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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 5:25 PM Thread Starter
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Starter Button Doing Nothing

Hello everyone,

I just picked up a 2004 EX500 project bike and I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with it. When you turn the key on, the dash lights up and the turn signals and brake lights work, but when you hit the starter button nothing happens. No clicks, just silence. Bike is in neutral, kick stand down, kill switch in the proper position. Here's what I've done so far, maybe somebody can point out what I'm missing:

-I tore the bike down and traced all the wires, everything seems to be ok. No breaks in any of the wires.
-I can get the bike to attempt to start by jumping the starter relay.
-Swapped the starter relay with one from another bike (that definitely works) and nothing changed.
-Bike does have spark, so that would imply that the IC Igniter is functioning properly.
-Checked every fuse (including the main fuse on the relay), all of them are fine.
-Tested the actual right hand switches with a multimeter to see if they actually did anything. They do.
-Neutral light is on, which would imply that the neutral safety switch is functioning properly.

This leads me to believe that it may be one of the other safety switches, however the bike is in neutral so the kickstand being down and the clutch being out shouldn't be a problem. I've spent a few hours going through the wiring diagram trying to figure out what could potentially be wrong, but I'm pretty stumped here. Maybe the starter circuit in the fuse box is no good?

Is there a way to bypass the safety switches just for testing purposes? Is there something else that I'm potentially missing? I'm trying to figure out what's wrong for sure before I start buying parts since money is kinda tight. I'd appreciate any insight from anybody who's had any similar issues.

Last edited by hurricanDan; 6-22-2016 at 5:27 PM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 6:15 PM
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TLDR:

Simple read of heading.

Battery load test first.

1: safety switches.
Clutch.
Neutral and see if it starts.

2: Side stand.

Can't recall the wires off top of head but green comes to mind...
Green across black/yellow ground I "think".

Use a jumper to locate issue.

O_E_M
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 6:42 PM Thread Starter
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My post was that long because I addressed having tested some of those things. There's no actual load making it to the battery.

According to these tests, since the bike was in neutral the clutch switch should be fine (the bike doesn't attempt to start with the clutch in or out).

I've also attempted to brdige the green to black/yellow with some wire and there were no changes in results.

I'm not sure the switches are even at fault at this point.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 6:47 PM
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The starter circuit relay is wired directly to the clutch switch, which the neutral switch also passes through.

The light being on indicates that the neutral switch itself is working, but there's a separate fork going to the clutch switch and starter circuit relay.

If the clutch or neutral switch is "safe", the yellow/green wire going into the junction box should be grounded. Power comes from the IGN fuse, through the kill switch, through the starter button, then into the starter circuit relay in the j-box. The yellow/green is the ground to complete that circuit. The relay triggers the main starter relay (by the Main fuse), which feeds battery power to the starter motor.


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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 6:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisiBill View Post
The starter circuit relay is wired directly to the clutch switch, which the neutral switch also passes through.

The light being on indicates that the neutral switch itself is working, but there's a separate fork going to the clutch switch and starter circuit relay.

If the clutch or neutral switch is "safe", the yellow/green wire going into the junction box should be grounded. Power comes from the IGN fuse, through the kill switch, through the starter button, then into the starter circuit relay in the j-box. The yellow/green is the ground to complete that circuit. The relay triggers the main starter relay (by the Main fuse), which feeds battery power to the starter motor.
Shouldn't the bike start in neutral regardless of the status of the clutch switch though?

Also since I have spark, doesn't that rule out the side stand switch being no good?
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 7:10 PM
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Main 30 amp, did you check it?
Did ya check for a short...? Etc blah?

