Author Topic: Stymied by the starter  (Read 1026 times)

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Offline Big D

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Stymied by the starter
« on: September 24, 2017, 10:44:42 pm »
I'm having problems with my starter and hoping you can help. But first some context. I bought a non-running 86 Concours with the intention of restoring it. I tore it down to the frame to paint it and have been replacing parts as I'm going along. The wire harness was shot so I replaced with a good one from a 2000 Connie and upgraded the controls and gauges to match the later model wire harness. I just need to hook up the tank and finish some body panels but wanted to test the starter first. When I hit the starter button, nothing happens.

I have read through numerous forum posts regarding the starter and there is an exhaustive amount of info. The starter is good as I used the screwdriver trick to short out the terminals and the starter spins as was suggested in a previous post. I cleaned the starter switch and hit it with some sandpaper as was suggested. Still nothing. I bought another switch, applied the same techniques and still nothing. I checked all the fuses and all of the gauges and lights are working properly. New battery with clean and tight contacts. Replaced the neutral switch and side stand switch. Nothing. Neutral light works as it should and pulling the clutch in makes no difference.

I have the shop manual and I have three different starter relays. I've tested all three according to the procedure in the manual and none of them "click" like the manual says they should. Is there another way of testing these relays? What else can I do? What else could it be and what could I have overlooked (other than tearing apart the J-box because that's way beyond my confidence level). Thank you in advance.

Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 11:03:25 pm »
I wonder if the 2000 wiring is different then the 1986.
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Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 11:10:11 pm »
Big D,

Could be cold or broken solder connection in J-Box.

Please do a search on J-Box cold soldier connections. The J-Box has a history of failures due to poor construction. It can be the cause of several issues as it contains relays that route power to the starter relay. It has left me dead on the side of the road a couple of times, unable to start the bike. The relays are held in place with poor solder connections and can easily be repaired by reflowing the solder.  It is not difficult to open. Using a 10x eyeloop, it will be obvious when you look at the circuit board. You may have to locate someone with a soldering iron to help you out.

Let us know what you find.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 02:24:29 am by Harry Martin »
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Offline Big D

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 03:15:05 am »
Thanks. It looks like I will have to look at the J-box and give it a go.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 04:42:29 am »
Junction box and relay function differs from pre 94 to post 94, I'm thinking with the 2000 wire harness, some connections at the J box may be related to this, as.you are.still using a pre 94 Jbox..
Also,.some other circuits, like the emergency headlight module and headlight switch function differs...this should have been evident when you had no place to plug that module into the new harness..

This may take some close.examination, and is a bit time consuming to simplify without sitting down with a printout of both harnesses, and terminations and color codes... and comparing them checking each off as you trace on the schematics...

Then again, you may have a cracked solder connection on the starter relay, but recently another COG guru has made comments on the differences in the start/run portion on the newr boxes and that may be tied into this wire code dilemma...

I'll look tomorrow when I get some time,

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Offline Big D

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 06:36:05 am »
It's possible that it's a compatibility issue. I've tried to replace all the wiring and connectors to match but didn't think about the J-box being incompatible. I have one from a 95 model so maybe I'll try that one and see what happens. Thanks.

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 03:24:17 pm »
Big D, have you checked for voltage at the Starter relay?
  If it has voltage when you push the button, the problem is starter relay to starter.
  If no voltage, the problem is between starter button and relay.

If the answer is no voltage, go to the starter button and see if you have voltage there...
If yes,,, move thru the circuits toward the relay...

All of this can be done with just a simple idiot light.
Volt meter is ok, but easier to spot check with the light.
Look for where the voltage stops...

Ride safe, Ted


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Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 03:37:24 pm »
Big D,

My hats off to you.  :great:
What a great way to get to know the bike.

You will get it figured out.  ;)
Harry in Wild and Windy Casper, WY - 1986 Vintage "Silverdammit" - 2015 "Greendammit"

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 06:05:28 pm »
It's possible that it's a compatibility issue. I've tried to replace all the wiring and connectors to match but didn't think about the J-box being incompatible. I have one from a 95 model so maybe I'll try that one and see what happens. Thanks.


