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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys: I have a problem with a 2000 Big Dog Pitbull that has me stumped. Bike has an S&S 107 with about 1400 total miles. Has been sitting for 6 months or so. Has brand new battery (Walmart, appears identical to the Interstate YTX 20L BS that came out and it cost $90) At first , with the new batt, starter would stall and then chatter without turning motor more than a revolution or 2. Had starter rebuilt at automotive shop - replaced clutch, brushes, holders etc. Now, it is better , but still seems too weak to crank the motor fast enough to start. It acts like timing is too advanced and is trying to kick back as motor comes up on compression stroke. With the plugs out, it will crank over great, has spark, fuel etc. As soon as the plugs are put back in , it will crank 4 or 5 turns then start to stall out the starter again. Timing appears ok, the little light on the module comes on as the mark just disappears to the left side of the window. (correct per S&S) . The motor was wet sumped also , drained about 2 quarts of oil from lower end but has not helped. Is it going to have to have a compression release? Is this a common problem with these engines? Anybody have any ideas? Thanks!
 

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Not saying this is the problem, but I have seen ignition modules go bad and cause a problem. Check your battery cables carefully. Make sure the ground cable is not connected to a painted surface. Was it acting up before the sitting period?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi - Thanks for the reply. What kind of problem have you heard of with the ignition module? There is definitely good spark, but I'm not positive it is coming at the right time. Don't really have any good tech info on exactly how to check the timing. I'm really not sure what brand of ignition it is. I have just kind of dug thru other manuals and S&S web site and am guessing at the exact procedure. ie , with the inspection plug out, and rotating the engine slowly by hand with the key on , a little red light will come on when the TF mark appears at the center to left edge of the window. This is supposed to be 32 - 35 degrees BTDC from what I have surmised.
As far as the cables, everything is like new. Large, clean cables, ground connected directly from batt to starter bolt, no paint, star washer , etc.
Don't know for sure if problem is pre existing, bike belongs to a friend of a friend and I haven't been able to question him yet.
By the way, the ignition module has a little symbol of a heart with a sword or daggar across it; can anybody tell me what brand it is. Appears to be original equip - 2000 Big Dog - 107 S&S. The local Big Dog dealer has closed recently and the HD dealerships aren't too interested in helping. I really don't work on Harleys much and don't have any contacts to pick their brain. Anybody?
 

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Have you had your battery load tested or tried a different battery? Why did the bike set for 6 months? Did you just buy it? Was it starting fine before it set? Is it trying to fire at all? Give us a little more info.
 

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I would get a battery tender and keep that battery charged to full. The 107s take a good strain on the battery. My 03 Big Dog needed the full charge and I even put the compression release in.
Don't know about the WallyWorld batteries but you need a minimum of 270 cranking amps.
You can get the battery tender at the local HD place or online.
Later,
Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The battery is brand new. I bought it just to try and solve this problem. The bike is not mine, the guy who owns it never rode it much - I think partly because it is hard to start.
I just tried another test because it sounded as if timing was too far advanced. Installed the spark plugs, with the leads disconnected (but grounded) to see if it still stalled out the starter when cranking. It does. As mentioned earlier , it will crank over fine with the plugs removed - has good spark - has fuel.....just does not have enough balls to crank the engine thru compression more than 2 or 3 revs once plugs are in, leads on, and actually trying to start it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Raywood: you mentioned that you installed the compression release in your 107. Is that because of the same problem. Did yours come with the release in it or did you have to add it later to try and solve a similar problem?
 

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bikenut said:
Hey Raywood: you mentioned that you installed the compression release in your 107. Is that because of the same problem. Did yours come with the release in it or did you have to add it later to try and solve a similar problem?
Hey bro, I installed the compression releases cause Big Dog was having a rash of starter and battery problems but mine was an 03 Mastiff and the 03's were pre-wired for the electronic releases so had them put in when they were made available.
I would still bet your battery is to weak!! Even if it's new it may not be fully charged. So, I would get a battery tender on it and plug it in everyday. You even said the motor has good compression so the starter needs a strong battery. My 03 needed to be put on the battery tender everyday. The new bikes have a 40 amp system and keep the battery charged good.
By the way the ignition is Thunder Heart. http://www.thunder-heart.com/Home.html

Keep us posted on progress,
Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Ray - thanks for the info on the ignition. By the way, the battery is fully charged. It was initialized for over 10 hours before put into service and has been on a charger continuously - not only a battery tender type but also a small 2-10 amp automotive charger while trying to crank it. I'm beginning to think now there is something else causing too much drag or friction. (alternator maybe) although it isn't apparent turning the motor over with a wrench on the crank nut. It just seems to be awfully noisy when cranking the motor while trying to start. The thing is, I don't have enough experience on Harleys to know if it is more than what is normal though. I have many years working on *** bikes but I know that the Harleys are definitely more noisy mechanically than the inline fours.
If anybody else has any ideas I'd be glad to hear them.
 

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I'm betting on electrical.
Battery tender is a great idea. I use the 350-109 from J&P cycle. Cost ya 38.00 to your door. Comes with a small cable you attach to the bat in the bike. You can then "plug in" in bike when in the garrage and keep her topped off on the juice. Connector tucks behind oil bag. Also check the bat cables again. Some have crimped ring terminals that look fine. I've seen poor contact in the crimps that increases the resistance and subsequent voltage drop. I took my cables off the bike and peeled off the insulation at the ring. Using a plumbers torch and ya can drop some solder down into the crimp area for a good clean connection. Tape up with electrical tape and your golden. Also make sure ya got good bite to the frame ground.

Ron
 

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I heard the 107" S&S engines were prone to hard starting, due to high static cyl. pressures and cam design (valve overlap and timing). The compression releases have been retrofitted on a large number of these engines to help with this problem and I believe that the new ones come with factory releases now.
Maybe you can try the Spyke ones, so you don't have to pull the cyl. heads off and send them for machine shop work.
Sounds too like your starter may not be as good as new, even though it has been rebuilt. If you pull it out to check it, make sure the mica commutator spacers are not high. THey should be about .010" lower than the copper commutator segments. Some shops don't trim the mica and this results in poor brush contact.
Hope it helps...
 

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Sounds like high compression

With a 107 Cu.In. motor your bound to have a fairly high compression ratio say in the 12:1 range and up. My brother has a Confederate Confederado with a 124 Cu.In. Merch Motor that runs around 14:1 and that thing would not crank at all with out the compression relief valves opened on each cylinder. Fortunately they are built into the cylinder heads, but there are after market relief valves that vent the combustion chamber at start up. They usually are a through valve set up that screw into the cylinder head at the spark plug port and then the spark plugs screw into that. Granted they are a little spendy, the bigger the inch the harder the pinch.
Hope this helps.:beer:
 

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Need better battery

your battery may be new but doesn't have the amps to do what you need.
I tried a Wally world battery for my shovel and ended up taking it back and going to HD.
cootertwo is right, just CAREFULLY jump start it with another car sized battery. I suspect it will start right up
if the cable clamps are making good connection.
 

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I wonder if he's still checking out this thread..... it's almost 5 months old. :)
 

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I have the same drama 2 things here the battery must be a 330 Moto bat (black one)because of electric de- comp...also if they stick in closed position disconnect battery...im in Australia and found in winter sit bike in the sun for a hour and it will start..or take out fuse but if ya don't ride em and they get cold also check the wire clip from starter button into gages for the clicking....best of luck Broz
 
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