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Discussion Starter #1
My '82 GL500 often won't crank when I press the starter button. When this happens, here are the symptoms:

1. When I press the starter button, the headlight dims
2. When I press the starter button, there is a subtle click down near the starter (NOT at the solenoid)
3. Sometimes squeezing the clutch and pressing the button will get it to crank, but not every time
4. If I attach the green/red wire from the solenoid to the negative terminal of the battery, then connect the yellow/red wire from the solenoid to the positive battery terminal, the engine will crank (this is the procedure suggested in the service manual)
5. Often after I employ the procedure in #4 above, just simply pressing the starter button on the handlebar will once again work fine. Until some critical moment on the road when it doesn't and I have to do #4 again.

I can rule out three things specifically: the battery is fully charged, the 4-pin connector at the solenoid is not an issue (as it has been replaced), and the fusible link is fine.

So, is this a starter issue, a solenoid issue, a starter button issue, or gnomes?

Thanks for your help!
 

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Starter button issue.
You can first try spraying contact cleaner into the hole on the bottom side of it and working the button at the same time.
If that did not work you can remove it, open it up and clean it with brushes/swabs.
If you go that route, be very careful not to lose the spring.
 

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Like OCR said.

NOTE: Use real contact cleaner, not WD40. WD40 will leave a sticky residue that will collect dust and eventually it will be worse than before.

And if you do end up taking it apart to clean the contacts DO NOT use sandpaper. Bits of grit can come off of the sandpaper and become lodged in the contacts, possibly scratching or gouging the mating contact and possibly preventing the contacts from making full contact so that as little spark happens every time, which leads to pitting. If the contacts aren't too bad you can use an old toothbrush and contact cleaner to remove the oxidation &c. If that won't do use a ScotchBrite and if they are badly pitted get a points file. Points files are made for filing ignition points and are cut to produce a very smooth surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks gents. I rebuilt the starter button tonight (a satisfyingly simple job), and for now my problem seems to be held at bay. Again, I appreciate your expertise and find this website to be invaluable.
 

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How old is your battery ? An old battery, even fully loaded, can have a low cranking ability.
The dimming headlight on pressing the start button might be an indication that the battery is a bit lazy.
Test, or let the battery be tested, thoroughly.
 

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Actually, the Start button has 2 sets of contacts, one to trigger the solenoid so that the starter runs and the other to turn the headlight off while the starter is running. This is done so that as much power as possible is available for the starter motor.
 

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Sorry. Yes. Bob is our uncle.Test the battery anyway:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Again, thanks for the excellent advice! As I mentioned, I rebuilt the starter button and that did the trick; if this crops up again, I’ll also remove and clean the starter per Shep.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Again, thanks for the excellent advice! As I mentioned, I rebuilt the starter button and that did the trick; if this crops up again, I’ll also remove and clean the starter per Shep.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You can use Deoxit and an old toothbrush to clean the commutator and armature in the Starter and blow away all the carbon dust.Also the Starters complete their circuit via the engine to ground so make sure that the flange of the Starter and the metal area on the engine where they meet are clean bare bright metal e.g no paint/grease or corrosion.

The starter motor is,"The" biggest current draw on vehicles and any impediment to it's working will put unnecessary loads on the other components in the circuit including the Battery and fuses etc.

Here's a link to my old forum Starter motor servicing kindly saved by JC on here,

https://motofaction.org/motorcycles/honda-cx-gl/shep/viewtopic139f.html?f=8&t=208
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As always, Shep, you are a limitless asset on this site. I’ll be doing a triple bypass this winter on my GL500 (at 80K miles, it’s time), and I’ll add your starter motor cleaning to the job.


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As always, Shep, you are a limitless asset on this site. I’ll be doing a triple bypass this winter on my GL500 (at 80K miles, it’s time), and I’ll add your starter motor cleaning to the job.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Do the most overlooked part of motorcycle maintenance as well e.g the Electrics.Pull apart every electrical connector and check for corrosion,especially the Large Regulator/Rectifier one.Also all Bulb holders/sockets.I use a small Electrical screwdriver or a cheap jeweller's screwdriver with some 500 grit wrapped around it to scrape of ANY corrosion from the male and females in connectors.Then a quick blast with Switch cleaner(Deoxit or the like,NEVER WD40!!) and then treat the whole connector and bulb sockets with ACF50 including where the wires go into the connectors.

HONDA CB350 CB500 CBX CB750 CB900 GL1000 GL1500 ACF50 ANTI-CORROSION SPRAY 13OZ | eBay

It's the Dog's Danglies of service fluids,

ACF-50 Corrosion Control for Motorcycles

Over 80% of roadside breakdowns are not mechanical but electrical :O
 
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