1986-2008 Harley Davidson Sportster Service Manual & Carburetor Repair

1986-2008 XL & XLH 883/1100/1200 Models

Need to fix your Harley Davidson Sportster Chopper or just have a better understanding of it? Visit the Home page to get the complete factory service manual  for your 1986-2008 Sportster motorcycle and get it delivered to your computer in just seconds!

1986-2003 Harley Davidson Sportster Motorcycle Service Reapir Manual for: XL & XLH models, including XLH883, XL883R, XLH1100, XL1200, XLH1200 (883/1100/1200), Custom, Sportster Deluxe, Hugger, Custom and Sport model years 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.
2005 H-D Sportster XL Service Manual & 2005 H-D Sportster XL Electrical Diagnostics Manual for: 2005 Harley-Davidson XL 1200C Sportster 1200 Custom, 2005 Harley-Davidson XL 1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster, 2005 Harley-Davidson XL 883C Sportster 883 Custom, 2005 Harley-Davidson XL 883 Sportster 883, 2005 Harley-Davidson XL Sportster 883L, 2005 Harley-Davidson XL883R Sportster (XL883, XL883L, 883R, XL883C, XL1200C, XL1200R, XL1200).
2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster Motorcycle Factory Service Manual for: 2006 XL 883 Sportster, 2006 XL883, 2006 XL 883L 883 Low, 2006 XL 883C Sportster 883C Custom ,06  XL 883R Sportster 883R, 06 XL 1200C Sportster 1200 Custom, XL 1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster, 06 XL 1200L Sportster 1200 Low.
2007 H-D Sportster XL Service Manual & 2007 Harley Davidson Electrical Diagnostics Manual for Harley Models: 2007 XL SPORTSTER 883 (XL883), 2007 XL SPORTSTER 883L (883-L), 2007 XL SPORTSTER 883R (883-R), 2007 XL SPORTSTER 1200L (1200-L), 2007 XL SPORTSTER 1200 N (1200N), 2007 XL SPORTSTER 1200 R (1200R), 07 XL SPORTSTER 883C/XL 1200C, 07 XL SPORTSTER 50 motorcycles.
2008 Harley Davidson Sportster Motorcycle Factory Service Manual for: 2008 XL 883 Sportster, 2008 XL 883C Sportster, 2008 XL 883L Sportster, XL 1200L Sportster, XL 1200R Sportster, XL 1200N Sportster, Harley Davidson XL 1200C Sportster, XL 1200C Sportster Custom 105th Anniversary Edition. 08 Harley Custom, 08 Harley Nightster, 08 Roadster, Sportster Low.

Note: The information below should not be used as a reference as this is only a sample of information typicaly found in a Sportster service manual. For complete specifications for your year and model motorcycle download the correct manual for your bike from the DOWNLOAD CENTER . Feel free to preview a sample Harley Davidson Service Manual to get an idea of what it looks like. Stop the guess work on your carburetor and get a manual!



The carburetor is a constant-velocity, gravityfed type with a float-operated inlet valve, a variable venturi, a throttle stop screw (for idle speed adjustment) and a fuel enrichment system (for starting). Idle and transfer ports provide a balanced fuel mixture during the transition period from stop to mid-range. A vacuum piston controls venturi opening.

The carburetor is specifically designed to control exhaust emissions. All jets are fixed. The idle mixture has been preset at the factory. The idle mixture screw is recessed in the carburetor casting. The opening is sealed with a plug because it is intended that the idle mixture be non-adjustable.

This system partially compensates for changes in the mixture that are normally caused by changes in altitude. Because atmospheric pressures drop as altitude increases, the pressure difference in the upper and lower chambers is reduced; this results in less fuel being delivered to the engine, thereby maintaining the correct air/fuel ratio for better engine performance and reduced exhaust emissions. The carburetor is equipped with an accelerator pump. The accelerator pump system uses sudden throttle openings (rapid accelerations) to quickly inject raw fuel into the carburetor venturi; this provides extra fuel for smooth acceleration.

ADJUSTMENT - Float Level

1. Place carburetor on a flat, clean surface on engine manifold side. This is the “base.” Tilt carburetor counterclockwise 15 to 20 degrees from base until float comes to rest.


If carburetor is tilted less than 15 degrees or more than 20 degrees, your measurements will be inaccurate.

2. Use a vernier or dial caliper depth gauge to measure from the carburetor flange face to the perimeter of the float. Be careful not to push on float while measuring.

The measurement must be 0.413-0.453 in. (10.49-11.51 mm). If measurement is not within given dimension, remove float and carefully bend tab in order to reposition float at proper level.