O_E_M
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 7:18 PM Thread Starter
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Checked 30A main, it's fine. Even changed it out for a new one. Harness is still intact and all stock, can't find any evidence of a short either unless something inside the stock wrapping broke and started having issues.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 7:32 PM
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I have had a clutch switch go out. It doesn't matter if the bike is in neutral, and the kick stand is down. It still wouldn't start, sometimes it would start if you pulled in the clutch.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 7:59 PM Thread Starter
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Is there a way to bypass the clutch switch then? The bike won't do anything regardless of what position the clutch is in.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 8:04 PM
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There is, you will have to look at a wiring diagram. Or wait until someone else gives instructions.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 8:14 PM
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I could tell my switch was bad by taking it off, then taking it apart, and seeing the worn out contact.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 8:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I could tell my switch was bad by taking it off, then taking it apart, and seeing the worn out contact.
I did take my switch apart and clean it thinking that could be an issue. However that didn't really change anything.

I also just tried bridging every combination of the three terminals on the clutch switch plug on the harness. No luck. That's with trying with side stand switch plugged in and then again with that switch bypassed.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 8:49 PM
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Have you taken apart the right side controls and cleaned the starter button contacts? What you are describing is exactly what happens when those contacts get a bit too much corrosion. It really doesn't take much, mine were just black from the tiny spark that happens every time they make contact.

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-22-2016, 9:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saabnut View Post
Have you taken apart the right side controls and cleaned the starter button contacts? What you are describing is exactly what happens when those contacts get a bit too much corrosion. It really doesn't take much, mine were just black from the tiny spark that happens every time they make contact.
Just attempted to clean them, with no change in result. I tested them with a multimeter a couple days ago, they seemed to be fine then, not sure if I made it any better or not though.

Any tips on cleaning the contact though? The button doesn't come off, seems like a "one-piece" assembly. I got some fine grain sandpaper in between the coils of the spring, but I'm not sure if I did a good enough job.

I do know that the bike was stored outside under a tarp and sat for the last six months. Is there anything else like this that could need cleaning?

Last edited by hurricanDan; 6-22-2016 at 9:37 PM.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 5:17 AM
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I use a spray can electrical component cleaner for cleaning contacts. Have any of the switches you have cleaned look worn? Looks like the side stand switch is the only one you have not looked into. May have to go through entire circuit bypassing switches to confirm if they are working.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 6:59 AM
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Test the control voltage terminals at the top of the solenoid as you try to start the bike normally, you are either getting voltage there or not. If so your solenoid is bad, if not its back to the start or ignition system troubleshooting.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 8:35 AM
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Please forgive me, but I am going to go all the way back to the second reply by O_E_M. You did not actually say that you had the battery itself load tested. You are getting power, but are you getting enough?


Sorry to repeat if I missed one in there.

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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 9:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricanDan View Post
Shouldn't the bike start in neutral regardless of the status of the clutch switch though?

Also since I have spark, doesn't that rule out the side stand switch being no good?
No to both.

For the starter circuit, the neutral switch passes through the clutch switch.

The igniter can ground (through the diode array in the j-box) via any of the three safety switches. Your test only shows that one of the three is working, and the sidestand switch has nothing to do with the starter circuit anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricanDan View Post
Is there a way to bypass the clutch switch then? The bike won't do anything regardless of what position the clutch is in.
Yes, do what I said before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisiBill View Post
If the clutch or neutral switch is "safe", the yellow/green wire going into the junction box should be grounded.
It's the plain black wire at the clutch switch itself.


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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 5:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpe View Post
I use a spray can electrical component cleaner for cleaning contacts. Have any of the switches you have cleaned look worn? Looks like the side stand switch is the only one you have not looked into. May have to go through entire circuit bypassing switches to confirm if they are working.
I have run a wire between the two connectors on the side stand switch before to bridge that connection in a few tests, it doesn't seem to change anything.

