Question about 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportster Custom
When turning the ignition, engine light does not come on and bike wont start. Headlight and brakelight come on. The turn signals are dead. Replaced battery in key-FOB - nothing changed. Pressing the ignition switch there is a soft 'click' in the general area of the battery
Posted by Anonymous on
The soft click sounds like the starter relay. Check that out first and see that current is getting through when it soft clicks. ARE there any codes set??? What led up to this???
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
That clicking sound you are hearing may be a circuit breaker tripping indicating a short circuit somewhere. I think the starter circuit is powered by the ignition circuit. If you have a short circuit in your ignition system the breaker will trip killing power to your ignition, thus the engine dying, and preventing power for the starter circuit preventing the bike from being restarted.
On your bike, I believe there is a chrome coil cover over the coil on the left side of the bike. Check and see if this cover has come loose. I've seen them come loose and fall down on the coil connector on top of the coil shorting it out. If that ain't it, just keep looking, there's a short somewhere. Good Luck
Posted on Mar 30, 2010
Take the triangular cover off the left side of the frame. Behind it, you'll find a circuit breaker. This is the main circuit breaker. Is this what is clicking? If so, you've got a short somewhere if it clicks the entire time you've got the switch in the on position. If the clicking only occurs when you attempt to start the bike, it could still be your battery.
Anytime you have a problem starting a bike, the first thing to check is the battery. A battery must be checked under a load. A prime example of this is you have a flashlight that shines very dimly. Yet if you use a meter to check the battery, it shows 1.5 volts but when you put it back in the flashlight, the flashlight shines dimly. This is because a battery will sometimes show full voltage until a load is put on it. In a multicell battery like an automotive battery or motorcycle battery, you can have one cell shorting out on you when you apply a load to the battery. Each cell produces two volts. So when one cell shorts, you battery voltage drops to 10 volts. Your bike may still crank over because in DC circuitry, if the voltage fall low, the device will simply draw more current in an attempt to run. This heavy current draw from the battery under low voltage conditions is what causes battery cables to get extremely hot and smoke. Once the battery cable smokes, the starter has been ruined.
So, my advice is to take the battery to an automotive parts house and have it load tested. If it test good, reconnect it and turn on the switch. If the circuit breaker is clicking when the switch is on, you've got a short somewhere that is tripping out the circuit breaker. The circuit breakers Harley uses are self-resetting. This mean that it will sense a high current draw and break with a click. After a few minutes, it will cool and reset itself. If the high current load is still present, it'll trip again with a click. It'll continue this until you remove the load or turn off the switch.
Posted on Jun 02, 2010
Sorry but I don't have a wiring diagram that I can send you but I may can offer a bit of help.
Your passing lamps are simply wired into a hot circuit somewhere. A lot of schematics don't show them because they are considered "add ons". They also may have a fuse inline with the "hot" wire. They have only one wire that connects them to the bike with the rest being inside the "light bar" itself. Find the wire coming out of the center of the "light bar" and trace it back to where it hooks up. Sorry but that's the best I can do on this one.
On your front brake light, there is a switch located inside your right hand switch housing where your throttle is located. It is a plunger type switch that is activated when you pull the front brake lever. A simple test of the switch is to loosen the bolts of the master cylinder and slide it towards the center of the handlebars. If the switch is good, the brake light will come on. If the switch is bad, it will not.
To get to the switch, you'll have to take the right hand switch housing apart. First, loosen the throttle cables at the adjusters and then remove the two bolts that hold the switch housing halves together. Carefully open up the switch housing. You will see the small switch in the front of the housing. You'll have to desolder the wires, replace the switch with a new one, and resolder the wires to the new switch.
Reassembly is the reverse of the disassembly. Make sure you slide the master cylinder all the way back against the switch housing or the brake light will stay on constantly. Readjust the throttle cables and check for proper operation. You don't want your throttle sticking.
Posted on Jun 15, 2010
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