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Phil Z.
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1,117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I left late friday to avoid hwy 70/lake of the ozarks traffic jam which put me traveling most of the night (my favorite time to travel anyhow). I was going along and everything was fine until I noticed my lights (foglights and headlights) would very slowly dim down for about 10 seconds then jump up to normal then slowly dim again, they did this all night regardless of my speed or low/high beams. then on the way home sunday it started to have a intermitant miss, kinda like you bumped the run/off switch for a split second then it would run fine for several miles before doing this again. then on hard acceleration on the on ramp after getting gas (always high octane shell) it actually backfired and spit and sputtered for a couple seconds. it did this twice in the same situation, i.e hard acceleration on an on ramp. then last but certainly not least. just as I was stopping at the last light before turning down the street to my house. I stepped on the back brake and it went all the way down, I pumped it a couple times to see if it would stiffen up, but each time it just went all the way down. so when I got it home I got down where I could see the master cylinder and pushed the pedal down and a fine stream of brake fluid shot out at me from about the middle of the bike by the frame. I gat a flash light and located the place where the fluid was squirting from. it turns out that harley uses an inline preasure switch to activate the tail light, and the fluid is squirting out from the front of the switch just where the wires plug in. the brake problem is self explanitory and I can fix that easy enough, I just wanted to let you all know that this is a problem that can occur and what it is. the dimming lights and sputtering have me stumped though. although I have read that the fuel flange or bad/low octane/ethatnol gas can cause these symptoms. any thoughts on these 2 problems would be great. thanx and it was nice to finally get some faces to go with the names of some of you, maybe next year I can get more than one day to actually meet you all.
 

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Friend of Max.
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21,719 Posts
A couple things to check.

Battery Connections.

Ground wires.

Voltage Regulator

Generator.

I listed them in the order of ease.

The electrical issue probably isn't related to the back brake issue. If it was, the accessory circuit would probably be the only one effected.

It effects the whole system, so it is PROBABLY one of the items listed above. If I had to bet, I would bet Voltage Regulator. When it goes, it will go in a hurry.

Best of luck.

RJ
 

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Phil Z.
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1,117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
rjrivero said:
A couple things to check.

Battery Connections.

Ground wires.

Voltage Regulator

Generator.

I listed them in the order of ease.

The electrical issue probably isn't related to the back brake issue. If it was, the accessory circuit would probably be the only one effected.

It effects the whole system, so it is PROBABLY one of the items listed above. If I had to bet, I would bet Voltage Regulator. When it goes, it will go in a hurry.

Best of luck.

RJ
thanks R.J, is that the same voltage regulator that has been known to catch fire when it goes? or have they fixed that issue? (I hope)
 

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Registered
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48 Posts
Like RJ said check your grounds, i had the same issue, also check your battery terminals and make sure no wires are touching. I had a similar problem where (i don't remember which wires they were) when i replaced my battery i had routed a set of wires which were covered in a rubber sleave over the negative terminal and it was shorting my whole system out. After i looked into it i noticed that a hole had been burned through the rubber sleeve and was shorting the bike. It would only do it temporarily and then would run fine for a while and then would continue to short the bike. Anyways always worth a check.
 

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But I AM standing up
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166 Posts
Hey Zman,
Let me know if you need a hand, I'd be happy to stop by & help you troubleshoot your problem.
Jim
 

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JeffC 1/2 to 300mph!
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5,733 Posts
I've had problems with my ground on the battery- just trying to get by til spring before buying a new battery because the threads are bad on the ground side.

Also at KC my bike would sputter and it seemed to be fuel flange or pick up hose. Haven't opened it up yet but, after a half a tank or less it won't run in the higher rpm's. (not fun on the dragstrip if you can't get past 6 or 7 grand!)

3Olivemartini had a fuel flange issue on the way home too.
 

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Color me Gone
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27,333 Posts
JSC said:
I've had problems with my ground on the battery- just trying to get by til spring before buying a new battery because the threads are bad on the ground side.

Also at KC my bike would sputter and it seemed to be fuel flange or pick up hose. Haven't opened it up yet but, after a half a tank or less it won't run in the higher rpm's. (not fun on the dragstrip if you can't get past 6 or 7 grand!)

