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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there.

My headlights have not been working for about a week now on my 650, and I narrowed the problem to the starter button. I have opened it up, cleaned everything up put it back together and nothing.

If I press down on the starter unit itself (the white enclosure with the 4 wires soldered to the top of it) with my thumb, the lights come on. It's as if the starter contacts are not sitting close enough to the plunger contacts.

Okay, so I open it up and inspect to see that everything SHOULD sit tight. Hmmm. So, I further disassemble the plunger part and pop out the contacts on it. I figure it I pop them out enough, they would touch the starter contacts but now it would seem like I really screwed it up. The bike wont even start when it's all put together. I can start it by closing the circuit on the starter contacts, but thats about it.

I am thinking that I need a new starter enclosure and it would seem as if I need an entire new switch assembly! This can't be the case, right? Is there an alternative? I need help!

Thanks!
-g
 

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I cannot answer your question regarding if only the starter *switch* is available as a spare-part.

I do know that I used to have a Honda V45 Sabre and to replace the hi/lo beam switch I had to order THE ENTIRE LEFT HANDLEBAR ASSEMBLY for well over $100. Once the dealer told me that, I took it apart and figured out how to fix it.

Let us know how this works out for you....
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Only the entire handlebar switch is available.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
NO!!!:headbang:


I got the bike to at least start again, but no head lights. If I squeeze the contact together, they work... I used the plastic lid from my humus and inserted it under the plunger for the starter. I have to hold the starter in the right spot for it to start but, at least it starts.

I am going to order it tonight. Seems like a pretty easy swap. I was looking at the throttle cables... nothing too crazy in there is there?

Thanks you two.
-g
 

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You should install the easternbeaver.com headlight relay kit.
It will direct the current draw through your headlight switch to only trigger relays, not the entire headlight load.
That is quite likely what caused the failure of your switch.
 

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I haven't looked at a starter switch on this bike, but is it possible there are some springs inside that have fallen out or are not in the right position anymore, or possibly broken? Or a metal spring clip that is bent. Something corroded or needs a good lubing?

I would spend a bit more time looking at it before ordering a new unit. WD-40 it maybe?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Black Lab has a piece on the starter switch but is in transition from here and hasn't gotten up on his site yet. Maybe leaving a comment at Electrical « Black Lab Adventures can get further info. I seem to remember he had the same issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys,

I have been reading through some of BL stuff there. I did exactly as the dr prescribes however, no results. This starter was so clean inside... there was no corrosion - nothing. The top was a bit wobbly though!

So, yea... I have cleaned lubed with dielectric grease and still nothing. The started plunger sits within a white encasing where if I press on top, (where the wires are soldered to the top), everything works. It's as if the entire thing isn't seated correctly - wobbly.

I have thought about getting the relay from EB, but I am not too sure how it could prevent something like this from preventing... I still have no clue as to what has been causing it. Seems like crappy plastic has been ever so slightly bent to cause it. The starter relay is still used when using the EB relay if I am not mistaken so at this point in the game, I don't think it would help.

What I am going to do in the mean time, is solder the headlight to stay on, and just hot wire when I need to start it. It's the only thing I can think of at the moment. I drove the rabbit into work today and I HATE IT. Plus, it was raining today, and I haven't showered for days!

P.S. I just ordered an assembly. I figure I can just solder the new switch when it comes in! 110 bucks shipped - awesome!
-g
 

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The grease may be part of your problem.
If you get TOO much of it between the contacts, then you can have problems getting the contacts to, well, contact...
Essentially, you want that grease to be most everywhere...
EXCEPT between...
...the contacts.


The relay kit reduces the load on the headlight portion of the electrical circuit only.
The headlight starter switch works as follows:
Key on
Start switch at rest -- power to lights through light contacts - NO power to starter circuit
Start switch pressed -- breaks power to lights (LIGHTS OFF) - power to starter solenoid/relay (the relay contacts the large current draw to the starter)
Let go of start switch -- power back to the lights - open circuit to the starter solenoid

So...
Every time that you hit the starter button, you break, and make contact with a fairly decent current draw directly across those little terminals--because the power to the headlamps runs directly through the headlight portion of the starter switch.
The headlight relay reduces the current across those terminals because it is now (like the starter portion of the switch) only providing power to the relay.


.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Could have too much current going through the terminals cause something within to bend/misshape and distort the use of the starter?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Heat can distort the materials and arcing can wear away contact material. I think one of the things Black Lab discovered appeared as the contacts seeming to sink into the insulator.
 

