Ignition Switch cleaning with photo link - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
Cruisin' through my 50's
 
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Ignition Switch cleaning with photo link

My 2003 bike was having trouble starting. When I turned the key I would get the neutral and oil lights to come on but when I pressed the starter button nothing would happen. No sounds, no attempt to turnover, nothing.

If I wiggled and cycled the ignition key I could eventually get the bike to start. The problem occurs at an increasingly frequent rate over time. At first it was only once in 100 starts, then every 50 starts then rapidly it went to about once in every 10 starts or less.

After checking the battery, battery connections (wrench them tight), and doing a lot of reading on this forum, I decided my ignition switch needed to be cleaned.

The Vulcan Verses has a nice write up here : https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1133 . I'm real new at doing anything besides changing the oil on a bike (thanks Harvey_Birdman and others for the write-ups) so it took me a little over 2 hours to work through all this. I took photos as I went along and placed them in this album: https://www.vn750.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=701

The photos show the disassembly and cleaning. Reassembly is pretty easy, and just does the disassembly in reverse.

Give yourself some time and work room on both sides of the bike and I think anyone should be able to do this cleaning using the Verses and the photos. If you take it apart and find busted solder connections you'll need to know how to repair them and that can be a little more complicated. Mine just needed to be cleaned.

Crobins365 has posted some good photos of the entire ignition switch removed from a bike. It shows both the mechanical and electrical parts of the switch. Photos at: https://www.vn750.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=624

The photos are of a 2003 Vulcan 750 sitting on it's center stand.
Good luck, hope this helps someone.

REMEMBER TO DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BEFORE YOU START OR YOU MAY START YOUR BIKE WHILE WORKING ON THE SWITCH.

Last edited by newOldUser; 05-24-2010 at 12:28 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 12:57 PM
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Great job on the pics!!


AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 03:08 PM
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Fantastic write up! This should be in the Versys. Cleaning the ignition switch seemed to restore a lot of electrical power to the bike for me - on older Vulcans, I think it's probably a "must do" thing.

Scheherazade
'86 VN750
MF Battery, Iridium Plugs, RR relocated, Voltmeter, 170/80/15 Kenda Kruz rear tire, DIY Samsonite hard bags, DIY shaved seat with Beaded seat pad ('cause that's how I roll) and the dreaded STATOR CHANGE.

Shining Black Bess '86 VN750, retired for parts after a fried stator and being knocked (kee-runch) in her parking spot.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 03:27 PM
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NewOldUser,

Thanks for putting this together. I'm getting ready to do the same thing and the pics are really helpful for us novice wrenches.

1989 VN750
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnm View Post
NewOldUser,

Thanks for putting this together. I'm getting ready to do the same thing and the pics are really helpful for us novice wrenches.
If it helps someone else then it's just a little of the payback I owe for the help this site and it's members have provided to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skalding View Post
Fantastic write up! This should be in the Versys. Cleaning the ignition switch seemed to restore a lot of electrical power to the bike for me - on older Vulcans, I think it's probably a "must do" thing.
I started noticing the problem with about 18,000 miles on the clock. Not sure when others have needed it. Now that I've cleaned it the bike starts quicker and I swear some of the lights actually look brighter. And I'm getting about 150 mpg on my last fill up.... ok, maybe I'm fibbing a little on that last one
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 10:32 PM
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I started noticing the problem with about 18,000 miles on the clock. Not sure when others have needed it.

That's interesting. My '89 has just over 18,000 and is having the same trouble.

1989 VN750
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 08:30 PM
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Hey Guys, new to this forum. Great info! I have a '98 VN 750 and am having a problem with the bike shutting down while I'm riding but the lights (not headlight of course with engine off..)and dash lights are all still on but the starter button wont work for a few attempts but then will restart after a few seconds and ride on like nothing happend...

Can this be caused by an "UnClean " ingnition switch?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Crieke, your problem sounds a little different. I knew I needed to clean the switch because the bike would not start. Cycling the ignition key full left and full right a couple times and then trying to start it again usually would work. Eventually it just became smarter to clean the switch. It never shut down once it was started.

I think I've seen threads about bikes shutting down. Do some more searching. Some guys were talking about additional keys on their keyrings causing a short. Others have talked about a "warm" start problem.

My guess would be that you have a warn or loose electrical contact. It could be in the hockey puck area of the starter switch (lots of soldier spots in there) but it might also be just about anywhere else. It can't hurt to do the switch cleaning but it may not help.

Do you notice any kind of pattern to when it shuts down? on rough roads? after an hour of riding? just after filling up? just after a bolt of lightning hits next to the bike and a freaken great booming voice says "Crieke, thou shalt not ride!" <wink>

Last edited by newOldUser; 05-24-2010 at 12:31 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 10:36 AM
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I am very visual and learn more from pictures than words. This is exactly what someone like me needs - a writeup with pictures and callouts. Great job!


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Do you notice any kind of pattern to when it shuts down? on rough roads? after an hour of riding? just after filling up? just after a bolt of lightning hits next to the bike and a freaken great booming voice says "Crieke, thou shalt not ride!" <wink>
The big booming voice is usually my wife....

Cool or warm engine, anytime during the ride, smooth roads, but I've touched, pulled, thumped or shaken every wire or switch I could find with the bike running and nothing... I know the kick stand switch works but maybe it has issues/ I ordered a new clutch switch because it was cracked and not working properly but that shouldn't shut the engine down though, just might keep me from starting? I don't want to hijack this thread so I'll clean the ignition tonight, replace the clutch switch and see where I'm at and then start a new thread with what I do know for sure.
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