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Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by muscles, Jan 19, 2005.
First, put your multi-meter on the battery. Check to see that you have at LEAST 13.5-14.4v (with the ignition switch off). If yes, with the meter still on the battery (ignition on), press the starter button. Did the voltage go away? If it did, then your battery needs charged, or it just maybe shot. If it didn't, then put the leads on the starter motor wire, where it goes to the starter motor. Check to see if you have voltage/amperage there. Post back and tell me your readings. Also tell me if it is fuel-injected or carb'd.
Oops, I forgot that you said it was an '81, so that would eleminate the fuel injection question.
...and I had the same problem. You didn't mention what model Harley you have but there is a relay located under the seat on mine that was bad. It was a $15 or so part and cured my problem. That's the first place I'd look. I have a maintenance manual that made location of the relay simple. There are several in the same location. If the relay is OK, the contacts on the main solenoid down on top of the starter could be a bit fried. They are a real pain to get to on a Sportster, (gotta remove the exhaust, rear master cylinder, foot peg, and side plate covering the drive sprocket) but they can be dressed up with fine emery cloth and that should do the trick. Let us know what you find out.
Oh, and 13.8-14.4 V sounds a bit high with the motor off, that's what it should read with the motor running. A normal battery at rest should read 12V. You did say your battery was charged though...
If you want I could look the info up in my manual, when I find it...
13.8-14.4v with the motor off is NOT a bit high! The battery has to have enough juice to turn the motor over AND fire the coil(s). I'm not saying that it would not start, I saying that it's better to have more voltage(duh) than fouling plugs. Trying to help someone fix a bike via internet posts can be difficult, that's why I said "post back with readings". Throwing parts at a bike with out even hearing the results of the above tests is foolish. Start from the begining, then narrow down the faulty part systematicaly.
...you never mentioned if you have any experience with Harley's, much less any experience with the problem this fellow is having. I doubt if I was him that I'd have any faith in your knowledge as you have posted. He already said his battery was charged! Why would you doubt him based on his internet post? I've had the problem he is having and have repaired it myself with my manual and superior troubleshooting skills. I suggest you read what has been posted already, carefully, and base YOUR post on that. This is meant as advice.
If you measure anything above 12-12.5 volts on an IDLE battery it must have 14 cells! I wouldn't believe anything you had to offer to this post nohow, noway.
If you would have read the original post you would have read that his starter doesn't turn over, "it clicks when I push the starter," is what he said. Clicking doesn't draw any current. I'd suggest you get some training other that the backyard, which is what your posts indicate so far. I mean this as a friendly gesture to save you further embarassment. Not to further embarass you but what does voltage have to do with fouling plugs or his problem. Fouling plugs is more a function of fuel mixture, or burning oil (like two cycle engines, or worn piston rings.)
Besides, what does fuel injection vs carburation have to do with the starting system?
Oh, Muscles, I doubt that your starter is bad. Check the things I mentioned, they are cheap fixes.
sportster or big twin? it makes a difference. is the starter a hitachi or prestolite? I have seen people replace every part in the starting system trying to fix it themselves, before they bring it to my shop, only to find it's a bad connection or switch,!! It could be mis-alignment of the shaft's and levers on the primary side of the harley. you will need an inductive amp meter, and a multi meter to diagnose the electrical circuits on these bikes. battery voltage should be 12.6 to 13.2 on a full charge. check the starter relay for a good ground. cross the small wire on the selenoid with the large longer copper post on the selenoid, make sure the bike is in neutral when you do this, if it cranks, the primary circuit is good, if not back to the switch, secondary wiring, start relay etc. the starter can be bench tested, it needs to be removed from the bike it should draw no more than 120 amps on a free spin. TT
I'm not going to get into a pissing match with you, Eupher. But please don't try to belittle me. I am a well trained professional motorcycle mechanic of 8yrs, diagnosed and repaired well over 1000 motorcycles, worked at Vance and Hines (pro stock drag racing team, not the accesories dept.), and have a passion for anything with two wheels. Any electrical problem involves the battery, so it is very important to know the condition. Fuel injected bikes need the battery to turn over the motor, fire the coil (weak spark, fouls plugs), and run the ECU. Many FI bikes will spray fuel into the throttle bodies, but not spark with a weak battery (foul spark plugs). If I were see the bike in person I'd have it fixed. Besides, this guy isn't posting back, so it doesn't even matter. And by the way, I don't work in the backyard. My garage is WELL equipped!