The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum Energy One Clutches  

Go Back   The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum > SPORTSTER MOTORCYCLE ZONE > Sportster Motorcycle Era Specific and Model Specific > Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985)
XLF Gallery XLF Classifieds XLF Blogs XLF Shout XLF Arcade XLF Disclaimer/Privacy Statement/Terms Of Use

Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

Biltwell
DK Customs
RYCA Motors
DK Customs

Lowbrow Customs
Reply
 
Share Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28th November 2012
BrnAgn BrnAgn is offline
Know It All
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: S.W. PA
Posts: 181
Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster XLS
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Other Motorcycle Model: Suzuki T500 'RingDing'
Other Motorcycle Year: 1972
Reputation: 31869
BrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to all
Default 1979 Starter solenoid removal

I'm having issues with my 1979 starter solenoid. Battery fully charged reads at over 13 volts. Solenoid just clicks, then will temporarily trip the circuit breaker, the breaker is new OEM.
I don't think the battery is the problem, everything else works OK, and I tried to jump start it anyways with my tractor battery (Kubota diesel 4x4), and still the same. BTW the tractor battery consistently reads at approx 12.5 volts when fully charged, and starts the tractor just fine.
Voltage at both the relay and the solenoid when starter button is pushed is about 9.8 volts. Voltage at starter itself while button is pushed is almost undetectable, about .007 volts.
So from reading all the info and posts and test procedure 'stickys' here, it is most likely the solenoid or maybe the relay I think.

So my question is mostly about removal of solenoid for testing. On a 1979, do I have to remove the sprocket cover? It also looks like the rear brake master cylinder has to be off too, as well as maybe the rear exhaust pipe?
Also, I am a little confused reading some of the procedures here: Do I have to remove the primary cover to R & R the solenoid and/or the starter on my 1979? Or am I confusing this with different year Ironheads?.
Thanks.
__________________
Luke 11:21
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 29th November 2012
IronMick's Avatar
IronMick IronMick is online now
Rider Of The Iron Steed
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: London, ON Canada
Posts: 27,068
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1978
Reputation: 123190
IronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud of
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrnAgn View Post
I'm having issues with my 1979 starter solenoid. Battery fully charged reads at over 13 volts. Solenoid just clicks, then will temporarily trip the circuit breaker, the breaker is new OEM.
I don't think the battery is the problem, everything else works OK, and I tried to jump start it anyways with my tractor battery (Kubota diesel 4x4), and still the same. BTW the tractor battery consistently reads at approx 12.5 volts when fully charged, and starts the tractor just fine.
Voltage at both the relay and the solenoid when starter button is pushed is about 9.8 volts. Voltage at starter itself while button is pushed is almost undetectable, about .007 volts.
So from reading all the info and posts and test procedure 'stickys' here, it is most likely the solenoid or maybe the relay I think.

So my question is mostly about removal of solenoid for testing. On a 1979, do I have to remove the sprocket cover? It also looks like the rear brake master cylinder has to be off too, as well as maybe the rear exhaust pipe?
Also, I am a little confused reading some of the procedures here: Do I have to remove the primary cover to R & R the solenoid and/or the starter on my 1979? Or am I confusing this with different year Ironheads?.
Thanks.
Most common reason for the solenoid just-click is a battery that is not up to it. Being at 13+ volts is not good enough, it must also pass a load test. Check out the informal load test at the beginning of this Tech Sticky thread ...

Ironhead Charging System Checkout
http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s...ad.php?t=39146

The circuit breaker tripping indicates a short circuit. Which cb is tripping, MAIN, ACC, IGN, or LIGHTS? You can determine which by listening very closely, and confirm by placing a finger on the one that you think it is; you can feel the click, and you may also feel it warming up.

OK, your further testing indicates that the battery may not be the problem.

Voltage dropping to 9.8 is somewhat low. Probably need to find that short.

The volts at the starter motor stud will be close to zero if the solenoid plunger is not moving.

