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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Morning,
Let me lay this out as I scratch my head. I have a 2006 Fuel Injected Softail Deluxe. I jumped on it yesterday morning and It just cranked and cranked and cranked with no attempt to start up. I eventually ran the battery all the way down from trying to start it. So I through my battery charger on it to juice it up and while the battery was charging I pulled the plugs, they looked good but I cleaned them real good anyway and checked for spark. I saw no evidence of spark and the plugs showed no sign of fuel presence either. I went on line and started reading of possible issues and did nothing further at this point.

An hour and a half later I decided to try it again for curiosity...and it started right up...great right .....well not really, the problem is that I don't know what the issue was and will it come back? Was it just a low battery or the cleaning of the plugs? Its starting but I'm a little nervous of this happening out on the road.

Anyone have any thoughts or comments on this? Thanks.
 

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Good Morning,
Let me lay this out as I scratch my head. I have a 2006 Fuel Injected Softail Deluxe. I jumped on it yesterday morning and It just cranked and cranked and cranked with no attempt to start up. I eventually ran the battery all the way down from trying to start it. So I through my battery charger on it to juice it up and while the battery was charging I pulled the plugs, they looked good but I cleaned them real good anyway and checked for spark. I saw no evidence of spark and the plugs showed no sign of fuel presence either. I went on line and started reading of possible issues and did nothing further at this point.

An hour and a half later I decided to try it again for curiosity...and it started right up...great right .....well not really, the problem is that I don't know what the issue was and will it come back? Was it just a low battery or the cleaning of the plugs? Its starting but I'm a little nervous of this happening out on the road.

Anyone have any thoughts or comments on this? Thanks.
Does the check engine light come on, go out, come back on for a few seconds, then go out again?

Or does it come on and stay on?

Or does it come on, then go out and stay out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does the check engine light come on, go out, come back on for a few seconds, then go out again?

Or does it come on and stay on?

Or does it come on, then go out and stay out?
The check engine light comes on as usual for a few seconds then goes off and stays off.
 

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That means that you have no stored DTC's, but I tend to check for them anyway, just out of habit. In that case the issue was likely a temporary short somewhere between the battery and the ECM. Most likely between the ignition switch itself and the ECM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That means that you have no stored DTC's, but I tend to check for them anyway, just out of habit. In that case the issue was likely a temporary short somewhere between the battery and the ECM. Most likely between the ignition switch itself and the ECM.
I thought If no DTC's are stored that's a good thing, am I incorrect in thinking that?
I am assuming that If it was a temporary short, the chance of troubleshooting it and actually finding it would be pretty slim huh?
 

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I thought If no DTC's are stored that's a good thing, am I incorrect in thinking that?
I am assuming that If it was a temporary short, the chance of troubleshooting it and actually finding it would be pretty slim huh?
It's not a good or a bad thing, just another diagnostic clue. In this case it tells me that the starting circuit was energized but something was amiss with either the ignition system or the fuel system, or both. Both are controlled by the ECM, and problems with either of those will usually set a code. Since there was no code set, it tells me that there was likely no power to the ECM at the time you were trying to start the bike.


Yes, temporary shorts can be hard to find, but they usually happen again eventually. If it does, and the bike won't start, touch the ignition switch and see if it feels warm. Also, try wiggling the switch back and forth to see if that will get it to start. Even if it starts, after riding awhile touch the switch anyway and see if it seems warmer then the surrounding metal.

Another thing to check if it does this again would be the wiring harness ECM ground. Other then that you'd have to just start tracing wires from connection to connection on the ECM power circuit looking for voltage drops. What a pain in the butt.
 

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It's not a good or a bad thing, just another diagnostic clue. In this case it tells me that the starting circuit was energized but something was amiss with either the ignition system or the fuel system, or both. Both are controlled by the ECM, and problems with either of those will usually set a code. Since there was no code set, it tells me that there was likely no power to the ECM at the time you were trying to start the bike.
Really? The ignition can be on, check engine light go on and off, you hit the starter button and the ECM still may not have had power?

That sounds like major problems just lurking. I've had mine not power up but I've traced that to the ignition switch. Having the ECM not get power randomly sounds spooky. Like at some time when you are 200 miles away in the sticks you find yourself dead in the water.
 

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Really? The ignition can be on, check engine light go on and off, you hit the starter button and the ECM still may not have had power?
The ignition switch can be on, the starter spin the engine over, but the ECM doesn't have power so it doesn't start (At that particular time the check engine light won't be on, but will function normally if the bike starts.)


That's usually a very easy issue to find and is most often the switch itself, the battery connections as Dodsfall pointed out, or the ECM ground. It can be more difficult to find the exact problem if it's a chafed wire or something.
 

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Did I forget to add that the engine cranked but never started. AND, thanks for everyone's input.
Nope, you said it. That's why I was surprised when Eye_m_no_angel said the ECM might not have power while everything else did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you everyone for your insight, I really do appreciate it. I rode yesterday, last night and this morning to work and so far Its starting with no issues. Ill know a little better now what to look for should this happen again.

Nice !
 

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I know nothing of that new of a bike, or Harleys for that matter, since my stuff still has points for the most part. But what caused your bike to start? Most likely, it seems that when you applied charge to the battery, you might have caused a better connection to the electrical system and the battery by hooking up the charging cables.

I have had cables loose on the battery and the bike still started, but the running bike barely ran once the engine vibrations set in. Let us hope that it is fixed...
 

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I really am not up to snuff on newish bikes ... if it is newer then mid 80,s it is new to me :p
I just have not seen anyone mention the safety switches yet.
Would be really easy to bump the kill switch and have it mid posistion and not know it, causing it to not start. A quick search and saw you have a kick stand safety switch also.
REALLY? how the heck does that work? when you want to let the bike warm up while pulling on your gloves and such.
Just something I would be bypassing quickly.

And also check all the electrical connections to these switches, could be dirt or corrosion building up.

If it does not want to start again, start moving these switches to see if it makes a difference, or could jiggle them while starting now, see if any are more sensitive then need be.
 

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Or it could just be as simple as semi lose battery cables.
 

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A quick search and saw you have a kick stand safety switch also.
REALLY? how the heck does that work? when you want to let the bike warm up while pulling on your gloves and such.
The side stand switch will allow the motorcycle to run as long as it is in neutral with the side stand down. If it is put into gear with the side stand down, the engine will cut off.
 

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I've never seen a Harley with a kick stand switch.
You are correct. If you google 2006 softail kill switch, will see someone talking about a kickstand kill switch on a harley.
This caused my eyes to roll into the back of my head.
Appears Harley uses a clutch switch.

"They use a clutch switch so if the clutch is not pulled fully it will not crank"
 
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