Question about Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883 Motorcycles

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1988 sportster / no spark at plugs

There is power to the coil but no spark to plugs

Posted by Anonymous on


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  • Harley Davidson Master
  • 41,685 Answers

Hi Anonymous, the CKP sensor needs compression to send correct signal to the ICM/ECM, make sure both spark plugs are in heads and use a grounded third plug to check for spark or hold spark plug cable close to spark plug in head. If still not getting spark the usual suspects are:
1. Fouled spark plugs.
2. Battery voltage below 8.7 volts, loose or broken battery cables especially ground cable to frame.
3. Loose connection at ignition coil or plug between ignition sensor and module.
4. Spark plug cables in bad condition, shorting / leaking, spark plug cable connections loose.
5. Faulty ignition coil or ignition / electronic module
6. Failed CKP, CMP, MAP or BAS sensor.
7. Faulty ignition switch.
Good luck

Posted on May 21, 2015


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: spark plug for 2006 HD sportster the plug is a NGK

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Posted on Sep 13, 2009

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: Not getting spark. Changed coil - still no spark.

Disconnect the small wires on either side of the spark plug wire tower. Then, turn the switch on and check the wires for voltage. If you don't have any voltage, check the "Run/Stop" switch. The voltage for the "Run/Stop" switch comes straight from the "ignition" circuit breaker under the seat. The voltage to the circuit breaker comes directly from the ignition switch. The voltage for the ignition switch comes directly from the battery.

If you have voltage to the coil but still no spark, it sounds like your timer/pickup is bad on your engine. It is located under the small round plate on the right side of your engine camchest cover.

Posted on Jan 10, 2010

  • 1509 Answers

SOURCE: 1994 harleydavidson 1200xlh sportster .

If your handy working on stuff you can find the problem. You need a test light and a volt OHM meter, and basic understanding on how to use both or collect a friend that knows some and you'all can figure it out together. First you need to remove the seat and the gas tank so you can get to the wiring and the battery. Realize that if the battery is low the engine cranking might be that the voltage is too low to let the inghtion come on. First check the battery as it should be 12.6 volts for a charged battery, if the battery is lower than 12 volts as it's cranking it could be below 9 volts and it won't spark, as the voltage is too low. If the voltage is low then you could jump start the bike with your car and with the car running the voltage will be even higher ( 14.5 volts ) and the bike should crank and spark if it's OK and if the plugs are in and thier not too wet from cranking it with the spark off, it'll fire up and run. If this doesn't happen. and theirs still no spark then your looking for real problems. Remember if you try something I tell you and you find something you need to ask me about all you have to do is add a comment and I'll be contacted by email that you need my help and I'll reply with a continued answer to your problem. I answer these problems cause I like to and helping you keeps me thinking and improving the answers I give so I want to help you till your running, and running right. Batteries go down as they sit and their still good but need to be charged up. It's wisest to charge the battery with a battery charger as charging the battery by running the engine puts undue strain on the charging system and could possibly wreak the charging system. I put a new battery in my bike every year as it's cheap insurance against charging and ingation system problems. Your battery as new as it is may only need to be charged or the warrentee may replace it. Lets say this is'nt the problem and with good voltage you still don't have aspark. You need both plug wires connected to a plug or the head or the spark will feed back the coil and possibly blown the ingition module. Bike bandit shows a picture of it but they don't have it for resale. You need to check the power wire to the coil to see if it's hot with the key on. anytime the key is on. the coil can be shorted but it's not likly as it ran the last time you ran it and they usally fail as it's running. ( overheat) If the wire is'nt the same as battery voltage ( measure with the voltmeter) then the wire is bad or the ingtion switch is bad or dirty or a blown fuse. If in doubt check all the fuses ( with the test light) a fuse can look good and be bad. they can look bad and they usally are. If you don't have a volt meter and you want to ride an old Harley you'll need a test light and volt mater and even the ones you get at a discount store are good enough to find the lack of power. any 12 volt ligh that lights as connected to the battery will work it's just the ones you can but at the store are so much easier to use. if you find something and need to ask somemore just ask buy adding a comment and i'll come back and help you somemore. John

Posted on Mar 27, 2011

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: 98 sportster crank no start

Check the fuse for the ignition circuit . It should be either under the seat ro behind the triangular plate on the left side of the bike. If the fuse is good, check the "Run / Stop" switch. The power for the ignition coil comes straight from this switch. Disconnect the pink wire from the coil and check for battery voltage on the whtie/black wire.

