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Old 08-26-2007, 12:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine starts then quits

From intermittent strong or reduced power and missing start-ups my 1200 XL now starts for a couple of revs then dies. Every once in awhile it will fire up and run fine with no problems until the next start-up. I cleaned the tank,screen and bottom of carb. Vents and vacuums are open. Battery,coil, and wires checked out O.K. The dealership has it now and a bunch of young buck techs are as perplexed as I am, but I can be perplexed, I'm not a mechanic. I'm also pissed, I gotta H.O.G. rally comin' up in a week. The dealership changed out the intake seals and that didn't work. I talked to an out of town Harley tech and he said hit the ground points, starter relay, ignition switch and if that doesn't work change out the ignition module. Is he on the right track? Thanks for reading this nightmare, Jeff.....
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdean
From intermittent strong or reduced power and missing start-ups my 1200 XL now starts for a couple of revs then dies. Every once in awhile it will fire up and run fine with no problems until the next start-up. I cleaned the tank,screen and bottom of carb. Vents and vacuums are open. Battery,coil, and wires checked out O.K. The dealership has it now and a bunch of young buck techs are as perplexed as I am, but I can be perplexed, I'm not a mechanic. I'm also pissed, I gotta H.O.G. rally comin' up in a week. The dealership changed out the intake seals and that didn't work. I talked to an out of town Harley tech and he said hit the ground points, starter relay, ignition switch and if that doesn't work change out the ignition module. Is he on the right track? Thanks for reading this nightmare, Jeff.....
when it starts and dies how does it sound and what year is the bike .it sounds like a fuel problem .when you took the bowl of was it full ,did the needle and float move freely ? does it restart right away
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Question Kill Switch

When you say it runs fine until the next startup. Do you mean it will run fine until you shut it off and then go to start it again? May be the kill switch is giving you the problem? Just my 2 cents. Good Luck
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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evo xl,s are notorious for bad ignition modules
thery start and run fine cold
run till you shut them off
then will not hot start
after they cool down they will start and run again
the module is in the nose cone
they take a lot of heat
they also have a start then run mode built into them
daytona twin tech has igntion modules for the xl specific
full advance if differant then a evo big twin althought the big twins work they are not correct
they also have the highist temp rating of any nose cone module
only other module with correct timming are the hd and screaming eagle
good luck
i have chased this critter once before its hard to catch
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds Familar

After reading your post, I am curious as to what you found to fix your problem? I posted here a few weeks ago with a similar problem. I have a 90 FLHTC and the bike would run fine and then all of a sudden run rough and then smooth out. The other day it quit completey leaving me stranded on the side of the road...not a good feeling.. I had nothing, not able to restart the engine. Then all of a sudden it would start back up and run fine again.
I have had it in a shop for a week and everytime they ride it is runs fine, then I take it home and a few days later it acts up....maybe it's me??
I am leaning towards the Ignition Module after reading your post. Would love to hear how you made out. Thanks
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Old 03-29-2010, 05:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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lower fairings

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAJ1024 View Post
After reading your post, I am curious as to what you found to fix your problem? I posted here a few weeks ago with a similar problem. I have a 90 FLHTC and the bike would run fine and then all of a sudden run rough and then smooth out. The other day it quit completey leaving me stranded on the side of the road...not a good feeling.. I had nothing, not able to restart the engine. Then all of a sudden it would start back up and run fine again.
I have had it in a shop for a week and everytime they ride it is runs fine, then I take it home and a few days later it acts up....maybe it's me??
I am leaning towards the Ignition Module after reading your post. Would love to hear how you made out. Thanks
My 98 FLHTCUI would miss or even quit after last summer after about 50 miles, of course the dealer could not duplicate. They said it had to be temperature related, either cam position sensor or ignition module (although mine has an ECM.) So I bought a cam position sensor (cheaper!) and replaced it, problem did not go away. Then I read a post somewhere on here that if you remove the lower fairings, the ignition module or would run cooler. Problem solved! I also installed a set of heat deflectors that the new bikes have, they fit right on.
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Odd little things happen...

