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  #1  
Old 17th September 2018
883matt97 883matt97 is offline
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Default Dead battery cells - 1997 sportster 883

Hello all,

I have a problem with my bike I absolutely cannot find info on so here it goes:

What can cause a dead cell (or 2) in a battery? I can't find anything to say anything other than a dead cell has to be a manufacturing issue but I have been through 3 this year all failed in the same way, not just drained but dead cells.

I have been hesitant to even install the newest one (don't wanna push the warranty haha). Battery cables have been disconnected and cleaned. I did find the post of circuit block for lighting (blue wire going to it) has continuity to ground but I am not sure that is a problem, with bulb installed all 3 leads to the front signals/running lights show continuity between each other) the continueity at the circuit block goes away if I disconnect the whole front signal clip from the harness but there appears to be no problem with anything forward of the clip. Any ideas anyone?

Edit: I am showing 14.2 volts at battery while running/revved up so charging system should be ok
Thanks in advance.

Last edited by 883matt97; 18th September 2018 at 00:00.. Reason: ADded info
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  #2  
Old 18th September 2018
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b0fh b0fh is offline
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vibration, perhaps. which brand/type of battery?
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  #3  
Old 18th September 2018
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IXL2Relax IXL2Relax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 883matt97 View Post
I did find the post of circuit block for lighting (blue wire going to it) has continuity to ground but I am not sure that is a problem, with bulb installed all 3 leads to the front signals/running lights show continuity between each other) the continueity at the circuit block goes away if I disconnect the whole front signal clip from the harness but there appears to be no problem with anything forward of the clip.
Right-hand Control/TS Connector has one BLUE wire to the Right-side Running Light...

Left-hand Control/TS Connector also has a BLUE wire to the Left-side Running Light --PLUS-- a BLUE wire to the HI/LO Headlight Switch...

Are you blowing the LIGHTS fuse? Ever?

What type of battery are you using (brand/model)?

How long did the previous one last?

Do you have starting issues from low battery voltage?

What environment? Cold? Salt-water? Other?

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  #4  
Old 18th September 2018
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In car batteries dead cells are more common with shock/vibration and heat. I would assume it's the same for motorcycle batteries. Shock/ vibration: dropping the battery itself. Hittiing potholes, no battery tie-down, manufacturing defect,i.e: one or more lead plates inside the battery are too thin. Heat: too much heat transfer from the oil tank, exhaust, hard riding in very hot temps (90F+), corroded battery cables (inside the cable). These are some of the explanations GM gave us in "Tech Bulletins" (over the last 20 years).
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  #5  
Old 18th September 2018
883matt97 883matt97 is offline
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The newest battery lasted 2 weeks about 250 miles. Prior to that about a month and a half. The one that came in the bike when I got it in spring was manufactured 11/2017. Makes me wonder if this was an ongoing thing that caused the previous owner to sell.

I haven’t been getting any strange behavior. Once stopping for gas went to restart and had nothing. The next was dead in the shed when I went to ride. The final the bike got a little rough running right before I shut down in the parking lot I was going to and that was it. Battery tie down is securely in place ect and temps were around 70 when 2 of the batteries went out. No problems with slow starting or poor starting. No stand environment condition. Dry 70-80 degrees. Not near and salt water or anything like that

I have not been having any issues with lights or fuses blowing. Really the bike runs great and everything works.... until nothing does haha

The batteries was originally a Harley replacement. Next ones have been autocraft tx20hl
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Old 19th September 2018
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Hmmmmm... Check for a load when the key is OFF...
Set your multimeter (DVM) to 20v DC - With the key OFF, remove the Battery Positive Cable - Then put your multimeter BLACK probe on the Cable End - put your RED probe on the Positive Battery Post - See if you are getting a reading - You should NOT...

Wiggle the Keyswitch while the meter is connected to see if the keyswitch is shorting out (don't turn it on)...

I would also remove the regulator & clean the grounding points where the regulator mounts to the frame - When done, use your multimeter on OHMS to check that you have a solid ground there...

I would run the Stator & Regulator tests listed here:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...harging_system

My 1994 has a 3/8" rubber pad under the battery (in the box) to absorb some of the vibration - Does your box have this rubber pad? If not, add one that is made of dense rubber/foam construction...

============
Here's what I put in my 1994 XLH 883>1200
https://www.pepboys.com/magna-power-...roduct/1055140

Extreme Magna Power EXT16 - 325CCA - 19Ah - 17lbs

Here's the thread I created related to replacing my battery:
xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2018772


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Last edited by IXL2Relax; 19th September 2018 at 09:06..
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  #7  
Old 19th September 2018
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Do you have the padding under the battery?
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Old 20th September 2018
883matt97 883matt97 is offline
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I am using the battery pad, was thinking of making another piece for the top of the battery even.

I'll have to put the bike back together some tomorrow and make sure I follow all of IXL's direction to the t. Hopefully I can report with some good news!
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Old 20th September 2018
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883matt97, what sort of battery are we talking about here? If it is a flooded battery ( liquid sloshing about inside) you might expect vibration to cause the
cells to break up and possibly short due to vibration but for that to happen in a few months is odd. On the other hand, a factory sealed AGM should be able to cope
with the same vibration admirably. Another point, when did you last replace the battery/oil tank rubber mounts. Can they still be described as rubber?

I agree with ILX2 to check for parasitic drains with the key off. You might also want to test the grounds.
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