Dead battery or...?could use some help in Augusta, GA

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by John E, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. John E

    John E Long timer

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    Picked up a r1100Gs in Raleigh a few days ago from a fellow inmate. Riding home to Los Angeles and it seems the battery or the starter is dead, I rolled into my hotel and it wouldn't restart.

    It turns on but will not crank at all, just a loud click from a relay I presume.

    I'd appreciate any help or advice offered, found a local Batteries Plus that has a new Oyssey in stock, planning on pulling the old one out tomorrow or maybe tonight and taking it there for testing and possible replacement tomorrow. Got a toolkit but no diagnostic stuff and forgot to bring my multimeter too.

    Any oilhead mechanics in the area in case it's not just a battery?

    Bike and I are parked at a hotel off of the 520 near the 20.

    Email: John@johnsetmedic.com

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Do you have a voltmeter? Anyone to jump start? Advance Autoparts and other shops will test the battery.

    It could be a battery, a starter or charging (stator) issue, generally speaking.
    #2
  3. John E

    John E Long timer

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    No voltmeter, haven't tried to jumpstart it, it's a bit of a pain to get to the battery terminals and I don't think regular cables will fit anyway.

    Current plan is to pull the battery and take it the battery shop, it's very close by.
    #3
  4. Dracula

    Dracula breathe

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    Try stick it in 2nd or 3rd, and push it for a bit - with ignition OFF. The goal is to have the crank and starter to move just a little, not actually to bump start it. Then, turn it on and see if it cranks. Sometimes that (or tapping the starter with a rubber mallet) helps if the starter is in a bad spot.
    #4
  5. Dracula

    Dracula breathe

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    Also post in GS Oilheads forum you may get more pertinent advice.
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  6. John E

    John E Long timer

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    Thanks for this. Assuming it works, what would I have to do to fix it? Replace the starter?
    #6
  7. YesRush

    YesRush Long timer

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    What year is it,mileage,age of battery ? By turning on do you mean the dash and that the head / tail lights are on? A cheap meter would be nice to have ! If battery isn't up it won't crank.Even my 16 was 11.2 volt and wouldn't crank the other day.
    If the starter is sticking you can take it apart and use break cleaner to clean it.
    Check battery first.
    #7
  8. YesRush

    YesRush Long timer

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  9. ob1quixote

    ob1quixote Long timer

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    What would I do?

    Start with a new battery. Chances are that is an old battery. When chasing electrical issues, you need to convert "unknowns" to "knowns"

    So a new battery ensures you not only have the voltage but the amperage. I explained that recently to someone as compared to singing. Voltage is the note one would be singing, and amperage is the volume the note is sung at. You can whisper the note, or you can yell it.

    I would buy a battery tender now as well. Install the pigtail with the new battery, stow the charger. This will allow you easy access to the battery terminals.

    I would buy a cheesy small volt meter.

    Assuming the new battery fires the motor, check voltage at the pigtail. Should be reading 14.5VDC when running and revved a bit.

    Check all wiring to the starter for tightness and corrosion.
    #9
  10. biker128pedal

    biker128pedal Super Lurker

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    August, GA. If you are at Exit 196 then there is a Walmart and O'Reilly's just North of you across the highway from the Batteries Plus. There is also a Harbor Freight South of Batteries Plus. Pickup a charger and volt ohmmeter.
    #10
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  11. John E

    John E Long timer

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    Thanks all.

    Upon further reading it appears to be a classic case of starter failure. There are numerous threads in the GS Sub-forum that describe exactly what my bike is doing, or not doing actually.

    The battery is virtually new, installed by the previous owner. All the lights are turning on including the PIAA driving lights with no dimming at all. The battery also runs my Motopump air compressor just fine. Given those factors I'm even more convinced that's it's the starter not the battery. If I can find a nearby auto parts or a Harbor Freight store I'll grab a new meter and some jump wire to make sure.

    So anyone have a spare R1100 starter laying around? I've got cash...

    Otherwise I'll be stuck here until Tuesday and I kinda need to get home.
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  12. John E

    John E Long timer

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    See my latest post. Virtually new battery, everything else (lights, air compressor) work fine with no dimming or slowing down due to low voltage. Given the symptom of the loud solenoid type "clunk" it seems very likely that it's the starter. Thanks.
    #12
  13. John E

    John E Long timer

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    I'm very near there, thanks.
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  14. Dracula

    Dracula breathe

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    You might get it "unstuck" enough to get you home, or the symptom might repeat itsef. Or this trick might not work at all but it's a simple one to try - just some pushing required. Pull the clutch as you push the bike, gain some momentum then let go of clutch. It worked for me in Death Valley to start a rental R 1200 RT with similar symptom you describe. After that, it never gave me any problems again, the rest of that week until I returned the bike.
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  15. John E

    John E Long timer

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    Latest.

    It is definitely the starter. I pulled it out of the bike in-between some rain storms and upon disassembly found that 3 of the 4 magnets were knocked loose from the shell. One of them has a decent sized chunk missing. The armature was completely stuck in place.

    I cleaned it all up as best I could and used some 2 part epoxy to re-attach them. There was a little dab of green paint showing on the top of each one, indexing marks for polarity? I spaced them out as evenly as I could with all the marks showing, it can't be any worse.

    The solenoid bench tested fine with my existing battery, I want to give the epoxy plenty of time to set up so I'll put it all back together in the morning and see what happens.

    I have a new one on its way from Amazon but it won't be here until Tuesday and I need to get down the road.

    Thanks for the advice so far.

    Onward...
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  16. John E

    John E Long timer

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    No bueno...

    Put it all back together, solenoid works but still nothing from the motor. I think it's dead Jim.

    Another day at the hotel...waiting for Amazon...
    #16
  17. Dracula

    Dracula breathe

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    Bummer. Hope you get the part soon, and are able to get back on the road again. If you were on any of the BMW clubs (MOA anonymous, IBMWR has a list of mechanics, etc), maybe there was another chance someone in the area could help. Good luck.
    #17
  18. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    Sounds like the starter but just because the solenoid clicks doesn't mean its passing on the voltage to the starter. Did you try jumping the solenoid.
    #18
  19. John E

    John E Long timer

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    Which solenoid? The one in the starter that engages the gears to start the engine is working fine. It's the actual motor inside the starter casing which isn't working.
    #19
  20. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    Ones a solenoid the other is commonly referred to as the Bendix. If the gears are engaging then both are working so it is the starter motor itself.
    #20
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