Engine won't crank - battery OK - Page 2 - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Air Cooled Twins Technical Talk Technical Talk for Hinckley Triumph Twins: Bonneville, Bobber, T100, Speedmaster, America, Thruxton, and Scrambler.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 02:42 AM
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The paper clip or a more professional wire link can be used for bypassing the starter relay as shown in the second photo (shorting terminals 85 and 86). This is in case that relay is faulty.

It can also be used to operate the starter solenoid and cranking the engine by powering its operating coil directly from one of the heavy terminals which is always connected to the battery +12 volts. Connect terminals 1 and 3 briefly to operate the starter solenoid. This is a less dramatic way of forcing the engine to turn rather than the traditional and more brutal way of shorting the two heavy terminals together (3 and 4) amid a shower of sparks.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 12:31 PM
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Yeah melted a screwdriver this morning, Thought thats what you were talking about but wanted to confirm it. Thank You.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 04:14 PM
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Yeah melted a screwdriver this morning, Thought thats what you were talking about but wanted to confirm it. Thank You.
Heck, I've done that a few times over the years. Not a biggie.

Try squirting some contact cleaner or WD40 in your starter button. It's quick and free and sometimes it works.

Hard work may pay off some day, but laziness always pays off right now.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 01:09 PM
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Start by locating the starter solenoid and using a multimeter or one of those $4 circuit testers see that you're getting 12 volts at the solenoid coil terminals when you press the starter button.

Terminal marked "1" should show 12 volts with respect to ground or chassis when button pressed. You can connect your tester between terminals 1 and 2:



If not then you must have a look at your starter relay. This is easily accessible on Bonnies but the Speedmaster has it under the tank, I think. This relay turns off the headlight and sends current to that terminal 1 on the solenoid as you press button.

You can bypass the relay altogether for testing like this, or you can use a paper clip to do it. Press the button and see if it cranks, if so the relay is faulty:



If the starter motor now works then the relay contacts are faulty. You can just pop the cover off and look at the state of the contacts, clean if necessary.

This is what the relay looks like on the inside, ignore the red thing, that's just a mod:



You could also test to see if the solenoid coil is OK by temporarily connecting a wire from terminal 3 on the solenoid (this is always connected to the +ve of the battery) and touching it to terminal 1. If the engine now cranks then the solenoid coil and contacts are OK.

A circuit tester like this only costs about $4:

http://www.harborfreight.com/6-12-vo...ster-4288.html
I created a shorting link as suggested, and indeed, the bike fires right up (sans headlight). Neutral light is also stuck on, although, it had been on before the bike quit starting. I cleaned the contacts and even bought a new relay when that didn't work, but neither resulted in a fix. Any idea what could be at fault?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 01:51 PM
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I couldn't recall the original problem as it's not on this thread but from what I gather from your post of a month ago the bike quit starting after a 20 minute stop.

The reason might be a failed diode pack or a problem with its wiring. I don't know much about them as the EFI bikes like mine don't have one. The thread below explains a bit what it does and its location and the diagram below shows the electrical function. Your description of the neutral light being always ON leads me to believe that could be the problem. Post 25 explains how to test the diode pack, post 34 shows where they hide it.

https://www.triumphrat.net/twins-tech...iode-pack.html

This simplified starting/safety interlock circuit explains where the diodes are, in series with the neutral, clutch and sidestand switches:



And here's a full wiring diagram, the diodes are at the bottom left hand side:

http://i1272.photobucket.com/albums/...ps2685f8d4.jpg

Last edited by Forchetto; 07-14-2014 at 02:22 PM.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 02:51 PM
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OP - are you consistently getting 12 volts at the #1 terminal of the starter solenoid when the key is on and you press the starter button?? If not, spray around the edge of the button with contact cleaner.

Hard work may pay off some day, but laziness always pays off right now.

