Starting issues

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Grips1990, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. Grips1990

    Grips1990 New Member

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    i have a 1990 springer. couple days ago while riding an it was like someone just shut it off . It wasnt getting fire an wouldnt start i get it towed home an next days starts up but! only as you let off the start button. If you hold start button it will just crank an crank. also i should note the ignition switch gets hot at times its not always hot .
    Any helps would be great new to the Harley world an to these forums
    Thanks Grips 1990, Hank..
     
  2. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    Good thing we got a Hoople around.. This is probably right up his alley..

    I'm waiting for his response.. I think it to be a bad ignition switch (hot) and maybe a short in the starter wire there..?

    we'll see when Hoop gets here..:majesty

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I may be way off here but if it starts when pushing the start button but quits when you release it to me it sounds like a faulty ballast resistor however it may be that your bike does not have one
    But if it does then that is where i would start

    Brian
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Check or replace the main breaker. It was a problem in the early 90's bikes.
     
  5. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    I have seen/heard of several early '90's Softails having a problem with the ignition switch. An ignition switch should not get hot. It's easy to remove the dash panel and check the wire connections. Also, wiggle the switch while pushing the start button.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  6. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Heat from the ignition switch means there is a voltage drop across it and it is probably bad. I would replace it.

    As Glider says, main breaker has got to be replaced or better yet replaced w/ a Maxi Fuse.

    A Possible theory:
    Between those two items above, PLUS the normal voltage drop your battery sees from the starter motor cranking the engine,,your total combined voltage drop must be really high (> 3.0 volts) which may be the what the ignition module needs just to turn on and work because it is solid state and requires a threshold voltage.

    Therefore until you release your finger off the starter, (relaxing some of the voltage drop) the ignition module won't turn on so there will be no spark during cranking until you release your finger.
    My guess is the voltage at the coil during cranking is in the 8's due to the combined voltage drops..

    Don't make the mistake of replacing just ONE part & the bike now seeming to work fine. That is only buying you a grace period. If the ignition has gotten hot, replace it.
     
  7. Grips1990

    Grips1990 New Member

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    thanks for the info everyone. ill replace both those items an see what happens.
     
  8. Grips1990

    Grips1990 New Member

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    thanks for the help you guys saved me a fortune. Replaced the switch an starts like new i also replaced main breaker just to be safe .