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  1. #1
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    Where's the ignition module :-S

    Hello all,

    I'm having issues with my sportster (just as the suns coming out!) .. It's a 2003 883 xl.

    The problem started with the bike being very difficult to start & when It did it'd cut out, after around 10 attempts it started and I rode it for a few miles, turned it off and it wouldn't start again so it's been living in the shed for a week or 2.
    I've taken another look and now it appears it'll start from cold but die after 30 seconds or so and wont start again until the engine is cold.. confused! .. I done a lot of research and it was sounding like an ignition module located behind the small plate near the rear brake, I quickly removed the cover in excitement I might have my bike back :-) BUT when I took it off there's nothing in there.. i'll upload a photo if people are as stumped as me.

    Thank you all!

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    bluenose-1956 (04-14-2018)

  3. #2
    Senior Member Gettin'onabit's Avatar
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    I wonder if it is anything to do with the electrics part of ignition - it sounds somewhat like fuel starvation - try starting and running it with the fuel filler cap off; it might be a case of the tank breather being well blocked.

  4. #3
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    Thanks! I'll quick scoff my lunch down and try it out. Will report back shortly

  5. #4
    Senior Member bluenose-1956's Avatar
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    Hello Sportster,

    Welcome to the forum from Calderdale in West Yorkshire.

    The ignition module for 1998 - 2003 Sportster models is located inside the Cam Gear Casing, it was located behind the battery on the earlier models. If you don't have a workshop manual which covers your bike, try the Carl Salter website for a free download of a 1986 - 2003 workshop manual. You might get a message saying that the site is closed, just ignore it and download as normal, I've done it recently for several manuals and it's worked fine.

  6. #5
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    Thank you, I'll download the manual once I'm home.

    I took the fuel cap off and the bike ran faultlessly. I then checked the hose from the tank and couldn't blow through it (presumed it's blocked) i took away the hose, put the cap on and rode off. I'm now on the side of the road and the bike won't start even with the cap off :-/ thankfully it's a nice day!

  7. #6
    Senior Member Gettin'onabit's Avatar
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    Still seems like fuel starvation to me - blocked fuel filter perhaps.

    Or maybe the vacuum hose between the fuel supply valve and carb is blocked; is damaged or has come off.

    AL
    Last edited by Gettin'onabit; 04-14-2018 at 04:53 PM.

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  9. #7
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    Thanks Al, your help is much appreciated. I took the tank off today, drained it and took the filter out and took the fuel switch apart. There was quite a lot of dirt on the filter but no obvious blockage, the tank to had a bit of gunk in the bottom but nothing i'd say to be alarmed about. I took off all the hoses and checked them for condition and blockage and all seemed fine. Put some fresh fuel in, fired straight up for about 20 seconds then cut out again

    Not sure where to go from here? .. to a dealership? Ha .. I'd like to fix it myself in all honestly.

  10. #8
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    When the the engine cuts out are you still getting a spark at the plugs on using the starter?. Could be a coil problem.

  11. #9
    Senior Member Gettin'onabit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Ed View Post
    When the the engine cuts out are you still getting a spark at the plugs on using the starter?. Could be a coil problem.
    Yep, agreed - coils can heat up, then fail until they cool down - had exactly the same on my Guzzi.

    Also, I copied this from a 2006 manual - relates to fuelling troubleshooting again.

    Table 4-8. Hard Starting

    Check for Remedy

    Enrichener system plugged, not properly functioning or
    improperly operated.
    Clean, adjust, or replace; or read Owner's Manual.
    Inlet system air leak. Correct as required.
    Restricted fuel supply Correct fuel supply or passages.
    Fuel overflow. See Overflow Troubleshooting at beginning of this table.
    Plugged slow jet or passages. Clean and clear jet or passages.

    Table 4-9. Poor Performance on Road

    Check for Remedy

    Idle speed improperly adjusted. Adjust operating idle speed.
    Inlet system air leak Correct as required.
    Restricted fuel tank vent system Correct restricted hose. Replace vapor valve.
    Dirty or damaged air cleaner element. Clean or replace.
    Enrichener valve not seated or leaking. Adjust, clean or replace.
    Restricted fuel supply tract. Correct and clear restriction.
    Plugged bowl vent or overflow. Clean and clear passages.
    Loose or plugged fuel and air jets or passages. Clean, clear and correct as required.
    Worn or damaged needle or needle jet. Replace assembly.
    Vacuum piston assembly malfunction. See Vacuum Piston Troubleshooting below.
    Accelerator pump inoperative. Repair as required.

  12. #10
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    Perfect! Thanks again! I'll check this tomorrow. I did check for spark a couple of days ago but can not remember if it was prior to a test ride ride or not (I think it was). I would check now but not sure the neighbours would appreciate an unbaffled twin thumping away .. or would they. hhmm..

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