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How to check your starter solenoid

Discussion in 'How-To' started by DRBarnhart, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. DRBarnhart

    DRBarnhart Insert title here...

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    Here's how you can test the starter solenoid without a multimeter, just your battery (read this all the way through BEFORE doing it!!!)...

    (This is easiest done with the starter off the bike but if you can get to the connections it'll work just fine with it still installed.)

    Solenoid Pull In Test

    1. Disconnect the wires at "P", "G", and "TG" (you have to do this!).

    [​IMG]

    2. Get a couple of pieces of decent gauge wire (like the wire that normally connects to "P") for test leads.

    3. Hookup one of the test leads to a starter ground ("G" for example?) and to connector ("TG") shown in the pic. The other end of this test lead will go to the battery ground (-). All three points will be connected together at the same time.

    [​IMG]

    4. Next, hookup your other test lead to the battery positive (+). DON'T LET IT TOUCH THE BIKE AFTER YOU HOOK IT UP!!!!

    5. Now MOMENTARILY touch the (+) test lead to terminal "P"... not for more than 3 to 5 seconds, it'll take less time than that to see if it works!

    [​IMG]

    5. The solenoid should pull in immediately and with some authority!

    Now assuming your solenoid passed this test, here's the...

    Solenoid Hold In Test

    1. Do all the same hookups you did for the previous test but while the solenoid is in, disconnect "TG"...

    [​IMG]

    2. The solenoid should STAY in!

    Assuming this is all good, disconnect the leads and the plunger should snap right back out.

    Solenoid Return Test

    This time hook up the solenoid like this...

    [​IMG]

    After the solenoid snaps in disconnect the wire that you've got going to "P"...

    [​IMG]

    ... and the solenoid should return to its original position!

    If all the steps of this test worked your solenoid is OK and the problem is somewhere else.

    This will at least rule out a "suspect" starter solenoid and hopefully help someone get back on the road!! :D

    I proof read this a couple of times but you never know... :rolleyes:

    Dennis
     
    #1 DRBarnhart, Mar 21, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  2. rufroggy

    rufroggy Active Member

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    Great stuff Dennis! Where was this last night..lol

    BTW, I put everything back together and for some strange ass reason, it's fired up everytime.. The only thing I changed was to remove the connectors for the ignition and direct wire them and put dielectric grease on ALL connections... Im sure I will have an issue soon but for now it's started everytime since putting it together..
     
  3. Raywood

    Raywood The Pirate
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    Dennis, great work. I am sticking the thread.

    One question. In "example 3" you say to run one lead to "G" and "TG". Are you pigtailing the end of the lead to enable two contacts?

    :cheers:
     
  4. DRBarnhart

    DRBarnhart Insert title here...

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    Thanks, I just hope this helps someone...

    Yep, you need to connect all three points, the battery negative, the "G" spot and the "TG" connector. I'll edit the post to reflect this.

    Thanks for the proof read! :cheers:

    Dennis
     
  5. RRRUFF

    RRRUFF Well-Known Member

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    Good post DRBarnhart!
     
  6. lee

    lee Well-Known Member

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    good post Dennis. A basic question from me if thats ok? What is the procedure for removing the starter (not covered in manual I don't think and I've never done it)? Is it remove outer primary, remove starter jackshaft, then remove bolts holding starter in place and then just pull it out?

    Thanks
     
  7. DRBarnhart

    DRBarnhart Insert title here...

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    Since I only have had Harleys and now an '07 K-9 all I can do is quote the manual...

    [​IMG]

    I haven't had the K-9's starter out yet but for the Harleys I've had all I had to do was unbolt the starter and pull it out. Sounds the same here.

    Maybe someone else will jump in here with the nitty gritty details if this isn't the case! :D

    Dennis
     
  8. lee

    lee Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dennis - I think that actually is in my manual - my bad.
     
  9. DRBarnhart

    DRBarnhart Insert title here...

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    No problem! There may be someone that reads this forum that doesn't have a manual available to them... :up:

    Dennis
     
  10. BigRub

    BigRub New Member

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    Good info!
     
  11. BorgerBigDog

    BorgerBigDog BORN TEXAN

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    Yep good info. every bit of information helps Thanks for spending the time on the subject...:cheers: :cheers:
     
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