3Olivemartini had a fuel flange issue on the way home too.
Jeff if the problem is worst with lower fuel level that narrows it down to the fuel lines or flange. You may have a hole in a fuel line also from that description.
 

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FireBum
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485 Posts
What are the odds?.....My brake pedal got soft during the saturday Danno ride . When I started to leave the perty barn saturday night my switch was smoking. Scared the crap outta my wife.
 

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Ms. Subtle
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12,179 Posts
well i got hooked up on the way home.. and glad i had some one knowledgable with me .. hope you get your stuff fixed.. and man you missed out on some good food LOL
 

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Phil Z.
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1,117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was going to take a pic of the switch so you could see what happened, but tuesay was the early night for my dealer to close and I had to hurry to get there after work. the spade terminal on the muffler side of the switch had got hot enough to work its way out about an eighth of an inch further than the other one, and the preasure of the fluid inside the switch had actually pushed a little nipple of melted plastic out next to it. I'm getting ready to go out and start checking and cleaning all my battery and ground connections (man there are a lot of ground straps on these bikes!). thanks for giving me some things to check guys. I let you know if I find the fix.
hey jim, thanx for the offer of help, if it gets to intense I'l give you a ring.if I can get this thing figured out by the weekend I'm going to a charity poker run in illinois. let me know if you might be interested. its saturday I think.
hey olive, I did get in on the fantastic bbq saturday, but I wish I could have been there for the eats during the week. I heard it was top notch (not to mention the partying). hopefully next year I'll get the whole week!
 

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But I AM standing up
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166 Posts
Zman,
I'll be glad to come by and help, just let me know. My rear tire is about toast. I probably won't be doing any riding until the new Metz tires come in. I just ordered them tonight so it may be a week until I'm up and running again. :mad:
 

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Two Wheels Or A Prop
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163 Posts
Just wanted to throw out a quick hey to my neighbors... nard, I lived in LSL for the last 10 years, and just moved to winghaven a few months ago so I'm literally just down the road from you - I like the xm install and would love to check that out in person!

zman, what a crazy bunch of problems. I just replaced my pressure switch Tuesday night, mine quit working altogether. You can do it without removing the exhaust although it's not much fun. Oh, and according to Bob Schultz it uses DOT4.... (warning, it doesn't and I know that now) doh.

http://www.1130cc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77870
 

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Phil Z.
Joined
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1,117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
nard, bummer on having to wait for the skins, but cool you'll have new skins soon. I'm about a 32nd from hitting my tread wear indicator, so I'll be in the same boat soon.but I'm holding out for winter if possible

clive, I meant 91 or 92 octane, thats the highest I've seen locally.

hey aneal, good to meet ya. I went ahead and took the exhaust off, I tried without and was gonna wind up scratching something. yep they told me it was dot 4 also and I double checked on the master cyindar cap it says dot 4 also, so thats what I used.

olive, I actually did try to introduce myself early saturday morning, but I believe you were having a difficult time, and when I tried to lighten things up a bit....well I'm sorry you were bummed, but I got the impression you needed girl talk time so I left you two gals to it. you probably don't remember the fat bald guy getting coffee when you first walked into the kitchen, but that was me.
 

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Jay Johnston
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1,732 Posts
fat bald guy? hey you just described me!
 

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Ms. Subtle
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12,179 Posts
i DO remember..

and yeah i had a rough night before.. and was pretty much man hating at that time..nothing a nap didnt take care of.. you should have said something.. it would have probably made me feel better
 

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Phil Z.
Joined
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1,117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
3OliveMartini said:
i DO remember..

and yeah i had a rough night before.. and was pretty much man hating at that time..nothing a nap didnt take care of.. you should have said something.. it would have probably made me feel better
lol actually I did say something, but I had opened my mouth before I realized you were serious, and was just glad to get away with my manhood intact.:stilpoke:
 

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Ms. Subtle
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12,179 Posts
honestly i think i was still drunk from the night before too .. i had just recieved the " you are a great girl but......." speech on the phone the night before.. so i just tried to drink that away friday night.. probably not the smartest move..
 
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