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Thread: No fuel to carb after rebuild

  1. #1
    Member smthng's Avatar
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    Question No fuel to carb after rebuild

    Rebuilt the carb on my 2003, full acid dip treatment, etc. I also replaced the fuel line, added the filter and did a bunch of other "non-fuel" stuff that I'll cover in a different post. Since doing so, I get no fuel going to the carb. I can fill the tube to the carb with some squeezing and flicking, but I'm pretty sure that carb bowl is bone dry. Nothing comes out when I remove the drain screw (assuming that's the one on the bottom of the picture below, right below the idle adjuster).

    The petcock is on reserve and I'm fairly confident the guys who did the carb rebuild are competent, although anyone can make a mistake. I've tried the choke in all three spots, with no throttle and full throttle... seems to make no difference. She doesn't even *cough* when I try to start her. Fuel does flow when I disconnect the line from the carb.

    Before I pull the carb apart again, what should I check? If I do have to pull the carb again, what should I be looking for? Thanks!

    CarbCompressed.jpg
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Is the float stuck? Try tapping the carb with a rubber mallet.
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    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Here's what I would try first. Take the sparkplug out and squirt a little gas into the cylinder. Replace the sparkplug and then try and start the engine. The engine should fire for at least a few revolutions. If it keeps running, great. If it runs briefly and then dies, then your float valve is probably stuck closed. Try Tommy's trick to see if that frees it up (but don't whack it too hard).

    If that doesn't do any good, loosen the clamps securing the carb to the intake manifold and air box enough so you can rotate the carb enough to access the float bowl screws. Turn off the gas at the petcock. Remove the float bowl and ensure that the float is able to move up and down freely and that the needle valve is moving up and down with the movement of the float. If it is, let the float drop to the down position and then slowly open the petcock and see if the gas flows out. If it does, the problem should be fixed. If it doesn't, come back and let us know.

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    Senior Member excalibur's Avatar
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    Personally, I would remove the hose at the carb inlet after closing the petcock and see if you get a steady flow when the you open it with the gas cap on and tight. If not a steady flow or very little fuel continuesly flows thru. I would try cracking or totally removing the gas cap to rule out a venting issue.

    If still no flow with the petcock open, I would inspect the petcock to see if it somehow it became clogged some type of residue or possibly loose rust which may have came loose inside your tank and settled to the bottom while it was "off" during your recent re-build ? You may also blow back up thru the supply tube and petcock at this point ( before actually removing it from the tank ) to possibly clear the petcock screen a small bit to get it flowing some..... if it does work or if you fail to be able to blow clear thru back into the tank, then remove petcock and clean or replace screens or entire unit as needed after insuring the fuel line is open and in good shape with no kinks or cracks.

    Barring either abive situation, then as has been suggested, I would be thinking that's it's carb and float diagnosis time.

    Just my $ .02 and possibly not even worth that ?

    excalibur
    Last edited by excalibur; 02-04-2018 at 02:14 AM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member SportsterDoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by excalibur View Post
    Personally, I would remove the hose at the carb inlet after closing the petcock and see if you get a steady flow when the you open it with the gas cap on and tight. If not a steady flow or very little fuel continuously flows thru. I would try cracking or totally removing the gas cap to rule out a venting issue.
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  7. #6
    Member smthng's Avatar
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    Sounds like good advice... I already tried a bit of mallet smacking, that had no results. Fuel flows freely when removed from the carb inlet. I won't have time until later this afternoon to check the spark plug trick or remove the bottom of the bowl, those are next on my list.

    I suspect the float is stuck up... "How stuck" is probably the question, which I can hopefully get to tonight. Thanks all, I'll keep you posted!

  8. #7
    Senior Member fishguy's Avatar
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    Needle valve is stuck, I bet. Either "the guys who did the carb rebuild" are not "competent" or they made a mistake. Why are you not calling them?
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  9. #8
    Member smthng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishguy View Post
    Either "the guys who did the carb rebuild" are not "competent" or they made a mistake. Why are you not calling them?
    Not calling them because they did me a favor... as in "free", it's a school. My parts, my installation, their acid dip and rebuild and a few extra days time to show everyone how an old school carb works and what needs replacing on one. Sure, sometimes you get what you pay for... but even if I end up having to redo the entire carb myself I'm still ahead just because I didn't have to deal with the cleaning and acid and my friend has now seen and reassembled the guts of an old school motorcycle carb. If I can find out what's wrong, I'll show him and he'll go ask his teacher what to do to make sure that doesn't happen the next time he's dealing with one.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Since OP states that "fuel does flow when...disconnect line from carb" so this observation seems to eliminate any tank, petcock, fuel line, fuel level, or fuel filter issues. No fuel draining from carb trail line thus seems to indicate problem lies within carb.
    I would remove carb float bowl and then open petcock again and confirm if fuel making it's way past float needle assembly. It is possible to have a clogged filter that resides atop the float valve seat.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Ski Pro 3's Avatar
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    Not sure about your year TW, but my 2013 has a FAKE nipple that I accidently hooked the fuel line to. I could not figure out why fuel was not getting into the carb. I took the carb off several times, even removed the floats. (Hard to do without breaking one of the pin tabs I'll tell you...)
    Finally looked at another TW and realized my mistake. Duh!

    BTW, the correct one is the silver one, not the brass one. The brass one has a hose that goes up under the tank. When I put my tank on, it got folded up and I didn't realize a second hose was even there!
    Check by attaching a hose and blowing into it. If it will pass air, it will pass gas. Ha!

    Last edited by Ski Pro 3; 02-04-2018 at 01:31 PM.
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