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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got an intermittent problem which can be dangerous in heavy highway traffic. My 2000 Nomad 1500 (carbed) may run fine for months or it may cut off 2 or 3 times going to work. I can't pin point the problem. It appears to lose power to the ignition just all of a sudden. I have traced every wire, flushed the fuel system checked for loose connections, taken the ignition switch apart and inspected the contacts, checked the kickstand switch, clutch switch and the power switch and can't find anything wrong. If it would just die and not crank I might could fix it. When the problem occurs, it is usually cold and right after I leave the house but it has done it on a trip cruising down the highway after running a couple of hours. It normally jumps a few times and then starts back running smooth or will just shut off. The lights stay on so it doesn't lose battery voltage. After I pull over it will usually crank back up and may run fine the rest of the day. It also does it on a smooth road under steady speed. It has also done it sitting there idling.Is it possible the igniter has a problem? If so is there a way to test it? Any ideas?
Zoom45
 

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With it idling, take the butt end of a screwdriver, tap on the side stand switch, ignition switch, junction box and its connectors, and the ignitor and its connectors and see if anything shows up. Also, you can tug and wiggle on the harness that is associated with the above components.

Post back with your findings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tore the whole bike apart this past weekend and checked everything I could move. The only thing left is the coil or igniter. I don't want to pay $300 for an igniter and hope that's the problem. Is there a troubleshooting guide to test the igniter? It quit on me 3 times this morning going to work (26 miles) but it ran perfect on a short ride at lunch and all the way home. It just acts up when it wants to.
Zoom45
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought that too. I removed the tank and lines, flushed it and the shutoff valve out & changed the filter. Pump works fine. It acts like electrical. When it stumbles or quits, the dash lights and headlights stay on but it acts like the ignition switch may not make good contact. I took it apart, cleaned it up and stretched the springs. It seems to work fine.
 

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Keep this for future electrical troubleshooting:

The Dreaded Shorting/Intermittent Electrical Problem!


Here is the most basic method I know(Taken from KZrider.com - Home by member Patton)

1. Charge your battery and have it load tested if you can. The floating ball hydrometer can be used to check the specific gravity of the charged cells in the battery.

2. Disconnect the Black lead from the (-) Battery terminal... or Red from the (+) Battery terminal, it does not matter which one.

3. Connect one of the following test setups in series with the Battery terminal and lead:

3.1 A 12 V light bulb,
3.2 A 12 V test light,
3.3 A 12 V test buzzer or,
3.4 A 12 V horn... you get the idea.

4. With the Ignition Switch OFF, go through your harness and wiggle the wires while looking/listening for the test setup to go on/start buzzing.

5.With the Ignition Switch ON, repeat the test except this time the looking/listening for the test setup to go on/stop buzzing.

6. Be prepared to open the Ignition switch and check/test for solder joint failure and or circuit board micro breaks (don't ask how I know this ).

7. Be prepared to pull the wires out of the Head Light to test for failures at or near the grommet.

8. Be prepared to open the harness at or near the Steering Neck for failures. This is where wires tend to exhibit fatigue due to repetitive movement.

9. Be prepared to open the left and right switch gear to search for rust and or broken parts. CAUTION: watch out for flying springs, ball bearings and stuff. Do indoors on White sheet (again don't ask ).

10. Be prepared to follow the heavy gauge wire from the Starter Solenoid (Relay) to the starter for bare ware wire exposure. Especially near bends and grommets.

11. If you can reproduce the fault symptom your are pretty much home free. Be prepare to find and repair/replace any internal wire breaks, insulation break downs, exposed wires, rubber grommet failures, etc. Often, shrink tubing will solve the problem temporarily until something better can be done.

