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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, first post here. I actually ride a VTX1300C, but I'm working my way towards a 'Wing. I'm doing research for my dad.

He recently bought a 1983 GL1100 Aspencade. It only has 42,000 miles on it. The owners manual shows that the previous owner was meticulous about maintenance. He logged everything. My dad has had the bike for a month now, and hasn't ridden much due to the colder temps, but he has been starting it and letting it run a while, about once a week. He forgot and went two weeks before starting it, and it wouldn't do anything. The brand new battery was dead. He charged it and tested it, full charge. The bike still won't start. When he hits the starter you can hear a click (starter relay maybe?), but it won't turn over.

Any suggestions on what we should check?

Thanks,
Matt
 

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hello matt, welcome to GWOF. your dad could have a bad battery or the starter motor itself could be the problem
 

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Welcome Matt. Like the doc says, could be the battery just doesn't have the cranking power left in it. If that's not it, and the starter is good, I'd also double check the battery cables and the starter wiring connections. They need to be primo to get that baby running.
 

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Make sure the bike didn't get put in gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everybody.

I just talked to dad. He's sure it is in neutral and the battery is charged. It won't do anything even with jumper cables hooked to a second vehicle. Battery cables are secure, we're gonna check the other connections when the weather permits. He tried it today, and the battery shows good, but now he doesn't hear the click I described earlier. Might that be the starter relay? It has power, all the lights and gauges work when the switch is turned on.
 

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It could be the solenoid (starter relay). Does the headlight go out when he pushes the start button? If it doesn't, the switch could need cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It could be the solenoid (starter relay). Does the headlight go out when he pushes the start button? If it doesn't, the switch could need cleaning.
Good call. I'm on my way to pick him up to go to a gun show right now. We'll check that before we leave. Thanks.
 

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have the battery load tested, just because there is enough power for the lights doesn't mean there is enough power for the starter
 

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It could be the solenoid (starter relay). Does the headlight go out when he pushes the start button? If it doesn't, the switch could need cleaning.
+1 My money's on the starter solenoid, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, yesterday he tried starting it and the starter actually turned a little, the exhaust popped once and it quit. I'm betting it's the starter solenoid too. When he's trying to start it it's still hooked to the battery charger, which was in the jump start mode, so I doubt it's the battery, but we'll load test it to be sure.
 

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Sounds like the starter itself might be dead, but try jumping across the solenoid first.
 

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As Cantankerous stated above, that's what I'd try, put the negative cable from your charger to the negative post of the battery, then touch the positive cable to the starter side of the solenoid, make sure the bike is out of gear, if the starter is good it should start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, here's what dad found. One cylinder was full of gas. The fuel couldn't be turned off, because the petcock leaked in all except the run position. Replaced the petcock.

After some tapping on the starter it fired right up. Turns out, one of my dads friends used to work at a place that rebuilt starters, and he said it would be no problem to rebuild it. Now we just have to figure out how to get the starter off.
Thanks for all the help!
 

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Well, as a wild Aussie who haunts these parts says, "If all else fails, use a hammer!":p

Hi Eric!:D
 

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As Cantankerous stated above, that's what I'd try, put the negative cable from your charger to the negative post of the battery, then touch the positive cable to the starter side of the solenoid, make sure the bike is out of gear, if the starter is good it should start.
NOW you tell me Terry. I had by passed the Solenoid on our last trip around the USA. We were riding with Mark when we stopped at a historical site. I had the wires sitting just outside the side cover and all I had to do was turn on the key and touch the two wire to turn the starter. So with V onboard I start my bike by touching the two wires and put it in gear but the side stand was down which killed the motor :frown2:. Now with both hands on the wires I restart the bike but it is in gear. So we are two up with the bike started and in gear and no hands on the controls.:surprise:
It was one of the fastest take offs ever.:smile2:
 

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You need to by pass the solenoid to the starter and see if the starter will turn over. With power from a fully charged battery to the starter, it should turn over. If it turns over then your new solenoid is had it. If the starter doesn't turn over with power from the fully charged battery, the starter will have to come out.
 
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