I Still Have a Carburetor!
Every carbureted Harley Davidson has a Harley fuel valve or aftermarket one. This valve allows the rider to control the on/off delivery of fuel to the carburetor. The fuel valve also has a reserve position that helps the rider to monitor fuel quantity, and can be used as a fail safe for getting to the nearest filling station.
Some, higher quality, fuel valves can be rebuilt, but most will end up being replaced. Replacing a fuel valve may appear easy; but it is also easy to install the valve incorrectly. In this video Bob gives us a few pointers on how to install a fuel valve correctly.
Begin by draining as much fuel from the tank as possible. It is not necessary to remove the fuel tank to replace your Harley fuel valve. In fact, some tasks are easier with the tank on the motorcycle.
When you can not drain anymore gas through the valve, jack the rear end of the motorcycle. This will allow most of the residual fuel to flow to the forward most end of the tank. Usually, away from the fuel valve. Still, always be prepared to catch residual fuel when removing the valve.
Most Harley fuel valve nuts are aprox 1″. It is less cumbersome to use a short crescent wrench, rather than a 1″ combination wrench. Once the valve is removed, clean the fuel tank bung thoroughly and prep the threads of the new valve and the bung with teflon paste.
Watch Your Bung
It is very important to split the difference of the threads on the valve and the tank bung. That is; once the valve is finally tightened, there should be an equal amount of threads exposed on both sides of the nut. It is also important that the valves output is facing in the correct direction.
Part of Every Ride
Check your fuel valve and fuel lines as a pre-ride inspection; or at least at every oil change/service. If your valve begins to leak, becomes hard to turn, or restricts fuel flow; it may be time to service, or repair this area of your motorcycle.