Starter clicking, not turning over. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Starter clicking, not turning over.

I need some suggestions. Bike won't turn over after reassembly. Checklist:

- Battery voltage at 12.5v while bike is off. Didn't check with key on, but the battery is only 2 years old, so it should be good.
- Good grounds: battery to frame, harness to frame, engine to frame.
- Starter solenoid is wired right. Hooked to the positive terminal, with white/red wire connected, and 2pin plug in.
- Starter rebuilt a couple years ago, was fine when I took engine out of frame.
- All fuses are good.

When I turn the key very slowly, from off to on, there is one tick, then additional ticks rapidly together. Sounds like it's from the junction box.

When I pull the clutch in and try to start, the solenoid clicks. Once. Holding the start button in won't make it click more. Once per push. Click, click, frickin' click.

The neutral position wire isn't connected, on the back lower side of the engine. There is also a lime green wire coming from the harness, front left corner of battery box, with a female bullet connector. Was the neutral wire separate? I'll go check the parts diagram and see if I can figure that out.

I haven't bridged the terminals on the solenoid and tried to start it. Nor have I gone battery to starter directly.

Ideas?

Think the safety wire bypass is worth a shot?

[YOUTUBE]https://youtu.be/Pfdm8zvO4FE[/YOUTUBE]
Here's a video. It was raining, so the dull raindrops in the background should be noted.
You can hear the first click from the key, then the cluster of clicks, as I turn the key on and off twice, I think. Then you hear the click of the solenoid.

Last edited by crowley1027; 05-02-2016 at 12:11 AM.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 06:39 AM
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That cluster-clicking is super weird. It seems to me like something is either shorted or cross-wired. Doing a bypass might work, but switching wires around when there's a problem might lead to bigger problems. I'd start by trying to determine which solenoid is triggering. when you turn the key to 'on'. Remove the Yellow/Green wire from JB pin 12 (10 pin connector) to remove the starter circuit relay's path to ground. If the clicking persists, remove the Yellow/Red from JB pin 13 (10 pin connector) to remove the headlight circuit relay's path to ground. That will at least narrow down what non-wire components are involved and we can try to back-trace from there.

The disconnected neutral shouldn't cause this symptom, but would force you to have the clutch lever pulled in in order to start the bike if the kickstand is down. I can't find any green wire that isn't related to the neutral switch.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowley1027 View Post
I need some suggestions. Bike won't turn over after reassembly. Checklist:

- Battery voltage at 12.5v while bike is off. Didn't check with key on, but the battery is only 2 years old, so it should be good.

- Good grounds: battery to frame, harness to frame, engine to frame.

- Starter solenoid is wired right. Hooked to the positive terminal, with white/red wire connected, and 2pin plug in.
- Starter rebuilt a couple years ago, was fine when I took engine out of frame.
- All fuses are good.

When I turn the key very slowly, from off to on, there is one tick, then additional ticks rapidly together. Sounds like it's from the junction box.

When I pull the clutch in and try to start, the solenoid clicks. Once. Holding the start button in won't make it click more. Once per push. Click, click, frickin' click.

The neutral position wire isn't connected, on the back lower side of the engine. There is also a lime green wire coming from the harness, front left corner of battery box, with a female bullet connector. Was the neutral wire separate? I'll go check the parts diagram and see if I can figure that out.

I haven't bridged the terminals on the solenoid and tried to start it. Nor have I gone battery to starter directly.

Ideas?

Think the safety wire bypass is worth a shot?

[YOUTUBE]https://youtu.be/Pfdm8zvO4FE[/YOUTUBE]
Here's a video. It was raining, so the dull raindrops in the background should be noted.
You can hear the first click from the key, then the cluster of clicks, as I turn the key on and off twice, I think. Then you hear the click of the solenoid.
12.5v without any load on it? That battery is basically dead. It ought to be at least 14v open load. If you turn the key on, it should be at least 13.2v ( i.e. with various lights on, depending )

The only thing that sucks on juice without the key is the fan. A click is a relay ( i presume ). And so... why is one of your relays turning on with only turning the key? Check the fan relay...

If that shorted, then no wonder your battery is dead.

Just my guess without any meter probes long enough to reach you.

Oh and P.S. Check for a frayed wire under your ignition key switch.

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Reupholstered leather seat w/matching lockbox.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadHopper View Post
12.5v without any load on it? That battery is basically dead. It ought to be at least 14v open load. If you turn the key on, it should be at least 13.2v ( i.e. with various lights on, depending )
That's not correct., 14v is charging volts. 12.5v is slightly low, but not dead. 2.1v per cell X 6 = 12.6v

Might check the back of the ign. switch and make sure no wires have broken loose. Someone had that problem in the past two weeks.

The single click does sound like the starter solenoid, but you might touch it while hitting the button to be sure.

If the solenoid is working, I would try a jumper cable sending full amps to the starter cable to see if the starter works.

Going to need to try mine and see if that single click is normal when the key is first turned on.

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Last edited by Spockster; 05-02-2016 at 09:19 AM.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadHopper View Post
The only thing that sucks on juice without the key is the fan. A click is a relay ( i presume ). And so... why is one of your relays turning on with only turning the key? Check the fan relay...
It is true that the fan has power when the ignition is off, but that means that the fan relay is the LEAST likely culprit for any of the clicks heard. It always has power available to it, so turning the key does nothing to the fan relay.

Does the position of the killswitch have any affect on the rapid clicking when the ignition is turned to 'on'?

Does the rapid clicking also happen when you turn the key to 'park' then back to 'on'?

1992 US-nonCA * tuxedo mod * r/r relocated

Vulcan slang for newcomers
Service Manual Download
Wiring Diagram + annotations * still undergoing revisions, but still more useful than the generic one. Let me know if you find mistakes or think something additional should be added
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
It is true that the fan has power when the ignition is off, but that means that the fan relay is the LEAST likely culprit for any of the clicks heard. It always has power available to it, so turning the key does nothing to the fan relay.

Does the position of the killswitch have any affect on the rapid clicking when the ignition is turned to 'on'?

Does the rapid clicking also happen when you turn the key to 'park' then back to 'on'?
Killswitch off, no clicks. With key on, toggling the killswitch makes a single click each way (click on, click off).

Killswitch on, one click between on and park, both ways.

Video

Last edited by crowley1027; 05-02-2016 at 10:38 AM.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 10:44 AM
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Checked mine, as I thought, no click when the key is turned on. But I have the two-wire mod.

Did you try the jump direct to the starter cable?

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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 #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Checked mine, as I thought, no click when the key is turned on. But I have the two-wire mod.

Did you try the jump direct to the starter cable?
Not yet. Two-wire mod? Is that the safety bypass?
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowley1027 View Post
Not yet. Two-wire mod? Is that the safety bypass?
Yes, among the half dozen or so other items listed in the first post there. JB start relay bypass, charging, etc.

Need that jump test to verify starter operation before we go too far.

Rapid clicking in the JB when you turn the key on tells me something is probably wonky in the JB or harness.

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Shaved w/UniPK92+Stock Jets-TPE/MOSFET-Shinko Tires-AGM batt-bags-chrome-LEDs...more
__________________________________________________ ____________
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 10:58 AM
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check the simple stuff first... check for a bad grounds

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