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XV535 won't start

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by mattb, May 28, 2011.

  1. G'day All.

    I'm researching what else is on the net about this but I thought I'd post up in case my particular symptoms suggests a particular problem to anybody. This bike is my transport so fixing it is a bit of an urgent matter.

    The bike currently won't start.

    In the past weeks: once when cold it would not start for a moment – it sounded like the starter just noisily spun without engaging anything. I left it for a moment then tried again and it started normally. Then earlier this week it repeatedly that behaviour - spinning without engaging - and I had to roll-start it. It roll-started easily, and presented no starting problems for the next few days.

    Then today I rode about 6km and pulled up a servo near home for fuel. When I got back on it would not start. The starter spun for a second, but from then on would not do anything but make an initial one-second noise as thought the battery was going flat . I had to push it a mile home. When I got home and tried, it roll-started easily. I then pressed the star button and it started easily. I tried again an hour later and again it started straight away.

    I went out to it tonight – five hours later - and it would not start. Some starter noise, and then none. Then the starter made a single attempt each time – it would not even spin – in the way a starter does when the battery's just about flat. But the lights, indicators etc were strong – the battery seemed fine. No amount of roll-starting worked, despite trying hard and despite the fact it had been easy before.

    The starter, when it's working normally, has a loud whine, and the engagement sounds a bit violent to me – it has a kind of jerk to it - but then I'm not familiar with these bikes and maybe that's normal? It has plenty of fuel and the fuel pump can be heard working. After trying the bike tonight, as I was packing it away, I read the battery – 11.6V – which is probably slightly low through being drained a little by the light being on while I was doing all the roll-starting. When I was packing the bike up, I noted that If I press the start button the solenoid clicks, and does a machine gun series of clicks if I keep the start button depressed, and at the same time there is the faintest whir from the starter (not the usual noisy turning over, but a very quiet spinning sound).

    This bike is new to me. The previous owner appeared to know nothing of mechanics, and had only ridden the bike 100km in one year. He pointed to the location of the starter clutch and said that some thing had been expensively repaired there, but he couldn't explain what it was (I didn't clarify if he, or the owner previous to him, had had the work done), and there is a used starter clutch part in the box that came with the bike, so I assume that's what was repaired. The regulator is also newish.

    Any ideas?

  2. I assume you checked the starter fuse. Not that it sounds like that from the original symptoms but if not working now, check.

    Battery a tad low. Could be a cause but possibly just a symptom. However try either charging the battery or jump starting from another battery to eliminate this.

    Loose/dirty contact somewhere? Check/clean the main battery leads and the leads on the starter motor. Check main fuse is making good contact (unlikely but check anyway)

    Starter relay working ok?

    If the starter was originally spinning and the motor not turning over, starter motor clutch?

    Finally, starter itself? Brushes OK? Wiring burnt out?
  3. I'm not familiar with the starter system on the XV535. However, I had similar symptoms on my K100 shortly after I got it and it turned out to be worn starter motor brushes.

    The other possibility is that whatever engagement mechanism it has is gummed up with a couple of decades of gak, or that, with a low battery, the motor doesn't spin up fast enough to activate whatever inertia mechanism it might use to engage. Maybe a combination of the two.

    However, cleaning every electrical contact in the system, including the handlebar switch will certainly not do any harm.
  4. Thanks guys. I'll go to work on the bike tomorrow (Sunday). I assume that if I connect the starter directly to the battery - so as to check it's action - that there's no reason to fear direct battery power will harm it? A normal electrical wire will be suitable for this test? From what I can understand from the web I can test the solenoid / relay by placing a screw driver momentarily between the two poles and seeing if I get sparks (I assume I need to be careful not to let the smoke escape! :))

    Does this look to be what I'd need in order to properly rebuild a starter? http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/STARTER-...-535-VIRAGO-/330498453943?hash=item4cf33e31b7 I'll see if it's possible to dismantle and inspect the thing myself, but I have no idea whether such a thing is beyond my skills or not. I might even have the starter rebuilt regardless, but remove it and take it and a kit to a mechanic to save some cash. I guess I'll know better after tomorrow....

    So, I'm going to

    -replace with battery with that off the SR500 (which is now my transport, but with a kickstarter it's not so important),

    -check the fuse

    -inspect and clean all connections, including the starter button (I guess I'll have to check what earthing is involved too).

    -check the solenoid

    -check the starter in situ

    -drain oil, remove side conver and inspect the starter clutch and its bolts for any sign of loosness

    Hopefully this is a repeat of my SR500 experience: get the bike as my only transport (this all happened within an hour of selling the boring reliable Hornet!); have a bunch of problems; curse that I've bought a lemon and think seriously about quickly fixing and selling it (if only I was dishonest!); sort out the problems myself and thereby have a simple, reliable bike which I feel mechanically competent with, and be thereafter content with it, regardless of what flashy bikes pull up beside me. We'll see.... It was a hard decision between this bike and a TT600 with it's kickstart. But then I was familiar with the joys of commuting daily on a bike with cantankerous kickstarting. Now I've got the Virago cantankerous starting, and shitted carbs! :S
  5. Poor little thing. It tried to tell you it was sick and you ignored it. Now it's dead.
    It does sound like the solenoid is shot. Does it just click now or nothing.
    If nothing I would say the solenoid. if it clicks the brushes. Neither are a hard job to do (once you have it out) and to be honest if you are pulling it out I would do both and save some grief shortly down the line.
    Get some emery cloth and clean all the contact points up in it.
  6. Got it going yet?
  7. Well, I didn't get too far on it today. But I did take the (small) battery from the SR500, plug it in, and the Virago started up with ease, whereas a moment before, with the old battery, it would not even crank. The old battery was reading 11.7V. I've got it charging at the moment, but I'm thinking the current problem might be a worn out battery, among other things. It's the same symptom as last time a battery on an electric start bike wore out on me - one moment the bike starts fine, you go for a ride and the next moment it won't start.

