stalling problems on softail

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by kay9, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. kay9

    kay9 New Member

    I have a 1991 softail with a s&s E carb. Up until two days ago never had a problem but now when I take the choke off it runs for about five minutes then dies! I can crank it till the battery dies but it acts like its not getting any fuel. After about half an hour it will start with the choke on only!
    Where should I start?
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    I would start in the tank and check the outlet screen, from there move to the carb itself and check the fuel lines.
  3. Crusher

    Crusher New Member

    I have a 1987 Softail and had a similar problem, but worse. That is some good advise to check the tank screen, I bet you will find your problem there. I found my problem in the tank with a clogged screen, stuff in tank so I flushed it with some clean fuel. I also flushed the fuel line cause I found trash in the carb, so then I rebuilt the carb (on your S&S you can take the float bowel off with out removing the carb to check for trash that may have gotten past the screen in the tank). I'm big on overkill though,you may only have to work on the tank.

    Ride safe
  4. trapper

    trapper New Member

    I have a simular problem on a 1991 FXSTS with S&S carb and it sometimes stalles at longer red lights. Engine stumbs & quites. Cant start for about 45 seconds then starts up OK. I have checked fuel strainer, replaced fuel line & cover, routed fuel line between cylinders as high as possible to minimize heat, and cleaned carb filter. Runs fine on open road.
  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator


    I don't know anything about the S&S carbs, so I am speaking out of ignorance. If I say something that does not apply because of the design of the S&S, please excuse me.

    I would suggest taking the carb off the bike and removing the float bowl. If there is a bunch of crap in it, it may point to your problem. Even if not, get some carb spray and wash out the jets and any orifice you can see. If it has an idle-air mixture screw, take that out and wash out that port with the carb spray. While you have the carb out, open the fuel valve out of the gas tank and catch about a pint or so in a clear glass jar. How does it look?

    Reassemble the carb and put it back on the bike. Try it.

    If it is still crappy, you will have to start looking at spark. Pull the plugs and ground them then crank the bike over few times to see if you have spark. Helps to do this when it is a bit dark out.

    Let us know what you find.