Fatboy died, is something fried?

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Badcandy, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Badcandy

    Badcandy New Member

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    I'm having some electrical problems with my scooter. I've already had two different HD shops tell me they don't see a problem. They've both checked the electrical system, charging and starting and found nothing wrong.

    The Problem: Bike loses power and then dies. It's done this three times on the road. Twice during daylight and once during night driving. I noticed the last time it happend, during the night, that the headlight, taillight, front signal markers and the instrument cluster just slowly fade out to nothing, then the motor dies. After it's died the lights all come back to what appears to be full juice, but there's not even the click click noise afterwards. Just silence. :wall:wall:wallPrevious to the stalling problem I'd get about 4-10 starts in a day and then I'd get a click click sound when I hit the start button. But the lights and stuff still looked pretty strong. I assumed it needed a new starter and had it replaced. Bike ran fine for a couple of weeks.

    Couple of background notes: I keep a trickle charger on it even though it's driven daily. Also the original owner had an alarm on it but it was malfunctioning so the last owner before me had it disconnected. The bikes got just a little over 30K on it and sat in storage for most of the last 6 years although the battery is only about six months old.

    I checked out the self help page first and I've made list of things it could possibly be based on those but I didn't see a topic that was similar to mine. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I would start with the battery and have a load test put on it to find out if it's up to the task. The main breaker could also be a problem source, they had some bad ones back then and age as well as heat plays a big part in the life of the breaker. It's cheap enough to replace either way.

    You may want to remove, wire brush and reinstall the battery cables, sometimes a bad connection can cause a similar problem as you have. Remember the cables have two ends that need attention.
     
  3. jdaws

    jdaws Active Member

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    Have you done any electrical checking yet. Always start with the basics.
    Your battery should be 12.7 volts and if you drive it often it should not need to be charged at all. cables clean? alternator output?:)
     
  4. Badcandy

    Badcandy New Member

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    The battery and the associated cables are the first on my list. Based on the excellent self help tips I've read I'm also going to look at the all the connections I can get my mits on, the MCB as you suggested, the regulator, faulty ground, wiring short, the Base Angle Sensor (which I'll have to do a little research on) and a few others. The only thing I've tentatively crossed of my list is the starter, seeing as it's new, though I'm sure it's possible it's a lemon.

    I'll get back and let you know what I find out an hopefully add a little to the knowledge base of this forum.

    Jdaws, I plan to do that starting tonight. Starting with picking up multimeter on the way home. Looks like it'll be pretty handy tool in the future if not for me then someone else.

    Again, thanks to info that's available thes boards, I can check the ranges on the various components and try to nail this little gremlin to the wall.

    Just kind of disilliusioned the HD shops couldn't do it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2009
  5. Badcandy

    Badcandy New Member

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    Put a multimeter across the battery poles. I'm getting 9.5V. Busted cell maybe? Anyway I'm taking it into the autoparts store and having it checked out.
     
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Does the reading go up if you can get it started??
     
  7. Badcandy

    Badcandy New Member

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    Don't know. It won't crank. Bought a new MCB from HD, it's a 30a. Seems kinda small. The later bikes are 40 & 50s.

    I'm guessing the MCB is under the seat?
     
  8. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Couple of things. As mentioned above, haul the battery over to the car parts shop and have them charge and load test. If the battery is OK, shop around the Indies and Metric bike shops and find a Battery Tender Jr. Get one. If you can find one locally, try here:

    Battery Tender Junior Charger - Street Bike - Accessories - Motorcycle Superstore

    Next, once you have ruled out the battery and have it back at the bike fully charged, do all the stuff Glider mentioned about cleaning the cable ends and checking the grounds. If everything checks out to here, then I am betting on the stator or VR being toast. Check out this stuff:

    Testing The Charging System - Harley Davidson Community

    TQ