Question about Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster Motorcycles

1 Answer

Starter wont turn over

Okay I have a 75 sportster 1000 and when you try to start it it just clicks no power ever goes to the starter from the solenoid so I replaced that still same thing and if touch the starter with hot batter it doesn't turnover either but bike isn't seized up.

Posted by Anonymous on

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  • Harley Davidson Master
  • 10,875 Answers

Replace starter

Posted on May 23, 2015

6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

wd4ity
  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: bike wont start replace start solenoid.when

You didn't mention what year model your bike is so I'll just generalize my response. Since you said that you replaced the solenoid, I'll assume that your bike is a 1988 model or earlier.

Your bike has a starter relay if it still has the stock wiring on it. Harley has used a starter relay since 1965 on the first model of ElectraGlide. Usually, it's underneath the battery tray or the seat or around that area.

On the back of your solenoid, you have three wire connections. Two very large connectors and one small connector. Make sure your bike is out of gear (in neutral) and use an old screwdriver to short between the large connector that comes from the battery and the small wire connection. The starter should engage and try to start the engine. If the ignition switch is on, it will start the engine. The starter will turn using this method with or without the switch being in the "on" position. If the starter works using this method, the problem is in either the relay or the neutral switch. If the starter does not turn the engine over, the problem is in the solenoid.

Now, let's check a few things. The small connector on the back of the solenoid should have a green or pink (depending on year) wire on it. Using a voltmeter or a test light, make sure you have voltage at the connector when you press the starter button with the switch in the "ON' position. If not, follow the wire to it's source, the relay.

The starter relay can be one of several different designs used throughout the years. It could be a small plastic cube, a small metal can, or a round phonelic relay. The relay should have four connections on it. A "hot" wire, a wire from the handlebar switch, the wire going to the starter, and a ground. The ground may be through the case itself. On the older Shovelhead bikes (1984 and earlier) there was a small short black wire that ran from the starter relay to the transmission for the ground. This wire must be intact or the relay would not work due to lack of a ground.

When you turn the switch on, one of the wires to the starter relay should become "hot". When you press the start button, you should hear a slight click and another of the smaller wires should now be "hot" as well, the one going to the starter.

On some year (1972 and later) models, the neutral switch was wired in with the starter relay. This was to prevent the bike from starting while "in gear" by disabling the relay. You'll have to figure this one out for yourself since I don't know what year model your bike is.

Now, you said you had power to the solenoid when you pushed the starter switch. So, let's assume that the starter failed the first test to told you aboue. If so, the problem is still most likely in the solenoid. Inside the solenoid, there is a large plunger with a copper disc on it. When you depress the starter switch, the coil in the solenoid becomes magnetized and pulls the plunger towards the back of the solenoid. This does two things, it engages the starter drive with the ring gear on the outer clutch drum and makes a high current electrical connection. The copper disc makes contact between the two large connections on the back of the solenoid from the inside. This connects the battery to the starter motor through the solenoid. If the black phonelic plate on the back of the solenoid is cracked or the contacts inside of it are badly burned, it will not work.

Now, if the solenoid is working correctly and you are getting voltage to your starter, it could be the brushes or something inside the starter. This is indicated if the starter trys to turn the engine over but just can't. It won't have enough power if the starter field windings are bad.

I hope I've given you something here that will help you solve your problem. This is basically the electrical part of the starter system. There are mechanical parts as well. If you hear the starter turning but the engine doesn't turn over, you have a mechanical problem. You can either repost or you can contact me directly at wd4ity@bellsouth.net I'll help if I can. Good Luck!

Posted on Nov 05, 2009

wd4ity
  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: bike wont start/turnover neutral light goes out

Did the starter work when it was jumped by a car battery? If so, the problem is probably the battery in the bike. Take the battery to an automotive parts house and have it tested. Usually, they'll test the battery for free.

What is the CCA of your battery? Those big engines are hard to start and you may not have a battery with enough "Cold Cranking Amps" to turn the engine over. The old Harley Sprint (1973 & '74) was notorious for this. You really had to have a strong battery in that bike for he electric starter to work.

Some bikes have wiring that disables the starter if the transmission is not in neutral. Check on this as well.

Posted on Nov 05, 2009

heimlich
  • 1978 Answers

SOURCE: engine cuts out sporadically when driving and wont

It sounds like the starter solenoid (you said rectifier clicking) may have burnt contacts. If you jump the solenoid with a piece of wire (touch the wire coming from the battery to the wire going to the starter ) and the starter works, it's a bad solenoid. If you hold the starter button and gently tap on the starter with a plastic hammer and the starter works, you need to replace the starter brushes.

