Electrical problem - what did I burn up?!

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by Speedwell, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Speedwell

    Speedwell New Member

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    2004 XL1200C hadn't been started in about 5 weeks. It cranked over a couple of times but never caught. Then just the clicking sound. Figured the battery ran down. Lights work at this point. I jumped it (per manual) and nothing, no clicking, no turning over, nothing. I take the jumper battery off and smell an electrical burn with a little whisp of smoke from under the seat generally in the area of the battery. Got the seat off within 30 seconds and nothing is hot, looks burned, or damaged. Have checked every fuse, and the one relay at the fuse box. Battery shows 12.2 volts, a little low but nothing on the bike works, no lights, horn, starter, etc.

    So what did I mess up and need to replace? I really don't want to haul it to an HD dealer. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Hard to say, but cross your fingers. I suggest REMOVING, cleaning with a wire brush, and resecuring the mating surfaces at both ends of both battery cables. Disconnect the negative cable first, and reattach it last. FULLY charge the battery until the Vdc across the poles is close to 13Vdc (12.8). With the seat off and hopefully some help with eyes-on, try starting again and watch carefully for any sources of smoke. If any, STOP immediately and investigate.

    Hopefully, it was just the battery cable connections.

    TQ
     
  3. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Yep, what TQ says should get you rolling.. It would be what I would do first.:)
     
  4. Speedwell

    Speedwell New Member

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    Thanks TQ - will try that. This 2004 only has 3,000 miles and garaged since new. It's as clean as a new one and this is the FIRST problem!

    Thanks for the confirmation!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2010
  5. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    Sitting for 5 weeks is a lot different if it was "ran normally" before the 5 weeks.

    A new battery could be needed.... When was the last battery put into bike? or is it the original.. Sitting for a long time is hard on them. Even when using a tender.

    If original battery, it is past time.

    If the other suggestions Don't work out,,, You might want to pull inspection plat or derby cove and give it a whiff... BAD Burnt smell from there means STATOR..

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  6. hogrotten

    hogrotten Junior Member

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    Don't forget to check all the fuses! :s
     
  7. Speedwell

    Speedwell New Member

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    New battery in April. Was running great as usual, everything seemed normal. It's always been hesitant on the first try at starting, like something with very high compression, but then would start right off the second time I hit the start button. Still working on this and thanks to all for the input! Speedwell
     
  8. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    This is very typical of a bad ground. Hope the suggestion above solves it for you.

    TQ
     
  9. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

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    Ditto...clean connectons & make sure ground is tight. Let us know if it brought the scoot back to life.
     
  10. Speedwell

    Speedwell New Member

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    Everybody is right! Thanks guys, I really missed the obvious. I should have known it had a dead short after I had the new battery put in in April. I've got an old P/U that did the thing. Anyway, the negative ground was loose enough to arc to the frame...the short. Finally it made enough of a connection to MELT the lead off the negative terminal leaving nothing but a hole on that side. Battery still showed 12.2 volts but nothing to bolt a cable to. So now $100 poorer and I am putting my own battery in and tightening the bolts myself! I appreciate the help getting my brain in gear....Speedwell