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Old 02-01-2019, 01:38 PM   #1
RSmil
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2004 FXDLI Having Starting Issues

Hey Everyone,

Im hoping someone here can help me out. I have a '04 Lowrider with fuel injection.
Problem started when I rode the bike to a friends house, and had it parked for a couple hours. When I came back, the battery was dead, and I had to get it towed home. I put the bike on a trickle charger and let it sit for 2 days.
As of right now, it is having some problem starting up. When I turn it on (not ignition), I'm getting the fuel pump sound, even when the switch isn't flipped, as well as not all of the lights coming on. Then when I turn the key to "ignition", the headlight comes on (nice and bright), and sometimes all of the lights on the dash come on. When I flip the fuel pump switch, I get a clicking sounds, and all of my lights will stutter until they eventually all shut off and the battery dies.

Brief History:
Bike has 12k miles, bought bike at 11k.
Had a 10k Service done in October.
Rode it from SF to Fresno in one day (409 miles) and everything was working perfectly.
Would take it out a couple times a month to run errands, but no long rides.

I have a video of the bike if that helps. I can post it upon request. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to look at this post and decide to help me out.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:42 PM   #2
Junkie
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What is this "fuel pump switch"? Kill switch?

Sounds like there's some sort of parasitic drain, and a battery that needs to be replaced.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:47 PM   #3
RSmil
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Originally Posted by Junkie View Post
What is this "fuel pump switch"? Kill switch?

Sounds like there's some sort of parasitic drain, and a battery that needs to be replaced.
Yes, the kill switch. What steps would you recommend should I take in order to more accurately diagnose what is going wrong?
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:49 PM   #4
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If the battery was completely flat, a trickle charger will not do the trick. You'll need to either "fool" it to start charging or use an actual charger.

Your best bet is to have the battery charged with an actual charger then have it load tested. If you don't have your own multimeter, auto parts store will test for you for free (they'll charge it for you, too if it's dead). Start from there.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
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When I flip the fuel pump switch, I get a clicking sounds, and all of my lights will stutter until they eventually all shut off and the battery dies.
You mean hitting the starter? or the kill switch on the bar? Red or gray button on this pic?



Either way sounds like a dead battery. Cold weather is not good for batteries, especially on bikes that don't get ridden too often. When was the last time the battery was replaced? I'd start there.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:57 PM   #6
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It's unlikely that a new, out of what's usual, parasitic draw has occurred. How old is the battery?

Do this before anything else:

1. Put battery on a real charger, not a trickle charger and give it a full charge. (A motorcycle charger, not a car charger!)

2. After a full overnight charge, disconnect the charger and take a reading of the battery voltage. Write it down. Then let it sit for an hour and take a second reading. Then at the two hour mark, take a third reading. The readings at 1 and 2 hours will be the most accurate readings. Voltage readings taken immediately after disconnecting the charger (or shutting off the engine) are artificially high.

3. After the third reading at 2 hours, start the bike and take a reading with the engine at idle and another reading with the engine at 3-4000 rpm.

Report back with all readings.

It could be as simple as the battery is old and toast. But we also want to rule out any charging system problems.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:33 PM   #7
RSmil
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Originally Posted by ST Guy View Post
It's unlikely that a new, out of what's usual, parasitic draw has occurred. How old is the battery?

Do this before anything else:

1. Put battery on a real charger, not a trickle charger and give it a full charge. (A motorcycle charger, not a car charger!)

2. After a full overnight charge, disconnect the charger and take a reading of the battery voltage. Write it down. Then let it sit for an hour and take a second reading. Then at the two hour mark, take a third reading. The readings at 1 and 2 hours will be the most accurate readings. Voltage readings taken immediately after disconnecting the charger (or shutting off the engine) are artificially high.

3. After the third reading at 2 hours, start the bike and take a reading with the engine at idle and another reading with the engine at 3-4000 rpm.

Report back with all readings.

It could be as simple as the battery is old and toast. But we also want to rule out any charging system problems.

Thank you, I'll get this work done tomorrow, and get you an update. I really appreciate the step by step.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 295566 View Post
You mean hitting the starter? or the kill switch on the bar? Red or gray button on this pic?



