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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a total beginner to owning and fixing motorcycles, so go easy on me!!



My headlight doesn't work(multimeter was reading that it was pushing 6v, now it says 3.something v). My starter cranks ok the first shot, then cranks slow, then not at all.. just click, click. I'm wondering if these things are related and what possible solutions may be.



Thanks!
 

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Is your battery fully charged? That is where I would start with the starter issue. Once thats solved, then try the headlight. I think they are unrelated outside of the headlight may actually be coming on but its just not getting enough juice to fully light up and then does not look like its on, hence your 3volts....... Get the battery on a charger, thats where I would start.



Give a better story on the bike, how long has it sat and not been run?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its got a new battery and the battery is reading around 13.5 volts in idle(it was starting slow, but starting, up until this morning).



I just bought the bike a few weeks ago. The guy I bought it from had it for about 9 years, but had only driven it 50 miles in the last 3 years. It needed a new battery at the time, but fired up fine for the test drive after having sat on a charger. Once I got it home, I realized the headlight was out. The bulb was black so I figured it was just a burnt out bulb. Not wanting to spend a lot on a new sealed beam unit, I bought a 12v h4 bulb made for ATVs and did surgery on my sealed beam unit, replacing the old bulb with the new one. That's when I realized the new bulb wasn't coming on and tested the connection point.



I used contact cleaner on the light switch area and the starter switch, to no avail. As I was trying to get her to start, I noticed that the taillight indicator would come on and shut off sporadically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tested volts running to starter and it was normal and when I cranked it, volts dropped to .2v. I bypassed the solonoid with a screwdriver, I got sparks but starter would not crank.
 

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Sounds like a corroded ground wire, I'm a bit rusty about even my Cx500 but I just bought a 83 CX 650 this morning, first off the battery is in a different place between the two. Check any and all grounding wires, wire brush to bare metal and I use something like a nickel anti seize paste on my ground screws and terminals.
 

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I'm a total beginner to owning and fixing motorcycles, so go easy on me!!



My headlight doesn't work(multimeter was reading that it was pushing 6v, now it says 3.something v). My starter cranks ok the first shot, then cranks slow, then not at all.. just click, click. I'm wondering if these things are related and what possible solutions may be.



Thanks!
650 mods list



The above link if I did it right is from the Australian CX forums, they have done a mod to the starters on the 650 that improves the internal grounding situation from a week design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I leave it sit for awhile, it at least tries to crank over. Then it's just the click, click of the solonoid. THEN the solonoid started this ticking, then nothing... no sound at all. Is the solonoid bad? I thought if I bypassed it with a screwdriver and the starter still didn't crank over that means the solonoid is ok???
 

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Check your battery voltage before and DURING the cranking attemp. A clicking solonoid usually meands it not getting sufficient power. If the battery voltage drops really low during cranking then the battery is not well. If it stays around 12V then its probably a power connection (Positive or a ground, on one of the BIG wires). If you can get it started by jumpstarting it with a car, check the charge voltage. Mine does exactly what your describing, and its because the Stator is bad. Have a new battery that worked get for 2 rides then not enough to start it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Battery is fine during cranking. Its when I test volts between battery and starter during cranking that it drops way low. I'm being forced to learn about wiring stuff now... but I'm about as much of a beginner as there is. I don't understand wiring diagrams AT ALL... even though I plan to keep on learnin! So, I'm having a hard time knowing what wires I need to check... and how much of the bike I need to take apart in order to get to them. I'm willing but hesitant to perform more work as it seems that anything I have done so far hasn't worked at all.



Just to clarify, it seems to charge really slowly. Like, I'm pretty sure it will start tomorrow morning after I leave it for the night. It's after the first couple cranks of the day that I can forget about it even starting.
 

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Sounds like it might have a bad stator that is not charging the battery properly. I'll do some digging and see if I can find the test procedure for the stator on the CX650.



Okay, looks likes you want to fire it up and check the voltage at the battery terminals while running. Should read 14 volts. Anything less means the stator is weak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's running about 13.3v. So it's the stator then? There's no other troubleshooting I should perform before running out and buying this costly part? on that note, should I buy new? Used parts seem a lot cheaper but I can understand obvious downfalls.
 

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If you are measuring the battery voltage when cranking and it doesnt go down (stays around 12V) BUT the voltage on the started drops really low, then you first problem is the wiring to the starter. This is easy to identify as they are all BIG heavey wires. First check the big black wire from the battery to chassis ground. Make sure where it is bolted you have good "metal to metal" contact and the bolt is tight. Sometimes people paint there frame and forget to leave bare metal at the point where the cable bolts down (And NO, bolt threads themselves are not really good grounds, especially with heavey current).



Then check the red heavey wires from the battery over to the solonoid, and the one from the solonoid to the starter. They should also be making good contact and be tight.



