1981 FXE Starter Wiring Issue

QuestionI have a 1981 HD FXE. The issue is in the wiring system. If I have the wiring hooked up properly for starting, it keeps cranking. I then have to disengage the wire from the battery for it to stop. I have changed the relays, breakers, solenoid, starter, double checked all of the wiring according to my diagram and everything is wired correctly. Can you provide any assistance? I am preparing my bike for heading to Sturgis and would really appreciate your help.

Thanks, Doug C.

AnswerHi Doug,
This might be a condition known as run on. It is caused by a weak battery, poor charging system or high resistance in an old wiring harness. The amperage draw to turn the starter causes the contacts in the solenoid to burn and weld themselves together. This can happen after just one start. I would start with a new h/d battery and solenoid. You should also update the relay from the old large style beneath the battery box to a new automotive style black Bosch brand. Use your stock h/d manual for troubleshooting and an 88 to 90 Softail manual for the relay update.

Follow up from Doug:

Just to update you on the problem that can now be considered solved. The problem was that the spring at the bottom of the solenoid was too long (was the one shipped with the solenoid). Putting in a spacer removed the grounding issue. This was nothing that anybody could figure out. Even one of the top bike builders in the states, who is a friend of my wife’s. Thanks again for your assistance. -Doug

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One Response to “1981 FXE Starter Wiring Issue”
  1. Paul

    Hi,i have a 2005 Screaming Eagle, and was wondering what that tibe us runing from that canister looking thing underneath attached to thr frame right in front of thehi guys back tire,i t ohdoesn’t seem to be attached to anything