2005 FXD Superglide won't start

Discussion in 'Dyna Models' started by hdkev2004, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. hdkev2004

    hdkev2004 Member

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    Last year I was riding along and the bike began to misfire and it acted like it was going to shut down. All the electronics would flicker on and off. When I found a spot to pull over and shut the bike off it wouldn't start again. So I trailered it home and left it in the garage for the winter. It gets kind of cold here and I really didn't find the time to work on it over winter. A few weeks ago I started guessing my way to a solution. I checked the error codes and got a "low voltage" error. My first thought was the battery since it was 5 years old and an aftermarket so I bought a new one (Harley) just to make sure it wasn't a weak battery. Well, after I changed the battery it cranked over real slow but wouldn't start. I tried again and the only thing I got was the clicking sound from the starter relay. I started looking for ground wires and cleaned all terminals that I could see. I checked voltage readings at the solenoid and it was over 13 volts. I then checked to see if I got voltage from the wire that leads to the actuator in between the solenoid and starter. I got 0 volts at rest, and 0 volts when I pushed the start button on the handlebar.

    So I did some research and found out how to jump the solenoid. I took a piece of heavy gauge wire and jumped the solenoid from the post on top of the solenoid to the tab that powers the actuator. The bike cranked over twice slow and then fired up. I pulled the starter relay and I had 12 to 13 volts at the top terminal. I still wasn't happy about the starter not rolling over fast so I began to move some of the wiring under the seat so that I could get to the back of the fuse panel. The key was still on and when I touched the ignition switch wires they were hot to the touch.

    Are the ignition switch wires normally hot to the touch? If not, any ideas on what would cause this?

    Should I do a better test of the starter? Maybe jump the starter directly from the battery with wire and a push button start switch? Any way to test the starter in the bike?

    I'm at a loss here and I don't know what to test or change next. The bike is carbureted and the only mod that I've done that involves electrical was to put 16" ape hangers on it and run the wires through the bars.
     
  2. bc45

    bc45 Active Member

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    First you should test the Battery voltage at the battery while trying to crank it. (I know you just replaced it but it could be bad or not charged all the way) when you crank it voltage needs to be over 9.5volts or the ignition system may not function as it should. In your case when you hit the starter button and it clicks what is the voltage at the Battery?
     
  3. hdkev2004

    hdkev2004 Member

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    I'll check in the AM and get back to you bc. I tested it at rest and got 12 to 13 volts but not while I was cranking it over.
     
  4. bc45

    bc45 Active Member

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    Also go ahead and test at the battery cable on the starter while trying to crank.
    are you using a digital volt meter? you said you had 12 to 13 volts at solenoid static. that is a big spread, 12.2 volts static across the battery is a discharged battery while 12.6 to 12.7 is fully charged,
     
  5. hdkev2004

    hdkev2004 Member

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    I'm using a digital meter and the voltage was 12.6 and 12.7. I don't have steady hands and sometimes the tester lead would move. I went out this morning and put the meter on the battery using my alligator clips instead. When I read the battery voltage it was 12.67. I tried starting the bike and it cranked over slowly. But then it fired up as usual and I shut the bike down. The reading on the meter was 9.4 volts when cranking. But I noticed some smoke coming from underneath the bike. I wasn't able to locate it before it dissipated so I tried starting the bike again. The voltage was lower across the battery and dropped below 9.40. Before I could get a good reading of how low it would drop the smoke started billowing out from under the bike. I immediately let off the start button on the handlebars and it looked like it was coming from under the starter. The bike never started this time. I put the battery back on the battery tender to get a good charge again.
     
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Pull the battery out of the bike while you are charging it. This will also give you abetter view of the wires once you remove the battery box. Seems to me there is a ground near the starter
     
  7. hdkev2004

    hdkev2004 Member

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    Thanks guys, I'll pull the battery and charge it overnight. The bike was lowered 1" before I bought it so it's kind of hard to get under there. I'm going to need to build some kind of spacers since the frame has a fin on the right side and makes things difficult to raise it up level. I guess the fin is supposed to protect the transmission pan but it was a stupid engineering design.

    Should I be looking for a power wire or ground wire burnt?

    Is there a ground or any other electrical connections located under the starter?

    Since I changed the bars, does anyone think that maybe the wire got pinched at the kill or start switch, maybe somewhere in between? I'm probably jumping the gun here.
     
  8. bc45

    bc45 Active Member

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    Yes check the batt cable all the way to the starter, also check and make sure the ground cable is clean and tight at the frame and both cables are tight on the battery when you re install it. See if you can see where smoke is coming from. Could it have been from the starter motor? Causes for voltage dropping that low while cranking are Battery, Bad connections causing high resistance,starter pulling to many amps.
     
  9. bc45

    bc45 Active Member

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    I don't have a diagram for your bike but all the ones I have the switch on the bars just activates the starter relay that supply's power to the green wire to the starter solenoid on the starter. So it is unlikely that the problem is caused by a wire being pinched at the bars.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2013
  10. hdkev2004

    hdkev2004 Member

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    I like the ideas. I looked at the cables from the battery and I didn't see anything at first glance that shows signs of burning. I also made sure they were tight. I'm going to try to put the bike up on blocks or something tomorrow so I can get under it. There was a strong smell of electrical burning but before the smoke I couldn't tell whether it was coming from the fuse panel, solenoid, or starter. I'm beginning to wonder if something wasn't damaged taking it off a trailer at one time because it was lowered and just got worse over a period of time. I'm glad to hear that you don't think it is in the handlebars. I don't do great work but I'm pretty sure that I did the wiring thru the handlebars correctly :D. Once I find anything, or not, I'll post back maybe with some pictures. The battery is off the bike and on the trickle charger for the night. The trickle charger has a green light and a red light. Both lights are on solid. If the battery was at full charge then the green light would blink (charge) every so many seconds. I hope I didn't fry the new battery doing this testing so far. I'll leave it out until I find the problem.