Resurection attempt after 7 years (the bike, not me)

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by cityhawg, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. cityhawg

    cityhawg Member

    Hi all,

    I'm in a bit of a bind here. I have a 2003 FLSTFI with only 4,000mi that was put in the garage 7 years ago. I'm trying to bring her back on the road and here is the story as simple as I could put it.

    When stored:
    - Put in fuel stabilizer then topped the tank off after running for about 5min
    - Covered 1/2 way to help prevent the build up of moisture
    - Kept in garage since then

    - Replaced battery
    - Replaced spark plugs
    - Flushed & replaced fuel in tank
    - Checked all fuses
    - No codes present (used the ignition/odometer method)
    - Checked all wiring that I could get my hands on (seem good)

    Problem - She cranks but won't start. There is spark to the plugs. Seems like there is no fuel going to the injectors. I removed the line from tank (injector side), cranked & nothing, no fuel. I do hear the fuel pump priming & the solenoid kicking in as it should, fuel pump fuse does light up as it should during crank.
    However, she will run nicely if I squirt a little gas directly into the cyclinders & reinstall the plugs but only until that fuel runs out (about 3 seconds).

    My guess is it's one or a combo of the below:
    - Fuel line/s & pump gummed up
    - Internal fuel filter needs replacement
    - Internal fuel line is cracked hemmoraging

    I figured it should be a good (safer), idea to replace the internal filter as well as some of the internal lines, including the ball valve that serves as a quick disocnnect on the tank. Those parts should be here in 2 days.

    Should I look at anything else? what I missed, etc. I would be really puzzled if I don't find anything wrong with the mentioned & still at squrare 1.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Welcome to the forum. Lots of help here. A little perseverance and this thing will be running again soom.

    The petcock for the fuel is vacuum operated. It needs vacuum to make the fuel flow. If the the diaphragm is bad in the petcock, it wont flow fuel. You unplug the vacuum line and use you mouth to pull a vacuum on it to see if fuel will flow. Let us know how it works out and what you find.

  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Worse case scenario you may replace the injectors after you verify fuel pressure, wiggle the wires at the injectors, in fact un plug and reconnect them a couple of times to clean the connectors, it sure will not hurt after sitting like it has
  4. JoeHDVoyager

    JoeHDVoyager Member

    I also have a bike that I am attempting to resurrect after 7 years. It's a '95 FLHTCUI, the first fuelie (1154 of 2000). I left the bike with a friend who was supposed to run it once every week or so. Bottom Line - that lasted about a month. It has sat in a garage since then with a full tank of stabilized gas. Pulled the tank today. Mercy, what a mess! I'm trying to take out the fuel filter and fuel pump. My problem - the nut that holds the fuel filter in place just spins on the bolt. Can't see how to get to the head of the bolt. Any suggestions? Thanks - Joe
  5. 98fat

    98fat Active Member

    Replace your tires, they are way too old to trust your life to, no matter what they look like. I would also replace wheel bearing while at it. Even if they are sealed.
  6. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member

    I would expect the fuel delivery system, from the tank to the injectors to be thoroughly varnished...not good, and not cheap to rectify (don't ask me how I know).

    The varnish could likely come off of where it is deposited (like everywhere), in flakes which do not re-dissolve. Flakes have a fun way of intermittently clogging and clearing when powered off, then re-clogging again after random periods. Kind of like the old dirty trick used to be played on people you don't like: putting lima beams in their tanks. The skins slough off and clog, then release when shut down, so she will start and run fine after a period of time and mess up after you go down the road a piece. Varnish flakes do similar things in your fuel filter and lines.

    The pump does not like to push against a clogged filter, since the pressure regulator (pump relief) is "after" the filter, so you can damage the pump motor, making it not like to run long before it begins messing up after a bit of running, due to toasted windings, etc., producing similar intermittent fuel pressure problems.

    Varnish in the pressure regulator can cause it to stick at some degree of bypass, causing low fuel rail pressure.

    Varnish in the check valve can cause it to stick. Varnish in the injectors can cause them to clog and stick.

    Varnish lining the flexible fuel lines in the tank will come off in those nasty flakes, as the lines flex and vibrate.

    Don't forget that varnish deposits on the inside of the tank, and comes off in flakes and gum. You will need to find a way to get that off without damaging the tank lining.

    You can fix one thing and have something upstream take it back out.

    MAP sensors do not like to sit for long periods with the light film of oil from the mist coming from the back side of the pistons, out the top of teh jugs and into teh throttle body, then allowed to cure in the IAC and MAP cavities to a thick gum.

    TPS sensors do not like to sit in one position for long periods without actuating them, to keep a clean wiper contact path.

    Just some ideas from someone working with an RKC that sat for the better part of 4 years. I thought, "Cool, a 2003 with only 10K miles on it." Right. It will be cool, once I'm done with it.

    Good luck.

    Rich P
  7. JBC2565

    JBC2565 Junior Member

    Welcome to the forum Joe. You are going to get much more advice if you start your own thread, instead of posting on someone else question.

    My bad Joe. Saw you started another thread, but still no answer.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  8. JoeHDVoyager

    JoeHDVoyager Member

    Sorry for attempting to "capture" this post. But, the originating poster has the same problem that I have. Believe me, I share his pain. My tank and the interior metal fuel lines are absolutely trashed. This is going to take some time. RibEye's post offers a pretty darn good idea of what I need to do to get the bike running again. Thanks - Joe
  9. judgeman6970

    judgeman6970 Member

    cityhawg, just went thru something similar, and after I re-did everything "inside" the tank, I still didnt have any flow to the injectors.. Turned out I needed a new "gas supply" hose(from tank to injectors), and its a newly designed stainless braided hose...did the trick for me:D...Also, one of the previous posts states that the petcock is "vacuum-operated", which is not true for efi's, only carb-bikes...again, good luck!!
  10. martin14

    martin14 Active Member