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Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an smoke

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Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an smoke

PostAuthor: compucarnut » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:30 pm

I HAAAAAAATTTTE electrical problems because I have no clue where to start. So bike was starting first crank yesterday, now all I get is a click, and the battery wires get super hot and smoke. Battery cables are both good, battery is brand new like 1 month old. I tried a different starter solenoid with the same result, one click from the solenoid then lots of smoke from the wires to the starter and negative cable gets red hot. Does this crap normally just break overnight with no warning? Starter bad? wiring? I'm at a loss here. Bike will start on first crack if I push start it. Where do I start here with diagnosing this....I hate to throw more money at this bike I've already spent $200 on an $800 bike getting the carbs rebuilt and I still don't have a bike I can ride yet.

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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: drainplug » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:11 pm

I would say you have some serious resistance at -neg.the cable. Heat come from resistance, the cables may be new and clean but the posts aren't. I always wire brush them and then put some dielectric grease on my electrical connections.
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: mark75 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:35 pm

Uh-oh, the pixies are very angry, and are letting out the magic smoke!
electricity is "magic/mystical" ... anyways to me ... :naughty:

:yup: 1st thing to do is check your connections.

might try jump directly to starter terminal to see if starter motor turns with that
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: compucarnut » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:08 am

I tried directly jumping the starter and all I got was a smoke spark show. I'm guessing this means the starter is fried. How the hell does that happen overnight

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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: mark75 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:14 pm

:huh?: just guessing - maybe metal fatigue? busted wire or brushes cause direct short? ---> https://www.mrcycles.com/oemparts/a/yam ... ting-motor
insect? rodent? bad mojo?
:con:

have to take it apart and see what you have ---

several new replacements on eBay ~$75 +/-
4-brush model better, if available
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Time flies whether you're having fun __ :bike: ... or not ... :fan: ---
and --- Any day above ground is a good day.
so Laissez les bon temps roulez ... just roll safely

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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: compucarnut » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:43 pm

I'm ready to roll this bike off a cliff. I swapped the starter solenoid, it started right up.....shut it off, now when I hit the starter button all the wires start smoking. I don't know what to do. All the connections are solid, battery is new, solenoid is new, I'm at a loss

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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:19 am

compucarnut wrote:I'm ready to roll this bike off a cliff.


:hair: "BREATH!" :hair: That won't fix the bike, even though "outta sight-outta mind" might seem like the path of least resistance, sometimes. Ya gots alotta good minds around here, should be able to sort it out. :cl: Where to start? Everyone has something different, for sure. But as Mark said..usually start at the end and work backwards if you're not sure. As in this case, the starter...take'n it apart, checking everything. All it takes is 'one' wire from the windings to touch the case and..poof. Then eliminating that and move back to the next. 36 yrs is a looong time for things not to start wearing out. And it's usually the simple things.
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: compucarnut » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:13 am

Just an update....I removed the starter and applied power to it.....spun easily. When I test voltage from the two larger terminals on the solenoid I only get power on the upper side no matter what solenoid I use. What's confusing is sometimes I get smoke at the starter when I hit the starter button so obviously it's getting some kind of power. I really just want to rewire the whole bike and start from scratch to figure this rats nest out

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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:32 am

compucarnut wrote:I removed the starter and applied power to it.....spun easily.


Doesn't mean there's still not an dead short in the starter.

compucarnut wrote:sometimes I get smoke at the starter when I hit the starter button


Should tell ya close to where the short is at. Usually.

How's the little insulator on the starter's terminal? Sometime when people re-connect the starters' wire, they over turn the nut and can spin the whole terminal..breaking the terminals' insulating disc or something "inside" the motor's casing.
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: mark75 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:13 pm

compucarnut wrote:Just an update....I removed the starter and applied power to it.....spun easily. When I test voltage from the two larger terminals on the solenoid I only get power on the upper side no matter what solenoid I use. What's confusing is sometimes I get smoke at the starter when I hit the starter button so obviously it's getting some kind of power. I really just want to rewire the whole bike and start from scratch to figure this rats nest out



read this ---> viewtopic.php?f=140&t=29436
it helped me with rebuilding a harness.
"Over the Mountains of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride" ... E.A. Poe

'13 - FXDC Super Glide Custom
'82 - XV750

Time flies whether you're having fun __ :bike: ... or not ... :fan: ---
and --- Any day above ground is a good day.
so Laissez les bon temps roulez ... just roll safely

"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand." ... Confucius*

If you don't read the news you are not informed.
If you read the news you are misinformed.
... Mark Twain

New Members Note- The site will allow full access (U/L, D/L, PM, etc) after your 5th post.

