Question about 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster
Replaced selinoid on 79hd sportster 1000 but wont start with start button will jump over with a screwdriver when put test light on and then it button it lights up so getting power there and has new selinoid what else should I check for
Posted by Anonymous on
Do a voltage drop test on the starter system.
First do a voltage reading on the battery and note what it is.
Using a voltmeter attach the red meter lead to the most positive part of the circuit, which would be the positive post of the battery and attach the black meter lead to the final destination or component in the circuit (if testing a starter circuit this would be the terminal on the starter, not the solenoid). THEN try to activate the starter and observe the meter reading. The meter will read the voltage dropped or the difference in potential between the source and the destination. An ideal circuit voltage drop reading would be 1 volt or less. If there is an open in the circuit (i.e. NO electricity is reaching the terminal) the voltmeter should read source voltage volts which means all the voltage was dropped. A normal good starter circuit should not show more than a one volt drop. If more than 1 volt is dropped there is a problem somewhere in the circuitry before the starter terminal. In this case leaving the red voltmeter lead on the battery positive post, move the negative voltmeter lead to the solenoid stud where the battery cable attaches and activate the starter circuit again. If the voltage reading is now 1 volt or less clean, repair, tighten the starter solenoid to starter terminal stud connections and test again and if no change clean/repair the internal solenoid contacts or replace the solenoid with a new/good one. If there is still a voltage drop greater than 1 volt move the negative voltmeter lead from the solenoid terminal stud to the actual battery cable terminal end at the solenoid terminal stud and again activate the starter circuit. If there is a 1 volt or less reading the battery cable terminal end and/or solenoid terminal stud and/or the connection between the two is faulty, loose, corroded or etc. Clean and tighten and retest. If there is still more than a 1 volt reading on the voltmeter the problem is a loose or corroded or otherwise bad connection between the battery cable terminal end and the battery positive post or the battery cable itself is bad. Clean and tighten the battery cable terminal and battery positive post and test again. If there is still more than a one volt reading on the voltmeter the battery cable is bad and will need to be replaced.
If there is less than a 1 volt reading when the test is done at the starter terminal the circuit up to that point is good so the next step will be to do a negative or ground circuit voltage drop test by connecting the negative or black voltmeter lead to the most negative point which is normally the negative battery post (or the closest thing thereto if, like some Sportsters, the battery post is hard or impossible to get to) and then connect the positive or red voltmeter lead to the starter mounting studs. Then activate the starter circuit again and if the voltage reading is greater than 1 volt clean the battery negative cable ends and battery post and negative cable to motorcycle frame or other grounding point, tighten same and similarly the starter mounting points and studs because there is a problem with the starter ground (could be looseness, corrosion, powder coat/paint problems etc). If the voltage reading is 1 volt or less than 1 volt in this test the ground circuit is okay and it will be necessary to perform a starter current draw test on the vehicle (and/or a starter current free draw test on the bench). If the results are within the specifications for the starter in these tests remove the spark plugs, raise the rear wheel so it can spin unimpeded, put the transmission in 5th gear and rotate the rear wheel to check for engine, transmission, primary and/or crankshaft resistance/bind. If the results are not within the amperage specifications for the particular starter replace or repair the starter motor to bring within the system amperage specifications.
Posted on Aug 31, 2014
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Hi and welcome to FixYa,
Almost always, the click indicates that the starter relay is working or at least trying to. Initial checks:
Good luck and thank you for asking FixYa.
Posted on Aug 02, 2009
Harley-Davidson Sport Trans fluid or equilivant. Now, there are several aftermarket makers of this oil. It is different from the oil used in the Big Twin clutch cover because in the Big Twin, the oil only lubricates the chain and the clutch. In a Sportster, the oil also is the transmission lubricant so it has to have the proper shear resistance and high pressure lubricant additives in it. Custom Chrome, V-Twin, Motor Factory, and many others make this lubricant. Order it through your motorcycle shop.
Posted on Mar 01, 2010
Have you tried to bypass the starter button/switch? Use a heavy jumper wire to go between the starter terminal and the positive battery terminal. Turn the key to "On" position, make sure "Run/Off" switch is turn on. Make sure bike is in neutral. I've started guys bikes with coat hangers before when they lost had trouble with the starter button. If the bike starter turns over, you'll at least have a place to start looking for the issue. Also you said you checked the battery, what was the voltage?
Posted on Jun 02, 2010
Testimonial: "Thanks for the info. I tried your solutions, but bike will still not start. Do not see any pinched wires. When you push the start button the ignition circit pops and then resets. Any other suggestions would be great. Thanks for all your help phinfanls13"
Ok, If you are absolutely sure the battery is good, there are several possibilites. If the battery is over a year old, take it to an automotive parts store and ask them if they can load test it. They'll usually do this at no charge.
If the battery is good, the first problem could be in the starter relay. Look at the end of the starter from the right side of the bike. You'll see a plate on the end that is roughly shaped like a pentagon. Just above that plate is a plug with a single wire. Unplug this wire and use either a test light or a digital volt ohm meter to check for voltage when you press the starter button. If you do NOT have voltage and the clicking you are hearing is coming from under the seat, you probably need a starter relay.
If you have 12 volts on that wire, you're problem is in the starter. Disconnect the negative cable from your battery. Now, take the three small screws out of the back of the starter that holds the pentagon shaped plate on. Underneath the plate is a plunger and a spring. Remove these parts and look at the copper contacts on either side of the solenoid and on the plunger. If they are burned badly, you need to replace them. You can get the parts through an aftermarket supplier and they are not very difficult to replace. Usually, it can be done without removing the starter. Simply replace the contacts and a new plunger comes with the parts kit. Reassemble the starter, reconnect the battery cable, and you should be ready to go.
Posted on Jul 05, 2010
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