Question about 2002 Harley Davidson FLSTC - FLSTCI Heritage Classic

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Should my 2002 flstci run if positive connection is disconnected

I have a FLSTCI 2002 I had a engine check light come on and then the battery was dead next day. I charged the battery, but I am not sure if it is getting charged when running? I pulled the positive off the battery after I started the bike and is shuts off? Should the bike run with the positive disconnected from battery? If yes than what do you think is bad?


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Disconnecting the battery to check the charging system is no good at all. Your charging system has 2 major components: The generator and the voltage regulator. Disconnect the connector under the front motor mount and probe the pins with a voltmeter. The output is ac and you should see about 20 volts per 1,000 rpm. So at idle you should read a little under 20v. If you see much less than this the problem is probably the stator. Shut the engine down. Set your meter to resistance and probe the pins again. You should read about .4 ohms. A reading of infinity or very high resistance indicates an open stator. The stator is the output winding of the generator. Probe 1 pin at a time to the crancase. Any reading indicates a grounded stator. If everything checks out, check the output wiring from the voltage regulator. If everything is cool then you have a bad regulator. The regulator is the finned box mounted in front of the engine. Instead of disconnecting the battery, a quick dirty check of the charging system can be made by probing the battery terminals with a voltmeter set to dc. The voltage should rise to at least 13.5 volts when you speed up the engine.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008

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Hello edmunds_don,
The battery is there to supply starting power only and your bike should continue to run if it is started and you remove the positive terminal. You need to check your voltage regulator to make sure it is getting more than 14V to it while the motor is running. If you provide an email address, I can send you a pdf version of a service manual for a 2003 Heritage ( that is what I have) but the charging system should be pretty much the same. You can email me at with your contact information. I assume you checked all the fuses first... If not.. check all the fuses first...
( use a continuity meter and not just by eye) Also: if you do want me to send you that information..make sure you put something related to that in the subject line of your e mail ..or I might think its spam..

Posted on Dec 08, 2008


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