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Old 08-24-2007, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Starter problem on '87 FXR

I don't know if I should post this here or in the electrical forum, but here goes:

'87 FXR with issues. Brand new battery, hit starter button and solenoid clatters and clicks but never engages enough to turn the motor over. Hooked up a remote starter switch to the BAT+ terminal (upper,large) on solenoid and the IGN terminal (smallest terminal) and by pushing the remote start button it fires right up. So... I have essentially bypassed the wires running up thru the bars and up to the "START" switch on the right hand control. This switch was replaced a few months ago by a shop (it's a friends bike) and I am wondering if the wiring coming down from the switch is bad or if there is a connector somewhere that is corroded, maybe under the tank?


I don't know much about FXRs except they handle well... haha, so where do I look for the wire from the starter switch to the solenoid signal wire? The wire on the solenoid is tan/brown color, but when I pulled the left sidecover, there is only one brown wire and it runs into a square plug with 5 wires on it, just to the rear of the circuit breakers, and has nothing to do with the starting circuit. HELP!!! Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check the starter relay first. The button on the handlebar engages the relay and the relay delivers the power to the solenoid to start the engine. The simple test is to change the relay first. if that doesn't solve it let us know and I can help you troubleshoot the circuit.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Springer, Where is that little bugger? I took off the left side cover and saw about 4 cans that I thought were 12v circuit breakers, looked just like the ones behind the dash on an old peterbuilt

I didn't mess with them at all as I didn't think of there being a relay in there too. I think this whole bike needs a new harness, its kind of a mess.

Thanks
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am not sure of the exact location but would think it is in the area of the left side cover. It is a Bosch Relay and looks like this ...

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Old 08-26-2007, 05:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's on the right side of my bike ??.

I had a same problem to, turned out to be the solenoid contacts all burnt. Stripped it down ans reversed the 'washer' contact, started first time after that.

You can get solenoid rebuild kits.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Same Wiring Problem, PLZ HELP !!!!!!!!!

I'm having the same problem with my 87 FXR!!! Replaced the relay, took apart the solenoid to flip the washer, only to find it must be a cheap *** replacement, copper only on one side, so I filed the copper to smooth, and the contact pole.

If I jump the battery to the solenoid tan wire at the solenoid, it takes right off.

I've checked continuity on the run switch, and the harness, but not yet under the tank.

Also, and this is IMPORTANT,,.. the RED wire conected to the keyswitch on the tank gets REALLY hot and starts to smoke if I hold the start button while the relay is clicking. Is this indicating the problem is at the keyswitch since that's the point of the smoke??

I removed the wire from the keywitch and cleaned the contact.

STILL NO IMPROVEMENT !!!!!!!!!!!!

Help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I also took the wires loose from the circuit breakers, cleaned those contacts, and put it all back together too, same thing.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just had the same problem with my 88 fxrs. Turns out my starter was roached and it was melting wires everytime I hit the starter button. I replaced the solenoid first with no luck, then I had my All Balls starter rebuilt. Now it starts like new!!!
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like you have a wire after the start switch shorting to ground or something. There is no way the start relay would pull that much current to cause that wire to heat up and smoke. Donít know for sure, but Iíd say the start relay should pull in the range of 150 - 250mA. The wire should be at least 16 or 18 AWG wire good for like 14 to 18A at least.

Are you the original owner? Maybe someone bypassed the starter relay and ran the start switch straight to the starter solenoid. Just throwing a few things to check. I would definitely take the seat and tank off and check the wiring.

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Old 05-08-2008, 07:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieCamel View Post
Sounds like you have a wire after the start switch shorting to ground or something. There is no way the start relay would pull that much current to cause that wire to heat up and smoke. Donít know for sure, but Iíd say the start relay should pull in the range of 150 - 250mA. The wire should be at least 16 or 18 AWG wire good for like 14 to 18A at least.

Are you the original owner? Maybe someone bypassed the starter relay and ran the start switch straight to the starter solenoid. Just throwing a few things to check. I would definitely take the seat and tank off and check the wiring.

Ed
Ed,
Thanks. No, I'm not the original owner, I bought it from a guy that wrecked it in the front. There was some wiring damage, I fixed that in the handlebar harness, but didn't look under the tank. I have a diagram, but how does that red wire at the keyswitch affect the starting or starter wiring? I don't see that. It looks like to me, the red is a supply for ignition, etc.?? The red looks like a 14 guage, and appears to be original judging by the connectors at each end. I checked the plugs, under the dash, all seemed OK, I tightened two up slightly. One thing that puzzles me most, and I've been a wrench for may years, is that when I supply voltage to the starter breaker from the battery directly, deleting the start button, it takes off, and same when I hold the batt term on the solenoid to the tan wire also at the solenoid. When I put batt voltage to the breakers, it does the same thing, on either side of the breaker.

