Question about 2002 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

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My wife has a 2002 883 with about 495 miles on it, would like to get running ,but with it sitting so long there is no oil showing in side tank,no signs of oil leak and should carb. and fuel tank be cleaned. not sure where to start???

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Ok, your bike has been sitting for a while. The oil is all in the crankcase. This is a common problem with Harley's that have the tank located higher than the engine. The oil seeps past the check valve in the oil pump.

Take the spark plugs out of your engine and spin the engine with the starter. You need to be careful that you don't burn up the starter. Spin the engine for about 20-30 seconds and then let it sit for about five minutes before you do it again. Once the oil tank is back to nearly full, you can try to start the engine. Do not add any oil to the tank until you get the engine running. You must pump all the oil out of the cases first. As long as there is oil in the tank, you can safely start the engine.

But, if it's been sitting that long, you will probably have to put fresh gasoline in the tank and go thorough the carb before it's going to start. I'd take the carb off the engine and take it to a shop and have them clean (rebuild) the carb. To get the carb off, remove the air cleaner cover, filter, and backing plate. Loosen the throttle cables at the throttle grip. Loosen the large nut on the choke cable near the knob on the left side of the bike and let it swing freely. Remove the cables from the carb linkage and disconnect the fuel line. Pull the carb out of the intake manifold seal being careful not to damage the choke cable.

Installation is the reverse of what I just told you except you must be certain of the correct throttle operation prior to starting the engine. You don't want the engine starting up with the throttle wide open. Make sure it work properly.

Good Luck

Posted on Jun 03, 2010

Testimonial: "Steve thank you very much for the info. i was going to just add more oil. I figured i'd need to rebuild carb,but you just confirmed it for me.thank u again. john"


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