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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello to all, I'm hoping to get some help or advice on a problem I'm having on my 2001 FLTR. After I bought it I had the dealer run the VIN number on it and found out the engine had been upgraded with Screamin' Eagle cams and high compression pistons. It also has a SE ignition module. At least that's what I think it is.
The bike starts right up when cold and runs great. The problem I'm having is that when I try to start it when it's hot (like when I stop for gas.) it will kick back and grind against the starter. I just bought a new battery with 400 cca and that helped at first but the last time I rode it, it happened again.
Someone on another forum suggested I check the timing. How do you set the timing?, or can I even do that? Could I take it to a dealer and have them set it? Or do yall think that may even be the problem? Maybe I need a high torque starter? Anybody have experience with this? Any help or advice would be much appreciated...Thanks.
 

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My suggestion would be the Daytona TwinTec ignition module which has the specific ability to eliminate this problem:

http://www.daytona-twintec.com/TC88.html

From their FAQ:

"Will the Twin Tec TC88 solve my hot starting problems?

Some Twin Cam 88® engines are prone to hot starting problems. When cranked after a short hot soak, the engine may “kick back.” Over time, this will cause damage to the ring gear and starter pinion.

The TC88 module uses an improved starting algorithm that includes a programmable cranking delay. The TC88 module is shipped with a zero cranking delay: it fires on the first recognized compression stroke. This works best on stock and mildly modified engines.

High compression engines may exhibit a “dieseling” phenomena after a hot soak. This can be verified by temporarily disconnecting the 3 terminal coil primary connector to disable the ignition. If the engine still kicks back or runs for several revolutions after cranking, the problem is dieseling. The only solution is to install compression releases. When compression releases are installed, best starting results will be obtained by programming the TC88 module for a 1-2 revolution cranking delay. This can be done by means of the PC Link TC88 software and optional interface cable."


I've had the Twintec module on 2 past bikes, worked great, with no hot start problems.
Be sure to make sure your battery cables are up to snuff also, on a bike that old they may be getting tired.

The only other "for sure" solution would be compression releases, which can be kind of spendy.
 

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It sounds like you may have a bad compensator. It is or was a very common problem on the newer 09s to approx 2011 96" and some 103" models. Obviously yours is an 88" but they used that 88" style comp on the newer model with more power and it wouldnt hold up to well. With the added power that your motor may have it is possible youre getting the same problem that the 96"ers have. My RG had the same issue, motor kickback and starter grinding only when the motor was hot. It turned out to be the bad compensator which in turn wiped out the starter clutch. I had to replace both.
 

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It sounds like you may have a bad compensator. It is or was a very common problem on the newer 09s to approx 2011 96" and some 103" models. Obviously yours is an 88" but they used that 88" style comp on the newer model with more power and it wouldnt hold up to well. With the added power that your motor may have it is possible youre getting the same problem that the 96"ers have. My RG had the same issue, motor kickback and starter grinding only when the motor was hot. It turned out to be the bad compensator which in turn wiped out the starter clutch. I had to replace both.

The 88 and 95" motors never had compensator issues, they should have stuck with that early style compensator and the new bikes wouldn't have problems either. The "intermediate" version is the ones that's had problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks tdkkart for that link. That sounds like what I need to solve this. Is the Screamin' Eagle module not adjustable? All of these parts were installed at Harley-Davidson of Montgomery. It seems it should work with the high compression pistons and cams.
 

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The 88 and 95" motors never had compensator issues, they should have stuck with that early style compensator and the new bikes wouldn't have problems either. The "intermediate" version is the ones that's had problems.
My 96" had a bad comp. Same symptoms as the op. Just sayin :)
 

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Thanks tdkkart for that link. That sounds like what I need to solve this. Is the Screamin' Eagle module not adjustable? All of these parts were installed at Harley-Davidson of Montgomery. It seems it should work with the high compression pistons and cams.
The SE module for that era is non-adjustable.

One easy fix, DO NOT open the throttle while cranking the engine when hot, until the engine has spun over a couple times.
 

