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Ist mir scheiss egal
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a little problem, and I figure this is the place to ask. I've searched quite a bit, and can't seem to get it narrowed down.

Sometimes my bike doesn't want to turn over. It will make a light click sound (single click). If I keep hitting the start button it will eventually start. Sometimes it takes about a dozen pushes, sometimes 2. Sometimes it will attempt to turn over, and not quite make it.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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Color me Gone
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27,333 Posts
Check the wires on the starter solenoid, it should be on the left side frame rail near the radiator. On the 02 they were terrible about loose contacts.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
God Max...you are like a V-Rod guru just hovering and waiting to solve V-Rod problems! YOU ARE THE MAN!

Thanks, I'll definately check those and let you know what I find.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The wires going into the solenoid from the top and bottom were both tight. The 2 going in the back wiggle, but are tightly connected. Do you think the soldenoid might need replaced?
 

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cjohnson said:
The wires going into the solenoid from the top and bottom were both tight. The 2 going in the back wiggle, but are tightly connected. Do you think the soldenoid might need replaced?
Check wires in the total path, at the battery, ground points, etc. If all is well than I too would expect the solenoid. If during the times that it does not start, you do hear the solenoid click, it tends to eliminate the start button or start relay.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When it wants to be bitchy it's pretty much like this:

click
click
click
click
click
attempts turnover
starts
 

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cjohnson said:
When it wants to be bitchy it's pretty much like this:

click
click
click
click
click
attempts turnover
starts
Assuming the battery is up, I continue to suspect the solenoid. Can you measure the voltage drop across the solenoid when it is in one of these no start modes? There should be little to no voltage drop across the solenoid contacts (the large wires) when cranking.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll do that. Thanks JustSam.

I just replaced the battery at beginning of September, so the battery is great. The old one still shows great voltage also, so I've held onto it.

I'm thinking I'll replace the solenoid. Do I have to get one from Harley, or is it a part that I can pick up at any auto store?
 

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Color me Gone
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The click click click is the sol, you either have a bad connection or a bad sol. It could very well be a bad sol but if you have a volt meter you can check the voltage at the sol when you hit the starter, low voltage usually will be an indication of a bad connection or failed battery. Age of a battery isn't always a proof positive of a the condition.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cool. I'll check the solenoid voltage tomorrow morning when I've got time. If I do need to replace it, does it have to be from harley, or is it a fairly generic item (take it in and find a matching part number) from any auto parts store?

Thanks Max.
 

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The solenoid function is generic, however I suspect the mounting, wiring terminals, etc are unique. Save yourself some trouble and pay for the HD part. It will no doubt need to be ordered unless it is used across platforms.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cool. Thanks JustSam. I'm going to clean the connections this weekend, and measure the current over it while starting. If the problem persists, I'll get another one from Harley and change it out.

Thanks again guys.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, I'm pretty sure it's the starter solenoid. I tried to start the bike this morning, and being cooperative with my diagnostic, she didn't want to start. Clicking, but not turning over. I tried starting a couple of times with no luck. I put a multimeter on the solenoid, and it was measuring 11.6 volts. I hit the start button with the multimeter still attached to the solenoid and she fired up without hesitation. My theory here is that the multimeter completed the circuit for the solenoid.
If you guys concur with my theory, I'll call Harley this morning.

Thanks again for your help in this.
 

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Color me Gone
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If you were taking your reading at the solenoid and pushing on the terminals that would indicate that it might be a connection at the solenoid. To me it still sounds like a connection at some point but it could always be the solenoid. 11.6 volts down stream with the key on would be about right for the system. A fully charged battery is usually about 12.5 but down stream with things on you might see as low as 11.6 and it be normal.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I ordered a new solenoid through Harley. It's only going to cost $30, so I'll change it out and do a thorough connections check when I do.

Thanks again Max.
 

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My theory here is that the multimeter completed the circuit for the solenoid.
If you guys concur with my theory, I'll call Harley this morning.
You are doing the right thing by replacing the solenoid. Even if for some strange reason that is not it, you are eliminating the most likely culprit!

Just for future reference, a multimeter, set to measure volts, will not complete a circuit. A perfect voltmeter, (there is no such thing), would offer an infinite input impedance, and would not be detected by the circuit under test.

You may have been thinking of using a multimeter in the current mode where the meter does indeed complete the circuit.
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, that shoots my theory out of the water! lol
Thanks though, considering the solenoid is only $30, it's not a pricey fix and can't be bad.
 

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Color me Gone
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JustSam is correct the volt meter while set to volts cannot complete a circuit. It was the reason I suspected contacts because as you probe circuits you will make a poor circuit often make contact when you probe it. You could also have moved a terminal on the solenoid which could have made a bad solenoid complete the circuit with the contact point moving inside it.
 
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