Having a problem with a 97 Harley Softail starting. When I press the start button the starter drags as if it is turning over the clutch very slow. I attempt starting several times and it finally starts. I replaced the battery with a higher amp battery new, replaced and added an extra ground cable. Just to make sure that the wiring from the start button was not the problem, I removed the wire from the starter solenoid and ran a 10 gauge wire from the positive side of the battery to the starter solenoid and I got the same results. The starter still dragged. Once the bike starts it runs great with no problems. The starter drags when the engine is cold or hot. Thanks
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Hi Anonymous, get out your test light and check the start button for continuity if ok track the wiring to the starter relay and solenoid your contacts could be welded, for a free wiring diagram please visit the website below and good luck. Harley Davidson Wiring Diagrams and Schematics
Hi Reaper, first when checking anything in the starter circuit you must make sure the battery connections are clean and tight especially the negative cable at both ends and has a 12.5 volt or better charge. It must not fall below 9 volts during the cranking procedure with a volt meter hooked up. If it does fall below 9 volts do a proper load test on the battery and replace if necessary. Second replace the starter relay cheap $6 and make sure it's well grounded and getting 11.5 volts or better to activate. Third remove the back cover of the starter solenoid and de-arc/refurbish the contact plate and shoes making sure they are tight. If it still chatters replace the solenoid. Good luck and have nice day.
If your starter is spinning but the engine is not turning over, you over running clutch or Bendix is bad. On the Nippondenso style starter on the late bikes, this starter clutch is inside of the starter. You must pull the starter off and disassemble it to repair the starter. If you can do the job yourself, you can repair the starter and save some money. If you're going to have to pay a mechanic to do the work, simply replace the starter. Any money saved by repairing the starter in this case would be quickly depleted in labor cost.
Yes, a clunking sound is normal if it does it occasionally, not all the time. I'd check my clutch adjustment. If the clutch is dragging a bit, this makes the clunking happen more often.
Quick check of the clutch adjustment. Put the bike in low gear and pull in the clutch. Now hit the starter button. If the bike surges forward before it starts up, you need to adjust the clutch.
Also, make sure that you aren't running too much oil in your primary. Too much oil will make the clutch do the same thing as it would if it were dragging. Only enough oil to reach the bottom of the pressure spring in the clutch.
If u havn't checked the battery with an ohm meter, do so. If the meter reads 12.50 or higher start looking at your starter. The solinoid would click and a bad starter would nothing. You could try tapping on the starter with a small hammer while pressing the start button. If it starts or at least turns over, u need a starter.