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  1. #1

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    Default It just CLICKS!!

    Hey homies... first post so I apologize ahead of time for missing info or not posting this in the right forum.

    Long story short is I just got a 79 FLH, after sitting for a few years, I put some fresh oil in her, rigged a dummy gas tank, fresh battery... and when I hit the run button (electric only) all I get is a click?

    It's a very distinctive click, like something is trying to open and close...

    Do I have a bad solenoid..? Bad starter relay...?

    Thanks guys. Appreciate the help.

  2. #2

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    You most likely have a bad solenoid. But, test the starter by connecting the two large terminals on the solenoid with a jumper cable, to see if the starter will turn. (It will not engage the starter gear when you do this, just allows the starter motor to run.)

    Be double careful not to short anything out when you do this.

    If the starter motor runs, rebuild or replace the solenoid. If any of the battery cables are iffy, replace them, they may be quite old.
    Jim

  3. #3
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    ^^^^^^ Great info.....^^^^^^ Also the push buttons on the bars are also known to go bad and loose contact.........

  4. #4
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    I would check the battery too just to be sure.

  5. #5

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    Great advice guys. I'll try to jump the starter tonight and see if it's the solenoid. I will start with double checking loose wires around the battery and starter switch too.

    I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks

  6. #6
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    Like mentioned above, make sure you double check the new battery.
    Good luck

  7. #7

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    One more thing.
    After you determine that the starter will run, here's the classic test that bypasses the relay and the switch:

    Bridge the small terminal on the solenoid to the top terminal. That will activate the solenoid, and if the motor turns over, your solenoid is OK, and the relay, switch, or wiring is bad.

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    Also the push buttons on the bars are also known to go bad and loose contact.........
    If that button goes bad there will not be any audio click ... only "Dead Air"

  9. #9

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    Update...

    I jumped the two large terminals on the solenoid and it activated the starter... so bad solenoid?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaira View Post
    Update...

    I jumped the two large terminals on the solenoid and it activated the starter... so bad solenoid?
    Now jump the top post and the small post. If the starter does not turn the motor over, most likely you have a bad solenoid.

    I prefer rebuilding to replacing solenoids, because the original factory ones are of much higher quality than the currently available replacements.

    Jim

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    Most likely it's the copper washer and contacts burnt ...
    Can clean them up, won't need any new parts ..

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
    If that button goes bad there will not be any audio click ... only "Dead Air"
    I had a wire on my FXS that the wire was just barely on the button and would make just enough contact to click then loose contact......... So go figure?????????

    But you know best.........

    But he found his problem it's the solenoid.......

  13. #13
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    To click or not to click .... Dat be the question ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post

    To click or not to click .... Dat be the question ??

    Just for you Jesse I looked at it.........

    LOL Isn't he turning on and off the system????????? That's not the starter button........

    Or that's a useless video........
    Last edited by Tattooo; 01-11-2020 at 8:28 AM.

  15. #15
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    The video gets ya thinking ....
    The starter circuit is not armed until the off/on run switch is switched to the on mode, from there the starter button closes the circuit to the starter relay, which feeds a hotter amount of juice to the solenoid...

    If the Fella in the video is only switching the on/off run switch, the starter button is stuck in the close position ... !!

    Going to consult with "Bell Laboratory's" and see if they concur ... Lol
    (Perhaps, "Johnny Five" too)

    .../// https://youtu.be/rsmCG2A_Sok \\\...
    Last edited by Dragstews; 01-11-2020 at 10:38 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
    If the Fella in the video is only switching the on/off run switch, the starter button is stuck in the close position ... !!

    OR it's wired wrong..........LOL Hell they could have the starter button wires run to the on off switch for all I know?????

    Hell I never touch the off run switch on any of my bikes if they have one........ Why????? What's wrong with the main switch????????

    Like I said the video makes no sense........... By what he's showing that is........

  17. #17
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    Just curious? The first thing I would check on any engine that sat for years would be if it could turn. It only takes a minute to push it back and forth in high gear to see if the engine can turn. If it could, my neighbor would hit the starter with a hammer and have a fair success rate, I would remove and disassemble the starter and solenoid and carefully clean all the corrosion. A little cupric sulfate under a brush or contact limits current flow drastically.
    Dusty

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    If it doesn't have a kick starter it's a very good idea to install one. You can use any decent cover but do buy Baker gears and a quality arm and pedal. The folding stock HD pedals are reasonable if you want it to stay out of the way. ChiCom starter kits are garbage and eat knees. OEM would be fine too but unless you're very lucky all those are long gone and the Baker superior anyway.

    HD left kickers off on some models because they were cheap assholes and some bean counter thought it was a good idea. The piles of blank covers at swap meets reflect how bad it was in reality.

    Also check all power and ground cables (I replace them because cable ages internally too, including corroded joints between cable and lug) even though ya found the immediate problem. The stock starter system was an abortion to get away with using an outboard motor starter and needs watching.

    Dusty's advice above is spot-on. Also inspect the gear reduction housing as chain slap is prone to gouging the bottom and the fasteners prone to loosening. I've been able to tighten them from the top by grinding a 12-point box end (use a quality wrench!) for enough swing to take very small turns.

    BTW not using switches doesn't protect them from corrosion. Periodic actuation wipes the contact areas clean.

    Since the bike sat the contents of the oil tank is now in the crankcase unless someone drained it. I pull the timing plug (outdoors) and blow it out on first engine rotation since wet sumping abusively overloads the starter motor.

  19. #19
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    BTW not using switches doesn't protect them from corrosion. Periodic actuation wipes the contact areas clean.
    Yes sir I agree......... But I have never had a switch fail by not using it.......... Lucky I guess......

    I have seen people use the off run switch every time they get off there bike..... Hell they also leave the bike in gear on flatland........ Have you ever seen a guy trying to be cool start his bike and forget it is in gear?????? Not to cool........LOL

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=Tattooo;836809

    Have you ever seen a guy trying to be cool start his bike and forget it is in gear ?? LOL[/QUOTE]

    Sober or Intoxicated .. ?? lol

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