How To Clean Your Motorcycle Fuel Pump

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Gasoline is a volatile liquid, and is the most common fuel to propel a motorcycle. But with that volatility comes a fairly short time frame in which untreated gasoline remains good. After sitting for long periods of time, gas goes bad and screws up the intake system on your motorcycle. Today on MC Garage we show you how to clean the fuel pump on your fuel-injected motorcycle.

Our poor GSX-R1000 has sat for two years without even a stab at the starter button. So far, we’ve replaced the battery with a new Shorai lithium iron phosphate battery and cleaned the fuel injectors with a special tool from Motion Pro. Now we turn our attention to the source of the bad gas—the fuel tank.


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Drain Your Fuel Tank

Lucky for us, there wasn’t much gas in the tank, but still enough to make cleaning a pain. Siphoning fuel from the tank is one way to get it out, and if the tank is full, this is job number one. But you’ll always be left with a couple ounces; here’s how to empty it completely.

Get your hands on a big storage bin or oil pan to dump the gas after you pull the tank. Just go ahead and remove the fuel cap to make pouring into the bin easy as possible. This will get 95 percent of the gas out. The rest? Remove the fuel pump and the rest will drain out of the bottom. You’ll need to shake the tank a bit to extract that last bit of funky fuel. I’ve found this to be the least messy way so far for getting everything out of the tank.

Once you have it emptied, make sure you transfer the old, stinky gas into a can and then dispose of it properly. Don’t be a jerk and just dump in the dirt somewhere. There should be a hazardous waste disposal center in your city that accepts gasoline. Do your research before you begin this process.

Disassemble Your Fuel Pump

Now let’s turn our attention to the fuel pump. Now that it is out, the number one culprit will be the strainer. Designs vary from model to model and from manufacturer to manufacturer, but there will be a mesh strainer to keep sediment from being passed through the FI system.

Taking apart the fuel pump for cleaning is fairly straightforward, but, as always, consult your shop manual if you have any questions or issues. You need to pull the pump apart to get to the individual parts for cleaning. Basically you need to get to the fuel strainer, but you might as well as clean everything as you disassemble. Check out the fuel regulator to make sure nothing got past the strainer. Pull off and set aside any O-rings before you start spraying with carb or contact cleaner.

Clean Or Replace Parts

The strainer will tell the true story, and will most likely look pretty cruddy. The best course of action is to replace the strainer, but what if you don’t have a replacement on hand? You can clean it, but you need to take care not to damage it or any of the rubber parts inside the pump. Take the strainer off the pump, and hit it with contact cleaner from the inside; try to push the sediment out and further into the strainer. You can also give soap and hot water a go as well as a bath in a parts cleaner. Just don’t let anything sit in any solution too long if you don’t have a replacement handy.

Once the strainer is clean, reassemble the fuel pump in the reverse order you took it apart. Again, you should really replace the strainer and any O-rings, as this will give you the longest service life, but sometimes you just need to get your bike up and running.

Before reinstalling the pump, check the tank for rust and corrosion. If it is present, you’ll need to clean the tank and possibly reseal or coat the inside of the tank to inhibit further deterioration. But that’s another video…

Reinstall Fuel Pump And Ensure It’s Properly Functioning

Install the pump, making sure the gasket or O-ring is properly positioned and reconnect all the connections and fittings. We’ve got one more check to do on this Gixxer before we reassemble and fire it up—a compression check to assess the top end health of this well-used motorcycle. But for now that’s it for this episode of MC Garage.

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