Another check you can do it put your black meter lead on the battery NEG, and put the red on the solonoid big wire (the one that comes directly from the battery) and try cranking the engine. See if the voltage drops a LOT. If it doesnt, so far so good. Now move the red meter lead to the other big wire (one that goes from the solonoid to the starter motor) and crank again. If you see the voltage drop a lot, the solonoid contacts may be bad. If the voltage doesnt drop much, check the ground wire on the starter motor for good connection.



I know wiring can be a huge pain, especially if your not used to doing it a lot, but dont worry, people here will help you through it until we can help you find an answer :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went out to put your great advice to work, and she doesn't even want to turn over on her own now. I figured I can't really test volts on the battery during cranking if I'm getting a jump at the time right?



I'm having a difficult time even finding the ground from the battery to chassis. It appears to me that the negative wire from the battery is running directly to a bolt on the starter. I feel dumb, and really appreciate any and all advice. You guys are nice.
 

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First off, you should NOT feel dumb at all. everyone has talents and skills, and no one can know everything (except my wife lol). I feel dumb when people try to show me how to play gutar lol. There are a lot of goob people here, and we will keep trying until we find the problem :)



I checked my bike (which is a CX500 but hiopefully its similar) and mine has a large red from the battery going to the solonoid, large black from the solonoid to the starter, and a large Black from the battery to the frame (mine is just under the mounting plate that holds the regulator and solonoid.



As for the test, YES, you can do the checks while the bike is jumped, as the test is just to find any bad connections in the wiring. If the starter works good while your getting a boost of a car, then taht means your connections are OK (make sure the jumpers are on the battery posts, that way it checks all the wiring from the battery to the bike).



Once you get it running, check the voltage on the battery (while the jumpers are still on). You will get an approx normal change voltage of about 14V (give or take a bit). Then, disconnect the jumper cables and see what the voltage on the battery is charging from the bike. If it drops a lot (less than 13V) then there is a chance the Stator is bad. You can check the stator using an ohmeter and by following the checks listed on the forum
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm at work right now so I am unable to do any diagnostic testing at the moment but, of course, I'm worrying and thinking about the problem even though there's nothing I can do at the moment.



I just wanted to add that when I hook her up to jump off my car, she fires right up. Not even a split second of hesitation. I don't know if this means anything significant, but it will be great when she does this on her own. Keepin an eye on the prize....
 

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Well, if it starts right up when being boosted, it is definatly a battery problem. Now being a battery problem could mean a bad battery, or a bad charging circuit. I have the same problem with my bike.... and mine turned out to be the stator :-( You may have a stator problem, so the best thing to do to confirm or elliminate that is to test the stator.



You disconnect the plug with the 3 yellow wires coming from the back of the engine (my plug is under the seat) that goes to the regulator modual (big thing with heat sink fins). you should get a low ohms reading between all the yellow wires (about 0.6 - 1 ohm) and really high (open) between each yellow and chassis ground. Mine has goos reading on resistance, but has a short to ground.



The proceedure can be found on this site;



Honda CX500 and GL500 Forum> CX500 GL500 Transverse Twins Discussion Forum> General Discussion



Under the heading of Quick reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I tested my battery after it sat overnight and it read around 11.5v. I had kinda automatically ruled it out before because its a new battery but maybe the little charger I put it on before it went into the bike didn't pump it up enough. Its now sittin on a slow charge on a different charger while I'm at work. I'll test it fresh off the charger later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK, off of the charger it read 13.5v then a couple hrs later it was 12.9v. At that point, I started it up and it dropped to around 8v and didn't turn over perfectly but turned over. As she ran a couple min, it went back up to around 13.5v. I shut her down and it once again dropped to about 12.9v.



Then I checked the stator and, if I did it right, everything seemed good...... I think. Resistance between the pins was between like .5 and 1 and between each of the pins and the frame it read 0.L and I think that means it's good, right?



Thanks.......
 

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I just bought myself a 1983 CX 650 this sunday, even with a fully charged battery it barely turns the motor over and the headlight goes out, now since I just bought this bike I know practically nothing, it does start and run. I took my starter out and apart and it was full of old brush debris, the three tangs on the plate were arced and pitted, these are basically the only pathway to the rear aluminum ground section of the starter, I only scraped them clean and bent them slightly upward, tomorrow I will make the ground strap bypass mod. I say this because it still will barely turn over. I only have an hour to do all this as I am the maintenance supervisor at a concrete batch plant in Alaska.



On something unrelated I popped the main fuse and I may have a fried regulator, one of my fellow employees accidentally turned a large charger on high while it was hooked up to a standard battery while I had a pair of jumper wires to the bike battery, just something I have to troubleshoot.



From what I see the whole bike grounding source goes from the negative post of the battery and then to the upper starter mounting bolt...I wire brushed mine before I attached it, but I may add yet another separate ground to the frame as well, probably up to where a main ground bolt for a wire harness is.



Right now my next step is to do the internal ground fix, bench test the starter and then make sure the ground path everywhere is good.



I have a feeling the ground from the battery to the starter bolt is not at its best, might be corrosian I have not cleaned on the bracket, it may not be getting on through to the rest of the frame.



So this almost sounds like we have identical problems.
 
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