    I think I'll just buy a new battery to rule out that problem. And I'll put a rebuild of the starter and inspection of the starter clutch on the priority list. I'll buy the batter tomorrow, and should have an idea later in the week whether the current problem has gone away for the time being. I'm assuming that a bad battery wouldn't be the cause of the starter sometimes spinning without engaging? So my current hypothesis is multiple problems working in tandem. If the battery's a bit bad, and the starter's a bit hard to work, that could create this situation.
  8. Sounds like a starter solenoid to me. The same symptoms / behaviour would show on pretty much anything on two wheels or 4. Sounds like a solenoid.
  9. I was just about to order one off eBay, when I saw from the eBay add that they use the same solenoid as on an SR185. I've got an SR185 sitting out the back! Might swap that over first.

    Edit: screw it, I just bidded on one on eBay - they're cheap! I'm just going to replace or rebuild a bunch of bits on this bike. It's a hoot to ride, so it's worth it. But tell me, kneedragon, why does this indicate a solenoid to you (I'd never heard of a solenoid before now!).
  10. Yeah - try it. Can't hurt.
  11. The old battery just finished recharging and I put it back in. It sits at 12.3V, and drops to around 11V when I hit the starter. The bike will not start, it simply makes the starter spin without engaging. The same symptom as before I took it out to recharge it. But with the small but good battery from the SR500 earlier today it started without hesitation. So clearly - it seems to me - there's a battery problem here?

    Is it normal that the starter would spin without engaging through insufficient juice from the battery? I would have thought the starter would attempt to engage and turn the engine no matter what, but then I'm still getting my head around this stuff.... Can somebody clarify it for me?
  12. Not necessarily Matt, the starter engages by centripetal force throwing the gear forward a spring returns the gear to the disengaged position so unless the starter spins up fast enough there is not enough to engage. Your previous premise may be correct that it is battery and starter motor but when the battery is fully charged it masks the starter motor issue. As someone else has said brushes and commutator would be the major suspect.
  13. Just alss note that at 12.3v your battery is approx. only at half charge!
    So it more than likely has been deep cycled!
  14. #14 mattb, May 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Thanks guys. Bax, what do you mean by "deep cycled"?

    So, at this point, I'm yet to thoroughly disconnect all wiring and clean it, though I did give it a quick inspection; but I will do that. I will leave inspecting the starter clutch for when a fellow who can help me returns to Melbourne. I'll be replacing the battery and solenoid straight away and...I've found that the Virago shares its starter motor with the XVS650, and there are aftermarket new ones for sale cheaply enough on eBay, so in the next couple of months I'll just replace the whole thing! Hopefully in the short term the new battery will be enough to get me mobile again; it's pretty striking that it started easily on the 7A SR500 one, while the original 12A one repeated the problem despite a recharge.

    I came across 23 minutes of youtube instruction on dealing with the starter clutch, which should be helpful [media=youtube]qsmCj5fwMvM[/media]
  15. Update: I chucked a new battery in. Nothing! The starter spins, but won't engage. The solenoid makes no sound; I'll await the new one. This is annoying.

    What volts does a battery typically drop to while it's trying to spin the starter?
  16. Depends on the load, I would expect 3-5V... off the top of my head...

    If the starter is spinning, your solonoid is probably fine, I would suspect the gear on the starter motor is not engaging...
  17. Yup, sounds like the engagement mechanism is gummed up.

    I wouldn't expect much voltage drop from a starter running with no load as yours is. The big drop would only happen when the starter engaged and actually did some work.
  18. So.... I haven't yet removed the engine sidecover to look at the starter clutch, which is famous for failing. I don't know what I'll be looking at, but I'll look anyway. I don't know if I'm capable of inspecting the starter motor. I picked up an extra shift of work today with the idea of paying for a used starter motor, I guess I'll definitely go ahead with that!

    So far I've replaced the battery, with a solenoid on its way (and plan to inspect all wiring when I fit that), I can go buy that starter motor, and then the only thing that's a problem in future is likely to be the starter clutch. It was rebuilt, but unless done properly apparently they can easily fail again.
  19. You got a parts diagram for the starter clutch? Just wondering if it has the same setup as the older 750 which , going from memory had an intermediate idler gear system with a hair type spring that wrapped around the sliding gear. This was famous for loosing tension and creating the exact scenario you are describing. It (the starter motor) either spun without engaging, or made a nasty graunching noise as it engaged. The solution was to simply replace the spring.
  20. Here 'tis http://www.cmsnl.com/yamaha-xv535a-virago-1990_model9652/partslist/C-05.html Looks like a pretty simple system, and one that lacks that spring? I had wondered about it, Roarin, but my surfing hasn't mention that to be a problem, but consistently there's talk on the 535 of the starter clutch bolts coming loose through the torque. It seems every Virago managed to have it's own starting fault! Odd, for a company that generally gets it right.

    I took the bike outside tonight, tried to push start it: nothing. Then I hit the starter and it violently struggled for a moment, but the bike burst into life. I took it for a twenty minute spin, then came home and shut it down and started it up again a few times. It started each time, but the starting is violent! A kind of "bang! bang! bang! start...." As it was late I didn't try it again, but tomorrow I will get down there and listen closely whether the banging is coming from the starter motor or clutch. Given the violence of it my money's on the clutch. It was rebuilt by the previous owner, but apparently it's common for them to fail again soon after! :mad: If on further inspection this seems to be the case, I guess I'll take it to a mechanic (anathema!) who I can trust to do a good fix.