Either way sounds like a dead battery. Cold weather is not good for batteries, especially on bikes that don't get ridden too often. When was the last time the battery was replaced? I'd start there.
From the picture, it is the kill switch, so red button. The starter just gets a low grinding sound, as if the starter motor is getting close to no juice.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:36 PM   #9
RSmil
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Originally Posted by splat View Post
If the battery was completely flat, a trickle charger will not do the trick. You'll need to either "fool" it to start charging or use an actual charger.

Your best bet is to have the battery charged with an actual charger then have it load tested. If you don't have your own multimeter, auto parts store will test for you for free (they'll charge it for you, too if it's dead). Start from there.
Thank you for getting me started! I'll bring it in to my local part store first thing tomorrow.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:39 PM   #10
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Try jump starting the bike from a KEY OFF car battery.

Report back with your results.

Could be...

Your battery connection terminals are loose.

Your battery is old/toast.

Your bike charging system is kaput and you ran the battery flat/dead. Flat/dead/old batteries don't always recover from time on a battery charger.
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Last edited by mototireguy; 02-01-2019 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RSmil View Post
Thank you for getting me started! I'll bring it in to my local part store first thing tomorrow.
Do NOT have the battery load tested at one of the auto parts stores or any store that uses the newer type electronic battery testers. They do not apply an actual load to the battery but instead, infer battery capacity using other electronic means. An indirect measurement, if you will. And it's notoriously inaccurate. Many times it will tell you the battery is fine when it actually isn't.

Do as I outlined first, before removing the battery. Get it charged and then do the voltage checks. But checking terminal connections before you do all that is a good idea.

If you don't have a multi meter, buy one. It's a basic tool like a socket wrench or screw driver and can be used for many other things like checking things around the home. They're not expensive. I have several, one of which is shirt pocket size which I used to carry with me on the bike just in case.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:42 PM   #12
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The pocket tester I have looks like this, only mine's yellow and was sold by Radio Shack. (Out of business now.)

https://www.amazon.com/all-sun-Digit...5%3A2470955011

Fry's Electronics will likely have something similar.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:00 PM   #13
RSmil
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Originally Posted by ST Guy View Post
Do NOT have the battery load tested at one of the auto parts stores or any store that uses the newer type electronic battery testers. They do not apply an actual load to the battery but instead, infer battery capacity using other electronic means. An indirect measurement, if you will. And it's notoriously inaccurate. Many times it will tell you the battery is fine when it actually isn't.

Do as I outlined first, before removing the battery. Get it charged and then do the voltage checks. But checking terminal connections before you do all that is a good idea.

If you don't have a multi meter, buy one. It's a basic tool like a socket wrench or screw driver and can be used for many other things like checking things around the home. They're not expensive. I have several, one of which is shirt pocket size which I used to carry with me on the bike just in case.
That makes sense. I would rather be doing the work on the bike myself. Much appreciated!
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:26 AM   #14
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What brand of battery are you running? The AGM batteries harley uses like to die a swift and ignoble death on discharge. If the battery gets below a certain voltage for long enough it is dead. I am liking the MotoBatt batteries they are about 100 shipped to your door.

Charge up the battery, unplug from charger, put voltmeter on battery, note voltage. Turn ignition on and the high beams. If the voltage drops like a rock to below 12v the battery is dead.

Last edited by ratsblast; 02-03-2019 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:44 PM   #15
RSmil
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Originally Posted by ST Guy View Post
Do NOT have the battery load tested at one of the auto parts stores or any store that uses the newer type electronic battery testers. They do not apply an actual load to the battery but instead, infer battery capacity using other electronic means. An indirect measurement, if you will. And it's notoriously inaccurate. Many times it will tell you the battery is fine when it actually isn't.

Do as I outlined first, before removing the battery. Get it charged and then do the voltage checks. But checking terminal connections before you do all that is a good idea.

If you don't have a multi meter, buy one. It's a basic tool like a socket wrench or screw driver and can be used for many other things like checking things around the home. They're not expensive. I have several, one of which is shirt pocket size which I used to carry with me on the bike just in case.
I finally got around to testing the battery and the voltage is steady across the board. I measured†both DCV and ACV @500 4 times; while charging, right off charger, 1 hour off, and 2 hours off. DCV held a steady 13, and the ACV is steady at 27.
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