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Hinckley Classic Triples 885cc Classic Styled T3's: Legend, Thunderbird, Thunderbird Sport & Adventurer.

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Old 11-15-2012, 02:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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neutral switch, clutch switch

Hello everyone. I have a 1998 adventurer. 30000 miles I just ran into a starting issue. Last night the neutral light wouldn't come on when she was hot. She wouldn't start without it on. I have read all about and understand whats going on with that.
Here is the problem this morning she struggled to fire. Then I flipped to run switch on then off. Then the starter button stopped doing anything. I checked the button I cleaned the contacts on the clutch switch. What is going on with my baby? thank you for any help.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you have a schematic? Finding electrical problems without one is tough...

There are too many "safety" interlocks on recent bikes. They reduce reliability, and their positive effect on safety is questionable.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The clutch & neutral switches work together. One of them has to provide a ground to both the igniter (to fire) and the starter solenoid (to run the starter.

Cleaning may not have fixed the clutch switch - they do wear out. They aren't too expensive so I suggest buying a new one. It's a handy spare to have anyway even if it's not at fault here.

There is also sometimes some wear to the neutral switch actuator mechanism (not usually the switch unit itself) which manifests when the oil is warm. IIRC removing its washer & using a thin layer of gasket sealant instead can help. (Needs an oil drain first I think.)

But if the clutch switch is ok, pulling in the clutch should enable the bike to start reliably anyway & then the sidestand switch takes over enabling the igniter when the sidestand is raised. So if the neutral switch mechanism is flaky, start with clutch in & hold it there until the sidestand is raised. (Tho' from a cold start it sounds like the neutral switch is ok - ie the neutral light is on.)

I tend to agree with Paul about these 'safety' interlocks. I have a programmable aftermarket igniter & have removed the igniter inhibits in the settings. A neutral light is useful imo, but the interlocks not so much. I suppose once one manufacturer started getting worried about litigation & fitting them, they all had to. Tho' I grew up on bikes without sidestand interlocks so I got used to double checking before moving off
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My starter motor won't run if the kill switch is off. Also, I don't think it will work if the side stand is down and the bike is not in neutral, so, if the neutral switch is bad you'd have to put the side stand up and pull the clutch with the kill switch in the run position.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am going to replace the clutch switch. It doesn't seem like it could be what is causing the starter button to not work at all, but it won't hurt. We shall see. The starter has been acting up for a while maybe it has been the the clutch switch all along. Would the clutch switch cause the starter to be sluggish the first few times you go to start it? The have the bike fire up normally I thought it was the battery.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You can remove the neutral switch without draining the oil, but the flakey neutral light syndrome normally only manifests itself when the engine is hot. You can use a Bonneville etc neutral switch which has a longer plunger and that will work more often than not.

When my clutch switch went bad, it worked in reverse- clutch in, no start- clutch out, start. A shot of WD40 would cure it for a time. Eventually I gave up and replaced the switch.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Clutch switch would not cause sluggish starter motor operation - once the starter solenoid is powered it's down to the main starter circuit & battery components.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrlMike View Post
Clutch switch would not cause sluggish starter motor operation...
Agreed. It'll either work or not. Sluggish is either the battery, wiring, solenoid or starter itself.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have eliminated the three switches and still not starting action. The bike has a n light the clutch switch is working the side stand switch is out and there is no power to the starter. Is there a fuse I am missing?
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Do you have power at the starter solenoid? (It's just in front of the battery - follow the thick cable from battery plus terminal.) Pressing the starter should put 12V across the two small wire terminals which with an audible click closes the main contact connecting the two big wire terminals. Is the main earth wire bolted to the engine at an alternator mount bolt in good condition?
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