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How to change or clean the fuel filter?

Old 05-09-2016, 09:42 AM
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How to change or clean the fuel filter?

I have a 2001 VTR1000F that has started stalling when accelerating.

One possible explanation is a dirty/clogged fuel filter.

I have the Haynes manual, but it is not very helpful on this point.

Can someone explain to me:

  • Where is the filter located?
  • How do I get the filter out?
  • How do I clean or replace the filter - and if it must be replaced, where does one find such a thing to buy?

Thanks, Daniel
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:48 AM
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It's attached to the petcock.

Take the tank off the bike. Remove the two bolts that hold the petcock, lift it and pull out the mesh filter attached to it.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:06 AM
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Might want to check the petcock diaphrams while you have it off. Should be 2 in it and a spring. If the filter is that dirty then the petcock might not be functioning correctly. Also look for holes in the diaphrams use a flash light to check them. There should be zero. If there is even a pin hole in one they need to be replaced. Just a few bucks on ebay for a rebuild kit.

Also when putting the lines back on the tank make sure to put the vacuum line back on the correct nipple on the petcock.

Last edited by Meier Link; 05-09-2016 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:41 PM
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You hardly ever hear of the fuel filter getting clogged on these bikes. It is usually crap in the carbs causing issues or the petcock diaphram that fails and wont let fuel get to the carbs making the bike stall. The later bikes have the petcock attached to the frame. Close off the fuel supply line from the tank, a vice grips works by pinching the line. Remove the petcock and check for correct operation.

Another thing, if you were working on the bike, make sure you didn't knock the vaccum line off the petcock. In case you weren't sure of how it works, when the engine turns over, it creates a vacuum. This vaccum pulls (for lack of better words) on the diaphram and lets the fuel flow to the carbs.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:14 PM
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Man if that is clogged then you have way bigger problems, like someone left the cap open for a load of leaves to fall into it.

Like all fuel delivery relate issues. Drain the gas tank to bone dry, remove and check the petcock, replace, use new gas then retry.

Most likely your issue is carbs being dirty or if its at high rpm the ignition coil being bad (one or both).

Oh and yes if your vacuum line is messed up then that's the issue.

After you've done these steps, read the thread on adding an inline fuel filter and do that. It saves you countless hours removing carbs and messing with them.

Last edited by smokinjoe73; 05-09-2016 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:25 PM
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Thanks a lot guys, I have a few things to try out now. I want to start with the simplest/cheapest/easiest ones, of course. How does this order sound:

1. Empty tank completely, take petcock off, remove filter, try to clean it. Add new fuel.
2. Check diaphragm in petcock, replace if broken. Probably combined 1 and 2 for practical reasons.
3. Replace petcock with a new petcock (any links to where I can buy one?)
4. Replace one or both spark plugs
5. Disassemble and clean carbs

Read somewhere about emptying tank, addind some carb cleaner, so it flows down into carb ... sumps? ... and leave it for a few hours to work its magic, then suck it out from some tubes under the carbs (no idea how to find these), add new fuel. Anything to that?

Thanks again!
Daniel
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:35 PM
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One thought: Since the engine runs fine at low power/speed/acceleration, does that indicate that the fuel filter/petcock is ok, but something is blocked in the carbs?
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:32 PM
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The simple check is the petcock and filter. If both are clean and undamaged it is the carbs.

As stated above, unless the tank was left open if probably not the filter but it's also a simple check along side the petcock. If both of those are good then it points to carbs.
The petcock is an easy rebuild. No reason to replace the assembly if it is the problem.

From what I know of these carbs is that if they are dirty then clean them properly then sync them. Don't try to do a quick fix method. More heart ache then solution.
Eliminate those 2 first and make sure the petcock is connected properly and it helps us refine the problem for you.

Edit: I'm drunk. Sorry if this doesn't make sense hahha.

Last edited by Meier Link; 05-09-2016 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:26 AM
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It sounds like fuel starvation. Search the threads for the vacuum operated petcock. If you have the vacuum on the wrong nipple you can get this same symptom.

Putting carb cleaner probly wont hurt but also may not help. You drain the float bowls from underneath each. Its pretty simple.

But dont sleep on that vacuum line thing. That could be your whole issue.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:33 AM
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I agree with Smokin'. It sounds like the petcock isn't working correctly. Super easy to rebuild it. Rebuild kits are found on eBay for very little money.

But first, make sure the vaccuum line leading to the petcock hasn't fallen off. If it is connected, make sure it is connected to the correct nipple on the petcock. If it is connected to the correct nipple, then check the entire length of that vacuumm line for cracks/holes. If everything checks out, then your petcock needs to be checked.

Last edited by CruxGNZ; 05-10-2016 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:36 AM
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My sequence would be:

1A. Check vacuum lines
1B. Check coils
1C. Replace plugs

then the rest...praying the Gods it isn't a carbs problem, otherwise you are SOL.

