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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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
 

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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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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.....
can't say I blame him....lol
life gets in the way sometimes...and a new woman is always a good excuse IMO
 

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Ya, but he moved outta NY down by YOU, lol....THAT, aint no woman could get me to do, lol.....

Me and Matt did the Warwick "Blessing of the Bikes" together like 2 yrs ago.....seen him once since....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey Wolfie,

Yeah, life does get in the way, I don't always have much advance notice when I will be free to work on the bike or ride so I just play it by ear. Probably a foolish idea to think that I can expect a 20 year old bike to just start with no fuss each time I turn the key but I didn't expect to be constantly getting stranded and having the bike out of commission for long periods of time, either.

Looks nice out and the GF is out an about, maybe I can bring the tools outside and sneak in some work before she gets back and finds other things for me to do :)

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was able to get outside and sped a few hours with the bike. I had to stop just after pulling out the ignition switch and I will post separately about specific questions I have about that procedure, but here is what I discovered today:

1) Spiders sure do like to go deep into this machine, I found silk and dead spiders in many nooks and crannies while inspecting the wires, wondering how much that might have contributed to things

2) Having done nothing other than let it sit for a week I put the key in and turned it today and where it wouldn't do anything last week today it turned over. It never came close to catching but I can clearly hear the solenoid actuating with the right cover off and the starter seems to spin normally.

3) I disconnected al multiconenctors that I could see behind rght and left covers, sprayed electronics components cleaner onto all contacts and shined up everything that I could with sandpaper to see if corrosion was playing a role, but the bike still would not start after doing that.

4) I proceeded to remove the headlight and follow the procedure in the Verses for cleaning the key switch, and I will leave my specific comments/questions in a new post. Right now I have the switch and the harness sitting on a table waiting to dig into it.

So I believe that I have a good starter and solenoid, and I can smell fuel with the choke fully on (it's flooding) so it looks like I am getting no spark. The spark plug wire boots are so deep that I can't hold one of them close to ground to look for spark so I will have to pull a plug and ground it to look for spark, but I am also hopeful that my answers will be found in that switch.

Thanks again for your help,

Matt
 

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fwiw.....

During storage, a moth ball works well or a Clothes Dryer Sheet just as well to keep ALL critters out.

(MotorHome experience)

:smiley_th
 

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To check spark...use an extra plug....dont matter what kind....lawnmower plug will do....pull the plug wire and insert the 5th plug, ground it and crank...
No need to remove the plugs...just use a 5th....

Still same girl ?...cool !.....:beerchug:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Wolfie, that's a great idea, I like the elegant solution. Those plugs are set so deep in the head that I am always worried that one of these days I'll damage the threads because I can't spin the plug in with my fingertips, no "touch" at the end of a deepwell socket, ya know?

Yep, same gal. She hates it when I spend my time working on the bike but she really enjoys riding on it so I am being encouraged to get this rascal going.

I hope summer falls on a Saturday this year!

Cheers,

Matt
 

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check and see how much voltage you have at the red wire on the coils if it is right at 12v or bellow try doing the ignition coil relay mod
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update 5/25

Hi everyone, sorry for the long delay, I haven't been able to work on the bike much, here is an update:

1) I cleaned up a bunch of gunk in the ignition switch, the contacts are all shiny now. I pulled on the springs a little bit to help the contacts to, er, contact better. After ensuring the front coil leads were back on correctly the bike still will not start, the symptom is unchanged-- it turns and turns but there isn't even a hint of a cylinder firing at all.

2) I pulled a spark plug lead from the front and rear cylinder and, using an old plug, verified that I am getting spark. It may be weak but it was easily visible. I didn't test each plug wire, I figured one front, one back would verify spark-- if that was unwise, I will go out and repeat on the left side of the bike.

3) I removed the leads from the IC Igniter and attempted to test per the factory service manual. (**I am not a wiz with a multitester, so bear that in mind**).

I selected the 2K range and, testing within the lower pin set (6 connectors) where I ought to have read some values I read none. Realizing that my testing method may be incorrect I proceeded to test within the upper connectors and *did* receive values that are within the ranges that the manual specifies.

Question(s): Am I safe to assume that, because I did read values that appear to be valid on the upper block, and did not receive any values at all on the lower block, that I can infer that my testing method was good and that my IC igniter is bad? Is this a common outcome of this test?

I am also assuming that because both cylinders are affected that I can rule out the coils. What would be the odds that both coils would fail simultaneously? I think I can safely assume that whatever is wrong has to be something that is common to both cylinders, or am I wrong?

As usual, your thoughts are appreciated greatly!

Thanks,

Matt
 

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ignition coil relay mod

ignition coil relay mod

you are riding an old bike that is probably loosing voltage thru the wiring to the coils

to test this theory get some wire and jump the red wire on both the coils to the positive of the battery if i am right about your problem then the bike will start with power jumped to the coils

if it does start disconnect the jumper while it is running and it should die maybe not right away but it should start running rough soon after
 
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