Newbe needs help

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by 427cougar, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. 427cougar

    427cougar New Member

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    Hey guys,
    New to the forum and as you can guess, I'm looking for the easy answer. I have a 1992 Sportster with 13,000 miles. I've had it 5-6 years, but I'm an auto technician by trade, and am hoping that someone here can give me a little input. I have not ridden much this summer (shoulder surgery) but starting to ride more now, and it's acting up. (the bike, not my shoulder)

    Since last fall it has been giving me a no start every once in a while. Got a little worse, so I replaced the 4 year old battery yesterday. Problem still there. The relay under the seat clicks once but starter is not turning. I already replaced this two years ago. Followed the suggestions on another post and jumped the relay. With the relay pulled out of the connector a little, I jumped the relay with a wire and it started every time.....using the starter button, it only starts once in a while. Problem solved? Not quite.

    After riding a couple miles, it starts breaking up/ missing real bad. Loss of power, etc. Tries to clear out,gets worse, clears out, then runs good for 1/2 mile or so and repeats. I noticed when it is running poorly, the turn signals don't work or just flash once real slow.

    Sounds like a charging issue to me.....is there ANYWAY that bad relay could cause this? Gonna get a relay tomorrow., but the problem didn't show up for 5 miles today and I live the hills...not easy to get home if it dies.

    Stator and regulator replaced 2000 miles ago, idling it has 13 volts, 14.2 at 2000 rpms. Every connection I could find is tight.

    I know this is a longshot, but I am supposed to take the bike on a 4 day trip starting Thursday, and am running out of time. Just hoping someone else had this issue. The poor running just started today, battery conections are tight, but it is a cheapie battery.

    Thanks, Steve
     
  2. 09RG/92spster

    09RG/92spster Member

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    Cougar,
    I had a starting problem with my sportster early on and it turned out that my mechanic added another ground wire because he said the ground was weak on them. Also I had one of them "lawn mower" batteries from the auto parts store that my mechanic replaced with a real HD battery. As for the problem while running maybe others can help you on that.
    Russell
     
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I would completely remove both battery cables clean both ends and their respective contact areas
    as this sort of problem is often caused by a poor electrical connection
    it is not unknown for the battery cables to become corroded within the sheath so replacement due to their old age may be a good idea

    Brian
     
  4. 427cougar

    427cougar New Member

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    Hey Brian and Russell,

    Thanks for getting back to me. The starting problem was solved with a new relay.

    The running issue is wierd, like I said; starts to break up, lights go dim, clears out, repeats in fairly quick intervals. Won't do it in my driveway with the seat off....only when riding. Charging system shorting is my guess, but where?

    There is a wire coming off the positive side of the battery that goes to a circuit breaker. On the other side of the circuit breaker is an 8" long wire then a connector, the other side of that connector, the wire goes to the V/Reg. That short wire is getting REALLY HOT! The wire from the battery to the breaker is just warm and so is the long wire to the V/R.

    Seems to be a good wire with good connections. Battery is charging 14.4 and all the connections are good, clean and tight. Ran out of daylight and could not check that wire for resistance...not even sure it is the real problem or a result of something else bad.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,Steve

    FIXED!

    The Circuit breaker between the battery and voltage reg was shorted internally.

    Wildwood tomorrow!

    Steve
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2010
  5. Dr.Evil

    Dr.Evil Junior Member

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    A circuit breaker is nothing more than a fuse that can be reset. If it was shorted, it would not trip properly. By replacing it I would think that the high current causing the wires to get warm would now trip the new breaker. It still sounds like a poor connection issue to me
     
  6. Mad Greek

    Mad Greek Member

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    Good for you.Enjoy the trip.Have safe riding.
     
  7. 427cougar

    427cougar New Member

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    Dr. Evil,
    Short may have been the wrong word to use. Looked like it was arcing to the cover inside..... hard to tell exactly what happened because it fell apart when I pulled it out of the holder. Put a new C/B in and drove it about 30 miles.....no more heat in the wire and no more engine misfire. I think I got it.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  8. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    A short to the case is a different matter, as the circuit breaker is supposed to be isolated from the case which would be a "parallel" path. Depending on which side of the breaker path, it would damage the contacts or "starve" downstream equipment of power down that parallel path which certainly shows up in the symptoms you stated. You found the problem...so get comfort in that and enjoy your ride. Good job troubleshooting...
     
  9. Dr.Evil

    Dr.Evil Junior Member

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    Glad that was it, I didn't want you to get down the road and have a problem.
    "Ride safe"
     
  10. 09RG/92spster

    09RG/92spster Member

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    Good that you found the problem and thanks for posting the followup. I will save this post in case my sportster develops a similar problem.
    Russell