Originally Posted by duron600 View Post
1. Empty tank completely, take petcock off, remove filter, try to clean it. Add new fuel.
2. Check diaphragm in petcock, replace if broken. Probably combined 1 and 2 for practical reasons.
3. Replace petcock with a new petcock (any links to where I can buy one?)
4. Replace one or both spark plugs
5. Disassemble and clean carbs

When I rebuilt mine I used this part: 16953-ML0-034 COVER SET, PETCOCK $31.53

Last edited by Killemall; 05-10-2016 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Killemall View Post
...praying the Gods it isn't a carbs problem, otherwise you are SOL.
Why is that? Carbs aren't difficult. Once you understand how a carb works and what each part does, carbs are quite simple. Most of them get varnish or gummed up from this craptastic ethanol fuel we have now. Pull them off, clean them and put them back on the bike.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CruxGNZ View Post
Why is that? Carbs aren't difficult. Once you understand how a carb works and what each part does, carbs are quite simple. Most of them get varnish or gummed up from this craptastic ethanol fuel we have now. Pull them off, clean them and put them back on the bike.
That's when the Gods are smiling on you. When they aren't, you put the carbs back together and the bike still runs like ****.....then you go for round 2 3 4 ...5.6.7. It's 1am and you are half drunk, blew off the gf, don't give a **** about the neighbors sleeping and turn the bike on to check the next tweak. All the physics are there and the bike still runs poor....da fuq? You give up and go to bed smelling like gasoline and with no woman. Then the day after you start over, and like magic **** works....nothing makes sense, but you button everything up and go for a ride happy as ever.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Killemall View Post
That's when the Gods are smiling on you. When they aren't, you put the carbs back together and the bike still runs like ****.....then you go for round 2 3 4 ...5.6.7. It's 1am and you are half drunk, blew off the gf, don't give a **** about the neighbors sleeping and turn the bike on to check the next tweak. All the physics are there and the bike still runs poor....da fuq? You give up and go to bed smelling like gasoline and with no woman. Then the day after you start over, and like magic **** works....nothing makes sense, but you button everything up and go for a ride happy as ever.
Haha! I've had those days
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:05 PM
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Here is a quick tip, spring startup procedure.

1. Siphon out all gas dump into car
2. Buy fresh gas, add double the amount of fuel injection cleaner recommended for the amount of gas.
3. Add 2 oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil shake gas to taste and add to tank
4. Turn engine over or apply vacuum to wet the carbs, but do not allow engine to start
5. Go have a cocktail, but DO NOT START ENGINE! Let it sit for 24 hours with the carbs wet.
6. 24 hrs. later start engine go for a ride.
7. Next tank repeat FI cleaner and marvel mystery oil...
PS I haven't cleaned a carb in over twenty years, including my vast array of lawn maintenance and snow removal equipment...

happy, happy, joy, joy
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Fastguy59 View Post
Here is a quick tip, spring startup procedure.

1. Siphon out all gas dump into car
2. Buy fresh gas, add double the amount of fuel injection cleaner recommended for the amount of gas.
3. Add 2 oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil shake gas to taste and add to tank
4. Turn engine over or apply vacuum to wet the carbs, but do not allow engine to start
5. Go have a cocktail, but DO NOT START ENGINE! Let it sit for 24 hours with the carbs wet.
6. 24 hrs. later start engine go for a ride.
7. Next tank repeat FI cleaner and marvel mystery oil...
PS I haven't cleaned a carb in over twenty years, including my vast array of lawn maintenance and snow removal equipment...

happy, happy, joy, joy
Good advice! I really like using the Marvel Mystery Oil. Been using it since I was a kid. I used it when I built my Buick Grand National engine and just recently when I built my Superhawk engine. Stuff just works.

Happy Happy Joy Joy! During Mother's Day, I was trying to explain to my 10 year old nephew who Ren & Stimpy are. He didn't get why they are so funny to me. I showed him a couple YouTube clips and he just didn't laugh. Kids these days. Unless they can control the thing they are seeing (video games), there is no interest.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Fastguy59 View Post
3. Add 2 oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil
Its even revered in general aviation.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by xeris View Post
Its even revered in general aviation.
I can undoubtedly plus 1 this.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:33 PM
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4. Turn engine over or apply vacuum to wet the carbs, but do not allow engine to start
Me being quite noobish, I don't know how to do either....also, I have some Bell Add stuff that is supposed to do the same thing, so I would try that first.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by duron600 View Post
Me being quite noobish, I don't know how to do either....also, I have some Bell Add stuff that is supposed to do the same thing, so I would try that first.
Easy
1. either pull the plug wires and turn the engine over
Or
2. Hit the kill switch and turn the engine over
Or
3. Put a mini vacuum pump on the petcock vacuum line and apply a small amount of vacuum
Fuel wil then flow...
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:08 PM
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I've used this:
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:38 PM
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You can actually just put plastic or rubber tubing on the vacuum and suck on it to see how the fuel flows out.

I use a mityvac which everyone should own anyway but until you get one its the suck method.
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