Question about Harley Davidson FLHTC - FLHTCI Electra Glide classic Motorcycles

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I can not get the starter to turn the engine over fast enough to start. The battery is fully charged. When I removed the plugs it turned over fairly fast but for only a short period of time. My friends told me the starter seemed O.K. but suspected the "starter relay" needed replacing. Your advice is requested. Thank you in advance for your time. Polecat Tel. (850) 892-9212

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What year, make, and model? As long as the starter is engaging, the starter relay is functioning properly. I would suspect the battery probably has issues. Find somebody with a load tester and test the battery load capacity. On the earlier Harleys, Shovelheads and electric start Panheads, and Sportsters, the starter drive and associated engaging parts,(the solenoid, starter shift fork, etc.) are worth inspecting. A bent starter shift fork will bind the starter drive and cause the starter to drag, (turn slowly). A bad solenoid will engage the starter momentarily, then disengage, or not engage the starter at all. The starter relay either works or doesn't work, ie, if the starter spins, the relay is doing it's job.
Get me the Year & model and I may be able to be more specific.

Posted on Nov 05, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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It is normal for the engine to turn slower with plugs in as you have the compression of air in the cylinders with the plugs in. Having said that, it should still turn fast. It may be the starter is losing power or the connections between the battery and the starter are corroded or dirty. One final thing is that you should always charge a new battery on a battery charger before you install it. If the battery is not FULLY charged, it is almost impossible for it to get full using the engine. You are basically just topping up.

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Worn starter motor bearings that would be indicated by higher than normal amp draw. Check for hot starter motor or hot cables.
Weak battery. The battery should be removed and tested for free at auto parts store. The battery should be replace every season to extend the life of the starter motor.
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