3. Install float, and recheck setting.

4. Install float bowl.

1. Vacuum piston chamber

2. Float chamber

3. Accelerator pump

4. Idle speed adjusting screw

5. Idle control cable

6. Throttle control cable

While observing piston slide movement, be sure to maintain a safe distance from the carburetor and to wear suitable eye protection. An unexpected engine backfire could cause death or serious injury.

With air cleaner cover off and engine running, twist throttle control partially open and closed several times while observing whether or not vacuum piston has upward movement.

2. With engine not running, lift vacuum piston with finger. Feel whether piston lifts fully and smoothly or whether there is a binding condition.

Closing Malfunction

1. With engine not running, lift vacuum piston to full open position, then release. Observe whether piston slides downward smoothly and fully to stop.

2. Observe position of piston slide at its lowest downward point. Lower edge of slide should rest at horizontal groove at lower end of slide track.


Stop the engine when refueling or servicing the fuel system.

Do not smoke or allow open flame or sparks near gasoline. Gasoline is extremely flammable and highly explosive, which could result in death or serious injury

1. Turn the fuel supply valve to OFF.

2. Remove the air cleaner and backplate.

3. Cut clamp and disconnect fuel hose from fuel inlet fitting.

4. Detach enrichener knob assembly from bracket between cylinder heads.

5. Disconnect throttle cables from carburetor.

6. Disconnect fuel overflow/drain hose from fuel overflow fitting.

7. Remove enrichener cable assembly enrichener valve and spring.

10. Pull carburetor free of intake manifold. If removing intake manifold, remove four manifold mounting screws. Remove intake manifold, seal ring, mounting flanges and two intake manifold seals.

11. If removing MAP sensor, remove screw, MAP sensor clip and MAP sensor.

1. Screw

2. Top cover

3. Spring

4. Spring seat

5. Needle jet

6. Vacuum piston

7. Vacuum hose

8. Collar

9. Idle speed adj. screw

10. Spring

11. Screw

12. Throttle cable bracket

13. Screw and lock washer

14. Pump rod

15. Washer

16. Spring

17. Collar

18. O-ring

19. Fuel overflow/drain hose

20. Clip

21. Diaphragm

22. Diaphragm spring

23. Pump housing

24. Screw w/washer (3)

25. O-ring

26. Float chamber

27. Screw (4)

28. Main jet

29. Needle jet holder

30. Needle jet

31. Carburetor body

32. Fuel inlet fitting

33. Clamp

34. Hose

35. Insulator

36. Enrichener valve

37. Spring

38. Starter cap

39. Cable guide

40. Cable sealing cap

41. Collar

42. E-clip

43. Washer

44. Cotter pin (2)

45. Accelerator pump rod

46. Boot

47. Drain screw

48. O-ring

49. Fuel inlet valve w/clip

50. Float

51. Accelerator pump nozzle

52. Overflow pipe

53. Pin

54. Washer

55. Slow jet

56. Washer

57. Lever

DISASSEMBLY - Vacuum Piston Chamber

1. Remove screws and throttle cable bracket.

2. Remove three screws. Remove top cover and spring.

3. Lift out vacuum piston with needle jet and spring seat. Remove loose parts from vacuum piston.

Carburetor Body

1. Remove four screws. Remove float chamber assembly.

2. Remove pin, float and fuel inlet valve assembly.

3. Unscrew main jet and needle jet holder. Needle jet is free to be removed from bottom end of passage.

4. Insert thin-bladed screwdriver into slow jet passage to remove slow jet.

Accelerator Pump

1. Remove three screws with lock washers, accelerator pump housing, spring and diaphragm.

2. Remove O-ring from housing.

1. Seal ring.

2. Rear mounting flange.

3. Intake manifold.

4. Screw.

5. Front mounting flange.

6. Intake manifold seal.

7. MAP sensor.

8. MAP sensor clip.

9. Screw.


1. Hold vacuum piston up to strong light. Examine diaphragm at top of vacuum piston for evidence of pinching, holes or tears. Replace if damaged.

2. Examine vacuum passage through bottom of piston. Clean passage if restricted.

3. Examine spring  for stretching, crimping, distortion or damage. Replace if necessary.

4. Examine slide on sides of piston to be sure surface is smooth and clean. Clean or buff out any rough surfaces.

5. Examine needle jet for evidence of bending or damage. Needle should be straight; surface of taper should be smooth and even.

Carburetor Body Components

1. Check float chamber O-ring for any distortion or damage. Replace if seating surfaces are damaged.

2. Examine fuel inlet valve and inlet valve seat. Clean with carburetor cleaner. Replace valve and/or carburetor body if seating surfaces are damaged.

3. Clean slow jet with carburetor cleaner. Check to be sure all orifices are open.

4. Check enrichener valve. Be sure needle guide is clean, straight and undamaged. Check composition seating surface for wear or damage. Replace if damaged.

