Bike won't start, brand new battery - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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Where does this wire go?
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Bike won't start, brand new battery

Hi guys,

Toward the end of last season I got stranded with what I thought was another symptom of POOGS, only this time I was unable to get the bike started again no matter how long an interval between attempts, even the following day long after real POOGS would have cleared. I had previously performed the vent tube and gas cap cleaning procedure and thought I had it licked but I would occasionally still have issues that I believe were masquerading as POOGS.

As the bike sat over the winter I was leaning toward the ignition switch as the culprit and was going to perform the procedure when I unwrapped the bike when the weather warmed up. I put in a brand new AGM battery today, fully charged, and now my symptoms are different:

When I had last had the bike running it would crank and crank but not start, with a full tank, gas cap on, off, loose...no matter. Today it won't crank at all, no solenoid click, just dead silence.

I checked to make sure that the run switch hadn't been knocked into the "Off" position, tried shifting in and out of neutral (as verified by the neutral indicator), and actuated the sidestand switch with pliers to see if that had any effect-- nope. Just silence when trying to start.

I checked the fuses at the junction box and all seem fine, I tested for continuity with a meter just in case I couldn't see a break in the fuse element and they test fine.

The directionals work, 4-ways work, brake lights work, horn works-- but the headlight is not lit, either, when the key is in the "on" position.

-Are these all symptoms of the key switch? I will clean it anyway (no time today) but wanted to know if I should start here or elsewhere.

-Am I chasing a bad ground? Where should I start? I am not a whiz with a meter (just because I have one doesn't mean I know how to use it) so I might need some guidance here)

-I see in the Verses that I may want to disconnect and clean all connectors in and out of the junction box, is this worthwhile?

-In the past I had been experiencing random backfires sometimes, and for a while I had an issue where the bike would sputter and buck like a bronco with the tach dropping to zero RPM even with the bike running (although roughly)...do all these symptoms cumulatively point to a common cause or set of causes?

Sorry to always be asking questions but this bike has not run more than 5 months in a row since I bought it 3 years ago without some issue sidelining me or stranding me in the boonies and I would really like to get this thing going so I can ride it without always wondering if today will be the day I get stranded again-- any and all advice is appreciated.

Thanks much,

Matt

Matt
Passaic County, NJ
1994 VN 750
April 2011- 30K miles
TOC MCCT 4/2012
New-to-me extended backrest 5/2012
Tourmaster bags 5/2012
Replaced driveshaft coupler and final drive-- ignored the spline lube recommendation too long and got burned 8/2012
Back on the Road 9/2012
De-POOGSed 6/2013
NGK Iridium Plugs 7/2013
New AGM battery 4/2014
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 12:05 PM
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I would start by checking the starter relay (solenoid) behind the right side cover.

I would start by jumping from the + batt to the starter side of the relay, with heavy wire or jumper cable. Have the bike in neutral, key on/off should not matter. If the bike does not crank, you have a poor connection between the relay and starter or a bad starter.

If it does crank, check for current on the relay signal wire (R/Y ?) with key on/start button pushed. If you have 12v, the relay is bad. If no current, supply it and it should crank.

This should be enough to get you started, not necessarily the bike.

Last edited by wmsonta; 04-27-2014 at 04:38 PM.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 12:13 PM
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I agree with wm's post. If no power to the smallest wire on the solenoid when the start button is pushed, it may be a dirty/corroded start button. There's been a couple of posts lately with that problem.

Some of what you described makes me think of a problem with the key switch. backfire, sputter, bucking, tach dropping, etc.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spockster View Post
smallest wire on the solenoid
If there is a BK/Y wire, it is a ground. I should get off my ass and go look, I guess. Seems I remember the solenoid with a dedicated ground.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmsonta View Post
If there is a BK/Y wire, it is a ground. I should get off my ass and go look, I guess. Seems I remember the solenoid with a dedicated ground.
Can't make it to the garage, but the wiring diagram does show it as B/Y, a ground. So I think that wire would need disconnected and checked for continuity to ground when the start button is pushed. This ground is also routed through the Junction Box, potential problem there, loose spades, etc.

The start button gets power from the kill switch, Red wire.

2003-21k mi
Shaved w/UniPK92+Stock Jets-TPE/MOSFET-Shinko Tires-AGM batt-bags-chrome-LEDs...more
__________________________________________________ ____________
Repair Manual: http://www.mediafire.com/file/mj7z81..._Catalogue.pdf

Owner's Manual: http://www.mediafire.com/file/nscb5f...ers+Manual.pdf
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spockster View Post
Can't make it to the garage, but the wiring diagram does show it as B/Y, a ground. So I think that wire would need disconnected and checked for continuity to ground when the start button is pushed. This ground is also routed through the Junction Box, potential problem there, loose spades, etc.

The start button gets power from the kill switch, Red wire.
Good points.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 01:01 PM
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Its the puck under the key. Clean with high grit sand paper, stretch the spring very slighty, the if you havent broken off the plastic locks, tie wrap it shut hard. If you break the plastic the super glue it and zip tie.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 03:13 PM
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hey mattman...where in NNJ are you, I can stop by to take a look if you want..
I thought you were in NY for some reason.

It sounds to me like a bad relay in the Junction box, but that can be replaced.
Jump the relay on the right side as suggested by wmsota to see if the starter cranks and go from there.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for some great places to "start" my investigation (pun intended), as soon as I have some results I will share them.

KC, look for PM

Cheers,

Matt

Matt
Passaic County, NJ
1994 VN 750
April 2011- 30K miles
TOC MCCT 4/2012
New-to-me extended backrest 5/2012
Tourmaster bags 5/2012
Replaced driveshaft coupler and final drive-- ignored the spline lube recommendation too long and got burned 8/2012
Back on the Road 9/2012
De-POOGSed 6/2013
NGK Iridium Plugs 7/2013
New AGM battery 4/2014
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 01:35 PM
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Matt used to live right on the other side of the mountain from me...town of Tuxedo....

Dude....ya vanished right after ya met that new girlfriend, lol.....



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