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  #1  
Old 06-03-2012, 02:32 PM
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jontemple jontemple is offline
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Probably an easy fix...

Just bought a 79 xs1100 special and it ran perfectly until this morning. As I started it it turned over a couple times then stopped. Checked the battery, full power. Toggled with the engine on and ignition to no avail. Let it sit for an hour thinking it would fix itself. No luck. A few weird things that are also going on: its almost like its stuck in neutral, but if i push it around in 2nd, try to jump start it, it will kick back down into 1st. I'm not SUPER mechanical savy, but if I can locate the problem I can read the necessary material to fix it. Also, it pops out of gear in 2nd around 5,000rpm. Help?
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2012, 03:41 PM
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James England James England is offline
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You have the second gear problem which is well documented on the forum. It won't fix itself and will only get worse, I'm afraid.

How do you know the battery has "full power"? What test did you do?
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2012, 03:46 PM
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Yep, 2md gear issue is THE second gear issue. Look in the tech tips for the Dremel fix. Or if you would rather, you can spend a couple hundred on new gears that will be factory back cut.

As to the starter, First, is to check all grounds and clean them really well. You can have a fully charged great battery, but if the grounds fromt he engine to the frame or from battery to frame are not good, you will have poor electrical performance. After that, you can check the solenoid by shorting across the large lugs and see if the starter cranks then.
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2012, 04:52 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I'll try what you discussed and see what happens. I know the battery has power because I checked it with a meter.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jontemple View Post
Just bought a 79 xs1100 special and it ran perfectly until this morning. As I started it it turned over a couple times then stopped. Checked the battery, full power. Toggled with the engine on and ignition to no avail. Let it sit for an hour thinking it would fix itself. No luck. A few weird things that are also going on: its almost like its stuck in neutral, but if i push it around in 2nd, try to jump start it, it will kick back down into 1st. I'm not SUPER mechanical savy, but if I can locate the problem I can read the necessary material to fix it. Also, it pops out of gear in 2nd around 5,000rpm. Help?
Yup, sounds like time to get mechanical and fix that 2nd gear.

Check and make certain all your fuses are good and making good contact as well. A fuse will cause the starter problem also.

Make certain the kill switch is in the correct position too.
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2012, 05:43 PM
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sometimes a battery can break internally and have a dead cell... it will read 12 volts but have NO amps. just a thought.. only way to test is a load test. if you have no load tester most auto parts stores or battery shops can test it for you JAT

another thought: try hooking a battery charger to it and see if it rolls over with an external power source hooked to it.
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Last edited by ddragon63; 06-03-2012 at 05:44 PM. Reason: had an idea
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:30 AM
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Once again thanks for your help. The second gear problem will probably be addressed after a few months to save cash and gather tools and knowledge. As for the starter, I checked all the grounds and fuses, then shorted out the solenoid and it cranked right up. According to "Troubleshooting a Bike that won't crank" by Mike Hart, this is indicative of three things: the starter button, the ignition switch, or kill switch internals. Are any of these problems most usually the culprit? How can I go about determining which is malfunctioning?
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:03 AM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jontemple View Post
...As for the starter, I checked all the grounds and fuses, then shorted out the solenoid and it cranked right up. According to "Troubleshooting a Bike that won't crank" by Mike Hart, this is indicative of three things: the starter button, the ignition switch, or kill switch internals. Are any of these problems most usually the culprit? How can I go about determining which is malfunctioning?
It could be one of those three, but not neccesarily only those...

