03 FLHTC problem

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by NRA4LIFE, Sep 17, 2010.


    NRA4LIFE Member

    I have a friend with a carbureted 2003 FLHTC. He is having an intermittent ignition problem (I believe). The bike dies like you shut off the kill switch.The failures are few and far between. All the other lights are operational when this occurs. It will restart after it sets for a very short period, sometimes immediately.It has a new module on it. I`ve heard some of these bikes have a tip-over switch, which if it does might cause a similar problem if it failed. I`ve checked for fault codes and none show up.The charging system is good. He has had the battery cable come loose and cause trouble before. I know electronics don`t like that. Has anyone ever experienced this ? Thanks in advance.
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Check the ignition switch and run switch. Has the bike had any mods to the handle bars lately?:s
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I had similar problems a few years ago in that the bike engine would just die usually in town when the revs dropped a wee bit
    My problem was caused by carb icing
    for this to happen you need a high moisture content in the air as the air is stretched as it goes through the throat of the carb the air is chilled to below freezing and freezes the moisture in the air the ice will coat the inside of the carb blocking the jets
    sit for a wee while and the heat rising from the engine melts the thin coating of ice and all is well
    air temp needs to be above 3 deg c and usually wont happen above 15 deg c
    that is between 37 f and 59 f

  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    May be hard to find if that intermittent and not logging a code. Carry a spare plug in your pocket when you go for a test ride. When the bike quits, immediately take the front spark plug wire and clip it to the spare plug, crank the engine over and see it spark is present. If YES, immediately place spark plug wire back on bike plug and confirm a"NO Start". This will at least give you some idea where to start.
  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Does it have a vacuum operated petcock valve?


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Nice bike to be sure...

    2003 Harley-Davidson FLHTC/FLHTCI Electra Glide Classic

    Did this problem happen after a servce was done to the bike? After a rainstorm or long trip (where you might have picked up bad gas or such).

    While ignition system can be a weak point, do check the basics as a routine...ignition fuse (I pitch'em if the contacts or case are discolored or aged), connections and fuse block for evidence of corrosion/moisture, clean and use dielectric grease. Check primary wiring of the battery and starter. Finally check onnections to the coil and wires and look at CKP (Crank position sensor) and such as a last resort.

    Fueling can be more likely the issue that can make the bike seem to die quickly...not just sputter. Bad gas, ostruction in the inlet filter, flaky operation of the fuel petcock (as TQ says is it the vacuum one, and check the vacuum line), sticking valve/needle/float...in the carb is next...may have to drain the float bowl and smell the fuel and inspect what comes out. Varnish or fine rust/dirt is a sure sign that you have a fueling problem.

    NRA4LIFE Member

    Thanks for the replies. He is going to have me ride the bike for a while and catch it when it fails so as to confirm it`s a spark issue.
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Good plan let us know intruding minds want to know :s

    NRA4LIFE Member

    OK, I got it to act up finally. It is losing it`s spark. I rode it about 8 miles to the next town, when I let the compression slow me down to go around a curve, it shut down. This allowed me to check for spark. It had stopped sparking. In less than a minute it fired back up, ran good and went a couple blocks and quit again. It was when I was using the engine to slow me down again when it failed. This time it took a good 5 minutes to restart. Then it made it home ok. I`ve at least got something to go on now.
  10. trike lady

    trike lady Junior Member

    Another gentleman is having a similar problem with his bike and it's an 03 Ultra. There was a recall about the problem and that it could lead to a crash. Please see link below.
    Recalls Summary