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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1992 Kawasaki EX500 with some sort of an electrical or starter problem... here's the description:

I got the bike about 5 weeks ago. When I bought it the battery was dead and the previous owner had replaced the battery trying to get the bike to start. They were unsuccessful. So then the previous owner replaced the solenoid. They still couldn't start the bike so they sold it to me.

I brought the bike home, ran the bike down the driveway, and let out the clutch to see that the engine would turn over. It did. So I hooked up jumper cables and jump started the bike. It started and ran but the battery was weak so I kept it on a trickle charger.

The next day the bike started and ran off the charger quite easily. I drove the bike to a dealer and left the bike at the dealer to get it inspected. Aside from replacing the front rotor and pads, the bike passed inspection without any other work.

I went and picked up the bike yesterday, thumbed the starter, and it turned right over. I drove the bike about 12 miles towards my house and then the engine started dying.... first it stayed at 7k rpm... then wouldn't hold 6k.. then would not hold 5k.... then I pulled over and the engine died as I was getting over to the side of the road.

I looked at the gauges and they were dim. I had a friend following me home with my toolbox. I took out a meter and confirmed that the battery was low. I replaced the dead battery with a new, fully charged battery. I hoped I maybe just had a failed charging system... but it got worse...

With the new battery in... I noticed that when I turned the ignition key the head light did not come on. (I think it used to come on before, even when the engine was not running). When I thumbed the starter the solenoid made a nice strong thunk... but the engine did not turn. I walked the bike forward and popped the clutch, trying a bump start. But no luck.

Once or twice I got the starter to turn the bike over some... but it was VERY VERY weak and slow.

I hooked up jumper cables thinking I might have a weak repalcement battery... but once again nothing but a solenoid thunk... and still no head light.

I have gone through the bike and checked the connections pretty well and can't seem to locate anything loose.

Can anyone give me any suggestions on running down this problem? Right now all I have is a thunk when I hit the starter button and also no headlight. I am at a loss as to whether they relate to each other but my gut tells me the headlight is a clue.

I think I have both a charging system failure and also a starter failure... The charging system slowly kills the battery and the starter just doesn't work....

Any suggestions welcome :)

Thank you!

Shipbldr :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More information, narrowing it down some....

Ok... I have done some checking with my multimeter...

The hot lead going to the solenoid is good...
when the solenoid clicks there is current across the solenoid...
when the solenoid clicks there is current at the hot side of the starter...


The ground wire from the starter back to the battery is good....

When the solenoid engages and there is current going to the hot wire (+) on the starter.. there is no current passing through the starter to the ground wire terminal on the starter...

I think that all this means that the starter is bad... would anyone agree? Would this explain why bump starting the bike worked just after I bought it?

This still doesn't seem to explain the dead battery I had... but then maybe there is another piece I still haven't found yet?

Any suggestions welcome...

Thanks!
 

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IF you can get it started check and see what the voltage output is.

if not. if you have a manual verify the charging system is working as that is what sounds to be happening. You run on battery till it dies slowly.

remember to look for loose connections and then very things are bad.....


Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Round #3

Ok... I pulled out the starter motor, hooked up some jumper to it... and it doesn't spin... so after hand spinning it it turns when it get juice... So I will rebuild the starter or buy one already re-built.

BUT... when I pulled the left side cover off... and looked at the shell that spins around the stator (the rotor) I found that one of the magnets had self-destructed. I think this was the reason for the lack of charging.

I had a double whammy... bad starter (so it wouldn't jump) and a failed charging system!

Current challenge is to figure out how to pull the rotor off of the end of the shaft. Any advice on this challenge will be welcome!

Do I need some sort of a pulley removal tool to pull the rotor?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And on to the next phase... Home Stretch?

Next step in the saga...

I pulled off the rotor with the chewed up magnets by threading in a front axle an giving it a few love taps... Off it came :)

Then I replaced the bad rotor with a replacement from Baltimore Cycle Salvage, replaced the starter with a rebuilt starter, and put it all back together using a new gasket...

I put the key in the ignition, turned the key... and it turns over briskly but doesn't seem ro fire...

I placed the bike one the charger for the night and will go out to try to start it tomorrow.

Note... I still don't have the front hadnlight coming on when I turn in the ignition key... so I will be checking the fuse and seeing if the bike will fire up tomorrow....

Will post updates then..
 

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i have a 93 EX500, and the headlight doesn't turn on with just the ignition key turned. It only comes on when the bike is actually started.
 

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Checking

Take your multimeter and check that you have good ground. to the motor itself. Anothr thing is to get a new set of plugs. If you have had electrical problems and it has actually given you that much trouple there have been times then that the plugs weren't getting the hot spark that they should have had with a full voltage... At least now you have things pretty well taken care of. The headlight off is right until it actually starts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks :) !

Thank you to everyone that gave me input... Here's what happened today:

Went out, pull choke, bike started right up.

Checked with test rig, confirmed alternator charging!!

Reattached bodywork.... pulled out of driveway.

About 1 mile from house bike dies suddenly and completely.

After placing more gas in the tank I can now report it runs just fine....


I think I am done for now :) !!

Charles
 

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shipbldr2000: how is it going? Hopefully you will read this. I need some help.

I think, minus the failing charging system, I am having the same problem as you are actually. I bought a 1992 ex500 off my buddy. For the price ($600) and the miles (25K), I couldn't pass it up as this is my first bike. I got it a little under a month ago and it has been running very smoothly. About 4 mornings ago, I went out to start it and go to work, all I got were 2 weak attempts at firing then just clicks. I was able to push start it with the help of a friend, and it ran as it has been running-didn't die or anything. Turned it off, tried to restart it-same deal. Had to push start it.
Do you think it is my starter gone bad? How much did it cost you to get a new starter? I found one online for about $60, brand new is around $260. Please email me if you read this ([email protected]) or reply to this post. Hope to hear from you soon, thanks!
~kawa92saki
 

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shipbldr2000: how is it going? Hopefully you will read this. I need some help.

I think, minus the failing charging system, I am having the same problem as you are actually. I bought a 1992 ex500 off my buddy. For the price ($600) and the miles (25K), I couldn't pass it up as this is my first bike. I got it a little under a month ago and it has been running very smoothly. About 4 mornings ago, I went out to start it and go to work, all I got were 2 weak attempts at firing then just clicks. I was able to push start it with the help of a friend, and it ran as it has been running-didn't die or anything. Turned it off, tried to restart it-same deal. Had to push start it.
Do you think it is my starter gone bad? How much did it cost you to get a new starter? I found one online for about $60, brand new is around $260. Please email me if you read this ([email protected]) or reply to this post. Hope to hear from you soon, thanks!
~kawa92saki
You know, I was wondering what the inflation has done to starters in the last 5 years...

Find and electric motor builder in your area and have them turn and under cut the commutator(under cut may not be necessary). That and a set of brushes shouldn't cost more than a $100.
 
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