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Starter solenoid for 6th gen stuck energized


ShipFixer
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nah, relay themselves can't cause shorts. Never heard of one self-latching until it welded itself together. Always needed external trigger.

 

Clue to external short was when you were touching it in dark and it turned on starter by itself. One of those wires in that mess of electrical tape had gotten unshielded and shorted on to activation line of solenoid. You'll most likely find it when you start unraveling tape.

 

Also, not likely your RR replacement cause this issue. At worse, it'll result in battery not charging. But never run away solenoid. Good job on RR BTW. 👋

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20 hours ago, ShipFixer said:

Thank you for the very clear directions!  After getting stalled and stranded I plan on making this thing as correct as possible!  I chose surfing tonight so haven't done much more.  I am also waiting on a better set of probes with alligator clips from Amazon for my multimeter (for some pandemic-related reason, Fry's closed the electrical-everything section, WTF?) so I can get more clarity on what may or may not be broken...too hard with only two hands, I am pretty sure I am chasing a couple intermittent connections but not 100% sure.  

You're most welcome!

 

No need for new probes, though. Just get some test-leads with alligator clips. Works with all different types of meters, even my oscilloscope. Just clip one end to probe and other end to test point. 👋

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/18-inch-low-voltage-multi-colored-test-leads-66717.html

 

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Yup, just got an probe set coming, the meter itself is working fine.

 

Meanwhile, didn’t find anything obvious yet under the tape.  No shorts between any of the wires or ground when I move them.  It might change when I get some clips in tomorrow and can do more.  Could be further in the harness as well.

 

 

90283D02-3B79-4BE6-8438-AAC4ADE4C87D.jpeg

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On 12/10/2020 at 6:59 PM, ShipFixer said:

Still going to take everything apart and check of course.  I think I will just replace the whole harness where he spliced in the 30A fuse connection on the R/W line from the RR vs. trying to re-repair it.  

Hey, that's good idea! For the effort, don't just re-do the factory configuration though. You'll end up with same flaws as stock system and have issues in 10-yrs due to:

 

- brass fuse-holder terminals corroding over time and causing overheating

- brass spade-connector to R/W wire corroding over time

- crimped-on connectors not up to 30a load

 

I always prefer to upgrade to "better than stock" and cure problems altogether. Issue with stock ATO/ATC fuse-B is that 30a is upper-limit of that design. Fuse-to-connector interface starts overheating even before 30a current flow. We'll want upgrade to MIDI fuses which start at 30a and goes up to 200a. So cut off old fuse-holder so you have just red and R/W wire-ends to harness:

 

- 2x 1/4-hole solder-lugs, one sized for Red and one for R/W wire

- MIDI fuse holder
- 30a MIDI fuse
  


This is what I use on my sailboat. Tin-plated contacts are way more corrosion-resistant than brass, so you won't have heating-up issues like factory design. Clamping pressure from bolt-on interface give better power-transmission and keeps water out. Once installed, you can be sure this is last time you have to deal with fuse-B... for 50-yrs at least!

 

uc?export=download&id=1UAyVe9hM3jkVv5sGu

 

I prefer to use solder-lugs rather than ring-terminals for power applications. Much more robust, corrosion-resistant and handles much, much more power-transferred without heating up. All lugs are crimped, soldered and adhesive heatshrink-wrapped. For wires of fuse-B, we can probably use hand-held hex-crimper.

 

uc?export=download&id=1vRUjX5ItEvC6dD_GW

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Ok I got some helpful intel from the previous owner!  He said the engine cut out on him a couple times, and the solenoid and connector melted.  In addition to replacing the solenoid and connector, he also repaired a shorting ground wire under the left side fairing, which seems familiar from some of the other threads, and the connector there had melted.  That seems pretty close to some other common issues in other threads.

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3 hours ago, ShipFixer said:

Ok I got some helpful intel from the previous owner!  He said the engine cut out on him a couple times, and the solenoid and connector melted.  In addition to replacing the solenoid and connector, he also repaired a shorting ground wire under the left side fairing, which seems familiar from some of the other threads, and the connector there had melted.  That seems pretty close to some other common issues in other threads.

