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Tuesday Edition


Using The Right Tool For The Job



  While I believe most people change their engine oil and filter on their motorcycles at the recommended mileage and even some of the other fluids, how about the fuel filter?

Well, I like to think I maintain my motorcycle well enough. But recently I realized have over 121,000 miles on my 2009 FLHTC and have not changed the fuel filter. I was not having any issues, but I do not want any either.

The first thing I did was contact JIMS Machine for their tool, number 954. I needed it to remove the retaining ring holding the Fuel Tank Top Plate into the tank. This tool is used on all 2008 and up Harley FL fuel tanks.

While waiting for the tool to arrive I got a new fuel filter kit with O-ring and a top plate gasket from my local dealer.

When tool 954 came, it included paperwork with some safety precautions and directions. I read and followed them closely. If you are going to use this tool I suggest you do the same. I also use a Harley shop manual for the motorcycle I am working on.

I started by removing the left saddlebag, side cover, seat and the dash which I placed on a shop blanket so as not to scratch it.

Then I drained the fuel tank using a hand siphon.

The fuel line has 58 PSI fuel pressure in it so I removed the 15 amp fuel pump fuse and started the engine and ran it at idle until it ran out of fuel.

I then removed the 40 amp main fuse

Using an old tooth brush and compressed air I cleaned the area around the top plate so as to not get any debris in the tank.

I used a shop blanket on the tank and then placed the tool over the retaining ring aligning and fully seating all four cam locks into the four cut-outs on the tool

Using a ½ inch drive ratchet I turned it counter-clockwise, while pushing down on the tool with my other hand just to make sure it did not slip out of the lock tabs.

Following the instructions in the shop manual, I used a small flat blade screw driver to work the top plate up and off the tank. I then removed the ground wire and the fuel lines

Old Fuel Filter
Old Fuel Filter

I changed the fuel filter following the instructions in the shop manual and re-installed the top plate with the new gasket back into the tank.

I cleaned the retaining ring and installed it onto the top plate making sure the words TOP on the ring were visible.

I then used the JIMS tool to install the ring by pushing down on it and turning it clockwise.

I put gas in the tank, installed the wiring and vent line, installed the fuel pump and main fuse and started the engine. I checked to make sure there were no leaks and then put the rest of the motorcycle back together. Very cool. Glad I did it and had the JIMS tool. If the filter became clogged during the run to Sturgis, the bike would run like shit and damage the fuel pump.


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