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Electrical/Charging problem

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by prue1, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    I have a 72 XS650 with an aftermarket Ascension Cycle Works charging system and a Pamco ignition. On occasion, when I use the electric start, my neutral light dims and the starter will not turn over the engine. When I check the voltage at the battery it reads under 12 volts. I try again, the starter engages, engine starts and I register 13.5 - 14.2 volts. If I shut the bike off, my battery reads 12+ volts. I have a Motobatt 160cc, 15.0ah gel battery that is less then 1 year old. When I rebuilt the engine 3 years ago, I completely overhauled the mechanical part of the starter system, including replacing the right hand side of the crankshaft that includes the machined starter gear and all other gears/shafts. My starter motor is original. Also I have noticed that when running at idle that my headlight dims and dims even more when the turn signals are actuated. It seems like a ground problem? I have checked and found no obvious problems. Could there be a problem in the ignition switch? Any help would be appreciated.

    Happy New Year.
  2. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Prue,
    while it's never wrong to pull apart and clean your bike's every last electrical connector, what I'd try first is to disconnect the bike's battery and use jumper cables to connect the bike's electrics to a car battery.
    If the bike starts, runs and charges OK with a car battery your "usual suspect" is the bike's battery. If it don't, it ain't.
    Note that the headlight going dim at idle is a normal thing with a stock alternator as they don't charge enough to balance the rotor draw below ~1500 rpm.
  3. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    Thanks, let me check the battery. I no longer have the stock alternator. I know assumptions are not good, but I'm thinking the new charging system should be charging more. Never noticed the dimming as much until recently.
  4. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  5. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

  6. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    For anybody who cares, it was a bad battery!
    drgonzo, Paul Sutton and gggGary like this.

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