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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
Been very slack and have not started my 2011 Thunderbird for a while. Fuel has gone bad and am cleaning tank out now. When trying to start it initially it blew the 10amp start/ignition fuse as soon as I pressed the ignition button and again when fuse was replaced. Any suggestions where to start looking or possible causes? Have multimeter and can get electrical assistance if I get desperate. Any help appreciated.
Cheers
 

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Just looked at my bike and the workshop manual - did not help too much!! Figure there are 3 likely reasons; (1) a wire or switch shorting out; (2) frozen bad starter causing overload; (3) frozen engine resulting in situation 2. Seems to me the way to separate these is to remove the starter from the engine mounting and try to "start" it disconnected from the engine but with switch/wiring connected. If it does not "start" then the problem is is either in the wiring or the starter motor. Next step would then be to apply power directly to the starter motor and see it it turns. That result will allow you to determine whether it is a motor problem or a wiring problem. By elimination you can at least determine whether you have s serious Motorcycle engine problem, a bad starter, or a wiring problem. Or you can have it towed to the repair shop!!!
 

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You could also start by disconnecting wiring to the starter and seeing if you still blow the fuse - then problem is in switch or wiring to starter motor.
 

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Lift the rear wheel off the floor, remove the spark plugs, put it in high gear and rotate the wheel.
If it turns, your motor is not frozen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks VABird. Did this. Engine is not locked, ?.Hopefully will get to the bottom of the electrical issue
 

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Another thought... the starter is dependent on the headlight circuit being operable.
The issue may be in that circuit too.
 

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Sounds like the starter button circuit has a short to ground or the starter solenoid is bad. Have you tried jumping the solenoid? I would try that first. If the solenoid works then you have a short in the start button and will have to chase down the short which could be in the starter button housing, the headlight bucket or somewhere in the main harness. Let us know what you find!
 

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The only reason that I can think of is to keep you from riding off without a headlight.
Another "big brother" moment protecting us from ourselves. Pretty dumb though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Back to work now until Easter. Will try all suggestions and let you know how I go over the next week. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Have tracked issue down to a faulty fuel pump. Have removed fuel pump assembly from the tank and all functions work with fuel pump disconnected. Soon as the pump is plugged in and try to crank engine the fuse blows. Multimeter confirms pump is not well. New pump ordered and should be installing next weekend?
 

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Congratulations!!
How exactly did you isolate problem to fuel pump??
That's a great question, Chrison.
Also I am wondering if you store the bike for winter and is the tank full of gas when/if you do? I am thinking about moisture damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Removed tank to clean it out. While it was off pulled fuel pump assembly out to inspect it and also to help clean the tank.Engine starter motor and lights all working with fuel pump and tank removed. Plugged fuel pump assembly back in and fuse blew straight away. Definite signs of moisture ingress on pump assembly and inside of tank. Will be more careful with storage in the future!
 
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