Negative cable ground - new position?

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by RAWLDYMAN, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. RAWLDYMAN

    RAWLDYMAN Active Member

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    Might be repacing my battery soon and I see that the battery negative cable on my 1200 is grounded in just about the most innaccessible position one could find on the bike. It's right down in the middle of the bike, behind the starter, behind oil pipes, in front of what I think is the ECM...
    Even if I could get it off using some kind of swivel socket, there's just no space to get a hand in there to get it hooked back on, never mind get the nut started & screwed home.
    Which brings me to my question:
    If one could find a more accessible/handy location for grounding the cable would it be ok, electrically, to do it? If it could be done it would save a lot of trouble. Or is this off the wall?
     
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    When a bike has a solid mount engine there is no problem with where the earth strap from the battery is fitted however with a rubber mount motor there needs to be an earth connection between between the motor and the frame
    I am pretty sure you can have the earth strap from battery to anywhere on the frame or motor but there needs to be a good connection between the motor and frame

    Brian
     
  3. RAWLDYMAN

    RAWLDYMAN Active Member

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  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I am not sure at this time exactly how your bike is wired but with modern electronics stuff has to be done right I personally would keep the earth strap connected to the motor/gearbox unit somewhere
    Often the moco will do some things that seem to us daft but keeps clutter hidden

    Brian
     
  5. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    Also the electronics have to be a certain way so that there is no interference with the operation of the systems...:eam
     
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Harley Davidson Forums This may help you understand the importance of grounds, you can use a test light hooked up to the positive of the battery, probe end of the test light will now light up when you touch metal that will complete the ground circuit
     
  7. Hobbit

    Hobbit Active Member

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    if your changing the battery why are you undoing the earth strap of the cases? or is it just to move it per say as you don't like were it is? on the earlier rubber mounts it was attached to the cases on the outside edge of the primary towards the rear on the UK bikes but I've found a few service manual pics for yours with the new centre mount
     

    Attached Files:

  8. RAWLDYMAN

    RAWLDYMAN Active Member

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  9. Hobbit

    Hobbit Active Member

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    it suggests as well as unclipping the ECU to get more room buy i couldn't get the pic to up load
     
  10. RAWLDYMAN

    RAWLDYMAN Active Member

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    Think this might be a way to get at the earth mount on the motor; undo rear exhaust clamp, unbolt drive sprocket cover and move it out of the way a bit. This should enable an open end spanner to reach the neg connection on the motor. Still awkward with the oil pipes etc in way but seems do-able.
    Gonna have a go at it anyway.

    @ Hobbit: is that in the FSM?? Can't see how that ECM cover could be shifted.

    The pic from the manual showing the extension & swivel might work to get it off: it's getting the nut set back on the post again and started that would be the hard bit - just no room to get a hand in there!