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  #1  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
VintageVinny VintageVinny is offline
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Default 74 Sportster Starter Issue - No Crank

I'm starting with a new fully charged battery.
Voltage to the solenoid (tall lug) is 12.6 volts.
When the starter button is activated, without the starter connected,
voltage out of the solenoid (short lug) is 11.5 volts.
But- when I connect the solenoid (short lug) to the starter, the voltage out of the solenoid drops to 0.9 volts when the starter button is activated.

My first thought is there's an open short in the starter.
But what's puzzling is, I can put direct power to the starter and it spins.

Any thoughts?
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Not really an introduction thread, so moving to the Ironhead section.
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Change the wire between the solenoid and starter and see if it’s back to normal.
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What is the voltage across the battery when cranking?
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Default

Didn't we just deal with this on your bike ?

http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2078891

New thread but same issue ? Or am I mis-understanding the history of this problem ?
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Answer to "Didn't we just deal with this on your bike ?"
Yes. Thought it was the battery so I replaced it. But having the same problem.

Answer to "What is the voltage across the battery when cranking?"
Right now, the battery's a little low from testing and is at 12.3 volts.
When cranking starter dips to 11.9 volts.

Answer to "Change the wire between the solenoid and starter."
I don't have another cable to try, but resistance on cable with multimeter is .16 ohms.
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0.16 ohms is actually pretty high considering how thick and short that wire is. Nominal resistance of an 8-gauge stranded copper wire is roughly 0.70 ohms per thousand feet. This means your starter wire should have a resistance around 0.0014 ohms (assuming it's roughly two feet long), so your wire's resistance is 100 times higher than it should be. That's probably conservative too, since I think the stock wire is 6 gauge which is 0.45 ohms per thousand feet.

By Ohm's law, that much resistance will also limit your max current to only 76 amps, less than half the CCA of your battery. The starter might simply not be getting enough current to turn.
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Default

Thank you BigMek, that just might be the problem.
Could you please verify that I am reading the multimeter right?
Resistance shows 1.6 on 200k ohms, 0.16 on 20m, and .2 on 20k ohms.
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Can you double-check your readings and meter settings? They're not lining up.

The K and M stand for Kilo and Mega, so whatever the display says you have to multiply by 1,000 for K, or 1 million for M, to get the actual value. Example, 1.0 on the 20k scale is 1 kilo-ohm (pronounced kil-ohm) or 1,000 ohms. Different values in each scale (2k vs. 20k vs. 200k) choose the highest value your meter can show, but shouldn't change the reading unless the meter starts rounding.

Here are some samples from my meter with three 510 ohm resistors in series.
1.510 on 2k, 1.51 on 20k, 01.5 on 200k, 0.001 on 2M, and zero on 20M because it's off the scale.
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Thank you BigMek. Each time I test the cable, I get different readings, so maybe the battery needs to be replaced. My last readings were:
2.65 on 20k, 20.5 on 200k, and 2.05 on 20M
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