Posted on May 23, 2010

  • 921 Answers

SOURCE: My bike will not turn over. When i push the

you just wasted the new solenoid, go buy another one and a new starter, also check to see if the fuse is blown, if the fuse is blown, your starter is going bad...you can verify all of what i'm saying if you know how to push start a bike...if it push starts, then everything else is fine, except for the starter circuitry..eg, starter switch, starter solenoid,or the Starter itself! Have you or the previous owner ever change out your starter? Well it would be a good guess that since it a 1984 model and my guess is that the bike probably has 40k on it, and that the starter is bad or going bad, or you have a major short in the battery cables that is cooking the solenoid..check all the wires for chaffing first, before replacing the starter.
if this has helped in the least amount could i get a testimonial from you.
thanks
and please get back to me if it didnt, we can try a few more things!

Posted on Aug 18, 2010

wd4ity
  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: 75 sportster starter just spins. 1st time it did

If the starter spins but the engine does not turn, it's not your starter. It is your starter drive or Bendix on the starter shaft. Disconnect the battery. Take the outer primary cover off. Take the wires off the starter solenoid, remove the pin, cup and spring on the inside of the primary, and remove the solenoid. With this off, you can remove the starter shaft. Clamp the starter shaft in a vise with soft jaws on it. You don't want to scar your starter shaft. You'll see a round thing on the end of the shaft with two flats on it. Use a wrench to take this off. IT HAS LEFT HANDED THREADS. Slide the old Bendix off and put the new one on. Put a drop of Loctite 271 red on the threads and put the nut back on the end and tighten. Put your bake back together in reverse of how you took it apart. When you buy the replacement Bendix, but a good one. Do not buy the Chinese version, they're junk.

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on May 29, 2011

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1 Answer

Reinstalled starter and ignition wont turn over


Hi Anonymous, not really, try loosening the starter motor and the housing the starter motor goes into one full turn then hit the starter button. Good luck

Feb 08, 2014 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

1971 Harley davidson sportster electric starter quit working after 1 mnth


Two things to check:

1. there is a 4 pin black starter relay maybe 1" cube, usually under the seat, that goes bad. since they are impossible to get from Harley, go to JPcycles.com and get a new one. I have to replace mine every year or so.

2. Disconnect the battery. Open the Starter's attached solenoid cover. There is a copper bar that gets pitted. If it hasn't been done before, flip it over. Otherwise try to clean it up. Replacing would be a good idea if you could find one. Otherwise buy copper stock from Mcmaster-Carr and make one.

It ain't easy owning an old school Sportster... It's an adventure!

Turbocouch
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Aug 23, 2013 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

1999 road king wont start replaced master fuse and cam sensor still wont crank


Confusing. The cam sensor does not crank so what are you saying about that and was the master fuse blown or you just replaced it as a possible solution to no starter. THEN what happens when you turn on the ignition and what happens when you press the starter button. One thing you could do to assess whether or not the starter is okay or not is to bring power directly to the small wire on the solenoid and if the solenoid is okay it will engage the starter drive and turn the starter over. If the solenoid is not good this will not happen. If you were to bring power directly to the starter post that connects to the solenoid and the starter spins you will know that the starter will spin but not any more than that. If the battery is dead or below about 12 VDC you may hear a small click if the starter relay is energizing but if you hear a louder click the solenoid is not energizing and if you hear a number of the louder clicks the solenoid is trying to operate but may not have enough battery voltage or the starter drive is not able to mesh with the ring gear or the solenoid contacts are burned or the starter ground is poor/corroded or you have poor/corroded positive battery post or other cable etc connections. POST more information about what is and is not going on for more detailed assistance etc.

Aug 17, 2012 | 2000 Harley Davidson FLHRCI Road King...

2 Answers

Unable to get starter to turn.have rplcd batt.cables.rplcd starter relay,solenoid,starter also rplcd.bike mostly rewired added a ground cable to solenoid from frame.does also have an added pushbutton...


This is a possibility. The header says you're working on a 1979 XLH 1000cc Sportster. This is not a 250cc bike and it takes a good battery to start and engine of this size. I've never seen a CCA rating on the battery requirement in a service manual but it does say that the battery should be capable of at least 32 Ahr.

