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Im new and need some help....


:bigsmiley32: Arg... Im very depressed right now.

Yesterday I bought my first big twin, a 2000 dyna wide glide. The guy I bought it from had a side car on it and when I drove to pick it up, he was still removing the side car. He tried to start it up, but the battery was dead.. he gave me a new one and helped me load the bike in my truck.

I get home, put the battery in and tried firing it up... SPARKS first came off the forward controls. It idles for a bit, but I think I smell burning wires, so I shut it off.

I did the sniff test and couldnt find anything, so I try again... this time sparks came off somewhere under the mufflers. I get twitchy and shut if off again.

Okay, now today, beautiful Easter sunday... skies are blue and Im thinking I can figure this out. The battery was on the charger all night and put it back in double checking EVERYTHING.

Today the bike wont even turn over... just some clicking sounds. Now the lights are on, same with control panel lights. I checked the green wire that goes to the started, its good to go. What else am I missing? Everything looks solid, no corrosion anywhere.

And what the heck caused those sparks off the frame?

I tried jumping the dyna off of my sportster... once again just clicking. Im wondering how to check(in laymens terms) the starter relay switch to see if its working.

If anyone can help, it would be appreciated. On a day like this, I should be out there enjoying my first big twin... I just feel stupid because I should have had the guy I bought the bike from install the battery instead of being in a rush to get home. At least he knew all about the bike.
Never heard of the sparks you mention in all my years of working on these bikes. The no start could be a bad battery cable connection at either end, let's hope you didn't fry the starter. I would check the negative cable connection at both ends and make sure the battery you were given has the pos and neg terminals on the same ends of the battery as the stock one did and not reversed.

As far as checking things out, there are a bunch of tests you can do to the wiring to find where the problem is including running a jumper from the pos of the battery and touching the terminal where the green wire is on the starter solenoid. This bypasses the entire wiring system on the bike and it should crank, if it doesn't then you have to start on the different checks found in this forum and post back here with the results. Don't ever try to jump a bike from a car or use a high amp charger . Only a low 2 amp to charge it also.

Electrical and Lighting Systems - Harley Davidson Community

There all sorts of tests in that forum to try for the solenoid, charging system etc.
Just a thought ..Did the side car have any lights. If so were they properly disconnected and insulated. I would give it a thorough check.
Sparks flew OFF the Forward Controls ! ! ! Way COOOL ! Dude I'm not saying you need to lay off the Jim Bean or nothing, but that's wild. I've racked my pea sized brain on your delima and came up like Homer Simpson, Dooooo. Loose ground at the starter,,freakishly possible I guess. Your whole frame is grounded, certainly the forward controls,, but I suppose a ground may be "sought out" and perhaps funneled out the controls seeking a near ground,, even that hurts my brain. Due to your dash and lights working I don't suspect much can be Totally fried, but I'd say get the wiring diagram and start a search. Consider also how the dude disconected the wiring off the side car, he may of left a direct short for you there, certainly go over his diconected wires for shorting. Please post your solution, I'd like to see this one through,
Well, Im wondering if the entire frame was grounded now. He did have this "special" ground that was a little odd(he even said so himself).

I checked where the sparks came from... there is a spot where metal was touching metal and you can see burn marks. The forward control base was touching the muffler cover. I loosened the base a little and tweaked the muffler cover back some. Now there is a quarter inch gap between the two. Hopefully that will do the job. I checked his special ground and it looks legit enough for government work. Dont know how(and even if this is the case) the entire frame became grounded. Everything else on the bike looks stock.

He did have lights on his side car. He just snipped the wire at the neg. ground, but left the connector. To be safe, I removed the connector. I just cant find out where he had the positive connector hooked to.

Im going to try the new test now, where I connect the battery cable to where the green wire is and see if that works. On the bright side, nothing looks like its sparking... I dont smell any burned wires, but its still just clicking... it wants to start up, it really does, just got to figure out whats holding it back.:33:
Well, I just tried to do the green wire test. I would only click once, then Ide have to put the bike in gear, roll it forward a little and try again. When I put the green wire on there, there are fast click after clicks.

So that rules out a bad relay switch right?

Does this mean I fried my starter?
:bigsmiley25: Ok, they got me... I give up!

Tried everything I could try and now Im just wondering how much Harley dealership is going to charge me for a new starter, cylinoid and to find the bad ground.

Got everything looking good, but the sparks are back... now coming off the handlebar/riser area of all places. I really need to youtube this, lol.

So we got any bets? Im thinking $1k for everything... I have no idea, not looking forward to it though.

Thanks for all your help though... very appreciated, hope is all Im working on now.
That many sparks could have drained your battery... Not enough juice to engage but just enough to click solenoid.
All those electrical sparks you saw, in my mind would indicate a hot wire that has become burnt, pinched or exposed.

"this time sparks came off somewhere under the mufflers. I get twitchy and shut if off again."
If the side car had power , there had to be a lead for it. Was it run parralel to the exhaust shield or near the forward controls ?

I know what I would do... GET A REFUND.

Who knows what damage has been done and how much it will cost to repair.
I also find it convenient that the sellers battery was dead.
I cant help but ask " Why would you buy a bike without starting it ????
Have you given to old owner a call to ask a few questions? Like Bikermonkey said, i would love to know what is causing this?
Sparks flying out of the controls? That aint cool at all. I am wondering what other electronics it has fried.
What voltage reading do you have at the battery?
Are you sure the battery terminals are not crossed?
I would start from the battery leads and work my way up from there and check all the connectors and harness. Start eliminating circuits. Being he had a side car, i would start with anything that had to do with the lighting.
Please let us know what you come up with.
I sent the original owner an email and it doesnt sound like he's got any other ideas(besides the grounding problem that got me originally thinking about it)

I tried jumping it with my sportster, I hooked the jumper cable at one point directly to where the positive cable connects(at the nut), I then connected the other cable directly to the ground... it just made it click quicker. If the battery or cables werent connected to it properly, it should have turned over.

At this point, dont know what else to do... all my feeds(instrument panel, headlight and taillight) all work, so thats good. If it was the battery or connectors, the bike would have turned over when I did the direct jump start. I figure at this point I must have fried the starter, so on tues. I will just have it towed to the dealership and get screwed over(money-wise that is).

Thanks for all your help!