Question about 1993 Harley Davidson FLSTF Fat boy

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My 97 fatboy battery started dying in 2010. Put bike away for season bought new battery put it in now when I hit start button starter relay clicks wont start an orange and white wire under the seat was hanging around connected to nothing, this wire is hot when you turn on ignition all lights work according to the schematic OW wire works turn, brake, dash etc these alll workl it will push start I checked switch on handlebars it works. I have no ohm meter to test continuity, any help? Tom in CT

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Well, I don't really know how to tell you to troubleshoot your starter when you don't have a meter. When you press the starter button, there is a starter relay that is usually mounted on the rear fender extension on the Fat Boy that engages and provides voltage to the starter solenoid. This voltage goes to the solenoid via the single small wire that plugs onto the starter just above the d-sided plate on the end of the starter. This wire goes hot which energizes the coil in the solenoid. The magnetism pulls the plunger into the starter. The plunger has a large round copper "washer" that make contact to two copper terminals inside the solenoid that connects the battery to the starter motor.

To test the starter, make SURE your transmission is in neutral. Take the 5-sided plate off the end of the starter. There are three 3mm bolts that hold the plate on. Behind the plate, you'll find the plunger and long spring. Using a large screwdriver or something, push the plunger into the solenoid as far as you can. The starter should engage and turn the engine. If not, look at the copper contacts inside the solenoid. If they look burned and are not smooth across the face, you may need to replace them. Rebuild kits are available both through Harley and aftermarket suppliers.

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on Mar 30, 2011

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Hi my bike was on my stand i started and accidently put the bike into first gear and it sytaled right away..and now its not turning over wen i try and start it, it makes a clicking sound but wont turn...


The bike must be in neutral when the kickstand is down or it will shut down. Its a safety feature.

Put the bike in neutral and it should fire right up.

If you can't get it out of gear, sit on the bike, put the kickstand up, pull the clutch in turn the key on and hit the start button, and it should fire right up.Make sure on/off button is on too.

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Hi and welcome to FixYa,

Initially, have you checked the 30 Amps main fuse and its holder clips? It would be integrated with the starter relay. The fuse or the fuse holder may have heat related problem(s) causing it to loose conductivity when hot.The fuse may require replacement even if it tests good and/or the fuse holder would need cleaning / crimping. To locate the starter relay (main fuse), follow the battery cable from the + terminal of the battery.

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Hi,

Appreciate the vote of confidence but there are a few others who are likewise knowledgeable if not more..

On to your concern, it would seem you have two (2) issue, 1st if wont crank and the second will crank but not start.

No Crank: Due to the massive current required by the starter a component is installed between the starter button and the starter. This component then switches the battery to the starter motor. In cars this is the starting solenoid, in most bikes, this is the starter relay. Normally in the starter relay there would be 2 big terminals for the battery and the starter motor cables with 2 smaller wires for the starter switch and ground. Try this - try pushing the start button with the headlights on, if the headlight dims considerably, then the starting relay is good and the motor is bad; on the other hand if the headlight dims just slightly or not at all, it is the starting relay (the one with the clicking sound).

Most starter motor problems could be:
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3. commutator segments (the multiple small copper plates that the brush contacts with).

However, it may be to your advantage to simply replace the motor should it be deemed defective, difficult to secure parts or not economically reasonable to go down component level repair.

Will Crank but not fire: There are 2 major requirement for a gasoline engine to fire, fuel and ignition. No fuel could be verified by removing the air cleaner and pouring a small amount of fuel down the throat, start the bike, if it start and runs (even for just a moment), you have verified the fuel problem. No ignition could be verified by removing one of the plugs, reinsert the high tension wire plug to the sparkplug and place the sparkplug atop any metal part, crank the engine, there should be a spark at the plugs.

Pls post back results whether fuel or ignition and we can go further from there.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

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