12. I use a very good electrical contact cleaner/preservative called De-oxit made by Caig Labs in San Diego Ca. Their website is caig.com - Home of DeoxIT - CAIG Laboratories, Inc. It can be purchased at Radio Shack and any other electronic supply store. I use it on all of my motorcycle’s electrical connectors , in my home entertainment center’s stereo patch cords and cordless phones charging cradles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The gremlins are back. A couple of years ago I posted that I had an intermmitent ignition problem and it wound up being a corroded connection in the start relay. The white wire in the relay plug (under the right side cover behind the coolant tank) was covered in the green flaky corrosion. The white wire goes from the relay straight to the ignition switch. I cleaned it up and it fixed the problem for over two years and many thousands of miles (I have over 105,000 on it now). Well, its back again. Got the same intermittent problem as before. I had installed a brand new relay about 2 months ago (just because I found one and wasn't sure if corrosion had gotten inside the old one the last time). When I changed it the white wire was clean and not corroded. This weekend I took the forks off and greased the steering bearings. After getting it together and riding a little bit the intermittent problem came back. I checked the relay and it again had the green corrosion on the white wire. I cleaned it up and it ran fine till today. It came back again! I'm thinking maybe the white wire may have the green corrosion creeping up in the wire where I can't see it so tonight I'm going to by-pass it and see if that is the problem. I have been through all the other switches and they work fine (handle bar mounted switches, kick stand etc.) and they all check out fine. Is there a test you can do to check the igniter? I can't duplicate the problem in my shop. Hitting bumps, turning, getting on the throttle hard will not activate the problem. It seems totally randum which really makes it hard to troubleshoot. I'm open to trying any good ideas that I haven't already done.
Thanks,
Zoom45
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't know. The battery is fairly new and I have some protective coating on the terminals. The only area that gets the flaky corrosion is inside the start relay on the ignition wire terminal but it was still clean after the last time. I was bumping the wires, igniter, and the oil pressure delay unit tonight with a screwdriver handle and it all of a sudden died. After doing that the neutral light would not come on and it wouldn't start so I pulled the left side cover off and removed and reinstalled the neutral switch wire and the light came on and it cranked right up. While I was in there I disconnected all the connectors, cleaned them and put it all back together. So far it runs good and hasn't quit again. When I get home from work tomorrow I'll give it another road test. I still suspect the ignitor may have an issue but I don't want to buy one to see. Those things are high! I may also take the power switch on the handle bar off and check it too. The wire from the relay looked ok tonight. I didn't have time to by pass the white wire tonight. More to follow.
Zoom45
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thought I had it fixed. I have by passed all the switches that could affect ignition power. The last test was the power switch on the handlebar. I installed a toggle to by pass it. This time the bike went 400 miles without a problem but then the next day on the way to work it did the intermittent problem again. Just shut off going down the interstate. Same problem totally random when it acts up. After sitting on the side of the road flipping switches and trying to crank it, the thing cranked up and ran fine all the way home. I thought it was the resistor in the jgnition switch so I installed a new OEM switch but it didn't fix it. I had every plug in the harness apart, checked all the bolted on terminals and can't find a wiring problem. Is there a way to troubleshoot the igniter? I can't find anything in the manual on it except a factory tester that I don't have.
Zoom45
 

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Some places to look:
1.All battery terminals clean and tight?
2.Is the one going from the Negative(-) terminal on the battery, to an engine mounting bolt clean and tight?
3.None of the larger battery cables feel "Crunchy" when flexed? If they do, the cables have internal corrosion, limiting current flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
All switches have been by-passed. Battery cables good. I have tried on a few forums to get info on the igniter but no one seems to have any info on them. It is tied into the ignition system. I have already checked the gray wire voltage from the ignition switch and it's 6.1 volts so that means the new OEM ignition switch is working correctly. it's not fuel. The only wiring I haven't pulled apart is from the ignition plug to the fuse box. All the connectors look good and clean. With such an intermittent problem it would seem to be in a switch or internal on a relay or the igniter. Oh, it also has a new OEM start relay on it. Handlebar and kickstand switched were by-passed so they have been cancelled out.
 

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Zoom45 HOLY CRAP! I have a similar issue, started last week. Except mine bike never stopped running when riding. I have a new battery as of this year April 2014. Fully charged,post cleaned. I thought maybe the problem was the neutral switch, because right before this started, I was having trouble getting the neutral light to come on when stopped....
The electrical system started working intermittently, starts and everything lights up except the headlight now??? There must be a short in the wiring somewhere?? Please let me know how you solved the problem. I don't think it's the ignition switch. HELP!
 

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Check all your ground connections everywhere! A bad or weak ground will cause all kinds of weird problems that make no sense & will make you pull your hair out trying to figure it out! Just because a ground looks good doesn't mean it is. Take all ground connections loose & check underneath, especially the opposite end of the battery ground. There may be enough corrosion underneath you can't see, it doesn't take much, to cause problems, especially on vehicles that have been stored outside for any length of time! I've had this happen to me a couple of times! Clean your connections good with a wire brush or steel wool even if there's no apparent corrosion!
 
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