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Electrical issue?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by The Wang, Dec 8, 2023.

  1. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    I replaced the starter solenoid, and fuses. Now the neutral/brake/oil indicators don't light up, and it wont turn over with the electric starter. I tried kicking it but couldnt get it going
    (I sprayed fuel into the carb throats, and then straight into the cylinder)

    Any help appreciated
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2023
  2. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    Yes, you have an electrical issue.

    So, some other info is needed to offer direction.

    What year bike is it?
    Has the bike run for you in the past?
    What prompted the solenoid and fuse replacement?
     
  3. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    81, I just bought it a couple weeks ago. Guy said it ran the week prior but needed a new starter. I tried the electric start when I got it, it would turn and then the solenoid would click so I figured it needed a new one. Fuses I did as pre-emptive. I was just about to update my original post; I put the old fuses back in and its working right again but while the electric start does work now, it doesn't work. The solenoid doesnt click like the old one, it just vrrrs so I thought there might be a short somewhere
     
  4. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    Good you got it running. If it were me, I would update the fuse box as an upgrade (I am assuming it is the original one with glass fuses) before doing any other troubleshooting. Just fiddling with the fuses and getting it running sounds like your fuse box is at least part of the problem.
     
  5. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    I did not get it running, The solenoid sounds like there's a short when I try the electric start. There's no problem with the fuse box, though it could use an update; It was the fuses I bought weren't the right kind.
     
  6. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    Okay, sorry I mis-understood. Let me go back to square one:
    Normally the sequence of operation of the electric start circuit is:
    1. You press and hold the start button (assuming here that the main switch is on and the kill switch is in run).
    2. The starter solenoid (relay) will click once.
    3. The electric starter motor will run.

    In your case (please confirm if this is what you are experiencing):
    1. You press and hold the start button
    2. The starter solenoid does not click once (you said it sounds like it is shorted, but I don't know what that means - is it clicking really fast?)
    3. The electric starter motor is not turning
     
    buztabuzt likes this.
  7. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    Originally It would click once as you describe but after a few turns on the engine it would stop and the solenoid would click until you stopped and tried again. Now it doesn't click, it makes a buzz inside the solenoid and the starter doesn't turn at all.

    1. I put the key in, press the starter button
    2. The solenoid buzzes but doesn't click
    3. The starter doesn't spin and if I keep the starter button pressed the buzzing inside the solenoid continues.
     
  8. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    That's a symptom of a low battery. The bike might not run with it that way even if you try kick starting it. Check the voltage of the battery and put a charger on it to see if you can get it back to full charge.
     
  9. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    The reason I didnt mention any battery or anything was because I already tested it. It's good, I tried kicking it but it wouldnt start, As I said originally I even shot gas into the carb and into the cylinder on choke and off choke it wouldnt start, which is why I wanted to get the electric start working correctly
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2023
  10. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    For the starter, it sounds like you might have to test voltage from the fuse box to the start button, to the solenoid. If anything isn't full battery voltage, you should clean the contacts and wire terminals.
    Maybe more importantly, have you pulled the plugs and checked for spark on each when kicking it over?
     
  11. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    I haven't check them for spark. I'll do that while I check some other things
     
  12. tstidham

    tstidham XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    Did you load test the battery or just do a voltage check? I have seen batteries that will show 12.4-12.6 volts resting, but the instance you put a load on them, they drop like a rock into the 7-8 volt range or lower. Usually anything below 10 volts points to a battery getting ready to head to the recycling farm in the sky.
     
    buztabuzt likes this.
  13. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    I dont know why I didnt think of that; I'll have to check that now; It might explain why it wouldnt turn over correctly when I tested with the previous solenoid
     
    tstidham likes this.
  14. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    Tested today, It drops to 8 when I turn on the lights and try to start it
     
  15. tstidham

    tstidham XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    That is probably too low. Try giving it a jump start off your car and see if the extra juice gets her cranking.
     
  16. The Wang

    The Wang XS400 Member

    I don't have jumpers, But I threw it on a trickle charger yesterday. I went down before bed to unplug it and it turned over. Pretty sure it's the battery now, It's unresponsive today so I threw it back on the charger to see if I can get it started later

    Started it earlier, def needs a new battery. However it dies when I let off the throttle, I'm not sure if it's because I'm not letting it warm up enough, or if it's a fuel issue
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2023
    buztabuzt likes this.
  17. Mine takes a while to warm up, particularly in cold. Choke full on, i let in run for a min or so, too much fuel too soon and it wants to cut. In winter I usually start to ride with choke on or part on after some warming, and within 2 blocks it will run without choke fine. My carbs have been cleaned but not finely tuned so might be part of it, but I accept it as an old but happy running bike that like me doesn't like cold weather as much as warm :)
     
    gpounce32768 and The Wang like this.
  18. gpounce32768

    gpounce32768 XS400 Enthusiast

    Mine runs pretty much the same, even after richening the mix a bit and opening up one of the jets. Once the engine is thoroughly warm I find the idle point creeps around a bit so occasional adjustment to keep it low but high enough to charge the battery is helpful. Adding a cheap amazon battery meter to the handlebars has proven to be useful.
     

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