How to Easily Remove the Gas Tank on a Harley Softail

Published

White Star Rides is your trusted Harley-Davidson companion, offering expert guidance and information to enhance your riding experience.

How To Remove Gas Tank On Harley Softail

Are you looking to do some maintenance on your Harley Softail? Removing the gas tank is a necessary step for many maintenance tasks. But it can be daunting if you have never done it before. Not to worry! In this article, we’ll show you how to easily remove the gas tank on a Harley Softail. You’ll be done in no time and feeling confident in your ability to do it yourself next time. So read on and get ready to dive into this routine repair task!

Tools and equipment needed for removing the gas tank

When it comes to performing any sort of maintenance or customization on a Harley-Davidson Softail, removing the gas tank is often a necessary step. Whether you are replacing the tank, accessing the fuel pump, or installing new components, having the right tools and equipment at your disposal will be important for a smooth and efficient process. Here are some of the essential tools and equipment needed for safely and effectively removing the gas tank on a Harley-Davidson Softail.

#1. Socket wrench set

A quality socket wrench set will be a must-have for any motorcycle enthusiast. You should look for a set that includes both metric and standard-sized sockets as Harley-Davidson Softail models might require a combination of both. A ratchet handle and different socket sizes will be important for removing bolts and fasteners securing the gas tank to the motorcycle frame.

#2. Torx key set

Many Harley models make use of Torx screws or bolts for securing the gas tank. Investing in a Torx key set will allow you to effortlessly remove the fasteners. Look for a set that includes various Torx sizes, ensuring compatibility with the specific bolts on your Harley-Davidson Softail model.

#3. Pliers

Having a decent pair of pliers, such as slip-point or locking pliers will prove invaluable when removing certain hose clamps or disconnecting fuel lines from the gas tank. Pliers will offer a secure grip and allow you to easily maneuver and release clamps with ease.

#4. Fuel line disconnect tool

Some Harley-Davidson Softail models come with quick-disconnect fittings for fuel lines, making it easy to remove the gas tank without the risk of fuel spillage. A fuel line disconnect tool, specially designed for Harley-Davidson bikes, will allow you to disconnect the fuel lines swiftly and safely.

#5. Safety glasses and gloves

Safety should always be your main priority when working on motorcycles. Wearing safety glasses will help prevent your eyes from any debris or fuel splashes, ensuring a safe working environment. Moreover, wearing gloves will help protect your hands from sharp edges, chemicals, or fuel contact.

How To Remove Gas Tank On Harley Softail

Preparation to carry out before starting the gas tank removal

Before diving into any maintenance or customization tasks on your Harley-Davidson Softail bike, it is important to take the necessary precautionary steps. Removing the gas tank is a common requirement for different procedures. Proper preparation will ensure a smooth and efficient process while minimizing the risk of damage or accidents. Here are some of the essential preparatory steps you’ll need to follow before you can remove the gas tank on your Harley-Davidson Softail.

#1. Ensure a well-ventilated area

Working with fuel and gasoline fumes generally poses potential safety hazards. Make sure that the area in which you’ll be performing the gas tank removal is well-ventilated. If possible, you should work outdoors or in a garage with ample airflow. Avoid working in enclosed spaces or near open flames or sparks, as fuel vapors are highly flammable.

#2. Disconnect the battery

Before you proceed with any work, it is important to disconnect the battery on your Harley-Davidson Softail. This step will prevent accidental electrical shorts and reduce the risk of fire or electrical damage. Consult your bike’s service manual for specific instructions on disconnecting the battery, as the process might vary depending on the Softail model.

#3. Allow the engine to cool down

For safety and to prevent burns, allow the bike’s engine to cool down before starting any work. Hot engine components and exhaust pipes can often cause severe burns if touched accidentally. Waiting until the engine is cool to the touch will make sure you have a safe working environment.

#4. Consult the owner’s manual

Each Harley-Davidson Softail model will come with specific instructions for gas tank removal. Consulting the owner’s manual will be important for ensuring that you’re following the correct procedure for your particular Softail model. The manual will give you detailed step-by-step instructions, illustrations, and any precautions specific to your bike.

