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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
HELP Relay clicks but starter won't turn

I checked all the connections and they seemed like they are working. The relay clicks but the starter does nothing. I get 12v at the relay from the battery, but when I click the cable that goes to the starter goes from 0.5v to 1.3v I am not sure if its a relay issue, starter or battery. I tried jumping the bike with a booster pack and it would not turn either. However without the cable connected to the starter I would get 12v from the relay cable.

Please any ideas on the issue would be very helpful

THANKS!!
 

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2001 900SSie
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Probably dead battery

Seems like your battery is dead. You may be able to measure 12V at the battery, but it is not capable of delivering the starting current required.

Even after jump starting, with the battery still in place, it may be sucking everything the alternator can deliver, which would normally mean the battery gets hot as well.

As a quick test, disconnect the leads from the bike battery and connect them to another battery, such as in a car. If it starts and runs, then all else is OK and the bike battery is stuffed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So I took the battery to duncanmoto and had them test it as Punch suggested... and the battery is healthy. Now I know the battery is fine because it read as charged and working as it should. Now that the battery is ruled out, solenoid clicks and voltage does go through so I think the solenoid is good as well. Is it the starter then? I looked at the manual on removing it... suggestions? Any cables that might not let the starter crank? Fuel pump kicks in (I can hear it when I turn the key on).

Thanks!
 

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Check that all your wiring terminals are tight - a loose cable can cause these problems.

Even though your solenoid is clicking it could still be the culprit. You can check by bridging the output terminals with a screw driver or the like. Watch out for sparks and don't weld the screw driver to the terminals.

If that checks out ok then it may be the starter. On my 750SS I had a similar problem once that was resolved by pulling the starter and cleaning all the accumulated dust from the commutator. Pulling the starter was a pain as the left hand engine cover had to come off.
 

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are you saying the switched side of the relay is showing 1.3v, while the "hot" side is reading 12v+?

if so, then i would suspect the relay.

try bypassing the relay with some jumpers(bridge the two poles). that should turn the starter. make sure your out of gear!!!
 

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Trace the voltages/cables

The wiring to the starter motor is very straight forward. It runs from B pos to the solenoid then to the starter motor. The neg side of the motor is earthed via the metal of the motor.

A few suggestions.

Check you are getting full voltage at the starter motor terminal. Undo and check this connection for corrosion.

Check the resistance of the cable between the solenoid and the starter motor terminal to see if the cable is OK.

This is entirely up to you, but I would do it failing all else! Make sure the bike is not in gear. Lift the tank to give access to the battery pos terminal. Remove the cable from the motor terminal. Grab a heavy duty jumper lead. Connect it to the starter motor terminal and make ABSOLUTELY UTTERLY SURE it is not touching any metal apart from the motor terminal as you will melt cables etc. Touch the end to the battery pos terminal and the motor should turn. If not, then suspect the motor.

Motors can stall in a position where they will not turn. A remedy is to remove the motor and turn it by hand, just to move it from the stall position.

Good luck.

The attachment is a wiring diag I "coloured in" to make cable tracing simpler. I used the wire colours from my 2001 owners manual.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I placed the batter back and used a flat screw driver to bridge the relay when pushing the start button... the relay still clicks but the starter did not made any sound. What does that mean? Is then a starter issue? i used a voltmeter again and get 11.99v at the hot wire to the relay and around 3v on start button press. Is it the relay/solenoid?
 

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That is a big V drop

3 Volts after pressing the start button means a serious V loss somewhere. This could be due to a huge current drain - "stalled" starter motor maybe or possibly the battery is knackered. Did they do a load test on the battery? Batteries can show 12V or more without a load on them, but not be capable of delivering high current, in which case the battery voltage drops significantly. Is the headlight bright when you turn on the ignition? Does it dim to nothing when you press the start button?

Did you try my suggestion of connecting the starter motor direct to the battery to see if it is the motor? I think you really need to isolate and test bits of the wiring etc. one by one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am going to do the direct cable connection right now :-D... The light on the headlight does not dim when I press the button. I'll post my findings in less than 30 mins Punch.
 

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Voltages etc.

If the headlight does not dim, but you get 3 V at the other side of the solenoid, then that pretty much means the battery is OK.

This probably means the V drop is between the battery and the switched side of the solenoid.

As you can measure voltage, can you also measure resistance? If so, measure the resistance across the solenoid, without being connected to the starter motor, but when you press the start button. Not sure of exact specs. but this should be less that about 0.1 Ohms.

If you can't measure resistance, use a headlight bulb connected to the solenoid to see how bright it is when you press the start button. This will load it with about 5 amps. You can increase this load by connecting both high and low beam connectors to the solenoid to load it with 10 or so Amps. This should show you if the wiring from the battery and the solenoid contacts are OK.

When you measured the voltage at the solenoid and found 3V, was it 3V on the battery side of the solenoid? If so, then the problem is between the solenoid and the battery.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The starter motor did not do anything when I connected the wire to the battery. I am assuming is something with the starter and that the starter relay is working as it should. I tested the cables and I seem to be able to get current through them as well.

So I am looking at the manual... I don't see a solenoid, but I am assuming the starter has the solenoid integrated or is it integrated with the relay? Also do I have to drain the oil to remove the starter motor?
 

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Solenoid

The solenoid is on the right hand side of the bike. You can see it with the fairings on and get to the terminals. I presume you have already found this as you said you bridged the connections.

It is about 6 inches below the tank and in front of the timing belt cover. It is round and has two large cables going to it with rubber boots and a small white connector which goes to the start button and battery negative.

I do not know about removing the starter. RobAlley below has done it. looking at the manual, you have to remove the left side cover, then the drive gear to gain access to the screws that hold it in.

Maybe you should wait for other suggestions before delving into the engine. Maybe someone knows a bit more about electric motors and can advise on testing resistance etc.
 

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I do not know about removing the starter. RobAlley below has done it. looking at the manual, you have to remove the left side cover, then the drive gear to gain access to the screws that hold it in.

Maybe you should wait for other suggestions before delving into the engine. Maybe someone knows a bit more about electric motors and can advise on testing resistance etc.
Removing the starter wasn't a big deal, just the hassle of removing the LHS engine cover. In my case I didn't have to remove the drive gear that I remember (a couple of years ago and on a 750SS though).

One thing you could try is putting the bike in gear and pushing it to turn the engine - this can free up a jammed starter - don't think that is your problem but it is easy to try. It will also work if you have a dead spot on the starter commutator, turning it may (temporarily) alleviate this issue.

Rob.
 
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