View Full Version : Something is draining the battery... I think

07-21-2011, 12:05 PM
Ok... so get this. I have the '83 S&S. It runs like a dream BUT... if we are out all day, at the end of the day it will not start... like something is getting hot and not allowing it to start. Is it the coil? Or maybe the stock starter? The weird deal is... the next day, after it is cool, it will start. I was thinking between runs from now on I would prop the motor box open for cooling.


07-21-2011, 12:59 PM
A little more info might be helpful, like when you turn the key to the start position do you get nothing? Or, does it crank but not fire?

07-21-2011, 01:08 PM
It gives nothing...like the whole systenm is dead... till it cools. The next day it will fire right up.

07-21-2011, 01:15 PM
Could be a bad/loose ground....works when cold, then heats up (expands)...poor contact?

It's not the battery. If it was it wouldn't fire the next day.

07-21-2011, 01:56 PM
Yea... I have checked the grounds on the battery and the starter... I cleaned them up. I have read about the old skool starters causing problems... was wondering if it was time to replace...

07-21-2011, 02:02 PM
Same experience on an '85. My starter was replaced by PO. Once it was replaced with the permanent magnet geared type the problem disappeared. Less current draw, smaller package, easier to cool.

07-21-2011, 02:21 PM
Ok... thought I had heard that before...so I have the old "plunger" type?? And the new ones are magnet geared. I know my starter is HUGE. Was yours a plug and play? Or was it a chore to replace?

07-21-2011, 02:58 PM
Almost identical problem on my 84 S&S. Start cold, hard or no start when hot. I had removed and rebuilt my origional "plunger" starter about 7 years ago. Gave me another 7 years so I figuired it did'nt owe me anything.

Just ordered the new Arco permenent magnet starter from SKIDIM, and a new solenoid. ( My old solenoid had failed to disengage 2 -3 times when the ignition was turned off, and this may have caused a flat spot in the starter or worse.

Will have it tomorrow at 4:00 and have both installed by happy hour tomorrow night on the lake.

Easy to do, only 2 bolts, line right up, but the engine side one is a *****. 9/16 socket with long extension to get at it. Remember to disconect the + from the battery before you start. Only one wire to remove at the starter from the Solenoid.

You may want to replace your solenoid at the same time, and order online with the USA discount code for 10% off. Around $200 total for both. Solenoid is easy as well. (2) 3/8 screw/nuts to remove the back plate, plus the wire connectionposts to battery, ignition, and starter. Keep the wires from each post together with tape or wire tie so you put them all back on the same post. ( Take a picture if you have a iPhone for reference)

07-21-2011, 03:05 PM
Ok... thanks guys, I think this is the gremlin that keeps getting us! Just for kicks I want to ask... if it happens again before I can replace... is cooling the starter with water an option???

07-21-2011, 03:40 PM
Wow, never thought of that. Might be an interesting experiment. Bring a paddle and a fire extinguisher. :) Seriously though, from what I understand, the newer electric motor is kind of inside out from the old design and has an easier time dissapating the heat both from its reverse construction and overall size reduction. I don't think the old motors are water proof though, maybe an ice bag?

07-21-2011, 03:50 PM
Ha... I have a paddle and an extiguisher... but I don't want to use 'em!!!! I am gonna prop up motor cal for air flow till I can replace.

Bruce Carr
07-21-2011, 05:03 PM
Sure sounds like a battery connection to me. Be sure and check the ground cable attachment on the block and make sure your battery connections are clean and tight.

07-21-2011, 05:53 PM
I replaced the terminals this spring, I have a new battery. I have cleaned and tightened the ground to the starter... I will look for the ground to the block tonight. Like I said, it only happens after running all day.

east tx skier
07-21-2011, 06:01 PM
I had something draining my battery last year, but it was a much slower drain than you're talking about. Instead of chasing it, I just installed a shut off switch and problem solved for the longer than expected layups.

07-24-2011, 05:46 PM
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