Starter solenoid - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Starter solenoid

Is it possible, or have you ever seen a solenoid stick (not work) only occasionally?

I've got a very random non start issue with my bike, doesn't matter hot or cold, day or night, rain or shine. The start button either works fine, or not at all.

New battery, new(er) start button. Replaced the whole control assembly complete with it's wire harness.

The bike won't stay "not started" so I'm having alot of trouble finding the fault. (can't carry all my tools around waiting for it to happen next)

I can't find a loose wire, so I'm down to thinking it's either a dirty/corroded connection and/or ground.

Or, the solenoid is taking it's time crapping out.

Because it's so random, I won't even know if I fix it until it doesn't happen anymore.

When it doesn't start, all the lights work and stuff like they're supposed to, the only thing that doesn't work is the starter by pushing the button. And like I said, random. I can go days without any problem, then it'll act up for a couple days in a row.

Today is a good day for my bike, as it's working fine so far, so I don't even know what to troubleshoot right now, since it all works.

Gotta be a faulting solenoid, or a connection right?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 10:15 AM
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If there isn't even a "click" from the solenoid on the no-start occasions. My bet would be the start button itself. It's just two contacts held open by a spring. A little tarnish is all it takes to prevent contact. The solenoid is an electromagnet that pulls a large copper washer to contacts inside to power the starter. That washer can and eventualy does get pitted and will sometimes make an incomplete connection. I hope this helps.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thats better than nothing, so thanks. I could take the new switch apart and clean it too. I did it too my old one 5 times. 3 times in one day, without success.

Today is a good example I was out doing stuff on the bike for about 2 hours, and in that time I made 4 stops, each stop lasted 15 to 30 minutes. Each time I came out, it started right up, no funny stuff at all; except the 4th time.

Hit the button, and nothing, no clicking, no slow starter turn, just nothing. As if the on/off switch was off-that kind of nothing.

So I sit down and have a smoke, stare at the bike trying to think it through, get up, try the button again just for grins, and she fired right up.

This morning before I went out, I pulled and clean the battery cables at both ends. The solenoid connections. The ground to the bevel gear housing. And the power on the starter.

I'm not opposed to checking this new button, although when I put it on 10 days ago or so, it was fine in there.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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i found this

to test the solenoid. you'll need either a 12V automotive type test light or a DC volt meter. To test the output of the solenoid you need to identify the solenoid output terminal (this terminal has the cable that goes to the starter connected to it). Attach the ground (negative) of the test light or volt meter to a good, clean ground surface (the negative post of battery is good for this), then hold the test light probe on the output terminal of the solenoid while you or a helper turns the ignition switch to START. If the solenoid is working, the test light should light up. If using a volt meter, the meter should read the same as your battery voltage. If the test light doesn't light up, or the volt meter shows no voltage, your solenoid is most likely defective. But before I would condemn it I would check to make sure that the cables are tight and not corroded anywhere between the battery and the solenoid and between the solenoid and the starter. Most of these machines also have the battery negative cable attached to the engine somewhere. Make sure the negative (ground) cable is free of corrosion and tight. A fault in the ground side can be just as bad as one in the "hot" side of a starter circuit.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, and I'll try that. I'd really like to be able to try it during one of the times it won't start...
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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good luck, hope you get the bitch running
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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It won't start now, for my first try today. So I tested it as described above and nothing. No power on the outlet post, and no power on either one of the spade terminals on the side of it either.

Took the solenoid apart, didn't see anything unusual inside. The coil windings are intact from terminal to terminal, the plunger is free, and didn't find any crude build up inside of it.

I'm at a freakin loss....and I came in here to get away from the dam thing for a minute.

I don't have my book right in front of me, I'm about to go grab it....while I'm here, does anybody know if any of the start circuit goes thru the junction/fuse box?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 01:03 PM
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Garage
yes the starting system goes through the JB
Click image for larger version

Name:	Starting System Wiring Diagram.JPG
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ID:	1075

Click image for larger version

Name:	Junction Box wiring.jpg
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ID:	1076

I hope these diagrams help
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 750Doug View Post
It won't start now, for my first try today. So I tested it as described above and nothing. No power on the outlet post, and no power on either one of the spade terminals on the side of it either.

Took the solenoid apart, didn't see anything unusual inside. The coil windings are intact from terminal to terminal, the plunger is free, and didn't find any crude build up inside of it.

I'm at a freakin loss....and I came in here to get away from the dam thing for a minute.

I don't have my book right in front of me, I'm about to go grab it....while I'm here, does anybody know if any of the start circuit goes thru the junction/fuse box?
Doug the spade terminals are in the trigger circuit from the start button, right? If you have no power there while pushing the start button the problem is in that circuit, not the secondary circuit from battery to starter.

When you have this no start situation, have you tried pulling the connector off the solinoid that comes from the starter button, and running a jumper wire directly from the battery to that spade connector. If it starts, you have eliminated the starter and solinoid as possible problems in the circuit. Then you know to look in the primary (trigger) circuit.

One more idea that might get you home if the last jump doesn`t work. Try using a short jumper wire, the same gauge as that from solinoid to starter, and touch it to the terminals on each side of the solinoid. That should start it no matter what else is wrong with the circuit, as long as the starter is good and it has a good clean ground. Just my $0.02 worth

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Last edited by OlHossCanada; 10-11-2008 at 03:51 PM. Reason: incomplete
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pics. I'm kind of stuck now...

It's not the solenoid, starter, on/off switch, start button, clutch switch, stand or neutral switch. It's not a connection unless I'm missing one or two that are just filthy, but the rest have been ok.

That leaves that relay inside the JB, and ???

The solenoid is not getting powered to engage the starter at least I know that much...
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