Looks like it's not the battery that's the problem

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Shelby6t7, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Shelby6t7

    Shelby6t7 Member

    A follow up to my post from the other day, "New Battery Not Holding A Charge". I wanted to be sure it was a battery/charging related issue so I removed the battery and connected jumper cables from my truck battery to the battery leads on my Fat Boy and still the bike wont start?? It cranks for split second then the starter makes the "clicking" sound as it does when the battery is low. Can this be a starter problem after all?
    FYI I put a Fluke multi-meter across the bike battery posts and it read 11.36 Volts.
    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. Chopper

    Chopper Senior Member

    11.36 is not enough volts, should be 12.6 - 12.8, I would get the battery tested & fully charged, clean the terminals, hook the battery up and it should fire right up
  3. SpringerSteve98

    SpringerSteve98 Active Member

    A charged battery without the bike running should come in over 12 volts. 11+ however i would think should crank it. Do you have a cam in that thing?

    Another thing to try is put it in second or third gear and try to push it a little. See if you can't get the engine to budge a bit. If its stuck at the point of compression the starter might not be able to take off from there.
  4. Shelby6t7

    Shelby6t7 Member

    The bike is a completely mechanically stock 2002 Fatboy with only 7000+ miles. It has no additional electrical accessories.
    I am still curious why the bike wont start? In addition I had tried first to jump start it with a portable power pack and still no go?

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Shelby, awhile back I tried jumping a stranded rider' HD battery with my truck at night. The classic symptom was he turned ignition on, headlight and everything came on. The minute he hit the starter the everything would go dark (classic dead HD battery symptom). After discussing alternatives with his agreement, I fired up my truck and then reconnected cables and let it attempt to charge from my truck for 10 minutes...no joy...same symptoms.

    Try doing JUST connecting the heavy jumper cables, use your DMM to measure voltage and crank the engine. If the voltage still drops from 12.6V to 10.0V it is pointing to the battery as likely scenario plain and simple, check all cable connection ends for hot temperatures and due to bad connections. While the starter or stator/regulator could have internal shorts thus drawing too much power away, it would be rare, if so it is then time to drain the tranny fluid and smell fluid for burnt odor if invasive surgery is needed for burnt stator replacement.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Fully charged battery should be 12.5 volts or more, too bad we cant check most batterys any more with a hydrometer, this will tell you the state of charge, and if you have a weak cell. One weak cell is all it would take, Jack
  7. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    The fact that your truck's battery will not start the engine points to bigger problems than your motorcycle battery. But I think Chopper has you on track. Check the battery cables and BOTH ends to make sure you have a clean contact at both ends of both cables. If you have a set of jumper cables, try by-passing the bike's cables and hook your battery (either motorcycle fully charged, or truck) directly to the ground and the starter. See if that works. If so, your bike cables are shot.

  8. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Aside from a battery problem that is possible, don't forget the other ends of the battery cables as a source of the problem. A poor connection at the engine end of the negative cable or on the starter itself would cause a no start. You can also jump the solenoid at the starter to verify that circuit too.

    Starter System Testing - Harley Davidson Community

    Starter System Trouble Shooting - Harley Davidson Community

    Starter Trouble Shooting - Harley Davidson Community

    How To Check A Starter Solenoid - Harley Davidson Community
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  9. Shelby6t7

    Shelby6t7 Member

    Update 3/22 I have since charged the battery over night on a Battery Tender it held the charge at +12.36 vdc. When I hooked it up, the same problem exists, just the clicking sound. Now I decided to get into some of the more involved testing based on the info Glider posted.

    I want to check the starter solenoid. My question what is the best way to get to the solenoid wire on a 2002 Fatboy? It is up behind the oil tank and exhaust and is really not easily accessable?
  10. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    This is not a fully charged battery. Full charge after sitting to remove the surface charge should be at least 12.5 volts to 12.75 volts