(1992 FLHTC)
I had the same problem yesterday.
After sitting all winter (too broke for insurance), I started it up.
It ran great and then quit.
Wouldn't even turn over, then it would fire and run, and quit.
Long story short, the rear fender-tip light wire was shorting out, throwing a breaker, and it killed the whole bike.
Ran me buggy for about an hour.
Simple fix for me, but one of those things that can make you crazy.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by s2teve View Post
My 98 FLHTCUI would miss or even quit after last summer after about 50 miles, of course the dealer could not duplicate. They said it had to be temperature related, either cam position sensor or ignition module (although mine has an ECM.) So I bought a cam position sensor (cheaper!) and replaced it, problem did not go away. Then I read a post somewhere on here that if you remove the lower fairings, the ignition module or would run cooler. Problem solved! I also installed a set of heat deflectors that the new bikes have, they fit right on.
REST OF THE STORY: Eventually the bike left me stranded with the same problem--bike would cut out randomly at cruise speed, especially when warm; then one day it simply would not fire anymore, cranked just fine but no spark. So heat was not the only issue. Trailered the bike, stopped at City Cycle Sales in Junction City, KS on the way home. The service manager there got me fixed up in 5 minutes (at no charge!) by wiping dielectric grease on the cam position sensor connector inside R side cover. Apparently this is quite common as the connecter pins become worn in the sockets, and can become temperature related.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Similar Issue

I have a similar problem, rather than start a new thread - I'll see if I can get some assistance here.

89 Evo custom hard tail
Dyna ignition
S&S Super E

The other evening I rode bike around the block before pulling into the garage for the night. Just before I shut it off, it died. "Uh oh," I thought. "That was weird." Yeah, bad sign.

When I got home from work the next day, went through my starting procedure. The bike fired, but just for a few seconds then shut right down. Checked plugs, looked fouled. Replaced plugs with new, same thing: quick fire, dead.

Gas is new, tank 1/3 full. Emptied float bowl... seems fine. Checked that accelerator pump is working, yep. Sprayed some starter fluid in, and bike ran if I held throttle open (although roughly), but eventually died. Subsequent attempts to start right back to run for a second then die.

At this point, I don't know if it is carburetor or ignition... suggestions for further diagnosing? Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm having a problem with cold starts. The problem started immediately after I got my bike (2003 Sportster 883) back from the mechanic after having the belt replaced and the 20K service done. I commute on my bike daily, and have never experienced this before. Here's the story:

Rode bike to work the next morning, bike was mostly fine (ran a little rough). As I pulled in to park the bike back fired - my bike has never back fired before. After work I started my bike just fine, let it idle to warm up for 30+ seconds and then it died. Tried starting it again - it would turnover but wouldn't fire. Let it sit in case I flooded it - still would just crank but not fire. Eventually I got it to fire, but it wouldn't run for more than 1-2 seconds. Left bike at work.

Next day got dropped off at work. At end of day I went out to my bike, started it and rode it home (ran a little rough). Rode to work the next day, and rode it home after work. The next morning I started it, it ran for 10 seconds and died...wouldn't start again. It would turnover but no fire.

Told the mechanic what was going on and said I thought they messed with the fuel mixture. Mechanic said they'd stand behind their work and see what went wrong. I told mechanic several times that it was a cold-start issue...but after calling and going in to pick up my bike all they talked about was searching for a hot-start issue. Anger. They said it's the ignition module that's crapping out due to heat. Again, heat isn't the problem - my problem is cold-starts.

I did notice that when I dropped my bike off with them after this problem popped up that the mechanic switched over from the reserve tank to the normal tank - I had no idea that they set it to the reserve tank while they had it for the belt/20K service. Could this be as simple as the reserve tank having gone dry, and then re-filling itself slowly so that it'd run for a day or so but then "run out of fuel" because it was running off the reserve tank?

Could the fuel mixture cause the cold-start problem? The mechanic said it was running quite lean after the 20K service, but that other than putting in a new air filter and adjusting the choke they didn't change anything with regards tot he fuel/air mixture.

Could it actually be the ignition module not operating when "cold" (we're talking no colder than 40* air temp)?

I'm quite unhappy with the mechanic. If it really IS the ignition module that's fine, but I'm not taking their word for it since they were looking for a hot-problem and not a cold-problem like I repeatedly told them.

Any help would be hugely appreciated. I think I'm going to use this experience to begin learning how to work on my bike...
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