Question about 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883

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Not starting bangs thro exhust

Plugs are sparking -when engine turnsover does not start and there are` bangs thro the exhust.

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  • Anonymous Dec 19, 2008

    Bike Left for two weeks . Now will not fire up, Spark at plugs loud backfires Been running Regularly for years.

  • Lumpy57 Jan 12, 2009

    '94 softail custom, plugs spark, engine turns over, but will not start, everything seems to be doing what its supposed to, but it wont start.


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There are several things that can cause this. Let's not assume anything. Visible spark at the plugs does not mean they aren't failing under compression. Throw some new ones in. Keep in mind fuel and ignition problems often have the same symptoms. Don't just look in the fuel tank, take the air cleaner off and twist the throttle. You should see a stream of gas spray from the accellerator pump, which is the small brass tube in the throat. If not, figure out why not. While you are down there, look at the clamps where the intake manifold meets the cylinder heads. If it is oily and dirty, you have bad seals and an air leak (not expensive). Follow the plug wires to the ignition coil, and make sure nothing is touching the small terminals. If you have those silly braided plug wires, throw them away and put the stock ones back on. If all this checks out, you may have a primary ignition problem. If you have a tachometer and the needle jumps around, you do. Your ignition has a sensor located under the round cover on the gearcase. Follow the wires from under the cam cover to the cannon plug, checking for visible problems. The ignition module is under one of the triangle shaped covers on the side. You can't borrow one from the dealer, so borrow one from a friend with a sportster. You don't have to mount it, just let it hang. This is about all you can do without some pretty involved troubleshooting.

Posted on Dec 25, 2008

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What sort of bike is it ? Sounds like your timing is 'out' If it's a multi cylinder, are the plug leads on the correct plugs ?

Posted on Dec 18, 2008

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