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Old 10-08-2010, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Starter clicking repeatedly but won't turn over! Not the battery! Any help?

My problem started like this went out to start the bike one day and would get nothing but a click. Thought maybe its the battery. Took the battery to local auto parts store and checked out just fine with good charge. Put battery back in and hit start same click sound. After repeatedly clicking the start button I tracked the sound to the starter relay. Well with one hand moving the relay around and one pushing the start button bike would start up. After that I put off fixing it for a while and had been starting it the same way. That was until yesterday. When I started it same way the engine cranked but slowly and barely like the battery was low. Thought ok that's it I am gonna figure out what the problem is. I knew something was going on with the relay so I used a jumper wire and bypassed the relay. Well the starter began to click repeatedly but the engine won't turn over at all. I thought ok maybe battery is bad. So I used some jumper cables from my truck to battery with same result. Next I took the battery to local auto parts store again and this time it was low but still good. Anyway I came back to the house and hooked my battery charger straight to the power and ground battery cables on the bike and set it to the 50 amp position on the charger for starting and gave it a go. Still same thing charger just clicks repeatedly. It has the power for sure because that charger can start a car. I am thinking maybe it is the solenoid but not sure? Anybody got a idea? Bike is a 1992 FXRP with 1340cc evo engine. Hast the starter where the the starter and solenoid are one unit.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hoss, I would tend to agree with you on the solenoid, bypassing to the starter and same results kind of points to the starter as well, since the starter and solenoid is one piece replacing both should solve your issue.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd start with a few tests before replacing the starter.

Using a jumper wire, short the trigger wire terminal on the starter solenoid directly to the positive on the battery, remove the trigger wire to do this. Make sure it is not in gear. This will turn over the engine regardless of any thing else in the system. The key doesn't need to be on and the starter will turn as soon as you hit the battery terminal.

If the the starter still clicks, clean ALL the battery cables and try again. This includes the Positive at the battery and the starter. The negative (ground) at the battery and the ground point. Also check ground strap from engine to frame.

If it still clicks, disconnect the battery. On the back of the solenoid is a cover (house shaped) with 3 screws. Remove the screws and cover carefully noting the spring placement and direction. Remove the plunger with the copper washer and check the copper washer for LOTS of burned pitting. If it is bad, turn the copper washer over and reassemble. Connect battery last and test.

If it still clicks, remove the starter and bench test. In the service manual there are specific tests that can be done to determine the failure or replace starter.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had problem almost the same. The connection between solenoid and the starter I believe was the problem. I cleaned it and has worked fine all summer.

Had the starter out 6 times trying to find problem and the connection looked clean but cleaned it and starter worked.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestions. I ordered a solenoid rebuild kit because it was only like 30 bucks. Figured what the hell. In the meantime I am gonna give the things you suggested a shot springer. I did pull the solenoid cover once already and it was burnt a bit and dirty but instead of flipping the copper washer I just cleaned it with sand paper along with the other copper connectors inside. I never even thought about just flipping it. Still had the same problem after wards though. I did check all my grounds and wires to make sure they had good connections and they looked fine to me but I will go over them again and make sure I clean them all real good even if they don't look like they need it. I know the ground to the starter itself looks like it could be cleaned but I didn't think it would affect the starter like that. I was thinking if it wasn't grounded it wouldn't be clicking or doing anything at all but if my thinking was working I wouldn't be here asking ya'll I will get back with you guys and let you know what I find out. Thanks once again. One more thing, what is a good chemical I could use to clean those connections with? I was thinking about using brake cleaner to take off any kind of oil or grease but if you guys have a better idea I am all for it.

Last edited by HossFXR; 10-08-2010 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had a bear of a time with starting and electrical issues on mine, a year or two ago.

New battery, new solenoid, new starter (All Balls - great starter!), and tracking down every ground wire finally got me there.

Don't forget to check your ground connections, clean 'em, and re-tighten them. A bad ground will also do what you're describing.

Best of luck, and let us know if your solenoid rebuild doesn't do the trick.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HossFXR View Post
...I was thinking if it wasn't grounded it wouldn't be clicking or doing anything at all....

... One more thing, what is a good chemical I could use to clean those connections with? .....
The clicking can be from dirty connections, here's why. A dirty connection can make contact and allow the current to flow. As the current increases the dirty connection can't keep up and the connection causes a high resistance causing the current to drop. Once the current drops the connection can then flow enough to start over. This is the same principal the old car flashers used but with higher current and a much faster cycling time.

