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Lean Running?

Softail Models

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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 12:53 AM     #1
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Lean Running?

Hi all. This is my first post and my first HD after a lifetime of riding. I have always wanted a Springer and that's what I got! I bought a 2003 Heritage Springer that was completely stock except for some fishtail slip-ons. I had done some research about mapping the FI system and decided to put the stock pipes back on it because the original owner said he never had it remapped.

I have read several threads about a lean mixture causing surging. That is exactly what my Springer is doing when I am not accelerating or cruising at 60 plus MPH. It's real subtle and at first I thought it might be the Springer front end. I noticed that it's not as bad when the bike is cold, but as it warms up, it gets worse. Nothing ridiculous, but my wife even noticed from the back seat. Does this sound like its running extra lean? I read about pinging and think I might hear that too. I first thought someone in a VW beetle was following me around and then figured out it was ME. Is that the pinging sound from lean mixture?

I was thinking, after reading all these great posts, that I should invest in a PCIII to help with the problem. I want to upgrade the exhaust to true duals and a big sucker air cleaner at some point, so the PCIII would let me remap as I go. Any and all suggestions or tips are welcome!

Last edited by Springer Fan; Aug 6th, 2008 at 01:00 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 02:02 AM     #2
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Re: Lean Running?

You mentioned that this is your first HD after a lifetime of riding. This suggests that you might have some experience riding carburated bikes. Although the PCIII is a very good product, you might look into the TFI as an option that is more like adjusting a carburator. You can research them at this site:

Motorcycle Fuel Injection Kits and Electronic Fuel Injection Systems - EFI

You can find information on the Power Commander at the site below for comparative purposes:

Welcome to Power Commander EX and Power Commander III USB


TQ
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 02:07 AM     #3
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Re: Lean Running?

In stock form they all run lean. If all you had on were the pipes, you really don't need to do anything to the fueling. If you add pipes with the AC, likely a DL will be needed. Some seem to think wiith these newer EFI's there is enough room in the EFI to relearn what mods were done. Have you considered Nightrider.com XIDE's? Best bang for the buck to richen up the fuel, that is till you go PCIII or ThunderMax.

Guess I should have asked if your's is EFI or Carbed
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 02:40 AM     #4
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Re: Lean Running?

This is a 2003 with Fuel Injection. I have owned several bikes with carbs, but never had to fuss with them too much.

I forgot to mention that the bike has a lot of popping and even some backfire when decelerating. I can't imagine that it performed like this originally, but heck, maybe so.

I really appreciate the links and will do some more research. It looks like the nightrider solution only works on newer bikes. Thanks again.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 07:41 AM     #5
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Re: Lean Running?

Great info guys, here's the info from Doc1 on the new TTS tuner.

The New TTS V-Tuner - Harley Davidson Community

Personally I like the TFI, is works and is simple to use, can be installed and setup by the owner with minimal knowledge of the bike and minimum tools.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 08:11 AM     #6
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Re: Lean Running?

Quote: Originally Posted by Springer Fan View Post
This is a 2003 with Fuel Injection. I have owned several bikes with carbs, but never had to fuss with them too much.

I forgot to mention that the bike has a lot of popping and even some backfire when decelerating. I can't imagine that it performed like this originally, but heck, maybe so.

I really appreciate the links and will do some more research. It looks like the nightrider solution only works on newer bikes. Thanks again.
I have an '03 UC. The symptoms you describe are not "normal" (whatever that may be). You will find other posts that talk about similar problems along with suggestions by some of the moderators to check on things that may be causing the symptoms. The "popping and backfiring" when decelerating may be an indication of a leak on the intake side that is sucking air in making the mixture VERY lean.

You may want to check is for leaking on the intake side of your fuel/injection system (intake manifold). You might be able to detect some indication of a leak using a spray carburator cleaner or even something like WD40 spraying that around your intake manifold while the engine is running to see if the engine idle is affected by the spray.

BE VERY CAREFUL DOING THIS. These sprays are flamable, and your cylinder heads are very hot.

If you do detect an impact on the idle using these sprays, you will need to replace the various seals, orings, gaskets, etc. on the fuel induction module and related system. This is not overly complex, but you WILL need a factory service manual AND the appropriate tools to do this. Buy the TORX bits or drivers specified. Do NOT try to "make due" with an allen wrench that "kinda fits".

Once you are in this far, installing a TFI module is a piece of cake. This module will allow you to adjust the operation of the fuel injection system like you may have on a carburated bike or car/truck. Simple stuff.

Good luck.

TQ
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 09:56 AM     #7
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Re: Lean Running?

Thanks for the great information and all the help. It sounds like the right thing for me to do is to try the TFI since I am all stock today and won't be upgrading anything right away. Then, when I'm ready to upgrade, I should do it all at once, have the bike remapped on a dyno by a professional, and enjoy the ride.

If I do upgrade to the PCIII, would I stop using the TFI? I have a habit of buying something too quickly and then needing to replace it with the one I should have bought in the first place. I don't want to do that if I can help it.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 11:17 AM     #8
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Re: Lean Running?

Quote: Originally Posted by Springer Fan View Post
Thanks for the great information and all the help. It sounds like the right thing for me to do is to try the TFI since I am all stock today and won't be upgrading anything right away. Then, when I'm ready to upgrade, I should do it all at once, have the bike remapped on a dyno by a professional, and enjoy the ride.

If I do upgrade to the PCIII, would I stop using the TFI? I have a habit of buying something too quickly and then needing to replace it with the one I should have bought in the first place. I don't want to do that if I can help it.
As Glider, Smitty and others point out, the TFI is a fairly "inexpensive" alternative that the rider can usually do themselves. Glider told me that it does not replace the ECU, but rather piggy backs and modifies the output from the ECU to control the fuel injection system differently. The user follows some simple instructions (see the site I posted above) and sets the bike up to run the way they want. Once you have done this, you may not feel the need to "up-grade" further. In the mean time, the bike will be operating the way you want it to at least as far as fuel injection is concerned.

First things first, however. You need to make sure that your intake system in not sucking air. Once that has been addressed, tweaking up how the bike accelerates and its fuel economy are Lagniappe.

TQ
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 12:53 PM     #9
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Re: Lean Running?

Here's some Q&A on the TFI otherwise called the "fuel nanny"

Fuel Nanny FAQ


This will show you what is involved in the TFI and installation.

http://www.dobeckperformance.com/TFI...I%201240ST.pdf
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 07:52 PM     #10
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Re: Lean Running?

Good news...I used the technique discribed by TQ with WD40 and there was no change in the idle behavior.
So, I have ordered the TFI and it will be here on Friday. I will let you know what happens once I plug it in and dial it in. You guys have been great!
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