Removing gas tank from 2009 Heritage Softtail Classic : V-Twin Forum: Harley Davidson Forums
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mike Dean wants to know Dino or Syn?
Removing gas tank from 2009 Heritage Softtail Classic

I am trying to find free insrctions on how to remove the gas tank from my 2009 Heritage Softtail Classic. Every site I go to wants money even the Harley mechanics on site. I am installing a Harley Set of speakers with amp and thumb control switch and the instructions call for removal of the tank. First thing I will have to do is drain it as it is full do to winter storage up here. If someone can direct me to a PDF instruction file download or some other web site that is free it would be much appreciated as I am on a shoe string budget. Any one else who has an old lady that says enough accessories on the Harley will under stand the budget part. My private email is
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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dirtybrain is reading this now saying WTF is this? dirtybrain is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Removing the gas tank is pretty simple and straight forward but it can get messy. I have done a few - the last one was an '06 Softail which should be pretty similar to an '09. You're right about one thing, the first thing you will want to do is drain the tank. I went to the local auto parts store and bought a cheap hand-bulb siphon pump for @ $5. It took a while but I was able to get most of the fuel out (don't rely on the fuel guage - when it's on "e" you still have plenty in there to make a sizeable mess). Take off the seat. Once you are confident you have the tank drained, the first thing you want to do is very carefully remove the console. Simply unscrew and remove the hex nut below your seedometer and very gently lift the console away from the gas tank. Unscrew the rubber trip odometer button sleeve on the left side and note the routing of the wires underneath the console. Very gently remove the wiring connectors (can all be done by hand with no special tools) and the console will come free. There should be an overfill/pressurization line (rubber fuel line) coming off the top front of the tank; remove it by simply sliding it off the fitting. Now for the potentially messy part - if your tank has a crossover line, it will be on the bottom front going from one side of the tank tunnel, under the head, to the other side of the tank. Its about 4-5 inches long and is held onto the fittings with small metal ring clamps. Undo one of the ring clamps with a pair of pliers and pull one side of the crossover line off its fitting (be prepared to get douched with gas if you still have some in the tank). You can use the same plastic hose on the hand-bulp siphon pump to place over the fitting and route it into a gas can to catch any gas left in the tank. Plug the other side of the crossover line with a 1/2" bolt or something similar in diameter. Since your bike is an '09, I am assuming it is fuel injected. If so, remove the collar fitting at the bottom rear (left) of the tank. Just simply push up on the collar and pull the fitting off; you may get a little spray if there is still air pressure in the line. Next, loosen the torx screw securing the rear of the tank to the frame (don't remember which size torx socket you need) but don't remove it yet. Remove the long bolt securing the bottom front of the tank to the bike. Lift the front of the tank carefully (it will have some friction resistance) about 2". disconnect the fuel guage wire connector underneath the tank on the left side (small wires coming from the tube-like protrusion under the tank). Once that is done, completely remove the torx screw mentioned earlier and lift the tank off the frame.

Hope that helps...
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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jreichart wants to know Dino or Syn?
To remove my tank, I picked up a couple small needle nose vice grip pliers. Clamp the crossover line on both sides as close to the nipples as you can, then cut the line in the middle. If the vice grips are tight, the only fuel that will leak is what is in that small section of clamped off line. Once the tank is off, hold it over a bucket and release one of the vice grips. Let drain and set aside until time to reinstall. The fuel line and clamps can be gotten at any auto parts store. The line is 5/16" IIRC.

As for free manual, don't know of any. You can do a google search, there are downloads for a reduced cost, and you may be able to find one on eBay for less than retail. Worst case, it really is worth the $60 in the long run.

Last edited by jreichart; 02-28-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Virginia
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dirtybrain is reading this now saying WTF is this? dirtybrain is reading this now saying WTF is this?
The clamp and cut technique is great advice and well worth it for the standard rubber fuel lines. A bit tougher to do with the steel braided ones though. There are also kits you can buy that are installed on the crossover line that will shut off the fuel so you can remove the tank without spilling fuel. I've never tried one - only heard of them and I don't recall the manufacturer but, if I remember correctly, they are @ $90 which is a bit steep considering you can get a new line for less than $5.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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dirtyshoprags wants to know where he is and how he got here
No offense, but how do you expect to install anything when you can't even figure out how to remove a gas tank on your own?
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