Interesting...

 

See if you can get more info from him:

 

1. Where is this left side-fairing ground wire? Colour? 

2. What did he do to fix it?*

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This is good progress! These don't look like original female spade terminals bike came with. Cut away the wrap and let's see how the "repair" was done. Were these individually-wrapped when you unraveled the mess? When you're ready to repair harness with proper solenoid-connector, you'll want to trim these connectors off anyway.

image.thumb.png.af88270034ecf3fd6fb8925a161c7365.png

 

 

What happened to the yellow wires that were attached to those terminals? It appears he made short "extension" to reach solenoid?

image.thumb.png.bb4ffa576c8d6b4a419fe324bacd0935.png

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Let's do some testing of power and ground sides of solenoid-control.

VFR-StartCircuit2.thumb.jpg.c6ea47a0cc969db8dd4b79b49d9da063.jpg

 

Leave battery disconnected. Set meter to lowest resistance range (ohms).

 

1. measure resistance between R and Y/R wire terminals. Ohms = ???

2. key ON, engine stop-switch to RUN, push START button. Ohms = ???

3. release START button. Ohms = ???

4. push & release START button couple more times. Behavior same?

 

5. measure resistance between G/R wire terminal and chassis-ground. Can use bolt on frame or battery negative terminal. Ohms = ???

6. put trans into 1st-year. Ohms = ???

7. put kickstand down, Ohms = ???

8. put kickstand up, Ohms = ???
9. squeeze clutch. Ohms = ???

 

 

We are building table/spreadsheet what's known as "finite state machine" in programming. It lists all possible states of important wire-junctions. Then we compare to the reference table of what it SHOULD be. Discrepancies will highlight areas for closer inspection. You have at least TWO issues. One is power-side of solenoid activating by itself.

Second issue is ground side of solenoid activation not working properly with interlock safety switches. Suspect PO had rigged and bypassed interloc safety switches. Which is how your starter was able to run with kickstand down. Fixing either, ideally BOTH issues will solve this problem for good.

 

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On 12/13/2020 at 12:54 AM, DannoXYZ said:

Let's do some testing of power and ground sides of solenoid-control.

VFR-StartCircuit2.thumb.jpg.c6ea47a0cc969db8dd4b79b49d9da063.jpg

 

Leave battery disconnected. Set meter to lowest resistance range (ohms).

 

1. measure resistance between R and Y/R wire terminals. Ohms = ???

2. key ON, engine stop-switch to RUN, push START button. Ohms = ???

3. release START button. Ohms = ???

4. push & release START button couple more times. Behavior same?

 

5. measure resistance between G/R wire terminal and chassis-ground. Can use bolt on frame or battery negative terminal. Ohms = ???

6. put trans into 1st-year. Ohms = ???

7. put kickstand down, Ohms = ???

8. put kickstand up, Ohms = ???
9. squeeze clutch. Ohms = ???

 

 

We are building table/spreadsheet what's known as "finite state machine" in programming. It lists all possible states of important wire-junctions. Then we compare to the reference table of what it SHOULD be. Discrepancies will highlight areas for closer inspection. You have at least TWO issues. One is power-side of solenoid activating by itself.

Second issue is ground side of solenoid activation not working properly with interlock safety switches. Suspect PO had rigged and bypassed interloc safety switches. Which is how your starter was able to run with kickstand down. Fixing either, ideally BOTH issues will solve this problem for good.

 

Ok...finally getting around to this as the surf forecast is hot garbage 😄

 

Infinite ohms between R and Y/R when key, switch, or ignition are off.  But ohms vary between 20 and 80 when all on, and sometimes doesn’t come back on when I switch the engine on off switch.  And swings as high as 180 ohms.  Something in there isn’t right so going to take it apart and check it out.  
 

Key switch and starter button appear good.