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I did the BL repair to a Vee. The switch is a bit different than the wee but the contacts are very similar. Mine were fine, just a little build up (like tarnish)on them. A quick cleaning with very light emory cloth and a polish with a pencil eraser and my starter now functions as new. my lights were fine, but they are just the other set of contacts. I would not grease it if it were me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hmm. Looks like I will be in the near future, investing in a headlight relay kit.

I noticed that under the 2 nibs (attached to the starter plunger) there was a spring. As if it's purpose was to lift the nibs onto the starter/headlight connections though it didn't seem all that effective.

All in all and where I am at this very moment, it seems as if the black contact terminals need to be pressed closer onto the 2 nibs for an ultimate connection. Whether or not, the spring under the nibs pressing up wasn't doing it's job, or the contacts were sinking (though they didn't appear to be) or there was no contact material left on the contacts... one thing for sure however, is that the entire starter assembly is wonky. Heck, I bet if I stuck some chewing gum in there it would probably press down on the contacts enough.

Anyhow, I plan to solder the headlights to the ON position in the starter, and then just shimmy the starter to get it going again.

Ill update this once I get everything back working again. Thanks for everyone's input so far... really appreciate it - as always.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Heat can take the temper out of the spring as well. Somebody once reported finding an appropriate spring in a box of assorted springs to replace a sacked one.
 

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I noticed that under the 2 nibs (attached to the starter plunger) there was a spring. As if it's purpose was to lift the nibs onto the starter/headlight connections though it didn't seem all that effective.
My post addressing this was deleted. :mad:

Pull the little spring out, break off the little post it fits onto, put spring back into hole. The contact that fits over the spring should easily travel up/down the full length of the spring. Make sure the contact legs are straight and square.

I didn't find heat to be a contributing factor with these issues, in my case.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My post addressing this was deleted. :mad:

Pull the little spring out, break off the little post it fits onto, put spring back into hole. The contact that fits over the spring should easily travel up/down the full length of the spring. Make sure the contact legs are straight and square.

I didn't find heat to be a contributing factor with these issues, in my case.
Ozart,

Is the contact "supposed" to travel up and down with the spring? I guess it would make sense hence the spring. I deemed it as ineffective only because it appeared as if my contacts did not want to move up and down as if they were unknowingly stuck.

If I had read this post 24 hrs sooner, I probably could have had better luck with it.

Late last night, to get at the spring, and when nothing else was working, I ended up bending one of the legs of the contact that fits into the plunger while trying to free the spring under it. It at the time didn't travel up and down the spring travel but now that I think about it - it should and if it did... my temptation for sticking gum to press everything down would not be needed.

-g
 

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Ozart,

Is the contact "supposed" to travel up and down with the spring? I guess it would make sense hence the spring. I deemed it as ineffective only because it appeared as if my contacts did not want to move up and down as if they were unknowingly stuck.
With the switch apart, yes the contact should freely move up and down. The purpose of the spring is to supply pressure to keep both sides of the contacts firmly together.

In my case, the spring had kinda wadded up on the post it fits over. Not sure if this was caused by contamination or heat transferring from contact to spring and causing the post to swell. Either way, removing the post cured that. Also, the legs were slightly bent, not allowing them to move smoothly in the plastic grooves. Straightening the legs and slightly relieving the plastic grooves cured that. I'm confident I'll have no more problems with that switch.

Please don't use any gum.
I also recommend not using any type of lube. Doing so will eventually attract dust/dirt, gum up and create sticking again. The switch is not completely sealed. Over time, contamination will find its way in.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I see, this makes A LOT of sense. Dont worry, I'd never use gum in there, but the fact that I can press on the top of the enclosure and get contact AND the fact that the two nibs were not being pressed from the spring WOULD indicate that this is what my problem is.

I think if I hadn't bent one of the legs of the the nib connection on the plunger, I could have avoided this entire kerfuffle. The legs were stuck anyways so I had the get them out of there somehow. It was if they were "fish hooked" in the plastic to NOT slide up and down.

Thanks again everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This thing is FIXED!

Snapped off the little post on the plunger where the spring slides on and now the nibs move up and down like a champ.

Now that I think of it, when I squeezed the entire starter unit the lights came on because the nibs were unable to move - they sat rigid. Squeezing just applied enough pressure to eventually get the contacts to make contact. Well, having the spring actually doing it's job, it now pushes everything together for me.

Now, I still have a right hand assemble coming my way on rush! Better keep it on hand incase this thing acts up.

Thanks everyone!
-g
 
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