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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I wish my first post here would be about something fun and exciting but no.. Its about my beloved xt600e -90 that is a somewhat of a bitch right now.

It all started when the ground cable from the battery came partly undone and the bike, (obviously) wouldt start. But before i noticed what was wrong the bike started (i guess the cable got contact again) and i drove it for about 30min. I then noticed it and screwed it back into place but now when i press the start-button, all that happens is that the startmotor spins without turning the engine over. Its "freewheeling". Its also impossible to run-start the bike and it bangs from the exaust from time to time when tried. No life at all :(

The symptoms for the starter seem to be that the starterclutch/sprang-clutch is faulty but it seems strange that it happend in relation to the ground problem.
The sparkplug is completly new and does produce a spark, the engine isnt flooded, the fuel/air mix is fine and the cables are connected to where they suppose to be.

If anyone have any idea what this is about i will be so gratefull! I know it will soon be winter but one last ride would mean the world to me.

Thanks
 

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Ghost in the machine
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2,857 Posts
First thing I would do is test the battery with a multi-meter. It is possible that not having a good connection for some time meant it wasn't getting re-charged. And if it is low on charge it may not provide enough power to the starter engage the gear properly.
 

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Biker
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The Ghost in the machine is right, so is Jag13.
I'd put it on a bat. tender for a day or so, then if you can, have it load tested at a bike shop. If you can't have it put on a load-meter
after you charged it for a day, put key on ON for a couple of minutes to get rid of any surface charge, then put volt-meter or
multi-meter across battery and crank it over.

The usual attitude is voltage should not fall below 10 but NO LOWER then 9 and a1/2
volts. LISTEN to the way it cranks. If it sounds like ,"Rooor. . . .Rooor. . .Rooor", sounding like the starter's gonna stop, I have had
a starter sound like that, due to an old battery, with a good battery, she will peel right over, My brother had the same issue, when
he got his new battery, he said the bike started just holding the battery near the bike ! really? Well if the volts drop down to 9 or
even lower, well friend, if you just bought the bike, better off to just get a new one, Otherwise you are fixing your self up to get
stuck somewhere.

Then again, and I doubt it but some bikes have a solenoid on top of the starter, that not only completes circuit to starter but pulls
the starter's pinion gear outwards to mesh in with the fly-wheel or clutch assembly. In either case though, the more AMPS available
to the starter motor, the more TORQUE it produces.

Once you find that you need a new battery and put one in and the bike starts right up, get your self a battery tender, It will make
your battery last twice as long. The battery in my wide glide lasted 2 yrs and that was it. The battery in my Sporty is going on to
four yrs this October, just by using a battery tender a few days a week.

A new battery will not only crank her over quicker but give a hotter spark as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you Rayssporty and Jag13.
The thing is, i've had a bad battery before and when i tried to start it then, you could hear the starter-motor trying to crank the engine over without succeeding. Now
though it just spins freely without tugging the engine over. I have removed the sidepanel so i know that it is connected without a solenoid to the startergear assembly and are spinning those.

The battery is relativly new so i will order a good battery charger and see if that helps. Hopefully i will be able to push-start it then and maybe the starter just isnt spinning fast enough or something:)
 

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Biker
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1,620 Posts
Well, I'm glad you know how a bad battery can effect a good starter and how it should 'whip' over. Yeah I did not think of it
before but the starters pinion gear and maybe a spring or other such thing is messed up. I have a starter, gen/an alternator
shop not far from me, I'll call an see if they work on bike starters and ask if it is possible those gear drives can go bad, maybe
it is just worn out.

If you do know the sound of a starter peeling over the engine like it is no effort, that is good, because some time or other, you
will know the battery won't have enough 'BAT' in it. When you can imagine a baseball player hitting a home run, you'll know it's
in the BAT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I'm glad you know how a bad battery can effect a good starter and how it should 'whip' over. Yeah I did not think of it
before but the starters pinion gear and maybe a spring or other such thing is messed up. I have a starter, gen/an alternator
shop not far from me, I'll call an see if they work on bike starters and ask if it is possible those gear drives can go bad, maybe
it is just worn out.

If you do know the sound of a starter peeling over the engine like it is no effort, that is good, because some time or other, you
will know the battery won't have enough 'BAT' in it. When you can imagine a baseball player hitting a home run, you'll know it's
in the BAT.
UPDATE:
I bought a good 8-step charger and left it on overnight. No difference on the bike though. Its also impossible to run-start like before
I checked the voltage and it didnt drop below 11 when pressing the starter-button and the startermotor just spins freely:( I guess its the starter-clutch thats bad but i dont get why it wont run-start?
 

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Biker
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Hello ee,

You are of course right, the bike started before when pushed, Time to be a bike electrician, since you didn't fart around with the carb.
Get out the multi-meter, I have seen a fair amount of bike wiring diagrams, a hot wire (12 volts +) is in the switch cluster on right
hand grip when ignition sw. is ON. Power goes to one side of ENGINE RUN/KILL on other side of sw. would be two wires, a short jumper
wire that goes to one side of STARTER sw. Other side of starter sw. works the starter relay. ( On some bikes kick stand must be down,
tranny in neutral and clutch held in ) and the other wire from ENGINE RUN/KILL goes to the IGNITION CIRCUIT.

The way to check is put meter on volts at proper volts setting, ground black test lead, open up sw. and with key on, start probing
for your 12v+ with engine RUN sw. ON , check both side of that sw., should;d be volts at one point of sw. all the time and only on
other side when sw. is ON. Take not of wire color for START and the wire that goes to ignition and check for volts at ignition wire
where it goes to either the IGNITION COILS or ignition module, check FUSES! PM me for more help if u want to.
 

