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Certified-HD-Buell, Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 39
Experience:  Harley Davidson PHD Certified Technician Active in the Field.
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My friend has a 2000 harley sportster..wont start..ground

Customer Question

My friend has a 2000 harley sportster and has a starting problem w/it. He says that it starts up fine and rides it with no problem but if he turns it off it won't start again with the engine hot. He tried a new battery and made sure the ground was o.k. He had the carb cleaned. New coil. Checked for cracks in the wires. He brought it to a mechanic and the mechanic charged him $350 for a new vacuum hose that he said was cracked. Thinking his problem was fixed he reluctantly paid him. It wasn't fixed.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Certified-HD-Buell replied 8 years ago.
This sounds like something ive encountered in my personal bikes, as well as something I see on a weekly basis with 2000-2003 year model sporties. They have a ignition module that is integrated into the cam position sensor. Due to its location it encounters ALOT of heat and vibration and almost ALWAYS goes bad in the life of the bike. I had to replace mine twice before I put the screamin eagle module in (because it was cheaper than the stock module)
To replace you will have to drill out the rivets on the "cone" located over the cam compartment, then remove the two philips screws. The connector is located under the bike between the frame rails, should be a 6 pin connector with 5 wires. youll have to pull the wires from the connector, so make a map of their locations on the connector. once this is done take a very long strong but flexible piece of wire, and tape it along the length of the exposed wire bundle under the bike, tape it tightly as you dont want this coming loose. Use a scribe and mark the V notch on the module plate, in the metal of the cover, so that when you position the new plate you can skip the timing process and just line up your marks carefully. remove the two flathead post screws with a large screwdriver(the largest you can find, to reduce damage to the posts) it will take some force, but pull the plate out, dragging the wire through, so that you can use that wire to fish the new ignition module into place without having to mess around for hours trying to route the harness.
Make your timing marks very precise and clean so there is no question as to where to set the timing, if you do this you can avoid the pain in the butt timing procedures.
Good Luck!
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks very much... I just called my friend and he is so relieved to finally know what is wrong.
Expert:  Certified-HD-Buell replied 8 years ago.
Good luck with it. From the info you gave again, my best guess is that ignition module is the culprit. My 2003 1200c would start up fine one minute, then hot, it wouldnt start, just sputter, backfire and shoot flames out the pipes with an earsplitting bang. Sure enough it was the module.

Your a good friend for lookin out for him!
Take care and thank you for using JA, Feel free to request me in the future for any other technical questions you may have.