 

5.  Infinite

6. infinite

7. infinite

8. infinite

9. 0-20 ohms

 

Forgot to mention, the 10A fuse for the starter switch circuit is good.

 

So I’m going to open up the kill switch next, but i think I’m narrowing in on the primary issue as non-Honda starter solenoids.  The one I used and the one the previous owner installed look pretty similar, and the one I received from Honda in December looks markedly different.  But I do have a completely new battery harness and starter wiring to install anyway.

 

If there is something wrong with the kill switch, then that may explain why the bike cut out on me on the highway.  But I distinctly remember it going completely dark, so...don’t know.  Still very possible the starter firing itself the second time was caused by me fumbling around the solenoid in the dark and touching the wires together.  Crossing my fingers that’s all I find!

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Cleaned out the kill switch, and now when it's on the resistance is steady at 6 ohms. Reliable on that side now 😁

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Spoke too soon, although that switch definitely needed to be cleaned out.  Tested it some more and moved some things around and...the cable and/or junction to the key switch is bad somewhere too.  This is bad news in that it's not available anywhere.  The good news is it would completely explain the bike cutting out intermittently on me on the highway, to include losing lighting.   This is a way, way better answer than some weird, unexplainable issue with charging somewhere.

 

Some more good/bad news...I spliced these cables myself back in 2003, when someone tried to hotwire my bike in the middle of the night the week after I brought it home from the dealership!  Since then it looks like someone else has at least taped over it, and zip tied it down to a couple other things.  when I move where I think I repaired it I don't get much change, but when I poke and prod around the base of the key cylinder assembly, it jumps to high resistance or cuts out completely.

 

Since it's not available anywhere...only option is to open, inspect, and repair.  Hope it's just a simple connection issue!  

 

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Going to post a question about this separately but, just ordered a 2004+ ignition key cable.  Maybe it'll work out, or I can at least use the cable part...

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Ok, lots of progress in the last 24 hours!  After cleaning up the contacts in both the ignition key switch and handlebar start/stop switch, that circuit tests very low resistance when the starter button is engaged (around 3 ohms consistently) and cleanly switches on and off when any cut out is tripped.  All of the intermittent high resistance is gone.

 

I've got the new battery harness halfway in, but stuck as I seem to have lost the rubber solenoid housing thing that holds it in place.  Searching for it next, gotta be around here somewhere!  This is what I get for putting this off for so long 😄

 

New clutch and brake levers, plus foot pegs installed.  Just need to find this one rubber thingy and I can push the start button soon!

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coming along nicely. Did you ever replace all those individual plugs with proper 4P solenoid connector? And double-up red power wires?

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8 hours ago, DannoXYZ said:

coming along nicely. Did you ever replace all those individual plugs with proper 4P solenoid connector? And double-up red power wires?

Not yet - I do have the solenoid connector but haven't gotten to any of the soldering yet.  As it turns out the cable fixes are all ugly and suspect but were not the root cause of anything, they just appeared to be the obvious one with so much intermittent connectivity in the switches.  When I got better clips for my multimeter, I couldn't break the circuit at any of them.  Now everything is 100% when I open and close switches too.  But they need to go, I'm pretty sketched out on riding far from home with anything questionable like this again.

 

What did you mean double up red power wires?  The red wires in the solenoid connector, or something else?   It does have two red wires on it vs. the one in the harness: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XC7KY6S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Oh and thanks for the how to solder correctly video!  I'm set on that as well!

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On 12/9/2020 at 10:42 PM, DannoXYZ said:

Original harness had connector for solenoid control. You'll want to restore your wiring back to factory spec by replacing those individual connectors with proper starter-solenoid connector: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XC7KY6S/

 

To install, cut back wiring from those individual spade connectors until you've removed all the bad splicing PO did; leaving only original 3 harness wires (G/R, Y/R and R).
image.png.b6c5f0f20b957d911dc2816bf2f35058.png

 

Then use proper in-line WesternUnion/lineman's splice to join new pigtail to harness. Combine the 2 red wires from pigtail together before connecting to harness's red wire. This will spread harness power-load across 2x spade-connectors instead of factory's 1 and prevent overheating.

