Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged


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Sidcar
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Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Sidcar » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:56 am



Hi, my 1995 GL1500 SE has been an indifferent cold starter since I bought it but during this cold snap we've had the past couple of weeks it's been a real pain.
Hot start no problem.
Cold start:
Choke on
Engine spins over vigorously but wont fire.
Strong smell of petrol if I keep on spinning it over.
It will only fire when I release the starter button.
If it doesn't catch in that split second momentum keeps the engine spinning, repeat process until it does.

On old cars with a ballast resistor to reduce feed voltage to the ignition coils there was a wire from the starter relay to give a 12 volt feed when starting. If that feed failed then you had the same symptoms as I have now so do Honda coils run at below 12 volts and is there a cold start feed wire? Or is it all controlled via the ECU?
The wiring diagram isn't much help (not to me anyway).

Sid



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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Sidcar » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:02 am

I should mention in the recent past it has had a new starter solenoid and new r/h handle bar switch.
When I bought the bike it came with a spare battery, the previous owner having fitted a new on. There was nothing wrong with the battery he replaced and I use it a a slave battery when trying to start the bike runs down the new one.

Sid

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by joeincalif » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:28 am

In the past that is the sign of a weak battery, but you said the battery is new. What is the CCA of your battery?
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Sidcar » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:25 am

I'll have to let you know. The bike's outside and it's pouring down at the moment. When, if, it stops I'll go out and check. I'll check the cranking voltage with a separate volt meter while I'm at it as I'm not sure how accurate the one on the bike is.

Sid

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by MikeB » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:49 am

If the indicated voltage drops below 10 volts while attempting to start the engine, the battery is weak and most likely needs to be replaced.

With a 10 volt indication while attempting to start the engine, and during warmer dryer days, the engine will probably start as soon as you release the start button. That too is an indication of a weak battery.
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by aj1500 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:23 pm

I would agree for the most part,, however recently I replaced the air filter in my bike and every since then if I put on full choke I can almost run my battery dead trying to start it with the choke on when cold. However I can have the choke off and at the touch of the button it fires up but I have to run the choke down as it starts to where it needs to be. I have adjusted to doing that rather than hitting the starter and letting off after it's spinning good in hopes that it will start. I have a good battery and use a volt gauge so I can monitor the voltage loss while starting
and it stays above 10 V. just a thought worth trying

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by ct1500 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:49 pm

Lots of cold starts of short duration can partially foul spark plugs causing a hard start. If unknown when plugs were last changed just do it. :)
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Sidcar » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:09 pm

Plugs, air filter, couple of very small filters, cam belts were changed 18 months/3000 mikes ago.

Sid

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by TheChief » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:59 am

When was the last time the carbs were synched?

I have a '99 that starts first time, every time unless it's been sitting for several days. Even then it will fire up on the second try.

Last October I bought a 2000. It was cold blooded and some what hard to start. I just completed some work on the bike which included new belts. First start was a breeze but when I checked the sync it was way off. After a little tweaking not only does the engine sound happy, it starts just like the '99.
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by DenverWinger » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:09 pm

If the voltage at the ECU is low it won't fire. I've heard of people adding a relay to switch power directly from the battery to the ECU, this bypasses the ignition switch, kill switch and everything else the current has to flow thru before it gets to the ECU. Use the existing power wire to the ECU to control the relay.

That mod will give the ECU the most direct shot of power it can get.
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by bellboy40 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:53 pm

Here is a link that addresses the symptoms you are having with the starting of your 1500.

http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/2-g ... olved.html

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Sidcar » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:00 pm

Both batteries that came with the bike are rated at 21amp per hour.
Battery voltage this morning was 12.48v static, 10.26v cranking.
Engine started the moment I released the starter button.

The relay sounds a good idea. Fitting a car battery in the sidecar could be another way but I'd like to find the fault if there is one.
My previous GL1500 started on the button whatever the weather, even if it had stood out for a couple of weeks.

Sid

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by ct1500 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:35 pm

12.4V is a sign of a discharged battery and I would be checking charging system voltages as a reason.
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Sidcar » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:26 pm

Charges at a rock steady 13.5v above 900rpm, lights on.

Sid

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by AZgl1800 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:42 pm

Sidcar wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:00 pm
Both batteries that came with the bike are rated at 21amp per hour.
Battery voltage this morning was 12.48v static, 10.26v cranking.
Engine started the moment I released the starter button.

The relay sounds a good idea. Fitting a car battery in the sidecar could be another way but I'd like to find the fault if there is one.
My previous GL1500 started on the button whatever the weather, even if it had stood out for a couple of weeks.

Sid


This sounds like you still have a Wet Cell battery in the bike.

if so, get an AGM battery, brand don't matter really. just get one.
The AGM batteries will hold the cell voltage up high enough that the engine will start before you can release the button.
~John

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by TheChief » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:00 pm

ct1500 wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:35 pm
12.4V is a sign of a discharged battery and I would be checking charging system voltages as a reason.
+1.

Lead/acid battery chemistry gives an ICV (Individual Cell Voltage) of 2.2 volts. The battery has 6 cells.

