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Discussion Starter #1
Started several weeks ago when bike suddenly just clicked and wouldn't start, just after riding it. Removed fairing to check everything out, pulled on some things, made sure battery cables secure, started right up (thought I couldn't see what I had done to change anything). Happened again at a gas stop, just a click when trying to start - not even panel lights. I pushed it aside to park and start troubleshooting, and on one more try it lit up and started up.

Cut to a couple weeks ago, same thing. This time no fiddling with wires made a difference. Eventually checjked battery and found totally drained. Replaced battery, started right up, blew a 7.5A tail/turn light fuse on way home. Couple days later I get just a click when trying to start. Battery fully charged, charge goes up appropriately when revved. Multimeter seems to indicate charge getting to starter wire OK, and the relay there clicks when starter button pushed, but no action at starter.

I can roll start it and it seems to hold charge OK, but the 7.5A fuse still blows after it's been under way a bit. What I JUST discovered, and not sure it's diagnostic but it seems funky, is that there are small sparks across the 3A display fuse gap when I insert and remove that fuse, even when bike off and key out.

I was about to start trying to diagnose the starter issue but the initial symptoms and the current fuse situation makes me wonder if problem is elsewhere.

Ideas?
 

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I am extremely interested in what your issue may be. I recently bought a 1998 st2. The day I picked it up, 40 miles into riding it home the bike went dead on the highway. Back to the shop, same thing a second time. My mechanic is working on it. It's been in the shop 10 times longer than in my garage... It's freaking killing me. Look at these links maybe they can offer some help to you;

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=65699

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=65707

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=65707

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=65699
 

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ferson, if sparks fly when you insert or remove a fuse with main switch in off position, you possibly have a short somewhere in the circuit or some component in that circuit is draining your battery.
ducati relays, starter & main , are known to fail causing the symptoms you describe . these relays can be taken apart easily. i've fixed a few just by cleaning them up and light sanding the contact points .
read tahoes links , they should give you an idea about where to start troubleshooting your bikes electrical issues .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Pandia and Tahoe -
It's the weekend now, so I've time to get into this a bit. Will let you know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
update

So I replaced the starter relay/solenoid and the cable from there to the starter, which seemed corroded - in fact the end loop fell off the wire when removed. Still getting same result - relay clicks when starter pressed but no action at starter. I confirmed that starter works by jumping around it with a cable - bike starts right up.

I am getting about 12-13 volts at battery when bike off, and up to low 14's when on and revving over 3000 rpm.

Also get 12 volts across fuse gap at display fuse (the 3A one) when bike turned OFF. ?? This seems abnormal but I'm not knowledgeable enough to see how this would relate to starter issue. Am starting to try to decipher wiring diagram from http://www.ducatiwiki.net/images/4/4b/ST2_Schematic.pdf.

My issue seems different from Tahoe's in that my bike runs fine once running - never had any intermittent issues except with starting.
 

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Just a thought, take a look at the ground connection from battery to the back of the transmission. Many have forund a bad connection (along with an impossible-to-remove bolt) or corrosion between crimp lug and cable. A poor ground path is probably the number one cause of weak electrics.

Good luck!

pg
DD
 

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So I replaced the starter relay/solenoid and the cable from there to the starter, which seemed corroded - in fact the end loop fell off the wire when removed.
You may have to check/replace all your wiring, if not you'll always have all kinds of problems, wich may not be always serious as costs, but time and nerve consuming.
My mechanic suggested that I should clean at least once a year the contacts with electrical contact cleaner, also check, at least visualy, the wiring, the connections, specially the 2/3 wires from the stator to the VR (from what you described, the wiring was neglected).
Consider also the VR.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
update #2

Thanks for the additional ideas.

I seem to have fixed the primary problem. In poking around more I realized that I was getting 12v to the starter relay and 12v coming out of it, but only 3-4 v when I connected the new wire to it. I renewed the old wire by cutting off the ends and refstening the connectors, and then I was getting 12v to the starter and it fired up. Not sure what the problem was with the new wire - I had made it from hardware store parts (Ducati didn't have a replacement in stock), and I think I did some faulty soldering of the connectors to the wire.

So the problem seems to have been the wire all along, initially corroded, then replaced with a bad "new" one I made, then corrected when I renewed the old one.

I am still getting the strange voltage across the 3A fuse terminal when bike turned off, but I think this is a low drain and not a problem if I drive it regularly and use the tender.

So I'm back on the road tomorrow, and will follow up and check the recent recommendations. Thanks all for the help -- I may be back here tomorrow night with new bad news, but hopefully not.
 

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Mine seems to be fixed now.

FYI. My mechanic replaced and re-soldered the wires/housing leading directly to the battery. He told me that under the rubber housing(which had been affected by heat) the wires were corroded. My bike lived on the east coast for a while, combined with age. Seems to be fixed. I have ridden about 200 miles since it's repair and I've not been stranded again since. Which is REALLY nice.

Sounds like maybe you have yours figured out as well. Just more info.

Good luck.
 

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FWIW, just prior to selling my 1998 ST2 a couple of weeks ago, I needed to get to the battery to remove some of the "extras" that were wired to it. While I was in there, I measured the parasitic drain that is a fact of life with our newer machines (clock, ECU, etc.). With nothing switched on, it was 2.4 mA (that's 0.0024 Amps).

It doesn't sound like a lot, but batteries HATE parasitic drains. Over time, and lack of use, this type of small drain will make your batteries sulphate. It's a prime example of why it's smart to keep it connected to a float-type charger/mantainer.
 
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