bad starter - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2007, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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bad starter

Problem: won't start

Bike: 2005 VN750 with new sealed battery installed alittle over a year ago.

History:
I went out one morning to take the bike to work and would turn but would not start. Repeated attempts to start it resulted with the bike backfiring. Not wishing to anger the still sleeping neighborhood, and to get to work on time I decided to put the bike back in the garage and take the car. Put the battery on a charger that night but the whole process was repeated the next morning. Tried again the following day, this time it would not even turn. I just got a click from the starter relay.
I checked the starter relay and it passed the test defined in the clymer book. One thing I did notice is that when starting the with just the bike in neutral the start relay makes a single click. If you hold the clutch in the relay makes a fastly repeated clicking sound - this may be normal, I'm not sure. The cluch cable does need adjusted (when pulling it, it kind of steps or catches) but don't think thats related to the starting problem.
I took the starter off the bike. I could turn the shaft by hand. At first it was kind of hard but it lossened up, other than that everything seemed ok. I hooked a battery to it and it turned. I put the starter back on the bike and once again only clicks.
I was starting to worry that the engine had seized, until I was able to drift it down the driveway and pop into 1st. Happily it started to turn but without enough speed it died out. Then I pushed it part way up a hill, drifted it down, popped it in gear and it started. After I shut it off, I tried to restart it and it just clicked. Next I tried a using my cars battery to jump it - no good. Next tried discontecting the lead to the starter and hooked the car battery directly to the starter and still nothing. Does not sound like anything is happening to the starter.
So hears the question: Why would the starter turn when it is off of the bike but not when it is on the bike? Is it in a weakened state whereas it is unable to turn the engine? A new starter is $382 so before I by one I would like to make sure that the less that two year old orginal is bad.

Help,
- George

Last edited by hugozilla; 07-22-2007 at 03:29 PM. Reason: fixing typo's
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2007, 04:15 PM
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I would put everything back together in the bike except the battery. Get a MF AGM type battery.

Try that first.

If still nothing, jump the starter relay terminals with suitable heavy conductor. (my guess is bad relay)

If still nothing, there are rebuild kits for our starters at a fraction the price of a new one. Use the search feature and check for starter rebuild.

Jon

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2007, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Can't I rule out the battery because using my car battery did not work with the starter either? I have the bikes orginally battery on a charger. It was still good when I took it out last year, I just replaced it with a Maintance free one. When its charged I'll try it.

Would the old screw driver across the terminals of the starter relay classify as the jumping you suggested, if so I tied that with out sucess.

Thanks for the suggestions,
- George
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2007, 07:48 PM
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Have you done a voltage drop test between the battery and the starter (and along the line)? I don't have the wiring diagram in front of me, but there could be a short somewhere in between. If it does turn out to be your starter, however, and you don't want to do a rebuild, pm me - I bought one off of eBay last year and it's just accumulating dust.

C

Last edited by Crobins365; 07-22-2007 at 07:52 PM. Reason: REM'd voltage drop
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Heres what happened to me yesterday. I put my engine back in and the starter would not turn the engine over. I did all the things that you did. When I jumped the starter with my battery cables and my truck it kinda turned and then quit. So, I pulled my starter the brushes where stuck and not making good contact with the amateur. I cleaned the brushes and amateur with 2000 grit sandpaper. I pushed the brushes out of their holders and ensured that they moved freely. Now the tricky part. Make sure you write down the order of shims so, you can get them back right. If you have a friend that can help you will need them. Hold two of the brashes back and have your friend hold the other two back and let the armature slide back and put it all back together.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugozilla View Post
Problem: won't start
I'm not sure it is your starter. Maybe your relay IMHO... Check your grounds and your battery connections to both the relay and all through the bike. From what you describe, your starter is fine but is not getting the juice...

Now, if you DO replace your starter I would like to have your old one to rebuild as a spare for a VN750 member who might need one. I also have rebuild kits in stock if you need one...


Evan Breyn ~ The Bulldog
http://www.bulldogsbike.com
2006 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic FLHTCUI ~ The Big Black Bitch ~ 26,000 miles.
2002 Kawasaki Nomad 1500 ~ The Red Dog ~ Traded in at 22,000 miles of smiles (purchased new 10/05 / Traded in 6/12).
1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 ~ Black Betty ~ 34,999.7 miles
VROC ~v~ 485
McHenry County Road Pirates
Chicagoland, IL
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE: The orginal battery finished charging, so I swapped out the batteries. Then tried to start the bike without any success. After that I disconnected the battery cables and then using jumper cables I connected the battery straight to the starter by passing the relay and any other possible problems to the battery. It turned for a second then stopped. If every thing was working properly that should start the bike right?

This would rule out the relay as the source of the problem, correct?

Also it is unlikely that the two batteries have gone bad at the same time. So I'm back to the starter again. Wait, my wife reminded me of something that happened about two months ago after a 45 minute ride. I had some smoke coming from bike. I looked for the source but never found it. I just figured that something had flow up (bug or something) against the engine and got cooked. Maybe it was some wiring and now I have got a short. Which takes me to the Voltage drop test suggested above by piromedicx. I have never done this before I'll have to read up on it. I believe the bike has to be running to do the voltage drop test, which will make this harder.

Keep the ideas coming guys I need all the help I can get.
- George
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 01:31 AM
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Question...

When you bypassed and tried to start it direct, did the starter stop or was it still turning without the engine being turned? Could you hear it spinning?

If the answer is that the starter stopped turning, then you probably have a flat spot on your armature commutator. If you rebuild the starter, you will need to turn the comm (have it flatrocked round) as it is out of round and causing the brushes to loose connection with the comm.

If the starter was still spinning but the engine was not turning over, then your starter clutch is probably shot. This is NOT part of the starter, but is inside the case. I've never taken one of these out, so I don't know how much of a biach it is.


Evan Breyn ~ The Bulldog
http://www.bulldogsbike.com
2006 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic FLHTCUI ~ The Big Black Bitch ~ 26,000 miles.
2002 Kawasaki Nomad 1500 ~ The Red Dog ~ Traded in at 22,000 miles of smiles (purchased new 10/05 / Traded in 6/12).
1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 ~ Black Betty ~ 34,999.7 miles
VROC ~v~ 485
McHenry County Road Pirates
Chicagoland, IL
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 08:23 AM
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http://en.allexperts.com/q/Motorcycl...ng-problem.htm

George, check this link for diagnostics (loose connections...have you checked all of those?) and for how to do a voltage drop test on your starter system.

C
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bulldog: The starter stopped turning. A couple of times when I tried a direct connection it doesn't do anything.

Crobins: Thanks for the info. The first chance I get I'm going to follow those instructions and see what turns-up.

I think Bulldog is right on with what he said about the starter. I'm going to take it to Murray auto electric, a local shop that is welling to take a look at it for free.

Thanks,
- George
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