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Old 05-19-2011, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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reserve fuel, how does it work

How does the reserve gas work on an atv or m/c? i know you flip a switch of knob to change on/off/res but how does it work? i know the off/on part is just that, closes off the line stopping flow.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The petcock valve has a tube that sticks up inside the gas tank. When the valve is in the "on" position, it takes fuel through the top part of the tube. When the valve is in the "reserve" position, it takes fuel from the bottom of the tube. So if you have it in the "on" position, once the fuel gets down below the top of the tube, it will run out of fuel. Then, you turn the valve to the "reserve" position and finish running the fuel out of the tank. This is why it's important to turn the valve back to the "on" position after you refill the tank. If you don't it will run all the fuel out and you won't have any in the "reserve" position when you run out.
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Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Last edited by Helmut; 05-19-2011 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Usually there is a tube that reaches up into the tank from the petcock,and it is the main fuel supply,once it gets below the top of that tube,you basically run out of gas even though there is gas BELOW the opening in that tube..The gas below the opening in the top of that tube is your reserve fuel,and once you turn the petcock to reserve,it rotates the flow opening made into the lever to line up with the hole in the bottom of the tank,and you are then on reserve,plus whatever is sitting in the bottom of the tank,water is heavier than gas,as is sand,mud so it is best to not run out of gas on the main tank,as the reserve can,and has been known to contain all the nasty carb clogging crud,and h20...
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here is a picture of a Yamaha petcock valve. Yamaha's have two tubes. When the valve is in the "on" position, it takes the fuel from the big tube. When the valve is in the "reserve" position, it takes the fuel from the short tube. I just posted the picture of the Yamaha petcock valve because it's easier to see how it works.

Click the image to open in full size.

Honda petcock valves only have one tube, but it still works in the same way. It takes fuel from the top when in the "on" position and fuel from the bottom when in the "reserve" position. Here is a Honda petcock valve.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Last edited by Helmut; 05-19-2011 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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ok i was wondering, a guy at work has an 02 recon and was out riding and it quit on him way out in the woods. looked in tank and saw gas and was like WTFlip, dinked with it for a while, then changed it to reserve and wammo, it started. that got me to wondering how it works.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks for the picture.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You're welcome.
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Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That is also why when you drain your tank you want to drain it on the reserve setting so that you get all of the fuel out of the tank.
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