Motorcycle Club » Star 1100 Classic & Custom

Help!!! Please

10 posts from 7 voices
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  1. dmons
    #

    I have intermittent starting problems on my 99 custom. It won't even turn over sometimes as if there is no power. Hit the starter switch, and nothing happens. Battery is good. Replaced starter relay (it was corroded) and put new starter switch, when it happened again after the first repair. It did it again yesterday when I was out and about. It eventually started. Could it possibly be the kick stand connection? I'm stumped. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. fupar
    #

    I have intermittent starting problems on my 99 custom. It won't even turn over sometimes as if there is no power. Hit the starter switch, and nothing happens. Battery is good. Replaced starter relay (it was corroded) and put new starter switch, when it happened again after the first repair. It did it again yesterday when I was out and about. It eventually started. Could it possibly be the kick stand connection? I'm stumped. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    My best advice to you would be to check every piece of the starting system's wiring. I know this can be a pain, but if you let this problem go on, one of these times, the bike might not start at all, and you may be 200 miles from home. I don't think your problem is a bad component, because you have already replaced the starter relay. When a part goes bad, it's bad. Therefore, my guess is a bad wire or connection. I am sorry I can't give you a definite answer, but there are too many places where you could have a problem.

    • You could have a weak spot in a wire that sometimes makes a good connection, and sometimes doesn't;
    • You could have a loose connection, where the wiring connects to a component.
    It shouldn't be a broken wire, because you said that the bike eventually started.

    You may want to invest in a continuity tester to be able to check your wiring. Look around. You can pick one up for less than $10. A continuity tester will show you if the wiring in question has current at both ends, meaning that the wiring that you are looking at is good. However, if you use this tester, and it is showing that the wiring is good, and you happen to wiggle that particular piece of wire, if the light goes out on the tester, or blinks off & on, then you would know that this segment of wire is bad (or has a bad connection).

    You can always attempt to push start the bike, if it leaves you high & dry somewhere. (One advantage to having a carbed bike, instead of a fuel-injected bike.)

  3. yy45daco
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    I have a friend with a v star 650 and had a similar problem and it ended up being his coil going out. So I would definitely check that. Also if the kickstand is down it will only keep the bike from turning over if its not in neutral (has to be in neutral if the kickstand is down). Other than that I would start checking wires for and shaking them as fupar was suggesting. Good luck and hope you figure it out soon.
    JJ

  4. Puzhrot
    #

    dmons have you checked the wiring schematic for your bike to see what components are in the starting circuit? Most bikes have a clutch switch, kick stand switch, start push button, relay and key. There may also be a lean angle switch, I'm not familiar with your bike. Anyway you should use a multi-meter to check the components in the schematic to see if they are the source of the problem. If you don't have a schematic handy you can usually find one on the internet.

  5. dmons
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    thanks for your input fellas. I should have mentioned that i also put in a new stater and replaced some of the wiring. I'll take your advise and start at point zero and hope for the best. I've already been towed 80 miles because of this. I love the bike, I'd hate to have to think of trading up. thanks again

  6. fupar
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    ...It won't even turn over sometimes as if there is no power. Hit the starter switch, and nothing happens. Battery is good...
    Here's a little trick for you. (This works for motorcycles AND for cars.)

    Any time you question whether your battery is good, turn the headlights on (of course, on most motorcycles, that means having to turn the key to the "ON" position). If the headlights come on, and they are bright, then your battery should be OK.

    However, if the headlights DO NOT come on, or they are very dim, then you know you have a battery problem.

    Just because you turn on the key, hit the starter switch, and nothing happens...this doesn't necessarily mean that the battery is dead. Could be dead, maybe not. But, at least by doing this "test", you can eliminate the battery from the list of possible problems.

  7. LiddleBen
    #

    If your lights are dim, It could be a bad ground. I had a similar problem and it was a bad ground cable on the battery. I fixed it for about 10.00 with a universal battery cable from O'Reilly's That is where I would look first. Just a thought.,L.B.

  8. dmons
    #

    thank you all. you've been very helpful. I have a lot to do

  9. quicgmicg
    #

    thank you all. you've been very helpful. I have a lot to do
    Please let us know what you find out....

  10. bkman
    #

    Quote:
    You could have a loose connection, where the wiring connects to a component.
    +1 on this.

    Since you already had corrosion-related issues, I would carefully inspect every other connection associated with starting the engine. Start by checking the ground connection to the engine block. The cable, the terminal (or both) may be damaged or degraded by oxidation.

    If you know that this problem is NOT related to the safety lockouts (kickstand, clutch, ignition and kill switches) and you suspect that the starter is "trying" to spin the motor but can't, you need to use a multi-meter (Volts, Amperes and continuity) to check Voltage drops across the starter circuit.

    Start by setting the meter to read Volts, and the range should be 0-30 VDC (or "Auto" if your meter has this setting). Then place the positive (red) wire from the meter on the positive battery terminal and follow the big wire to the next connection in the chain (probably the starter relay). Put the negative (black) meter wire on that terminal. When you hit the starter button, you should see a reading of 0 Volts (or some very small reading of perhaps a few hundredths of a Volt). Move the negative wire to the next connection (the other side of the starter relay) and repeat this test (keep the red wire on the postive battery terminal). If, at any point, you see ANY significant voltage reading (like more than a Volt or two), you've isolated a problem in the circuit and you have a bad connection, component or connection between the latest test point and the previous one. When you finally reach the point where you're at the big power terminal on the starter motor, and you still see 0 Volts (or almost) on your meter, then you can start checking the ground side.

    Connect the positive (red) wire of the meter to the engine case (ground) and put the negative (black) wire from the meter on the negative battery terminal. Repeat your start test at each test point and see what you get on your meter reading. Like the positive side, if you see anything significant, you have a bad ground wire or connection.

    This voltage-drop test is the absolute best way to test any circuit for a fault. In an ideal situation, the entire battery voltage should appear across the load (in this caes the starter motor). In an ideal situation, there would be absolutely zero voltage drop through the starter wiring, and all the battery power would be delivered to the starter motor. In such a case, you would read the exact same voltage when you have the red wire on the starter motor terminal and the black wire on the battery NEGATIVE battery terminal as you would when you put both meter wires directly on the battery terminals. In theory, this is impossible - there is always some loss through the wires and connections of any circuit. The point, however, is that MOST of the power should be dissapated in the device doing the work - whether that's a starter motor, horn, headlight or ignition coil. In the case of your starter circuit, the heavy wiring and big terminals help to minimize power loss in the wiring, but a bad connection or corroded (faulty) component anywhere in the chain will cause a large voltage drop, and power will be wasted (as it is converted into heat) in that component, cable or connector.

    When you do this test, you may find that there is almost no voltage drop across any of the wires, connections and components (including the ground side), AND you see nearly the full battery voltage across the starter motor. If that is the case, you need a new starter.

    Sorry for the long post, but this method of testing merits an explaination. It is the most reliable and easiest way to check this stuff. You can use it to test lighting (and other) circuits and switches all over the bike. The goal is always the same - to have a reading of zero when you put your meter across every switch, terminal, wire or component EXCEPT the component or device that is supposed to be using power.

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