98 Softail NO SPARK :(

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by SpringerSteve98, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. SpringerSteve98

    SpringerSteve98 Active Member

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    So i have a 1998 Softail springer with a fairly stock 80 ci late model evo. After running hard (80mph) for about 500 miles the other day. Got where i was going, stopped and started fine still... It sat overnight in the rain, then i tried to start it the next morning (still wet) and it wouldn't fire. I knew after running hard it had puked some oil back into the carb... about 1/2 quart in the trip. So i took the carb apart and it was due a cleaning anyway, got it all back together and it still wouldn't fire. And after testing it a little i've came to the conclusion that its not firing. By testing a little i mean i grounded the plug on the cylinder head and held it slightly away looking for a spark. There was nothing. The things i've read and were told to look for were the cam shaft sensor plug and or cam shaft sensor, the plug (i assume thats under the tank) with 8 wires and contains the white wire with the black stripe that eventually leads to the coil. I don't have a multimeter with me, just basic tools as i am quite far from home atm. I'm wondering which pole on the coil is hot and if i can hook it straight up to the battery and see if that fixes it. Otherwise id assume its the little deal that has replaced the points inside the nose cone. Any help would be appreciated. Looking for someone to point me in the right direction.
    I did look in the nose cone and noticed the plastic piece looks like its been hot and melted. After looking at other parts (on ebay) they all looked like that as well. Is that normal?
     
  2. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

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    The unit with the 8 wires is your ECM or ECU. That controls the ignition, it's your computer.The W/B is your Hot to the coil.The other wire on the coil should be Pink.It comes from the ECM. It gets it signal from the Cam Sensor Plate. If you disconnect the pink wire at the coil,or unplug the cam sensor(the little deal that replaced the points) from the wiring harness, you should have 12Vdc at the coil,W/B wire, and on the lug where the pink wire was.In other words both sides of the coil should have 12Vdc.The reason for disconnecting the pink wire is to a possible closed function in the cam sensor plate.You can use a 12v test light for this.Your coil could be open.Most likely it's your cam sensor plate.There are test for both but you will need a Volt-Ohm meter.Good luck with it being not at home.It may be as simple as water in your switches causing the breakers to trip. Try blowing them out with compressed air.The breakers will reset after the short is gone.
    tourbox
     
  3. SpringerSteve98

    SpringerSteve98 Active Member

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    So is there a way to bypass the cam shaft sensor plate? Can i just hotwire the coil straight to the battery somehow to get home?
     
  4. SpringerSteve98

    SpringerSteve98 Active Member

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    OK. After further inspection... Hasn't rained in two days here. I did notice some water in some of the wiring under the seat. I borrowed a 12v test light from a neighbor. There is NO power to the coil at all. At least not enough to light up the test light what so ever. I checked with the ignition on, as well as with the engine cranking. The wiring from the ECM plug to the ECM inside the factory shrink wrap or heat shield was absolutely soaked. :( Most likely not a good sign. I cut the plastic coating away and let it dry out. I used the test light on both sides of all breakers and nothing was tripped. Plugged everything back in and still no juice to the coil. I did test the simple stuff as well. Ignition switch etc. Checked all plugs between the tanks, everything there seems to be dry and ok. Any ideas on further diagnosing my problem? How do i test the ECM? How can i test the cam shaft sensor? And which could cause the coil to not have any power at all?
     
  5. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Here is everything you need. Power comes in, through fuse, then to bars kill switch and out to the coil.
    Use an ohm meter on the bars cable. Could be a break in wire from bars back/forth swing (right at steering neck).
    Of course also check fuse.

    Let me know if you need help.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

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    I don't exactly know where your connectors from the handlebars connect to the main harness.They may be between your gas tanks or under them.Earlier Soft tails were under the tanks below the back bone.Any way find the conn. for the right hand switches and look for voltage/test light on the Gray wire,both sides of the connector. That supplies power to the Run/Kill switch. In the Run position you should have power on the W/B, both sides of the connector again, which goes to your coil.The W/B also goes to the ECM.Looks like pin 1 on Hoople's pdf.Check there also for the 12Vdc or light.Did you check for voltage on the coil with the pink wire off or on the coil? Hoople's pdf is very good but I had trouble reading the wire colors even magnified.Old age I guess(lol). I ck'd my manual for the colors. No you can't bypass the cam sensor plate.You would not have any pulsing to the coil the make the plugs fire. I saw no test for the cam sensor plate,only for the coil.Keep us posted.
    tourbox