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79 XS650 Won’t Start

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by blackandgold79, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. blackandgold79

    blackandgold79 XS650 New Member

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    I have a 1979 XS650 - has been updated with a PMA and PAMCO ignition. I recently installed the halogen headlight conversion from Mike’s XS. Bike was running great, but has been sitting for the last week or two over the holidays. When I tried starting a couple of days ago, I noticed that the neutral light wasn’t coming on when I turned the key to “ON”, then when I went to hit the electric start, there was nothing at all, no click, nothing.

    I decided to let the battery charge up overnight and see if that might solve my problem. Tried again today and had the same problem.

    I’ve been searching the forums and troubleshooting with my Clymer manual, but would appreciate if someone could steer me to the best place to start troubleshooting. Thanks!
     
  2. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru

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    Check the fuse or fuses, maybe one has blown. Also test the battery, it might have gone bad and completely dead.
     
  3. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider

    Check your starter mounting bolts. One of mine loosened enough to touch the + post of the starter, so when I hit the starter the neutral light went out and the battery quickly drained.
     
  4. Since you were just in the headlight bucket, start checking there for loose or disconnected wires.
     
    DaveO likes this.
  5. its probably bad contacts in your ignition switch due to lack of use and oxidation. its a common problem on irregularly used bikes.
    I did a guide of cleaning the Ignition switch which could be helpful.

    http://www.xs650.com/threads/ignition-switch-overhaul.46712/

    Try turning the ignition on and wiggling the key about in the ignition switch . if you get the occasional ignition light flicker that will confirm it. Alternatively check that you have 12v+ coming out of the switch to the fuse box.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  6. blackandgold79

    blackandgold79 XS650 New Member

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    So I finally got around to testing my battery and it read 10.6V — that’s probably toast, right? Granted, its been sitting for a couple days without a tender.

    Anyone have any battery recommendations? Would like a good AGM with enough juice to prevent me from getting stranded all the time.

    I’ve had a hard time kick starting this bike since I got it, so I’m pretty reliant on the electric start.
     
  7. even as little as 10 volts would still give you an ignition /neutral light and would energise the starter solenoid so you would hear the starter clunk click as it tried to engage.

    If you still haven't got either of those two then the issue is not your battery . ! ;)
    If you don't respond to suggestions or questions how are we to help you ?

    Use your multimeter to test the voltage at your starter solenoid (red wire) .......it is always live even with the ignition off so it should be battery voltage (ie 10.6v+ )
    Check the battery voltage at the fuse box (red wire) it is also always live even with the ignition off so it should also be battery voltage (ie 10.6v+

    Check that you have battery voltage 10.6v+ on the brown wires at the fuse box with the ignition switched on.
    if there is no voltage then it is your ignition switch or associated wiring that is faulty :)

    ps don't forget to check that your engine stop switch is not set to off or there is an issue with the wiring 79_XS650SF&2F.PNG
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    Moabite likes this.
  8. Do things in an order.......Fuse box, Battery, then wiring, (shorts), and switches as the wiring is traced.

    Did you check the fuses as suggested...............Even if the fuse is ok the clips that hold the fuse get tired and break, sometimes they are broken but still look good and hold together.........Also check the wire connection at the fuse box clips as well..........
     

  9. yes he needs to check there is battery voltage on the 20A fuse (red wires) which supplies the ignition switch first.
    If the 20A fuse is ok and there is no voltage on the other fuses (brown wires ) then that would indicate the ignition switch is faulty or the red wires between the 20A fuse and the ignition switch are open circuit
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  10. I'll be a bit clearer on what i said......for the op's benefit.......if the fuse is OK then check the fuse box for faults...........if there is power on the red wire going into the fuse box the connections could be faulty causing the brown wire not to have power.............if all is ok then trace along the line.

    Could be a good time to Continuity test the whole loom, connections, bullet, couplings and earths and switches. Don't have power in the loom when continuity testing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  11. blackandgold79

    blackandgold79 XS650 New Member

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    650FA577-0322-43C5-BB1A-69B0A5EF3B10.jpeg 262BB025-0B13-489D-A7F4-63D7E5FF3618.jpeg Thanks all for the advice and patience... I’m a bit of a novice. I took off the side tin and found the 20A glass fuse. Fuse looked OK, but I swapped it with the extra fuse in the case anyway. Is there another “fuse box” somewhere that I am missing? (See pictures above for under the seat and behind the right side tin). After I swapped the fuse and charged up the battery, I noticed that the green neutral light was coming on with the key in (I may have just not noticed this before since the battery was pretty low).

    While I was in here checking that fuse, I took my voltage meter to the starter solenoid and found that at the terminal coming in straight from the battery, I was getting somewhere between 0 and 0.5V — I got a flash of 10.6V but was unable to find that again.

    Going back to the advice above, since I checked the fuse and it looked OK, where should I go next? I’d also like to confirm whether or not there is another fuse box that I’m missing or if this 20A glass fuse is all I’ve got (it’s a 79 standard)
     
  12. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru

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    You should see the same voltage at the solenoid on that battery cable as at the battery itself. Check the voltage at the battery. You should see 12 to 13 volts approximately. That one single fuse is all you've got, no others anywhere else. I'm assuming you have a 1979 Standard model. That would explain the single fuse. The Special models do have more fuses. They have a fuse box that sits on top of the battery containing 4 fuses.
     
  13. gggGary

    gggGary Horsepower; just noise 'til the tire hooks up.

    REMOVE the battery, Look at the case, are the sides straight and not bulged? If sides are bulged go buy a new battery. It looks like a sealed lead acid. Check voltage, put it on an automatic battery charger overnight. Remove from charger, check voltage, wait 12 hours, check voltage again. IF you are still in the upper 12 volt range say 12.5 to 12.8 reinstall and see what happens. If not go buy a new battery. Charge it with your battery charger. Install and start bike, use your volt meter, check check that you see 14 to 14.8 volts at 3000 RPM. Note; batteries are cheap and easy to troubleshoot, running a motorcycle with a bad battery gets very expensive very fast and the resulting problems are much harder to troubleshoot. See the charging system thead.
     
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  14. gggGary

    gggGary Horsepower; just noise 'til the tire hooks up.

    PS where are those red and green wires on the terminals going to?
     
  15. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru

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    I think that's a connection block for a trickle charger.
     
    peanut likes this.
  16. blackandgold79

    blackandgold79 XS650 New Member

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    It actually feeds to the regulator related to the PMA install.

    One piece of troubleshooting - I charged the battery up overnight and tested this morning - 12.7V. I put the key in the ignition and hit the start button a couple of times and then checked the voltage on the battery again, it decreased to ~12.1V. I went back and hit the start button a couple of more times and checked the battery voltage again, down to 11.5V or so.

    So the start button seems to be functioning properly... I also confirmed that the starter solenoid is getting battery voltage.
     

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