Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on


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tom84std
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Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby tom84std » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:15 pm



Not me, not my bike.
A couple of the guys on the VTX forum have had starter solenoids weld the contacts together. This creates a condition in which the starter is locked on. Even with the engine running, even with the key off. I don't mean the starter just starts spinning by itself. I mean that when the start button is released, the starter remains engaged.
I have never heard of this happening on a Goldwing. Have any of you guys?



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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:48 pm

Yes, definitely. It doesn't do any harm to the engine or sprag clutch, because once the engine is running, it is spinning faster than the sprag clutch, so it is released. But you can burn out a starter motor and/or kill a battery doing this.

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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby tom84std » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:06 am

My first proposal was to replace the Honda OEM starter solenoid with an original Ford type, but I had forgotten that one is grounded through it's mounting bracket. That would render the safety switches useless. While the Ford type would be much more robust and much less likely to ever fail, it would have to be modified to take advantage of the switches. Hardly worth the effort. Difficult to come up with a way to avoid this happening other than to maintain the electrical system and battery to full factory specs.

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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:41 pm

How about something really simple -

Repair or Replace the solenoid.

:)

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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby tom84std » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:15 pm

Aussie81Interstate wrote:How about something really simple -

Repair or Replace the solenoid.

:)

Yes of course but the problem is that I've heard of several of them sticking lately. Where that's a problem is in the fact that it's not a signal or a switching issue. The starter is directly connected to the battery with no switch or disconnect. The solenoid contacts are spot welded. I've heard some folks say they believe it happens because the battery is weak while trying to start, causing an overcurrent condition on the solenoid contacts.
I'm not sure I'm ready to buy that theory, but however it's happening I'd like to avoid it. A couple of days ago I disassembled mine and checked, polished the contacts. Just to inspect and check it. It's actually a beautiful assembly, but it's a little dainty.

Think about what happens: Starter's spinning... Grab a tool to disconnect the battery, or pop the cover and tap on the solenoid first. In the mean time the battery goes dead and the starter has stalled and is very hot. Who needs that situation?
I'm pondering a heavier solenoid unit and avoid anything like this to begin with. Or forget it because the odds are more likely that I'll hit a cow in downtown Dallas. Did I mention that it's too cold to ride?

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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby ct1500 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:39 pm

A weak or old battery that delivers more current than a new one????? Let me think about that OK I get it. :lol: :)
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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby tom84std » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:14 am

ct1500 wrote:A weak or old battery that delivers more current than a new one????? Let me think about that OK I get it. :lol: :)

Yeah that's just about what I thought. I suppose what they are saying is that the starter turns more slowly almost stalling, therefore staying energized longer. At least that's what I interpret them to mean. Either way I don't see any reason a solenoid's contacts should stick together. If they do, then the solenoid is too light. I'm experimenting with the Ford solenoid. One end of the magnet coil is attached to the bracket to be grounded to the vehicle. This will not work with our clutch/neutral safety switches since on our bikes, both sides of the solenoid coil is switched. I removed the end of the coil wire from the bracket and connected it to the now unused "I" terminal. Now the two small terminals (S and I) are the magnet coil's ends and it's no longer electrically connected to ground. Should function exactly the same as the OEM Honda unit but be much heavier and robust, and resist sticking.



The good part is that it requires very little modification to the bike

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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:22 am

ct1500 wrote:A weak or old battery that delivers more current than a new one????? Let me think about that OK I get it. :lol: :)


It's not that the battery is delivering more current, it's that the starter is drawing more.

Electric motors draw their maximum current when stalled (not rotating), and the current draw goes down as their RPM goes up. If the battery voltage is low, and the starter is turning slowly as a result, it will draw more current than if the battery voltage is high, and the starter is spinning quickly. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true.

Think about it this way: It takes a specific amount of power (in watts) to crank the engine. Power (watts) is voltage x amperage. If the voltage is low, then the amperage must be higher in order to produce the correct wattage to crank the engine. And vice versa.

This is why household electric wires in the UK are so much thinner than here in the US: their voltage is 240 VAC instead of our 120 VAC. A 1200 watt hair dryer here draws 10 amps, in the UK the same 1200 watt hair dryer draws only 5 amps. Less amperage means smaller gauge wires required to carry that amperage.

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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby ct1500 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:22 pm

The AC motor has steady supply of voltage and unlimited (only by fuse or wiring) current supply. The stalling analogy of more draw would be due to more load placed on the AC motor. Turning an engine over is a constant whether the battery is up to the task or not I do believe. And is the slower turning of a starter motor with a weak battery simply from a lack of voltage?

I agree a stalled motor can draw lots of current but who would with a weak battery sit there and keep a button pushed killing the battery further with no starter action. And what is a weak battery, one that is 12.2V instead of 12.6V static and the math for current draw calculations?

An EE Degree guy jump in. :)
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Re: Solenoid stuck, starter stuck on

Postby tom84std » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:33 am

I removed the function of the old "I" terminal. That terminal was used by Ford to energize the ignition system while cranking. Not needed on the bike and so I redirected the solenoid coil's internal wire end from ground to that terminal. Now, the S and the I terminals are the coil's two connections. While I admit this is not a Goldwing I still believe there should be enough room for the solenoid. There is plenty of unobstructed room under the VTX's left side panel. Pure coincidence but the bolt mounting pattern for the bike's solenoid and the Ford solenoid bracket matched perfectly. It simply bolted up. I had to straighten the battery-to-solenoid cable terminals and mount the solenoid upside down. The battery cables are a little bit long this way, thus the small loop. The OEM bullet connectors had to be removed from the wires and closed loop terminals installed. I stripped the wire and folded the wire strands back against the wire's insulation, crimping it all together. This helps eliminate sharp bends and vibration movement.
The function of course is identical to the OEM solenoid but with it being multiple times heavier duty, the chances of it ever welding itself are very close to zero.




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