View Full Version : Ironhead clicking starter relay

17th April 2011, 19:36
Put the 1980 away on the tender all winter and went to start it the other day and it cranked over once and then just clicked. have a new battery good relay and new solonoid ,I have cleaned all connections and still clicks. I am sure it is the relay clicking and not the solonoid or cb's. what else could cause this?

17th April 2011, 19:44
I know you said the battery is new, but have you checked the voltage? Not all tenders are created equal. I never keep my batteries on them constantly. I plug them in once a month or so if the voltage drops below 12 on the batt.

17th April 2011, 20:36
A new battery on the tender all winter ? It's probley toast.

17th April 2011, 22:08
A new battery on the tender all winter ? It's probley toast.

Why? What is different about a new battery?

17th April 2011, 22:10
Put the 1980 away on the tender all winter and went to start it the other day and it cranked over once and then just clicked. ...

Start with step 1 in this and see how far you get ...

Ironhead Charging System Checkout

17th April 2011, 23:01
I swap my tender from one bike to the other each week. They do not need to be on the tender constantly.
You did not mention whether you maintained the water during the winter.. Is it dry??
Try hooking up a set of jumper cables and see if it cranks over to eliminate the starter as a posibility. The fact that the solenoid clicks tells me it is working, but there is not enough current to keep it engaged. Check for dirty, corroded connections too.

17th April 2011, 23:48
Well before you go condemning the tender ,battery etc, get a test light or meter and make sure you are getting power where you want it. start at the end of the circuit first, the starter terminal,If it gets hot,then your starter is at fault.If that is dead then no power is getting to the starter from the solenoid.Solenoids will "click" and still not work. If there is no power to the stater,check the voltage at the solenoid.The top terminal is hot at all times when the key is on,the small wire gets hot when you push the button and comes from the relay.connect the test lead and hit the button, If the little wire doesnt get hot,the solenoid wont actuate,connect it to the lower large terminal,if it is dead, bad solenoid.

17th April 2011, 23:49
BTW, the solenoid on these bikes is a GM /Delco style unit that has a history of very high failure rates,test this thoroughly!It will click and simply not work properly.

17th April 2011, 23:50
Why? What is different about a new battery?

New battery shouldnt matter versus an older good battery, either its good or it isnt, they dont require a break in.

18th April 2011, 22:22
I checked voltages with a meter and have found I am losing volts coming from the starter relay to the small terminal on the solonoid. 12v going in from main cb and 9v coming out at the end of the green wire to the solonoid, i am going to replace the crimp on the end of the wire to see if it is broken inside.

18th April 2011, 23:06
Blat flattery!

15th May 2011, 12:55
http://starter :: iphone006.jpg picture by anthonyparrotta_photo - PhotobucketFound out why 80 IH would not start. the cheap Taiwanese starter fell apart.
I took it apart to find one of the brushes stuck,figured I would unstick,clean and reassemble until one of them fell out. The insulation on the braided cable had been rubbed off and must have shorted. while looking for the starting problem I found that the PO had wired the lighting circuit to the 30 amp CB
and the battery to the 15 amp. Now I know why the headlight connector is
slightly melted,must have had an electrical issue and the cb didn't shut off.
I have replaced the starter relay ,circuit breakers, starter switch,solonoid
and starter with oem harley parts and now know they are well made 'USA' parts. Starts nice and easy now.

15th May 2011, 13:04
Thanks for the come back.