I am not familiar with the location of the starter relay on a 1979. Please post a pic.

Removing the solenoid: again i am not familiar with the 1979. I had a 1980 a few years ago which is similar but i do not recall the details. It is tedious as the solenoid is under the battery box/oil tank, behind the rear exhaust pipe, etc. Pics would remind me.

Many of us are not familiar with the '79 so pics really do help. Upload them to PhotoBucket, then Copy/Paste the IMG code from there into your post here. Or use www.tinypic.com More instructions here ...

How To Post Photos
http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s...d.php?t=864419

You do not have to remove the primary cover to access the starter components; that applies to 1981-on which has a different starter/solenoid setup.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 29th November 2012
BrnAgn BrnAgn is offline
Know It All
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: S.W. PA
Posts: 181
Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster XLS
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Other Motorcycle Model: Suzuki T500 'RingDing'
Other Motorcycle Year: 1972
Reputation: 31869
BrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to all
Default

Thanks IronMick. It is the main CB that is tripping. About a month ago, the breaker tripped a couple times immediately when I hit the start button. I thought the breaker was bad, so I replaced it with a OEM H.D. part (approx. $15) charged the battery, and the problem went away until now.
I'm pretty sure the short is internal to the relay or solenoid. It could be one of those wires, but impossible to see the whole length of the wires without removing the components. I cleaned the terminals.
I did very quickly jump the starter terminal and starter spins free while not engaged.
Just by judging the external cosmetics of the solenoid and relay, if the internals are the same in age and lifespan, I would guess both are due to be replaced. Corroded and plastic covers cracked, etc.

I got some crappy cell phone pics. Sorry, best I can do.

Pic of solenoid on 1979, hard to see how tight it is to the sprocket cover and rear brake cylinder. I think the missing bolt in cover was left out by the PO because the starter terminal is so close. Also, there is no mounting bracket/strap on the starter as is shown in Clymer book.

[IMG][/IMG]

Pic of relay, this thing is really squeezed in there under the battery box, can't even remove the one terminal unless I unbolt it:

[IMG][/IMG]

The local H.D. dealer has the parts in stock, both total will cost about $100. Might just go and get them, I hate waiting on mail order parts and paying shipping costs that almost add up to about the same as the dealer's price.

The local H.D. dealer, Z & M in Greensburg, PA, has usually been fairly reasonable for most parts. I have been dealing with them since 1976, bought a couple used bikes over the years from them. I am surprised how many Ironhead parts they have in their inventory, or can get in a day or two. And I like to see parts to make sure they are correct before I buy them.
I remember reading here somewhere that there is a smaller relay that will work for this, but now I can't find that info. I think someone posted that it was maybe a Bosch? I can't remember now. Thanks for the help.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 29th November 2012
IronMick's Avatar
IronMick IronMick is online now
Rider Of The Iron Steed
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: London, ON Canada
Posts: 27,068
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1978
Reputation: 123190
IronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud of
Default

A modern cube-type 30 amp relay, from any auto parts supplier, Princess Auto, Harbor Freight, etc will work - probably better than another of those original style ones. Install it up under the seat. Just do not mount it with the wires pointing up like i did - water gets into it ...



You can buy a rebuild kit for the solenoid. It includes a new plastic top. Tighten those bolts just enough to close up the split lock washers, no more. It probably needs to be dismantled, cleaned, inspected, rebuilt. The internal parts wear out.

There is a large copper [steel in newer cheaper solenoids] washer that contacts the inner end of the two copper studs - that is the click that you hear. The copper studs wear down where the contact is made. And it usually gets filthy in there.

What i have done is simply rotated the studs to use the non-worn side.

After you rebuild the solenoid use my YouTube video to bench test it before installing it.

There is one wire [red] going into the MAIN cb from the battery +, and two [both red] coming out, one to the B terminal on the ignition key switch, the other to the starter relay. Short has to be on one of these, or inside one of the components.

