1992 Sportster problem - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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1992 Sportster problem

Hey everyone,

I have an issue with my 1992 Sportster. I just changed the battery as I thought this was the culprit, however I started my bike and it started up fine. Then I started to drive it today and got 1/2 a block and it shut down and would not start back up. I checked my fuel line from my tank and at my fuel filter and this did not appear clogged. Do you think my carbs are clogged up?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 12:59 PM
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Fire, fuel, and air. Need to check the three to make sure you are getting each. What was the bike doing before you changed the battery?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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It was doing similar things. Several weeks ago it was running alright, however since it has gotten colder it has sat in my driveway a little bit. Since then, I jumped it cause the battery was bad. It did the same thing. It started initially, ran ~30 seconds, and then puttered and shut off. Changed the battery after sitting a few days and it did the same exact thing. Seem like gas isn't flowing appropriately.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 02:09 PM
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You need to do normal troubleshooting tests. Determine if you have spark, at the plugs. Determine if gas is in the carburetor. Check for vacuum leaks around the carburetor and the intake manifold. Check for vacuum leaks in the hoses to the fuel valve. Check for loose battery cables. That's a few of the things you need to check out.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 09:28 PM
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to help us out, when you say it shut down completely and would not start back up; do you mean you had electrical power (lights and gauges worked) and it just wouldn't start or did you have absolutely no power to the bike whatsoever?

If it is the first issue I mentioned, since you checked your fuel line, you may have a bunch of trash in your tank. Best thing I found for that, take the tank off drain the fuel and completely remove the fuel petcock and pour a little fuel into the tank and swish it around allowing it to push the trash out the bottom where the petcock usually is. Repeat that until you don't have any more.

If it is the latter issue, make sure your batter cables are installed correctly and tightened with good solid connections, check any fuses as well.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 06:22 AM
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Test the charging system, if that checks out then remove the battery positive cable and closely inspect both ends. Strip the heat shrink from both ends and look at the crimps on the terminals, probably have a broken wire at the starter end of the cable. The reason I'm flagging this is because I've run into two Sportsters in a couple weeks with broken positive cables.

Disclaimer : Don't believe anything I say unless you are absolutely sure that I know what I'm talking about .
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 07:49 AM
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Loose negative wire happened to me it sucks

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 08:20 AM
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Almost sounds like a short somewhere, draining the battery but also kicking a relay. A battery isn't going to have enough juice to start a bike then the bike die 30 seconds later.

If it were fuel, the bike would fire immediately with a shot of starting fluid.

If it were spark, the bike would still spray fuel via the accel pump spraying in the carb throat after shutting off, and the engine would just keep turning over.

This is "Troubleshooting-101".

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 12:59 PM
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is he getting juice from the battery that wont let it start ? or will it start and just wont keep running ? id check the ground wires both ends, then look for bad relay wire if that wont fix it. if its a fuel prob. might open the gas cap see if the vents stopped up . plus all of the above .
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