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Discussion Starter #1
I went out for a short ride a couple of days ago on my 2001 ST2 and stopped at a store. When I turned the key off I thought I might have gone just passed the OFF and into the LOCK area. I never did this before, but when I came out of the store 15 - 20 minutes later, I couldn't start the bike. When I turned the key to ON, the fuel pump starts, but the start button didn't do anything. I played with the key back and forth into the LOCK and PARK area, wondering if there was some sort of ignition deterrent, but nothing was an immediate answer. After about 10 minutes of playing with the key, the bike fired right up as if there was no issue at all. (The manual says nothing about any theft deterrent with the key). I just took the bike out on Saturday to pick up food at a restaurant. I ended up doing the same thing with the key. When I came out of the restaurant, the bike again wouldn't start. This time I ended up coming back with my truck and picking the bike up. Two hours later at home, I walked by the bike, tried the key and the bike fired right up! Has anyone experienced anything like this? Is there problem with the ignition switch or the start button? Is there some sort of theft deterrent that I am not aware of? This doesn't seem to be a weak battery issue as the bike fires right up typically. I hope someone can shed some light on this. Thanks, Peabs
 

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It could be one of many issues. First, I am not aware of any antitheft gadgetry on your year and model bike. So that leaves the following possibilities:

1. Starter switch not making good contact.
2. Starter relay not making good contact or not energizing to the closed position.
3. Not making good contact from the relay to the starter.

Possible fixes for:
1. Get some contact cleaner at an electronics store and first try squirting some into the switch mechanism. It may be dirty.
2. The starter relays are known to be a weak link. I would pull it out and check to make sure it closes and that the resistance through it closed is close to 0 ohms. I replaced mine with an automotive type on my ST4.
3. Check your connections of the starter wire from the relay to the starter. Especially the nut at the starter. It can come corrode easily and come loose. Also, I dont remember which older models had this problem, but some had too small a gage wire. Some replace it with a larger gage wire.

Hope this helps, good luck

Mike
 

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Mike makes some good suggestions above.


I'm just chiming in to confirm that the ST2 didn't come with an anti-theft device (unless someone added an after-market item).

Let us know how this gets resolved. Good luck.

V.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Mike. I took the fairings off today, checked all connections, removed, replaced, used dialectric grease, etc. I also took apart the start switch and cleaned with electronics cleaner. As far as the relay, what did you replace yours with? I may ultimately replace the wires with 6 gauge but I will try it for now. So far it has started the several times I have tried it in the garage. I did not have a chance to take it out for a ride. Thanks for the input. Peabs
 

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Also, Make sure the small 2 wire plug on the solenoid is plugged in firmly. These have been a trouble spot on many bikes (not just ST models). Some guys add a small tie-wrap to keep the plug in place.

Starter buttons being flakey is also a good thing to make sure it's working OK, as others have pointed out.
 

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The previous advice also a good one. I had the two prong plung pull out of the relay on my 916 at a track day. I wrapped tape around the male plug to make it fit tight and not pull out on its own.

Here is the part # of the starter relay I bought a Kragen Auto Parts. I think its for old Ford trucks. S5048
Am including a pic of the installation on my ST4
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the picture and the part number. I just bought the equivalent starter solenoid today, as well as 4 gauge cable (quite large, but no one had 6 gauge). I will try to install it tonight, although I need to get larger shrink wrap to complete the job. Does it matter which of the small wires (push in connector on the stock relay) goes where (as far as small terminal)? Thanks again.
 

