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Discussion Starter #1
I've had an intermittent problem with my fuel flow. Over the past couple of years I've had five or six incidents where my bike quit running. To clarify, on any of the times that this happened, I'd be running along at 75 mph and it's like I just ran out of gas--even though the gas tank is so full the cap is wet. The first couple of occurrences were so remote that they were almost forgettable; the bike started up again minutes later. But with the last three, the frequency was almost a week apart, and the restarting process brought me to the very last amp on my battery. The last time it happened, last week, I was on my way to work--at 3 a.m. For the second time in 20 years I was late for work.

I turned to the Internet to find out if this fuel issue was a singular occurrence. As it turns out, right here in this forum, I find that several 2003 VTX 1300s have had the same symptoms. The most common remedy was to bypass the fuel pump (which I am shamed to admit, I didn't even know existed on this bike). So I performed this bypass surgery. I removed the filter and pump assembly from under my seat. I patched a line in from the tank petcock, directly under the frame, to the carburetor. In the middle of this line I put in a fuel filter. I reassembled everything and the bike came right to life. On my initial test run the bike was slow to catch up to the throttle movement. It felt like the bike was never getting the fuel I was demanding with the throttle.

Back to the Internets.

Charlie D told me through pm that the 04 - 09 models routed their fuel lines just as I had: direct from the tank to the carburetor, but without the inline fuel filter. So I removed the filter I installed. Today the bike ran MUCH better, however, there still seems to be a lag in the lower rpms. If I gag the gas, it will get up and go. If I drive normally, it's like I'm dragging carcass.

It is also worth noting that I completely disassembled the carb, cleaned it, reassembled, and re-installed. I also purged that gas tank (which was already impeccably clean).

I know this was a windy post, but it's a culmination of all my readings here (and everywhere else). I hope it helps someone else having the same problem.

...and if anyone might have an idea as to why my bike still lacks low-end power, I'd be most grateful for the advice.

See these threads also:
fuel pump issues
http://www.vtxcafe.com/showthread.php?t=69372&referrerid=37785

how to remove fuel pump
http://www.vtxcafe.com/showthread.php?t=51494&referrerid=37785
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I cleaned the carb before I did any part of the fuel pump bypass. I was thorough in my cleaning, however the system's been opened several times since then. It may be well worth my time to pull the carb apart again as some contamination may have entered the system while I was doing subsequent maintenance.

Thanks a million, Charlie. You were a great help in the process.
 

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Ok, Charlie. I got it worked out. A conversation you'd posted in another thread qued me in on another possibility.

I cleaned the carb again today. It was pristine. Since I had the carb off of the bike, I went ahead and cut the slot in the pilot screw to accept a standard screwdriver (that was genius, by the way; I wish I'd have thought of it). I set the pilot screw at the 2.5 turns off bottom. The bike ran exactly the same as it did yesterday; sluggish and under-powered, until I really laid into the gas. My pipes actually sounded "brassy" during acceleration.

In the other thread I referred to up there, someone else had a similar problem and he'd found remedy by running the choke pulled out to some arbitrary setting. You told him if it ran right, then the fuel mixture was off. I tried that. I know it's not kind to the machine, but if the mixture was the problem to the lean side, this would definitely give me a boost in fuel. It worked.

So I went home and pulled my bike apart and performed test runs 3 more times until I got the setting just so. Fun fact: they put that screw in the most ridiculous location. I ended up backing the screw out maybe 5/8 of a turn; just more than half.

I'm headed out for a good long ride. Again, thanks for your (direct and indirect) help.
 
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