How To Clean A Carburetor

How to clean a harley carburatorCleaning a carburetor can greatly improve engine performance and, often times, solve other fuel/air related problems. If a bike sits for any certain period of time without having the fuel drained, the carburetor could suffer damage and thus cause poor fuel economy or even keep the bike from running at all.
If you’re bike is carburated and sat over this past winter, out in the elements, or even in the garage, it may need a good carb cleaning!
This how to will walk you through removing, disassembling, cleaning, reassembling, and reinstalling a standard Harley carburetor.
How To Clean A Carburetor
Tools you’ll need:
Small flat head screwdrivers (several sizes)
Philips head screwdriver
Pick Tool
Needle Nose Pliers
Shop Towels
Carb Cleaner

1. Remove the air filter from the top of the carburetor. If the filter is corroded, pry it loose with the flathead screwdriver. Scrub the area around the filter with the wire brush, and pop the new air filter into place.

2. Unscrew the choke valve using the Phillips-head screwdriver, and remove the old screw. Oil the choke valve in the area around the screw with the oil can. Re-fasten the choke valve to the inside of the carburetor, using the new swivel screw. Tap the choke valve a few times to make sure that it rotates freely.

3. Open the fuel delivery compartment, and remove the metering rod, using the adjustable wrench. Discard the old bolt that was used to attach the metering rod to the mechanical linkage.

4. Clean the metering rod thoroughly, using the dry cloth to remove oil and other residue.

5. Oil the mechanical linkage that attaches to the top of the metering rod. Make sure that the mechanical linkage moves freely by tapping it a few times.

6. Re-attach the top of the metering rod to the mechanical linkage, using the new 6-inch steel bolt and the adjustable wrench.

7. Unscrew the float valve using the adjustable wrench, and check the attachment area for corrosion. You may be able to clean the attachment area using the dry cloth, but if there is too much corrosion, the float valve will need to be replaced.

8. Scrub the inside of the fuel nozzle with the wire brush to ensure that the nozzle’s pathway to the air intake area is clear. Also scrub the inside of the float chamber using the wire brush. Re-attach the float valve to the inside of the float chamber using the adjustable wrench.

Remember that organization is a must when removing parts from a bike. Using lidded containers will help ensure that parts don’t go missing because of accidents. There have been so many times I have bumped a container and had it fall from my table or work bench. I learned after the first time, keeping parts in a lidded container will keep those parts from spreading out all over the shop!

To reassemble the parts, follow the steps in reverse order.

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One Response to “How To Clean A Carburetor”

  1. Great article as usual Rob! I would never start a project without reading something from here first!

    August 5, 2011 at 3:11 am Reply

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