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Its been over a year since I installed the new relay. I dont remember the details, but I would think one is wire is hot (12V) and the other is ground. To check, disconnect the 2 prong connector. Attach a voltmeter to one of the wires and the other to a ground somewhere on the bike. Turn on the key and hit the starter switch and see what you read on the voltmeter. Switch to the other lead and do it again. I think one will read 12 V when the switch is pushed, the other will read 0 volts. The 12v wire is the hot lead and should be marked on the new relay, typically as a +. There should also be a grounding point on the relay also. Connect the ground wire to that point.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I have installed an automotive type starter solenoid and upgraded the battery/starter cable to 4 gauge. The starter button has been cleaned and has continuity with a meter, but the bike will not start with the new solenoid. I have tried several different wiring schemes with the two wires that originally entered the stock solenoid with the plug, but nothing has worked. I did try the stock solenoid again, and the bike did turn over with the starter button. I am attaching two pictures, one of the solenoid install, and the other of the stock solenoid with the plug and wire ends (very odd because there is a diode that is between them). I hope someone else has done this mod and can shed some light. Thanks
 

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peabs said:
Well, I have installed an automotive type starter solenoid and upgraded the battery/starter cable to 4 gauge. The starter button has been cleaned and has continuity with a meter, but the bike will not start with the new solenoid. I have tried several different wiring schemes with the two wires that originally entered the stock solenoid with the plug, but nothing has worked. I did try the stock solenoid again, and the bike did turn over with the starter button. I am attaching two pictures, one of the solenoid install, and the other of the stock solenoid with the plug and wire ends (very odd because there is a diode that is between them). I hope someone else has done this mod and can shed some light. Thanks
Define "will not start." Does it turn over? Turns over but won't start?

Does the starter relay make a clicking sound? Can you engage the starter using a jumper wire from the battery to the hot side of the starter relay. If not you likely have a ground problem with the [starter relay] return wire.

The diode is between the starter relay hot [engage] and ground to prevent electrical spikes from blowing up the other expensive components. Inductors (aka relay coils) will generate a quite high voltage kick on break of the engaging voltage/current. It would be a wise choice to put another diode across the replacement starter relay coil. Notice the arrow orientation on the original diode, follow this with your replacement. Get a new diode at radio shack--pick one with a few hundred volts or more, 1 amp will be more than sufficient. Model: PTC205, Catalog #: 276-1114 a 3-pack of 1,000 volt 1 amp is overkill but would work fine in this application. Or almost anything out of this 25 pack would work--Model: 276-1653 Catalog #: 276-1653, pick one of the bigger numbered diodes i.e., 1N4004 on up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Dave, Will not start is, will not turn over. When the start button is pushed, there is no clicking, no noise whatsoever. I have tried connecting the small wire (with loop)(I found this to be hot earlier) to the relay connection marked "S", and the other wire with the gold connection to ground, but the start button will not engage starter. I did just try jumping from the battery to the "S", but again this did not work. If I run the original solenoid and connect the two wire connector to the back, the start button will work. So I must be getting screwed up on connecting to the new solenoid. Thank you for the info on the diodes, that makes sense.
 

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Hi Peabs, sorry you are having troubles. The relay I bought and show in my picture of the install is diode protected. So, I removed the diode that was in the 2 pin connector. The hot wire (12v) connects to the front of the relay and the other ground wire connects to the tab in the back.

Before I realized that the relay was diode protected, I tried to wire in the diode, got it in backwards, and shorted out the fuse. I replaced the fuse, removed the diode and now it works fine. Make sure your ground wire is really grounded. If you have some alligator clips, make a connection between the ground tab and on the relay and a grounding point on the bike some where. Then try starting the bike again. If you have 12 volts to the relay and its grounded, it should work.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Mike, Thanks for the info. I confirmed with the auto parts store that the solenoid is diode protected. I also just realized that the solenoid is bottom grounded and I do not have the solenoid mounted to metal (DUH!) I will ground the solenoid chassis tonight and post the details. Thanks, Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Project completed!

I just finished the project. My problem with the non working solenoid was no ground. Once I realized that, the rest was a cake walk. As long as cleaning the start switch has fixed the original non start issue, I should be good to go. As of right now, it starts right up. Its amazing how you can get involved in additional upgrades when your trying to solve an initial problem. Heres a picture of the completed solenoid swap and upgraded 4 gauge cables; it is a pretty straight forward upgrade as long as you ground the solenoid chassis. Thanks for everyone's suggestions and help.
 

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