Question about 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

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My neutral light does not always come on, how do i adjust the switch

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There is no adjustment of the neutral indicator switch. Keep in mind that the switch has a spring loaded ball that simply falls into a "notch" on the shifter cam. Sometimes this shifter cam is not exactly lined up with the ball even though the transmission is in neutral. Replacing the switch may or may not solve the problem. This a common problem on the Sportster as well as the Big Twins. The neutral indicator lights just aren't that precise. If you think the switch is defective, here's how you check and replace it.

  1. Remove the front drive sprocket cover on the right side of the engine.
  2. Disconnect the electrical connector on the neutral indicator switch, it just plugs onto the switch with what looks like a little cup.
  3. Turn the ignition to the "ON" position.
  4. Ground the neutral indicator switch wire to the engine or any other suitable ground.
  5. If the neutral indicator lamp lights (and it hasn't been before), the neutral indicator switch is faulty, replace switch.
  6. If the neutral indicator lamp does not light, check for a burned out lamp, faulty wiring, or a loose or corroded connection. I've seen the filament in the little bulbs break and make contact every once in a while and not make contact at other times.
You can check the neutral indicator switch with an ohm meter. With the transmission in neutral, if you put one lead of the meter on the terminal where the wire plugs onto, and the other lead to the engine, with the meter in the "R X 1" scale, the meter should read zero or very low ohms. Shift the tranmission into any gear and the meter should read infinity or a very high ohms reading.

To replace the neutral indicator switch,
  1. You'll have to loosen the final drive belt and remove the front belt pulley.
  2. Loosen and remove the switch from the right-hand crankcase.
  3. Apply Loctite 242 (blue) to the new neutral indicator switch and tighten to 3-5 ft. lbs. or 4-7 Nm.
  4. With the new switch installed, check for proper operation prior to reinstalling the front belt pulley.
  5. Reinstall the front belt drive pulley. Use Loctite 271 (red) on the nut and tighten to 110-120 ft. lbs. or 149-163 Nm. The small drive sprocket nut lock screw tightens to 7-9 ft. lbs. or 9.5-12.2 Nm with Loctite 242 (blue) applied.
  6. Reinstall the front belt pulley cover, retighten the final drive belt, check to make sure all bolts and nuts are tight before riding the bike.
Good Luck!

Posted on Oct 14, 2009

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Its probably not the switch, its most likely the shift linkage, it can be adjusted but if your not familier with how it works i wouldnt mess with it, it needs to be made either longer or shorter,best to take it to the dealer or a good bike shop, it wont cost much.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009

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The neutral safety switch, otherwise known as the park/neutral position switch, prevents the vehicle from being started in any position other than PARK and NEUTRAL. It also functions as the back-up lamp switch.
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