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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-25-2017, 04:10 PM
vtchopperdude's Avatar
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Electrical issue blowing my mind

Alright fellas, need some expertise in electrical issues...which I HATE!!! anything mechanical I'm fine with, but electrical is smoke and mirrors to me...

so here's what happened; been riding bike to work all week; started it up Friday morning, ran fine to work; turned off bike, no weird noises or issues; after work went to start it up and I turned the key on, and I when I hit the starter button I got one turn over of the starter then lights out completely!!! acted as if a fuse blew; so I checked the battery fuse to ignition switch, and it was fine, and I checked battery cable connections which were tight; so I went and got the trailer and brought it home; figured maybe the ignition switch was my issue since I've had issues in the past, so I swapped out the ignition and still NOTHING!

so the really weird part (the smoke and mirrors part); I put a battery tender on the bike, and with the ignition off, it says the battery is fully charged; then when I turn the ignition on, the tender says its charging, and the lights come on very dimmly; then if I hit the starter button, everything goes out again

I tried jumping it off my running Harley, and still nothing...no lights, no nothing

finally I took the battery out, and put it on the tender by itself overnight to make sure it was fully charged, and I put it back in and had the same problem...

so what the hell is going on?

no fuses are blown, ignition switch is new; why would the lights be very dim with a fully charged battery???

bad ground? I checked all the ground connections at the battery...
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-25-2017, 05:32 PM
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To me it sounds like your battery was not charging while you were riding and it went dead. Trying to charge it probably won,t help- it,s most likely fried- it acts as if fully charged, it once you put a load on it- it doesn't hold( you can test it in auto zone)
Once you have a new battery ( try from the working harley)and able to start a bike- you would have to trouble shoot charging system and fix the issue so you won,t fry the new battery.
Another possibility, some serious drain, short in electric connection which continues the current even if ignition is off.
In either case the battery is most likely junk.
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Last edited by STEINBVG; 07-25-2017 at 05:40 PM..
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-25-2017, 06:14 PM
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ya, so some more info....

went back out in garage and hooked the battery tender up to see if it would charge the battery with the ignition on....well after about 5 mins the lights slowly dimmed more and more until they went completely out...so that tells me that it's not a short, otherwise they would flicker...right?

so that battery is just super low and says its good...even though is just almost completely dead/fried???

what's weird is that the previous battery on it didn't have these issues...and I never had issues with starting and it charging...
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:14 PM
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I agree, I would start with the battery..Try using your car battery to start the bike, but don't use jumper cables, vice grip some heavy cable to both the car battery and to your bike cables(remove bike battery first)....Run a 12v. wire and touch it to the solenoid to bypass your starter relay..if you have to.
It should turn over, if it turns over then chunk your battery..Be sure your battery charger is working before you chunk it..
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Last edited by Shovel52; 07-25-2017 at 07:02 PM..
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-25-2017, 06:30 PM
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so...as far as the wiring on my chopper...it's kind of funky...

I noticed when I first purchased the bike, I went to hit the starter, thinking that I had the ignition on...well I didn't, but the start still kicked in...

the starter is wired directly to the battery, so is there still a relay in place (or supposed to be) that would prevent it from getting juice from battery without the ignition on?

basically, I'm thinking that if it was something like a blown fuse or relay, the starter would still be able to turn over since the positive and negative leads are direct to the battery, or is that not how a simple electrical system on a chopper would work?

again, my apologies....electrical shit is smoke and mirrors
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Last edited by vtchopperdude; 07-25-2017 at 06:48 PM..
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:28 PM
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The starter solenoid , usually mounted on top of the starter,..high current switch.. is activated by a relay...low current switch... (if you use a starter button)...........With out the relay you would burn your button up....... The relay can be wired directly to the battery... like yours.... or wired to the ignition switch like mine..It may or may not be fused.......If you press your starter button and nothing happens, you have (1) a dead battery..(2) a blown fuse.. (3) loose wiring..(4) bad relay..or solenoid..........A lot of people just use a car ignition switch..it eliminates the relay.............Doing the battery test above eliminates beyond a shadow of doubt that the battery is bad or good......Yes the starter will still turn over if you
activate the solenoid with 12v....directly, ....some starters have test buttons mounted on the solenoid..
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Last edited by Shovel52; 07-25-2017 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtchopperdude View Post
so...as far as the wiring on my chopper...it's kind of funky...

I noticed when I first purchased the bike, I went to hit the starter, thinking that I had the ignition on...well I didn't, but the start still kicked in...

the starter is wired directly to the battery, so is there still a relay in place (or supposed to be) that would prevent it from getting juice from battery without the ignition on?

basically, I'm thinking that if it was something like a blown fuse or relay, the starter would still be able to turn over since the positive and negative leads are direct to the battery, or is that not how a simple electrical system on a chopper would work?

again, my apologies....electrical shit is smoke and mirrors
Starter motor is directly connected to the battery via big cables. Solenoid is just the switch. You can turn it on by a push button that is now frequently installed or comes with a starter which bypasses the solenoid circuit(so you can get away without it)
Even if the ignition is off, this button will turn the starter , but won,t fire the engine.
For that- the ignition module and the coil have to be energized- by turning the ignition key on. Those are the basic circuits you need to run a bike. The rest of the accessories is run by ceparate circuits, as many as reasonable to have. Each with it,s own 15 amp fuse . And all of these circuits branch out of the main fuse of 30 amp.
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SORRY FOR THE UPPER CASE. I AIN'T YELLING. I JUST MAKE TOO MANY TYPOS IN THE LOWER.

