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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2018, 12:59 PM
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Low miles 883 won't stay running.

I picked up a 2006 Sportster 883L with only 1034 miles on it. It was bought new, one owner, (woman who developed many health issues) and it sat for years. Could be close to 10 years sitting, not sure.

Well, I cleaned it up, and it literally looks like it rolled right off the show room floor, bone stock, all original. Charged the (newer) battery, threw some fresh gas in it, and it started right up but would only run with the enrichner pulled out. And I couldn't even give it any throttle or it would die. If I put the enrichner in, it would also die.

I figured from sitting the carb's idle jet/circuit could be clogged or gummed up. Took the bottom float bowl off, cleaned the idle cuirciut, main jet, and bowl. Also took off the top and cleaned the slide and everything else I could. Put it back together and it started and ran much better. I could even give it throttle without it stalling. Let it warm up, tried to push in the enrichner, and once again, loading up, and stalling.

Of course I was working backward. I then removed the tank, cleaned it, replaced the vacuum operated pet cock incase a broken diaphragm was the culprit and raw fuel was traveling through the vent giving me this rich fuel situation, and change the intank filter on the pet cock. I then tore apart the carb again, and cleaned everything for a second time.


Same result,...starts up cold, runs on the enrichner, can give it gas, push it in when the engine warms up, seems to want to idle,...then it dies whether I just let it run, try giving it gas, or pull in the clutch and put it in gear,...once I start giving it some throttle, it dies.
It will always start back up with the enrichner pulled out, but it takes some cranking. Also blows black smoke, (rich) right before it stalls.

I can't imagine it's "not" something simple that I'm just missing. Plugs look fine, not fouled or wet.

Carb rubber o ring/gasket /seal to the intake is fine, good, flexible and tight. All the vents are free and clear.

What now?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2018, 07:13 PM
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Your not missing anything..something is still in there. probably hardened ethanol.. That's typical for a carb that has been sitting that long,i have seen a lot of them like that..soaking them just doesn't get to it..You might try boiling it in vinegar water for about an hour , it will make those ventura passage ways swell up , and then immediately blow it out.. This is also the only method I have seen that will get dirt dobbers out..
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Last edited by Shovel52; 06-09-2018 at 07:17 PM..
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:30 PM
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what carb? check your enrichment circuit, may be why it only runs while it is open.
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:52 AM
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On a CV Carb the enriceiner jet is lower in the bowl than the idle circuit fuel jet so if you have a low fuel level in the bowl the enrichener would have access to fuel when the idle circuit would not. I'd be looking closely at the float adjustment and needle and seat situation, since the seat is part of the carb body I found that a pencil eraser cleans them nicely...i also would do a quick compression check to make sure your not chasing a ghost in the carburetor that's actually hiding in the valve train a piston/rings.
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Last edited by Captain America; 06-10-2018 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:59 PM
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Thanks guys. This is messing with me. I've dug into waaaay more complicated issues than this with bikes and hot rods and been able to figure out the problems much quicker. I might just get a rebuild gasket kit and tear this fucker down completely.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:17 AM
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Check it for an intake leak.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:26 PM
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Got it. Took the bowl off again, checked the accelerator pump action, that was fine. So was the main jet. The idle or slow jet was the culprit. I knew the tiny side holes in the tube were clean and could have sworn that I saw light through the main hole in the middle of the tube.

Well, no I couldn't. And I could not get it opened. It's so small you can't use anything rigid to go through it, a strand of wire is all that would fit. So, I bought a new one for $7 and it runs like brand new now. I knew it was something simple that I must have overlooked.
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