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  #1  
Old 1st July 2010
jgcable jgcable is offline
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Default Bad Ignition Module Symptoms

I have a 1989 Hugger 883. Bone Stock.
I am thinking my ignition module is going bad or is at least intermittant.
I am interested in knowing if anybody has had an ignition module go bad and if so.. what were the symptoms.
Here are mine.
Bike starts instantly and within 5 minutes I can take off. Anywhere from immediately to 15 minutes later the bike INSTANTLY starts running like crap. Hesitation, surging and minor farting through the carb. Sometimes it clears itself up INSTANTLY and runs great from then on and other times it stays running like crap. I have replaced everything on the bike except for the ignition module and the pickup. I am thinking its the ignition module even though most people with a bad module don't experience these kinds of problems.
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  #2  
Old 1st July 2010
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That sounds more like a leak at the intake or vacuum hoses to me. I would check for that first. I use an unlit propane torch, some use starting fluid, wd-40, or water. You're looking for a change in the way the motor runs when whichever substance you use gets into the leak. Make sure to use something where you have at least some control over how much and where you spray it.
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  #3  
Old 1st July 2010
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I'm on my fourth ignition module. My first (stock) one started coughing. It started hesitating at highway speed for no apparent reason. No one could/would explain it. All I heard was, 'you musta got bad gas' or 'you musta hit the kill switch'. It progressively worsened until it started backfiring and then dying down the road. It left me stranded a few times. Multiple trips to the stealer failed to fix it. Reason: it was an intermittent heat-related failure. I finally replaced the module and it was like I purchased a new bike. (ps. don't waste money on another stock module.)

Test the coil and module. Do a search on here. Eliminate the easy stuff first. Try to observe the failure in a controlled environment. Of course, when it's intermittent, it's difficult at best.
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Old 1st July 2010
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Usually when the module goes bad the bike either won't start, or starts fine when cold and starts cutting out or dies when it warms up, and won't restart until cold.

Make sure the wires aren't loose that connect to the coil.
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  #5  
Old 1st July 2010
jgcable jgcable is offline
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coil wires are tight. coil is new. all intake and exhaust gaskets are new. Voes is operating correctly. Carb was rebuilt, new plugs and wires, new enrichner circuit. New regulator, battery.
Bike starts right up and will intermittantly hesitate buck and surge. After it gets nice and hot it seems to clear itself up but not all the time. It feels like an electrical issue to me. Almost like one of the cylinders is cutting in and out. The only items I haven't replaced are is the ignition module and the pickup. I don't think its the pickup because IMHO that wouldn't be intermittant. I have a Screaming Eagle ignition module for the bike but I need to cut the original one out and splice the new one in. My dad is a little nervous about doing it. Its definately not vacuum. I replaced all the gaskets and seals and used propane to test them. There are no leaks.
When this bike runs good it runs GREAT. The problem is that it sometimes out of the blue starts running really bad and is almost undriveable. Then suddenly it will clear itself up. Sometimes the bike doesn't act up at all. Its intermittant.
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Old 1st July 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgcable View Post
coil wires are tight. coil is new. all intake and exhaust gaskets are new. Voes is operating correctly. Carb was rebuilt, new plugs and wires, new enrichner circuit. New regulator, battery.
Bike starts right up and will intermittantly hesitate buck and surge. After it gets nice and hot it seems to clear itself up but not all the time. It feels like an electrical issue to me. Almost like one of the cylinders is cutting in and out. The only items I haven't replaced are is the ignition module and the pickup. I don't think its the pickup because IMHO that wouldn't be intermittant. I have a Screaming Eagle ignition module for the bike but I need to cut the original one out and splice the new one in. My dad is a little nervous about doing it. Its definately not vacuum. I replaced all the gaskets and seals and used propane to test them. There are no leaks.
When this bike runs good it runs GREAT. The problem is that it sometimes out of the blue starts running really bad and is almost undriveable. Then suddenly it will clear itself up. Sometimes the bike doesn't act up at all. Its intermittant.
+1 on the ignition module. Cut the wires and put the new one in. My wife's bike did the same thing and I replaced mine with an aftermarket one before mine died. 99.9% positive that is your problem. Let us know the outcome.
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Old 1st July 2010
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I have an ignition module, yours for shipping if you need one. picked it up in a parts lot at the store.
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Old 1st July 2010
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Since you have the back up module already why not induce it by using a heat gun or hair dryer up close to super heat the module. If it does start the missfiring then use a bag of crushed ice to cool it out a see if it disappears.

Once you see the result you will not want to risk a complete failure out on the road.

Modules fail in many ways and not all at once - it depends on which chip or trace is breaking down inside the potted unit.

Swap it out as it will only get worse as you travel on.

Cheers;
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  #9  
Old 1st July 2010
jgcable jgcable is offline
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Now my dad is just trying to figure out how to get the original ignition module out of the bike. He is telling me that there is no way he can reach behind the mounting plate to hold the 2 nuts in order to remove the bolts.
If I was there I could figure it out but he live a few hours away. Does anybody know how to access the rear of the side plate that the ignition module is bolted to? Does the battery and the battery tray need to be removed??
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  #10  
Old 7th July 2010
jgcable jgcable is offline
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I took a drive up to my dads on my FLHTCU and I wired in the new Screaming Eagle ignition module. Bike seems to be fine now. I notice the idle is a little higher and it doesn't display any of the bucking or surging or hesitation. After I installed it I started the bike and let it warm up for no more than 5 minutes and took off. Bike ran perfect.
My dad took it out later that night and it ran perfect again. He took it out again today and it ran perfect. Of course.. when its stone cold its a little flakey but once it gets to 100 degrees it runs perfect. That only takes about 5 minutes tops. So.. I it appears that all the problems I experienced when working on the bike were caused by a flakey original ignition module. I also replaced the coil and the voltage regulator. I wonder if when they went bad they cooked up the ignition module a little. In anycase, the install went perfect and the color codes I got here on this KILLER forum were flawless.
Thanks..
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