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2004 VTX1300c 40k miles in South Florida
My current question (the rest of this post may not be necessary to read): How does one diagnose a bad torque limiter?

The problem: I had ridden about 45 miles and stopped for gas. I tried to start the bike back up. I thought I could hear the starter turning, but the motor was not turning over. I popped the clutch and it started back up, and was able to get it home.
Attempt 1: The starter was tripping a 30 amp breaker in a tester (not the 30 amp main fuse). So, I replaced the starter. Still not starting. I can hear the solenoid(starter relay) clicking, but the motor is not turning.
Attempt 2: I replaced the solenoid (not really believing that it would fix anything, but I really didn't want to drain the oil and remove the left side case again).
The part I received didn't even work, so I really can't rule this out yet, but the old one still "clicks".
Attempt 3: Removed the left side case again to see if the gearing somehow wasn't meshing and causing some kind of mechanical binding of the engine.
Everything in that compartment looks really good for 40k miles IMHO.
In between waiting for parts to arrive I have load tested the battery--good, and did the starter switch cleaning by Rattlebars posted on this forum.
I have everything back together: Tight, clean connections on the battery terminals; full charge on the battery; oil refilled. I go to turn it over (in neutral) and I get a cough of engine turn over (about 1 second) then just clicking from the solenoid. Go to try again, and only clicking from the solenoid.
So, I have two theories, but more than willing to entertain others.
Theory 1: there is some sort of electrical drain from the starter relay to the starter.
Theory 2: there is some sore of mechanical binding occurring in the left side case which is why I ask, "how does one diagnose a bad torque limiter?".
The part itself looks fine to me. I don't particularly know how it works, but with the case open I can see that the starter motor does turn in conjunction with the torque limiter and the idle gear and the fly wheel.
Thanks in advance for any ideas. Bonus points if they don't require ordering parts. First starter came in an inch too long and the starter relay never worked.
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I can offer no help, sorry. I do want to know what a "torque limiter" is. I've never heard of that part on a VTX1300 before.
 
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ScreenHunter_2015 Jul. 07 04.08.jpg


there is NO Torque limiter...

a battery cable or connector is going bad

poor ground connection..

clicking solenoid is a sign of weak battery or poor connection.

and a poor connection or switch for the Safety circuits.
 

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mechanical starter clutch... when it misbehaves... starter just spins... not turning the crankshaft
ScreenHunter_2016 Jul. 07 06.53.jpg
 

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.
fyi.. you can download the Honda service manual.. on this forum. and its free.

I have it and I NEVER had a VTX1300..
 

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I learned something too, first I'd ever heard of one.
all Road Honda's have them.
if engine starts and starter is still engaged.. no damage to starter... a one way clutch.
even the 1966 SuperHawk and the CB450 had them.
the early CB450 had a recall on this part.. the little springs would break. so starter just spun...

20 years as a Honda dealership mechanic.. long ago.
 

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Silver F, Above you say, "there is NO Torque limiter..." but then in the service manual picture you provide, there is a toothed item visible which is labeled as the "torque limiter". Is the service manual picture you provide from a different bike than a VTX1300? If the picture is from a VTX1300, are you saying that the torque limiter cannot fail or cannot cause the problems being described by the OP?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks! That actually helps a lot. It is definitely not doing that. I was worried about it on the other end of the spectrum--that it was bound and not allowing the starting gear to provide enough power to turn over the motor. If I rule that out, I'm down to an electrical issue (finger's crossed).
mechanical starter clutch... when it misbehaves... starter just spins... not turning the crankshaft View attachment 239638
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Silver F, Above you say, "there is NO Torque limiter..." but then in the service manual picture you provide, there is a toothed item visible which is labeled as the "torque limiter". Is the service manual picture you provide from a different bike than a VTX1300? If the picture is from a VTX1300, are you saying that the torque limiter cannot fail or cannot cause the problems being described by the OP?
I didn't know what it did before dealing with all this crap either. And my brother, a certified mechanic (Mazda) looked at it like it was foreign, which prompted him to take it apart.
 

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Silver F, Above you say, "there is NO Torque limiter..." but then in the service manual picture you provide, there is a toothed item visible which is labeled as the "torque limiter". Is the service manual picture you provide from a different bike than a VTX1300? If the picture is from a VTX1300, are you saying that the torque limiter cannot fail or cannot cause the problems being described by the OP?
let me clarify
there is no Electrical torque limiter...
but does have a mechanical torque limiter.... it is still a starter clutch/torque limiter..
and that is NOT your problem.
17 years with thousands of VTX's here.. not one had that part fail..

also read the wording below that image.. NO tool is available in the U.S.A,.(even dealers.)
 

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I am happy to announce that the problem has been discovered. So, after a new starter (two if you count the wrong one being shipped the first time) and inspection under the left side cover, a new engine solenoid (two--the first was a dud), inspection of all the wiring for a possible bad ground....BATTERY! It was always just the battery.
Ever been angry and happy at the same time? I should have never trusted the pimple-faced kid who load tested it at O'Reilly's.
I bought a battery because I exhausted all other possibilities, and the Honda came alive.
The extraneous parts I bought weren't expensive, but the time it takes for shipping sucked, and the solution was sitting on a shelf in a local auto store the whole time.
Thanks all for the help.
 

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I spent 10 years as a small engine mechanic and what it sounds like is a bad cell on your battery. Whenever I hear "I had it load tested," I immediately go to that. Most battery shops, les schwabs, parts stores, etc... don't actually load test anything. They just stick a meter on it and if it says 12v or more they say it's good. What you need to do is take a multi-meter set for Volts DC, put your leads on the appropriate terminals then attempt to turn it over. I suspect what you'll find is that when you attempt to start it the volts will drop significantly. I had many, many customers waste a lot of money on this simple problem.
 
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