I sure could use and welcome advice, especially about this red wire at the keyswitch!!

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have an FXR manual at home that may have a wire harness diagram in it. Im at work atm so when i get home ill look at it. I have a L84 FXRDG and the Key switch actually supplies power to the start button. Not sure how yours is wired but ill try to find an answer. I may need to know you bike type for specifics on the harness. 87 FXRT or FXRS?
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieCamel View Post
I have an FXR manual at home that may have a wire harness diagram in it. Im at work atm so when i get home ill look at it. I have a L84 FXRDG and the Key switch actually supplies power to the start button. Not sure how yours is wired but ill try to find an answer. I may need to know you bike type for specifics on the harness. 87 FXRT or FXRS?
I'm pretty sure it's an FXRS




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Old 05-09-2008, 01:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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OK Here is what the Clymer Schematic has:

The red wire is the feed from the main fuse fed from the battery.

From the ignition switch, You have a white and a green wire.

The white wire does alot.
It feeds the accessory fuses and the ignition fuse. It also feeds the hot to the normally open relay contact of the start relay that feeds your starter solenoid.

It also feed the light switch position on your ignition switch.
The accessory and ignition fuses are linked on the feed side from the ignition switch.

The Ignition fuse feeds to the Stop switch with a grey wire. That in turn feeds the start switch with a White wire and also connects to one side of you Coil with a white wire.

From the start switch you have a black wire that runs to your ignition relay to activate it for starting.

The print for a 87-90 FXLR shows a tan wire going to the solenoid and so does the print for a 87 FXRT. The 87 FXRS does not show a wire color coming from the relay to the solenoid.

So to start, Pull the start relay out ( Not the solenoid) and then turn the ignition on and press start button to try and get a feel for what is drawing all the current. If it sill does it, we can rule out the solenoid and the relay. If it doesn't make the red wire hot, then maybe remove your solenoid and take it and have it checked out or try another relay.

From your original post i don't think it is the solenoid.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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another question?

Does the red wire get hot and smoke if you just turn on the ignition switch to either position without hitting the start button?

Try it in both positions hitting the start button also.

does the white or green wire coming from the start switch get hot?

does the black wire going to the start relay get hot?

If you could get hold of an AMP Clamp of some sort it would make this a lot easier. But we can still work it out.

I just don't understand how that is pulling enough current to heat that wire up like that and not blowing either the main fuse or the ignition fuse. Sounds like maybe someone bypassed one or the other or even both. Worth looking at though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nite53 View Post
I also took the wires loose from the circuit breakers, cleaned those contacts, and put it all back together too, same thing.
Making bad contact due to corrosion or something may cause the relay to chatter but should not cause heat build up at the ignition switch unless there is a loose wire in the ignition switch itself. Ive seen loose connections and bad contacts at work cause high heat conditions, but its always at the loose connection and caused from arcing. this could also explain the chatter from the relay.

Sorry so much. Just pissy about my frame accident so I'm going over a lot of things to try and resolve your issue.

Ed
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Does the red wire get hot and smoke if you just turn on the ignition switch to either position without hitting the start button?
Nope, only by hitting the start button

Try it in both positions hitting the start button also. GOOD IDEA, I WILL

does the white or green wire coming from the start switch get hot? NO

does the black wire going to the start relay get hot? NO, but the orange, or hot wire at the relay gets warm/hot

If you could get hold of an AMP Clamp of some sort it would make this a lot easier. But we can still work it out.
Don't have an amp meter anymore,....... sorry

I just don't understand how that is pulling enough current to heat that wire up like that and not blowing either the main fuse or the ignition fuse. Sounds like maybe someone bypassed one or the other or even both. Worth looking at though.
I know !! All of the harness really appears unmolested other than the handlebar harness, it was extended for apes, and then I repaired damage from it hitting a cement truck! Usually, the weak or poor connection is where it will get hot, right??



Making bad contact due to corrosion or something may cause the relay to chatter but should not cause heat build up at the ignition switch unless there is a loose wire in the ignition switch itself. Ive seen loose connections and bad contacts at work cause high heat conditions, but its always at the loose connection and caused from arcing. this could also explain the chatter from the relay.
I was wondering about the keyswitch. The corrosion/rust at that terminal for THE red wire was bad, so I cleaned that real well. Makes me wonder about that switch. Is it possible to take the switch apart?

Sorry so much. Just pissy about my frame accident so I'm going over a lot of things to try and resolve your issue.
Sorry to hear about a frame accident, what happened? Thanks so much for the help,.... I really appreciate it.

Ed
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