Carb to FI (need the engine experts) - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Carb to FI (need the engine experts)

To all of the engine experts on the forum:

I'm looking to buy a project bike (1999 Road King). I'm considering tossing the stock engine which is carb'ed in favor of a 120 or 124, obviously FI. How much more work/parts are necessary to make this happen?

Thanks.



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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 05:17 AM
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Don't toss the baby out with the bathwater just yet.
With an S&S G series carb, equipped with a Thunderjet,(and perhaps a 1" spacer) and tuned correctly, you'd be mighty surprised as to the throttle response and how well it'll actually run.
You'll need an ignition such as a DTT.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 06:26 AM
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I'm not sure on a road king or a 1999 but I had a 2000 FLTRSEI which started life as a Magnetti Marrelli Fuel injected bike. As I changed out cams, pistons, etc the MM EFI became problematic so I did as Scott suggested above and converted to carb and things were fine for many years.

Fast forward to a few years ago and my bikes lower end needed work after 100,000+ miles so I opted for a 117. It ran good but below 50 degrees and sometimes when hot it would be a bear to start?

I converted that bike to Delphi and it wasn't too hard. My bike had the two screw in quick release fuel lines. (some bikes maybe yours had hard lines in the tank). Being originally Carbed you would need a fuel injected tank or someone to weld the fuel line bung in your tank. I blocked off one of the lines with the pingle block off fitting. I used Harley's coil, ECM (flashed to a 2002 VIN), and the factory fuel pump for Delphi in the fuel tank. I went with an HPI throttle body, yellow band injectors and all Harley Davidson sensors. You need to make an adapter to mount the coil in the factory location. If you want to go with the factory ECM you will need to marry a TSM/TSSM to the ECM. I had Dan Thayer make a harness for the conversion and marrying the TSM/TSSM.

Before the conversion I had occasional kick backs, went through a few starters and ring and pinions. After the conversion all those issues disappeared. I believe I had about $3000 in the conversion.

Last edited by thealien; 06-03-2016 at 06:29 AM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 07:24 AM
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If you use a 2005-newer ECM you can run closed-loop. Something to keep in mind. No way I'd run a carb with as good as the factory F.I. can be.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 08:30 AM
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The thing to keep in mind about going with a carb, there is nothing like the sound of a Harley with a carb. The famed potato, potato sound will be there that they are so famous for. Not only that, if you have the carb set right, you should have many miles of perfect starts, good power, and decent fuel mileage. Don't be so quick to give up what has worked so well for so many years. Not only that, you don't have to worry about sensors etc going out down the road. Don't get me wrong, I love my FI, but I also loved my bobber with the carb.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 08:48 AM
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I am not knocking a well tuned carb, I did it myself for a while. And on a stock bike with MM EFI it IS the better solution. A carb only has 3 circuits idle, intermediate, and main. With EFI you can tune fuel and ignition every 100RPMs. Many dealers and indys don't or cant work on Evolution powered bikes anymore (I know some can't work on the new stuff either). Most shops have a scanner they can plug into diagnostics these days. He is also talking about a 120/124 which does add more stress on the starter etc.

I even swapped an LS engine into a 1972 Jimmy. It was the best of both worlds reliable and efficient!

I'm not saying one way or the other is the best answer. Just do the research and make the best decision for YOU!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 09:26 AM
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Ahhh yes, the carb convo.......for my fellow dirt merchants, this is like the age old debate of 2 stroke vs 4 stroke

To me, Carbs were/are like Black Magic as finding the sweet spot can be tricky but when you do, life is good - Finding someone who knows carbs these days if you do not is a lost art as well - I agree with the Carb Sounding HD........Classic - I have not had to dick with Carbs since my '05 Deluxe and she was a bitch to get set....but once she was....ran like a champ

Good luck, project sounds fun

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Not exactly sure how I'll go with it. Initially probably just keep the stock setup, stock engine only has 26k miles on it.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smarty View Post
The thing to keep in mind about going with a carb, there is nothing like the sound of a Harley with a carb. The famed potato, potato sound will be there that they are so famous for. Not only that, if you have the carb set right, you should have many miles of perfect starts, good power, and decent fuel mileage. Don't be so quick to give up what has worked so well for so many years. Not only that, you don't have to worry about sensors etc going out down the road. Don't get me wrong, I love my FI, but I also loved my bobber with the carb.
I could be wrong, but the way I understand it, the potato potato thing has more to do with engine architecture (pan, shovel, evo, etc), whether its single fire, and cam profile than the mere fact that it has a carb.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 09:50 PM
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I could be wrong, but the way I understand it, the potato potato thing has more to do with engine architecture (pan, shovel, evo, etc), whether its single fire, and cam profile than the mere fact that it has a carb.
That and a low idle. Can't idle that low with a twin cam.
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