Bigger Tank on the Sportster
Yesterday wasn't a total loss. The night before I went on the www.XLforum.net and asked about the fuel line routing because the new tank had the petcock on the left as opposed to the right side like the peanut. There were several replies from other owners who said the lines on theirs went between the cylinders to the other side. So off again came the stock tank. Putting the fat bobs on to mock up everything to see what else was needed for the installation, I stood back and then did a walk around. The longer bolt that was needed for the front mount turned out to be to short. The coil mount needed for relocation to fit the larger tank came with the bike. This part of the installation went easy with only one wire having to be rerouted to reach the new location. A zip tie (or cable tie) was procured from the shop to tidy up the wires on the back bone. Easy enough job there. Now it was off to find a longer bolt - seems no matter how many fasteners I have, the right one can never be found - so off to the local auto parts store. They didn't have what I needed so it was over to Lowes. The style being sought wasn't long enough but there was another that would work. Got a couple of nylon shims to go along with it for the gap at the front tank mounts. After getting the tank back on - loosely bolted up - some new 1/4 inch rubber fuel line was measured up for fitment. Not wanting to have the line running so close to the cylinders it was routed just under the back bone and over the ignition switch. This put the line in a parallel plane with no kinks or sharp bends and away from the cylinders. Next was removing the petcock from the old tank and mounting it on the new one. It wasn't known if the threads were the same so a call to a friend at his motorcycle shop assured that the thing would work. Guess what, it was the same thread so thanks John. (Remember I've not done wrenching like this for a while ) Took this opportunity to clean the filter screen while it was out. The newer tank looks like brand spanking new inside with no rust. This thing must not of had more than a tank full or two of gas in it if any at all before.
Now during all of this I kept saying to myself not to forget to hook up the cross over line. With the petcock mounted the tank was adjusted front and back to make sure it was not riding on the cylinder head of fins. There is very little clearance but it touches nothing. The petcock had to be angled just slightly out to the left to clear the ignition bracket but it fits nicely under the tank out of the way. The fuel line to the carb comes straight down and does not interfere with the choke lever. This tank is just a little longer than the peanut so the seat rides up on it ever so slightly, this will mean a new seat in the future. I like the old seat but the look of the solo set up with pillion pad is more the look that's wanted.
Final tightening of all the fasteners and time to stand back and marvel at the look. That's what I was looking for. It was here a short break was in order before continuing on. After the break I poured a spot of fuel in to check for fuel line leakage. Then all of a sudden fuel starts pouring out onto the engine at the front. Dooh! The cross over line, the cross over line was never hooked up and fuel was spilling out. Trying to stop the leakage and get the line hooked up meant gas running down my arm under my jacket and soaking the sleeve and my shirt sleeve. What a Gomer. The line was attached and the clamp tightened up then the fuel was cleaned up. Dooh!
After everything was dry enough more fuel was poured in again and no leaks. All righty then!
Now it was time to give the old girl a crank. This engine has such high compression and being cold outside really taxed the system. She wouldn't crank over fast enough to start. Need to check the starter button to as the connection doesn't seem like it's good or something. But the tank sure does look great.