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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 15th September 2020
Bwf347 Bwf347 is offline
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Default Starter solenoid short

So I am preparing to fire up my 73 XLH after a motor rebuild. Hooked up battery and got a spark. Checked positive wire to the starter solenoid is grounded. Checked solenoid itself with all wires disconnected, both Cooper terminals and relay terminal is grounded.

Pulled solenoid off and bench tested. With ground on solenoid housing the short Cooper terminal and relay terminal are grounded. Long Cooper terminal not grounded. What am I missing here.

Full disclosure it came with the spring solo seat. I did not put that on. It will get changed.




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Old 15th September 2020
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battery cable hooks up to the longest stud on solenoid.
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Old 15th September 2020
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solenoid plunger may have been hung up or bendix drive gear fork installed incorrectly.
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Old 16th September 2020
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Ironhead How to Bench Test a Solenoid, pic & vid
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1525907
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  #5  
Old 16th September 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwf347 View Post

Pulled solenoid off and bench tested. With ground on solenoid housing the short Cooper terminal and relay terminal are grounded. Long Cooper terminal not grounded.

The above is all normal and correct. Looking at the solenoid wiring schematic diagram, the short large stud (which connects to the starter motor) is connected to one end of the pull-in coil. The other end of the pull-in coil is connected to the small solenoid terminal ("relay terminal", as you call it).

The small terminal is also connected to one end of the hold-in coil, and the other end of the hold-in coil is connected to ground (the solenoid body).

So if you're checking continuity with an ohm meter, current can flow from the short large post through the pull-in coil to the small relay terminal, then through the hold-in coil to ground. That's why it appears the short large post and the small terminal post are grounded, though they aren't actually connected directly to ground.

So the only thing that sounds like it's wrong is... you say the large long solenoid post is grounded when it's installed on the bike. As far as I can tell, the only way that could happen is if the plunger is pulled in and the two large solenoid posts are shorted together inside the solenoid. That should cause the starter motor to start spinning, and you didn't mention that. Or the battery cable between the + battery post and the solenoid would have started burning/smoking if it was really shorted to ground.

But the two large posts don't appear to be shorted together when the solenoid is off the bike, so I don't really know what's going on here.

By the way, that's a very sharp looking bike!
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Old 19th September 2020
Bwf347 Bwf347 is offline
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Thanks guys. I think the plunger must've been hung up. Finally got back out on it this morning and it's fine now back on the machine
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Old 21st September 2020
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Glad to hear it's working!

Thanks for reporting back.
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