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Softail Models Standard, Custom, Night Train, Deuce, Springer, Heritage, Fatboy, Deluxe, Rocker and Cross Bones.

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  #1  
Old 07-10-2007, 01:21 AM
Milwaukee Steal Milwaukee Steal is offline
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Default Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

Ok, people, greet a newbie. I'm glad to be among all of you. Have a 2005 Heritage that I bought new and now have 32,000 miles on speedo. Loving every minute of it. Even when it breaks down. Because I know it will be up and running shortly and true friends don't let a small breakdown ruin the relationship. You just fix the problemo and move on down the road. Here's the rub, though. Last week rode 230 miles in high 90's heat and coming down the last grade of hill it sort of lost power for a second or two and then picked right back up. I mean it purrs all the time. Rock solid runner. It is stock exhaust, ignition, etc. Started and stopped a couple times across town. But when I stopped to fill up with gas, it would not start. 10 or 12 attemps. No soap! Let it cool down for a couple hours and tried again. Nothing. So, I looked at the plugs and someone said, "yeah, you should replace them. Have glaze or something on them." So I did. (they only had 2,000 miles on them) But the bike started right up after that. And ran perfectly all the way home again. Now move ahead a week.......On the 4th of July (100 degrees) was riding to Walla Walla and got half way there by high noon. Going about 65 mph and the bike just shut down. I coasted to the side of the road. Well, first thing I check was replaced the plugs. (these only had 400 miles on them and still looked fine). 4 guys came along and suggested we check the spark. Well it had absolutely no spark. None! No wonder it wouldn't start. So, we hauled the bike back to my garage. when we got there, I said I would try it now. Bang! It started right up. Suggestions have been that the coil is bad. Does anybody have any other suggestions or is the coil the culprit??? Thanks for your help.....Murrel
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:34 PM
Milwaukee Steal Milwaukee Steal is offline
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

Well, y'all, I should be getting the coil that I ordered any day now. Am going to Sturgis this year for the very first time and cannot afford to be left stranded by the side of the road in the case that the coil is not the culprit. Has anybody got some better diagnosis other than a coil? One person said it could be the 'brain' also, but at some point one must decide I'm not going to go ghost hunting.....so, I'm reaching out to all my new Harley forumers and asking. Thanks.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:38 PM
darkside darkside is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nor-Cal
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

Without more info it's kind of tough to diagnose.With it doing it when it gets hot and then starting after it gets cooled off I would say the coil is as good starting place, if I have to guess.Hope that's the problem and you get back on the road soon.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:39 PM
darkside darkside is offline
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

.double post sorry
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:37 PM
Milwaukee Steal Milwaukee Steal is offline
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

Yes, it seems to be only when it is hot. The first time (after I filled up with gas and tried to start it and wouldn't start even with 10-12 tries) I let it cool down for about 1 1/2 hours and then tried it again. No start. So, I suspected fouled plugs. Removed them and somebody said they looked like the front one was fouled somehow (only had less than 2,000 miles on them) So I changed both with new ones and after 1 or 2 attempts it started right up. And didn't fail me all the way home about 300 miles. Next time was riding to Walla Walla and it was hot day about 100 or so. Rode about 50 miles and going about 65 mph and it just stopped running (just like you hit the kill switch). Well, again it wouldn't start at all and had full tank of fuel. I changed with new plugs right then and made no difference. Guy stopped and we put another new plug in the wire and laid it on the engine and turned it over. No spark at all. They said it is probably a bad coil. So now the problem seems to be no spark is why it won't start......duh!!! About 2 hours later inside the garage fresh off the trailer, I started it up and wallllllllaaaaaa! started right up. so, now I'm suspecting the coil because that is what I'm being told. But will they go bad inside of 32,000 miles and physically look like new on the outside?? Heading to Sturgis in 4 weeks and don't want to break down 500 miles down the road in somewhere in Montana if you know what I mean?? Could it or might it practically speaking, do I need to research farther?? Can a bad coil be tested??? Thanks. You're the first one to reply. Murrel btw, it is 2005 Heritage Softail model, completely stock exhaust and ignition system, other than 2 accessory wires (electric gloves, and charger cable, neither of which was being used at the time) hooked directly off the battery and running to their respective locations.
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:49 AM
Oldtimer of NM Oldtimer of NM is offline
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

That could be caused by any number of things. I had an old Ironhead that did pretty much the same thing and the problem turned out to be the run/stop switch was loosing contact when it was hot. Loose connections, flaky switches, bad coil, bad electronics module, even a wire that is broken back inside the insulation where you can't see it can all kill the ignition.

And, yes, a coil can go bad early in its life with no visible signs of damage. I had one from Harley Nostalgia once that didn't last a month.
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:45 AM
Milwaukee Steal Milwaukee Steal is offline
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

Well, it sounds like it could be an absolutely endless list of "could be's" also. So, I have ordered a new coil and if that doesnt cure the ill, I will look farther. Don't think there is a point in replacing everything just so I can sleep better. Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy the bike. Has been absolutely the best bike I have ever owned. Most machines have something go wrong at some time. It's when you can minimize the malfunctions thru good maintenance and housekeeping, so to speak, that you get to maximize the fun of riding. Thanks for your help. Soon, it will be "on to Sturgis."
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:57 AM
Oldtimer of NM Oldtimer of NM is offline
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

If the problem continues, you can narrow it down pretty quickly if you get a can of cold spray from an electronics store such as Radio Shack. Start from the coil and work back toward the ignition switch. Each time it stops running, give one component a shot to cool it down and see if the problem goes away. Don't neglect the fuse box, it could even be a lose or corroded fuse contact.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:15 AM
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fatboylust fatboylust is offline
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

Based on a personal experience with my 2000 fatboy, which had similar symptoms, remove the dash/speedo panel from the tank and look closely at the electrical connections in the harness/plug to the ignition switch. Mine melted down due to (best guess) a bad/dirty connection between the harness plug and the switch. After a couple of random shutdowns it finally failed to restart resulting in a $300+ tow.

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Old 07-11-2007, 02:20 PM
Milwaukee Steal Milwaukee Steal is offline
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Default RE: Bad coil or what?? Only 32,000 miles!

After it cooled down, did it restart? Or did it stay melted?
I am starting to wonder whether the coil is the culprit. I live in a population in Washington state of 165,000 people. This dealership owns 2 other dealerships in the close vicinity of approximately the same populations. It is 100 degrees here as well as the 2 other locations. Today I hear that none have any coils in stock for my bike. and the parts guy (recently was a service writer for the same dealership) said the coils really don't break down that much. So, in a population area of 450,000 they have no coils in stock?? Mine is the only one that happened to go, due to heat?? Starting to wonder now..........
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:20 PM
 
 
 
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