The only thing that looked remotely worn was the clutch switch, which was filthy, but I cleaned it up and it seems to be ok now. I've even tried bypassing that though, so I'm not sure that's at fault either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by floridaex500 View Post
Test the control voltage terminals at the top of the solenoid as you try to start the bike normally, you are either getting voltage there or not. If so your solenoid is bad, if not its back to the start or ignition system troubleshooting.
Well, I haven't done that specific test, but I've tried connecting a couple different relays, one of which came off a running EX500 and that didn't change the situation. So I'm inclined to think that the relay is not at fault here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Z View Post
Please forgive me, but I am going to go all the way back to the second reply by O_E_M. You did not actually say that you had the battery itself load tested. You are getting power, but are you getting enough?


Sorry to repeat if I missed one in there.
I haven't taken the battery anywhere to be tested, but the battery seems like it has a fairly strong charge on it, has been partially charged within the last couple days, and is supposedly less than a year old according to the Previous Owner. I think it's fine, but I'll throw it on the trickle charger tonight just to be sure. I'll sure feel stupid if that's really the issue. I'll try to take it to an Autozone tomorrow to get the load tested as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisiBill View Post
Yes, do what I said before.
So if I connected the green/Yellow directly to a grounded source it should bypass the clutch switch then, correct? Now I'm not sure if I'm interpreting the diagram correctly, but if the red/yellow wire was grounded directly, wouldn't that bypass all of the switches right off the bat?

I really appreciate the help here guys, this is the newest bike I've owned and I'm not used to having to deal with all of the extra electrical stuff.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 6:22 PM
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If we're getting a pool going. Can I get in on the remotely worn, kind of cruddy, $20, clutch switch?
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 7:12 PM
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I probably missed something in these posts.... so here....

1000.... 1200..... Grit
On the clutch switch. All you're wanting to do is clean the copper contacts.
It comes apart and no need to gouge them.
Starter button contacts, same thing.

LOAD TEST the battery.
"Seems like it has good voltage" means squat if the thing doesn't have the ass under a load.
Just hitting the start button can cause too much load.

O_E_M
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 9:17 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, well, the battery has a full charge, going to get it load tested in the morning.

I've already cleaned the clutch switch, and I've bypassed it as well. The contacts on the starter button are clean.

The bike sits currently with a bypass in the clutch switch and the side stand, cleaned the contacts on the starter button, and a fully charged battery. There's enough juice in the battery to turn the starter if you jump the relay, but I'm not sure if that circumvents the load requirement or not.

As far as I can tell the relay is ok as well, none of the 3 relays I've tried have worked.

Pressing the starter button does nothing at all, no clicks or anything. I really don't know what to think of this anymore.
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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-23-2016, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricanDan View Post
So if I connected the green/Yellow directly to a grounded source it should bypass the clutch switch then, correct?
Yes, the yellow/green gets grounded when the safety switches are "safe". Grounding that pin at the j-box bypasses the switches.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricanDan View Post
Now I'm not sure if I'm interpreting the diagram correctly, but if the red/yellow wire was grounded directly, wouldn't that bypass all of the switches right off the bat?
Red/yellow is the low beam wire. Yellow/red is +12V coming out of the starter circuit relay to trigger the main starter relay (solenoid). You don't want to ground either of those.

Power comes from the starter button to the starter circuit relay on the black/red wire. Yellow/green runs through the safety switches to ground to complete the trigger circuit of the relay. When it's triggered, it feeds power (also from the black/red) through to the yellow/red. That triggers the main relay, which feeds power directly from the battery to the starter motor.

Feeding +12V on the yellow/red directly into the solenoid would bypass the starter button and safety switches to trigger the solenoid directly.


If you test at the clutch switch connector, black/red should be connected to the neutral switch, and grounded when it's in N. Black/yellow is connected directly to ground. Black should have continuity to the yellow/green wire at the junction box.


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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 6-24-2016, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Just got confirmation that the battery is good. I'm starting to think that the relay is grounded but not getting the +12V that it needs.
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 7-19-2016, 8:41 PM
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Unbelieveable - experiencing the exact same problem with my 1994 MY. Trying many of the same things - no luck to date. Charging the battery now
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