Good Luck
Steve

Aug 15, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

1979 XLS Sportster won't start, I took all the


The thing that looks like a small solenoid on the bottom of the oil tank is the starter relay. It has three terminals on it. One terminal should be red wire and should have battery voltage on it when you turn the switch on. One wire should come from the start button and the other should go to the small terminal on the starter solenoid. Contact me directly at wd4ity@bellsouth.net. I'll send you a schematic that shows how it's supposed to be wired. Look on the solenoid and see if you see some small numbers around each of the electrical connections. Also, the bolts that hold the relay on act as a ground. If you had the oil tank painted, you may not have a good ground connection on it.

Good Luck
Steve

Jun 08, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLS 1000

1 Answer

75 sportster starter just spins. 1st time it did it I tapped starter with rubber mallet and started. No problems for weekbut now doing same thing, and tapping doesn't help starter just spins...


If the starter spins but the engine does not turn, it's not your starter. It is your starter drive or Bendix on the starter shaft. Disconnect the battery. Take the outer primary cover off. Take the wires off the starter solenoid, remove the pin, cup and spring on the inside of the primary, and remove the solenoid. With this off, you can remove the starter shaft. Clamp the starter shaft in a vise with soft jaws on it. You don't want to scar your starter shaft. You'll see a round thing on the end of the shaft with two flats on it. Use a wrench to take this off. IT HAS LEFT HANDED THREADS. Slide the old Bendix off and put the new one on. Put a drop of Loctite 271 red on the threads and put the nut back on the end and tighten. Put your bake back together in reverse of how you took it apart. When you buy the replacement Bendix, but a good one. Do not buy the Chinese version, they're junk.

Good Luck
Steve

May 28, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Will not start all of a sudden,out of nowhere,brand new battery. radio,headlights,dash lights all okay.I hear 1 click only when trying to start.No warning signs as far as starter goes. 85k 60 highway....


Sounds like you have a starter that has gone bad. If the single click is coming From the starter than for sure the starter is your problem. The single click is the solenoid working but power is not getting to the starter motor from the solenoid. Very common symptom on chrysler/jeep vehicles.

May 16, 2011 | 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

1979 sportster - selenoid has 3 wires, 1 batter +, 1 starter, 1 starter button, other side of starter button goes to power, hit starter button motor turns over, release starter button, starter keeps...


Or the big washer in solenoid is burnt & sticking take apart sand big copper washer & part it touches reassemble .. you may also ask this ? at harleytalking.com they have helped me...

Apr 21, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

2 Answers

I have a 75 sportster xlh 1000 kick start and electric the electric was working now its not but kicks over fine how do i fix this


There's a quick test to see if your starter is the problem or something else is causing it. First, it's very important that your bike is in neutral to do this test. If not, the bike is going to lurch forward.

Remove the rubber cover over the end of your starter solenoid. Use and old screwdriver or something and short between the small terminal and the large terminal that the cable from your battery connects to. The starter should kick in and turn the engine over. If it does, the starter is good and your problem is electrical.

If it's electical, there are two places it could be. Underneath the battery tray, there is a starter relay. Again, the bike must be in neutral. Turn the ignition switch on and while holding the starter relay, push the starter button. Do you feel a click? If so, this confirms the wiring between the relay and start button is alright.

Now, you'll need a test light or a volt meter for the next check. On the small terminal of the starter solenoid. connect the test light or the Positive lead of a volt meter, the negative lead of the meter to a good ground. Put the meter function switch in DC volts. 20 volt range. Turn on the ignition and press the starter button. The test light should light up or the meter should read battery voltage. If it does not, your starter relay is bad. If it does, your solenoid needs a repair kit installed in it.

A repair kit is available from aftermarket sources. Most any bike shop can order them for you and they aren't expensive. Disconnect the battery and all the wires on the end on the solenoid. Remove the nuts that were under the wires on all three terminals. Take the two small screws out of either side of the solenoid end cap and remove the cap. Replace the cap with the new parts and the new cap. Be careful when tightening the two screws and the nuts on the terminals as the bakelite end cap cracks very easily. Just snug on the nuts and screws. Reconnect the wires and your starter should work.

If not, let me know.

Good Luck
steve

Aug 18, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Clicking sound on start-up.


a clicking sound means there was enough electric power to engage the solenoid, but not enough to turn the starter. battery is low

Jun 14, 2009 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

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