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  #11  
Old 4th April 2020
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Gulf Coaster Gulf Coaster is offline
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Originally Posted by glbsportster View Post
One of the first simple things I would do is have a friend come over and change batteries for a test....if his starter clicks then it is your battery,
That certainly does sound simple. I can put it in my son's 883, tomorrow, and see what happens. In the meantime, I have a slightly larger (and new) motorcycle battery on hand in my Goldwing. I can give that a try, tonight. I'll try swapping it out. Thanks for the advice.
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  #12  
Old 4th April 2020
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Bigger battery never helps, always the wire or connection.
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  #13  
Old 4th April 2020
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Originally Posted by cazz1000 View Post
u might not need a rebuild kit,, I did,nt,,,,,, new primary gasket and oil,, good time to check ur primary chain and shoe tensioner,, but do buy a new starter relay,,,for sure like 12.00 bucks at autozone ,,,,, good luck,,,,, be simple,,,, god bless,,,1 more thing u will need a new gasket for the backside of the starter or maybe not...
So, after buying a relay (could I have the wrong one?) and a starter, without fixing the "one big click" problem, we seem to be back to the battery. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to test it in another bike, so I will take it to my local auto parts store and have them load test it. When I charge it, it reaches full charge quickly and shows 12.4 v. One thing that I'm curious about is the two ground wires on the negative terminal. There are three heavy wires; one to the starter, one goes to a bolt top of the engine, and the last one goes to one of the mounting bolts on the battery shelf. That one apparently is meant to be a ground to the frame, but it doesn't seem to have continuity with anything but the other battery tray bolt. Is that where it is supposed to go? Everything electrical on the bike works, except obviously the starter motor, and that cable is where it was when the starter did work. I pulled all three cables and cleaned the ends and everything they connect to. Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 4th April 2020
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The battery tray and oil tank are isolated from the frame, mechanically and electrically, by the rubber mounts. There's no reason to have a ground wire going to the battery tray. For clarity, you have one heavy-duty cable going from the negative terminal to the engine, and one going from the positive terminal to the starter, yes?

82 starter function is a three-part process:
1. Start button triggers the start relay
2. Start relay triggers the starter solenoid
3. Starter solenoid turns on the starter motor

If you can feel the solenoid doing its thing, sounds like you're getting to Step 2 fine. In my experience, when the battery gets weak you'll get a rapid clicking of the starter solenoid, same as you get from a car. If that's not happening and the motor isn't spinning, it sounds like there's no power getting to the starter motor. I would check for continuity between the + terminal on the starter and the other end of the cable - you might have an internal break.

It's unlikely to have a bad ground, but you can check that by testing continuity between the starter body and the engine. The starter grounds through its housing, so the mounting bolts pretty well take care of that.
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Old 4th April 2020
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Originally Posted by BigMek View Post
The battery tray and oil tank are isolated from the frame, mechanically and electrically, by the rubber mounts. There's no reason to have a ground wire going to the battery tray. For clarity, you have one heavy-duty cable going from the negative terminal to the engine, and one going from the positive terminal to the starter, yes?

82 starter function is a three-part process:
1. Start button triggers the start relay
2. Start relay triggers the starter solenoid
3. Starter solenoid turns on the starter motor

If you can feel the solenoid doing its thing, sounds like you're getting to Step 2 fine. In my experience, when the battery gets weak you'll get a rapid clicking of the starter solenoid, same as you get from a car. If that's not happening and the motor isn't spinning, it sounds like there's no power getting to the starter motor. I would check for continuity between the + terminal on the starter and the other end of the cable - you might have an internal break.

It's unlikely to have a bad ground, but you can check that by testing continuity between the starter body and the engine. The starter grounds through its housing, so the mounting bolts pretty well take care of that.
BigMek, you hit it on the nose. I don't know why there is a "ground" going to the battery shelf. It clearly serves no purpose.The issue turned out to be no power getting to the starter. The green wire to the solenoid was fine, but not the cable going to the starter motor from the positive terminal. I got a proper connection there, and she started right up. I'm rather chagrined I hadn't figured that out, or at least checked before replacing the starter and relay. Considering I spend about $130 to learn that little lesson, it came comparatively cheap! Thanks for the excellent instruction. -Steve
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Old 5th April 2020
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Your battery is too low - at 12.4v it's nearly 50% depleted:

AGM Batteries
Voltage Reading ... 12.7 ... 12.6 ... 12.3 ... 12.0 ... 11.8
Percent Charged . 100% ...75% ... 50% .... 25% ... 0%

Record your meter readings - Report back:
1) Measure the voltage across the battery terminals with the Keyswitch OFF
2) Measure the voltage across the battery terminals with the Keyswitch ON
3) Measure the voltage across the battery terminals when cranking the starter
(Test#3 is a LOAD TEST - The battery voltage should not drop below 10.5v)

To do a proper ground test:
Set your meter to the 20v DC Scale
Clamp the RED meter probe onto the Positive Battery Terminal
Take a voltage reading directly across the battery by touching the BLACK probe to the Negative Battery Post
This reading becomes your REFERENCE VOLTAGE (RV)

Now, move the BLACK meter probe to any GROUND POINT on the bike and compare the voltage reading to the RV.

All readings should be within .3v of the Reference Voltage.

Check everywhere that there should be a ground - engine (both sides), cylinder heads, regulator body, handlebars, etc.


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  #17  
Old 5th April 2020
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I literally had this exact same problem with my 74 over the last few months. It turned out to be the plunger part of the solenoid wasn't making good contact with the inside of the solenoid. I went through every part, testing voltages, continuity, grounds, etc. Replaced relays, solenoid, starter, battery- just to find out when I finally broke down to have my mechanic look at it, that the plunger inside the primary cover wasn't seating well. It would pass voltage to the starter but not current to turn it. Installed a replacement kit and off we went. Drove me nuts trying to figure it out.
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  #18  
Old 5th April 2020
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I have seen some with a shim in the plunger before the spring so it applies more pressure/travel to the pin.

A round disc like piece 3/32" thick, small enough in diameter to go in first before the plunger spring.
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  #19  
Old 6th April 2020
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Originally Posted by smac74 View Post
I literally had this exact same problem with my 74 over the last few months. It turned out to be the plunger part of the solenoid wasn't making good contact with the inside of the solenoid. I went through every part, testing voltages, continuity, grounds, etc. Replaced relays, solenoid, starter, battery- just to find out when I finally broke down to have my mechanic look at it, that the plunger inside the primary cover wasn't seating well. It would pass voltage to the starter but not current to turn it. Installed a replacement kit and off we went. Drove me nuts trying to figure it out.
I finally found that the problem was the cable from the battery to the starter. That was all it was. I finally figured it out, with some help from here, but I am going to have to try to find a mechanic, at some point. The local H-D shop won't touch anything older than 90-something, so I'll have to find a privateer. I've done okay so for, but at some point I am sure it will break in a way I can't fix.
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