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I have an 88 GW that will not start. I can hear the starter relay clicking but nothing happens. I can pop start it and it runs great. I put a new starter in last year and I just put a new battery in it last week. I took the starter out and went direct to the battery and the starter runs. Please help I'm getting tired of pop starting and looking to park on hills.
 

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hello and welcome to GWOF challenger54, recheck all the conections form the battery to the starter, also make sure the starter seated properly when you installed it
 

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'88? first year of the 1500s?

Does the reverse work?

That would indicate that the connections to the starter work. Back up diagnosis from there.
 

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You said the starter works when you hook it up directly, and you can hear the relay clicking. So, unless there is a problem with a connection between the relay and starter, (should only be 2, the one at the relay, and the one at the starter), then there can only be 2 things wrong I can think of. First, check the ground on the starter. If it is not cleanly grounded, all the juice in the world will not make it crank. Second thing that could be bad is the relay. You hear it clicking, that means that the magnet is pulling the points in. That does NOT mean that the points are any good. What you can do is take a jumper cable, and go from the + side of the relay to the starter side of the relay. That should make the starter turn over. I did have a freind with a GW and he had a similar problem. Bench tested the starter and it worked, but the motor would not crank over. He asked me to look at it. I put a test light on the starter and hit the start button. The light came on. I then put the light on the + side of the battery and touched the starter, it lit, so the starter was grounded and getting juice. Sol I did what any experienced mechanic would do with the data I had. I wacked the starter with a rawhide hammer hard. That was all it took. There was a bad spot on the commutator, perhaps carboned or oxidized, hitting the starter disrupted the oxidation or carbon or what ever and it cranked. I then let it crank as long as I was comfortable I could without killing the battery, (kill switch in kill), I did thid to "clean up" the commutator. It has been a couple of years, and no trouble since then.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice Tom. I took the starter out and I went direct but the starter did not work this time. I didn't hit the starter. I gota try it. Thanks again Tom.
 

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If you feel up to it, you can take the starter apart and run some fine emerycloth on the commutator. While it is appart, you could use an ohm meter to check the armature windings.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I tried hitting it but it didn't work. I'm going to order a new starter and starter relay. I hope that will do it. While I order that stuff I'll take the starter apart and see what I find. Stay tuned I'll let you know.
 

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Thank you TomStark: I took the starter apart and found that the positive post on the starter broke away from the wire inside. When someone went to tighten the connection, the post must have twisted and broke the wire. It's all good. Thanks again.
 

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A defective relay really fooled me the first time. Heard the clicking, but no juice to the lights. 90 minutes of fooling around, and I twigged to the defective relay.
 

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Thank you TomStark: I took the starter apart and found that the positive post on the starter broke away from the wire inside. When someone went to tighten the connection, the post must have twisted and broke the wire. It's all good. Thanks again.
Glad to hear you're all set, happy riding!
tom:D
 

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what worked for me

I took my starter off the bike and took the end cap off of the starter. There is a wire that comes off the field winding that connects to the brush that was broken. This may be your problem. You may want to try before you take it off to use a jumper cable to go from the positive side of the battery to the post on the starter and see if it starts. If it does not look at the starter relay there is a shunt/fuse on it that may be blown. If it has not been an issue in the past there should be a spare one right there that you can use to replace the one that is currently in operation. Good luck!!!
 

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Hey guys, if I may I'd like to jump in on this thread. I have a '90 SE that I purchased 3 wks ago on the cheap.:D The previous owner said the start button worked intermittently, so he installed a seperate push button to crank it. It's wired hot so you don't need to turn the key on to crank it.:( When pushing the start button, there's a clicking sound just forward of the battery. Reverse does work, so I assume the button is ok. Based on what I've read in this thread, I may have a bad relay. Any help is appreciated.
 
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