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Starter Suicide

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by prue1, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    Hi, new to the forum. Just completed my first complete (crank, cylinders and head) overhaul of my XS2. My electric start worked ok for the first 100 miles, but now does not. My overhaul included all new gearing for the starter mechanism. The starter relay wants to connect (you can hear the tell tale noise), It didn't just quit, you could tell it was going and now, all I get is the ticking noise. I have a new lithium battery with 210 cold crank amps, it measures over 14 volts and still wont turn over the starter.

    Anyone have any ideas (all grounds seem to be in order)? Thanks!
     
  2. grepper

    grepper fiddle futzer

    Hmmm.. Starter could just be old and tired. They are not to hard to rebuild, kits are available. I rebuilt a starter on an old Honda CB and it really made a difference.
     
  3. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Here's a few checks you can do to figure out if the starter is working.
    I use a spare car battery I have. I hook jumper cables to this battery. The other end I hook the ground cable to a foot peg mount nut, a good place to ground to. In the positive cable a put a long 3/8 bolt a screwdriver or something along those lines.
    Now with the bike in neutral on the side stand look up under the bike. Find where the cable hooks to the starter. Pull the rubber cover back, touch the bolt/screwdriver to the stud on the starter. If the starter spins the engine over well then the problems not the starter.
    If it doesn't spin the engine then pull the starter and rebuild or replace. On the XS2 and TX650 from what I understand the starters were not as strong as the later. In 74 with the TX650A they upgraded the starter and started using a stronger battery.
    If you replace it I would recommend going with a 74 or later starter.
    If it cranks the engine ok, move up to where the cable hooks to the starter relay. Pull back the rubber cover, touch the bolt to the stud the cable bolts to, this should spin the starter. If not clean the cable connections at the starter and at the relay.
    If it cranks then, next I use a large pair of pliers. Touch one side of the pliers to the stud on the relay the cable to the starter hooks, touch the other side of the pliers to where the cable from the battery hooks. This should spin the starter.
    If all these checks spin the starter you need a different starter relay.
    Cleaning the cable connections all along the power path is a good idea.
    Starter problems can be along the ground path as well. The starter grounds to the engine, the engine grounds through the mounts to the frame, from the frame to the battery.
    If the case where the starter mounts is dirty it won't ground well. Where the engine grounds to the mounts, any paint or powder coat stops grounding. Here I would suggest removing the rear mount. Just two flat triangles of steel. Where the two triangles touch the case, clean bare metal. Where they touch the frame clean bare metal.
    Up where the negative battery cable hooks to the frame, again clean bare metal to bare clean metal contact is needed.
    Leo
     
  4. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    I have 13+ volts at battery, have not checked voltage at starter, but my lights are very dim indicating lack of voltage from battery. Do you still think it is my starter?
     
  5. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    Thanks!, I will try.
     
  6. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Start with a fully charged battery. Connect a VOM to your battery terminals to read voltage (20 volt scale). Now, try to start using the starter motor........................if you hear a click and the VOM voltage drops to less than 7 volts, you need a new battery.
     
  7. grepper

    grepper fiddle futzer

    :bow2:

    Listen to these guys (XSLeo and retiredgentleman), they are the real pros. I'm just a poser.
     
  8. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    I performed the test, my voltage drops from 13+ volts to under 5 when I turn the key on (have not even hit the starter lever).

    Could it be a bad ground or bad ignition switch?
     
  9. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Possibly. Check all the grounds. Clean bare metal to clean bare metal.
    Your switch depending on how it's made can be taken apart and cleaned. Some use screws to hold it together, some are crimped.
    Another thing is the rotor. If it's partly shorted it can draw more current than it should and cause such a voltage drop. Unplug the wires from the regulator. This stops the current flow to the rotor.
    With the reg unplugged try the voltage check with the key on.
    Leo
     
  10. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    I do have the Pamco electronic ignition, if that matters?
     
  11. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    I disconnected my coils (Pamco) and the voltage only dropped about 1 volt to 12+.

    The bike was running ok prior to this major voltage drop. Dumb question, should the coils be grounded?

    Thanks Leo.
     
