Question about 2001 Harley Davidson FXDL Dyna Low Rider

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I have a 2001 dyna low rider. This winter I took the tank off to paint it. I put everything back together and fired it up and got a block before it shut down. I got it back home and checked the fuel lines. They were all good. I bypassed the vacuum on the back of the petcock because I thought I had a vacuum leak. It ran better but it left me stranded again. I have spark going to both plugs. I just replaced the CKP to no avail. it runs for a few minutes and then dies and will not start until it is cold. I am hesitant to replace the MAP just because I dont want to throw more money at a problem blindly. Any ideas on what I can do to test it?

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  • shawn_athert Jul 15, 2010

    Thanks for the reply. I actually bypassed the vacuum gauge on the back of the petcock thereby making it gravity fed. I did pull the filter out of the tank to check if there was paint chips etc. None. It was clean. I pulled the carb off as well and cleaned it up and sealed off the vacuum port on the back. This thing is driving my ape sh$t. I refuse to take it to hd to have them fix it but I dont want to peace meal it trying to figure it out. Another thing I have noticed is my fuel gauge no longer works. I am not sure if this sends a signal I would suspect it wouldnt matter. I dont know man I am at a loss right now and I want to ride so it is killing me.



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It sounds like the carburetor is running out of gas. If you have the original petcock on the tank, you MUST have the vacuum line connected. When the engine starts up, vacuum from the carburetor is applied to the vacuum diaphragm in the petcock and opens the petcock. Without vacuum on the petcock, the only fuel you will get to the carb is if the needle valve in the petcock leaks.

Now, you said you had the tank painted. This is the clue. Painters pay a lot of attention to the outside of the tank but NONE to the inside. I would guess that the screen on the inside of your tank is completely blocked with small chips of paint or sanding material.

Replace the vacuum operated petcock. It's a "Motorhike" waiting to happen. A "motorhike" what you do when your bike quits and you wind up pushing it. I've seen too many of these things leave people stranded with a full tank of fuel but not a drop in the carb. Replace the OEM petcock with a high quality manually operated petcock like the old timers use. A Pingle is a very good choice. If you want to save a few bucks, check on the price of an OEM petcock for a 1995 or earlier model. Block the vacuum line off and I'd advise an inline fuel filter. Buy the sintered metal type filter that can be cleaned. These filters come in Chrome, and a few anodized colors as well.

See if this helps.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010

Testimonial: "Steve is awesome. He kept up with me externally from the thread and we went back and forth. Got the bike running and will be taking it out for the final test ride tonight. "

  • wd4ity
    wd4ity Jul 15, 2010

    Ok, if you simply pulled the vacuum line off the petcock,it won't be a gravity feed unless it has a "prime" position on the petcock. Since I don't fool with many of those (I take them off and throw them away) I can't remember but I don't think it does.

    You have got to get everything to where fuel will flow through the line with it disconnected from the carb. Here's a test you can do. Take the fuel hose off at the petcock. Replace it with a clean piece of hose. Now, put the petcock in it's normal run position and blow through the hose. While blowing through the hose, listen for bubbles in the tank. Then go to the reserve position and do the same thing. You should hear the bubbles in the tank when the petcock is in any position other than "off". If you don't hear the bubbles, you'll have to put vacuum on the petcock and check it again.

    Now, if you look on the rear of the petcock, you'll see a square plate. Take the four screws out of the plate and take it off. Under the plate there is a diaphragm, a spring, and needle as best as I can remember. Hold the diaphragm up to the light and gently stretch it. Look for a hole in it. If you find one, replace the diaphragm, Check the seat where the needle goes for trash.

    Ultimately, you must get gasoline to flow through the hose without it being connected to the carb. When I do something like this, I try to get full flow through the hose.

    Now, there is one other thing that you may have overlooked. The tank's vent. The air vent of a Wide Glide is usually undert he dash on the right hand side. A hose connects to a nipple there and runs back along the frame to the seat post. If the painter taped over it and painted the tank, it's real easy to overlook this vent.

    Also check the vent in your gas cap. Wipe it off real well and stick the threaded part in your mouth. That's right, you heard what I said. Now try to **** and blow through the vent. If you can, the vent is good. It's best to do this when your buddies aren't around. If someone sees you, the ribbing and jokes will never end.

    If your fuel gauge was working and now it's not, since you just had the tank painted, you may have a bad ground connection. I have the service manual for the fuel gauge. I'll scan it in and send you a copy if you'll contact me directly at Remind me of what you need because I deal with dozens of these things a day sometimes.

    I still say throw that OEM petcock away. Once you feel how smoothly a Pingle works, you'll never go back to OEM.

    Do like us old timers, turn the fuel off everytime you get off the bike and then back on when you're ready to ride. It never fails.

    Good Luck




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