what have i fried?
I charged the battery [of my R100GS] and rode about 50 miles. Two days later, it wouldn't start. It sounded like the battery was flat again, so I charged it again, and attached the battery ground cable to the gearbox instead of to the powder-coated frame where the previous owner had put it. It still wouldn't start - it sounded like the starter wasn't turning enough, like the battery was still weak. So I jumpered it from the car, it still wouldn't start but then, instead of the starter turning, it made a loud clacking sound. What have I fried? The starter solenoid? I think I have to take out the starter and check it out - probably get it rebuilt...?
I was going to put on the kickstart to see if the engine was turning over ok, but I found that I didn't have the bolt to attach it.
Any Advice Welcome. ;-)
You may have not fried anything. The loud clacking sound you heard was probably the starter relay chattering because there was not enough current to activate the bendix. Yeah, there should have been plenty of current with the jump-start, but you did mention moving the ground cable. I'm not so sure the problem lies in your starter -- the symptoms may point to a current drain that is depleting the battery, or perhaps your battery merely will not hold a charge.
As in all repairs, do the easy stuff first. Remove the battery and have it load-tested. If you're looking at making electrical repairs/replacements (i.e. brushes for the alternator, new rotor, blah blah blah...), check out www.motoelekt.com -- the owner is very helpful with troubleshooting if you don't have a local guru.
Power lead to starter
Earth (Ground) lead to starter
Earth (Ground) lead to battery
My money is on one of these 3 things...
> You may have not fried anything.
:-/) that would be nice, but something changed after i hooked up the car battery.
(i had read a warning about it, but by that time i was "desperate". and last night i searched and searched and couldn't find the article that warned about it -- all i could find was warnings not to have the car running while you did it.)
this is a bit like reading medical books - when you think you've got every disease you read about. ;-)
now i'm concerned that the engine - the valvetrain - is seized. (then i'll have to buy those nice trick light valvetrain parts.) ;-)
> The loud clacking sound you heard was probably the starter
> relay chattering because there was not enough current to
> activate the bendix.
it's definitely the solenoid clacking (the "cricket sound", it was called in one article.) with my left ear around the right side of the tank and my right ear around the starter, that clacking is coming from the starter solenoid.
(does that mean the starter relay is ok? - that current is getting to the starter solenoid?)
> Yeah, there should have been plenty of current with the
> jump-start, but you did mention moving the ground cable.
12.59 V - with my new cheapo multimeter. that scared me, because all the time i'd been thinking the battery was the problem.
although i _don't_ know what happens to that voltage when i hit the starter button. i should try that. maybe.
moving the ground cable:
well, the bike's always started easily (in the few weeks i've had it). when it didn't start last week, it seemed like the battery, i charged the battery for about 24 hours, put it back in and it started and on the Saturday we went for a ride - about 40 miles. didn't ride it Sunday, and then Monday it wouldn't start. that's when i took off the ground cable to see what was underneath the lug ... ... and found powder-coating. (it was bolted to the right side subframe mounting point.) the only point at which it could've been making contact was in the bolt hole ... and i found that the powdercoating didn't come off with a bit of sanding, so i put the cable back on to the gearbox/speedo drive bolt ... and found that the cable was too short ... and if i turned the battery around so that the terminals were on the right side, then the + cable from the starter was too short. so i used a nice thick new cable i had, had some big solid lugs soldered on to it on Friday.
> I'm not so sure the problem lies in your starter -- the symptoms
> may point to a current drain that is depleting the battery, or
> perhaps your battery merely will not hold a charge.
the battery's staying at 12.59 V. i could check it when i get home - it's probably a bit less after all that.. trying to start.
> As in all repairs, do the easy stuff first. Remove the battery
> and have it load-tested.
isn't it any good to check the voltage while pressing the starter button?
> If you're looking at making electrical repairs/replacements (i.e.
> brushes for the alternator, new rotor, blah blah blah...), check out
> www.motoelekt.com -- the owner is very helpful with
> troubleshooting if you don't have a local guru.
i've got solid mounts coming from thunderchild. i hope it doesn't turn out i need a new alternator.
> Power lead to starter
how? (i've got a multimeter and a test light/probe thing.)
> Earth (Ground) lead to starter
how do i check that? (i can see that i'll be taking the starter cover off next weekend.)
> Earth (Ground) lead to battery
i think that's ok now it's going to the speedo drive bolt. (it's all clean and tightly bolted. ...but i don't like it, there's aluminium thread coming out on the Allen screw and it needs to go somewhere else asap. someone suggested the ignition coil bracket.)
Check the security of the cables - ask any AA man, or someone who regularly attends vehicle breakdowns - it's as often the battery connections as the battery - usually a loose or corroded negative earth strap.
Check the attachment points on the starter and where they bolt to the solenoid and/or frame. If the cables look to be in good condition, securely attached and uncorroded, look elsewhere. The solenoid is clicking because there isn't enough power being sent to it to operate it correctly - the reason may be a bad battery, but it may be a good battery, with poor cables unable to transfer its power to the solenoid...
What type of starter motor do you have? Probably a Velo - these are smaller and more efficient than the older bosh ones. They also have glued in magnets - the glue fails and the magnets grip the rotor causing all sorts of problems ... when you put the car battery on you simply increases the amount of force applied ... possibly doing more damage.
What you can do is put the bike in top gear, bike on centre stand and turn the engine over using the rear wheel - this will confirm that the motor is not sized. If you can get the battery checked - it is probably ok. If it is the starter motor - you will need to disassemble it - do a search.
> Check the attachment points on the starter and
> where they bolt to the solenoid and/or frame.
i'll probably only be able to get to that on Saturday.
> The solenoid is clicking because there isn't enough
> power being sent to it to operate it correctly
the clacking only started after I tried the car battery. before that, it just sounded like a flat battery.
> the reason may be a bad battery, but it may be a
> good battery, with poor cables unable to transfer
> its power to the solenoid...
i think the battery's ok, because it's showing 12.6 V, but then i don't know what happens to that 12.6 when i hit the starter button. i should try that.
> What you can do is put the bike in top gear, bike on centre
> stand and turn the engine over using the rear wheel - this will
> confirm that the motor is not seized.
damn!, why didn't i think of that. :-' i'll do it tonight.
> If you can get the battery checked - it is probably ok. If it
> is the starter motor - you will need to disassemble it - do a
i've read all those articles. (it's the Valeo.)
talking to my friend last night,... he fixed his Valeo starter so it'll never give those magnet problems again. the snowbum article - he mentions his concern about the epoxy adhesive in a high heat situation. my friend made little aluminium "braces" with a chamfer to hold the magnets in place, so they're all kept apart in their right places ...and he glued them with brake bonding adhesive and took it to the brake bonding place to bake in their oven ... then put it in the lathe and turned down the protruding aluminium "braces". (i know that's not so clear, but people who've worked on the Valeo starters will probably get the idea.)
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