  12. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    The ignition won't change things much if any, the ignition itself draws very little power. The coils are what draws the power. The only ground the coils need are supplied by the Pamco.
    On your coil, if it has a coating on the mounting lugs that should be cleaned off. A bare metal to bare metal contact is good here. Not for grounding but as extra heat sink. The coils get very warm they need the extra heat sink to keep from over heating.
    You might want too ohm the coil. Should be 2.5 to 4.5 ohms on the primary. From either primary wire to ground should be no reading. There should be no continuity from the primary side to ground.
    The coil draws 3-5 amps of power. This will draw the voltage down a volt or two but should not be more than that. this indicates a shorted coil.
    Leo
     
  13. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

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    Welcome prue ...you might find this site useful especially the parts lists and exploded views
    http://www.boats.net/parts/search/Yamaha/Motorcycle/1972/XS2/ELECTRICAL/parts.html

    I know that there are some differences in word definitions across the pond Leo but surely you mean the starter solenoid switch not relay ? :confused: do you guys call a solenoid a relay over there?
     

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  14. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    There are 3 words that commonly get used for switching electrical current. Relay, contactor, and solenoid. Sometimes they are interchanged, but we all know what they generally mean.

    A relay switches current in low power circuits.

    A contactor switches current in high power circuits.

    A solenoid can switch current and/or produce physical motion such as moving a pinion gear into mesh with a ring gear.

    I would say the XS650 has a contactor to switch current for the starter motor, since the current flow is large ................75 to 100 amps.
     
  15. Put your voltmeter right on the battery terminals direct. If you turn on the ign and it shows 5V I would guess it is a bad batt. That much draw dropping a good batt from 12 to 5v that quick would be more of a short/drain to ground and would probably blow a fuse. If it is showing 12 at the batt then go down stream with the meter until you find the drop.
     
  16. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

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    Thank you for your fascinating lecture of what a relay is and how a switch works ...very good 7 out of 10 RG :laugh:

    I was curious what you guys called a solenoid switch over that side of the pond .

    It seems it is indeed called a relay just as leo said .:wink2: a bit confusing for us Brits as we generally call high current relays that are specific to starter motors, Solenoids in order to differentiate them from relays which carry small relatively low current.

    I have never seen the word 'Contactor' used, either here in the UK or in the US, to specify an XS650 Starter solenoid or starter relay.:wink2:
     
  17. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    I performed your original test using the spare battery, I got the starter to turn powering directly to the starter then when up to powering the starter at the starter relay, the starter worked there also. When I used my pliers to connect both contacts on the relay, no go.....I assume that I need a new starter relay, but the fact that my voltage drops so much at the battery when I turn the ignition on is troubling.

    I diconnected the relay and this is still the case. As I said in an earlier post, if I disconnect the aftermarket ignition coil my voltage goes back to normal.
     
  18. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    There is a 2.5 ohm reading on the coil. No continuity from either coil terminal to ground. Coil is grounded via the negative lead. When you say primary, do you mean the leads coming out of the coil? Thanks
     
  19. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    In your testing of the starter if it turns with touching the stud on the starter and it turns the starter is ok. Touching the stud on the relay tells you the starter and cable connections are ok. Using the pliers to jump the relay and it turns the starter the relay is bad. In your case the starter did not turn when you jumped the relay, this means the battery is bad. One more test. Hook the jumper cables to the battery. will it crank with the starter lever?
    Fully charge your bike battery, check the voltage and see if it starts.
    I think you have a bad battery. Even a brand new lithium-ion battery can be bad.
    How long have you had this battery? Have you ever left the key on and drained the battery flat?
    Yamaha often uses the term starter relay. Some refer to it as a solenoid. Either way it's the same thing.
    A device that uses a small current to control a large current. I'd use that but that's a lot of typing.
    On a coil the primary side is the side that gets the current electrical system and the ignition controls the ground, Or the two small wires.
    The secondary side is where the spark plug wires hook in.
    With the 2.5 ohms on the primary wires and no continuity from these wires to ground, this indicates the coil is ok.
    If you have the Pamco power goes to the coil on one of the primary wires, the other hooks to the green wire of the Pamco. The Pamco controls the coil ground. It hooks the green wire to ground to charge the coil, it then unhooks the ground to discharge the coil to spark the plug.
    Leo
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  20. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    This is my second new battery, what could be destroying my batteries???? The current lithium battery is about 30 days old, The key has never been left on for more then 5 minutes. The battery has never drained flat and right now has 13+ volts. The voltage regulator charges at 14-14.5 volts. I will do the next check you recommended, but I won't be able to this until next week.

    Thanks a lot, I will let you know what I find.
     

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