How to Remove a Fuel Pump From a Harleyby Diane HansenUpdated October 06, 2017
Items you will need
Socket wrench set
Torx wrench set
Allen wrench set
Siphon pump and hose
Fuel storage container
One of the more common problems with the fuel system of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can be the failure of the fuel pump. If the fuel pump fails, your engine will not receive the fuel it needs to operate and your engine will not run. Removing your fuel pump is a fairly straight-forward process and can be easily done at home.
Move your motorcycle to a flat, dry surface. Ensure you working area is well ventilated to dissipate any fuel vapors. As a safety precaution, keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Remove your seat(s). The rear seat is removed by turning the bolt behind the seat counterclockwise. On newer models this is done with your fingers, but can require an Allen wrench or socket wrench on custom or older models. Gently pull the rear seat back and up to remove. This will reveal the front seat bolts, which come off in a similar fashion. Gently pull the front seat towards the rear and up.
Consult your owner's manual and locate the fuse box. Remove the fuse for the fuel pump. Your owner's manual or a chart on the fuse box cover should indicate which one. Once the fuse is removed, start your engine and let it run until the engine dies. This will depressurise your fuel lines and remove any residual fuel from the lines.
Locate your battery, which was uncovered by removal of the seat, and disconnect the negative (black) cable. Depending on the model of your motorcycle, you may need to use an open-ended wrench or a screwdriver. Wrap the cable end in a shop towel to prevent accidental completion of the circuit and damage to your finish.
Remove the fuel tank console by locating the nut between the speedometer and the ignition switch. Remove with a 3/8-inch socket wrench. Custom or after-market consoles can sometimes require an Allen wrench. Gently lift the console up and disconnect the console wiring by unplugging the wires from the receivers. This will reveal the top plate of your fuel pump.
Use the siphon pump and hose to siphon the fuel out of your tank and into a fuel storage container. Consult the siphon pump's documentation for detailed instructions and warnings.
Disconnect the wiring harness from the plug in the fuel pump top plate. Then remove the bolts securing the top plate. Depending on the model, this will require a Torx wrench or an Allen wrench. Then pull the top plate away from the fuel tank. It will still be connected to the fuel pump and wires, so do so carefully, and do not force it.
Use your pliers to loosen the clamp on the fuel hose and disconnect the hose. Reach into the tank and gently remove the fuel pump from the housing, and then remove the pump and the top plate from the tank.
These instructions are based on a Harley-Davidson Softail, model years 2003 to 2010. Other models will be similar, but may require different tools and steps.
Working with gasoline, which is highly flammable, can be very dangerous and cause death or serious injury. If you have any doubts about your ability to perform these actions, do not attempt them.
Diane Hansen has been sharing her passion for travel, adventure, business and pleasure through her writing since 1996. Her articles have appeared in "GETAWAY" and "TRAVELHOST" magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a concentration in marketing from California State University in San Bernardino.