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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone.
I need help. I'm a newbie that has been using the forum as the great tool that it is and its gotten me this far. But now i'm just frustarted with this bike.

alittle background
the black 1989 bike was given to me by a friend at work. He bought it and let it sit for 20yrs. has 4000miles on it. told me i just need a new carb and it'll be fine... haha

Long story short- i spent the summer afternoons after work playing with her and cleaning her up. bought a carb, petcock and ears on ebay since they were missing. wasn't confident in taking on the ear shave yet.

Anyways i finally got to the point where i'm ready to fire her up.
I haven't invest in the maintanace free battery yet that everyone swears by since i wanted to make sure she starts before i keep emptying my pockets

So i hooked up jumper cables from my car(while it was off)
pushed the red switch to the run postions, and turned the key to the on position
The Oil light came on and the green Neutral light came on
I hit the start button and she growled at me!!

This pleased me.. so i kept trying- carbs had fuel, saw spark when i pulled the plugs and kept trying. played with the choke alittle and kept hitting start. Then i heard a little pop sound(sounded like the front cylinder)

I thought she was getting closer to starting so i pushed the start button again and nothing happened at all! The lights were still on. Although i did notice the neutral wasn't on like it was before and i didn't put it in gear or anything. DOn't know what that means. don't know if i burnt my starter out or what?

I just want to ride it down the street so bad. i feel like i damaged somthing by trying to start it.
I also noticed the carb was leaking fuel but thats another story.

I've learned a good amount just reading the post here everyday. but I have no idea what this problem could be.
Should i just bust out the volt meter and start at the battery and work my was down?

When i get home tonight im going to check that 30amp fuse. i saw someone said something about that. And maybe try to bridge the terminals with a screwdriver??
Don't want to cause any further damage.

Any suggestions will be very much Appreciated.
 

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You said the neutral light went out and then it wouldn't do anything. That sounds like it got into gear somehow. Did you try pulling in the clutch and pushing the start button again? Try and see if that helps. Not sure why it would be in gear if you didn't put it in gear...but if you try to start while it is in gear without the clutch pulled, nothing will happen.
 

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Threre are also safety switches than can go bad. Kickstand safety, and neutral safety. The kickstand one is obvious. Trace the wires up to behind the left tank panel. Plug there. Unhook and jump the 2 connectors on the end going toward the bars. On the bottom of the tranny, is a thin green wire (neutral sensor). Very vulnerable. Check the connection, then trace the wire back some to see if its damaged.
Note : Im not telling you to bypass anything, as I did on mine, but what I recommended is for troubleshooting. Up to you if you want to make it permanent. In some states, may not pass inspection if bypassed.
 

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When i get home tonight im going to check that 30amp fuse. i saw someone said something about that.
I'm still new to the Vulcans. But I rode a Shadow for many years and the first thing to check was the "main" fuse, which would do just what you described.

And maybe try to bridge the terminals with a screwdriver??
If you mean create a dead short across the battery terminals, no, don't do that.

Also, be sure you check all the basics before starting to trace wires. As suggested, be sure it's really in neutral, the red run button is in the on position, fuses are good, etc. Sometimes the basics are easy for us to miss. Not too long ago I spent several hours diagnosing an empty gas tank... :doh:
 

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RamblinRingo
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Hey Beavlander, not sure what you mean by she "growled" at you?

Was it turning over and not firing? If so start the Air/Fuel mixture screw about 1-1/2 turns out (on each side) and start unscrewing each side (at the same time) by 1/2 turn and try and start it each time until it starts it will backfire some but keep going you will also have to turn the idle up and then once it starts running correctly lower the idle to 1200ish.


Sent from my iPad using MO Free
 

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Discussion Starter #6
it WAS turning and not firing until the neutral light went out and now nothing happens at all when i hit start. The gauges still light up and the oil lights on.

Thank you Tingo for the Air/Fuel mixture screw suggestion. I'll try that once i get it turning again. I was wondering about that too. it didn't look like my plugs were getting wet with gas.

I made sure its in neutral and the lights not on.

Wolfie - When you say unplug the green wire and jump the 2 connectors you mean hook up my jumper cables from my car battery and try to start it from there?

JCee- the only fuses are in the juction box right? I check them with the volt meter and they all are beautiful.

I have no idea whats wrong but i really don't want to take it in to a shop.
 

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Wolfie - When you say unplug the green wire and jump the 2 connectors you mean hook up my jumper cables from my car battery and try to start it from there?
He was talking about "jumping" the 2 wires together on the sidestand switch.....shorting out the switch will bypass it (if the switch itself is bad).

The green wire Wolfie mentioned is a single contact at the bottom of the engine. make sure it is connected and the wire is in good shape.....it is the "neutral" sensing connection.
 

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ass hole extaordinaire
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i tried to start my bike solely off of a car battery once and found that the jumper cables do not carry enough juice to the bike you are going to have to buy a good battery before you try to start it

when you turn the bike over the stator is producing voltage that is being sent to the r/r then to the battery but if you have no battery the voltage being created has no where to go that isnt good
 

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JCee- the only fuses are in the juction box right? I check them with the volt meter and they all are beautiful.

I have no idea whats wrong but i really don't want to take it in to a shop.
From what I can tell, the 30A main fuse is in the junction box. So if that tested good, here's what I would do.

Make sure the battery is good. I'd actually take it out and go to a parts store and have it load tested.

If its good and with a good charge , I'd find and print out a wiring diagram like THIS.

Then its time to get the voltmeter and start testing. By looking at the diagram, the first thing I'd check is for power at the white wire of the ignition switch. If you have 12v there, them check the Y/RY side while pressing the switch. Again, I'm new to the Vulcan world, but I know on some Hondas this is the weak link and a very common failure. If it's bad, sometimes a good cleaning will fix it.

Then from there just continue to the starter relays, etc. Also check the starter lockout/neutral switches the same way, checking from the starter circuit relay >starter lockout> Neutral switch in order. If you just kind of follow the circuit from the 30 fuse and check at each side of each device, it shouldn't be that bad. If you get stuck, just yell.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
YES!!! Found it last night! Fried starter relay. no voltage there at all.. got one on order- hopfully it was just an coincidence and the new one doesn't burn too.

I'd like to thank everyone. All very useful info. i've learned a great deal troubleshooting this.

I guess i'll have to buy the battery i've been wanting from Westco to get it running. My train of thought was get it to start before dropping another 100. plus a batt charger.
The PO really let the bike sit forever.. just hope its not too far gone.

but as newrider9984 said, - the jumper cables don't carry enough juice to run the bike from my car. and i deff don't want to hurt that stator. from what i've read on this fourm its a real PITA once it Chit's the Bed.

Thanks again
 

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Prowling Tiger
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YES!!! Found it last night! Fried starter relay. no voltage there at all.. got one on order- hopfully it was just an coincidence and the new one doesn't burn too.

I'd like to thank everyone. All very useful info. i've learned a great deal troubleshooting this.

I guess i'll have to buy the battery i've been wanting from Westco to get it running. My train of thought was get it to start before dropping another 100. plus a batt charger.
The PO really let the bike sit forever.. just hope its not too far gone.

but as newrider9984 said, - the jumper cables don't carry enough juice to run the bike from my car. and i deff don't want to hurt that stator. from what i've read on this fourm its a real PITA once it Chit's the Bed.

Thanks again
Good for you! :beerchug: It is always satisfying solving problems. As for the jumper cables. Are these cables one would use between 2 cars? If so, I don't understand why you couldn't use them between the bike and car. Just don't run the car or you will over juice the bike.
 
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