Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: out of gas!

  1. #1

    out of gas!

    Dumb question, but since I've never run out of gas before here it goes..... Is it possible that when you run out of gas it'll take more than 20 kicks to get the fuel flowing again after you switch to full tank? Maybe I drained the bowl so far it required more kicks and time to prime everything back up?

    Yesterday I pushed the range of my main tank.... pushed too far and it ran dry at a stop light. Reserve tank was full so I switched over but it wouldn't start. Pushed over to the side, kicked at least 20 times and it would not fire...even though I used all my hot start tricks... nothing would work. I needed to pick my wife up in two hours, so rather than mess around looking for spark/fuel/air on the side of the road, I was close enough to home that I hitched a ride and picked up the IRU (Indian Rescue Unit) and brought it home.... met my wife on time at the bus depot, too!

    Noon time today I did my normal start procedure of two primes and hot kick and it started and ran like nothing happened. What the heck?
    1946 Chief - take apart and put back together
    101 Scout - building stage

  2. Re: out of gas!

    I had the same thing happen with my '48 Chief, ran the main tank dry, coasted to the side of the road and had to tap the reserve tank. I'm sorry I can not shed any light on why yours was so hard to restart, I was able to switch to the reserve tank and off I went.

    Do you usually run both tanks? Or only the main tank? Perhaps there was build-up or fouled old gas in the line from the reserve tank?

  3. #3

    Re: out of gas!

    My reserve tank was fresh gas in the last week so I'm ruling that out. But judging from your experience I shouldn't have had so much trouble! I think I'd better pull the plugs to see what's going with them, thanks for jumping in!

    I'm of the habit to run only the main tank and then switch to reserve when the main goes dry. Usually by the miles I know when it's getting low, so when it starts to run out I reach down and open the reserve petcock and then shut off the main... then I know I've got 40 miles left to find gas. While rolling down the road the engine picks up the reserve tank fuel pretty quickly and I hardly lose speed. But (and I tend to over think these things) when it runs dry at speed there's all that pumping going on with the moving pistons so I'm guessing it moves fuel much more efficiently than gravity does.
    1946 Chief - take apart and put back together
    101 Scout - building stage

  4. Re: out of gas!

    Sounds correct, I'd double check for any loose wires and plugs too. The '48 I had died one day leaving me sit because the battery-in-a-battery wires rotted and fell apart. Lucky for me I was next to a farmer who just happened to be selling some farm equipment to a guy who had a flatbed and he hauled me and the Chief home that day. I still do not own a cell ph and my wife was in MA visiting her family so if not for the kindness of strangers I would have been SOL.

  5. #5

    Re: out of gas!

    Harry,Take off the reserve line & check the flow to carb.Takes only a second or 2 to get fuel to flow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    35 mi east of Pittsburgh

    Re: out of gas!

    Being at a stop light probably compounded the problem due to increasing stress and embarrassment level which clouds clear thinking! Definitely moving down the road greatly increases chances of it coming back to life but if it dies when you are stopped, yea, I learned you have a small window to do the right thing without kicking like a panhead owner

    I force myself to relax a bit after turning the fuel on. At least 30-45 seconds. Then do 1 prime kick choked with key off (yes even if its hot) then key on, throttle at least half open and go. You'll probably never let that happen again but if you do try it. I am learning more times than not in general its better to prime if in doubt but that's just experience with my 48 and helping others start theirs. With the engine ran totally dry the risk of flooding is minimal.
    Last edited by Skirted; 10-23-2017 at 03:26 PM.
    Jason Z - S.W. PA
    48 Chief

  7. Re: out of gas!

    Howdy sir,

    As far as 20 kicks, should never be necessary even in an event like this which can momentarily throw one off their game if running out of gas in traffic. If you run standard J6's this plug is recessed a half inch or so in the head, if it is momentarily wetted with gas only some real port velocity will clear it. Most everyone's hot start routine involves predominantly activating the idle circuit therefore little throttle is fed in preventing any appreciable volume of intake air from reaching the plug. On road runs where I've witnessed someone in a similar debockle I'll go over give it a couple/several of very swift kicks with the throttle wide open and then revert back to standard operating procedure. Your high speed circuit in these carbs is not effectively activated at kick speed rpm thus lowering your AFR momentarily where you can "blow dry" a hot lightly fouled plug(s) with reduced fuel in the intake charge mix.

    I'm a strong proponent of running extended tip plugs (NGK BPE6-7) in these motors when they are in good health (oil control). They are more efficient, more predictable to start and run cleaner as one can lean them out a bit. Works best with electronic ignition.
    Last edited by peterg440; 10-23-2017 at 03:22 PM.

  8. #8

    Re: out of gas!

    Hot engine with fuel being dumped into the tank? Sounds like vapor lock to me. I went though this with one of my pans for years until I figured out that this crap really happens. Bob L

  9. #9

    Re: out of gas!

    Well thanks for all the help, but it still has me befuddled! So as I stated it started cold no problem at noon, and I decided to go to the grocery, 50 mi RT by my chosen route. Started again cold no problem, 8 miles to the gas pumps, shut off to fuel, filled up, started again as kick @ 1/3 throttle no choke. 30 miles to the grocery, bought my burger and lettuce (barbecuing tonight) and after 10 minutes of start....which due to the warm engine was 1/3 throttle, no choke as always. Many, many kicks with no luck....lots of clearing kicks with petcock off, full throttle, ignition off. But no go....then a guy stops and is asking all about the bike, blah, blah blah.....he couldn't believe it wasn't worth $40k (I'd have sold it to him right then if he'd offered it because I was mad at it). So anyway, ten or 15 minutes go by while I'm paying this chat-tax with the guy and I try it again, nothing. So I'm thinking about trying something different.....and I kick it through with no throttle, no choke, petcock off, and it starts to an idle! And keeps running, so I suit up again and go runs great as it did before the grocery stop.

    So...I dunno! No fuel coming out of the air cleaner or carburetor....and I'm beginning to think Jason might be right, but I've had no problems like this all summer and the 6000 miles of the summer...and nobody was watching, this bike always starts for me, except on October 22 and 23. I had actually thought about Duffy's idea, but when it first happened yesterday I had an idea that the cap wasn't venting so I opened it, plus it did start this noon drawing off that tank. Vapor lock.....hmmm maybe....but it started at idle when it wouldn't start with I'm thinking it was getting too much fuel. But like I said....I have a tendency to over think things! Plugs were a good color when I checked them.
    Last edited by Pisten-Bully; 10-23-2017 at 09:18 PM.
    1946 Chief - take apart and put back together
    101 Scout - building stage

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Sydney Australia

    Re: out of gas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Luland View Post
    Hot engine with fuel being dumped into the tank? Sounds like vapor lock to me. I went though this with one of my pans for years until I figured out that this crap really happens. Bob L
    Yep, this.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts