Exhaust Leak

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by ngjandm, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. ngjandm

    ngjandm Active Member

    Hello, I'm new to the forums, as well, as bought my first Harley this year, a 2006 XL883 with only 43 miles, which now has about 3k.

    I just installed some V&H straight shot slip-ons, and found this to be a good thread to post my question, boy does it make the bike a (EDIT) lot louder than stock.

    How can you tell if it is leaking?

    I plan on getting a new air cleaner as well, then bringing it over to the dealer for re-jetting.

    i have these 2 in mind.


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2008
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    You can put on some heavy gloves and cover the ends of the slipons with a flat hand. You'll hear any leaks as hissing and should be just about able to stall the engine like this.

    Welcome to the forum.
  3. ngjandm

    ngjandm Active Member

    thanks Glider,
    I looked around a bit before posting originally, because I know there are always topics covered that there is no need to rehash. but I couldnt find anything specific to how to know for sure. Thanks as well for moving my post to the correct model.
    Once I get ensure the slips ons dont leak, I plan on getting a new air filter, the 2 i mention above, any knowledgable opinion on them? then I plan on letting dealer rejet carb and do 5k service, even though I am at 4k atm. I have been reading that its not good to go to long running richer.
  4. ngjandm

    ngjandm Active Member

    well, you make it sound so easy and maybe it is for the well versed mechanic, however, I know nothing about carbs, i have the clymers manual, looked through that as well and at this time there is probably too much for me to have to learn to do this correctly, without having to redo it. I will need to start with some small engine care, like an old lawn mower first. :) thanks again.
  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Naaa! Just send a private message to Gary12850 and get a Factory Service Manual for your bike model and year. You can do it! Easy stuff.

  6. tlyoungb

    tlyoungb Junior Member

    Question. I have a pair of gloves that I use to cover the tips of the exhaust. If the exhaust is coverd while the engine is running, would it stop after a few sec? or will it just continue to run.

    I am under the impression that if you crank the engine and then plug the exhaust if there are not leaks the engine would just stop running.

    But if the engine continues to run then that would indicate a leak somewhere in the system.

  7. gs34

    gs34 Junior Member

    All depends on how thoroughly you can plug the exhaust with your gloved hand. Normally, there is enough force to the exhaust, it will find a way past your fingers.
    The purpose of covering 1st one pipe, then the other, is not to stall the engine, but to be able to hear the exhaust gas if it tries to escape somewhere else rather than at the end of the pipe.
    The gas is going to seek the path of least resistance, but one way or another, it is going to get out.
    You need to be careful not to create to tight of a seal because the potential exists for causing a failure of an exhaust gasket.
  8. glider

    glider Veteran Member


    This operation is really simple. Put on the gloves and use the palm of your hand to cover the exit on the mufflers using some pressure to keep the exhaust from escaping. It's a bit of work to actually stall the engine out doing this but it can be done with a good pair of hands. You'll hear a hissing from any leak prone areas if there is any but it's best to have a helper here unless you have real long arms. It works, done it many times and found the leaks. Exhaust gaskets really aren't a problem as far as blowing them out doing this unless they were defective or broken to begin with.
    Most leaks will be found at the slip on to the pipe connection because the slip on isn't far enough on to the pipe but sometimes it's a loose connection at the exhaust flange.
  9. ngjandm

    ngjandm Active Member

    Heyas, this is all pretty interesting, at this time I still haven't decided on doing this myself or bringing it into the shop, but......

    At this time:

    - I do have a Clymer's guide, so have reviewed the process for removing a carb and then float bowl, looked at all the parts in the pictures
    - Removed the air filter to see the carb and float bowl

    All the pictures with the carb off the bike are taken with the float bowl on top, depicting the jet, etc.

    - remove the pump rod lever
    - remove float pin with caution about removal direction
    - remove float and fuel valve assembly
    - unscrew pilot and main jet
    - ?? shouldnt have to remove the needle jet holder ??
    - using the new and or corrected jets, reinstall
    - follow care for install, for float bowl o-ring gasket and pump rod boot.

    - I'm concerned with the following:

    "install the fuel valve onto the float, and position the float onto the carb so that so that the float drops into its seat"

    since the whole aparatus is upside down if the carb is not removed, into its seat looks like it means holding it in place while the pin is installed

    "check the float level as described"

    - seems this needs to be measured specifically as well.

    what would cause the float to exceed the measurement in the table, if its flush in the carb? as well since its upside down, will the float dangle down? wouldnt installing the float bowl back onto the carb, push the float bowl into place?

    then i guess i would need to figure out the main and pilot jet settings, I am currently trying to find what the stock 883 is set at.

    .....anyway, interesting stuff.

    finding this pic on forum, the float is not even removed here, do I even need to remove the float?

    CV Carb Rejet Pics - Harley Davidson Community

    there was what I tracked down thin tube coming from the carb, it appeared to be the overflow, but it wasnt connected to anything when it hung below the carb. is that correct?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  10. ngjandm

    ngjandm Active Member

    welp, i decided to try this myself, have the pilot jet 45 coming in on thursday, have the SE air cleaner now, and its all a matter of time before I remove my first float bowl.