full tank of fuel and be "out of gas" in the carb. The culprit could be the vacuum operated petcock. The petcock has a diaphragm in it that is opened by engine vacuum. If that diaphragm is not functioning as it should, no gasoline gets to the carb.

To test the petcock, reach around behind it and feel for a small vacuum hose. Unplug this hose and replace it with a hose you can **** on. Using your mouth, **** on the hose with the fuel line disconnected. You should see fuel flow out of the petcock. If not, you must drain the tank by loosening the petcock and allowing the fuel to run out of the loose petcock. Use a large funnel and an empty fuel container to catch the fuel. Once the fuel tank is empty, remove the petcock. Take the plate on the back of the petcock off by removing the four small screws. You'll find a diaphragm, a small spring, and a needle. Hold the diaphragm up to the light and stretch it gently. If you find a hole in the diaphragm, replace it. Check the petcock for obstructions by blowing through it. Reassemble the petcock and test it again.

Check the hose that supplies the vacuum to the petcock. It comes from the backside of the carb and runs upwards to the VOES switch and then reduces in size and goes to the petcock. Make sure it's connected and has no holes or cracks in it.

If everything looks alright, replace the petcock, connect the hose and try to start your bike again.

These petcocks are notorious for giving problems. I always recommend that the vacuum operated petcock be replaced with a high quality manually operated petcock such as a Pingle. They're expensive and require you to manually turn the gas off like the "old school bikers" do but they won't leave you stranded out of gas with a full tank of fuel.

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on Jun 17, 2010

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