electrical help needed please!

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by sirob, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. sirob

    sirob Member

    2003 wide glide , 88" , stage 1.
    on the way home from a ride I notice my speedo at first not working , then start working but lagging in accuracy. I come to a full stop, its shows 20kmh then drops to 0 a few seconds latter. I take off and it takes seconds before it starts to register and seems to lag behind in actual speed. battery terminals are tight. signals self cancel. idle is a bit erratic but seems to start and run fine. took voltage at battery tender plugin and reads 12.6 with motor off.
    go to take voltage at plugin with motor at idle and digital volt meter is bouncing from( 12 -14- 17-11-15-18)volts as soon as I get the meter close to the tender plugin to take voltage. I replace battery in meter and still does the same.(meter is picking up spuratic voltage without the prongs touching the + - terminals, how can this be possible?) ive taken volt reading at tender
    plug in to check the stator operation in the past (14.5 @ above idle )no issues. then I take voltage at battery terminals with motor running and meter bounces as prior, when I try to take reading at tender terminal without the prongs even touching terminals. whats going on here? vss? voltage reg? stator? why is my volt meter picking up volt readings as soon as the prongs are close to the battery or battery tender terminals with motor running but works normally with motor off.
  2. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

    That is strange. Have you checked for any codes? Do you have a manual? If not look in the Self Help section here for testing your Regulator & Stator. You may also want to pull the VSS and look for Fuzz.
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

  4. sirob

    sirob Member

    thanks ! tourbox & jack for the reply. I do have a manual but electrical is not my strong subject. it got dark on me last night & is raining today (no garage) so will try to figure it out tomorrow. would like to say that you have a great bunch of people on this forum, ive been lurkin (in the background) & learning for the past 3yrs. do all my own maintenance thanks to this forum.

    thank you all!!!!!!
    I've read that a dirty or bad vss can cause speedo problems but can a bad volt regulator effect the speedo? I only had time to check battery terminals and voltage with engine off/on. had the battery load tested in spring and know it is good. with engine running my volt meter is jumping between (12,15 17,18 volts back and forth) possible bad volt reg??? but how possibly can the volt meter pic up the same readings without the prongs engaged in the battery tender terminals ? how can this be? jack , what do I set the volt meter dial to check for continuity of stator? if stator checks out good could I replace only the volt regulator if its bad or both?? im thinking bad regulator because of the volts fluctuating while motor running but will check fuse box and all associated wiring first. if the volt reg is bad and letting too much volts back to battery ,in your experience ,would the volt read say a constant value eg(15.5) or would the volts bounce around like I state above
  5. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I am not particularly knowledgeable on electrical stuff but I would check voltage directly on the battery terminals to be sure of what you are getting
    with the voltage fluctuating there could be a bad ground or a failing regulator with voltages as high as 17 volts I would suspect that the battery will need replaced after you have sorted out the fault

  6. sirob

    sirob Member

    hi fin ! yes I took voltage from both (battery term & tender plug) same results.. last night I hook up battery tender and noticed it took forever to charge past 13.3 volts but it finally did top up. normally the battery tops up in less than a min. so IL
    have to take a good look at my battery term.
    hopefully a bad connection , fingers crossed!
    may be battery lost a cell? or volt reg failed and killed the battery?:(
    what puzzles me is the volt meter picking up a signal without being connected to the battery term. can that happen if there was some kind of short , may be to frame?
    hopefully will have time to diagnose after work if not raining to hard.
  7. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Be sure to properly load test battery. If bad, with replacement of battery then you can properly check charging system and see if there is a parasitic drain on battery with key off.
  8. stray dog

    stray dog Junior Member

    Follow Jacks link in post #3.
    The regulator shouldn't be letting that much voltage thru.
    That kind of spiking cannot be good for the electrical system (ECM).
    Once you figure that out, then have your battery load tested again to make sure it didn't get fried and leave you stranded somewhere.
  9. sirob

    sirob Member

    hello all!! have some results finally :D

    followed Jacks link and tested stator output , volt reg ,and had battery load tested, all checked out good. still was chasing high and low volt readings on multi meter with motor running. the meter would display any where from 10 to 17 volts for a split second and would keep cycling at random as soon as the probes were within 4 -5-" to the tender plugin as well if at contact. couldn't for the life of me figure it out until I happened to grab the front cylinder lead with my thumb & index finger :shock
    the plug lead was arching to the horn bracket & to the rear cylinder lead where they crossed each other... these leads have a red braid wire and clear shield (exterior ) will replace this GARBAGE asap.
    meter was picking up false readings (not regulator return volts).electrical taped the lead and fired her up to check volts (13.5 @ idle) :small3d026:dont know if the speedo problem is related or a coincidence but led me to this issue. rode around the block ,the speedo seems to work but hangs up at about 3kmp for a fraction of a sec before zero at a stop.. cant remember if this is normal or not ??
    thanks guys!!
  10. hobo55

    hobo55 Active Member

    Good deal. Sounds like you getting it.