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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ladies and Gentlemen... newbie here. thanks for allowing me to pick your brain.
I have a 1998 Fatboy. The last time I rode was in October. Recently I went to start her
and she was hard starting. (no start). when I lifted the choke she would backfire through the exhaust while trying to turn over. changed plugs, filter and rebuilt S&S Shorty. She's still doing the same thing. I did check the spark today and she's getting spark from both wires. Does this bike have a crank sensor or cam sensor ?

Any thoughts?

Thanks for your attention on this. :)
 

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weird member
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1998 and stock ignition and motor, would have a cam position sensor that runs to an ignition control module that is connected to the main harness and runs to the coil.

However, before jumping into the ignition system, it's probably something way less complicated and way easier.

Have you had the battery tested? I mean actually load tested and stuff, because a charger will only indicate when a battery is full, but the battery could have bad cells and not hold enough juice.

What exactly was it doing when hard starting? Like, it just didn't want to turn over? Didn't try to turn over at all and only the starter made noise?

I seriously doubt something went wrong with the ignition system since October if nothing was messed with since you last rode it.

My first thought would be bad battery, or a carburetor issue long before ignition system.

Do you have a factory service manual?
 

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South GA Redneck
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When you replaced the plugs, did you make sure the front plug wire is on the front cylinder. Reversed plug wires will cause the issue you’re having. Also as stated, make sure the battery is fully charged and will pass a load test. Finally if nothing else works and it ran fine before it sat for a while, check the carb for something you may have over looked.


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Discussion Starter #4
1998 and stock ignition and motor, would have a cam position sensor that runs to an ignition control module that is connected to the main harness and runs to the coil.

However, before jumping into the ignition system, it's probably something way less complicated and way easier.

Have you had the battery tested? I mean actually load tested and stuff, because a charger will only indicate when a battery is full, but the battery could have bad cells and not hold enough juice.

What exactly was it doing when hard starting? Like, it just didn't want to turn over? Didn't try to turn over at all and only the starter made noise?

I seriously doubt something went wrong with the ignition system since October if nothing was messed with since you last rode it.

My first thought would be bad battery, or a carburetor issue long before ignition system.

Do you have a factory service manual?
1998 and stock ignition and motor, would have a cam position sensor that runs to an ignition control module that is connected to the main harness and runs to the coil.

However, before jumping into the ignition system, it's probably something way less complicated and way easier.

Have you had the battery tested? I mean actually load tested and stuff, because a charger will only indicate when a battery is full, but the battery could have bad cells and not hold enough juice.

What exactly was it doing when hard starting? Like, it just didn't want to turn over? Didn't try to turn over at all and only the starter made noise?

I seriously doubt something went wrong with the ignition system since October if nothing was messed with since you last rode it.

My first thought would be bad battery, or a carburetor issue long before ignition system.

Do you have a factory service manual?

I'm getting spark.. when I attempt to start it. "choke on" it backfires through the exhaust but won't start.
so, I'm assuming I'm getting fuel and spark. The battery I think is on it's 3rd season. I did have to charge a couple of times while attempting this repair. it might be time for a new battery. but my bike has always fired off with a bump of the key and when the battery wasn't 100%. regarding the blackened spark plugs. I was hoping I remedied that with the carb rebuild. but.. again. it's acting the same way it did before the carb rebuild.
 

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Retired citizen
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22,285 Posts
Sat for a while so crankcase might be sumped, starter won't crank the engine over well enough to get started. Take a look inside the oil tank, if it's low the case is sumped.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When you replaced the plugs, did you make sure the front plug wire is on the front cylinder. Reversed plug wires will cause the issue you’re having. Also as stated, make sure the battery is fully charged and will pass a load test. Finally if nothing else works and it ran fine before it sat for a while, check the carb for something you may have over looked.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

All good advice. the plug wires are designed on my bike so the back won't reach the front etc.. Battery might be an issue. but when my bike is running peak it would always fire off with the bump of the key and when the battery was slightly low. This battery is on season 3 so maybe it's time. I might pull the bottom section of the S&S off and double-check the accelerator pump. as mentioned previously, my plugs were much more fouled that I've ever seen them. I was hoping the rebuild would take care of that. Rubiks Cube, just have to keep after it. I was hoping to get her running by now. 60's and Sunny here in Ga Sunday. :-(
 

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South GA Redneck
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All good advice. the plug wires are designed on my bike so the back won't reach the front etc.. Battery might be an issue. but when my bike is running peak it would always fire off with the bump of the key and when the battery was slightly low. This battery is on season 3 so maybe it's time. I might pull the bottom section of the S&S off and double-check the accelerator pump. as mentioned previously, my plugs were much more fouled that I've ever seen them. I was hoping the rebuild would take care of that. Rubiks Cube, just have to keep after it. I was hoping to get her running by now. 60's and Sunny here in Ga Sunday. :-(
What part of Ga? I’m in the middle of the state.


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Discussion Starter #11
Yes.. some nice riding.. Love the N. Ga mountains too. own property there. Love hwy 60 and the surrounding roads. absolutely beautiful. when I get the ole girl running.. Dublin isn't far. we'll catch some wind one day.
 
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