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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, recently purchased 81 GL500 with bad starter switch; bypassed switch with this forums hotwire bypass approach and everything lit up as expected; lights, neutral, signals all worked, when I pushed the starter button I could see a significant drain hit the lights so I knew it was working; problem is nothing came from the starter, dead as could be and I metered the new battery 14 volts strong. I know the starter is new and recently tested so what next?
 

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any noise from the starter motor at all as it engages ???

is the motor stuck or in gear ?
 

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Is the starter new - or just "new" , as in another one from someone elses bike?

It sounds to me as if the starter is shorting to earth internally. Have you stripped off the end cap and inspected the bushes? Is there a build up of dust?
 

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Did just the headlight dim when you hit the starter button? That would be normal, as they drop out of the circuit when the engine is cranking. So, the problem could still be in the starting pushbutton. As 81 Custom mentioned, did you hear any clicking of the solenoid, or any noise at all from the starting motor? If there was some noise, the pushbutton probably is OK.



You can also short the two large terminals on the solenoid with a screwdriver and see if the engine cranks. If it does crank, then the problem is either solenoid, starting button, or wiring in between.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick response guys, to answer all questions, no crank at all not even a click, yes the starter is from another bike, however, it cranked great on the other bike. I was thinking it is the solenoid too; I will do the short between the two solenoid connectors AND REPORT BACK: remember I am doing the direct hotwire from battery to first fuse on handlebars to bypass bad switch and other potential shorts. Yes in neutral. Thanks again, you guys really know your GL500's!
 

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I'll bet a Pepsi it is the starter button. They can be opened and cleaned somewhat easily. Just have a clean towel underneath to catch any small parts.



You can check if the button is providing 12 volts to the solenoid by placing a meter into one of the disconnects for the solenoid, (sorry can't remember which color) and hit the button. If you are showing 12 volts on the meter, your solenoid is probably bad. Nothing, try the other lead.



The most likely reason for a solenoid to stop working is the interior contacts become arced and worn. Then they don't make a solid connection for the starting motor. These solenoids are expected to pass probably 60-80 amps thru them when energized, so a clean contact is important. The coil that pulls the contact plunger can also burn out, but that is less likely unless somehow the solenoid was kept energized for a long period of time.
 

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All of the above is good advice!



I'd like to add, make sure that there's 12volts at the small wire on the solenoid when the starter button is pushed.
 

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Not if you use an old screwdriver that you don't like. The arcing when you make contact can pit the end of the screwdriver. Try to touch in a deliberate manner, don't just "brush" the terminals. That will prevent some sparking and arcing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone; I will clean out the starter button mech and then do the direct connection on the solenoid; once I see how that goes I will follow all other suggestions if need be.
 
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