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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am starting this thread as a last resort to find some suggestions. I have worked on motorcycles as a hobby most of my adult life, and can usually figure these things out. I have also scoured this forum for the last two months looking for possible solutions before tearing the bike apart. I am stumped!!
Background:
1999 Sprint ST that sat in a garage for the better part of the last decade. It came to me with 3000 original miles about 6 months ago. It was not in running condition. I have replaced the fuel pump (frozen up), gas tank connectors, fuel lines, fuel filter, fuel gauge, oil/filter, tires, coolant, brake fluid, rear turn signals (rotted), cleaned out a pound of mouse turds, new battery.

The issue:
Bike now has 6000+ miles and was running perfectly until about two months ago. I came home, turned off ignition to walk up and open my garage, came back to bike and turned ignition on and NOTHING happened. no lights, fuel pump noise, nothing! I wondered if the battery had an issue. Put a tester on it, and it read almost 13.6v. I put tester away, turned ignition on, and all lit up. I started the bike and rode it into the garage. After turning it off, it has been completely dead ever since.
I have checked the fuses, swapped the ignition relay and still nothing. I found a thread about an ignition switch problem. The white wire would break off in the switch. Well, I just took the whole front of the bike apart, finally got the security bolts out to remove the ignition and opened the ignition up. All wires are connected and look perfect. They should with only 6k miles, but that seemed like the most likely problem. Now I have no idea what to check next.

I have looked all over this forum for another possible solution, but I haven't found it.

If anyone has seen something like this? I would love to know what you did to fix it.

Scott Norman
Jamestown, NC
 

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Regardless of low miles, that bike is 20 years old and sat for half of its life. I'd suspect the ignition switch has corroded and failed internally. I had an '83 Suzuki GS550 that developed a horrible misfire commuting home from work that lead me to pushing a dead bike the final 2 miles home. Troubleshot the bike for an entire weekend and finally decided to replace the switch and the bike fired right up. If you already have it out and it's not a transponder key, it might be worth just replacing it and see if that fixes it.

Like jer5ak said, check for frayed/grounded wires in the neck area first. But, I'm thinking if that was the problem you'd have a couple of blown fuses to boot.
 

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Agree with the others that your ignition switch should be the first check, presumably you have the 12 volt feed to the switch as you say your fuses are ok, there will be normally at least 2 feeds from the switch when you have it in the on position, do you have a wiring diagram for the bike?
 

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Since you have the switch apart already check for 12V at the white wire - this should be 'hot' even with ignition off.
With ignition switch 'on' then you should have 12V at both the Yellow Wire (ignition Circuit) and Brown Wire (lighting circuit)

If you do not have 12V at the white wire at the switch plate, check at the connector to the key-switch (unplug the key-switch and check the terminal for the white wire on the main harness side)
And of course check at the fuse itself (fuse 9) - you can check for voltage at both sides of fuse without removing it, using this method

 

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Discussion Starter #6
I seem to have a serious electrical issue somewhere. Checked power at switch. No voltage at switch at all. I had already checked all the fuses in the box, however, I did not check voltage. No power to the fuse box at all. Not at any fuse location. I do have a Haynes manual with wiring diagrams. There must be a connection problem between the battery and the fuse box, but I don't see a Fuse between the battery and box in the diagram. I made a jumper wire and placed it in main fuse location and touched to the + batt terminal. When I turned the ignition on, all systems lit up. I have a break between the battery and fuse box.

Anyone know if there is a main fuse buried somewhere before the fuse box?

Thank you all for the help so far. Several have mentioned things I missed. Frustration can make one forget the basics.
 

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Long shot, but it did happen to me with a 98 Sprint. I had a battery with an internal crack that would sometimes work, sometimes not. When it did not work, everything was dead. Usually when I tightened the battery terminals it would work again, for a while, probably transmitted torque down to area of crack. That battery was not all that old, just had a defect in it.
 

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Question is: is it really a 1999?
Isn't it corrosion on the battery terminal (I know it seems obvious).

Corroded crimp?



Fred
 

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you mentioned replacing the ignition relay... I managed to get my relays mixed up one time and replaced the 5-pin ignition relay with a 4-pin and chased my own tail for weeks trying to figure out what was wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh, the fix was much worse ( as in embarrassing) than fixing corrosion on a terminal..... You can't fix STUPID! At some point, either when the dealer replaced my tank connectors, or when I added the connection for my battery tender, the main battery connection was not put on correctly. Instead of the battery bolt going through the hole in the connector, I think it got pinched in under another connector. Eventually, it worked it's way out, causing my electrical problem. Since it popped up into the plastic connector cover, I didn't see it. When I started at the Positive terminal to begin to look for the break in the power cable, I pulled up the red plastic cover and saw the main connector up in the plastic. Basics! I didn't start at the beginning, and immediately went to the hard stuff.

Hopefully, now that I have spent hours searching the forum, and hours taking apart the bike, and now have to put it back together, maybe I will learn something from this. I am greatly appreciative of all of the suggestions and can't tell you all how much help this forum was when I was trying to bring this bike back from the dead several months ago after it sat for so long.

Thank you all.

Scott
 

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glad you found the issue! Unfortunately I'm having exactly the same issue now after trying to start the bike yesterday morning... :| :dunno
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There are some really good suggestions in the posts above. I hope you find an easy fix, and don't spend weeks on it, like I did. Best of luck!
 

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jaewastooshort, had the same problem with my Thunderbird Sport and purchased an ignition switch from a Sprint/Trophy on ebay as it looked similar to mine. When it came, the mounting ears were different than mine as the new one was straight across and mine had a slight angle. I plugged it into my bike and everything came on like it should. The switch was from a bike that had supposedly 1500 miles and looks like new as you can see by the pics and works perfectly but is no use to me. Ended up repairing my old one which had the white wire broken and some of the terminals were worn. If anyone is interested will sell for $125 US free shipping
 

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yeah, not entirely sure where my problem was, but I wasn't finding any issues probing pins (and fuses, relays, etc) with the voltmeter, and once I'd reconnected the handlebar switches and ignition switch everything came on again. Thinking it's possible that in swapping my handlebars several times maybe one of the connections had just come loose a bit.
 
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