You could do a voltage drop test on these two wires - measure voltage at each end and see how much loss there is. These are direct from batt +, always "hot" so you do not need key on or engine running.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 29th November 2012
LadySweetTea's Avatar
LadySweetTea LadySweetTea is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 52
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Reputation: 6008
LadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really niceLadySweetTea is just really nice
Default

I just did this on my '79. I also had good battery/iffy cranking on new-to-me bike. Remove the battery, remove the exhaust pipe, unbolt the rr master cylinder, disconnect oil lines in/out oil tank and gently remove tank. Once tank is part-way out you can easily remove starter relay under tank. With oil tank out of the way everything will be much easier to check and/or replace. I found all my connections were corroded - though they looked ok. I replaced all the wires, connections, and cables. Just do one wire at a time. Be sure to wire-brush any paint or gunk build-up between new battery ground cable and case. I shot a phone video of everything before i started which helped when putting it back together. My '79 spins like a champ now with that same old, but strong enough, battery. This is an easy job. Just take your time and buy new quality cables, wires, connectors. (You can flush out the oil tank too while it's out.) Getting that oil tank out of the '79 frame is a bit like working a rubics cube. It will come out easily when you get the right movement - no need to force it in/out. I didn't re-mount my relay under the tank but moved it up in front of the battery. I'll be replacing it with a general purpose 40amp bosch/hella SPDT connector relay.
Reply With Quote
Know Thy Hog

  #6  
Old 30th November 2012
hcrashster's Avatar
hcrashster hcrashster is online now
Master Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SW. Pencilmania
Posts: 3,223
Sportster/Buell Model: chopper looking thing
Sportster/Buell Year: 1978
Other Motorcycle Model: Triumph POS
Other Motorcycle Year: 1972
Reputation: 48170
hcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to beholdhcrashster is a splendid one to behold
Default

Hey BrnAgn,

Where are you at in SW Pa?
__________________
Ordinarily he is insane, but he has his lucid moments when he is only stupid
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 30th November 2012
BrnAgn BrnAgn is offline
Know It All
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: S.W. PA
Posts: 181
Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster XLS
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Other Motorcycle Model: Suzuki T500 'RingDing'
Other Motorcycle Year: 1972
Reputation: 31869
BrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to all
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadySweetTea View Post
I just did this on my '79. I also had good battery/iffy cranking on new-to-me bike. Remove the battery, remove the exhaust pipe, unbolt the rr master cylinder, disconnect oil lines in/out oil tank and gently remove tank. Once tank is part-way out you can easily remove starter relay under tank. With oil tank out of the way everything will be much easier to check and/or replace. I found all my connections were corroded - though they looked ok. I replaced all the wires, connections, and cables. Just do one wire at a time. Be sure to wire-brush any paint or gunk build-up between new battery ground cable and case. I shot a phone video of everything before i started which helped when putting it back together. My '79 spins like a champ now with that same old, but strong enough, battery. This is an easy job. Just take your time and buy new quality cables, wires, connectors. (You can flush out the oil tank too while it's out.) Getting that oil tank out of the '79 frame is a bit like working a rubics cube. It will come out easily when you get the right movement - no need to force it in/out. I didn't re-mount my relay under the tank but moved it up in front of the battery. I'll be replacing it with a general purpose 40amp bosch/hella SPDT connector relay.
Thanks, this all sounds like a good plan. This is what I will do early springtime when the weather is warmer. But for now, I am doing it ASAP because I am tired of pushing it in and out of the cramped garage, and up a steep driveway. Of course if I see anything that is a fail or disaster waiting to happen, I will fix it immediately. I hope to re-wire the whole bike for next season, when I tear it down for paint.
I know it ain't the right way now, but the older I get, the harder it is to do small and tedious close up work with my hands in the colder weather without gloves.
And my wife seems to get upset when I bring stuff into the house and use the kitchen or dining room tables for a workbench. Some of the things I never thought about when I was single. I kept my bikes inside the house, just removed the fuel tank. (sometimes)

All the past years of working outdoors on trucks and equipment and smashing my fingers and knuckles for a living are starting to catch up with me in the colder temperatures, and I'm barely 55 years old. Heating the garage with anything but a small portable heater that is only good for a 2 ft. diameter of heat is not an option at this time.
And yet, with a warm pair of gloves I am good to go for a cold weather ride. I put my hands on the exhaust at intersections.