The power to both the ignition and starting circuit go through the kill switch. The starter solenoid is supplied with 12v power from this switch, and the starter button supplies the ground path when pushed. Neither of these switches are 'sealed' and can get corroded over time, so disassembling/cleaning them is always a good idea. If you're getting full battery power to the fuses, it's not the switch. Also check all the connections between the components; the handlebar control plug under the tank and the plugs at the solenoid.
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2012, 07:48 PM
CaptonZap CaptonZap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jontemple View Post
Once again thanks for your help. The second gear problem will probably be addressed after a few months to save cash and gather tools and knowledge. As for the starter, I checked all the grounds and fuses, then shorted out the solenoid and it cranked right up. According to "Troubleshooting a Bike that won't crank" by Mike Hart, this is indicative of three things: the starter button, the ignition switch, or kill switch internals. Are any of these problems most usually the culprit? How can I go about determining which is malfunctioning?
Do you know how to read a wiring diagram? Are you color blind?
If no and no, here is a starting point.
Find the plug that is on the small wires to the starter solenoid. (The solenoid is the thing that the heavy wire from the battery goes to, under the right side cover)
Take a safety pin and stick it in the little plug wire that is blue /with white trace.
Make sure that the point goes into the copper wire. Use a jumper, and put the alligator clip on the safety pin. Touch the other end to a CLEAN ground. (bare piece of engine metal, or negative terminal on the battery)
Does the starter crank? No? You have a bad solenoid, either the coil is bad, or the contacts are bad. (If the contacts are bad, the relay will click, indicating that the coil is working.)
Yes? If so, you know the solenoid is good, and you do not have a path to ground in the rest of the circuit. Let us know, and we can proceed from there. CZ

Last edited by CaptonZap; 06-04-2012 at 07:58 PM. Reason: Further thoughts, Greg is right, in that the ign fuse supplies power to the starter solenoid. Swap fuses and check it again.
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2012, 08:14 PM
CaptonZap CaptonZap is offline
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I forgot to mention that the key has to be on, (with a good fuse) for the test to be done,
A simpler way to test it is to disconnect the 2 wire plug, and apply 12 volts, +/- to the red/w and blue/w wires. that will test the solenoid. And can be done with the key off.
But that requires two jumpers. CZ

This assumes that the color code wasn't changed when they wired an 80G, as that is what I am referencing for the colors.
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2012, 10:08 AM
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Alright, very cool. Thanks. So what is a "jumper?"
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2012, 01:32 PM
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jumper = anything from a purpose made wire with aligator clips on the end, to a piece of wire with bare ends on it. Even a screwdriver if the connections you want to "jump" across and close enough.

Look at your solenoid, you will see a red/white wire going to the low load side of it. Check if you have a good 12 or more volts at it with the key switch turned on. If yes, then chances are it is in the starter button.

To prove that, take a piece of wire ( a jumper) and put one bare end on the negative terminal of your battery, the other end to the blue/white wire connection at the solenoid. That will effectively eliminate the stater switch from the circuit, and the starter should turn. Now, if it still does not turn over, then you seem to have a bad solenoid.

the way a solenoid works, is that the two large wires are not connected. Then a coil in the solenoid gets charged by the completion of the low amp circuit and creates a magnetic field that pulls the inner plunger down which has a piece of metal to connect the two large wires on it. so as long as you create that magnetic field, the two large wires are connected. If the coil that creates the magnetic field gets a break in it, or the inner plunger gets corroded or stuck, well, no joy no matter how clean all those switches are.

hope that helps.
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80 XS1100 Special - Project Resurrection


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  #13  
Old 06-07-2012, 06:36 AM
BigRed BigRed is offline
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I read through this pretty quick, so someone may have said this already...

Did you check your battery while you were pushing the starter button? Dead batteries will often show close to 12V until you put a load on them, and then they can drop down to 1 or 2 V. I'd set up my meter on the battery, turn the key on, and watch the voltage when I hold the starter.
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  #14  
Old 06-07-2012, 07:13 AM
DAVINCI DAVINCI is offline
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Originally Posted by jontemple View Post
Alright, very cool. Thanks. So what is a "jumper?"
Around here it's the guy on the window ledge.
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  #15  
Old 06-07-2012, 10:02 AM
mikubuilder mikubuilder is offline
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Originally Posted by DAVINCI View Post
Around here it's the guy on the window ledge.
hahaha
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