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  #11  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
smac74 smac74 is offline
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So, I've load tested the battery- it stayed pretty consistant at about 12.8V. I've checked the connections and everything seems pretty clean. I've done the roll it in gear for a second and then hit start. Lastly, I just put another brand new AGM battery in, and the exact same thing happens. "Click". I hear the solenoid, I feel the starter try to turn, but that's it. But now where before it would mostly start on the trickle charger, it wont turn over now, even with the brand new battery AND the trickle charger. Beginning to think I may have a bad starter?
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Starter might just need servicing.
Solenoid contacts clean and bright, not pitted? Disc on the plunger OK, or pitted and burnt? Pitted surface against pitted surface makes for a very poor connection.
Starter motor brushes? If they're worn or don't have a lot of spring tension, you won't get good amperage to the armature. Commutator should be bright, not showing a film/layer of grease/dust off brushes/coating of insulating gunk.
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Ironhead Refurbish and Bench Test Starter Motor
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1718915

How to Bench Test a Solenoid, pic & vid
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1525907
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  #14  
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smac74 smac74 is offline
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So now I've removed the starter and cleaned it. It was filthy inside. That did not fix the problem. Now I've pretty much narrowed it down to the starter solenoid. It clicks hard but does not pass current through to the motor. Looking at the FSM though, I'm a bit confused. The large stud should come from the batt and have 12V-it does. The starter control circuit should pass 12V on to the small stud when I hit Start- it does. The large stud that connects to the starter motor directly never sees voltage and I would assume that I have a solenoid issue, but the FSM says that that stud is connected to the battery (-) which doesn't make sense to me. I have continuity between that stud and the chassis ground, so I guess the FSM is right, but shouldn't that stud be passing 12V on to the starter when the solenoid engages?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smac74 View Post
but the FSM says that that stud is connected to the battery (-) which doesn't make sense to me.
My 1974 FSM (page 5-2D & page 5-3) doesn't read this way. (or at least I'm not seeing it).

So where, exactly, are you reading this ?
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I was misreading the FSM. The pic I was looking at in the Starter Solenoid section appears to be for testing purposes. My mistake. But that still doesn't explain why I would have continuity between the stud for the starter and the chassis ground. However it may be part of the problem with the part. Going to dig in deeper in a little while.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smac74 View Post
I have continuity between that stud and the chassis ground, so I guess the FSM is right, but shouldn't that stud be passing 12V on to the starter when the solenoid engages?
Dunno how you're taking this measurement.

Do you have all wires disconnected from the solenoid ? If not, one possibility..... if the cable between the solenoid & starter motor is still connected, your multimeter is seeing "chassis ground" through the starter motor. (This would be normal).

BTW..... Figure 5-7 on Page 5-3 of the 1974 FSM, shows the "Starter Motor Terminal" internally connected to the coil inside the solenoid. I have not personally verified this on my own bike, but this may also account for the "chassis ground" your multimeter is seeing.
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So I get how I would read continuity through the coil. Hadn't thought of that.

Took off the solenoid and tested it according to Micks testing video, and it tested OK by those standards. All the bits and pieces look good but I checked and cleaned them up upon reinstallation. Mounting bolts were "snug", I wouldn't call them Tight, so I made them tight when I put it back together. Top mounting bolt was stripped out so I tapped it and installed a new bolt. I wasn't sure if this may have been an issue.

Now it seems to work more often, but not always. Maybe 3 out of 5 stabs at the starter button, as opposed to 1 out of 10. I'm not getting the voltage to pass through the solenoid every time. 12V is always there, on the battery and starter circuit studs, but it doesn't always get through the solenoid.

Can a starter solenoid be bad but still test as OK?
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When testing the solenoid, is it under load? It may pass voltage when you read it with a meter with no load. The best way to know that it's making a good connection is to put one test lead on the terminal that connects to the battery, and the other on the terminal that feeds the motor. (Not sure if thats possible with your solenoid?) Between these two terminals you should see:
Not engaged: battery voltage
When starter is running but not installed: 0 volts
When starter is installed and turning over the motor (or trying): less than 1 volt

If this all checks out, you can do the same test from battery positive terminal to starter terminal.

This is a voltage drop test.

If you measure volts under load, that is Voltage drop. Too much voltage drop is very hard on motors, and can cause overheating ahich exacerbates the problem.
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When I bench tested the solenoid, it was not under load. Testing while installed should be a good load test, and when I do that, its all or nothing. No voltage gets through the solenoid. Voltage passes, it turns over and fires. No voltage passes, "Click!" and nothing else. I've made a discovery that I'm now trying to figure out in another thread I just started regarding this issue.
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