Last edited by BrnAgn; 30th November 2012 at 06:13..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 30th November 2012
BrnAgn BrnAgn is offline
Know It All
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: S.W. PA
Posts: 181
Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster XLS
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Other Motorcycle Model: Suzuki T500 'RingDing'
Other Motorcycle Year: 1972
Reputation: 31869
BrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to all
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcrashster View Post
Hey BrnAgn,

Where are you at in SW Pa?
Ha Ha! I see you are from S.W. PA too. Maybe it was my mention of Z & M that caught your attention? Check your PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 30th November 2012
BrnAgn BrnAgn is offline
Know It All
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: S.W. PA
Posts: 181
Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster XLS
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Other Motorcycle Model: Suzuki T500 'RingDing'
Other Motorcycle Year: 1972
Reputation: 31869
BrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to allBrnAgn is a name known to all
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
A modern cube-type 30 amp relay, from any auto parts supplier, Princess Auto, Harbor Freight, etc will work - probably better than another of those original style ones. Install it up under the seat. Just do not mount it with the wires pointing up like i did - water gets into it ...



You can buy a rebuild kit for the solenoid. It includes a new plastic top. Tighten those bolts just enough to close up the split lock washers, no more. It probably needs to be dismantled, cleaned, inspected, rebuilt. The internal parts wear out.

There is a large copper [steel in newer cheaper solenoids] washer that contacts the inner end of the two copper studs - that is the click that you hear. The copper studs wear down where the contact is made. And it usually gets filthy in there.

What i have done is simply rotated the studs to use the non-worn side.

After you rebuild the solenoid use my YouTube video to bench test it before installing it.

There is one wire [red] going into the MAIN cb from the battery +, and two [both red] coming out, one to the B terminal on the ignition key switch, the other to the starter relay. Short has to be on one of these, or inside one of the components.

You could do a voltage drop test on these two wires - measure voltage at each end and see how much loss there is. These are direct from batt +, always "hot" so you do not need key on or engine running.
IronMick, thanks. As usual, your knowledge and experience is very much appreciated. I'm thinking I will get the new solenoid, and rebuild the other to have as a spare.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 30th November 2012
IronMick's Avatar
IronMick IronMick is online now
Rider Of The Iron Steed
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: London, ON Canada
Posts: 27,068
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1978
Reputation: 123190
IronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud ofIronMick has much to be proud of
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrnAgn View Post
... Heating the garage with anything but a small portable heater that is only good for a 2 ft. diameter of heat is not an option at this time.
And yet, with a warm pair of gloves I am good to go for a cold weather ride. I put my hands on the exhaust at intersections.
+1 on the warm gloves. I wear thin gloves under fluffy-lined leather mitts with long cuffs. Just installed $20 wind protectors on the handlebars. My coldest ride was -8`C. Last year in the Polar Bear Challenge i rode 11 times in below 0`C temperatures.

In 1998 i built a small workshop, 8' x 14' including a 2' workbench at the far end, under a nice window. The first winter i would wear two or three sweatshirts and gloves, and still be good only for a short time.

I put in an overhead radiant heater [to heat me, my tools, my bike] and a 1500 watt heater on the floor to heat the air. That helped but it still took hours to warm up in -ve `C temperatures.

So i insulated the walls and roof with fiberglass batts, vapor barrier and drywall. I left a space between the roof insulation and the roof and installed a ridge vent.

Did not cost much and now i can work comfortably out there. Added in the tools etc over the years.



Reply With Quote
Know Thy Hog

Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


Custom Search

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 00:03.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
XL Forum - Linson Media LLC