To clean the connections use sand paper or emery cloth. Clean both side of the connection, the terminal and what it attach's too.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I bought a solenoid cover that has a button on it for about $20 that pushes in the spring and plunger, by passing everything. Starts every time. Unfortunately it works so well I haven't gotten around to trouble shooting the original problem [clicking]for almost a year now. Even after you fix the problem it can't hurt to have the manual start for emergencies.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah I thought about one of those manual starter buttons but here is the problem. I pulled the solenoid cover off and pushed the solenoid in manually with a screw driver but bike didn't turn over at all. If I pushed and held with a screw driver I would get a couple sparks and then nothing and if I pushed and let go it would just kick the solenoid back which is what is making the clicking noise I believe. The solenoid kicking back and hitting the solenoid cover. Either way the bike didn't even try to turn over.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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ok finally got a small amount of time to work mess with the bike today. I disconnected and cleaned all the terminals, grounds, and power wires I could find. Also got a new relay in the mail which i guess isn't worth ****. Tried everything with the new relay in and I didn't get anything not even a click. Went back to the old relay and the bike sort of turns over. I had to connect my car battery charger with it on the starting setting instead of charging just to get the bike to barely turn over. It is actually turning the engine though but is such a small amount kind of sounds like someone coughing. I pulled my plugs as well and when I did they are black as hell and they have oil on them. I did notice a oil leak seems to be coming from the bottom rocker cover on rear cylinder. Never noticed before but I haven't had this bike long and haven't messed with it much either because I am recovering from a major bike accident. All I have done with this bike since I bought it was come out in the garage and start every few days and let it run for a bit. Anyway that was off subject a bit. Any ideas guys? Not sure if the oil and plugs issue could be related or not? I still am not getting enough juice to kick this sucker over fully. I don't see how it couldn't be enough with the battery charged and the charger set on the 50 amps car starting position? Yet still when I try to start it my headlights go dim?

Last edited by HossFXR; 10-10-2010 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you have a bad ground or dirty contact, as Springer said, the problem wouldn't be the juice on the battery end, but the parts in between.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Just fired her up! I think the original problem was that my connections were dirty but during the process of trying to figure out what was causing my problem I also ran the battery down. If I learned anything today it is don't listen to anything the jerk offs at auto zone tell you and how to clean the hell out of all my electrical connections. I took that battery up there to auto zone yesterday and they said it was fine but a little low and they would charge it for me. I was thinking they had a better charger than mine so what the hell. They called me back six hours later said it was charged and ready to go. I picked it up came home and plugged it up and started trying to fire her up with no luck at all. I left the battery charging for about 8 hours today and just went out there and she fired right up. I am really surprised that the bike wouldn't fire up with the charger on the setting for starting that I use to start up my cars when the batteries go dead on em even with a low battery? Oh well moving on looks like in the process I uncovered another problem I didn't realize I had. Thanks a million guys. All in All got my bike starting again, learned some new stuff, and didn't cost me any money except for the 30 bucks on a solenoid rebuild kit which I am gonna keep around in case I need it later.

Last edited by HossFXR; 10-11-2010 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HossFXR View Post
Just fired her up! I think the original problem was that my connections were dirty but during the process of trying to figure out what was causing my problem I also ran the battery down. If I learned anything today it is don't listen to anything the jerk offs at auto zone tell you and how to clean the hell out of all my electrical connections. I took that battery up there to auto zone yesterday and they said it was fine but a little low and they would charge it for me. I was thinking they had a better charger than mine so what the hell. They called me back six hours later said it was charged and ready to go. I picked it up came home and plugged it up and started trying to fire her up with no luck at all. I left the battery charging for about 8 hours today and just went out there and she fired right up. I am really surprised that the bike wouldn't fire up with the charger on the setting for starting that I use to start up my cars when the batteries go dead on em even with a low battery? Oh well moving on looks like in the process I uncovered another problem I didn't realize I had. Thanks a million guys. All in All got my bike starting again, learned some new stuff, and didn't cost me any money except for the 30 bucks on a solenoid rebuild kit which I am gonna keep around in case I need it later.
A happy ending! Thx for posting it all.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Glad you got it running. Depending on the age of the battery, it is cheap insurance to put a new battery in. If it is more than 3 years old I would change it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Glad you're running, bro!
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