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'03 VN750 "Rosie"
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I need some help! I stopped for gas after running some errands around town and after I was done filling up I turned the key and hit the start button and nothing happened. No click, no dimming of the dash lights, no action of the starter motor. I tried turning the key on and off and even tried unsuccessfully to push start it. AFter a few minutes of this, I hit the button again and it started right up! I rode to my next stop and shut the motor off, then turned the key back on and tested it and the button was dead again, but after a few minutes it came alive again. A few hour later I went to ride it home and it started the first time.

Searching this site I found several references to cleaning the ignition switch, but it seems to be doing fine; the motor is not cutting out while riding. Today I took apart the start button, cleaned the contacts, put it back together. I tested it in my hand and the starter jumped, then put the whole thing back in the box on the handlebars and put everything back together. (FWIW I changed the headlight bulb and lubed the throttle cables as well.) But, when I turned
the key and hit the starter it did nothing again! Not only that, but I hit it a few more times then the main fuse blew. I changed the fuse and tried again and the fuse blew on the very first try. I've taken a continuity tester and determined that the start button is completing a circuit. I used a test light and tried various connections to see if they were live but when I touch it to the start button metal it not only lights up but a buzzing comes from the junction box as well. I also tried touching a screwdriver to the two posts on the starter solenoid to bypass it and power the starter; I got a great light show but no action from the starter. I checked the wiring around the steering neck and nothing looks pinched or damaged. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Sparky!!!
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8,697 Posts
It sounds like 1 of two things, either your starter siezed up or your starter solenoid went out. Or a combination of both. what happens when you take a screwdriver and jump the two large posts on the starter solenoid?
 

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'03 VN750 "Rosie"
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
It sounds like 1 of two things, either your starter siezed up or your starter solenoid went out. Or a combination of both. what happens when you take a screwdriver and jump the two large posts on the starter solenoid?
Fireworks. As if the screwdriver were directly on the battery posts. Same result with the key either on or off.
 

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A fair amount of spark would be expected, since you're activating 200-300 amps. But if you hold contact 2-3 seconds and the starter does nothing, you have problems with the starter. Make sure you aren't grounding out your jumper tool, hit the posts only.
 

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'03 VN750 "Rosie"
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
A fair amount of spark would be expected, since you're activating 200-300 amps. But if you hold contact 2-3 seconds and the starter does nothing, you have problems with the starter. Make sure you aren't grounding out your jumper tool, hit the posts only.
Even with the key off?
 

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Yes. You are jumping directly from the battery to the starter. So the starter should engage if it's any good.
 

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'03 VN750 "Rosie"
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
A fair amount of spark would be expected, since you're activating 200-300 amps. But if you hold contact 2-3 seconds and the starter does nothing, you have problems with the starter. Make sure you aren't grounding out your jumper tool, hit the posts only.
OK. I jumped the posts with a screwdriver and the starter did turn over. Does that mean the solenoid is bad?

Any clue what is buzzing in or near the junction box when I touched the test light to the start button?

Thank you for the help!
 

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'03 VN750 "Rosie"
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I believe you're right about there being a starter relay, but I'm not clear on the function of the relay vs. the solenoid.

Here's a thought! The start button worked when I was holding it in my hand after I cleaned and reassembled it. After I put it on the handlebars it started blowing the fuse. The button is in the same box as the kill switch, both of which are mounted on a metal handlebar. Could that have shorted the circuit and blown the fuse? I can't look right now as I'm not with the bike.
 

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It wouldn't necessarily mean the solenoid is bad. You would need to test for 12v on the smaller white (?) wire on the solenoid, when the start button is pushed, key on, trans in neutral.

Only buzzing I can think of would be the solenoid, which usually happens with a loose connection or nearly dead battery.
 

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'03 VN750 "Rosie"
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I think I have this figured out. The start button uses a cone shaped copper spring that had lost its springiness and flattened and apparently keeping the switch from connecting reliably. The assembly is screwed into the plastic of the housing and when I put it back after cleaning I didn't put the screw all the way down and it was grounding out against the handlebar. Well the spring is just useless and I can't seem to find another one the same size. I did find a plunger switch at Home Depot but doesn't quite fit inside the switch box. I thought briefly about using the switch but relocating it, but ended up buying a used one on ebay instead. Thank you for the advice, everyone. At least I've learned more about my bike from this experience!
 

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Sparky!!!
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8,697 Posts
Glad you got it figured out... Just an FYI.. the buzzing sound by the JB is the starter relay inside the JB... it's purpose is to energize the starter solenoid after the safety switches are engaged. As for your spring issue, you can also get longer push springs from a Hobby store for scale model train engines, and either pull them apart or compress them, trim them to fit. A set of 8-10 usually cost about $0.75
 

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'03 VN750 "Rosie"
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Update: the replacement start button arrived and I put it on last night. Bike started an ran first try. Thanks for everyone's input; it saved me a lot of time diagnosing this.
 

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ass hole extaordinaire
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3,780 Posts
and i appreciate the fact that someone finally came back with the conclusion and saw the thread to the end lol
 

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Not sure if this is the same problem as OP, but tonight I went to start my bike (94' 750 Vulcan) and when i switched the key to the "On" position, the green neutral light and red oil light did not turn on like they always do. When I turned the switch on and hit the start button nothing happens. No clicking, no nothing. The tail light, blinkers, and hazard lights all come on but the green neutral light will not come on despite the bike being in neutral. Please if you have any idea what could be causing this let me know.

Thanks,
 

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Chasin' the blacktop
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1,498 Posts
Sounds like a key switch problem to me, or possibly a fuse.
 

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..have a vulcan good day!
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4,508 Posts
Sounds like a key switch problem to me, or possibly a fuse.
Wiggle the key in the "ON" if that works, disassemble ignition switch....clean contacts. A few Ign Switch threads exist.

hth
:smiley_th
 
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