6 x 2.2 = 13.6

A typical battery charger will have an output of something like +14 volts, and a typical automotive alternator will be regulted to 14.5 volts.

The first thing I would do is check the battery charger/tender by measuring battery voltge with the charger/tender hooked up and running. If you do not see more than 13.6 volts the battery will NEVER be fully charged by the charger/tender.

If you can get the bike started, measure battery voltage. Again, voltage must be above 13.6 volts.

I just checked my bike.

With the tender connected and running I get 13.63 volts. This is enough difference of potential to give a small trickle charge.
With the tender disconnected I get 13.56 volts.
With the engine running I get 14.1 volts.

Lastly, IMHO a battery terminal voltage <11.0 during cranking is cause for concern..
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by ct1500 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:37 am

A charging voltage of only 13.5V is at the bottom of barrel for a fast idle and will contribute to having a weak battery. This could be from additional lights added and when your brake lights and fans kick on will drop voltages even further. Your machine would likely benefit from a high output alternator after a thorough non trickle battery charge and load testing.
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Winger77 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:51 am

I would have to agree with getting an “AGM” Battery, and then you’ll have that symptom out of the equation.
I’ve had my AGM since Sept. 2008 and it is still going strong. Hope I didn’t just jinks myself :?

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Eckhard » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:41 am

Along with an AGM battery get the appropriate charger. Not all chargers can charge them to the correct voltage. Older bike charging circuits aren't up to the job either so trickle charge them when not in use for optimum performance.

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Mh434 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:23 pm

As others have stated, a bad battery is almost certainly the source of your troubles.

GL1500's, with regular lead-acid batteries & stock alternators, are right on the ragged edge for charge sustainability. Add in degradation of amp storage due to a couple of years of age, plus cold weather (which dramatically reduces cranking power), and there you have it.

The reason it starts when you release the starter button is easy to explain (and is a dead giveaway on the source of the problem) - while there may be enough juice in the battery to spin the engine over, even vigorously, there's not enough left over to run the ignition at the same time.

So, lots of spinny, but zero sparky.

This also explains why you smell gas - there's lots of it going into the engine while cranking, but none is being burned as there's no ignition. All that gas is puddled up in there, fouling spark plugs & coating the inside of the exhaust. :o

I've seen reports of these exact symptoms, time and time again, and in the end, it's virtually always a weak battery and, often, a marginal alternator.

BTW, I speak from experience. My '97 SE came with a 2-year-old Odyssey battery & a Japan-built OEM alternator. I experienced symptoms identical to yours, in every detail.

In the end, I bought an AGM-style battery and, later on, an aftermarket high-output alternator. I seem to be looking at the old starting problems in the rear-view mirror. The cost of the AGM battery was almost identical to that of my new, 95-amp alternator, by the way!

Now, even after sitting for several (i.e., 6-8) months (I keep a small, automatic battery tender connected over the winter), my 'Wing fires up almost instantly, even in cold weather. Worst case scenario, I get maybe 3 engine revolutions on cranking before it's running strong & smooth.

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by TheChief » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:57 am

ct1500 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:37 am
A charging voltage of only 13.5V is at the bottom of barrel for a fast idle and will contribute to having a weak battery. This could be from additional lights added and when your brake lights and fans kick on will drop voltages even further. Your machine would likely benefit from a high output alternator after a thorough non trickle battery charge and load testing.
+1.

A charging voltage of 13.5v is not doing the battery any good.

Personally, I'm not a fan of "bling lights". The back end of an SE is already lit up like a Christmas tree, and with a Voyager kit I have two additional brake/turn/tail lights. The 2000 I bought in October had this gawd awful 12 light wrap around light bar under the saddle bags, and an amber 3-light running light array on each front wheel cover. If each of those lamps pulled 5 watts, that's a total of 75 watts being wasted.
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:54 pm

TheChief wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:57 am
...12 light wrap around light bar under the saddle bags, and an amber 3-light running light array on each front wheel cover. If each of those lamps pulled 5 watts, that's a total of 75 watts being wasted.
A simple fix to that while maintaining all the lights that attracted you (or others) to the look of the bike is to replace them with LED lamps.
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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Mh434 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:37 pm

Of course, the ultimate fix is to install an aftermarket, high-output alternator (LActrical 95-amp, for example, but there are others too) & an AGM battery. Then, you can have as many farkles, lights, heated gear etc. as you like, and never have to worry about starting and charging...it's easy to do (I found it was less work than changing the air filter!), and really not expensive

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by Sidcar » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 pm

Well I've now got a high output alternator and when it stops raining, sometime this month I hope, I'll fit it.

Sid

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Re: Poor Cold Start. Engine wont fire with starter engaged

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:01 pm

Sidcar wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 pm
Well I've now got a high output alternator and when it stops raining, sometime this month I hope, I'll fit it.

Sid
If you do have a wet cell battery, you need to replace it with an AGM when you fit that alternator - you'll end up just boiling your electrolyte away. 1500's really need an AGM battery.



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