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1997 Electraglide starting system

2023 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Dan89flstc
I have my neighbors bike trying to figure out a no start situation if I can get it to act up,he had someone install a new starter and it will not start at times and since he did not bring me a manual I need to know if there is a relay in between the switch and solenoid and where its located so I can check for power if I can get it to act up for me.
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It's under the fairing.
Sitting on the bike, it's on the right side in fairing. Should be able to reach it without pulling fairing .

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Thanks for the info and when it acts up I wll check there.
On my '97 it's mounted in a rubber "bucket" on the wall on the left side (sitting on the bike) about even with the stereo. It's mounted with the horn relay side-by-side. There is no way I could reach it without taking the fairing off.


#10 and 25

FWIW, I put one of these on my '95 and now on my '97. Both bikes had intermittent starting issues. This worked every time.
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I got it to act up and its not that relay,I can hear the solenoid kick in but not turn the starter over. I did get it to start and will have to wait for the rear pipe to cool down so I can test to see if any power is coming out of the solenoid,its supposively a new starter and might have to go back to installed it.
Its the solenoid,12 volts in and .24 out when hitting the switch unless it decides to work.
Glad you got it figured out. :thumbsup

Now I have to find out who installed this new starter and make them replace it.
If its like mine it will be under the seat on the backside of the batt.my bike is doing the same, replaced it but still not wanting too start.
It was behind the battery and going to replace it and see how it does.
Just swap it with the other relay, they're identical.
It was not the relay so it looks like its time to replace the starter.
It was not the relay so it looks like its time to replace the starter.
Before you spend someone’s money on a starter (and possibly get very embarrassed when it does not fix the issue), do some troubleshooting with a voltmeter, it will only take a few minutes.

There is more to the starter relay circuit than just the relay, check the entire voltage path.

Voltmeter (-) probe to (-) battery post for all tests.

Green wire connected to solenoid.

All voltage readings are taken while starter button is pressed. You can disconnect the battery cable from the solenoid (output side, the side that goes to the starter motor) if you want to eliminate the engine cranking.

Touch the (+) probe to the following locations, press the start button, and note the voltage after each test.

Copper stud on main breaker.

Silver stud on main breaker.

Ignition switch terminal (red wire)

Ignition switch terminal (Red Gray wire)

Starter relay terminal (Red/Gray wire)

Starter relay terminal (Green wire)

Solenoid terminal (Green wire).

Once you do this voltage drop test, you will know exactly what is going on in the starter relay to solenoid circuit.

After these are done you can test the starter motor circuit if needed.
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I know its the solenoid and since it looks like the starter needs to be removed to replace to just get me another complete starter,I figured since we have a box of relays at the shop I would try one in case it was not allowing enough juice to the starter. I am trying to see if there is anyone locally who can rebuild the solenoid but found no one yet.
I know its the solenoid
Just because the solenoid shows low voltage at the output post does not mean the solenoid is bad, it could be the solenoid is not getting enough pull in current to the coil.

I think you are guessing, and are not willing to get out the voltmeter and do some systematic testing.

Good luck.
Got less then a half a volt at the output post and would not light up my test light,it has 12 volts coming from the battery so it looks like a bad solenoid to me. I will test the voltage coming from the switch tomorrow but since I can hear it kick out the drive but not spin the motor usually is a sign of a bad solenoid,anybody have any other ideas I will listen but had the same situation on cars and it was the solenoid.
If it is the solenoid, you can replace all the parts in there without removing the starter, parts will be available from a starter repair shop at a much lower cost than the Harley dealer (these are common automotive starters).

Remove the cover from the end of the solenoid and you will see what needs to be replaced.

Don`t buy a new starter...
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