Starter Power Mod Catastrophic Failure! - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
Minitwins
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Starter Power Mod Catastrophic Failure!

Hello all! I promise to make a proper intro post once everything is in order, but really need help on this one.

After becoming a new owner of a 2007 Speed Triple, I noted the typical slow cranking. To remedy, I performed DEcosse's famous Power Starter Mod-

4GA Battery Positive to Solenoid In(supplemental)
4GA Solenoid Out to Starter(replace)
4GA Battery Neg to Engine Ground(Supplemental)

After triple checking everything, I reattached the battery Neg and attempted to start the bike, but got absolutely nothing. No clicks, nothing. I then attempted to remove the solenoid from its mounting point to inspect, and was welcomed with a rapid electrical clicking followed by white smoke and electrical burning smell from the solenoid area. I disconnected the battery and closely inspected the solenoid connectors and cable harness. The solenoid is obviously cashed, as but luckily after pealing back the cable harness insulation, the main harness looks unharmed except some sort of ground wire coming off one of the little black connectors on the solenoid.

looking closer at my 4GA lugs I attached to the solenoid, I believe I know where I went wrong, but wanted to confirm-

1/4" lugs were unavailable, so I opted for 3/8 when I made my cables and neglected to file them down. This caused the lugs to rest on the connection pads of the 2 black connectors coming off the solenoid-


https://flic.kr/p/2h8TBPY

https://flic.kr/p/2h8TBUs

Looking at the attached pics, does my assumed cause of failure sound plausible? Looking at an electrical diagram, one of those little black connectors goes to Ground, the other goes to a leg on the Relay. I'm very curious what their purpose is, but more importantly, could I have damaged anything else further up the harness? My guess(hope) is that it stopped at the solenoid.

Bonus question, am I correct to assume that this is Engine Ground?

https://flic.kr/p/2h8WaYs

All insight is much appreciated!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 01:53 PM
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The small terminals are the coil of the solenoid which actually operate it to close the contacts between the big terminals
Yes, you just shorted one of the big ones to the small terminal with the ground wire.
You probably have no other damage other than having to replace that ground wire/terminal. It doesn't even have to re-attach to the original, you can make up a new wire with the spade on one end for the solenoid and a ring lug on other to the engine ground.
Nor should there be any damage to the solenoid itself
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEcosse View Post
The small terminals are the coil of the solenoid which actually operate it to close the contacts between the big terminals
Yes, you just shorted one of the big ones to the small terminal with the ground wire.
You probably have no other damage other than having to replace that ground wire/terminal. It doesn't even have to re-attach to the original, you can make up a new wire with the spade on one end for the solenoid and a ring lug on other to the engine ground.
Nor should there be any damage to the solenoid itself
Hey there DEcosse, I was really hoping you'd see my post, thanks for the quick reply! Definitely a boneheaded move on my part for sure! In your Power Starter Mod write-up you you specifically mentioned the need to file down the 1/4 lugs a bit. I assumed the purpose of this was purely for ease of fitment. Huge oversight! You really think the solenoid is still good to go? I know my last pic isn't the best quality, but am I right in assuming that this is in fact the Engone Ground? Thanks again!
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I replaced the ground wire coming off the small connector and ran it directly to Engine Ground, filed down In and Out solenoid connectors and verified they were clear of ground pads this time, found the 20amp Starter Solenoid fuse blown(no surprise)and replaced. Now on startup I only get fuel pump prime, solenoid click, and nothing... Starter relay possibly?
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Update- put a meter on the solenoid when attempting to start. I got an audible click telling me the solenoid opened, however I get no continuity across the terminals. Bad solenoid?

Side question- do I need the tank connected to get the starter to crank? Its getting to be a pain in the a** to connect/disconnect between tests.

ANY thoughts would be appreciated. Aside from ordering up a solenoid, I got nothing.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 09:36 PM
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Your battery probably got drained during the short - measure voltage with ignition (& lights) on
No you dont need tank connected to run starter
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEcosse View Post
Your battery probably got drained during the short - measure voltage with ignition (& lights) on
No you dont need tank connected to run starter
Hey DEcosse, thanks for sticking with me on this one. The battery condition was the first on my mind as well. At rest/cold is 12.50v. With IGN/lights is 12.08v. I never really thought to measure with lights, so figured the at rest 12.50v was adequate, no? At any rate, I put it on the tender and will measure/test tomorrow.

I'd like to share your confidence that the solenoid wasnt damaged, is there a reason in particular?

Thanks also for the response on the tank, not a big fan of introducing gas to electrical unknowns if I dont have to(0_o)
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Happy Labor Day all! Alright, the battery is now at 12.90 while resting, 12.36 with IGN/lights. Attempting to start, but still only get a single CLICK from solenoid and lights dim. Based on my solenoid test results- obvious click indicating opening, but no continuity. Is it safe to say that the solenoid is the culprit? Cost wise, I have no problem ordering a solenoid, but I'd hate to have the bike sitting as is for a week or longer waiting for a British solenoid only to find out the issue lay elsewhere.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 02:34 PM
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Hard to see how solenoid could fail
Quick test - remove the white/red wire (actually you can even leave in place) - take a wire from your battery positive and touch briefly to either the bare terminal If you removed it) or to the white/red wire terminal - no ignition necessary, starter should run when you touch the terminal briefly
If it does NOT then
a) bad negative connection
b) bad solenoid
c) bad battery
d) incorrect wiring of mod.

You can also check the voltage at the battery when the solenoid is (supposedly) closed - does it tank or remain at your 12.3 or so (voltage measured with ignition on)

Note that the click you might be hearing is just the starter/headlight relay - but if lights go out when you operate the starter, it sounds like that is working properly; (i.e. the click you hear may not necessarily be the solenoid, just the relay)
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 03:22 PM
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I think if you had smoke from the solenoid, it is probably bad.

One of our electrical panel builders used to joke that everything electrical runs on smoke and if the smoke escapes the part won't work.
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It is what it is, until it isn't
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