1989 FLHTC starting/loss of power when running

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by jhug87, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. jhug87

    jhug87 New Member

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    Hey all,

    I recently acquired a 1989 FLHTC as my first bike. Shortly after I bought it, it began showing signs of a short somewhere in the system (voltage jumping all over the place, blinkers occasionally not working then working again, radio cutting off and putting engine noise through the speakers, and the neutral light only works every once in a great while).

    Then it started giving difficulty while starting. The previous owner had problems with the ignition switch, so he mounted another switch on the side of the bike with a jumper wire straight from the switch to the starter. Using that, the starter would turn and turn and turn, but the engine wouldn't fire up. One day after doing that for about 10 minutes, I kicked it into first and hit the switch, and it fired right up. Other times, if I shifted through gears and turned the ignition on and off a few times and then tried it, it would work.

    Well now, I was having those normal problems leaving work, and finally got it started. About 2 blocks down the road, it started to die on me. I figured maybe I didn't let it warm up enough, so I just rode it in the higher rpm range for a couple miles. After about 10 miles of interstate, I exited and almost immediately it began to sort of bog down when I released the throttle, then it just died out. I went through the same start up process (for about 15 minutes), got it going, then got about another mile down the road and it just died out again. I tried starting it this time until the battery died (and was actually getting some bad starter noises) and I just had it towed home.

    I'm not really experienced in the testing of circuits, but I can get my hands on a multimeter if need be. My question is - where should I start. I should also mention that after putting it on a tender for 2 days, I just fired it right back up again with really no problems.

    Any help to this newbie is appreciated.
     
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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  3. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

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    Welcome from So. Texas. I would do as Jack said plus put the battery on a regular charger then have it load tested. It probably also wouldn't hurt to replace the Ign. switch and get the wiring correct.
    tourbox
     
  4. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    +1, you'll have nothing but trouble until you get the wiring issue resolved.
     
  5. jhug87

    jhug87 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I'll start with the charging system tests and go from there.

    Appreciate the responses.

    Ok so what I found was that when I put a test light onto the regulator pins that go to the stator, I was getting no light. However I went and bought a DMM, set it to 20v, put the black to the negative battery terminal, and put red on each of the regulator pins and was getting ~11.7v out of each pin.

    Now before I go out and buy a new regulator, I want to make sure that A) it sounds like I did it right, and B) a faulty regulator sounds like it could be the source of the problems I was having above.

    Again, I appreciate your guys' help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2016
  6. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    It very well can be the regulator, my question is, did you check voltage on a fully charged battery?
     
  7. jhug87

    jhug87 New Member

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    The voltage on the battery was 12.45v.
     
  8. jhug87

    jhug87 New Member

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    I ended up ordering a new regulator, installed it, and am still getting about the same voltage through each pin of the new one. Any ideas what may be causing this?
     
  9. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

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    Check to make sure the Reg. is properly grounded. If need be run a separate ground wire.
    tourbox
     
  10. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    #2 on this, re read post 2 and follow the tests