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Is it a starter, solenoid, HELP!

19401 Views 26 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Charlie D
Yesterday my bike wouldn't start after riding it around town. It had all the classic symptoms of a dead battery (click click click click) and it was the original that came with the bike (it's a 2003 1300S). It had done something similar in November, but I tightened up the connections and it seemed to get better. Occasionally it would skip a little when starting it, which would reset my trip odometer.

So I went to my local battery store and picked up a new one. I put it in the bike and now it won't start. :banghead: Battery has lots of charge, but it seems like it won't make it past the compression stroke.

Is this a starter or solenoid issue? If so, is there a way to test it?

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First glad you found the problem. Did you stretch the little (not the big) spring a little.
Second there is no solenoid on the VTX.
Um yes there is :bleh:
The solenoid/relay is behind the right side cover towards the bottom of the battery. It's just an external one just like the old Fords had, they can and do go bad at times so it wouldn't be out of the question to check this along with the starter switch.
A solenoid engages the starter and spins the starter which throws the gear forward to engage like in old cars - it only has a relay. :bleh: lol
Sorry to disagree with the Donut but... call it what you'd like they are listed under either name when you go looking for one in a parts finch, so for someone who might not be sure about the technicalities it can be found by just looking up a starter solenoid.

Here's just a few from a quick 1 page search :icon_susp :bleh:

Older Ford's:
If you go to this site and in the Search on the left side and type in Starter Relay - when it pops up the top two on the left is exactly the same relay that is behind the right rear cover.

All it is is a dang relay with a fuse. lol
Donut-I stretched the spring out a little bit which made it tricky getting back together after lubing up with vasoline, but definitely works a lot better now.
OK sounds good - let me know if you have any futures problems - But you probably wont.

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get some stainless lock washers for the battery bolts.

Valve clatter is a time thing and you get used to it then one day you say it is awful quiet I better adjust them again.
I agree with Charlie D on the lock washers. But be careful and don't be superman on tightening them up because you can actually pull the nut up threw the led mount they are in and destroy the battery.
Sounds like the battery is week and doesn't have enough amps to turn it over. You can have 12.5 volts on a bad battery with a cell bad and will not have enough to turn the starter over.
I bought a new battery last summer (wallyworld) and kept it in a battery tender ( not a charger) all winter. I had to replace it again last week. This time I got a Sears Dihard. But when I got it before they had a chance to put the cover on over the plates I looked inside and noticed that the plates were showing.:hmm2::hmm2:So I had them put the proper amount of acid in it so they covered the plates.
Now when you buy a new battery you have to add the acid so make sure that they give you enough. The dispenser that came with the battery didn't have enough in it.
I have a 1/2 gallon of battery acid in my garage at home for this purpose.
I brought my battery to work. I have the luxury of a large maintenance shop with all kinds of goodies. We hooked my battery up to the mega-fancy, holy crap this thing is huge Dayton charger and it tested fine. I guess my next try is the starter relay?

Thoughts would be appreciated.
Starter and starter relay's just don't go bad and I am talking in over seven years on two boards. If it doesn't turn over by jumping the relay then it's the battery. When you jump it across it it is a directly from the battery to the starter and nothing else is in the circuit.
It may say 12.5 volts but the amps are not there (Amps are the actual power the battery is putting out).
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