Bill

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 06:01 PM
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Thanks guys, I'll put this diode concern to work ASAP and report back what I find out.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:41 PM
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Start by locating the starter solenoid and using a multimeter or one of those $4 circuit testers see that you're getting 12 volts at the solenoid coil terminals when you press the starter button.

Terminal marked "1" should show 12 volts with respect to ground or chassis when button pressed. You can connect your tester between terminals 1 and 2:



If not then you must have a look at your starter relay. This is easily accessible on Bonnies but the Speedmaster has it under the tank, I think. This relay turns off the headlight and sends current to that terminal 1 on the solenoid as you press button.

You can bypass the relay altogether for testing like this, or you can use a paper clip to do it. Press the button and see if it cranks, if so the relay is faulty:



If the starter motor now works then the relay contacts are faulty. You can just pop the cover off and look at the state of the contacts, clean if necessary.

This is what the relay looks like on the inside, ignore the red thing, that's just a mod:



You could also test to see if the solenoid coil is OK by temporarily connecting a wire from terminal 3 on the solenoid (this is always connected to the +ve of the battery) and touching it to terminal 1. If the engine now cranks then the solenoid coil and contacts are OK.

A circuit tester like this only costs about $4:

http://www.harborfreight.com/6-12-vo...ster-4288.html
@Forchetto thanks for all the great info in this and other threads!

I'm having a similar problem with my 2012 T100 and am not able to diagnose the issue so I was wondering if you might be able to help: It too has an intermittent starting issue where the headlight will dim and it will only click once when I press the start button. The battery voltage reads 12.5V+ with the ignition turned off and drops to around 11.5 when I press the start button, so I think it's fine. I then did what you suggested by temporarily connecting a wire from terminal 3 on the solenoid to terminal 1, and the bike started right up, so I thought it must be the relay since I'm effectively bypassing it by shorting terminals 1 and 3. So, I replaced the relay but the issue is back. Any ideas what it might be? Usually after I short the solenoid the bike will start again without any issues until it sits for longer than a day but every time it's happened I've checked the battery and it seems okay so I'm not sure what else it might be.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 11:10 PM
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@Forchetto thanks for all the great info in this and other threads!

The battery voltage reads 12.5V+ with the ignition turned off and drops to around 11.5 when I press the start button, so I think it's fine.

A healthy battery should show around 12.8 - 12.9 volts at the terminals. The 12.5 reading indicates it's only 70% charged.

By operating the solenoid directly as you've done, you bypass not only the starter relay itself, but the infamous "low voltage threshold" interlock present on the EFI bikes where the ECU inhibits starting if the voltage drops too low. I think the battery is in need of replacement. Confirm if you have some jump leads by trying to start the engine using the battery from a car.
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Last edited by Forchetto; 01-31-2019 at 11:12 PM.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 08:59 AM
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A healthy battery should show around 12.8 - 12.9 volts at the terminals. The 12.5 reading indicates it's only 70% charged.

By operating the solenoid directly as you've done, you bypass not only the starter relay itself, but the infamous "low voltage threshold" interlock present on the EFI bikes where the ECU inhibits starting if the voltage drops too low. I think the battery is in need of replacement. Confirm if you have some jump leads by trying to start the engine using the battery from a car.
@Forchetto thanks for the reply! I see your logic but the 12.5V was a rough memory and not very accurate. Yesterday I finally had nice enough weather and time to go out to the garage to check the bike again. With the ignition turned off the battery reads 13.39, when I turn the key to on and the headlight comes on it drops to 12.89, and when I press the starter button and the engine cranks over it drops to around 9 while it cranks; the key being here that it does crank.

When it doesn't crank, the off and on voltages are the same as above, but when I press the starter button and it just clicks instead of cranks the voltage drops to around 11.5.

Wouldn't it not even click if the ECU were preventing it from starting, like when the kick stand is down and the bike is not in neutral? Any other ideas regarding what else it could be? I have another battery laying around that I can pop in if you still think that's the issue.
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