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  #1  
Old 25th April 2019
hammer6315 hammer6315 is offline
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Default left him stranded

A friend has a 1980 Sportster. It has left him stranded a couple of times. It just cuts out: no lights no horn no nothing. After he trailers it home, it will start like nothing is wrong. I am thinking it may be his ignition switch, which acts weird. He says he hears a clicking sound beneath the seat when he turns the key on. He has to turn it two clicks to get ignition. He's had it in the shop a couple of times, but the intermittent problem is still there. Any ideas? thank you!
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Old 25th April 2019
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Could be his main breaker getting cranky.
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Old 25th April 2019
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Any burned wires, or wires with bare spots in the insulation? My horn wire had burned spots that matched the fins on the front cylinder, and when riding they would ground out and kill my ignition randomly - for instance.
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Old 25th April 2019
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Having a 1980 myself that acts hinky when the wiring gets wet when riding in the rain. I try and not get too upset with the years between 1980 and 2019 screwing with my motor scooter.

Dry rot insulation acts like a sponge. Click you say. Check grounds. Use manual. You will figure it out.

Edit. How old is the starter relay and starter button and kill switch. Fluke meter helps me with that chore as well as a 12 volt battery.
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Old 25th April 2019
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Yep Spacecoast, it certainly sounds like a faulty circuit breaker to me too.
......Davi.
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Old 26th April 2019
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Check the fit of the ignition key. If it is loose [as in has had a bunch of other heavy shit on the key chain] then you can have intermittent running.
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Old 26th April 2019
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as allways its the bundle of wiring inside the headlight bucket.pull out the sealbeam and move the wires around and make sure the big connecter is still connected.
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Old 26th April 2019
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And try WD40!
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Old 26th April 2019
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If it always fixes itself after sitting, then more than likely something is getting hot and when it cools off makes contact again.
The main thing a person needs to do in this situation have a buddy fallow him around with a test light to help him when it dies.
When it dies, pull the seat and first check if it has power at the main breaker to the ignition switch and coming back out of the switch to be sure the problem isn't in the switch.
If it has power going in and out of the main breaker and out of the switch, Next you look at the ignition breaker. If there is power on both sides of the Ignition breaker, Next check the coil for power. if no power at the coil but power at the breaker, check kill switch on controls, then then go into the SPAGHETTI .. behind the headlight and look for a bad connection in the big plug or possibly a wire grounding out.

Good luck,
Shane
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Old 26th April 2019
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Look for hot spot on the wiring harness. Usually an intermittent short will heat up the wire.
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