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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone how's it going? I have a 1999 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 with 3000 miles on it. I start my bike every couple of weeks and let it run for a while so that my carbs don't get gummed up. It is winter time and it's very cold outside, I tried to start the bike today and it wouldn't run it would only turn over. Eventually I tried to start it so many times that the battery died. (Are these bikes always hard to start when its cold out?) I took the seat off and to my surprise the negative battery terminal was melted! Terrible since this battery is only a year old. I never have problems with this bike not starting, it always starts first push of the button. I would greatly appreciate it if someone would be able to share some knowledge on this situation. I did notice when I looked at the battery that the connection wasn't the greatest on the negative terminal, when I installed the battery it was nice and tight but somehow it became loose. I also have a Schumacher battery maintainer that I keep on 24/7 in the winter, is that ok to do? Could it have had part in damaging my battery?
 

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I keep a Schumacher on mine, and unless there's a short somewhere, it wont damage the battery.....I unhook mine occasionally when its fully charged, but I have an AGM....

Im in upstate NY....I have critters livin in my unheated garage where my bike is....well, the charger wires get warm....mice especially will tend to go there ( I got lots of mice, even in my bedroom).....

Check all your connections....get a good AGM battery like a Deka (well worth it).....an AGM will hold its charge for a long time, even in cold, so you wont need to keep it on the trickle charger all winter....

Connect the ground side first....if you have a big spark when you connect the positive side, you have a short somewhere, and could be from mice chewin.....if you have no spark, yer good to go....if there's a spark, you need to hunt for damaged wiring.....thats just done visually initially....

Howl if ya need help....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Wolfie, I will check into this in the morning and respond back to you then. What is an AGM?
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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It's a sealed battery with a fiberglass mat inside, not like the ones you fill(wet cell).they hold a much better charge.but cost a little more.worth the investment

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Chasin' the blacktop
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Iradium spark plugs also seem to help a cold engine start better for next time.
 

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Long cranking time can easily melt the fragile terminals on these batteries. Even cars should never be cranked for more than 10 or so seconds without pausing to allow heat to dissipate. If it doesn't melt a post, it can melt the tie webs between cells inside the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So I played around a little bit this morning. I hooked up the maintainer to the battery and got a good charge to hook the terminals up to see if it would spark or not, I did the negative first as Wolfie had suggested and the positive did not spark. I did this with the key in the off position, should i try it with the key in the on position as well? I took a couple of pictures as well to show the damage but I can't figure out how to post them in this response. FoolAmI what are Iradium spark plugs? What kind do you get? I think I have NGK's in it right now if I remember correctly but whatever I can do to better this bike I will do. Spockster if that is the case I probably did mess this up myself because I held that button over and over again trying to get it to fire up and it wasn't happening, and I also realized when i took the seat off that the negative came loose a bit and it wasn't a tight connection like the positive was.
 

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Jack of all trades
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You probably had arcing from the loose connection. Multiple tries would build lots of heat over that arc causing a melted terminal. I've seen that happen on some of the crappier bikes I've rebuilt. The AGM battery is the way to go, they may be labeled maintenance free or sealed batteries also. As for the iridium plugs, NGK DPR7IX9 is the plug you are looking for.
 

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It would be normal to see a spark with the key on. Be careful about the sparks, good batteries can blow up from the gases they produce.

A loose connection can also cause excess heat, especially if there's enough contact to crank over. All the amperage will be flowing through a smaller point of contact, and then there's arcing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
M_Angell The battery I had is a YUASA maintenance free battery, is it the agm type you are talking about? I will be looking into getting the NGK DPR7IX9 plugs asap thank you for your input. Thank you Spockster, I will not hook up the battery with the key on the on position. I appreciate all the input, when I get another battery and I get these plugs I will post the result! Is it normal for the VN750 to not want to start in very cold conditions? A couple weeks ago it was fine but yesterday I tried many many times before killing the battery.
 

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Regular maintenance-free and absorbed glass mat are not the same. Most maint. free are simply sealed wet cells that have no caps for adding electrolyte.

It takes a rich fuel condition to start a cold engine. First you have to get fuel to the carbs (assuming it sat long enough), which means building vacuum first on our bikes, to activate the petcock. Then the choke needs to be on until it fires, then adjust the choke to keep the idle up until warmup or it will run on it's own.

Personally, I won't start mine unless temps are least in the 40s, preferably 50s.

If the fuel evaporates from the carbs, it can take a bit to get the first fire.
 

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According to the ad, that's an AGM type.

Vulcan '86-'06 AGM
• All the features of a standard AGM battery plus increased power
• Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Separators – an advanced battery technology
that eliminates the need to ever add water
• Non-spillable – all acid is absorbed in special plates
and AGM separators
 

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..have a vulcan good day!
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Yeah that's right, fat fingers missed a letter lol. Sorry for the confusion there.


And you are right spockster, I should have been more clear. AGM batteries will be labeled as such but if you are searching online for them they are under maintenance free batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I just want to double check one more time, I went to the store to pick up the NGK DPR7EIX-9 Iridium spark plugs and he asked what I was putting them in and I told him and he said not go get them that they aren't for my bike? I think it's safe to trust you guys you all seem to know a LOT about this bike I just want to double check with you for piece of mind is all. I also was thinking about ordering them from the amazon link here: http://www.amazon.com/NGK-DPR7EIX-9-Iridium-Spark-Plug/dp/B001B0X00U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394815569&sr=8-1&keywords=DPR7IX9&tag=5336714529-20
but it says not compatible for 99 VN750. I'm not doubting anybody here just want to be 100% sure i'm doing the right thing because I am no mechanic, usually anything beyond an oil change is beyond me :) I appreciate all the fast responses to, this website is awesome, and you guys are awesome.
 

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Jack of all trades
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Dude I have those in my '03. They fit.
 
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