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Discussion Starter #1
I'm moving this from the streetbike forum since its really mechanical question.


Alright just got my bike, unfortunately some hack worked on it before. Here's the deal, it just ate a battery. Bike can't be jumped to run on its own power so something is up with the charging system. I tried to check it with my multimeter like the clymer manual says but I had some trouble finding the right wires to connect to. I found the black/yellow wire easy enough off the negative terminal but can't find a red/white wire coming off the positive terminal. Anyone have any experience with this? The bike is a 1988 Ninja 600. The only thing coming off the positive terminal is the single main wire that goes to the 30amp fuse and such. Can I be missing the wire and thus have the problem solved hopefully??? I don't think I'm that lucky but tell me what you guys are thinking. BTW I don't know if its related but all my lights work properly save the fact that my front right turn signal glows when the engine is on (it blinks fine when I turn....it just glows when I'm not...kinda weird). Yes I do have a fresh battery to test with.
 

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Hmm, let's see here. My father was an electrician, but unfortunately it's not hereditary.

Also, my bike is a Ninja 250, so I'm doubly unqualified to answer your question. If you think I'm an idiot, feel free to ignore what I say.

Are you saying that you've never been able to get the starter to turn? Can you push start the bike? I'd try hotwiring it to make sure the starter is working. Then work backwards to the battery to find your wiring problem or missing cable. It has to be either the hot coming from the ignition, or the main coming from the battery. Do you have power on both of those lines?

As for that demon-posessed turn signal, I'd have to have a look to know what's going on. One thing you could try is to pull fuses until the light goes out. At least that would tell you what circuit it's on. My bike (like all Ninja 250's) has a pair of unused power leads very close to where the turn signals bolt on. It's possible that yours has these same leads, and that one of them has made contact to the positive wire for the turn signal.
Curt
 

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How do you feel about tearing the wiring harness' apart and checking and cleaning all the connections? Could be as disconnecting and reconnecting in some cases

Dirty connections cause heat, reduce power flow and in general screw things up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, just want to give you guys some clarification. The bike starts and runs fine with the new battery, so its not an issue with the starter or anything like that not working. It can't run without a battery so the charging system for some reason is not making any power. The thing I mentioned above (with the 30 amp fuse) is the arter soleniod. The positive battery cable runs to this alone. From my manual diagrams it seems like there is another wire I don't have that runs from the positive terminal to the fuse junction under the seat. Hope this clarifies stuff a bit. I'm going to start cleaning some connections in the meantime.
 

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There should be a white with red stripe wire that attaches to the positive battery cable along with the positive lead. This wire is power for the whole electrical system and attaches to the fuse panel. The positive fat lead that goes to the starter solenoid is only starter power.
 

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As a sidenote, the bulb that glows is the one working properly. Replace the one that doesn't with a 1157 (dual filament) bulb and you'll have your marker lights working properly.
 

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GPZBob said:
As a sidenote, the bulb that glows is the one working properly. Replace the one that doesn't with a 1157 (dual filament) bulb and you'll have your marker lights working properly.
Ah, I didn't think about that. My 250 uses single filament bulbs (1156 if I remember correctly), so it is for turn only, not for running lights. If your 600 is set up to have running lights and turn signals, then GPZBob just hit it on the nose.

Dr. Feelgood, how many volts do you have on your system when it's running? You can check it across the battery or anywhere handy that you can get power. You should have at least about 13V, and more likely 13.5 to 14.5V. A perfect battery has about 12.6V, and you need more than that to charge it.
Curt
 

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Discussion Starter #8
GPZBob said:
There should be a white with red stripe wire that attaches to the positive battery cable along with the positive lead. This wire is power for the whole electrical system and attaches to the fuse panel. The positive fat lead that goes to the starter solenoid is only starter power.
Yes thats the wire I was looking for that I don't have. However, I rechecked the wiring diagrams I had and tried to look for a more specific diagram for a zx600C and it shows no red/white wire from the positive terminal, just the main wire going to the solenoid with a connector attaching there with 3 other wires plus the lead to the starter and a 30 amp main fuse. It looks like my wiring is fine.

Checking voltage across the battery will only give you the battery voltage I think. I can check my battery out of the bike to see if its good (which it is since I just bought a new one). I think I'm just going to go ahead and check the alternator and recifier via the book method and give you guys the results if that.

BTW, thanks a million for the light info!! It never crossed my mind to have full time running turn signals with dual filaments.
 

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Curt is right in that you can check the charging system across the battery terminals. You should have 12.5 or so with the engine off and 13.5-14.5 with the engine running at 3500-4000rpm. Any other results make either the reg/rec. or the alternator suspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, I stand corrected. I'll check that ASAP, it sure does make my life simpler.
 

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Not sure about the 600 but my 750 has a alternator belt, and they are notorious for breaking. I am on #2 in 4 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
GPZBob said:
Curt is right in that you can check the charging system across the battery terminals. You should have 12.5 or so with the engine off and 13.5-14.5 with the engine running at 3500-4000rpm. Any other results make either the reg/rec. or the alternator suspect.
I got a reading of 12.6 with the engine off and 14.0 at 4000 RPMS.....so I guess my charging system is good after all and the ******* gave me a crappy battery......sound right?
 

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The only other thing to check would be voltage drain. With the ignition off, attach a test light between the positive battery terminal and the positive lead which you have disconnected from the battery. Anything over a dull glow will translate to a dead battery anytime the bike sits over a day or so. A bad reg/rect can cause a draw such as this so it's worth checking.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
GPZBob said:
The only other thing to check would be voltage drain. With the ignition off, attach a test light between the positive battery terminal and the positive lead which you have disconnected from the battery. Anything over a dull glow will translate to a dead battery anytime the bike sits over a day or so. A bad reg/rect can cause a draw such as this so it's worth checking.
I don't have a test light handy here....any readings I can take with the multimeter to get the same results?
 

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Does the meter measure current (amps)? Anything over 250ma is too much. A test light is easy to rig temporarily from a brake or turn bulb, some wire and tape. Tape 1 wire to the lead plug on the bottom of the bulb and another wire to the brass bulb base.
 
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