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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 8:09 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Dumb ST4S owner hooks up battery backwards - won't start now

Hello fellow Ducatisti,

Today i made the relatively simple job of installing a replacement battery much more complicated by hooking up the battery backwards. (2003 ST4S)

Initial symptoms:
- bit of a spark at the terminal on hookup (hmmm, that's different...)
- engine fan running with a cold engine (hmmmm, that's weird too...)
- no engine turnover on start (ok, whats up now...)
- red cable on (-) sign on battery (doh!)

Current symptoms:
- no starter action on thumbing the starter (yes, bike is in neutral with side stand down, doesn't work with side stand up either)
- satisfactory checks of start switch and kill switch
- engine will start and run if solenoid main contacts are shorted (with a now-somewhat-smaller wrench)
- no change in voltage on starter solenoid firing circuit when button is pushed
- 40a fuse for rectifier blown and replaced, no other blown fuses
- used multimeter to check for starter solenoid diode status on firing circuit. Showed open circuit one way and .5 v forward voltage drop the other way (I think this means the diode is still good.)

I know that in other similar situations guys have had blown starter solenoid diodes, but I can't find the diode and it seems from testing that, wherever it is, it's good. Does anyone know where this diode is for a 2003 model?

When i put the key in and turn to ON, the immobilizer light flashes once and goes out, and i get the light show and fuel pump noise. I think that this means that the immobilizer has accepted the key. Does the immobilizer affect the fuel and spark - would it keep the engine from running after bypassing the starter solenoid control?

Any suggestions would
be appreciated. Thanks very much for any help!

- Tom
Newport, RI
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 9:17 pm   #2 (permalink)
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I did the same thing, blew fuses but ran ok after replaced fuses. Better inspect all your wiring, with your nose (to smell melted insulation)
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 9:24 pm   #3 (permalink)
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Can't you short the battery doing that? What is the battery voltage now?
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 9:26 pm   #4 (permalink)
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Battery Voltage

Thanks - I'll take a look at the battery voltage tomorrow. What would it look like if shorted?

BTW, all other indications seems to show that the battery is ok - lights come on bright, fuel pump sounds good, etc. But when I hit the starter - nothing!

Thanks,
Tom
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 1:47 am   #5 (permalink)
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And you didn't flip your kill switch off,on,off while fumbling around? Did you check all the other fuses?
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 6:02 am   #6 (permalink)
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Yep - I checked all the fuses (I think). All I could find were the 40a rectifier fuse by the battery and the main multi-fuse block up by the clocks. Is there another somewhere that I might have missed?

Another question - does the immobilizer control fuel and ignition too? My fuel pump and spark plugs still work. Is it possible to bump start a bike with the immobilizer not working?
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 6:18 am   #7 (permalink)
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I'm pretty certain that the immobiliser also stops the sparks and fuel pump from functioning, or else a thief could just hot wire the bike and push start it.
The starter solenoid is activated by the ECU only if the right conditions are met; the bike is in neutral, or it is in gear and the clutch lever is pulled in. (It also cuts the ignition if a gear is engaged and the side stand is down)
So, if the safety interlocks are operating correctly and the ECU is not recognising this then it has an internal fault with the starter engagement circuit.
You can bypass the ECU from the starter circuit easily enough but you will also loose the safety features, some might think this is a good thing
If you confirm that the problem is with the ECU, you can wire the starter button to operate the solenoid directly by joining together the red/black and red wires to the ECU. (Body connector (grey) pins 1 and 28). This will though, disable the safety lockouts except possibly cutting the ignition with the stand down, and will allow the engine to crank, but not fire, when the immobiliser is enabled.
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 6:51 am   #8 (permalink)
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Update: battery voltages are normal. Also, connected the negative battery terminal to one terminal of the starter solenoid firing circuit, and then took the ignition key to ON. The bike started I'm immediately, even though I hadn't connected the firing circuit to the positive terminal battery terminal. Why would the bike start when the circuit gained a connection to ground with start button being pushed?

Also, can anyone tell me exactly where the immobilizer ecu is located?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 7:42 am   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tshugart3 View Post
Yep - I checked all the fuses (I think). All I could find were the 40a rectifier fuse by the battery and the main multi-fuse block up by the clocks. Is there another somewhere that I might have missed?

Another question - does the immobilizer control fuel and ignition too? My fuel pump and spark plugs still work. Is it possible to bump start a bike with the immobilizer not working?
There should be a block of fuses and relays under the seat too.
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 7:54 am   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tshugart3 View Post
Update: battery voltages are normal. Also, connected the negative battery terminal to one terminal of the starter solenoid firing circuit, and then took the ignition key to ON. The bike started I'm immediately, even though I hadn't connected the firing circuit to the positive terminal battery terminal. Why would the bike start when the circuit gained a connection to ground with start button being pushed?

Also, can anyone tell me exactly where the immobilizer ecu is located?

Thanks!
The ECU switches the solenoid by providing a ground to one side of energising coil, the other side of the coil is connected to +12V via red/white wire from fuse 4. By connecting the switched side to ground and turning on the ignition you completed the circuit and energised the solenoid.
That fuse also supplies the ECU and the immobiliser.

The immobiliser unit is under the LH side of the upper fairing, below the fuses. I don't think the immobiliser has anything to do with your problem.
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