Slow Fuel Crossover 97 Fatboy

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by andyfnp, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. andyfnp

    andyfnp Member

    Bought this bike out of storage in May 2011, runs great, looks great. Storage related issues included a new stator and MC rebuild.

    First few gas fill-ups I noticed I was having to go to Reserve Tank pretty quickly, with gas mileage being about the same as my 05 Road King. Just wasn't getting the distance out of what I thought was a 4 gallon tank, but wasn't getting but about 2.5 gallons in at fill-up. I do not have the owner's manual, BTW.

    I always fill up slowly and carefully, this is not an early pump shut off issue. I can slowly fill to the restrictor, then wait. The gas level in the right tank will be full, but will SLOWLY transfer over to the left tank. What this results in is bringing fuel up to the restrictor slowly, waiting waiting waiting for transfer to the left tank to take place, then filling again to the restrictor. Takes several cycles to get approximately 4 gallons in when the tank is down to reserve.

    Read some previous posts and self help, seems some models have a clockwise left gas tank cap; this doesn't seem to the case on this 97 model. Countclockwise turns get click-click-click, clockwise turns (as hard as I dare) do not loosen the cap.

    Is the slow transfer from right to left "just one of those things" or do I have a problem?
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Drain the tank and check and clean out the crossover I bet it is full of varnish and crud from bad fuel:s
  3. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I totally agree with Jack on this one. I suggest replacing the crossover hose if your bike has one, and chase the nipples with a pipe cleaner or some braided wire to clear them. Make sure you completely clean out the tanks of all particulate material.

    Good idea to replace all hoses on the fuel system anyway after letting the bike sit for any length of time with fuel in the gas system.

  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I always fill the left tank first then the right one or it takes forever for the fuel to migrate to the left tank as the crossover is a fairly narrow channel it is as fast a flow as i get out of the petcock and that can take 30 mins to empty the tanks fully
    but the left tank should open but is reverse threaded perhaps a previous owner has fiddled with the left tank cap ?

  5. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

    I would replace the fuel pressure regulator and filter as well. Old fuel (varnish) will mess with both.

    Rich P
  6. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    97 is a carb model no fuel pump. But should have a fuel filter that needs to be replaced.
  7. andyfnp

    andyfnp Member

    Fin, I put some fairly serious torque on the left tank cap clockwise with not a budge. Wish I had a manual to refer to, Clymer manual offers no info. Is it a certainty that this 97 model opens on the left?

    As for the rest of the replies, given the storage-related issues I've already encountered, replacing hoses and fuel filters is good advice.
  8. JBC2565

    JBC2565 Junior Member

    I have a 98 softail and HD manual is for 97-98 softail. Both my gas caps come off if this is your question. Both twist towards speedo to come off (clockwise on left counter-clockwise on right) Hope that helps.
  9. JBC2565

    JBC2565 Junior Member

    Sorry Mods. Didn't get back in 5 minutes. Trying to help though.

    I should add the cap will spin a bit until it "hits" the unscrew threads (maybe a 1/3 to 1/2 a rotation) before it starts to come off. Think you might have some junk built up on left threads. Cover with a towel and use a monkey wrench to get it off. It should come off. You shouldn't have to rely on crossover to fill left tank. I would take off left gas cap before you change line and filter. More than likely the gunk that is holding cap on will fall into tank. Drain it, clean it, change it, RIDE IT!!
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  10. andyfnp

    andyfnp Member

    Thanks for RAPID response, guys. I was settlin' in for Monday morning but I'm headed for the garage to put more muscle on the left cap. I'll post regarding outcomes.