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Vapor Locked
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 XL1200 Custom Sportster. I am going to change out the battery and everything I have read is to “Disconnect the negative cable from the engine and remove the battery with the negative cable attached as one unit”. I have removed the battery to add the Battery Tender cables without doing this. I left the negative cable attached to the engine and disconnected BOTH cables from the battery to remove it from the bike.
I can see the negative cable mounting post on the engine but cannot get my hand on it to reinstall it after I have removed it. Bike is garage kept and free from rust and corrosion. I did put dielectric grease on the battery posts.

Problem is “The bike cranks slow and it has the original OEM battery still in it.”

Question is “What is the trick to putting the cable back on the engine grounding post?”

I have not removed it so I am still riding now but my battery will be here in a couple weeks (Not ordered yet).

I did a search and found a tip to tie a string to pull it back through.

Thanks,
Grampa Kracker
 

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Battery issues

Hey I have a 01 road king and it has a Harley battery dated 8-09 it was/is cranking slow well kinda slow it cranks but acts like it has run up against compression and almost stops cranking then it will fire right up has been making me wonder if it is the battery I had my local auto parts shop do a load test and the battery tested very good WHTF so I reinstalled it.... after cleaning all the connections and making sure everything was tight and sure enough it still does the same thing. If you have not done a load test yet it may be worth a shot ???
So to your question I did not remove the neg. cable from the bike I took it off at the battery and have had no issues the only reason I could think of as why to remove it at the bike is to maybe prevent a short while the Pos. cable is still attached that is just a guess but if anyone has a better answer let us know
Gary
 

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I just replaced my battery on a 2012 Softail Heritage that I've had for 35 months. The new batt solved my problem which was slower starting until it wouldnt hold a charge. It would try to start and eventually just click.

I got a perfectly sized replacement from Battery Mart at a low price.

I disconnected both cables at the posts, not from the frame or engine. Negative first. Batt came right out and replacent fit right in perfectly.

Reattached cables in reverse order, positive first.

This sequence makes it less likely to accidently short during the process.

Every thing works and runs right. No fried components.
 

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Just Ride
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Replace it as your manual states.
 

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The problem with '04 and newer Sportster battery R&R is that if the negative cable gets attached at the post then the battery gets pushed back into the battery box the cable will get bumped loose. The cable has to be tightened in a vertical (facing down) position which isn't possible with the battery partially out of the battery box, the cable isn't long enough.
The procedure is to remove the negative cable from the top of the trans case and fish it out with the battery. Tighten the cable onto the new battery pointing down and fish the cable back down to the trans case while pushing the battery back into the battery box.
I use a wobble end extension on a ratchet with a socket to get the cable fastener removed, a magnet helps to snag the fastener after it's loose.
 

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Vapor Locked
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Discussion Starter #8
I can get the nut off the post fine, Is't replacing the nut and cable when I reinstall the cable I have a questiion about. Is there a trick to putting the cable back on the engine grounding post? The area is a tight fit for my hands.

Thanks for all the input, I'm trying to follow the manual on this. I know there is a good reason to do it that way. Just didn't know why, Till now.

Thanks
Grampa Kracker
 

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I slip the nut onto a thin phillips screw driver, put the tip of the phillips on the stud and let the nut slide down the phillips blade. Then use a finger tip to start the nut on the stud.
Surgical tubing works too if you've got some of that stuff laying around. Press the nut into a length of the tubing so you can reach the nut down to the stud and get it threaded on part way.
 

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I disconnected both cables at the posts, not from the frame or engine. Negative first. Batt came right out and replacent fit right in perfectly.

Removing the cable from the case method is for newer Sportsters, not Softails.
 

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I sometimes put a piece of tape across the end of a socket and then push the nut in it. Holds the there for threading or removing.
 

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Glad to be anywhere
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Removing the cable from the case method is for newer Sportsters, not Softails.
Thanks K I was starting to wonder if it was something like that. In my day we didn't have batts in Sportsters. Now I know.
 

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Magnetos sure would solve all battery problems eh?
 

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Loved my sportster and kick starting - part of the macho.

I probably couldn't kick start the TC now. Too old.
 

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Loved my sportster and kick starting - part of the macho.

I probably couldn't kick start the TC now. Too old.
And you gotta also consider that with the crank position sensor on the TC bikes, the first spark doesn't take place until after one complete revolution of the motor.... making it just that much more difficult to kick start one of these motors!
 
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