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Thread: Starter Engages, but Doesn't Spin Engine

  1. #1

    Starter Engages, but Doesn't Spin Engine

    I posted this on Bad Weather Bikers.

    So, my '08 started acting weird, see subject line. It was acting like maybe the battery had a bad cell. Push starter button, starter hits, then - nothing.

    Tested the (NOCO Lithium - 7 months old) battery, and it was fine. I figured it must be the starter - the starter button and relay sounded like they were working.

    Bought a new starter from Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007MS29GQ...roduct_details and installed it last night.

    To my dismay, the problem remained! So, I swapped the starter relay for one of the others, and the bike started immediately!

    All I can figure is that the relay (which appears to work fine in the other location) was failing under load - it would engage momentarily, then fail. Repeatedly.

    So, if you are experiencing the same behavior, check the relay first!

    The good news is that the new starter (1.4kw) spins the engine much faster, with no 'grunt'. And, I found the transmission breather hose had been in contact with the rear exhaust pipe, and had a hole burned in in it.

    And - I guess I have a 'good' spare starter!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
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    Steve: you nailed it on the relay. Been preaching this on here for ions but few seem to comprehend or remember it.
    XB won't start? Always very simple to resolve as per the below...and ALWAYS carry a spare relay and a few fuses. The starter relay is identical to the Key switch and Ignition relays, but unique in the fact that 1 of its internal circuits is used to cut the current flow to the headlight circuitry while activated. That is the circuit that typically causes the starter relay to act up and eventually fail.

    Load test battery
    Thoroughly clean both battery terminals and both cable ends
    Install new starter relay. Crosses over to Ford/Chrysler A/C relays and dirt cheap at all auto parts stores. H-D dealerships have infinite supply in stock.

    All THREE XB relays the same part
    Crosses over to:
    Advance 36126
    Napa V11214
    Napa V11190
    Duralast 19389
    Panasonic CM1-D-12V
    Harley Davidson 31522-00

  3. #3
    Good to know the alternate numbers! I might replace all of them - they're all probably 14 years old!

    Minor correction - the XB has four of them - Ignition, Key Switch, Start and Auxiliary.

    I think I'll rebuild the old starter (if the kits are still available) and have a ready spare.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pushr0d View Post
    Good to know the alternate numbers! I might replace all of them - they're all probably 14 years old!

    Minor correction - the XB has four of them - Ignition, Key Switch, Start and Auxiliary.

    I think I'll rebuild the old starter (if the kits are still available) and have a ready spare.
    Minor correction - the XB has four of them - Ignition, Key Switch, Start and Auxiliary.

    Pre Mid-2006 select models have 3. NO aux relay

    04 XB.jpg

  5. #5
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrett View Post
    Minor correction - the XB has four of them - Ignition, Key Switch, Start and Auxiliary.

    Pre Mid-2006 select models have 3. NO aux relay

    04 XB.jpg

    <mic drop>

    <slow clap>

  6. #6
    Wow - that fuse block looks nothing like the one in my '08!

    While I'm here - I read several places about the starter relay should have a diode in it. That may be another model year thing. I pulled the Electrical Diagnostics Manual for my bike, and the wiring schematic shows all four are the same, and none have a diode.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    The diode is for the starter relay, but it is in the fuse section. The arrow looking thing that is pointing at it, 2nd down, left side.

    |<-

    Make sure it goes back in the same way.



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