TIP: search the Knowledge Base Board Nav., Tech Articles, Tips, and Links for tricks, and Solutions...
the search may seem or feel ponderous, but it's worth the effort.
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*The views, opinions, and experiences expressed in this post are mine and may not necessarily represent views and opinions of other VTF members, so feel free to agree, disagree, or ignore them.*
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: Jake » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:17 pm

mark75 wrote:
might try jump directly to starter terminal to see if starter motor turns with that


:yup:

I think your engine may be locked up. See if you can turn it over by hand.
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: Jake » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:24 pm

Here’s another thought, check the oil level, if it’s too high ( due to a leaking petcock ) the engine could be hydolocked.

Happened to me, once I opened the oil fill cap, it spun and oil and gas spewed all over me.
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: bstig60 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:14 am

compucarnut wrote:I HAAAAAAATTTTE electrical problems because I have no clue where to start. So bike was starting first crank yesterday, now all I get is a click, and the battery wires get super hot and smoke. Battery cables are both good, battery is brand new like 1 month old. I tried a different starter solenoid with the same result, one click from the solenoid then lots of smoke from the wires to the starter and negative cable gets red hot. Does this crap normally just break overnight with no warning? Starter bad? wiring? I'm at a loss here. Bike will start on first crack if I push start it. Where do I start here with diagnosing this....I hate to throw more money at this bike I've already spent $200 on an $800 bike getting the carbs rebuilt and I still don't have a bike I can ride yet.

Bad starter would be my first guess based on what you have given as symptoms. Can you turn the engine over completely with a wrench on the crankshaft nut?? Also, if your cables to the starter and ground cables to the battery have gotten that hot, you need to replace them...
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: compucarnut » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:21 am

Jake wrote:
mark75 wrote:
might try jump directly to starter terminal to see if starter motor turns with that


:yup:

I think your engine may be locked up. See if you can turn it over by hand.


Couple people have said this.... but......when I push start the bike it starts first revolution of the tire and runs good. Definitely not locked up

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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:44 am

compucarnut wrote: What's confusing is sometimes I get smoke at the starter when I hit the starter button


Kinda off base, here...but you have any idea "where" at the starter this smoke is coming from? Is there any crackl'n/sizzl'n? I only say this cuz had an old junker VW once..same thing..turns out the starters electrical connection had broken a solder joint "inside" the copper connection to the starter's post. Just where you couldn't see the break, but sure could smell and see the smoke when it would begin to arc. Took awhile to figure that one out, cuz ya really didn't know what was going on until ya crawl under and cranked it over. Ala: the redneck's remote starter. (The wife) :bg:
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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: nanno » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:56 am

One thing I get a lot with aftermarket starters is that they use rather soft brushes (so they bed in more quickly) - as such they also produce a lot of carbon dust, which leads to micro-shorts inside the starter. Open it up, flush it out with some brake cleaner and that should at least this part of the game taken care off.
http://viragotechforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=43227 - Nanno's accumulated findings (and blatant show-off) - infos on my TR1's, my performance and reliability mods and a bit of show-casing of the stainless steel exhausts I build

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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: compucarnut » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:23 pm

I'll try flushing out the starter guts tommorow. On my third 14 hour shift today

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Re: Bike was starting fine yesterday, now I get a click an s

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:45 pm

As nanno mentioned..pay particular attention to the commutator. Specially the grooves between the copper plate/brush contacts. This is really vulnerable to filling up with brush dust. Don't have the exact numbers, but there is a minimum undercut of this area. I usually give this area couple swipes with hacksaw blade or file, flush & brush and call it good. To me rebuilding a starter is temporary repairs. Unless ya got a fully equipped machine shop, with all the goodies.
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