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Old 18th July 2016
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sportsterdoc sportsterdoc is offline
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Default 2007-2009 electrical glitches

Several 2007-2009 owners have posted regarding hiccups, which are likely electrical. Whatever the main cause, it would be a good idea to do normal Sportster electrical checks:

A. Check voltage (a) key off, (b) key on, (c) engine at ~ 2,500 RPM ***

B. Tug test 4 battery cable ends, as well as inspect for looseness and corrosion.

For 2007-2009, especially (2007-2009 were the first generation of the EFI models. Wiring seems more complicated than necessary [8 fuses + 3 spare fuse positions] and the design of the fuse and relay locations did not consider ever washing the bike or parking it in the rain. However, if the fuse panel and relays are serviced, reliability seems normal):

C. Remove chassis/harness ground (top of trans), clean external and internal threads, apply copper based (conductive) anti-seize and reinstall. Or at least measure resistance from top of chassis ground wire lug to battery negative post. Should be 0.1 ohm or less...sames as for battery negative cable from top of trans to battery negative post.

D. Pull 30 amp maxi fuse, remove all 15 amp fuses, clean front and back of fuse block. Reinsert fuses, reinsert maxi fuse.

E. Replace system relay if more than ~ 2 years old, less if parked or ridden in rain.

***Voltages
1. KEY OFF battery voltage, at the battery: Normal is 12.8, acceptable is 12.6 (standard lead acid battery, not AGM) to 12.8 for no load. If just taken off a charger, voltage may be 13 point something. The battery needs to sit for a while before a reading is useful. In the case of a bad cell, the other cells overcharge and give an almost normal reading, until load is applied.
• If lower, then battery is discharged and needs charging or
• Battery has a bad cell

2. KEY ON battery voltage (headlight on): Normal is not under about 12.5 initially, but will decline the longer that the headlight is on, without the motor running. Under no load, 12.5 volts indicates 50% discharge, but under load, it is just voltage drop.
• If lower, then battery is discharged and needs charging or
• Battery has a bad cell or
• Battery cable(s) have high resistance

3. KEY ON battery voltage while cranking: Normal is not under 10.5 volts
• If lower, then battery is discharged and needs charging or
• Battery has a bad cell or
• Battery cable(s) have high resistance or
• Starter is drawing too much current

4. If the bike is running, battery voltage at about 2,500 RPMs should be 13.8 to 14.8
• If not, then check stator resistance and regulator ground
• If the stator is not shorted to ground and resistance is within spec, the regulator or regulator ground is suspect

5. When there is a problem with “no power” check the 30 amp circuit breaker or maxi fuse between the battery and the key switch and all the 15 amp fuses after the key switch (or circuit breakers on many Ironheads). If circuit breakers / fuses are OK, then measure voltage coming into the key switch and continue downstream until the voltage stops.

Last edited by sportsterdoc; 18th July 2016 at 03:41..
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  #2  
Old 18th July 2016
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Default

Thanks, doc: as usual, a packet of very good instructions from you. You da man!
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  #3  
Old 18th July 2016
Ultrarunner Ultrarunner is offline
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Good information. My only real issue (if you can call it that) in ~10k miles on my '09 was electrical in nature, eventually traced to the relays/ fuse panel. Replacement of the relays and proper cleaning, and no problems since. Now a regular maintenance item. Thanks.
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Old 18th July 2016
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Doc. ...I take exception with the phrase "reliability seems normal "...as I can attest, if you treat the fuse box as a maintenance item, reliability will be normal. ..
if there is such a thing. ..can't give you any more rep...would if I could. ..

Excellent post. ..
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Old 18th July 2016
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Excellent advise and nicely written up, thanks!
Regarding the fuse block, I just cleaned mine up and it was corroded and pretty ugly on an '05 ridden regularly in the rain.
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Old 19th July 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilly1 View Post
Thanks, doc: as usual, a packet of very good instructions from you. You da man!
Thank you, Liz!
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Old 19th July 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwede View Post
Doc. ...I take exception with the phrase "reliability seems normal "...as I can attest, if you treat the fuse box as a maintenance item, reliability will be normal. ..
if there is such a thing. ..can't give you any more rep...would if I could. ..

Excellent post. ..
Schwede
Thanks for the rep attempt! Do notice the exception clause in that statement:
"However, if the fuse panel and relays are serviced, reliability seems normal"!

Last edited by sportsterdoc; 19th July 2016 at 15:33.. Reason: grammar
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Old 19th July 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splineman View Post
Excellent advise and nicely written up, thanks!
Regarding the fuse block, I just cleaned mine up and it was corroded and pretty ugly on an '05 ridden regularly in the rain.
Thank you.
More corrosion front or back?...and the 04-06 fuse blocks were a bit better positioned.

Last edited by sportsterdoc; 19th July 2016 at 15:32.. Reason: 04-06
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Old 19th July 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Good information. My only real issue (if you can call it that) in ~10k miles on my '09 was electrical in nature, eventually traced to the relays/ fuse panel. Replacement of the relays and proper cleaning, and no problems since. Now a regular maintenance item. Thanks.
Thank you for the endorsement. I keep trying to spread the word to save a lot of unnecessary down time.
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Old 19th July 2016
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On the front, where the fuses plug in. They are behind the left side panel behind the oil tank so not too bad positioned. I guess the warm oil may help them stay dry...don't know?

I am going to poke around a bit more to check my electrics out, seems vibration may play a part as well with rubbing.
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