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battery drain, just clicks, won't start

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  #1  
Old 7th August 2020
81ironhead77 81ironhead77 is offline
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Default No juice, no run, no power, nothing...

I need to pick your brains for a second. So I have a very needy attention whore of an 81 Ironhead. This thing has temper tantrums I swear, lol. So it was running great all day (went on a funeral run, only like 30 miles around town.. nothing hard on it) we got to a stop and we went to eat lunch ect. About 1.5 hours later we come outside to start up the bones and leave, mine won't start.. I have nothing. I thought my battery cable came loose again (it happens) but no.. we try to push start it... But no... Nothing!!!
Took it home and changed starter relay, no change. Battery hooked up so I can see voltage, it reads it fully charged. Turn key to first position, nothing but solenoid clicking and I can honk the horn.. go to second key position with full power including headlight and the battery instantly drops to 9.5 volts.. You don't even get a chance to hit the start button. Voltage drops just by turning key to the second position. And then the only clicking you here is the starter relay. Any ideas? This thing is driving me nuts. All I did was turn the bike off for about an hour and a half. Thank you for your help!!
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  #2  
Old 7th August 2020
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When batteries go bad, they can show a full charge with no load on them, but then drop the voltage level as soon as they are connected.

You should check both ends of both battery cables. Sometimes they break or corrode internal of the cable sheath.

Also make sure you have a clean spot on the frame to mount the ground cable.

Keyswitches also fail - corrosion on the contacts can prevent them from passing proper current.


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Last edited by IXL2Relax; 7th August 2020 at 13:45..
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  #3  
Old 7th August 2020
cal43 cal43 is offline
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I think your battery died.
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Old 7th August 2020
81ironhead77 81ironhead77 is offline
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I forgot to mention in my rant that I bought this battery new at the beginning of June.. BUT, I do know that batteries can go bad even if they are brand new... Soo, I'm going to get it load tested this afternoon and go from there... What's the odds the stator went out on it??
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Old 7th August 2020
81ironhead77 81ironhead77 is offline
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I'll look at the key switch also and see what that looks like... I just bought a house that has a garage FINALLY so I can really dig into this bike and get her straightened around. Thank you for your tips.. all are appreciated.
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  #6  
Old 7th August 2020
denguy denguy is offline
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Those are small batteries, not much capacity when new. Does not take much capacity loss to lose starting capability.
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Old 7th August 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81ironhead77 View Post
I forgot to mention in my rant that I bought this battery new at the beginning of June.. BUT, I do know that batteries can go bad even if they are brand new... Soo, I'm going to get it load tested this afternoon and go from there... What's the odds the stator went out on it??
Yeah, but if it's not getting any power from the bike it's goes flat in no time. Get another (temporary) battery and see if it starts. If it does put a volt meter on the terminals to see if it's charging. Should be around 13.5 to 14.5 Volts depending on lights etc...
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Old 7th August 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLXL View Post
Yeah, but if it's not getting any power from the bike it's goes flat in no time. Get another (temporary) battery and see if it starts. If it does put a volt meter on the terminals to see if it's charging. Should be around 13.5 to 14.5 Volts depending on lights etc...
+1 on static voltage. It should read around 12.8 volts direct at the battery with key off. Since you do not have a starter we can't observe the drop when you hit the starter. I agree with the load test. If it passes that, then the suspect would be that as you turn the key to the second position you are up against more than normal resistance. At that point you need to start eliminating things that are on in that key position. Back east I saw headlights with grunge behind them all over the connector that would blow fuses. That's not common where you don't have snow and road grunge buildup there. Anything other than headlight involved in second key position?

I had a typo in here. Battery should read around 12.8 with key off. I see that you do have a starter, but since the voltage drops drastically just turning the key to position 2, then everything else is correct. Start with load test and if battery is good, then look for some high resistance on that second position wiring.
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Last edited by wedge; 8th August 2020 at 23:17..
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Old 7th August 2020
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Old wiring. Know the feeling. I am lucky enough to have a spare test batteries since I get the core when I change one out and recharge it a little. So that is good starting point.

Quote:
go to second key position with full power including headlight and the battery instantly drops to 9.5 volts.. You don't even get a chance to hit the start button. Voltage drops just by turning key to the second position.
Ordering myself some new handlebar wiring for my6 1980 XLS. Mine was in Nebraska exposed outdoors for a bit since 1980. Wiring is kinda dry rotted. I guess time for you trace out wiring and fix it. I approach wiring jobs usually like eating a elephant. One bite at a time.

Wondering what Doc is up to? He is usually all over these threads. I figure he even has stickies on this forum.

Edit: New wiring harness from ebay for both handlebars was 43.00 bucks including Tx sales tax and shipping.
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Last edited by rokytnji; 7th August 2020 at 23:36..
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Old 9th August 2020
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had a battery drop dead while fueling.
wouldnt have believed it could happen that quick b4 that.
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