Good Luck

Posted on Apr 18, 2011

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: I have a 1984 Harley iron head sportster and I'm

itss your ignition module ..its toast the black box it cheaper to get the wwhole ignition kit on ebay about 160

Posted on May 02, 2012

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You say you proved power to the coil but there is no spark at the end of the spark plug wire ... have you checked that spark plug wire? Could be very high resistance or open ...

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Kycle.d.d@gmail.comI have no spark to the plug have changed the CDI. Power to the coil. Yamaha 1982 1100. Help please.

if you have power to the coil,and no spark at the plug, that tells me your coil is fried,but to make sure remove the plug cap from the coil lead,hold it over metal on the head and crank/kick to see if you have spark,if no spark then your coil is toast

Mar 18, 2011 | Yamaha FJ 1100 Motorcycles

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Fully charged battery on my 1996 cb500,choke out however wont fire up just does a little puff like sound

Check for spark at spark plug.
1. If no spark, test the wire to the coil with test light and see if you have power to coil.
2.If no power to coil, make sure your on/off button is on and working.Use test light.
A. Power at the switch but not at the coil indicates a broke wire from switch to coil.
B. NO power at the switch indicates ingintion switch is off or faulty and not sending power to your switch , make sure key is on. Use trest light.
3. If you have power to the coil but no spark from the coil - replace the coil

Check for spark at the plug
1.If you have spark at the plug, but not starting - check that your carbs are getting gas.
2.Petcock Could be off, Fuel Filter could be clogged, Carbs could be dirty or clogged and your not getting any gas.
3.Pull spark plug - If no gas present then your not getting gas, if wet then you getting gas and your flooded. Make sure you have good gasoline, Bad gas won't burn.
or your bike is worn out and dont have any compression.

With Good gas, and Good Spark, and Good compresssion, the bike will run.

If your not getting gas to your motor through the carbs, pull carb off and thouroughly clean it.

Dec 03, 2010 | 1997 Honda CB 500 S

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The spark gets power to spark from coil packs.If the connection between coil pack to spark plug is weak or loose then it will not fire.But if the coil pack as well as the connection between coil pack to spark plugs checked ok then its faulty or dirty spark plugs.Clean the spark plugs with the carb cleaner liquid and let it completely dry.Then check.Also check the voltage between coil pack to spark plugs.If both checked out ok then the other possibility can be weak crank shaft sensor. Thanks.Helpmech.

Nov 12, 2010 | 1995 Dodge Dakota

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No spark runns fine then loses spark wait 10 minutes starts

The spark plugs receives power to spark from coil pack.Check the power at the coil pack and also check the voltage at the coil pack with meter.If the coil pack shows proper power as well as voltage then its fault in spark plugs.Otherwise its faulty coil pack.The coil pack receives power from also check the voltage of the battery it should be exact 12 volt.
If the battery shows low voltage then the battery needs to be re-charged.
Then check out.
Thanks. you can rate this solution and show your appreciation.

May 20, 2010 | 1992 Pontiac Bonneville

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No spark at plugs replaced distributer coil an

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Feb 24, 2010 | 1984 Ford F 250

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This could be a few different things.
  1. First the stator contains a lighting coil and a sorce coil.(If just the sorce coil is bad you will get no spark but have lights) (if just the lighting coil is bad,you will get spark,but no lights)
  2. If the CDI is bad you can have lights with no spark as well.
  3. If the coil is bad,you can have lights without a spark.
  4. If the end of the spark plug wire is damaged,you can have light without a spark.
So,Go buy a spark plug tester and check to see if you have power at the spark plug cap while turning the motor over.
if not,start checking the items above.
If you do have power,replace the plug,The tool is 18mm and you can find it it under the seat in the air box area,inside the honda tool kit.

Please rate this Fixya

Jan 29, 2009 | 2001 Honda XR 400R

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