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P.J.
P.J., Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 750
Experience:  10 years as a mechanic and fabricator in a privately owned, local, custom bike shop.
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88CI ENGINE HARLEY HARDTAIL ELECTRIC START TURNS WITHOUT

Customer Question

88CI ENGINE HARLEY HARDTAIL ELECTRIC START
TURNS WITHOUT SPARK PLUGS HOWEVER WITH PLUG IN DONT TURN
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  P.J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, my name is ***** ***** I'll be working with you today.
There are a few reasons for this to happen.
First is the obviously the battery or battery cables. It is possible for a battery to have good enough voltage to turn on lights and spin an easy to turn starter but, due to a bad cell, cables, or connections, not produce enough amperage to turn the engine over under normal compression.
Next is a starter motor that has an internal problem (usually in the armature) causing it to draw way more amps than a good battery and cables can produce.
Another cause could be compression that is too high. This can happen when hydraulic lifters collapse. This causes the valves to open too late increasing compression to a point that the starter can't overcome.
I'd begin by having the battery load tested as it is usually free at an auto parts store. Then move on down the list if that isn't the problem.
There are other mechanical issues, such as bad bottom end bearings, that can cause this as well but they aren't very common. I would eliminate the three above before I considered a mechanical problem in the bottom end.
I hope this helps. Thanks, P.J.