113"s&s, Walz softail 2000/2012 prostreet
96"s&s, Daytec dyna/ softail hybrid, 2010 chopper
127"Ultima, Chassis Design rigid 2013 bobber
120"Ultima, Kraft Tech rigid 2014 bobber
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 07-26-2017, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEINBVG View Post
Starter motor is directly connected to the battery via big cables. Solenoid is just the switch. You can turn it on by a push button that is now frequently installed or comes with a starter which bypasses the solenoid circuit(so you can get away without it)
Even if the ignition is off, this button will turn the starter , but won,t fire the engine.
For that- the ignition module and the coil have to be energized- by turning the ignition key on. Those are the basic circuits you need to run a bike. The rest of the accessories is run by ceparate circuits, as many as reasonable to have. Each with it,s own 15 amp fuse . And all of these circuits branch out of the main fuse of 30 amp.
yep, everything you're saying is spot on about how my bike is wired up

so I went by the bike shop today and had them load test the battery and it was indeed dead, so they are ordering a replacement

I guess the next question is, what could (possibly) be killing the battery, or was it just a bad battery to begin with?

the previous battery I had never had any issues of going completely dead or getting fried, and this new Drag Specialties battery I put in had the exact same specs...
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Old 07-26-2017, 03:35 PM
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Dead or bad? you mean bad..right if they are replacing it.....when you install it, you need to place your volt meter across the battery and see if the voltage rises when you give it throttle..to about 13.5 volts or so..some systems above 14... not much more .... if it is in this range, you should be good to go....if it runs down again then you will be trouble shooting..
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shovel52 View Post
Dead or bad? you mean bad..right if they are replacing it.....when you install it, you need to place your volt meter across the battery and see if the voltage rises when you give it throttle..to about 13.5 volts or so..some systems above 14... not much more .... if it is in this range, you should be good to go....if it runs down again then you will be trouble shooting..
Yep, that would be simple check of charging system while the bike is running.
If that is ok, you might wanna look for a drain.

With the ignition off, place an ampermeter in-line( either between the disconnected negative cable and battery post or the positive cable and post) There should be no current.
There are induction ampermeters ( like a loop lockiing around a wire without touching it) that detect a current without need to disconnect - my multimeter can do that.
if you find a current, then you start disconnecting circuits one by one till the drainage disappears, than you trace it or rewire the circuit.

I,m almost certain, that you lost the battery due to faulty charging system.
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VITALY.
SORRY FOR THE UPPER CASE. I AIN'T YELLING. I JUST MAKE TOO MANY TYPOS IN THE LOWER.

113"s&s, Walz softail 2000/2012 prostreet
96"s&s, Daytec dyna/ softail hybrid, 2010 chopper
127"Ultima, Chassis Design rigid 2013 bobber
120"Ultima, Kraft Tech rigid 2014 bobber
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-26-2017, 06:07 PM
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Betcha it is just the battery, I just had a brand new one crap out on me, 60 miles from the house.....Chinese...I bought it because they rated it 500 cca, and I went for it....common sense would have told me that something with that power would be huge for a lead acid....I ended up buying a Throttle x battery...made in the same factory as Harley batteries..310 cca spins my 127..nice....had to modify my seat to get it in.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:54 AM
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Had a battery go down one cell, always said it was charged but would not turn bike over 650cca checked all trips and fuses nothing ... seems the one cell that went down, isolated itself so the battery was always fully charged on tender ....... took me a while to sort it out ... good fortune on the road man :-)
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2017, 06:15 PM
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welp, took the battery to the shop and they load tested it, and it tested bad; they said one of the "plates" in it broke or something and that's what caused it to show charged, but as soon as a load was put on it, it was junk

so, the mechanic at the shop was saying sometimes that just happens, and it's probably not a charging system issue or ground issue since I never had any previous problems with the previous battery

my only concern is that the bike itself may have rattled the shit out of the battery and caused it to get jacked up...hopefully this one stands up better than the previous one that lasted for all of about 20 mins of riding...
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:16 PM
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it is a AGM battery from Drag Specialties...I know they are big distributors and just slap their name on a lot of stuff, whether or not it's quality; this battery was made in Vietnam...so again, we'll see if it will hold up better and hopefully I just got a dud previously
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:25 PM
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Try to put some kind of cushioning beneath it, foam or something..not that it will do much good, but may help, I think it's more vibration than bouncy shock..
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