Softail won't start

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Snido, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. Snido

    Snido New Member

    Today I went out and tried to start my 1988 Softail and it would not turn over, just one loud, hard click. I have tested the battery and charged it and it is fine so I am thinking it is maybe the starter or starter solenoid?
  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    The battery is charged but to be sure you need to have it load tested. It could also be the starter relay. Did you check to make sure the battery cables are clean and tight at both ends?
  3. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    Start small and the most obvious especially if bike has been operating ok....
    HDDon has a good suggestion with load testing a properly charged battery. You may find that the battery will fall flat on its face under load....:s
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Welcome to The Forum
    Harley Davidson Forums
    Start here with a load test of your battery, voltage does not always meen its going to start:s
  5. flst89

    flst89 Member

    A loud click sounds like the solenoid is actuating, but the electrical contacts are not making the circuit.

    I addition to having the battery fully charged, load tested and cleaning all electrical connections, open up the solenoid and inspect the contacts and the contact ring.
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Starting takes a lot of power. Any loose or at least not good tight connections in the battery terminals and grounds will show up particularly when trying to start. Double check that both battery connections are clean on both side of the connectors, and tight. Do the same for grounds.

    While you have the battery cables disconnected to clean them, have the battery fully charged and load tested.

    With a good battery, reconnect all cleaned terminals and try again. This way you have eliminated the battery and connections from your possible problems, and it is the easiest things to do. Next gets harder and more expensive, so best to start simple and cheap and then move on when those are eliminated!!


    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  7. Snido

    Snido New Member

    Sorry I have been working long hours this week and had to go on travel a few hours after my initial post so I have not had an opportunity to check this.

    I have load tested my battery at NAPA prior to posting, but I think my positive connection (the actual piece touching the lug) may be work out coming from the bike, it seems frail. I will change the connection, recheck all my wires to the battery and then on the solenoid and give an update tomorrow.

    Thank You all for your help thus far.