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Unread 10-08-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

I have a recently acquired 79 Gas "D" model Harley cart. The cart started and idled great, put in reverse and it rev'd up great and rolled backwards smoothly, let the engine stop, shifted to forward, engine started but would not rev up to engage the drive belt.

Looking thru the parts and service manuals, I can't find a good illustration of the throttle cable attachment to the accelerator lever. When the accelerator pedal is pushed, the cable slides thru the upper hole on the lever it's attached to, and back to the stop as the pedal is released. My thoughts are that there is a missing part at the lever so that the cable can push it as well as pull it? I saw a post mentioning looping the cable thru the hole and back on itself to secure it rather than using a cable clamp?

Also, when I first started the cart, the new inline fuel filter filled quickly so I know fuel was flowing even at idle, but now, even tho the engine starts and idles, I don't see any fuel flowing into the filter. I wonder if it might have blown a crankcase seal or carb gasket when it developed enough compression to move that one time?

I see recommendations to check compression first, which we'll do. What other steps should we take if we find good compression?

Thanks.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 12:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

Well, This may be a little difficult but here is a try; The engine runs forward and reverse to change directions. So if the throttle is working in forward it will work in reverse. The engine should not idle when your foot is off the pedal the engine should stop. If it is getting gas in reverse it will get gas in forward. It sounds like the compression may be too low (Ideal is 90#) forward and reverse. Sometimes the reading will be higher in reverse because the engine will turn a little faster in reverse. Now the next thing to check is timing (the timing has to be checked in forward as well as reverse. So compression is probably not good or timing is bad --- probably compression is too low. The engine is probably running in reverse and the starter is all that is running in forward. Please let us know what you find.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

I guess I missed a detail on those events. It ran backwards, but after I let the engine stop to shift to forward, it would never accelerate again in forward OR reverse.

Since that time, we've checked compression. It's up in the high 90's, so that's not the issue. We pulled the carb off, and went thru it, new gaskets, etc, but looks like someone has been thru it not long ago. We also adjusted the throttle and choke cables. With the carb back on the cart, we got it running but it runs very rough, sputters and smokes a bit, and just really doesn't seem to draw enough fuel to accelerate smoothly. After a couple rough runs, it finally stopped trying to draw fuel again.

I have to think that it's an internal carb problem, plugged passage maybe?, and at one point it was blowing bubbles back into the inline filter???

What I don't know is what adjustments need to be done to the carb itself, and in what order? Would any of the simple adjustments this carb have correct this low fuel draw and rough idle?

Any advice GREATLY appreciated. I hate to replace this carb if we can fix it.

Thanks!
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Unread 10-09-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

There are a few things that could be causing problems. Fuel pump nor assembled correctly, reed valve defective, Bad crank seals, small leaks in the fuel line, so the compression is good, the spark is timed correctly and the condenser is good then the first problems I mentioned are a good place to start. Please remember these three things an engine needs to run:
1 Compression (you checked it at 90# so that should be good)
2 fuel (Spray a little fuel in the spark plug hole and replace the plug and see if it fires)
3 spark at the right time (may be good) and if it is right....

I would expect a fuel delivery problem. Seals, reed valve, fuel lines, fuel pump, air leaks around the carb mount. Even check the check valve in the fuel tank.

Those are simple and easily checked
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Unread 10-09-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

When we had it all apart, I was checking the reed valves, and the petals of the valve look like brand new, the plate they lay on also looks clean with no pits or damage. They lay completely flat on the plate and the reed stops look perfect.

We had it back apart to check the diaphragm, and it only goes into the carb in one direction (metal plate with holes attached to diaphragm should point AWAY from carb body, correct)? I have the breakdown illustrations from the parts manual and service manual, so we compared to that for the order and parts, not trusting that whoever had it apart before us had done it correctly. How many incarnations of this Tillotson carb were there?

We put some fuel down the air intake with filter assembly off of it, and it will now draw fuel into it, but won't pull hard enough from the tank. Incidentally, I'm waiting for replacement parts for the tank; cap, 90 degree elbow, tank strainer, etc, so for now it's just a new rubber fuel line, runs thru an inline filter and into a plastic gas can with fresh fuel and oil.

It still blows bubbles back into the inline filter. Not as bad as before, but seems very odd that it's sending air BACK up the fuel line? Is that indicative of an air leak somewhere? Carb mounting, etc.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 08:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

Bubbles are an indication of a fuel line leak. The carb is probably OK I would check the pump cover and gasket. Also old fuel line and hose to filter connections. can leak air. The engine is probably not blowing air back into the system. It sucks air in and the air bubble will seek the highest level or travel upward. I installed an outboard primer bulb in my fuel line and it helps prime the line when my pump is weak but it also helps put a positive pressure on the line which helps to spot leaks. It has limited use so I really cant recommend it. I run out of fuel fairly often and it helps me prime the lines. I just forget to add fuel when I have to go to the vineyard. But realistically you seem to have a fuel line leak or a leak in the system between the carb and filter.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 10:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

I've done a lot of reading this afternoon. I'm almost sure you're right about the leak. I have been "assuming" that it's a new piece of hose so MUST be good ... but it's a cheap fix to try. I also read another suggestion to give the gasket locations and carb mountings a shot with carb cleaner and see if it sucks it in and revs up. Don't know why I didn't think of that as it's an old hot rod trick (or old junkers like I drove in high school!). I'm going to step back and do a step by step inspection on this thing. Check the timing, replace the points if they're toast, and a new condenser, check for any missing or leaking gaskets, another fuel line, etc.

When it was idling, it was smooth as glass but I think we aggravated the old girl by disassembling everything, no doubt giving it more air leaks and displacing protective crud. Thinking back on the breakdowns, I have a couple things I need to revisit. I just have to get the starter generator off again so I can check a couple things. I think there may be an entire gasket missing at the reed plate! Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't remember seeing it while my husband had it apart. He's too frustrated to work on it anymore so now it's my turn. He'll hate life if I get it running right! (He's an auto/truck technician).

I'll work it one end to the other myself so I can check things off as I inspect them, and see what's what.

Thanks so much for your help! I'll let you know what I learn. May be a couple weeks as it's Biketoberfest here and I gotta have some quality time with my TWO wheel Harley so she doesn't think I'm cheating on her!!

Back to you with updates later ...............
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Unread 10-10-2011, 12:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

Please explain idling--- golf carts do not idle. I am at a loss as to what you mean. Are you talking about the starter/generator running when the gas pedal is pushed or is the engine running after it starts and the gas pedal at rest? Have you checked the points for adjustment to .020 and check the timing marks in forward and reverse. The marks are a little hard to see. If you still do not find the problem, PM me your e-mail address and I will send you a paper on the HD cart that might help.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

I apologize. Idle meaning slow engine speed, drive not engaged, gas pedal pressed slightly. It does shut off with pedal released (when the engine actually starts!). As I mentioned, I'm going to square one with this to check all including the condition and gap on the points, the timing forward and reverse, replace the condenser, the plug looks good, not rich or lean, but I'll put a new one in it. I also noticed the plug wire is arcing and chewed up, I'll put a new one on it. The coil looks very new.

When he got it running, with the pedal to the floor, the engine was struggling to accelerate and very rough. Quite a bit of smoke, but we're running pretty heavy mix on it since we don't know the condition of the cylinder and piston/rings.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 01:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: 79 Harley Gas Cart Fuel Delivery

I have a 1973 D4 that I have had for years. I have to tell you that your problems sound like a point gap, and timing issue to me. Just be aware that point setting and timing are two different things.
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