Question about Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Desktop Telephone

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Bike cranks but will not start. Was fine when I last drove it. It has fuel . what could I do next

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  • Anonymous Jul 13, 2008

    hi I have a 2002 harley davidson fat boy and when i go to start ituyou can here the fuel pump and everything else turn on and it starts but when i shut it off and go to start it again it wont turn over. It wont even turn the fuel pump on. I got it checked out by a mechanic and he said there was nothing mechanicaly wrong with it and told me it has to be electronical problems can u help me?



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Pull sparkplug out, rehook plug wire on plug. ground plug against cylinder and
check for spark. no spark? have coil checked

Posted on Jul 27, 2008

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Have the same problem on my 1991 fatboy... did you get any answers?

Posted on Jul 02, 2008

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2003 883 sportster wont start


What u are describing is typical of a faulty ignition system, but could also be a fuel problem. I check by removing the aircleaner and rotating the throttle. If u see a nice spray of fuel, thats probably not the problem. Check for a spark at the plugs. I can explain how if you need me to. If you cant see a good spark, U have an electrical problem. I had a crank position sensor go bad on me. Dont do what I did (replaced the battery, ignition, and regulator as part of my diagnosis procedure)

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Bike won't start


Start by narrowing it down to fire or fuel problem. Pull a sparkplug, ground it to the head, and crank the engine. If there is no spark, then test the plug wires, coil, then ignition module in order down the line until you find where the power stops. If you have spark, then check the petcock to carb for fuel. If there is no fuel from the petcock, then it will be the petcock filter or the petcock is bad. If you do have fuel to the carb, but no to the cylinders, then the carb may need to be cleaned and/or rebuilt. Try these and let me know.

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1991 fatboy


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:
1. the bearings/bushings at the ends of the armature;
2. carbon brushes;
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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the light should come on when you first turn the ignition on four four sec.then go out and if it comes on again this means you have a trouble code. to get the code you can hold in the speedometer reset button and turn on ignition swicth and use reset button to move curser

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Hi,

Have not worked on an HD but my thoughts and additional guesses would be:
1. fuel contamination (water at bottom of tank);
2. primary pump (in my case it was inside the fuel tank & might not be present in your bike);
3. fuel lines & clamps to & from primary pump or to the carbs;
4. in line filters;
5. vacuum controlled fuel valve (oppose to the usual manual petcock)
6. if it were the MAP sensor, bike wouldn't even run a block away + idling would be rough;
7. by chance are you using a Power Commander?

Also your post "bike will start and run fine for a few blocks then die" indicates that indeed fuel got into the carbs before but not when running meaning the bike used what was inside the bowl and was not replenished.  Alternately, the fuel flow to the carbs might not be sufficient and there is a leak or a blockage somewhere.

As said might not work for your bike but has come across some of the above on numerous occasions.

Good luck and Kind regards.

Ride Safe.

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