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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi friends,
Yesterday while doing deliveries on my Wee I ran into an issue for the first time, twice in the same day.

I get the bike ready to rock but when I push the ignition button, it makes the fuel pump prime instead of firing the starter. Happened twice yesterday, it works fine until it doesn't, then it just magically works again.

The bike otherwise has no problems and showed no signs of any problems coming until now.

Any ideas what might be going on? My guess is it's something electrical, but I've been wrong many times before and don't have a scanner tool handy.

Best,
Mike
 

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This is quite strange.

Do you notice anything else like the gauges doing a sweep ?

I would start by checking your battery cable connections are clean and tight at the battery and the motor.

On bikes the cables often work loose, mainly at the battery but unlike a car they are still able to start.

Then there is the big connector under the rubber boot on the left above the radiator, look for hot or bunt terminals.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is quite strange.

Do you notice anything else like the gauges doing a sweep ?

I would start by checking your battery cable connections are clean and tight at the battery and the motor.

On bikes the cables often work loose, mainly at the battery but unlike a car they are still able to start.

Then there is the big connector under the rubber boot on the left above the radiator, look for hot or bunt terminals.
Thanks for the tips! Yup the guages sweep and everything is normal except when I push the button to fire it up...lose cables could make sense considering the intermittent nature of the fault

I'll double check everything you listed, hoping it's electrical and I can get back to delivering asap
 

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I meant do the gauges sweep when you hit the start button and the motor will not crank ?

Ensure your clutch switch is getting activated by the clutch lever every time, this should not make the fuel pump run but it will stop the motor cranking over.
 

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I’d start by checking the battery cables as mentioned above.could also check the cable on the starter to make sure it is tight. After that I would take the start switch apart and clean it. Then I’d ride around and see if I can get it to act up close to home stoping to shut it off every so often.
 

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Background:

The starter switch on a Wee has the full current of the head lamps flowing through it. This is how the bike turns off the head lamps when you push the button to start the bike.

When this switch gets a little dirty on the inside and the resistance of that headlamp contacts goes up a little, there is an IR drop across the switch contact. An IR drop is a fancy way engineers say that the switch contact heats up, melts black plastic. The little ball bearing and spring inside move to spots they weren't intended, causing intermittent connections.

This is why sometimes the switch starts the bike and other times only runs the gauges. There maybe times the bike starts but then has no head lights. You may not notice the lack of headlamps until out and about then try to ride home after dark. Which you can't so now you're stranded.

Solution(s):

The easy and possibly temporary fix is to replace the starter switch. Temporary because if the switch contacts get dirty again, because you might ride through puddles, the problem will come back.

The long term fix is to add headlamp relays using the handlebar starter switch output as a relay control voltage instead of suppling the power to the head lamps directly. With this alternate setup, there is only 90mA flowing through the starter switch. That isn't enough current to heat up anything and the head lamps still cycle off when you start the bike.

One can do the relay thing without cutting the existing wiring harness at all. Use plugs and plug it together. This way, if you sell the bike, unplug everything and the bike is back to stock for the buyer.

Bought the relays and connectors off fleabay, cost was about $12 and a little thinking.

I used this defect as an opportunity to add a switch so I can operate the bike with the head lamp off. I wired it so the switch only affects the low beams. When the switch is active, the low beams are off but the high beams are still controllable from the handle bar switch and the yellow flasher thingy still works.

The reason for running without head lights is when in stop and go traffic for long periods of time the bike is basically idling. At idle the permanent stator of a Wee doesn't generate enough current to keep the battery topped off with the head lamps on. If after and hour or so of stop and go traffic if you stall the bike you'll likely be pushing it to the side of the road looking for a jump.

Aside, you can pop-start a Wee but on the level, it can be a challenge to get enough speed trying to push that heavy bike.
 

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The long term fix is to add headlamp relays...
Eastern Beaver sells a plug and play headlight relay kit, here.

Comes with the right connectors and wire lengths.

Costs more than DIY of course.
 

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Eastern Beaver sells a plug and play headlight relay kit
Looked at the Eastern Beaver kit. I'm thinking the "H4 Dual Headlight Relay Kit with LO Beam On/Off Switching" is similar or maybe the same thing as I built. Looks like a nice kit. If I hadn't known how to piece together such a thing then I would have bought one from Eastern or whomever else is selling things.

