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> Engine cutting out, Engine cuts after a few seconds running
wildrover
post Feb 26 2012, 11:57 AM
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BIKE: XL883C Sportster Custom
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BIKE: XL883C Sportster Custom
YEAR: 2001
MILES: 20,000



My bike is a 2001 883 Sportster custom...

For a good while my ignition switch was a bit iffy , sometimes you needed to turn it on , then off , and on again before it would make contact.... I kind of got used to it , and did not bother replacing the switch....

But ...just recently its started cutting out while riding , it just dies as though you have hit the kill switch...Annoying , and potentially dangerous... Turning the ignition switch off , then on again , and its fine , i can start it and be off again...

The last few days i have been trying to fire it up after the winter lay off , it starts , but cuts out dead after a few seconds , ignition off , then on again , same thing...runs for a few seconds then dies...

I decided maybe it was time for a new ignition switch , but after removing the switch , and bypassing it i get the same thing... runs for a few seconds then cuts out..!

When the engine cuts out , the neutral light , headlight , and tail light remain lit , so its not a total electrical failure....

I have removed the fuel cap , to make sure its not a vacuum in the tank causing this , i am sure its an electrical problem....

While checking all the wiring i did find one of the HT leads was in poor condition , there was corrosion on the metal insert of the coil , and on the end of the HT lead , when i looked at the end of the HT lead i saw the metal connector was broken , it fell to bits....

I have got a new ignition switch on order , as well as a pair of HT leads , but i just need some advice on what to poke at to make sure everything is ok...

As i said , i have hotwired the ignition , so i know the switch is not causing the current problem , could it be that this damaged HT lead was causing it to run for a few seconds then cut out.....? I would have thought it would run on one cylinder , rather than cut out totally....?

My bike has four fuses in the side panel , all are ok... Do i have a circuit breaker on my bike , and could this be faulty...? Only the engine cuts out , the lights etc remain on... Would the circuit breaker cut all the power....? Where is the circuit breaker....?

The only other thing i can think of is the angle sensor , the thing that cuts the engine if you drop the bike...Could this be a cause of my problem...? I found this device under the seat , it rattles as though there is a loose weight inside , is this normal...?

I am afraid i am not any expert on electrical matters , a wiring diagram makes no more sense to me then a map of the Moscow metro...

Any help and advice would be very much appreciated...


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Blackcloud
post Feb 26 2012, 12:56 PM
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I dunno what to tell you. Sounds like you know more about it than me.
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fargo
post Feb 26 2012, 01:38 PM
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first of all let me say that corrosion is never a good sign, also yes the angle sencer can go faulty to remove it from the hit list i would reccomend putting a meter on it and ohming it out, along with the ign switch, your bike is a 01 so the use of circuit breakers is very little and prob not the issue. you can temporally bypass the angle sencor by looping the connection. another thing you may want to check is your electrical harness from the bars to under the seat to make sure that you dont have a loose connection rubbing on the frame and grounding out also. i wish you luck and keep us posted please
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wildrover
post Feb 26 2012, 01:57 PM
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BIKE: XL883C Sportster Custom
YEAR: 2001
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When i said i know little about electrics , i really meant it...

I have no idea what you mean by ohming out the angle sensor...?

I do have a test meter , but you would have to tell me what to set it on , and where to poke the probes...

I think the easiest option is to bypass this angle sensor , and if the bike then works , i will just get a new one...

Tell me where to cut the wires to this sensor , and what wires i then join up to make the bike work without it...
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screwball
post Feb 26 2012, 02:29 PM
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First, you are committing the mortal sin of trouble shooting. If you have no knowledge of electrical trouble shooting and don't know what a VOM is, you need to take it to a qualified mechanic. Do one thing at a time! Replace the ignition switch, like you should have a year ago. IF that doesn't work, start checking connections. If you found corrosion ANYWHERE it could very easily be in any of the connections in your ignition circuit... if it is an ignition problem. Electronic ignition is rarely intermittent. It usually works or doesn't. Harleys are world renowned for vibration, thus loose connections. If you just willy-nilly shake and jiggle wires you may fix it..... temporally. Next time you could be in the middle of nowhere when it decides to stop.

Good Luck!
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wildrover
post Feb 26 2012, 04:35 PM
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The new ignition switch and HT leads are on order...

Once they are fitted i will try again , and if it still cuts out then my next move will be to take the angle sensor out of the situation and see what that does....

I agree with you that the problem if not solved will come back to haunt me... I may well be riding the bike from my farm in Poland , to my home in Moscow , thats about 1.000 miles of very quiet roads , with not a Harley dealer in sight untill i reach Moscow...
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Fgowi
post Feb 26 2012, 04:42 PM
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I agree. It could be a tough "find".

Took years to find 3, count 'em, 3 shorts on an '01 RG. It was three different circuits shorted to my lower frame rail. Itermittent over YEARS!

Not that I could but it's REALLY HARD to call out step by step what you should do from "here".

Hope you get some help with the elec.

Good Luck.
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wildrover
post Feb 28 2012, 09:15 AM
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BIKE: XL883C Sportster Custom
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Thanks for all the help and advice folks...

I bet you are all dying to know what the problem was...?

I bypassed the angle sensor , it fired up ok , and ran without cutting out... GREAT..!

I am waiting for a new ignition switch and HT leads , which i needed anyways , but i think the angle sensor might just go in the bin and not get replaced....

Now to go for a ride.... Thanks everyone...
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Fgowi
post Feb 28 2012, 09:59 AM
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I'll be damned. Good Job!

That's a new one for me. Don't think I've ever heard of one going bad!
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wildrover
post Feb 28 2012, 10:51 AM
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Yeah , its hard to imagine what can have gone wrong with the sensor , it appears its just a weight with some sort of contact on it , and its all sealed in some sort of rubber....

I might get around to buying another sensor at some point , but i don,t think its something i really need...

Had lots of bikes in my life , never had one before that had a cut out if the bike fell over...

I don,t suppose there is any harm from just joining up the wires and ommiting this sensor....?
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wildrover
post Feb 28 2012, 10:55 AM
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YEAR: 2001
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OOOPs...posted this twice...

This post has been edited by wildrover: Feb 28 2012, 10:59 AM
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fargo
post Feb 28 2012, 12:13 PM
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QUOTE(Fgowi @ Feb 28 2012, 08:59 AM) *
I'll be damned. Good Job!

That's a new one for me. Don't think I've ever heard of one going bad!




when HD first starting installing the the angle sensors they were quite known for going faulty with te first few yrs or so and the reason for this is cause the product that they used in the test and the manufactured one were two different models, the on they have instaleed on the bike was a much CHEAPER componant, which caused them to rattle loos internally and go faulty, not to mention the location of the damn thing is in the dumbest place as well.
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wildrover
post Feb 28 2012, 05:06 PM
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BIKE: XL883C Sportster Custom
YEAR: 2001
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Are they not supposed to rattle then....?

When i shook mine it felt like there was some kind of metal weight inside hanging on a wire...

I am guessing that the weight hangs vertical during normal riding , but if the bike falls over the weight moves and breaks contact to the ignition...

Well , since disconnecting it the bike runs fine...so it shall do without it...
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