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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!

I recently bough an 85 Nighthawk 450 and am currently working out a starter issue. With a new battery the starter is sluggish and isn't turning over the bike fast enough to actually start up, however it will clutch start just fine. I checked and cleaned up the grounds, solenoid, and battery connections with no new results, the starter still turns over very slowly. How can I go about testing the starter/solenoid before I get into removing the starter?


Much appreciated,
~Beth
 

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New batteries aren't always good, you might have it tested.

Did you also check the cable connection at the starter?

It's possible that the contacts inside the solenoid are burnt. Trying another solenoid is an easy way to check that.

Beyond that you may need to rebuild the starter, I think there's a writeup on that around here somewhere.

Welcome to the group.

Got pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I ruled out the battery by putting it on a tender and getting it up to 12.9v before using it to start the bike. I also pulled a bigger battery off of another bike and it still wouldn't turn over.

Took the Ohm meter to all of the cables, and they all seemed to check out.

Ordered a new solenoid, and we are (im)patiently waiting for it to arrive. Since it is an easier part to access, figured it would be as good a place as any to start.

I do have pictures, but I cannot upload them from my phone.
 

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Did you try hooking up jumper cables to the frame and starter stud, then a GOOD battery? Did the starter work fine before PC'ing it?
 

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One amendment to the above:

Connect the jumper cables to the battery first. Then connect the positive jumper cable to the post on the starter (best to remove the cable from the solenoid). Then touch the negative jumper cable to the frame.

You don't want to be creating sparks around the battery:eek:
 

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Yes, should have said hook negative cable to frame last.
 

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while you are waiting for a new solenoid, why not dismantle the old one, 2 screws and 2 soldered connections I think?

some pictures of the internal contacts would educate us.......did it fill up with water?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update: We had the battery tested, and it seems to be healthy. Both solenoids seem to be alright as well.
We were able to get the bike push started and it moved it over to the garage that we rent across town.

It is starting to look like it is the starter is the main problem, but we were also poking around and it looks like there are some other electrical issues that will need to be sorted out. Included in that list are some sections of wire in the headlight that are either frayed or were poorly spliced. With that in mind I am starting to think that it may just be easier to say screw it and redo the whole wiring harness in the bike. IF I go ahead and do that I figure that it will get rid of any and all of the electrical gremlins that currently are a problem, and should rule out many more issues that would pop up in the next few years.
 
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