$650 1200 VMax Barely Cranks

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Maximizer

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i replaced the solenoid and got the starter working BUT, it cranks like it's 50 below zero.
Here are the things that i've done:
NEW BATTERY
REMOVED HEADLIGHT AND BLINKER BULBS
NEW STARTER MOTOR
CLEANED ALL CONNECTIONS
PULLED ALL FOUR PLUGS TO ELIMINATE COMPRESSION
HOOKED UP A BATTERY JUMPER DIRECTLY TO THE STARTER MOTOR
I TURNED THE ENGINE OVER BY HAND AND IT MOVES FREELY

today i did some more tests and tried cranking the motor with the plugs out and it did the same thing, barely turned the engine over then stopped. i then jumped the starter with a portable battery jumper and it did the same thing. i've ruled out everything between the battery and the starter motor. i'm thinking that it's the starter clutch. can the starter clutch drag like this? i had a Seca 750 and that starter clutch would make a marble sound. i didn't think that they could cause a no crank problem.

thanks!
 

Fire-medic

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Check your grounds, check your battery connections and the cables. Shiny & tight. No frayed wires, check the places where the ends are crimped-on. Check for continuity while flexing the wires, looking for an open wire.
 

Maximizer

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all been done.... i tried getting the engine to turn over by hooking DIRECTLY to the stater motor, a portable jump starter. SAME EXACT THING so it's not my connections to the starter or a bad ground.
 

Fire-medic

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Remove the starter, clamp it down, try energizing it (bench-test), how does it do?

What was the matter with your old starter?

Try adding your bike's year, and your location under the avatar, someone local may offer assistance.
 

Maximizer

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Any weird noise while turning over?
If the stator cover is installed without a gasket, the stater clutch gears will bind and the bike will have symptoms similar to what you describe.
no weird noises.
this might be the problem because i put that stator cover back on using tube gasket maker. it worked great but i didn't count on this problem. i'm going to remove that cover again and check the gears and turn the motor over by hand . but the gasket that was on there was very thin anyway. weird.... before i totally remove the cover, i'll just loosen it a tad and see if i can get the starter motor to crank properly.

i changed the starter because i thought it might be weak. i was running out of ideas. new starter . new battery with 13.6v.
 

Maximizer

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Remove the starter, clamp it down, try energizing it (bench-test), how does it do?
that was the first thing i did. the orig starter passed the test but i thought it might just be weak and i was out of ideas so i bought a new starter. same thing. it cranks like it's 50 below zero then stops cranking. once i got the bike to fire so i know this thing is a good bike and will run.
 

Fire-medic

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He's not-kidding about the gasket.

Trust the OEM way. Use the gasket. Garages and backyards are filled with failed projects because shade-tree mechanics said, "good-enough, this silicone gasket, Why, if a little is good, more is better!" Then a blob which was excess squeezed-out of the contact surface detaches, and migrates into an oil passageway, plugs it, and a 'lunched' engine.

Let's say that you 'know-enough' not to-use an excess. You still may be changing the engineered-in parts clearances which can be affected in different ways. Clearance for the proper starter operation is one of those.

I once bought an old, unloved Kawasaki 305 CSR, a small air-cooled SOHC parallel-twin from a carport where it sat forlorn and un-operational. The engine turned over, but it wouldn't run. Consulting the parts fiche I noticed that the points cover required a gasket, which some shade-tree mechanic had discarded as-being 'too-much excess weight,' I surmise. Replacement of that gasket stopped the grounding-out of the dual ignition points and allowed that little twin, with a cleaned carb, to sing-again.

I had the same experience with another small twin cylinder motorcycle also having points. Those things matter, designed-in clearances. I've made $ from fixing botched 'repairs' others have done, by using the OEM parts and paying-attention to the order of assembly, adjustments, and use of OEM parts. I'm not making a living as a professional mechanic, but I subsidize my hobby of motorcycling by wrenching on unloved orphans I seek-out.
 
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Fire-medic

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Aha, now I see where you are! You're practically local! (location under the avatar) Don't forget to put your bike's year in the signature space, so we know what year bike we're speaking of here. In the upper right-hand corner of the page you'll see a tiny person, click on that, then on 'signature' and add your bike year.

If you're unable to get this pile operational, PM me.
 

Maximizer

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Aha, now I see where you are! You're practically local! (location under the avatar) Don't forget to put your bike's year in the signature space, so we know what year bike we're speaking of here. In the upper right-hand corner of the page you'll see a tiny person, click on that, then on 'signature' and add your bike year.

If you're unable to get this pile operational, PM me.
it's an 85, stock VMax with the baffles removed. the previous owner is a really nice guy and i got it for $650 so i can't lose money. later today i'm going to pull off that cover and have another peek. btw: i've bought a lot of old motorcycles and never had this problem. generally if the bike has spark, i can get it running.
 

Maximizer

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Aha, now I see where you are! You're practically local! (location under the avatar) Don't forget to put your bike's year in the signature space, so we know what year bike we're speaking of here. In the upper right-hand corner of the page you'll see a tiny person, click on that, then on 'signature' and add your bike year.

If you're unable to get this pile operational, PM me.
thanks for the offer. I'm between Sarasota and Fort Meyers right off of 75.

UPDATE: I removed the side cover bolts and thought i'd try to crank it and it cranked much better so i squirted some gas in the carbs and it ran until it ran out of squirt. it sounded great... so a big BIG milestone has been passed. i'm going to break the cover seal tomorrow and look in there. the gasket maker works great btw and is about the same thickness as the original gasket so i don't understand how this can cause a problem. upon what do the starter gears bind?

typical 80's Yamaha starter clutch is making that marble sound so i'll have to do that job soon. i had a SECA 750 that had this problem but that bike you had to split the cases to get to the clutch. what a terrible design...
 

Maximizer

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Never use RTV to replace a gasket. Use thin cardboard from a soft drink box, shoe box top or cereal box.
i'll do that. thanks! but i used "gasket maker". you let it dry for a while then torque it down. it worked great except for this weird starter issue and when torqued down it was about the same thickness at the original thin gasket.
 
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sdt354

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Like Mike said, the OEM stator cover gasket thickness is critical. I only use sealer around the wire grommet on the stator cover.After much slow cranking, I'd almost bet the bolts in the flywheel loosened up. The later model 4 brush starters are a good upgrade.
 

CaptainKyle

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i'll do that. thanks! but i used "gasket maker". you let it dry for a while then torque it down. it worked great except for this weird starter issue and when torqued down it was about the same thickness at the original thin gasket.
Trust us that have been around use the gasket !!!! It is only about 12 bucks and will save a lot of hassle you are not getting sealer on as evenly as a gasket.
 
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