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Discussion Starter #1
Honda Shadow 600 VLX 45000. Well maintained.

Driving in bumper to bumper traffic and inadvertently stalled. Simple enough, just hit start button and go on. Start button will not work. Nothing at all heard from starter.

Push started there in first and went 40 miles home without issue. Been doing that for a few days and runs fine.

I think my push switch,/kill on throttle switch is bad, the solenoid or starter.

Starter old but do not think so since they should go gradually but just my experience with cars.

Switch could be bad but cleaned it up a while ago since in the past push button would not startand would have to hit steel part with palm of hand then push start.

Never looked at solenoid and will put a wire across it to see if it starts. If so starter OK but leads to solenoid may be corroded. or switch bad.

Also hit starter with rubber hammer to see if that helps. Once in a while works. Did with my car and got me home.

All fuses good.


Am I on the right track.
 

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You need to measure with a voltmeter: battery voltage before and while button is pressed, voltage at starter solenoid input and output when button is pressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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You need to measure with a voltmeter: battery voltage before and while button is pressed, voltage at starter solenoid input and output when button is pressed.

Key on, neutral

Before and after button pressed 12.4 V

Starter solenoid 12.4 V

Voltage should drop when depressed.

Took handle apart (never done before) and contacts very dirty. Will clean and lubricate with silicone.

Also all lights on except headlight and read somewhere headlights are part of the electrical circuit that starts bike.
 

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You need to measure with a voltmeter: battery voltage before and while button is pressed, voltage at starter solenoid input and output when button is pressed.

Key on, neutral

Before and after button pressed 12.4 V
So, the starter solenoid is not providing any power to the starter motor.

Starter solenoid 12.4 V

Voltage should drop when depressed.
Unclear - is that at the large terminal that connects to the battery, or the voltage across the coil that activates it? If the large terminal, then the large cable needs cleaning at both ends, or replacing. If the second, the voltage on one side of the coil should stay at battery voltage, while the other side goes near 0V; if it is somewhere between 0V and battery voltage, then the switch or its ground is suspect.

Took handle apart (never done before) and contacts very dirty. Will clean and lubricate with silicone.
Also make sure the ground from the handlebar is good. Some bikes will have this wire broken somewhere between the switch and the battery.

Also all lights on except headlight and read somewhere headlights are part of the electrical circuit that starts bike.
Many bikes have the power to the headlamp controlled through the start switch, so the light goes out when the starter is active. My Valkyrie runs this power directly through a second set of contacts on the switch, while my VS800 uses a relay that is open when the starter is active. Either way, if your light is out, then something is wrong with the switching circuit. My Valk had intermittent headlamp power, until I cleaned that part of the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Measured from red battery terminal to left post which it connects to on solenoid - 0 v makes sense

Measured from left and right solenoid posts (right connects to starter, left to pos battery terminal) - 12.4 v

Cleaned kill and start button - took all apart - still no start

Crossed posts on solenoid with wire starter turns over.

Start button lost ground somewhere I think?

Am I right on how bike starts
Starter button connected to solenoid and tells it to give voltage to starter and starts engine. There is also a black cylindrical coil nearby near solenoid. The solenoid is the one with a 30 amp fuse. I understand the rectifier and alternator.
 

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Can you measure the two small wires to the starter relay? If so, is voltage present on both?

You need to find a wiring diagram. For many years, now, bikes have had safety switches to keep the bike from starting or running when 'they' decided it wasn't safe. For example, the starter is usually disabled when the clutch lever is not pulled in all the way, and the ignition may be disabled when the stand is down and not in neutral. Different models have variations on how this is done, which is why you need a diagram for your bike.

Since your problem came on suddenly, I would first check the safety switch on the clutch lever; it is very common for them to get dirty. As a test, you can usually unplug a small connector from that switch and jumper the contacts with a bit of wire. Some leave the jumper in, but I prefer to keep the switch in circuit - not for safety, but so I can keep the headlight off with the start button when turning the key on, then start with the clutch lever.

And just for the record, the starter relay (solenoid) will not have a fuse between it and the battery or the starter motor; if a large fuse is attached to it, it would be the main power fuse that powers everything else.
 

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Starting

On my 79 XS11 I had a similar problem.
The power from the battery, to the solenoid, carries on with a red or red white wyre, thru the ignition switch and kill switch. On newer models it checks in with other functions as wintr has described. The red white wyre returns to the solenoid. It is soldered in place. Should have zero volts with the key off. A bit less than battery volts with the key on. This is an easy test to be sure the originating volts, have completed their circuit.
If the kill switch, battery and clutch and neutral connections are all good:
I found a white four wyre clip together connector under the tank that was corroded and not making a reliable connection. Snip snip and solder fixed the problem. The starter button wyres went thru the same connector, same problem, same fix. It is amazing how many volts get lost, or how much resistance there is in old slightly corroded connections.
Clean bright and shiny, is what we strive for in old tractors like my 41 Ford.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What I did

I have supplied pictures but the part with the 30 A is the solenoid/starter relay.

Per the manual which I also have pictures

I tested the ground first and there was continuity. I then tested for voltage and there was none when button pressed
 

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So, yes, the 30A fuse is the primary power fuse, and that power passes through the red and red/white wires. The smaller green/red and yellow/red wires in the contacts opposite the fuse are the ones that activate the solenoid, which is clear from the manual. If no voltage appears on the yellow/red wire, one of the interlocks may be open or you have a broken connection between it and the switch. That large, rusted nut looks like the output of the solenoid to the starter motor, but is labeled 'B' for battery, and the other, covered terminal is labeled 'M' for motor; the rust could use some attention. Since you have a manual, you should be able to follow the y/r wire through the wiring diagram to find all the things that can interrupt power to it. If there is power at the switch with the key on, for example, the break is between it and the solenoid; that could be a safety switch or damaged contact.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Will keep you posted but your right will attack the easy and clean the posts then follow the yellow brick road wire. Thanks. Appreciate everyone's help.
 