If you like to tinker or simply find satisfaction from doing things yourself. Two critical parts are pictured below.

You'll need the two (2) relays and two (2) sockets. The pic below shows both the relay and socket mated together. An autoparts store sometimes sells them as separate pieces. You'll need a socket for each relay. You'll need two relays.

The headlight extensions are where you'll get the sockets and plugs for the head lamps.

Here is one way to wire up the two relays.

Background:

For the two relays, one relay controls the low beams of both head lamps. The other relay controls the high beam of both head lamps.

1. You'll run a line from the battery and attach it to the terminal marked #30 of BOTH relays.

2. The terminal #87a will be left unconnected on BOTH relays. Tape up the wire so the end of the wire doesn't short against anything.

3. Unplug both head lamps from the stock harness. Tape one of the plugs up so dust doesn't get into it. You'll use the other plug for control voltages. Cut the two head light extensions from fleabay in half. Plug one of the black plugs into the head light socket, which you just unplugged from the headlight.

4. Ground pin #86 of BOTH relays.

5. Connect the low beam from the stock harness to pin #85 of ONE relay.

6. Connect pin #87 of that relay to the low beam of both head lamps.

7. Connect the high beam from the stock harness to pin #85 of the OTHER relay.

8. Connect pin #87 of the OTHER relay to the high beam of both head lamps.

9. Connect the ground lead on BOTH head lamps to ground.

Theory of operation:

When the bike's ignition is OFF, there is no voltage present on pin #85 of either relay. Power isn't applied to the headlights when the ignition is off. It is how this bike is made.

Both relays are connecting battery voltage pin #30 to pin #87A. Pin 87A is left unconnected on BOTH relays. Current doesn't flow anywhere. Nothing bad here. When unpowered, the relay connects pin #30 to pin #87a. It is how this relay is made.

When the ignition is ON and low beam is selected, pin #85 has 12 Volts on it. Relay ONE connects battery voltage pin #30 to pin #87. Pin #87 is connected to the low beams of both head lamps, using the cut in half fleebay headlamp extensions. Both lamps illuminate.

When the ignition in ON and high beam is selected, pin #85 of the OTHER relay has 12 Volts on it. The OTHER relay connects battery Voltage pin #30 to pin #87. Pin #87 of the OTHER relay is connected to the high beam of BOTH head lamps, again using the other cut in half head lamp extension.

When the ignition is on and the yellow headlight flash button is pressed, BOTH relays have 12 on pin #85, which causes both relays to operate as described above.

If you want the ability to switch off one of the beams, either the high or low. put the switch between pin #85 of the relay controlling that beam and what pin #85 is connected to.

When you're done, you'll have one black plug from the headlamp extensions that you bought off of fleabay left over.

Aside, these "ice-cube" relays as lay people sometimes call them, are handy to have around. If you end up buying more than two, it might be an okay thing.

It will be helpful for you to draw of diagram of what is connected to what to double check everything goes to where it makes sense. I did this 5 years ago and am recalling what I did from memory.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck.



Product Automotive design Gadget Toy Automotive exterior


Product Electric blue Automotive tire Cable Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looked at the Eastern Beaver kit. I'm thinking the "H4 Dual Headlight Relay Kit with LO Beam On/Off Switching" is similar or maybe the same thing as I built. Looks like a nice kit. If I hadn't known how to piece together such a thing then I would have bought one from Eastern or whomever else is selling things.

If you like to tinker or simply find satisfaction from doing things yourself. Two critical parts are pictured below.

You'll need the two (2) relays and two (2) sockets. The pic below shows both the relay and socket mated together. An autoparts store sometimes sells them as separate pieces. You'll need a socket for each relay. You'll need two relays.

The headlight extensions are where you'll get the sockets and plugs for the head lamps.

Here is one way to wire up the two relays.

Background:

For the two relays, one relay controls the low beams of both head lamps. The other relay controls the high beam of both head lamps.

1. You'll run a line from the battery and attach it to the terminal marked #30 of BOTH relays.

2. The terminal #87a will be left unconnected on BOTH relays. Tape up the wire so the end of the wire doesn't short against anything.

3. Unplug both head lamps from the stock harness. Tape one of the plugs up so dust doesn't get into it. You'll use the other plug for control voltages. Cut the two head light extensions from fleabay in half. Plug one of the black plugs into the head light socket, which you just unplugged from the headlight.