After I made the comment about differences, I had to think a bit.... based on this post from my Guru...
http://forum.cog-online.org/concours-c10-zg1000-general-chat-and-tech/tap-left-side-cover-to-get-oil-light-and-ignition-power-what-to-replace-first/msg613425/#msg613425

But, I'm not sure now if the harness was the issue....
I know I've plugged the new style post 94 Jbox into my '86 bikes harness, and it worked, but not sure it works vice versa... if you get what I'm saying...

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Offline Stasch

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2017, 07:17:13 pm »
I have swapped working 1st and 2nd gen C10 JBoxes back and forth for testing with no problem.

Quote
I wonder if the 2000 wiring is different then the 1986.

Yes there are differences in 1st and 2nd gen, including the interface to the harness up in the main fairing stay and IIRC the L & R switch pods from the handlebars.
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Offline Big D

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 04:41:48 am »
So earlier today I hooked up the other J-box and when I turned the ignition key, I had nothing. No lights, nothing at all. So in light of the most recent posts, I'm going to try hooking up the older J-box and checking for voltage at the relay. I appreciate all the suggestions and by all means, keep brainstorming  :great:  I'll let you know what I find.

Demian

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 05:07:06 am »
So earlier today I hooked up the other J-box and when I turned the ignition key, I had nothing. No lights, nothing at all. So in light of the most recent posts, I'm going to try hooking up the older J-box and checking for voltage at the relay. I appreciate all the suggestions and by all means, keep brainstorming  :great:  I'll let you know what I find.

Demian

Well, I'm going to say that slapping a 2000 wire harness onto the 1986 is where your issue lies, as noted, the circuits differ at the control pods,.starter switch, and lighting circuits.. id be looking at the wire harness schematic a bit closer...

Yes, the.plugs may mate up and plug.in, and seem correct, but until you know what thhe wires on both sides of every connector really do go to in the other end of the harness, all bets are off...

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Offline Larry_Buck_FL

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2017, 12:15:04 pm »
Big D

All J-boxes are the same, so any working J-box will work. As MOB said, the difference between early and late Connies is in the harness. You will likely need to study a color wiring diagram (Clymers Manual) to figure out the changes between early and later models. HTH.
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Offline RWulf

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2017, 01:10:07 pm »
Larry is there a mistake shown on page 448 of the Clymer manual?
The 2 manuals I have show a solid black line at the bottom of the
ACC fuse and Main fuse effectively tying  terminal 2B and # together.
Also terminal 3 and the unlabeled terminal on the bottom roll left of the
14 pin connector, I belieave is connected to a black wire that runs to
the start Button. Is this correct?
Thanks

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 01:35:33 pm »
Thanks. It looks like I will have to look at the J-box and give it a go.

BigD, you can check the starter by bypassing the starter relay. Make sure the bike is in neutral and take a screwdriver and touch both big poles on the starter relay, if the engine turns over the starter is ok. Next thing you can do is see if you are getting fire to the relay by checking the small post on the relay. You should get 12 volts or more when you hit the starter button. If you are getting voltage you have a bad starter relay. If you are not getting voltage then you need to check the electrical system to see why. HTH JD       
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 01:46:00 pm by Hardhead »

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2017, 01:45:56 pm »
Richard,

You are correct about the Clymer manual's page 448. Thanks for bringing that up. Enjoy the fall colors my friend. Winter's coming.
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Offline connieklr

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2017, 04:44:14 pm »
Big D

All J-boxes are the same, so any working J-box will work. As MOB said, the difference between early and late Connies is in the harness. You will likely need to study a color wiring diagram (Clymers Manual) to figure out the changes between early and later models. HTH.

Ah, not quite. They upped the fuse size from a 10A to a 15A in '94 when they added in the ignition to one of the circuits when they changed the harness. The label in the cover also changed to reflect that change. Stuff related to that is in the house and can retrieve it if necessary.

Forgot I had a couple of boxes in the garage:

« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 05:13:26 pm by connieklr »
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Offline Big D

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2017, 08:09:03 am »
Thanks. It looks like I will have to look at the J-box and give it a go.

BigD, you can check the starter by bypassing the starter relay. Make sure the bike is in neutral and take a screwdriver and touch both big poles on the starter relay, if the engine turns over the starter is ok. Next thing you can do is see if you are getting fire to the relay by checking the small post on the relay. You should get 12 volts or more when you hit the starter button. If you are getting voltage you have a bad starter relay. If you are not getting voltage then you need to check the electrical system to see why. HTH JD       

Hardhead--

I read a previous post about bypassing the starter relay and performed that trick.  The starter does engage.  I'm a little confused by what you mean about the "small post on the relay".  Are you referring to the two small, flat posts that connect to the plastic connector? 