How To Remove Gas Tank On Harley Softail

How to remove gas tank on Harley Softail: Drain the fuel tank

Performing maintenance on your Harley-Davidson Softail often needs removing the gas tank. But before you can do that, you will have to drain the fuel tank. It will help you carry out the task safely and conveniently. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow for draining the fuel tank in your Harley-Davidson Softail.

See also  How to Clean Harley-Davidson Bikes

Step 1: Remove the gas cap

First, you should locate the gas cap on your Harley-Davidson Softail, which is typically located on top of the fuel tank. Unscrew the gas cap counterclockwise for removing it. This step will allow air to enter the tank, facilitating a smooth flow of fuel during the draining process.

Step 2: Position a suitable container

Place a suitable container, like a gasoline-approved fuel can or a plastic container designed for fuel storage, directly underneath the gas tank. Make sure that the container is large enough that it can hold the expected volume of fuel and is positioned securely for preventing any spills or accidents.

Step 3: Locate the drain plug

Then, you should identify the drain plug on your Softail’s fuel tank. The location might vary depending on the specific model. Consult your bike’s owner’s manual or refer to trusted online resources for the exact location of the drain plug.

Step 4: Remove the drain plug

If your Softail has a drain plug, you should make use of a suitable wrench or socket for loosening and removing the drain plug. Be cautious as the fuel might start flowing immediately after removing the plug.

Step 5: Drain the fuel

Allow the fuel to flow out from the tank into the container placed beneath it. Be patient as it might take a few minutes for the fuel to completely drain. Take care that you’re avoiding spillage and ensure the container remains stable and secure.

Step 6: Securely close the drain plug

Once the fuel has been drained completely, you should securely reinstall the drain plug. Tighten the fuel line connection or drain plug for preventing any leaks.

Step 7: Clean up and dispose of fuel

If any fuel has spilled during the draining process, you should clean it immediately using appropriate absorbent materials. Store the collected fuel in a safe and designated container for proper disposal at a designated facility or in accordance with local regulations.

How to remove gas tank on Harley Softail: Disconnect the fuel line

Disconnecting the fuel line is an important step when you are removing the gas tank on your Harley-Davidson Softail. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to disconnect the fuel line when removing the gas tank on your Harley-Davidson Softail.

Locating the fuel line on a Harley-Davidson Softail might vary depending on the specific model. The gas fuel line is generally routed along the frame of the motorcycle, running from the gas tank toward the engine or fuel system components. You must refer to your bike’s service manual or trusted online resources for the precise location of the fuel line on your Softail.

Step 2: Identify quick-disconnect fittings

Many Harley-Davidson Softail models need quick-disconnect fittings on the fuel line, making it easier to disconnect and reconnect the fuel line without the need for tools. These fittings have a male and female side that easily snap together and deliver a secure connection. You should look for two plastic or metal fittings connected by a spring-loaded mechanism.

Step 3: Release the quick-disconnect fittings

For disconnecting the fuel line, you should release the quick-disconnect settings. Begin by locating the release mechanism on the fittings. This will typically be a small tab or button on the side of the fitting that needs to be pressed or squeezed.

Step 4: Press or squeeze the release mechanism

Using your fingers or a suitable tool, you need to press or squeeze the release mechanism on both sides of the quick-disconnect fitting simultaneously. This action releases the internal locking mechanism, allowing the fitting to separate. You might have to exert some force or wiggle the fittings slightly to detach them completely.

Step 5: Safely manage fuel spillage

When you’re disconnecting the fuel line, there might be some fuel spillage. Take proper precautions to avoid direct contact with the fuel and have a suitable container or absorbent materials ready to catch any spilled fuel. If possible, you should work in a well-ventilated area or outdoors for minimizing the buildup of fuel fumes.

How To Remove Gas Tank On Harley Softail

How to remove gas tank on Harley Softail: Remove the gas tank mounting bolts

The gas tank is typically secured to the frame via mounting bolts. Properly locating and removing the bolts will be important for ensuring a safe and successful gas tank removal process. Here are the steps you will need to follow for locating and removing the gas tank mounting bolts on your Softail.

