Electric start issue - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Electrical
Where does this wire go?
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Electric start issue

This is my second year with my 94 Vulcan. Last summer I replaced the battery with a MF and had very few issues. I had a battery tender on it over the winter and when I went to retrieve it from storage it started right up and runs as strong as ever. I've been riding it for about 2 weeks now and I ran into some problems with it yesterday morning. It was cool out and I went through my normal startup procedure, except when I hit the start button nothing happened. So I turned the key back and forth, flipped the kill switch back and forth, put it in and out of N, etc... all to no avail. Just when I was about to give up she started up like nothing had happened and I went to work. Today she started fine first thing but I somehow stalled it at the end of the driveway (didn't let her warm up enough I think) and when I went to restart I went through the exact same crap. Again, at my wits end, she fired up like nothing was wrong and I'm now at work.

Any ideas what could be causing this? Loose connections somewhere? I would rather not go though this on a daily basis! Thanks.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:11 AM
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Check your battery connections and the frame ground under the seat. Also check solenoid, engine ground and starter lead. The start button contacts may need to be cleaned.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Does the start button come apart easily? I've ensured all the battery connections are secure.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkonops View Post
This is my second year with my 94 Vulcan. Last summer I replaced the battery with a MF and had very few issues. I had a battery tender on it over the winter and when I went to retrieve it from storage it started right up and runs as strong as ever. I've been riding it for about 2 weeks now and I ran into some problems with it yesterday morning. It was cool out and I went through my normal startup procedure, except when I hit the start button nothing happened. So I turned the key back and forth, flipped the kill switch back and forth, put it in and out of N, etc... all to no avail. Just when I was about to give up she started up like nothing had happened and I went to work. Today she started fine first thing but I somehow stalled it at the end of the driveway (didn't let her warm up enough I think) and when I went to restart I went through the exact same crap. Again, at my wits end, she fired up like nothing was wrong and I'm now at work.

Any ideas what could be causing this? Loose connections somewhere? I would rather not go though this on a daily basis! Thanks.
Did it just not do anything or did it click like it was going to do something then stop. Then later it turned over with ease? I'm asking because mine does something similar and all my connections seem to be fine.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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No clicks, just nothing at all, as if i wasn't even touching the button. Lights, turn signals, and horn all work fine during this time. Leads me to believe the problem is in the button itself.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 01:28 PM
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A tight connection doesn't necessarily mean a CLEAN connection.
If all other connections appear to be tight, and you still have problems, disconnect them and clean them (emery cloth or sand paper works well).
After cleaning, apply a bit of dielectric grease and see how things go.

But, if everything else is working, it may be the starter button.
Never had mine apart, so not sure what to tell you there.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 03:48 PM
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My bike did the same thing a couple of weeks ago. I went to start it (hot or cold- intermittantly) and it was like there was no battery in it at all. Nothing.

Here is what ended being my problem; I found that when I was pressing the start button, if I turned the key switch slightly, it would start. Turned out to be the key switch contacts. I had to take apart the switch and clean the contacts with very light sandpaper to clean it up. It was fairly easy to do.

I had to remove the headlamp to get to the base of the key switch. There are two small phillips screws that hold the contact base to the switch. Take them out and then you will probably have to cut a wire tie to get it loose. Now the tricky part. There is a plastic cover on the bottom part of the contact block that will get you access to the parts that need to be cleaned. REMOVE IT CAREFULLY!! I took mine apart and springs, clips and ball bearings flew everywhere. It took lots of concentration and prayer to get it all located and back together. If you take it apart slowly, everything will stay in place and you can lightly go over the contacts with emery cloth of fine grit sandpaper. The worst part is the contact block has wires that go to the bike attached to it so you can't take it apart on a table to retain flying parts. I had my bike parked on open concrete that helped the part hunting process.

Provided nothing 'exploded', put it back together like you took it apart, and don't forget to tie wrap the wires like they were first attached (I believe they help secure the block in place).

You should be good to go after that. I did mine in about an hour (including finding small parts) and haven't had any more problems with it since.

Good luck!

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot Ben! I'm going to give this a shot over the weekend, and will clean all the other contacts at the same time as well. The bike being 15 years old, I'm glad this is the only problem I'm having with the Vulcan.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 10:25 PM
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This site is GREAT. Just installed mechanicl tensioners on my 02 with 12000 miles. About 2 days later stopped off to pick up something and came back out and the bike would not start. I thought perhaps I had flooded it. Waited about 10 minutes and it started with a loud backfire. Pulled across the street for my next stop of about 3 minutes and it would not start...backfired trying to though. My first thought was the timing chain had jumped time from the new CTs. Had it towed to the shop where they thought it was either in the battery or perhaps the igniter. That night I opened up this cite on the same problem...hot starts..backfiting etc. I called the shop next morning and told to move the R/R per this site.
QUESTION: Does the R/R weaken over time from the heat but still work for awhile once it is moved into the free air OR do I need to go ahead and order a new R/R now?
Thanks,
WWicker, San Antonio
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 08:26 PM
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Well per my instructions, the shop put in a new sealed battery and relocated the R/R as per instructions this site...took them pictures pulled off the site. Rode it home about 6 miles, got it up to temp. Shut it off, waited about 5 minutes and tried to start it up with a big backfire. Waited about 15 minutes and it started up, returned it to the shop. Their diagnosis,before I told them to just replace the battery and move the R/R, made them think the igniter might be the problem. They will begin working on the problem again tomorrow. Any suggestions?/??????.

I read Fergy's post on direct wiring to the coils. My bike is an 02 with 12500 miles on it. Any thoughts on this or other ideas?

Thanks, WWicker, San Antonio.
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