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Starter stopped working

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by chkm8, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    Switched handlebars a couple weeks ago. I always kickstart but thought since I had a fully charged new battery I would try the electric start. Hit the button, nothing. No click, no anything. Still kicks just fine. Any ideas?
  2. I believe in doing the simple, aka "Cheap", tests first. So, try jumpimg the solenoid.

    Turns Over
    If it turns over then your problem is not the starter but somewhere in the circuitry before the solenoid, like the starter button (Quite possibly as a result of the handlebar changeout), or the solenoid itself.

    Does Not Turn Over
    If it does not turn over I would suspect the starter, the power to the starter from the solenoid, or a bad starter ground.
  3. xschris

    xschris XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Make sure your handle bars are grounded to your start button housing.
  4. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    The new handlebars are painted, could this be doing it? Its not something I'm worried about since I don't use the electric start, but I like the info.
  5. The new handlebars being painted is quite likely the cause. That's where I would concentrate my efforts first.
  6. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    So the starter button is grounded by being in contact with the handlebar? Since I don't plan to fix this and the bike will be kick only when it's finished, this won't cause any other issues, will it? I'm thinking about the kill switch on that side, mainly.
  7. Snoman6115

    Snoman6115 XS400 Member

    kill switch, horn, turn signals, even lights are all grounded through the handle bars. so you will need to scrape the paint off under the switch housings on both sides. should solve the problem
  8. Crapslaw

    Crapslaw XS400 New Member

    Just put on some painted clip-ons and the starter stoped working and the front turn signals wouldnt flash. This is just the advise I needed. Thanks!
  9. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    Interesting. Head lights and turn signals still work. Haven't tried the horn. Kill switch turns the bike off, but I've noticed a couple of times it takes a couple kicks. I wonder if that's why. I'll give it a shot, I just don't want to mar the new bars too much.
  10. Snoman6115

    Snoman6115 XS400 Member

    you could also connect a wire from the control boxes to like the handlebar mounts which ground it, then you dont need to ruin your new bars. just connect the wire to one of the screws that tighten the control housing to each other
  11. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS400 Junkie

    Just hooking a ground wire from the housings to a ground wont work. When you push the horn or start button the button touches the handle bars. To minimze the damage to the paint. put some tape around next to the switch housings, remove the housings. Use a narrow strip of sand paper and remove the paint with out hitting the tape. Do both sides.
    You need a good connection between the buttons and bars.
    The older bikes used a ground wire from under one riser bolt around to one of the tree clamp bolts. This made the ground path from the bars through the wire to the tree then through the steering stem, bearings to the frame. This pitted the bearings.
    On the later bike they moved that ground wire to go from the left switch housing to the harness ground in the headlight bucket, this bypassed the bearings, so no pitting and a better ground.
    Even with this ground you still need good contcat for the horn and starter buttons.
    These are the only things that use the bars as ground. The turns and kill switch as well as the headlight on/off and dimmer switches don't use a bar ground. If anything quit working when you changed the bars you probably pinched a wire or pulled one apart.
  12. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    Fantastic answer, now I understand how everything works a little better. Only the starter was affected so I can understand how it is a bad ground. I haven't tried the horn and it's going to be gone from the bike in a week or so anyway.

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