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Thread: 2003 XB9S - Ignition/Starter Issues

  1. #1
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    Unhappy 2003 XB9S - Ignition/Starter Issues

    New to BuellXB Forum. I've had my 2003 Lightning xb9s for 7 years now and have had no issues until here in the past 6 months. What I thought was just a dead battery is turning into quite a nightmare. I replaced the old battery with a new battery and afterwards was getting power to the head/tail lights and fuel pump but the bike would blow the same fuse when pressing the ignition switch. I've been referred to a local custom bike shop (Iron Sports Custom Cycles in Roanoke, VA) to see if they are able to pinpoint this issue.. When I brought the bike in to shop the bike was blowing the same mini 10amp fuse that I've replaced multiple times. The motorcycle mechanic has extensive background in custom HD builds but hasn't worked much on Buells in the past. He is unable to get the bike to crank past the stage of the fuel pump prime. The bike's lights and fuel pump will work but once pressing the ignition button it then has it's issue.. The Mechanic doesn't have Buell software and unable to read any codes through the bike's Data port. He believes it could be a number of different issues.. Fried Voltage Regulator? ECM? he believes there is no power getting to the starter/ignition box.. Any thoughts for anyone that has been able to troubleshoot this? I did also want to state I did the #1 no-no and had previously jump started my bike with my Car. This is when the issue occurred. He believes this could have presented substantial damage from doing so..

    I've had quite a hard time trying to find the parts for the bike... Suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for any advice and/or thoughts...

    A very sad and frustrated Buell owner,

    -Clay
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  2. #2
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    Barrett,

    I really appreciate your response.

    1. The actual Starter switch is shorting when trying to turn the bike on. A new starter switch has been replaced on the bike and the same issue occurred with the new starter switch. The bikes lights and fuel pump will work and the issue arises when the actually starter is pressed. There was an issue with the fuse (15 amp adjacent to two diodes) originally on the top right of the fuse box (looking from front to back of the bike). The bike is no longer blowing the fuses but only the starter switch becoming shorted when pressed after fuel pump as turned on.

    2. The cables were not switched. Yes the vehicle was running when i was trying to jump the bike from an Acura TL.

    3. The battery was bought from a local motorcycle dealership I don't believe this was an issue.

    4. yes, end of last riding season the cooling fan turned on when hooked up to the jumper cables. the bike would not juice up but the cooling fan would automatically turn on when hooked to the jumper cables to the car. The believe the fan would only run when the bike was in OFF POSITION. This happened around November of last year and the bike has sat since taking it to the mechanic two weeks ago.

    Thank you for your help in advance.

    Clay

  3. #3
    Member Barrett's Avatar
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    you are quite welcome, Sir. give these instructions to your mechanic and this will get him started. report back either way as time permits.

    1-cooling fan that turns on when NOT signaled by the ECM to do so is a sign of either a failing ECM....failing relay....dead short that occurred somewhere during all this battery commotion.
    2-CHECK FOR PARASITIC DRAW. remove negative battery cable from FULLY CHARGED BATTERY. take a multi-meter and set it to DC AMPS. NOT DC volts.....DC AMPS. KEY OFF....KILL SWITCH OFF....place negative meter lead to negative cable end....place other meter end to negative battery cable. now take a reading. meter should now read approx. 400 milliamps. if it reads 10% or higher than that you have a faulty circuit or component at rest. if ok then continue to next step.
    3-your XB9 has 3 relays in the fusebox. they are KEY SWITCH....START...IGNITION. identify them as such. all three are identical so they interchange. replace the START relay. remove...take to any H-D dealer or auto parts store and match it up. it is 20 amp and matches many late model chrysler and ford A/C relays used by those two companies. any H-D dealer will also have them. retail is $7.90 each. merely switching them around will cause a problem in another circuit. why risk that?
    4-you still failed to mention exactly WHICH FUSE is popping. which is it? look at my #1 above. lastly...chances are slim but you very well may have a battery with a shorted cell from all this jumping and starting. that will cause multiple anomolies particularly during start sequence when the battery demand is maximum. your mechanic may opt not to but personally...i would install a known good used battery of similar size and CCA(220) and see if the condition disappears. be sure it does NOT have the letter L anywhere in its part number.

    NOTE: look at #1 in your response. you are referring to the 15 amp IGNITION FUSE. that is a clear indication of somewhere during all of these events, cables were "crossed". and if that was the case it is also likely the IGNITION RELAY was also damaged. take that into consideration when addressing these relays.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Endopotential's Avatar
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    Woah... could that be sage advice from a recently departed guru??? Welcome back Sir!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    I would totally agree with Barrett about the cables being crossed. The fan turning on when connected is a clear sign of that. Most often the ECM is OK but it fries the "Ignition" relay and makes the ignition fuse blow. You can swap the relays around to quickly test, but like Barrett said they are available at any parts store as a A/C relay, you can get the actual number from the "Buell parts cross reference thread".

    Not to offend, But it doesn't sound like you mechanic is any good with electrical. None of his suggestions could cause your issue.

    *Fear of jump starting a motorcycle from a car (running or not) is an old wives tale that needs to be put to rest, PLEASE. ANY technician with even basic knowledge of voltage scoffs at the idea. 12-14VDC is 12-14VDC is 12-14VDC, no matter the source. Sometimes the mis-informed state it's because a cars alternator can put out 40-200 amps, but so what? The car battery alone can put out 900, and amperage doesn't work that way. But I digress.

    Let us know what you find, we're here to help

  6. #6
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    I sent off these responses to the Mechanic. Thank you to Barrett and Cooter.. I'll follow up with progress.



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