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Update

Cleaned the relay/solenoid and was rusty/dirty so could be an issue in the future but same issue still.

That said removed gas tank, seat and flares near fork covering wires for better tracking of wires. Pretty easy to do and did some wipe down.

Working on tracking the wires but also cleaned clutch handle by taking apart ( light switch, horn, and signal bar). Noticed signal contacts were greasy, rusty like appearance. Could not see contacts. Will put together and see if this makes a difference since headlight which does not turn on when key is turned is connected to it. It is also part of the safety loop to start the bike. Kill switch and starter button was cleaned before.

Half way through tracking wires toward front from solenoid and no damage. Found some slightly loose air cleaner and fuel connections and corrected by reseating clip like wire.

Is dielectric grease OK for contacts?
 

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Test the internals of the solenoid and the ignigtion switch

On any Honda that I have ever seen, the Yellow wire with the red stripe is what connects the starter button to the solenoid.

Testing the function of the solenoid is easy. Place test leads and feed 12 volts + and - to the small wires on the solenoid and you should hear a click if the solenoid is out of the bike. Also the large posts of the solenoid should be tested for continuity with the switch energized. If the solenoid is in the bike be careful doing this because applying voltage to the small wires might crank the engine while in gear or some other unsafe condition.

If the solenoid passes the test, the Honda manual should also have a protocol for testing the keyswitch. There should be a red wire that feeds the key switch from the battery. When you turn the key "on" the continuity will be completed to other leads in the switch connector. The service manual or a wiring diagram will clue you in on what points should "light up' with continuity at the various switch positions. It might not seem likely that an Ignition switch would fail on a newer bike, but my Magna wore off the contact points at only 20,ooo miles and had to be replaced. The old 70's switches are built much better and seem not to wear at all.
 

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Is dielectric grease OK for contacts?
For most types, yes, as the contacts slide or snap together, and will push the grease out of the way. For some, like the start button, the pressure is sometimes too low to guarantee a clean contact. For those switches, I use a contact cleaner with lube on the contacts, and apply the grease around the case to keep any water and grime out.

If you have a broken wire, it won't be easy to find the break. If you have confirmed that voltage is getting to the switch end of the y/r wire, but not to the solenoid end, you will need a probe with a sharp tip, then feel the wires, especially where they bend or flex between the bars and frame. If it feels different than elsewhere, probe on the switch side of the bend and, if voltage appears, probe the other side of the bend. Work your way toward the solenoid, until you find the break.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Testing the function of the solenoid is easy. Place test leads and feed 12 volts + and - to the small wires on the solenoid and you should hear a click if the solenoid is out of the bike. Also the large posts of the solenoid should be tested for continuity with the switch energized. If the solenoid is in the bike be careful doing this because applying voltage to the small wires might crank the engine while in gear or some other unsafe condition.

Experiment #1 - Sorry, the Nurdy Scientist in me.

Plan

Solenoid off bike - test 2 of the four flat metal plugs y/g and g/r that connect to 4 wire harness. These supply voltage to solenoid and expect a click to indicate the solenoid can send voltage to battery.

Results

Connected one wire to y/g (+) flat metal plug and flat metal g/r (-) plug and the other end went to my 12 v car mc battery to the + and - . No click at all.

Each parallel set of plugs have continuity.

30 A Fuse on solenoid has continuity

Poles do not since not energized.

Solenoid should be bad.




Did clean signal, light switch and directional signal no longer lags but no change otherwise..
 

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The plug contacts from y/g to g/y should read somewhere around 50 to 200 ohms (depends on the strength of the coil). But, since no click and the large poles don't connect with the battery connected, I'd say that either the moving part of the solenoid is stuck, or the contacts are burnt. Many can be taken apart by bending tabs, or removing screws, so you can clean out and, possibly, reverse the moving large contact, for better connections.

Or, if you can't find a replacement part, you can use just about any starter solenoid, and install a separate fuse holder for that 30A fuse. You just have to cut and crimp some wires to new connectors.
 

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Testing the function of the solenoid is easy. Place test leads and feed 12 volts + and - to the small wires on the solenoid and you should hear a click if the solenoid is out of the bike. Also the large posts of the solenoid should be tested for continuity with the switch energized. If the solenoid is in the bike be careful doing this because applying voltage to the small wires might crank the engine while in gear or some other unsafe condition.

Experiment #1 - Sorry, the Nurdy Scientist in me.

Plan

Solenoid off bike - test 2 of the four flat metal plugs y/g and g/r that connect to 4 wire harness. These supply voltage to solenoid and expect a click to indicate the solenoid can send voltage to battery.

Results

Connected one wire to y/g (+) flat metal plug and flat metal g/r (-) plug and the other end went to my 12 v car mc battery to the + and - . No click at all.

Each parallel set of plugs have continuity.

30 A Fuse on solenoid has continuity

Poles do not since not energized.

Solenoid should be bad.




Did clean signal, light switch and directional signal no longer lags but no change otherwise..
According to the manual page you posted, the Yellow/red and Green/red should be the wires that make the solenoid click, with the yellow/red going to the positive battery terminal.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, Just curious I see the OEM on ebay for 60-70 and some aftermarket for 20. Your thoughts on aftermarket which may be China, Vietnam, Malasia, not USA.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The plug contacts from y/g to g/y should read somewhere around 50 to 200 ohms.

Just measured (off bike). Continuity but no ohms for both parallel blades. There is probably some resistance but in milliohm range.
 
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