Dead in the water?

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by SimsHD, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. SimsHD

    SimsHD Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to the community here and have joined for what is probably the most common reason. I HAVE A BIKE THAT WON'T RUN. Big surprise, I know.

    To start, I bought my first bike this spring from an uncle-in-law. It is a 2001 Heritage Softail, Fuel Injected with Big Bore, Compression Release Heads, SE Throttle Body, Adjustable Rods, 2-into-1 SE Pro Pipe, Cams, etc, etc, etc. To wrap it up, I don't know what "Stage" it is, and don't really much care at this point. I just want it to run. The Bike has about 58,000 miles and it had ran great all summer. About a month ago, I was riding at about 4 a.m. and got caught in a momentary downpour. I rode out of it and continued to my destination that was another 5 miles or so. I had to make a quick stop and head to work. I stopped to do the honey-do errand and got back on the bike. I rode for about a mile and a half and it died as I approached a stop sign.

    At first I thought I had hit the kill switch, no such luck. When I tried to restart it, it began to backfire, pop, crack, and pretty much everything else but fire and run. After pushing it over a mile back to our shop, I worked for a couple of hours with no luck. Took the air cleaner off and dried it out, no luck. Took the dash off and dried everything out, put back with dielectric grease, no luck. I had no spark.

    I downloaded a Repair Manual to get started. The manual explains that to bench test the coil, primary resistance should be 0.5 to 0.7 ohms. I tested this as directed across terminals A&C and A&D. The meter read 0.6 ohms. The manual says to test the secondary by checking resistance across terminals B&C and B&D and to look for a reading of 5500 to 5700 ohms. My meter read no continuity whatsoever. Tried another meter, same results. I was getting ready to order a coil when i guest appeared on this site and read too many threads that say it's never the coil. I bought new plugs and re-installed the coil and wires. I now have a fat blue spark when I grould a plug against the head and hit the starter. Did the "dark test" and found no stray arcing (have to say here, the dark test would be much easier if I could turn the headlight off!). I have began to check connections but have yet to find anything. The battery, fuses, relays, fuel pump all test fine. I performed the recommended self code retrieval by jumping terminals 1&2 int he Deutsch plug and recorded codes 24 & 25 from the dash. I turned the bike over without the wires attached and the plugs came out wet. I believe it's getting fuel but can't be sure if it is enough. If I crack the throttle after starting to crank it, it will run, but continues to pop, miss and backfire. Back off of the throttle and it dies.

    I would appreciate any help that you guys could offer. I am no HD Service Tech. I have a background in automotive repair, but it is mainly electrical. I don't have gobs of money to spend here, but would like to get it running sooner than later. I apologize for the ridiculously long post there.

  2. glgarrett

    glgarrett Active Member

    Welcome from Louisiana! :) The HD gurus will be along soon to help...
  3. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I'm not the electrical guru, that would be Hoople, but since you got nothing across terminals B&C and B&D where you were looking for 5500-5700 ohms, I'd say the coil is the culprit. Welcome to the forum.
  4. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    First off welcome to the forum!
    Does the bike have some sort of fueler on it? Something hooked to the injectors to richen the mixture? If so, I would remove it from the equation and try it without the fueler inline. Next I want to see if the fuel pump shuts off after turning on the switch and it pumps up to pressure. Open the gas cap and listen. Can you hear hissing or as if the fuel line hooked to the fuel pump has holes in it. If you can check the fuel rail pressure, that would answer the fuel line/pump questions. Your looking for 60psi. That will get you started until the geniuses get here. Report back. We'll get you going.

    Hopefully the gas is fresh and known to be good? Just sayin.
  5. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    If it is back firing and popping it sounds like it is out of time. Does it have good compression. Maybe you bent a valve or a push rod
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    From what you describe about getting wet in the rain and you have a spark and the plugs are wet. I would suspect a water problem either in the fuel or in the switches somewhere. When you see a wet plug, try to determine if it is fuel wet or if you have possibly gotten water in the tank and what you are seeing on the plug is water or fuel.

    Maybe for openers, remove and drain the tank completely and blow it out with compressed air. Put fresh fuel in it and try again after purging the fuel system too.
  7. SimsHD

    SimsHD Member

    Wow, I didn't expect so much help so fast. You guys are great.

    HDDon: I too suspected the coil, but now I suspect the method of testing may have been wrong. I did it by the book, but I don;t think this is an actual HD Manual. Most of the time, I have heard of checking the secondary side between the outputs and not at the input side (plug side). At any rate, since I replaced the plugs, I have a fat blue spark at the plugs when I ground them against the cylinder heads.

    Bodeen: The fuel pump pumps up and stops. No hissing that I can hear and the tank was drained and refilled. I always run 92+ in this bike and had not had a problem before. Also reminds me that I checked the check valve/quick disconnect and found nothing wrong.

    Kemo: I fear the same thing but hate to tear into it that far if it is something simple.

    Glider: I should have specified. The plugs are fuel wet after I cranked it without the wires on. I was trying to see if the injectors were working and it appears they are. Or at least good enough to soak the plugs with gas after 2-3 revolutions. I will take the tank/fuel system purging under advisement. As I said, I had drained and replaced the fuel, but had not pressure blew or purged the system.

    Oh Yeah, at this point I am chalking this up to a coincidence with the rain thing. It has been a month since that dreadful day when I realized just how heavy a heritage is and exactly how far a mile and a half is.
  8. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I guess a compression test would be a logical next step.
  9. 2000classic

    2000classic Active Member

    I think I would test out thr CPS.
  10. maine-e-axe

    maine-e-axe Junior Member

    Have the timing chain tensioners been changed? If not a compression check should tell you to go to the cam chest or not. 58,000 would be "alot" of miles on cam chain tensioners. Check to see if it has a fuel controler,good chance it do'es with the other upgrades to the motor, if it do'es, unplug it and bypass it, it might fire right up. good luck