Starting the 103ci when hot

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by DakotaRob, May 30, 2012.

  1. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

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    Having some minor issues when starting the bike after the engine is hot. For example, after I've done a fuel stop. It seems it needs to crank a good 3 or 4 seconds till it fires up. If I let off the starter too soon, it just makes it worse, since it will need another few seconds of cranking before it lights off. When cold, it fires right up. The bike is stock... No pipes/tuner/etc.

    Not sure if this is normal for the 103? It was really obvious when I took the skilled rider class a couple weeks ago. It was in the mid 80's and doing the range exercises meant several start ups and shut downs though out the afternoon. The other two HD's in the class (2010 and 2012 ultra's) seemed to fire up at least twice as quick as my Road Glide. Even the instructor's carb'd Softail fired right up every time.

    I've been following the suggested starting procedure the dealer told me... Let the fuel pump cycle before hitting the start button. Occasionally, I'll notice a little bit of a raw fuel smell, which to me suggests it's a little too much fuel at start up.

    The bike just had its 10k service which included new spark plugs. This is my third HD, had an 88ci Fatboy and a 96ci E Glide and don't recall having this issue.
     
  2. FerrousBueller

    FerrousBueller Junior Member

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    I'm only curious, did they change the plugs at the 10K or, just inspect them? My owner's manual ( for '09 96c.i. motor ) only suggests inspection of the plugs.

    I would recommend replacing them yourself, including checking the gap of the new plugs. It's real easy, not terribly expensive and a simple way to eliminate the plugs as an issue.

    I did my own 10K service and swapped out the plugs instead of an inspection. Made an immediate difference with hot re-starts!

    I also thoroughly cleaned and re-oiled the K&N air filter. The filter may have had an influence on re-starts, however, I doubt it.

    Please let us know of your results!

    Cheers!
     
  3. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    Try this;

    When you shut it off at fueling, when hot starting it,,,,, "HIT" the starter button AS SOON as you turn on the switch on the handle bar... Don't wait the usual wait... This will Elevate the process of the Pump cycling JUST to see "IF" that could be the problem.

    IF it starts Easy then it is another problem,,, I don't know how to correct BUT some one here will......:D

    ALSO, make sure you are NOT twisting the throttle..... NONE

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  4. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    If brother Bubbie's method doesn't work, :) try this: Wait until the check engine light goes out before hitting the start button. I have heard that it takes the ecm a few seconds to go through self check steps when the key is turned on. No proof, but I always wait for the light to go out. NO throttle.
     
  5. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys... I'll check the plugs, although I'm pretty sure they charged me for new ones on the bill.

    I'll also hit the button without waiting and try waiting till the check engine light goes out... Let you know the results! Might be a day or two since we're supposed to be back to 50s and rain around here the next day or two.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    You did not mention if this problem has just started or has been this way since day one. The crank sensors on the late model bikes are pushed to the absolute temperature limits of their design (150*C). They are hard to test with any reliability. That's something I would look at closely. You didn't say if the 10K service was performed by a HD dealer or an Indy shop. Make sure the plugs are genuine HD year/model specific. I would not substitute brand or type.

    Since you smell fuel at start up, think about that crank sensor and make sure the plugs are new, the correct type & gaped on the tight side of the adjustment range.
    Just to eliminate this possibility try changing to a different brand just to see if it has an effect. Heat soaking is where fuel additives kick in. Knowing how long this has been a problem helps with diagnosis.
     
  7. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

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    Thanks for the input Hoople...

    In answer to your questions. Yes, it was serviced at the HD dealer. On my receipt, it says plugs were replaced: 32369-04X - SPARK PLUG, 6R12 BULK PAC.

    As far as when the problem started? I got the bike in late January, and got a good bit of riding time it this winter and spring (about 2200 miles worth which is a lot by South Dakota standards!). I noticed that the engine cranked over one or two more times than my 07 E Glide. Figured that was just the way the 103ci motor was. When the warmer weather got here I started to take note of longer cranking intervals. Out of habit I would let off the start button at the point it had been catching, however now it didn't actually start at that point. Then when I tried it again, it would need that longer cranking interval before it started. I've got to the point now where I know it's going to take an extra second or two before it starts.

    I also thought since I was at the 10K mark, new plugs would solve it. Got that service done about a week before the rider course. During the course is when it really became obvious that my 103 took twice as much cranking time as the other guy's 103. Of course, my bike had 11,000 miles and his had 3500.

    Maybe I'm just being too fussy? The bike always starts, so no problem, right? The little voice in my head says maybe this is going to get worse; and when I'm at the top of Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park in mid July is when the bike will decide not to start at all.

    I just figured I'd post the scenario here and get some input from y'all since you guys are way more mechanically inclined than me. :s
     
  8. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Hummm. The 6R12 plug is the correct plug type but I think the part number should have been 32362-04. That 32369-04X doesn't even seem to be in the HD database. I would find out what the deal is on that part number. That part# doesn't make sense to me unless it's an Iridium Screaming Eagle plug, in which case I would pull them out. I have been down that road and won't do that again. The standard 6R12 #32362-04 sells for $3.95 (MSRP). If that's what they charged you, then maybe your part number on the receipt is just a type-0. Being bulk pack should not change the core of the part number.

    The reason I replied to your thread was because I had a starting issue similar to yours. My engine could be hot or cold but when hot it was worse. There were times it may complete 4 compression revolutions before it would catch (that's 8 crank revolutions). I didn't like it at all because it gives your starter and ring gear unnecessary wear & tear. And the ring gear is not available buy itself so it's $$. The bike was only about 1 1/2 years old. I checked a bunch of things with no improvement. I couldn't believe the crank sensor could be bad so early in life. Delphi are leaders in engine sensors and I expect more. It wasn't a crazy expensive part (~$50) so I thought I would give it a try. Got to admit I was really surprised but after I changed it, the engine started 100% better. It now turns maybe 2 revolutions and she kicks off.

    I really can't see any late model 96/103 starting with fewer turns because there is no cam sensor and the ECM has to learn spark phasing before it will start. My guess (theory) is at least 2 compression strokes are required on any 1 cylinder before the ignition can phase itself to the crank. So depending on the start position of the crank, 2 maybe 3 revolutions should do it. Once again, it's only my theory.

    By all means try the earlier suggestions posted by others. I'm not saying the sensor is your problem, but for me it happen to work. Worse case you change the sensor and save the old one as "used but good". If you keep the bike long enough, the day will come when that sensor goes "flat line". And you will already have a spare.
     
  9. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

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    I double checked my receipt to make sure I didn't typo that part number... it does say "32369-04X"... and the price is $3.95.

    Thanks again for your input Hoople, I really appreciate the info. I'm hoping to have some time tomorrow evening to take one of the spark plugs out, I'm real curious now.

    What's involved in changing the crank sensor? I've been wanting to pick up a service manual but have not got one yet.
     
  10. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    The price for the plug is right. The 6R12 is right. Can't be a Screaming Eagle plug for that low price. Probably just a type-o.

    To change a crank sensor on the late model bikes is a 30 minute job. Very easy with no adjustments to make.

    One other thing. Just for the fun of it, perform a simple WOW test just to see if you have any historical diagnostic codes. Wouldn't it be something if all this time you had something like a historical P1353 or P1356 code. That sure would make anyone feel embarrassed. :)