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Biker
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Yoe ee! This bike a Yamaha? spoke to a guy at gen/starter shop, he seems to think there is an over-running clutch in bike engine
bell-housing, that starter gear is always meshed with, when engine starts, starter is mechanically dis-engaged. Can't say anymore
if he does NOT see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yoe ee! This bike a Yamaha? spoke to a guy at gen/starter shop, he seems to think there is an over-running clutch in bike engine
bell-housing, that starter gear is always meshed with, when engine starts, starter is mechanically dis-engaged. Can't say anymore
if he does NOT see it.
Wow man.. You are too helpfull. To walk to a shop and ask about a complete strangers problems is something else man! Thank you.
Its what i feared then. All of the electrics looked good so it must be the starter/sprang clutch thats gone like the guy you talked to said. Will have to order a new one from overseas but hopefully it will work.
Its rice and noodle
 

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Biker
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Glad to help ee,

This is a horse of such a dif'rent color, most starters without top mounted solenoids have a spiral shaft with a pinion gear
and a spring between gear and end of starter housing, the spring keeping pinion gear away from clutch gear or crank shaft
gear. When starter is energized, due to centrifugal force pinion gear is forced to move on spiral shaft and mesh in with
clutch outer ring gear, when engine starts an you take your thumb off starter button, the spring pushes gear away from
clutch outer gear or what ever gear it meshed with to crank over the engine

Did u figure out why u have no ignition when engine run sw. is on? maybe a fuse? but you should have ignition since you
were able to push start the bike previous to today.

On Harley's, a solenoid IS on top of starter doing two jobs, energizing solenoid coil pushing starter gear to mesh with flywheel
gear at the same time and simultaneously even, bridging two heavy contacts in solenoid between battery and starting motor
this is also done on various cars and trucks and heavy equipment.

Anyways I was glad to help, you know more about the bike than I do but there are certain ways of doing things and though
you need not be a mechanic to get in a nice ride, to me anyways, it's always nice to know as much about your ride as possible.
 

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Biker
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UPDATE:
I bought a good 8-step charger and left it on overnight. No difference on the bike though. Its also impossible to run-start like before
I checked the voltage and it didnt drop below 11 when pressing the starter-button and the startermotor just spins freely:( I guess its the starter-clutch that's bad but i dont get why it wont run-start?
Yoe EE ! something happened electrically speaking, with key on'ON' power goes to engine run sw. , with ER sw. 'ON'
power should go to IGNITION system. probably a fuse or bad connection. I was gonna say ER sw. is bad. without knowing
the bike it is hard to say. My Harley's ER sw. off starter won't crank and no ignition either. On every bike I know of, it is
the proper practice to have a 'KILL switch' which is MUCH quicker than turning a key, even on a dirt bike with hardly
anything electric, the KILL sw. either closes a circuit to the points or shorts out the points .

Since starter still spins when u thumb starter button, with ER sw. on of course, it means to me there is a break somewhere
in the ignition wiring.

Were the bike here I'd open up sw. and check volts from wires at KILL SW. even a test lamp from tail light bulb will work.
one wire from lamp hooked to ground, key on of course ! other lamp wire to connections at KILL sw. one wire would be live
an make lamp lite up, other side of sw. lamp lites when sw. is ON, take note of wire color and start following it, if it means
opening a wire harness, then do it maybe u have lectronic ignition, then wire might go to a module, or over to the coil or coils
and from coils to points. if just a points set-up, one side of coil/ coils should have bike's battery voltage on one side, other
side of coils to 'POINTS' which make connection to ground when they close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yoe EE ! something happened electrically speaking, with key on'ON' power goes to engine run sw. , with ER sw. 'ON'
power should go to IGNITION system. probably a fuse or bad connection. I was gonna say ER sw. is bad. without knowing
the bike it is hard to say. My Harley's ER sw. off starter won't crank and no ignition either. On every bike I know of, it is
the proper practice to have a 'KILL switch' which is MUCH quicker than turning a key, even on a dirt bike with hardly
anything electric, the KILL sw. either closes a circuit to the points or shorts out the points .

Since starter still spins when u thumb starter button, with ER sw. on of course, it means to me there is a break somewhere
in the ignition wiring.

Were the bike here I'd open up sw. and check volts from wires at KILL SW. even a test lamp from tail light bulb will work.
one wire from lamp hooked to ground, key on of course ! other lamp wire to connections at KILL sw. one wire would be live
an make lamp lite up, other side of sw. lamp lites when sw. is ON, take note of wire color and start following it, if it means
opening a wire harness, then do it maybe u have lectronic ignition, then wire might go to a module, or over to the coil or coils
and from coils to points. if just a points set-up, one side of coil/ coils should have bike's battery voltage on one side, other
side of coils to 'POINTS' which make connection to ground when they close.
UPDATE:
Im sorry for not responding for a while.. School is starting and so on but thank you once again for your help.
After none of the electrical components came up faulty, I opened up the left side of the motor to inspect the starter-clutch and found that the "woodruf key" that keeps the generator magnet lined up had broken off and unscewd the whole magnet. I also tested the starter-motor and found that somehow it is turning the wrong way(?) (and no, the cables arnt mixed up to it). I guess the brushes/magnets are faulty or something.. The problem why it wouldt run-start is solved atleast:)

I have ordered new brushes for the starter and a new woodruf key so hopefully that will help.
I will post when the parts have arrived but untill then: Thank you for your amazing help. If we ever meet, beer is on me:)
 
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