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hot no start, ignition module, no spark

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  #1  
Old 29th August 2019
Dalmgee Dalmgee is offline
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Default 2003 Sportster 1200 no spark when hot

Looking for suggestions. Last night took the new to me Sportster for a ride 20 miles into my ride she spit and sputtered and died. I pushed the bike into a parking lot and called the wife. she took me home and I grabbed a spark tester and one of the new plugs I purchased earlier in the day. No spark so I called for a tow truck. While waiting (40 minutes) I thought why not try it again fires right up and I took off for home. Still had the spark tester on flashing the whole way home. Anyone have experienced this and what did you find. I'm thinking ignition module. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 29th August 2019
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Welcome to the forum. Start simple, clean and tighten the battery cables.
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Old 29th August 2019
Dalmgee Dalmgee is offline
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Thanks toejam503. This has been a dream for a long time. She has a brand new battery and clean and tight connections.
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Old 29th August 2019
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ICM or coil most likely. If you had access to a known good one of either it makes it easy to eliminate one. No real way to test the ICM other than applying deep cold after it fails to see if it works. Or applying heat right away to see if it fails to start. Same can be done with coil but it can also be checked with an ohm meter.
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Old 29th August 2019
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Here's the Sportsterpedia section on the Ignition & Coil:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...k:evo:engctl01

Quote:
There are two methods of testing the ICM relative to heat failures. Method One makes the ICM fail when the engine is cold, while Method Two tries to make the ICM begin functioning again after it has failed due to heat.

Heat Test - Method #1 - If the bike usually fires when cold but dies when warm/hot, test the ICM with the engine cold. With a cold engine, use a hair dryer to blow heat on the ICM (in the nosecone) before attempting to start it. After it's warm, see if the engine fails to start due to the spark missing or intermittent.

Heat Test - Method #2 - Once you have a running failure from heat, use 'cold spray' to quickly cool down the ICM (in the nosecone). If the ICM has failed due to heat, this test will check if it will begin to produce a spark again after being cooled down.

Somtimes, these two methods can be used in combination to create & resolve a failure condition, although heat related problems can still be hard to diagnose/resolve. The same procedures can be used to test the ignition coil for heat failure.
The '98-'03 models with the stock nosecone ignition are prone to heat failure...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
Here's the Sportsterpedia section on the Ignition & Coil:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...k:evo:engctl01



The '98-'03 models with the stock nosecone ignition are prone to heat failure...

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Thanks for the information. Is it ok to drill out the rivets and ride the bike around until it does it again? I was thinking of carrying a can of keyboard duster with me it gets pretty cold and spraying the module to see if it works. Thanks
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As long as you don't ride dusty or wet, it should be fine to leave it open - however, the ignition module is going to run cooler with that open and may not fail as soon or as consistently...

In any case, after removing the cover, you could try the dryer method of heating it before running the bike (while the engine is still cool/cold) - that should identify whether the ignition module fails under a heat condition - with the bike still parked at home...

The special cold spray (freon-based, often used in electronics) will cool the module more quickly and to a lower temperature than canned air...

Good Luck...

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