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

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Old 02-05-2008, 09:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help! No Electrical Power when I turn Ignition Switch ON!!

I'm off to a rough week. My wife's truck died so I figured i'd let her have my car and i'd just ride in to work.. bad plan! Turns out my bike had second thoughts about starting up in near freezing temps. I cranked her up for about 30 seconds until my battery had no more juice to turn over the engine. I hooked up the jumper cables from my wife's truck to my bike (through trickle charger clips) and tried to get her going. I have a sidecar setup, so the push and jump technique wasn't really an option. I couldn't get her to go. I disconnected the jumper cables, plugged the trickle charger to the bike and bussed it to work. When I got back, I found that my trickle charger had a solid green light which indicates the battery is fully charged. I turned the switch on and found I had absolutely no electrical power.. no lights, nothing. The only thing that changed when I turned the ignition key to ON was that the light on my trickle charger went from solid green to solid red (battery charging). I checked my fuses and visually inspected the wiring and everything looked fine. I'm not really good with electrical troubleshooting and i'm limited to a test light at this point. HELP!!! I DON'T WANT TO TAKE THE BUSS ALL WEEK LONG!!! Any ideas???
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you disconnect the positive side of the battery when you put on the trickle charger ? If not I would check the fuse again, you could have shorted it out. A battery shouldn't go totally dead from what you did unless you reversed the leads (positive/negative) and even a weak light or ignition lights should show even if the battery hasn't the strength to turn the motor over.

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The charger came with connections that bolt on to the battery. This allows easy clip type connections (reverse polarity protected) to put the charger on and off without having to take anything apart. That being said, I did'nt disconnect the positive side of the battery when I plugged on the trickle charger but I'm not sure I would need too.. would I? Anyway, the fuses look good and I agree with you about the battery.. I doubt it's the culprit here.

btw, its a 95 tbird..
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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your battery is toasted IMHO

Will your test light - well, light - when placed directly across the terminals on your battery? I think that the battery could have opened internally which would result in the symptoms you describe. The reason the charger light is green is because there is no current flowing into the battery. The reason it turns red when you turn on the ignition is the current is now flowing from the charger through the electrical system of your bike. The trickle charger doesn't have enough current capacity though to actually power anything up.

Depending upon the actual wiring of your charger pigtail, there is a main 30A fuse that you may have blown when trying to jump start it from the truck - especially if the truck was running. But I doubt it.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It could be as simple as dirty/corroded battery and cable terminals or a failing battery.

(Checked the fluid lately?)

The battery cables should connect directly to the battery terminals and any accessory connections should not be in between.

Clean the terminals with a wire brush until shiny, grease them, reassemble and then put your charger back on.

Give it another try and see what happens.

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Old 02-06-2008, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like an issue my buddy had when is ignition started to go.

If none of the above works, and you feel you should be working with a new battery and your not getting anywhere, try to move the key around in the igniton a little. If the connections go bad your not turning anything on..zero. This can happen while riding so your kind of lucky.

Make sure you don't bend the key or anything but mess with it a bit to see if at anypoint you get your idiot lights or head light on.

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Lets go team!

Here's some more info:

1. The turn signal relay (near the fuse box) makes a single click sound as I turn the switch to the On position. I could get it to buzz if I turn the key slow enough.
2. With the switch in the Off position, one end of my test light to the positive side of the battery and the other end to the negative side of the battery, the test light lights up brightly.
3. INTERESTING THING IS, with the same test light to battery hookup as above, when I turn the key to switch to the Parking or On positions, the TEST LIGHT GOES OUT. When I switch back to Off position, the light comes back on!

Tre900 - I tried playing with my switch and the lights never even flickered.
jimmy900 - I've got a 6 month old maintenance free battery and i'm getting power to the main 30amp fuse. Note: test light goes out when I switch to Parking or On positions on 30amp fuse also.
cpallen - I wish it were the battery, it's still under warranty. I double checked all 5 fuses including the one in my trickle charger connection.. all good!

What do you guys think???
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think that's enough to get a professional to tell you better then me. I haven't experinced this personally but a friend did. The differnece was every now and again it would turn on..run fine..then die again.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I still say battery

I don't think your battery can supply any appreciable current - that's why the test light goes out when you turn on the switch. Can you pull the battery and take it to Sears or Autozone or someplace similar and have them do a load test on it?

How have you determined that your main fuse is good? Two other tests would be to put your test light from the negative battery terminal to the engine block or frame ground and turn on the key, and do the same across your main fuse. A light in either configuration might indicate a bad ground or a resistive fuse.

But I really think the battery is the most likely culprit. Keep us posted!
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yep everything is pointing to a battery that's shorted out.


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