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with your Softail’s anatomy

To locate and remove the gas tank mounting bolts, it’ll be important to familiarize yourself with the specific design and layout of your Harley-Davidson Softail model. You should refer to your bike’s owner’s manual or trusted online resources for detailed instructions related to the gas tank and mounting bolt locations.

See also  How Much Fork Oil Do I Need: The Underrated Oil Responsible For A Smooth Riding Experience

Step 2: Locate the mounting bolts

Gas tank mounting bolts are typically located at the front and rear of the tank, securing it into the frame of the bike. Inspect the area around the gas tank for any visible bolts or fasteners. On some Harley-Davidson Softail models, you might have to remove other components such as the seat or side covers to access the mounting bolts.

Step 3: Remove the mounting bolts

You should carefully position the appropriate tool onto each mounting bolt and start loosening them in a counterclockwise direction. Depending on the type of bolts used, you might have to remove them completely or simply loosen them enough to release the gas tank from the frame. Make sure that you’re securely holding the gas tank while removing the bolts to prevent it from falling or causing damage.

How to remove gas tank on Harley Softail: Remove the gas tank mounting brackets

Harley-Davidson Softail models make use of mounting brackets for holding the gas tank in a secure way. Removing the gas tank will require careful steps to ensure a safe and successful process can be carried out. Here are the steps you will need to follow for removing the gas tank mounting brackets.

Step 1: Locate and access the mounting brackets

Inspect the area around the gas tank for locating the mounting brackets. The number and location of the brackets could vary depending on your Softail model. Typically, you will find the brackets on the underside or sides of the gas tank. Make use of a flashlight if needed for better visibility.

Step 2: Grab the gas tank and lift

With both hands, you should securely grip the sides of the gas tank near the mounting brackets. Make sure that you have a firm grip to prevent any accidental drops or damage to the tank. Lift the tank carefully and evenly to relieve any pressure or tension on the mounting brackets.

Step 3: Pull the gas tank off the mounting brackets

While holding the gas tank, you should gently pull it straight up and away from the mounting brackets. The brackets might have hooks or tabs that secure the tank, so a slight upward and outward motion might be needed for disengaging them. Be cautious that you don’t force or twist the tank excessively to avoid damaging the brackets or other components.

Step 4: Remove the mounting brackets

Once the gas tank has been removed, you’ll be able to proceed to remove the mounting brackets. Depending on your Softail model, the brackets might be secured with bolts, screws, or other fasteners. Make use of the appropriate tools, such as an Allen wrench or a socket wrench for loosening and removing the fasteners. Keep the hardware in a safe place for reassembling later.

Step 5: Clean and inspect the mounting brackets

After you have removed the mounting brackets, you should take the opportunity to clean them and inspect them for any signs of damage or wear. Remove any dirt, debris, or rust using suitable cleaning tools or products. If needed, you should consider replacing the brackets with new ones if they are damaged or worn beyond repair.

How to reinstall the gas tank in a Harley-Davidson Softail

After you have completed the maintenance or customization tasks on a Harley-Davidson Softail, reinstalling the gas tank will be an important step to ensure the proper functioning of the bike. Proper installation will also involve proper reinstallation.  Here are the steps you need to follow for reinstalling the gas tank in a Harley-Davidson Softail.

Step 1: Place the gas tank in position

Carefully position the gas tank over the frame of the bike, aligning it with the mounting brackets. make sure that any wires, cables, or hoses are properly positioned, and not pinched or obstructed.

Step 2: Secure the mounting bolts

Align the mounting holes on the gas tank with the corresponding holes on the frame or mounting brackets. You should insert the mounting bolts or screws into the holes and tighten them securely using the appropriate tools. You should remember to refer to your bike’s owner’s manual for specific torque specifications.

Step 3: Reconnect the fuel line

With the gas tank securely in place, you should locate the fuel line connection point. Make sure that the connection points on the fuel line and the gas tank are clean and free from any debris or damage. Insert the fuel line into the connection point and firmly push until it clocks or locks into place. After that, give it a gentle tug for ensuring a secure connection.

