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Old 02-14-2011, 03:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ignition Switch

I have a 1997 Harley Fat Boy I bought not too long ago I took it out on a short ride yesterday had it running for about 30 mins. After the ride I hit the kill switch and killed the engine but when I turned the ignition switch to off nothing happen the headlight, taillight and speedo light stayed on and I noticed smoke coming from under the dash under the ignition switch so I turned the switch a few times and everything finally turned off and the smoke stopped. I unhooked the battery and took the dash off to see if I could see anything wrong. I didn't see any burn marks or wires burned but I did notice a metal clip was loose so I figured that it just vibrated up against the ignition and caused a short so I put the clip back on and cleaned all the dirt out of it. I hooked the battery back up and turned the switch on and everything was fine until I turned the switch on and off a few times and it started doing the same thing and smoking so I flipped the dash over and noticed smoke coming from the ignition switch so I figure my ignition switch burned out and I need a new one but I wanted to see if that's what it is or if there's a bigger problem or what. Sorry about the long book but I wanted to make sure I told you everything leading up to it that I could think of. Thanks in advance for your answers
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well ... smoking electronics ain't never a good thing dude ! Obviously there's a problem !
Halfta say ... a VERY good first post bro ! HeHeHe !
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well I know smoking electronics is never good but are ignition switches known to just burn out or is there almost always a underline problem. I looked over all the wires under the dash and they looked fine no burned, cut or pinched wires minimal dirt around the adapters and they weren't loose. Looked over the wiring harness from the fuse box up and no cuts or shorts the protecting cover is still in good shape no cuts or pinching or obvious signs or faults, the battery cables look fine hooked up correctly. That's about all I looked at or could think of at the moment.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montecarlo0216 View Post
Well I know smoking electronics is never good but are ignition switches known to just burn out or is there almost always a underline problem. I looked over all the wires under the dash and they looked fine no burned, cut or pinched wires minimal dirt around the adapters and they weren't loose. Looked over the wiring harness from the fuse box up and no cuts or shorts the protecting cover is still in good shape no cuts or pinching or obvious signs or faults, the battery cables look fine hooked up correctly. That's about all I looked at or could think of at the moment.
I had one go out a few months ago. The factory connector had 3 wires connecting to the ignition switch. The end connector on the plug fried and my scoot shut off. I pulled the ignition panel and inspected. When i found the burnt plug I also found the female connector in the plug where it burnt was loose. A loose connector will cause resistance. Resistance creates heat. Heat creates smoke and failure of an electrical component. You may merely have had a loose connection at your switch.

You already know you need a new switch. Purchase a switch and replace the plug and the female spade connectors that go in it. Start there. Very possible that's all it is.

Good luck!!
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm going to buy a new switch here soon I just wanted to try and figure out if there was a underline problem so I don't have another one fry on me. One thing I forgot to mention was that before I noticed the switch problem the neutral light would come on without it being in neutral when your driving down the road or stopped. I had asked the dealership tech if that was a big problem or not and he said no the connections just needed to be cleaned Don't know if it has a connection to the ignition switch problem but figured it was worth mentioning.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Those ignition switches can be disassembled , cleaned and re-lubed ! Take the c-clip off the back of the switch and it will come apart . Be carefull taking it apart cause there's springs and contacts inside . If anything inside the switch is burnt then replace the switch cause you can't buy the individual pieces .
If you buy a new switch then you'll also have new different keys . That's why I repair the switches whenever possible .
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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OMG you let the smoke out!!!
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well bought a new switch and put it in turned the ignition on and left it on for a while and flipped it back and forth and so far every thing looks good hopefully it stays that way.
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