D

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2017, 09:42:31 am »
At one point I updated a 1988 bike with later model gauges and switchpods, what I nightmare that turned put to be, go back over all your scematics and see what isn't interfacing between the harness and the hardware. bTDT... not alot of fun. Steve
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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2017, 12:12:48 pm »
Thank you Guy for clarifying the difference between the early and later J-box fuse values/locations. Each J-box that I refurbish includes this information and part numbers for the early/late units. Some owners purchase used J-boxes from early Concours to be used on late models. Knowing fuse values, and locations, allows early boxes to be used on '94 and later bikes. And vice-versa. 

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Offline Hardhead

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2017, 02:54:49 pm »
Thanks. It looks like I will have to look at the J-box and give it a go.

BigD, you can check the starter by bypassing the starter relay. Make sure the bike is in neutral and take a screwdriver and touch both big poles on the starter relay, if the engine turns over the starter is ok. Next thing you can do is see if you are getting fire to the relay by checking the small post on the relay. You should get 12 volts or more when you hit the starter button. If you are getting voltage you have a bad starter relay. If you are not getting voltage then you need to check the electrical system to see why. HTH JD       

Hardhead--

I read a previous post about bypassing the starter relay and performed that trick.  The starter does engage.  I'm a little confused by what you mean about the "small post on the relay".  Are you referring to the two small, flat posts that connect to the plastic connector? 

D

Yes when you hit the starter button you should get 12v + on the Y/R wire. If you jumped around the relay like you say you did and the starter did not turn over you are either not getting fire to the relay from the battery or your starter is bad. The starter relay is fed directly from the battery by a big red wire that is maybe 12" long +/_ . The starter relay should have power to the hot side of the relay all the time there is NO fuse between the battery and relay. Take a voltmeter or a test light and make sure you are getting fire from the battery to relay. If you have power, and you bypass the starter relay the starter should turn over OR YOU have a bad starter. HTH  JD




Offline connie_rider

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2017, 03:15:57 pm »
Big D, you did fine when you jumper the relay.
You've proved that the relay and starter are working.
I agree with Steve/others. The problem is probably in the wiring harness itself.
As I sed in my earlier post. You have to check each wire to determine where the power is being blocked.
As Steve said, not a lot of fun.

I'm beginning to think, the simplest solution would be to buy a wiring harness for the correct year Connie and install it.

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 02:57:11 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2017, 03:38:11 pm »
One thing you can try is to make a temporary test harness.

Gather up the spade connectors you need and wire up the starter circuit.
Just need +12, GND, and any control or supply wires to test one function at a time.

You should be able to isolate any misswire in your harness using a simple bulb indicator to check continuity.

Wish I was there...I love troubleshooting stuff like this.
I have a model 620 toner continuity tester that can detect opens, shorts, and intermittent opens and shorts.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2017, 07:45:09 pm »
Big D, you did fine when you jumper the relay.
You've proved that the relay and starter are working.
I agree with Steve/others. The problem is probably in the wiring harness itself.
As I sed in my earlier post. You have to check each wire to determine where the power is being blocked.
As Steve said, not a lot of fun.

I think the simplest solution would be to buy a wiring harness for the correct year Connie and install it.

Ride safe, Ted

So far, myself, Guy, and Steve, have all said its a harness issue based on the differences in the control and other circuits, that don't corralate between an '86 needs, and a 2000 harness...  only other person I can think of to chime in, and give another affirmation, would be Jimmi Miller, as he went thru this on the Spirit of COG bike, and we both spent hours on the phone comparing notes to get control pods and stuff ironed out.

You know the starter and relay work... so......


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Re: Stymied by the starter
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2017, 10:37:21 pm »
I need to dig up wires for 94 and up, but do have a Jbox and pinout from Guy B Young, which I'll post..
and sections of old ignition and associated stuff, so you can compare.. there are wire differences, and component connections that differ, this is why you have to do some serious legwork to see what wires on the 2000 harness really connect to... as I said before, even tho they "connect", you need to verify what wires are actually carrying, and coming from....because they will differ in areas...significantly.
i turned the pdf files into photos for loading to reduce file sizes, as the pdf's are too large..



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