 

  • G -> G/R on harness
  • B -> Y/R on harness
  • R+R -> R on harness

 

BTW - DO NOT EVER use butt-splice crimp connectors. They don't meet high-reliability criteria and will fail on you (I use 50-year time-frame). All wiring-splices should be tied, soldered and adhesive heatshrink-wrapped. It's done this way in pro-motorsports, military and aerospace applications for performance, reliability and durability..

Aaaahhhh I found your instructions here!  Double up on R, that's what I thought.  Thanks again, going to try to get to this tonight, got a load of shrink wrap and everything else I need 😎

 

Realized I can just put some foam and rubber around the solenoid till I get the new holder in.  Good shot at optest in the next day or so...

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Almost-success!  I soldered in the new solenoid connector and shoved everything in tonight.  All of the logic is correct and the bike *wants* to start but...low voltage.  9V with key on, 11.24V off.  Was hoping I'd saved it with the charger/tender but I already considered it sketchy after full discharge on its side by the highway.  But at least all the right things happen when I hit the buttons.  Light on/off, starter on off, etc.  New battery should be the last thing.  Well, that and the solenoid holder to replace the makeshift thing I did with some neoprene 😄

 

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Installed a new battery this afternoon and the bike is 100% on starter circuit and charging 😄 All of the safeties work correctly and the battery is getting 14.1-14.2V from the new R/R when it runs.  Looks like some fork fluid came out and dripped on the left brake caliper during the tip over (fork has not been serviced since I last owned the bike in 2011) so I need to remove that caliper and check the pads before riding, and of course reinstall all of the body work.  But otherwise the bike starts very cleanly and sounds like it is ready to escape the garage!

 

So root causes were dirty/intermittent key and kill switches, a couple non-Honda solenoids in a row (possible contributor), and probably me pushing the solenoid lines together in the dark.  The wiring was ugly and didn't help, but that's all fixed now too.  I added some wraps of high temp electrical tape to the solenoid power lines to prevent that from ever happening if the rubber separator were to move again (anyone who's messed with the solenoid will know what I'm talking about), and of course...a Honda solenoid.  

 

Why were the switches bad?  A big contributor to that is the guy I sold it to in 2011 (not the previous owner who did the electrical repairs) mostly left it outside on the east coast.  The switches are pretty robust but over time, grease and dirt moved around from the pivots and ball detents above the contacts down into the contacts.  The key switch is much more protected than the kill switch which is essentially open at the top around the orange button, but the grease eventually found its way down.  Judging by forum searches where people were looking for the same part but never reporting a fix, this happens a bit.

 

Good news is they are fixable.  Both can be pried open and cleaned without breaking 19 year old plastic 😄  And they're such simple things I don't see much point in replacing them.

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Have you tried starting it with kickstand down? That was cause of it taking off on its own when you were on side of road.

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Good job ShipFixer. Multiple issues that certainly needed tidying up. As Danno mentioned throughly check the Starter Saftey Logic, your charging voltage looks good.

Salty coastal air can play havoc with exposed switch contacts and wire connections over time, Ox-Gard is an excellent product to use in this situation.

Sounds like you've sorted those issues.

Good luck, hope you've finally got all the gremlins out of your bike.

Cheers.

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26 minutes ago, DannoXYZ said:

Have you tried starting it with kickstand down? That was cause of it taking off on its own when you were on side of road.

Yup,  all of the "switchology" is correct.  Checked it a bunch of times with the multimeter and then after the battery was installed to verify.  What I think happened is I pushed the solenoid power wires together while I was trying to figure out why I had no power in the dark, under a bridge, etc.  And the non-Honda solenoid didn't need much to make it fail (again).    It was right after a bunch of repeated re-starts when the bike was cutting out on me too, so it was probably already hot inside.

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Yeah, non-OEM parts can cause lots of problems. Awesome job on repairs! 👍

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