4. Ground pin #86 of BOTH relays.

5. Connect the low beam from the stock harness to pin #85 of ONE relay.

6. Connect pin #87 of that relay to the low beam of both head lamps.

7. Connect the high beam from the stock harness to pin #85 of the OTHER relay.

8. Connect pin #87 of the OTHER relay to the high beam of both head lamps.

9. Connect the ground lead on BOTH head lamps to ground.

Theory of operation:

When the bike's ignition is OFF, there is no voltage present on pin #85 of either relay. Power isn't applied to the headlights when the ignition is off. It is how this bike is made.

Both relays are connecting battery voltage pin #30 to pin #87A. Pin 87A is left unconnected on BOTH relays. Current doesn't flow anywhere. Nothing bad here. When unpowered, the relay connects pin #30 to pin #87a. It is how this relay is made.

When the ignition is ON and low beam is selected, pin #85 has 12 Volts on it. Relay ONE connects battery voltage pin #30 to pin #87. Pin #87 is connected to the low beams of both head lamps, using the cut in half fleebay headlamp extensions. Both lamps illuminate.

When the ignition in ON and high beam is selected, pin #85 of the OTHER relay has 12 Volts on it. The OTHER relay connects battery Voltage pin #30 to pin #87. Pin #87 of the OTHER relay is connected to the high beam of BOTH head lamps, again using the other cut in half head lamp extension.

When the ignition is on and the yellow headlight flash button is pressed, BOTH relays have 12 on pin #85, which causes both relays to operate as described above.

If you want the ability to switch off one of the beams, either the high or low. put the switch between pin #85 of the relay controlling that beam and what pin #85 is connected to.

When you're done, you'll have one black plug from the headlamp extensions that you bought off of fleabay left over.

Aside, these "ice-cube" relays as lay people sometimes call them, are handy to have around. If you end up buying more than two, it might be an okay thing.

It will be helpful for you to draw of diagram of what is connected to what to double check everything goes to where it makes sense. I did this 5 years ago and am recalling what I did from memory.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck.



View attachment 303366

View attachment 303367
This is next level DIY! Thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Background:

The starter switch on a Wee has the full current of the head lamps flowing through it. This is how the bike turns off the head lamps when you push the button to start the bike.

When this switch gets a little dirty on the inside and the resistance of that headlamp contacts goes up a little, there is an IR drop across the switch contact. An IR drop is a fancy way engineers say that the switch contact heats up, melts black plastic. The little ball bearing and spring inside move to spots they weren't intended, causing intermittent connections.

This is why sometimes the switch starts the bike and other times only runs the gauges. There maybe times the bike starts but then has no head lights. You may not notice the lack of headlamps until out and about then try to ride home after dark. Which you can't so now you're stranded.

Solution(s):

The easy and possibly temporary fix is to replace the starter switch. Temporary because if the switch contacts get dirty again, because you might ride through puddles, the problem will come back.

The long term fix is to add headlamp relays using the handlebar starter switch output as a relay control voltage instead of suppling the power to the head lamps directly. With this alternate setup, there is only 90mA flowing through the starter switch. That isn't enough current to heat up anything and the head lamps still cycle off when you start the bike.

One can do the relay thing without cutting the existing wiring harness at all. Use plugs and plug it together. This way, if you sell the bike, unplug everything and the bike is back to stock for the buyer.

Bought the relays and connectors off fleabay, cost was about $12 and a little thinking.

I used this defect as an opportunity to add a switch so I can operate the bike with the head lamp off. I wired it so the switch only affects the low beams. When the switch is active, the low beams are off but the high beams are still controllable from the handle bar switch and the yellow flasher thingy still works.

The reason for running without head lights is when in stop and go traffic for long periods of time the bike is basically idling. At idle the permanent stator of a Wee doesn't generate enough current to keep the battery topped off with the head lamps on. If after and hour or so of stop and go traffic if you stall the bike you'll likely be pushing it to the side of the road looking for a jump.

Aside, you can pop-start a Wee but on the level, it can be a challenge to get enough speed trying to push that heavy bike.
I'm not 100% sure it's the switch but definitely something with the starter system. When I shift into 1st after I get this error and roll the bike until the clutch catches, the bike will then do the fuel pump and will start like normal.

Might still be worth investigating the switch because it's an old bike but I think something else is awry
 
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