5. Check enrichener valve chamber in carburetor body. Clean with carburetor cleaner. Check that all passages are open and free of obstruction.

6. Clean needle jet . Replace if damaged.

7. Clean all internal fuel/air passages and jets. Check that all passages and jets are open and free of obstruction.

8. Check needle jet holder. Clean bleed tube orifices. Replace holder if damaged.

9. Check float for cracks or other leaks. Replace if damaged.

10. Clean main jet with carburetor cleaner and inspect for damage. Replace if damaged.

Accelerator Pump

1. Inspect the accelerator pump diaphragm for holes, cracks or deformation. Replace as necessary.

2. Replace the pump rod if it is bent; replace the boot if it is cracked.

ASSEMBLY - Vacuum Piston Chamber

1. Place needle jet through center hole in vacuum piston. Place spring seat over top of needle jet.

2. Insert vacuum piston into carburetor body. The slides on the piston are off-center and the piston will fit into the slide track grooves one way only. If piston does not fit, rotate 180 degrees.

3. Check to be sure vacuum piston diaphragm is seated evenly into groove at top of carburetor body. Place spring over spring seat, and carefully lower top cover. Keep spring straight while lowering top cover.

4. After top cover is seated, hold top cover while lifting vacuum piston upward. Piston should rise to top smoothly. If piston movement is restricted, spring is cocked; lift up top cover, then lower carefully, keeping spring coils straight.

5. Once top cover is installed correctly, install three screws . Place throttle cable bracket  in position with idle screw resting on top of throttle cam stop. Install body screw and washer  first, then top screw to prevent bending bracket or throttle cam.

Carburetor Body

Slow jets from fixed-venturi carburetors look the same as the slow jet of the CV carburetor. However, the air bleed hole sizes are different on fixed-venturi carburetors, and they must not be installed on CV carburetors.

1. Thread slow jet into slow jet passage in carburetor body  with narrow-bladed screwdriver.

2. Turn carburetor upside down. Place needle jet in main jet passage with needle passing through center hole. Be sure end of jet with larger opening and chamfered surface enters passage first.

3. Insert needle jet holder into main jet passage with needle inserted into center of holder. Thread holder into passage and tighten. Thread and tighten main jet in tapped hole in holder.

4. Place float assembly into position with fuel inlet valve inserted into valve seat in carburetor body and pivot arm aligned with holes in mounting posts (at bottom of carburetor body). Insert pin through float pivot arm and float mounting posts.

5. Check float level setting and adjust if necessary.

6. Place float chamber assembly over float and onto carburetor body flange. Chamber will only fit in one position. Install and tighten screws.

Accelerator Pump. Install diaphragm, spring, O-ring and pump housing. Secure with three screws and lock washers.


1. If MAP sensor was removed from intake manifold, install MAP sensor and MAP sensor clip. Secure with screw.

2. Place flanges onto intake manifold.

3. Place intake manifold seals onto each spigot of manifold with chamfered edge against flanges.

4. Place channel of seal ring over inlet end of manifold.

5. Position manifold against intake ports of cylinder head, with slotted and round holes in flanges aligned with holes in cylinder head. Insert screws through manifold flanges and loosely thread into tapped holes in cylinder head.


The fit between the carburetor and the seal ring is tight. For ease of installation, lubricate the mating surfaces, carburetor body and seal ring with liquid dish soap or tire mounting lube prior to assembly.

6. Lubricate only the inside surface of seal ring that will be in contact with the carburetor. Also apply a light coat of lubricant to the spigot of the carburetor body. Push carburetor body into seal ring.

7. Install air cleaner backplate and air cleaner assembly.

8. Final tighten intake manifold screws to 96-144 in-lbs (10.9-16.3 Nm).

9. Install fuel tank.

10. On California models only, connect canister purge hose onto fitting on carburetor body.

11. Connect fuel overflow/drain hose to fuel overflow fitting. Secure with clip.

12. Connect vacuum hose to fitting on carburetor body.

13. Install enrichener valve and spring. Install enrichener cable assembly. Install throttle cables. Install fuel hose onto fuel inlet fitting. Secure with new clamp.

Carburetor Fuel Overflow/Drain Hose - Routing

On non-California models, route fuel overflow/ drain hose from the carburetor fuel overflow fitting downward and rearward through the space between the engine rear cylinder and the rear cylinder push rod covers (intake and exhaust), and then downward through the space between the engine crankcase and the gear cover. On all California models, route the fuel overflow/drain (vent) hose from the carburetor fuel overflow fitting, under the carburetor float chamber, to a plastic fitting on the inboard side of the air cleaner backplate. Connect canister purge hose onto fitting on carburetor body.

 Sportser XL & XLH 883, 1100, 1200 Service Manual & Carburetor Repair Manual for 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92,  93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07 & 08 Models