September 23, 2011

Dirt In My Dirt Traps Antique Motorcycle Gas Filter 1915 Harley

I should have thought about it. I should have checked them after the Motorcycle Cannonball. But I didn’t.

After building and riding Selma, my 1915 Harley-Davidson twin most of the way across America last year on the Motorcycle Cannonball I pretty much trashed my engine. It sat for well over 6 months before we rebuilt and reinstalled it down at Wheels Through Time museum a couple of months ago.

Since then I have ridden it only two or three times. The first time was around Maggie Valley before we left Wheels Through Time. The next time was in the Mountainfest Vintage Grand Prix race in Morgantown, WV (where it gave the impression it ran out of gas with full tanks).

1915 Harley At Speed (relatively) At Mountainfest Grand Prix Races

And then last week on the Tour d’Autism as a charity fund raiser in the Fairfield County Concours. It continued to act like it was running out of gas on this ride too. 

1915 Harley At Rest After Suffering Fuel Issues

 On the Tour I could ride for 10 or 15 minutes then the engine was strain like it was running out of gas. I’d stop and wait a few minutes and she would respond to some kicks and restart. This repeated a half-dozen times in the first 50 or 60 miles. I finally turned around and headed back to the rendezvous spot almost two hours early. I was pretty sure it was a fuel delivery issue but did not want to start taking things apart on the roadside in case it was worse than I had thought.

When I got home I carefully removed the bottom of the dirt traps, which were filthy with lots of collected junk slowing the flow of gas from the tanks to the fuel lines.  

New Dirt Traps For Old Harley Motorcycle – 1915 Style (Competition Distributing photo)

As you can see from the photo above, the T shaped (sort of) part screws into the bottom of the gas tank (one on each tank) and the fuel line threads into the piece sticking out. On the bottom screws in the threaded cap in the middle of this photo with the wire filter above it.  The idea is the gas flows out of the gas tanks and into the trap. Gravity will carry any debris or junk to the bottom of the trap and the clean gas will flow to the lines.

After a while the junk starts to accumulate in the trap on the bottom and over the filter element slowing the flow of gas. It takes seconds to disassemble, clean and reassemble each trap. When I pulled mine apart I found a lot of junk in there. Probably should have done this long ago. Now I am hoping the next time Selma feels like she if running out of gas – she really is.



Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog, Classic Motorcycle Maintenance by Buzz Kanter

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