See also  What is a Derby Cover: Everything You Need to Know

Step 4: Refill the fuel tank

Using a suitable container or a fuel nozzle, you should refill the gas tank with the appropriate type and quantity of fuel. Avoid overfilling the tank to prevent fuel spillage. Take note of any fuel level indicators or markings on the tank to avoid exceeding the maximum capacity.

Step 5: Reattach the gas cap

With the fuel tank filled, you should place the gas cap onto the fuel tank opening. Make sure that the cap is aligned properly and securely seated. Tighten the cap units until it is snug but don’t overtighten. Avoid overtightening the cap as it might cause damage or lead to difficulties during future removal.

Step 6: Check for leaks and functionality

Before you start your bike, visually inspect the fuel tank area for signs of fuel leakage. You should look for any wet spots, drips, or strong fuel odors. If you notice any leaks or abnormalities, you must immediately address the issue before proceeding. Once you are satisfied, turn on the bike and verify that the fuel system functions properly.

Tips to remember when removing and reinstalling the gas tank

Removing and reinstalling the gas tank on a Harley-Davidson Softail is a simple task that might be required for various maintenance or customization purposes. Whether you are performing repairs, upgrading components, or customizing your Softail, there are certain tips that will come in handy. Here are some important tips to remember when removing and reinstalling the gas tank in a Harley-Davidson Softail.

#1. Disconnect the battery

Before you remove the gas tank, you must disconnect the battery to prevent any accidental electrical shorts. This step will minimize the risk of sparks or other electrical hazards during the removal and reinstallation process.

#2. Label and disconnect wires, cables, and hoses

Before you disconnect any wires, cables, or hoses attached to the gas tank, you must label them or take clear photos for reference during reassembly. This will help you correctly reconnect each component and avoid confusion or mistakes later on.

#3. Support the gas tank during the removal

When removing the gas tank, make sure that you have a stable support system in place to prevent it from falling or causing damage. You can use a padded bench, soft blankets, or a specially designed stand to rest the tank during the removal and reinstallation process.

#4. Inspect and clean components

While the gas tank is removed, you should take the opportunity to inspect and clear any components like fuel lines, connectors, and mounting brackets. Look for any signs of wear, corrosion, or damage, and address any issues if needed. Clean components will help ensure a proper fit and improve the overall performance of your bike.

#5. Double-check connections and seals

During reinstallation and carefully reconnect all wires, cables, hoses, and fuel lines as per their labels or reference photos. Check for secure connections and proper seals to prevent fuel leaks or electrical malfunctions. Double-check all the fasteners, including mounting bolts, and ensure that they’re tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.

#6. Test for proper functionality

After you have reinstalled the gas tank, you must conduct a thorough inspection of the surrounding area to ensure everything is in order. Check for any fuel leaks, loose connections, or abnormalities. Once satisfied, you need to reconnect the battery and start your bike to verify that the fuel system functions properly.

FAQs

What tools are needed to remove the gas tank on my Harley Softail?

To remove the gas tank from your Harley Softail, you will need a few tools, including a 10mm socket and ratchet, 8mm socket and ratchet, flathead screwdriver, and a fuel line disconnector. It is also recommended to have a pan or container to catch any gas that may spill.

How do I disconnect the fuel lines when removing the gas tank?

When removing the gas tank, it is important to first disconnect the fuel lines. There are two fuel line connections at the bottom of the tank, and they should be disconnected using the fuel line disconnector. You may need to use the 8mm socket to loosen the connections first.

Do I need to drain the gas tank before removing it?

Yes, it is important to drain the gas tank before removing it. This can be done by using the 10mm socket to remove the drain plug on the bottom of the tank. Once the plug is removed, the gas can be drained into a container. Make sure to keep the container away from any open flames or sparks.

Photo of author
Author
White Star Rides is your go-to Harley-Davidson expert. We live and breathe these bikes. Our team has years of experience in fixing, riding, and loving Harleys. We know every part of these bikes and love sharing what we know with you. Whether it's about fixing a problem or just enjoying the ride, we're here to help. Trust us to make your Harley journey better and easier.

Leave a Comment