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How to Change the Fuel Filter on a 2002 Harley Davidson

by Katie Cole

Suggested maintenance for carbureted 2002 Harley-Davidsons includes checking and cleaning or changing the fuel filter every 20,000 miles or 32,000 kilometers. While this isn't a difficult task, it is necessary to drain the gas tank, which is the bulk of the job.

Drain the Gas Tank


Turn the fuel supply valve to the "off" position.


Remove the hose that goes to the carburetor from the outlet nipple on the left side of the fuel supply valve assembly.


Attach a piece of fuel line to the outlet nipple and run to a gasoline container.


Remove the vacuum hose from the vertical nipple on the back of the fuel supply valve assembly.


Turn the fuel supply valve to "reserve".


Connect the hand pump to the vacuum nipple using the correct adapter.


Apply just enough vacuum to get the fuel running through the valve. Do not apply a vacuum greater than 25 inches of Mercury (Hg).


Remove the pump from the vacuum nipple and the hose from the outlet nipple after the tank is drained.

Remove the Fuel Valve Assembly


Locate the fuel supply valve nut above the fuel supply valve handle. It attaches the assembly to the gas tank.


Turn the fuel supply valve nut counter-clockwise to loosen.


Remove the assembly from the gas tank.

Clean or Replace Fuel Filter


Check the fuel filter, which is the long cylindrical screen that comes out of the gas tank.


Use some of the gasoline to clean the filter, if you are cleaning rather than replacing the filter.


Replace the filter if necessary.



Coat the threads of the fuel supply valve with the pipe sealant.


Replace the gasket that fits under the fuel supply valve nut.


Insert assembly into gas tank and tighten fuel supply valve nut.


Reattach hoses and refill fuel tank.

Items you will need


About the Author

Katie Cole started writing in 1996. Since then she's been published in "New England Full Throttle Magazine," "Thunder Roads Colorado" and on various websites. Cole contributed to "Biker Chicks," published by Allen & Unwin in 2009. She has a Bachelor of Science in technical communications and a Master of Business Administration in leadership.

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  • Motorcycle Engine image by Andrew Breeden from