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Old 05-29-2012, 10:21 PM   #1
Mikegigabyte OP
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Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 128
6v starter/battery issues

81 passport
6v system

Just got the bike last week, bought new 6v battery because e start did not work. Thought it was battery related.
Still did not start but I could hear the relay click quietly. So if I tap the relay hard the e start will work.
So I ordered new relay, not oem but from dratv website.

Same issue. I have to tap it.
Now if my charger is connected at the same time it will e start all day.
If I ride the bike for about 15 min I can e start 2 times in a row, after that it wont.
Battery voltage before the 2 starts were around 6.7v
after 2 starts around 6.5v
With charger connected over 7v

So do you think the 6v relay I got needs more then 6v to activate that little magnet inside?
Whats the normal reading on a charged 6v battery supposed to be
I know my bike charges it even at idle it reads around 6.9v I think
So im confident its charging it well
and its proven it charges it if I can do e starts after a short ride

Im using a battery tender on the battery all day when not in use, but since its a 6v battery who knows how well its charging it
My other charger is a craftsman 6v 6amp charger but im not sure if 6amps is too much
the battery is pretty large but im just not sure if that may charge it too fast
anyone know if thats safe to use
Usually I read for 12v to use a 2 amp or less charger on motorcycle batteries but since I have a battery tender I use that on my 12v batteries
I did clean all battery contacts, checked the ground but all seems fine

Any suggestions
I got a taste of e start and I like it, I dont want to go back to kicking it anymore!!!

I can live with 1-2 starts then having to ride the bike
but is this how it was even back in the day? or could these start alot more then what im getting
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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Location: Georgetown, Texas
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Clip a jumper cable directly from battery to starter to evaluate pieces of starting circuit. When you touch starter ... If it cranks engine hard you should look at: relay, ignition switch and cables ... One at a time. If it doesn't crank then it's either battery or starter. Break it down.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:37 PM   #3
Mikegigabyte OP
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ive done all that when I first got it, which is how I found out it must be the oem relay sticking
even took off the starter switch and touched the 2 wires directly together
and jumped right off the battery to the starter wire

even now it starts fine but I only get maybe 2-3 starts before that relay just doesnt click in all the way
thats if I keep it on my battery tender 24/7
I have other bikes I like to rotate that tender with but maybe this 6v needs a dedicated tender for it all the time

now if I ride it for a little while it will start up again. I believe the battery is charged from the ride enough to crank out a good start
but if I shut it off and try to start again it wont unless I hit the relay
So im quite certain its not anything with the wiring
Im also an electrician for my profession so I know other things to look for with the wires, corrosion, resistance ive just not listed everything ive done just to keep my question simple

Ive had little experience with solenoids so I dont know symptoms of them going bad if this is the case, or if its because my voltage is just too low for it to work properly

maybe I got a dud new battery, what im trying to find out from others that use 6v e start is if its normal because of how the batteries are
or if the new relay I just got maybe isnt the right type
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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If you got a bad battery you would see a bad cell or no capacity. You can check specific gravity and voltage.

Maybe it's just a pos relay. Jump around relay work after 3 starts?

After 3 starts and it fails then does jumping to starter work?

If starter has solenoid to throw/engage then a bad solenoid won't move and starter will simply spin cuz its not throwing to engage engine. Confession - I've no idea what your starter looks like.

Dude ... It's a 6v system. My old truck acted much like your description.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:30 PM   #5
Mikegigabyte OP
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My starter is just a motor, one wire comes out of it (positive) motor body negative
there is a remote relay pink is ground, yellow takes 6 volts
then the 2 large nuts one is constant power right from the battery, the other is where my starter wire connects
So I can jumper between both nuts and starter will spin. If bike is key on it will start. If key off starter just spins over engine.
There is also a neutral safety but mine works. If I was in gear nothing would work. Plus I have a light telling me its in neutral. I had thought that could be the issue until I tapped the relay and the bike started. Like I jolted the magnet inside and moved it a hair more to make contact.

Now I can sit there jump the relay and start for as long as I like. Voltage spins the starter no problems.

So it has nothing to do with my starter as this relay clicks over to allow current to pass from one nut through the other nut
Its a magnet. Something inside moves. I guess my 6.5v is not enough to make a full movement inside. But 6.7v is enough.
Of course even if my battery is charging all day once I remove the charger wait a couple min my battery drops to 6.7 and sits there. So thats how I get my e start. Then I have to drive around enough to bring back the charge to around 6.7 then e start will continue to work.

Thats what ive found out so far. Still need to do more testing and checking of the battery voltage at different times. Get a feel on how it charges and discharges with normal use.

You think its possible open the caps on the battery drop in my volt meter probe and I would get a voltage out of each cell????
then compare them?

Mikegigabyte screwed with this post 05-30-2012 at 08:52 PM
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
How's that work?
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Northern California
Oddometer: 645
I'm on the thin edge of my knowledge, but it seems to me that you have too much resistance in the cable from the battery to the solenoid. If you run a jumper cable from the positive terminal to the hot side of the solenoid, does the system work better? Could be a dirty connection at the battery, or a cable with corrosion and broken strands inside the insulation.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:34 PM   #7
Mikegigabyte OP
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may look into trying that
best test would be when it wont click over then try that
I know on my old one I put my charger right on those wires and it clicked hard but then my charger puts out more then 6v
probably 7 or more
never tried right off my battery, probably tried every other possible way

or wait for my friend to get his all going, he will have the same setup and even the same new relay
so that could tell me something if he never has problems or if he does
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