Battery or Short?

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Battery or Short?

Post by Cloud. on Thu 16 May 2013 - 1:35

Bike was fine hopping between car parks and stuff. Started right up every time.

Then didn't. Got a buzzing from the starter relay. Bump started and went home, testing the starter on the way, on downhills, so I could drop the clutch and get the engine firing again. Buzzing starter relay every time.

Now, it will turn the engine over with an additional battery. So we're looking at a lack of amp/charge.

If I charge the battery with a charger, then disconnect the charger, the surface charge is just enough to get a slow crank, just for a second.

If I turn the lights on, they will be dim but only for a moment. The battery sizzles and sounds bubbly for a moment, then suddenly, stops, the lights go bright, and it seems like there's power. If I then tap the starter switch, the relay will buzz, and then the lights will stay on their dim thing, and not go bright again until I've turned the key off and left it for a minute.


From this, is there any way to be sure it's the battery that is at fault, or could there be a reason, an actual cause for it, such as a short circuit somewhere?


I've swapped the batteries over for my spare, and the same buzzing/bubbling happens. But the spare battery is a lot smaller, and I'm quite sure it's faulty too, so I have nothing good to compare.
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Re: Battery or Short?

Post by pandp on Thu 16 May 2013 - 6:01

It's difficult to pin point exactly what it is. I had similar problems in the past and trust me it pays to have a multimeter, that way you can check the charge on your battery. Does sound battery but it can be anything from battery to bad earth...failing solenoid....i'm sure commuter did a post on here with regards to bike electrics.
If you need any parts when you determine what it is i have lots....solenoids, rectifiers, CDI's etc etc. I have also just advertised (on FB) a brand new battery which i bought for the hyo i just broke, still in box with acid pack £30 delivered.
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Re: Battery or Short?

Post by Commuter on Thu 16 May 2013 - 13:24

As you will see from my electrics sticky post, there are many potential causes for problems. The best way to start to find a solution is to use a multimeter along with someone who knows how to use a multimeter.
The issues which you describe paint a somewhat confusing picture.

I would ask whether you have tried everything whilst not hitting the starter at all? Disconnect the wire off the starter solinoid and try to see whether the lights dim after a while. Bump start the bike and rev it with the lights on full... do the lights get a little bit brighter as you rev it? Most of what you describe points towards a high resistance fault on the starter motor itself. The buzzing from the solenoid could simply be caused by the high current demand from the starter allowing the voltage to drop so low so as to drop out the solenoid.... solenoid drops out hence starter is disengaged...hence high load is removed from the battery ...hence the solenoid engages again.......vicious circle of operation equals buzzing starter solenoid...simples!It could be as simple as the starter motor itself being partially seized. What is confusing me is the other characteristics you describe. Hence the need for a multimeter.
Making sure that the starter motor isnt engaged or able to run should , at the very least identify whether it is responsible for your problems.
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Re: Battery or Short?

Post by Cloud. on Thu 16 May 2013 - 17:59

Commuter wrote: As you will see from my electrics sticky post, there are many potential causes for problems. The best way to start to find a solution is to use a multimeter along with someone who knows how to use a multimeter.
The issues which you describe paint a somewhat confusing picture.

I would ask whether you have tried everything whilst not hitting the starter at all? Disconnect the wire off the starter solinoid and try to see whether the lights dim after a while. Bump start the bike and rev it with the lights on full... do the lights get a little bit brighter as you rev it? Most of what you describe points towards a high resistance fault on the starter motor itself. The buzzing from the solenoid could simply be caused by the high current demand from the starter allowing the voltage to drop so low so as to drop out the solenoid.... solenoid drops out hence starter is disengaged...hence high load is removed from the battery ...hence the solenoid engages again.......vicious circle of operation equals buzzing starter solenoid...simples!It could be as simple as the starter motor itself being partially seized. What is confusing me is the other characteristics you describe. Hence the need for a multimeter.
Making sure that the starter motor isnt engaged or able to run should , at the very least identify whether it is responsible for your problems.

Not hitting the starter:
Battery sizzles for a moment when key is turned on, sizzling stops, lights get brighter, indicator flash rate increases.

Wire off the starter solenoid:
Same as above.

Revving:
No noticeable increase in light brightness or indicator flash rate.

*

The more power I use (lights, brake, indicators) the lower the frequency of the buzzing from the relay.

I'm reasonably certain that the problem is not with the starter motor itself; when an additional battery is added, power is sufficient to activate the starter motor. Historically, it has shown no signs of fault.

I don't think there's a short anywhere either. Connecting a bare patch of metal to the + lead (obviously with it disconnected from the battery) does not complete a circuit, so there's no electricity leaking from the + to the -.

Hopefully tomorrow a new battery will arrive, and will fix the problem. If not, at least I'll know it's something else.
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Re: Battery or Short?

Post by Commuter on Thu 16 May 2013 - 19:15

Then the best thing to do is find someone who owns and knows how to use a multimeter .
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