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Sportster Models 883, 883 Custom, 1200 Custom, 883L, 1200L, 1200S, 1200 Roadster, XR1200, and the Nightster.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:33 AM
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Karate Dave Karate Dave is offline
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Red face Sportster Ignition Problems

New to the forum and looking for advice. I have a '91 Sportster 1200 XL which has been solid runner for the last five years. Recently got stuck behind an old woman in a very slow car and couldn't pass her. When she pulled over I gunned it and the engine died. Couldn't get it to fire again, and trailered it home. Checked for spark (plugs grounded to cylinders) and fuel, everything seems fine. The wiring under the seat seemed suspect, so tested everything but found no obvious problems. Got it to start again, but when I revved it, it died. Then it decided that it liked revving and only died when shut down. Now it won't start again. I have a Screaming Eagle ignition module and wondered if this is failing. Anybody know how to test them?

Last edited by Karate Dave; 09-04-2012 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:33 PM
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Karate Dave Karate Dave is offline
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Come on guys, 80 views and no suggestions? Somebody out there must have an idea! Bike's sitting in the English sunshine (rain) and not doing anything. Heeeeeelp! Anyone local want to lend me a 7 pin ignition module to rule that out? Or can anyone tell me how to test the one I have.

Last edited by Karate Dave; 09-04-2012 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:44 PM
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USMCDevilDogg USMCDevilDogg is offline
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Heres how I tested mine. You have to do while your bike is cold. My bike always started when it was cold but once it got hot it was backfire and shut off when the module got hot.


1.You have to drill out the rivots on the cover so the ignition module is exposed
2. Take a blow dryer and heat up the ignition module for 5-10 mins untils it's really hot.
3. Attempt to start your bike. If it back fires and wont start you've found your problems.

Heres the my post on another site. Hope this helps......http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s....php?t=1514498
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:27 PM
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Karate Dave Karate Dave is offline
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Thanks for the info, tried that end with no result. I think it may be the module behind the cover at the rear of the battery, but have no info on testing it. Clymer manual is no help either. Any more tips would be appreciated.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:31 PM
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run1fsr run1fsr is offline
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What is your battery voltage? Do the terminals check out okay ... ground good?
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:59 AM
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Karate Dave Karate Dave is offline
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Battery fully charged and all connections clean and tight. I don't mind admitting it has me baffled. Almost 40 years of biking and building, it bugs the hell out of me that I can't find the problem. I've even stripped the loom cover and checked for breaks in the wiring! The only thing I can't check (because I don't have the correct procedures) is the Ignition module. I know it alters the spark curve for different rev ranges, but how do I test it for faulty operation when it's so erratic? Any ideas would be worth a try. I can't find anyone with one I could borrow to swap out and test, and don't feel comfortable buying a new one on the off chance it may be the culprit. I'm broke anyway, so that's only an option when I know for sure that's my problem.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:50 AM
John Harper John Harper is offline
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Your module is under that triangular piece of metal just behind the battery. I think I'd take it off and reconnect it, maybe see if it is all well grounded.

I've got a 1991 883 but I thing the modules are different. Too bad the previous owner did not save the stock module. Maybe you can take it to the dealer and have them check it?

John
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:56 PM
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Karate Dave Karate Dave is offline
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Thanks John. Yes, it is behind the battery and I've taken it off and checked for good connections etc. It's a screaming eagle unit, part no. 82421-85B, 8000 rpm. All connections check out but I still get intermittent spark. My nearest dealer is 35 miles away, so can't take the bike. I don't know if they could just test the module for me. I'll ring and find out. Let you know how I get on. Cheers.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:30 PM
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Well, my local 'helpful' Harley dealer says that the module can only be tested on the bike. If that's true, it seems to me there is a gap in the market here for a handy testing rig. He did offer to collect the bike and test it out (at a ridiculous price), but that's way outside my budget. I'll just have to keep trying to find the problem myself.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:19 AM
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Karate Dave Karate Dave is offline
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Angry Still being a PITA

Well, I replaced the ignition module & sensor, stripped and cleaned the carb and line filter, replaced all the wiring to the ignition, cleaned all joints and earths, tested the VOES (o.k.),and coil and now it starts and runs sweet for about 2 minutes then cuts out. It doesn't make any difference whether you rev it or let it idle so it's not fuel. Fuel tap (petcock) is clean and there is no blockage in the tank vents. I have spark and fuel, timing is correct. Any ideas? HEEEEELP!
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:19 AM
 
 
 
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