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Starter kick back

That kind of issue could be in your battery cables and ground as well as ignition most likely you are having some issues or going to end up with starter drive issues as well. so when your starter drive does crap out do not go to harley davidson, go to your friendly NAPA store, and buy a wilson brand starter drive 61-29-14172 if that number doesnt work try 1330 54-82401 $30 compared to $124.95 Harley used a hitachi starter on the twin cams through 06 and it just so happens toyota uses a very similar starter drive on a toyota forklift but the napa drive is whole lot stronger I was having a simalar problem to what you were with kick back and grinding new cables and this starter drive fixed it for a fraction of what genuine hd would of cost and with a lot better product my friend and I have probably fixed a dozen or so bikes like this with 0 failure Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I was told that if the battery was not strong enough it would not keep the starter drive engaged causing it to slip and grind. After I bought the new battery I thought it was fixed. The cables are clean where they connect to the battery. I didn't check them at the other end. I suppose they could have some corrosion in them. I'll replace them before I do anything else.
 

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Did some review, 2007-2010 are the years with the compensator issues, 2006 was the old style, 2011 comes with the "SE" compensator.
Yeah i knew it was a few years with that probem. Wasnt sure of the cut off years though. I can tell you its a world of difference with the se comp in it
 

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Two choices:

Install travel limiters in the lifters.

Get a set of compression releases

That hot start kick back is due to the heat soaked head and enough time for the lifters to bleed down a little. Once this happens you have now got a shorter duration cam (until the lifter pumps back up) and the heat in the combustion chamber will detonate when you compress it further with the starter. Engine basically fires backwards.

tdkkart mentioned the Twin-Tec ignition. Certainly it will provide more options, but even using the spark delay won't fix this. Been there, done that. Ran a Twin-Tec in my high compression 95" motor. Had to use my comp releases when I'd stop to gas up.

Alternative pain in the ass method is put the bike in gear and roll it backwards a few feet...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for that information. I'm learning a lot from you guys. What does rolling it backwards do for it? Does that pump the lifters back up?
 

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Thanks for that information. I'm learning a lot from you guys. What does rolling it backwards do for it? Does that pump the lifters back up?
Releases the trapped gasses so they don't 'diesel' start when you compress them with the starter. Hitting the manual compression releases will do the same thing.

The travel limiters help because they insure lifters won't bleed down all the way and either act like a short duration cam, or allow a valve to close that would have been open otherwise. Limiters are cheap insurance in this regard.

If limiters won't work, then you should go with a set of comp releases.
 

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A short while back my 2012 had the exact same problem. The voltage regulator turned out to be bad and was a recall item. After it was replaced....NO Problem again.
 

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My 08 has had three screamin eagle compensators and the third time it took the starter and clutch pack and primary assembly with it. Thank god for warranty. Was around 1200 in repairs and it is doing it again. Stock 96 with 25k on it.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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My 2008 had the exact same problem after I added the 103 kit with cams. COld starts perfect; hot starts hit and miss, more often miss in warm weather. I should have had compression releases installed with the upgrade but I did not ... do you, if not that may be a fix. I added the SE compensator and that fixed mine. It's could also be necessary to make sure it was tuned properly after the engine upgrade but you would think whoever paid for the upgrade did that at the same time. Good luck, hope you get resolved without too much expense.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Releases the trapped gasses so they don't 'diesel' start when you compress them with the starter. Hitting the manual compression releases will do the same thing.

The travel limiters help because they insure lifters won't bleed down all the way and either act like a short duration cam, or allow a valve to close that would have been open otherwise. Limiters are cheap insurance in this regard.

If limiters won't work, then you should go with a set of comp releases.
Thanks for the help. There's a high performance shop nearby that sells S&S Cycle parts and does dyno tuning. I'm gonna take it to them and run all those options by them and see what they recommend.
 

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You mentioned grinding noise. Sounds like the compensator. Mine was out of warranty, and cost over $1000 this winter. Don't know how long that will last.
 

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The TC88 motors run a properly designed compensator.

Changing to the SE compensator would be a downgrade and thankfully they don't fit...

Bama, good luck with the mods. My recommendation is try the limiters first as an inexpensive option.
 
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