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

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  #1  
Old 11th June 2010
brownskull brownskull is offline
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Default LOUD POP and SUPER HOT BATTERY

Hi Fellas,

Interesting Friday evening. I took the motorcycle for a little spin cruise in the paking lot. On my way back the motorcycle started jerking as if it was gonna die and as I rolled it in to park it she died. I tried starting it back up but i couldn't keep her on. As i was trying to start her up i heard a loud pop and smoke under my seat. It sounded like a backfire but i don't think it was. I noticed I lost all electrical. No lights or power, zero! I noticed my battery was getting hot super hot and almost impossible to touch. I also noticed some sparking under the seat.

I immediately ran for my tools and managed to disconnect the battery and placed it far away from me as I feared it was going to explode and send my 82 to Harley Heaven or me to you know where. It was so hot I almost dropped it. MY GOSH!!!! W T Fudge????

My questions to you fellow Ironheads: What the #$%@^# happened? Anyone have any experience with hot batteries or problems like this?



Please reply to this as I am totally lost. I am trying to learn and picked up a FSM and yes I tinker but tonight I didn't do a thing! Just turned her on and took her for a spin.

Thanks,

BrownSkull
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  #2  
Old 11th June 2010
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Sly Sly is offline
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Dude! Glad you got it out quick. Check around the battery for any short's. And take it and have it tested for a bad cell. If you saw spark's it must have shorted to smething? Should be able to see where it arced across? Any melted wire's?
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  #3  
Old 11th June 2010
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beornj beornj is offline
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Sounds like a short to me too. Not much you can do but start inspecting your wiring. I'd bet somewhere there's bare wire touching metal. Start looking in the area the sparks were coming from.
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  #4  
Old 11th June 2010
brownskull brownskull is offline
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Sly,

Thanks for the response. It's too dark to tell what the damage is now. I will have to take a look tomorrow morning. So was that battery going to explode? I figured it was headed somewhere terrible fast that's why I decided to disconnect it? It was just too hot. How bad do they explode or pop? I was afraid of it spraying battery acid all over me.

So you think it's a shot and a bad cell then? I will check tomorrow and have the battery checked as well.

Crud! What about the loud pop? Is that the cell going bad?

BrownSkull
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  #5  
Old 11th June 2010
jonnybravo jonnybravo is offline
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could be a charging system short, maybe in wiring, battery is getting to much return juice, as if excess voltage is going to battery instead of frame
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  #6  
Old 12th June 2010
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To get the battery that hot, it was most likely s short in the heavy starter cables and connections some place. Look for burn marks and melting around the starter wiring and components.
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  #7  
Old 12th June 2010
Fe Head Fe Head is offline
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Batteries can explode but it is usually when over charging or charging at too high an ampere rate.

The expolsion happens is when the Hydrogen gas is released and confined to a small area or is unvented and you create an spark - like making or breaking a connection point/terminal.

It can also explode violently when the cell's vent tube or caps are restricting the off gassing of this hydrogen and there is an internal plate short or spark.

I have both seen and heard some amazing explosions particularly in the years when the six volt systems were in use and some were still using the +ve terminal as the ground.

When the party inadvertently placed a 12 volt jumper cable set on backwards it would usually happened just as they were disconnecting as it takes a little time (30 -60 seconds) to to produce enough Hydrogen gas.


As for your popping sound it could be the circuit breakers you have been testing/referring to in earlier posts.

If it is (the CB's) you may want to replace each with some newer ones although I can not see them creating as much heat as you mentioned.

Like "Hopper" said it is likely the heavier cables shorting to generate this amount of discharge heat.

Let us know what you find as the culprit.

Cheers;
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