1987 Sportster 1100 hard time starting

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by samfahy, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. samfahy

    samfahy New Member

    2
    0
    0
    Have new zenith carburetor and new gas tank put on this year! I keep bike in the garage, will not start, i will push it out side in the sun for about 30min and it will start right up! I have replaced the spark coil, plugs, plug wires and VEO switch! Still same problem. Does anyone have any ideas on my next step!

    Also has anyone used sea foam additive to your gas? Was a suggestion i got!
     
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,276
    133
    156
    I do not know the zenith carb fitted to hd bikes but if it has an accelerator pump try snapping throttle open 3 or 4 times prior to a cold start this will cause the accelerator pump to squirt some fuel down the throat of the carb and give a rich mixture for that initial start
    This procedure works well with the cv carb and the mikuni carb and should work for any carb with accelerator pump

    Brian
     
  3. samfahy

    samfahy New Member

    2
    0
    0
    Thanks for suggestion will give it a shot in the morning. when I talked to service tech at HD dealership he told me the older Harleys had Zenith carburetors.
     
  4. 03HD883R

    03HD883R Active Member

    167
    0
    0
    I'm leading towards the carb not being tuned correctly, especially for the idle circuit or else there is something messed up with the choke.

    Not familiar with Zenith brand carbs.
     
  5. jd4hd1

    jd4hd1 New Member

    2
    0
    0
    All Harleys came out with the cv carb or zenith as its known as well from the early 80's to the late 90's unless it was fuel injected. Now the cv carb was a decent carb for stock running but any cam mods or sometimes even air breather mods would cause major issues. The only buildable item that had any real difference for this carb was adding a yost power tube, which was a kit you installed yourself replacing the internal workings of the carb and drilling of some vents. The best thing is to put it on a shelf for back up or a conversation piece and get a s&s shorty because the cv carb isn't adjustable like other brands to where you can increase/decrease accelerator pump volume or easily adjust for lean/rich conditions like if you travel across our great country and hit extreme elevations.
     
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,276
    133
    156
    The zenith bendix carb was used in sportsters up to 1987 and from 1988 the onwards the keihin cv carb was used although on some early models fitted to the sportster there was no accelerator pump and a more steeply tapered needle was fitted to allow more fuel to flow during acceleration

    Brian
     
  7. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    4,643
    83
    123
    The Keihn CV is very tuneable, reliable and able to support up to 80+ hp.
    Keihn and Zenith are totally different carbs. Early Keihn's were not CV. CV's have a square cap with a round bump on the very top. The CV design is partially for altitude compensation.