View Full Version : 2002 sportster 883 - floods easily

06-17-2014, 11:22 AM
Ok I have cleaned the carbs, air filter, plugs.....it starts and runs like a champ but if I start it cold and drive it right away 3 mins to get gas it will start back up then down the street 4 mins to get a coffee, it sits for 15-20, when I go to start it, it will not turn over and seems to be flooded. This time line has happened many times and always the same problem. I have to leave it for a day and it starts right up again. Any ideas what I can do to prevent this or fix this??

06-17-2014, 12:08 PM
Won't turn over......I'd say you have a weak battery.

06-17-2014, 1:02 PM
May be bit the head and tail light have power and the starter sounds strong?

06-17-2014, 1:14 PM
How does the starter sound strong if it isn't turning over?

When you said " it isn't turning over" do you mean that it isn't starting? but that the starter is turning the engine over. or when you hit the button you get a clicking noise. that is what is meant by "wont turn over"

06-17-2014, 7:25 PM
Check the voltage on the battery with a multi meter while the bike is running. You have to start a process of elimination.

06-18-2014, 2:09 PM
Verify flooding by carrying a wrench and spare set of plugs.

If suspect flooding, pull plugs and confirm they are wet. You can then spin da engine a moment with plugs out to clear any flooding.

Carb should not flood with fuel on when sitting. You can observe by removing air filter, turning on fuel, then looking down carb throat for flooding.

If floods, ensure float adjustment is correct and needle/seat function properly. You can leak check carbs off the bike using a dummy tank such as a plastic lawn mower tank.

06-20-2014, 8:52 PM
Awesome thanks I will try this....I guess turning over was the wrong words, it turns strong, it doesn't fire up.

06-29-2014, 3:40 PM
Do you know if it is possible for the ignition coil to work sometimes and not others or is it like it either works or doesn't work?

06-29-2014, 4:10 PM
Post results of previous troubleshooting. The whole picture is necessary.

You are getting free help. Typing details won't kill you.

If bike no fire, remove spark plugs, inspect them, clamp them together with a worm-drive hose clamp, reconnect wires and crank the motorcycle.

Harley coils fire across both plugs at once. Note results.

One useful trick with starters that don't spin over when warm is to bring a jumpstarter pack (I love those things, excepting Schauers with the folding 110 input plug design which is junk) with you on the test ride then try to crank the engine with extra electrical assist. Of course another battery will do instead.

Old starters can fail when hot because they are marginal in the first place. I also replace power and ground cables (and ensure good connection for both) on bikes which don't start well.

Your starter has a cover over the solenoid. Disconnect the battery, remove the cover and inspect it. Solenoids are typically the first item to fail on Denso starters (which are excellent).

Here is a good pic of the contacts:


Given the labor involved I replace starters rather than contacts, but you can buy contact kits if you like.

06-29-2014, 4:53 PM
take your points cover off and see if the pickup sensor is melted

06-29-2014, 10:40 PM
Thanks for the tips, the last time I check the carbs and the floats and everything was good, ride it for a day and started and stopped it about 7 times some times it sat for 10mins other times for 1-2 hours, it always started but I was very sure to not give it any gas when starting it up. Then the next day I rode it and stopped for about 30 mins and it won't start(the starter turns and there is power to the lights and sounds strong but doesn't fire up) I checked to plugs and they were a bit wet so I dried them but one broke going back in so I put in a new set of plugs. I hit the start button a couple time with the plugs out and then put the plugs back in. It did start up but I rode it for about 10 mins and then stopped it for 5 mins and again it won't fire up.
With the ignition question I was sure if it was possible for it to work sometimes or if it was an all or nothing. I really seems to only be an issue when the bike is warm it almost always goes when it is cool or hot but once it is a little warm it gives me trouble.

06-29-2014, 10:42 PM
And thanks again Farmall I have not tried your last suggestions, but will try them tomorrow.