Harley Carburetor

QuestionI have a 1999 Dyna Wideglide with only 36,000 miles on it. I only ride it a couple times a year because I ride my Ultra Classic most of the time. I’ve never had a problem with it until now it wont stay running unless I hold the choke out on the Harley carburetor. If I rev the engine, it runs but runs bad like it has a miss and pops and flames shoot out the pipes. If I let off the gas, it dies. It runs smooth when I’m holding the choke out. What do you think is causing my problem?

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Answer You need to clean/rebuild your Harley carburetor and replace intake seals. Your intermediate jet (slow jet) is blocked. Also, make sure you are using fresh fuel and spark plugs.

Related Videos:
Harley Carburetor Troubleshooting

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28 Responses to “Harley Carburetor”
  1. Joe

    One of my Harleys is a 1992 Ultra Classic. I want to pull the batwing. I,m told the 4 bolts securing the outer are in the headlight bowl. Is that correct? What else is holding the outer?…besides the passing/turn bolts. This is my first time writing.

  2. Serge Renard
    Serge Renard

    I have a 1995 HSTC I had the carburator rebuilt, but it still gives me 2 kinds of problems
    during colder weather it does run smoothly untill the engine is really warm
    and it will back fire occasionnally through the carb and will have misses so as I progress in 1st gear there misses and it will feels like stop, and that woosh sound will come out of the carb .
    Thanks for the help, I know, maybe time to invest in an S&S

    • SharpShooter

      I discovered that full choke warmup seems to load up the jugs and make it miss and backfire if you jump right on and take off . Warm it up at about 3/4 choke or less, then let it idle on it’s own (no choke) for a few minutes before riding. This should clean up the loaded jugs and it should run much smoother.

      • Andrew

        My engine builder swears by the fast idle method. Pull the choke all the way out. Start the bike. While pushing the choke in, twist the throttle slightly to maintain 1500-2000 rpm. When the choke is all the way in, set the thumb screw on the throttle and let the engine warm up on fast idle while getting your helmet on etc. I have used this method for many years without ever having an issue with any sort of carbon build up. Give that a try.

  3. Mr. Mike
    Mr. Mike

    I own s 2002 EG Standard completely stock except for the SE slip on mufflers out of the HD catalog. On a good occasion while holding the throttle at a steady speed, the carburetor will “sniff” and miss one time through the carb. At a slower speed or accelerating from a stop while initiating a turn, this miss is enough to kill the engine. This will happen in any gear but 1st, (except the turning scenario) but it’s always at steady speeds when the acceleration ramp just rounds off to cruise speed.
    Thank you

  4. michael

    i have a 95 dyna wide glide i live on the coast i ride it once a week just bought it three weeks ago filled it up once with 92 octane was down to a quater tank started loosing the throtle would catch and take off thann run sluggish now its back firing added new gas and seafoam gas stabalizer still back firing any suggestions

  5. Andrew

    once you get the carb cleaned out. Add fuel stabilizer every time you get fuel to help prevent this from reoccurring. Or another option is to turn off the fuel petcock and run the bike until it stalls before parking it between rides. This will leave no fuel in the carb to go bad and plug the passages.


    I have a 2000 Dyna Wide Glide I have the same problem, my bike I have to pull the choke in order for my bike to run, when I let
    off of the throttle it will die. I would like to get the information on fixing or rebuilding a carburetor for my bike. Can you help me?

  7. todd

    just rebuilt and cleaned carb on 97 sportster 883, starts fine and idles normally but stumbles when I give it any throttle the main needle attached to the diaphragm flutters and the bike stalls

  8. moses

    I have a 1996 1200 sportster did a complete rebuild kit. Left original jets in and made sure all were clear. Reinstalled and started bike. Ran great on idil then died when I gave it gas.

  9. chris

    I got a 94 ultraclassictourglide runs out of fuel pulling long grade hills. Put a new cab/vacuum piston in, no change. Newer plugs, wires air cleaner. Any thoughts?

  10. fenderbender67

    I have a 1998 FLSTS on which I have just rebuilt the carbs and replaced the inlet seals. Bike ran for a couple of miles then died and would not restart. I have also bypassed the vacuum on the petcock valve because of some very violent hesitating (lurching) which seems to have stopped since the bypass. Any suggestions as to what it may be?

  11. Edward D Hernandez
    Edward D Hernandez

    I have 99 FATBOY, I rode it to work just fine then that evening going home on the freeway it backfires a couple times and stalled. Couldn’t get it to start up and haven’t been able since