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Ridin' with the King
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, a bro of mine has a problem and get get his bike started. It's a '98 Heritage Softail Springer and he told me when he hits the starter button the lights go dim and the enging doesn't turn over - no sound, nothing. I figured it was the battery since it was the original battery so we get him a new battery and he goes home and puts it in and still has the same problem. I am going over after work to take a look at it and see if I can help. I already thought about loose connections and stuff like that but he says it's all good and thinks it is the starter. Any tips appreciated. Thanks -Frank
 

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frankencat said:
OK, a bro of mine has a problem and get get his bike started. It's a '98 Heritage Softail Springer and he told me when he hits the starter button the lights go dim and the enging doesn't turn over - no sound, nothing. I figured it was the battery since it was the original battery so we get him a new battery and he goes home and puts it in and still has the same problem. I am going over after work to take a look at it and see if I can help. I already thought about loose connections and stuff like that but he says it's all good and thinks it is the starter. Any tips appreciated. Thanks -Frank
If all connections come out OK, an internal blockage of the starter comes to mind. Wouldn't try to fire it up too many times as a lot of heat is being generated that has to go somewhere. It will heat up the coils, cables and carbons rapidly and FUBAR the internals. I would take the starter out and replace it with a known good one
Just my $0.02
 

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Knower of Stuff
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Just an FYI for the future, if the battery is too low to crank the motor, you usually get a click from the relay. Does not take much juice in a battery to click.
ViennaHog is correct in that something is really draggin down the power and that can cause problems. The only thing attached that can draw that much current and not blow a fuse, circuit breaker, or fry a wire is the starter which is feed by the big wire straight off the battery.
I have gotton bad batteries though, did you check the voltage across the new battery prior to install. Should be 13.2-13.8 volts.
 

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I know I was having that same problem because of a misaligned starter jackshaft. I had taken out my starter and put it back in incorrectly. It's pretty easy to screw up (or at least I tell myself that to make me feel better). Just a thought.
 

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Ridin' with the King
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I was thinking maybe the battery was bad or wasn't fully charged. I asked the shop we got it from if it was ready to go and he said it was fully charged but I didn't throw a meter on it. I will do that tonight. Is there a way to test the starter to see if it's good? I know we can replace it with a known good one but we don't have another one and I don't think he is going to buy one just to see if that's what the problem is ;)
 

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Any competent auto starter/alternator shop can test the starter for you and actually repair it. The same starter is used on many cars. Only basic difference is the threaded piece that the jackshaft mounts to.

Check the diagnostic procedure for "won't start" in HD Service Manual. It leads you by the hand.
 

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Ridin' with the King
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Will do. don't have a Softail manual but I do have my RK manual. Are the starters the same? Aren't these made by Bosch or Autolite or something?
 

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Starters are the same. Diagnostic procedures should also basically be the same except for the location of some items, like relay, etc. Starters are Nippondenso.
 

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Definately bench test it if you pull it. Before you do though, check to see if the starter, or wires are getting hot. My first guess would be the starter relay. I had a similar problem, and that's what it turned out to be. And they only cost like $12, and take two minutes to replace.
 
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