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Thread: Weak Crank

  1. #1

    Default Weak Crank

    Starter is cranking so slow that it can't crank the motor over on compression.

    I'm using jumper cables to bypass bike wiring. Cables go from new battery to positive post on starter, and negative to a ground on the bike.

    I have a push button solenoid on the new ultima starter. The primary is a 2" ultima open belt. It has a starter jackshaft cover guide - That I do believe has some friction with the jackshaft, but without the guide cover there is still not enough torque to turn over the motor.

    The entire primary is easy to crank by hand without plugs. With plugs is harder to crank by hand but is still doable. The motor is a stock Evo (to my knowledge).

    Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated. I'm so close to getting this fired up for the first time.
    Thanks again.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    I've had that happen on two different occasions, on two different vehicles.
    First time it was because I had just hotrodded the motor (EVO) and the starter just didn't have enough grunt to turn over the high compression. Burnt that starter pretty damn fast.

    Second time I knew my battery was pretty bad, still had to try to start the bike (can't remember why). It started progressively cranking slower and slower, my battery died and we jump started it. Still wouldn't crank good, because we had burnt the starter trying to crank it with a dead battery. We very quickly got a puff of smoke and that was that. Got a new starter and everything worked perfect.

  3. #3
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    Jumpers have limited contact on starter terminals. I even add an extra lug on my mowers for a better cable clip contact.

    You can use a non-running car or car battery safely for jumping too. More ampacity is kinder to starters than marginal power.

  4. #4

    Default

    This is a small but important option IF the Starter/Batt is barely able.
    Dis-engage the Clutch while starting, there is No reason for the Starter/Batt to
    have to use power to spin the Clutch Hub and associated trans. gears AND the motor too.
    Especially important on cold day first start.

  5. #5
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    Cables go from new battery to positive post on starter, and negative to a ground on the bike.

    Check continuity though your cables. Particularly the ground.

    Check your battery. Farmall is right about using a car battery to test, if yours is suspect.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you to everyone that replied I appreciate it very much. I was able to solve the problem! And I am alive to post about it, hahaha (I hate when OP doesn't post the fix).
    Like Farmell said the jumpers are limited. I was attempting to troubleshoot before the trouble. I wanted to isolate to see if my small battery (more on that in a min) and the starter would crank. It didn't with the jumper cables. I wired it to the bike using the thicker gauge wires for the battery and problem solved. I guess moral of the story is don't use jumper cables to connect the battery to the bike.
    Now my problem is my small battery box and finding a good CCA battery (the classic problem). I might try Anti-gravity 360CCA and hope it doesn't light fire. My battery box is located under the tranny so I'm hoping it stays nice and cool and happy that's what's up.
    Again, thanks to everyone who read and replied.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the reply and glad ya fixed it!

  8. #8
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    A lot of Jumper cables out on the market are totally shit-Junk. Crappy copper wire, bad terminals and clamps,, In the Air Force they used to scrap solid 1" thick copper wire strand cables for Aircraft starting-generators (-60's) but then bright bulb figured out why not just fix the terminals on the end instead of getting rid of 50 foot of copper cables (6 cables in a bundle). But before that happened I scored a 50 footer and im down to my last 2 jumper cables out of them.,.. Gifted a lot of folks serious cables over the last few decades.

    But needed some jumpers for each of our vehicles and picked up some at a store and was so annoyed with their shittiness, I went back and got a 2nd set, wove them together, replaced the ends-clamps with good ones and NOW it actually will jump a car, truck or tractor. (Efeectively turned 2 sets of cables into one decent jumper set)

    As others have pointed out, you also are likely to have limited contacts where it clamps on, I bought some decent clamps with real copper teeth clamps and that really helped.

    On some batteries, if the battery is dead or dying, it can still be difficult to jump start, so test your stuff. One thing I really dislike about stock Harleys (Sportsters and Buells in my case) the terminals and cables are a PIA so, upgrading mine to better contacts and cables on the battery cables themselves. Caught one of my Sportsters on fire once with bad terminals, got so hot melted the battery posts and started a fire,,, was able to put it out with my thick leather gloves,,, and fend off a kid with a fire extinguisher at the same time.

    Its not that I didnt appreciate Johnny on the spot with the extinguisher, and nice to have on standby, but he was hot & bothered to hose me and the bike down with the extinguisher.. It WAS pretty exciting, people screaming and yelling. It happened in the front of a Taco bell and people thought the bike was going to explode in a huge fireball, (OMG MABEL!,,, that there Harley is full of GAS-O-LINE, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!)

    I jammed my fingers in there and tamped out the fire,, and had to ride home on the tow truck of shame,, but at least it didnt go up entirely and burnt wires, burnt tape and shrink wrap, and some scorched paint, and one toasted Battery. I *HATE* Evo Sportster battery cables and how the design is. Nice thing about a Bobber of chopper is re-orientating the battery box

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