Dirty fuse = dead ign. switch? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Dirty fuse = dead ign. switch?

So here's an odd one:
A few weeks ago I rode my bike about 300k into Edmonton and parked it in storage while I went to Vancouver for the weekend.

When I returned, it kinda lugged the first few times it turned over but then fired up and ran fine. Over the next 12 or so rides, it would randomly start harder than normal.

Then, last weekend, I went to the local "Blessing of the Bikes". When it came time to fire up I turned the key, and it was dead. The display didn't cycle, nothing however I still had battery power to my power-point which is direct to the battery.

I pulled the covers and started checking fuses, non were burnt, and after inspecting them all I suddenly had power. I cycled it, started it, and repeated successfully. I put everything back together put the tools in my bag and..........dead again. I couldn't even swear at it b/c there was a priest wandering around with holy water and I'm averse to lightening........lol

Anyways, this time I left the key in the on position, and as soon as I pulled the decomp fuse it cycled right away. I inspected the fuse and it had some patina on it (in fact they all did)

I drove it straight home and promptly pulled and cleaned each fuse w/ a brass brush plus used a swab and Electra-clean to touch u the fuse box contacts.

My question is: Would any of those fuses (ECU, Ign, Decomp) cause the ignition switch to go dead? Like I said, there was nothing. LCD screen was blank, no speedo and fuel pump cycle, just dead, but still power from the Battery.......
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 02:20 PM
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Had a similar issue with an old VN750. Except no patina on any of the fuses. I replaced everything from starter to cylinoid.....Finally tore everything down to search for a short. Well, I found it, inside the junction box itself. Swapped out the box and problem solved.

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Last edited by V2K_Rod; 05-23-2016 at 02:25 PM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 03:30 PM
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The only time that I had a "no start" scenario similar was after I had left my 04 outside for a couple of weeks while I was building furniture in my garage. I had power, could hear the fuel pump cycle etc, but it wouldn't turn over. I went thru every fuse, electrical connection etc, (couldn't swear either because this was on main street, right in front of the bank..) I even tried to push start the beast because the street goes downhill. Without the decomp, all I did was make a spectacle of myself, sliding, skidding, tire squeal..... I finally called the wife to bring my little 10 gauge booster cables and I bypassed the starter switch. It started really hard because the decomp wasn't working but it started. I rode it home and pulled the starter button assy off the handlebars. There was a lot of corrosion in there, so I cleaned it, the battery posts, the starter connections etc. Not sure if that helps, but with the slightly acidic nature of our rain here we may have a little more "patina development" than the average bear...

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2016, 04:35 PM
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Sounds like burnt connection at ignition switch plug

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 09:19 PM
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I've just done my head set bearings, being that the bike was in bits I decided to check the ignition switch. Mine is mounted in the top (train light set up) and being that bike ignitions are open to the elements are prone to getting all sorts of muck in there along with water. I'd also had the odd no power instances on a couple of occasions. Being an industrial sparky I've rebuilt numerous ignition switches over the years so have seen first hand the damage muck, water and bad connections these create.

In answer to your question TC, Yes you will experience complete power outage to the bike as the contacts are simply not making good contact.

The Kawa key ignition set up is easy to disassemble.
1. Mount the ignition, key down in a vice, do not remove until reassembled.
2. There is two screws that hold the lot together, these two screws have a tonne of thread lock applied.
It is important to use the correct fitting phillips and apply a decent amount of pressure whilst removing. If not these screws will 'round out' quickly are they are very soft (aka, rubbish steel).
3. Remove the rear cover.
4. The rear cover along with fixed contacts plate with the wiring harness should now slide out.
The fixed contacts plate has two rows of contacts and should be clean with only light marks/wear from the sliding contacts being switched back and forth across them. Clean up with a rag, I use a bit of CRC on the rag. If there is green, black or grey sludge this will indicate water, grease muck that will cause general poor connections.
If the contacts are badly scored, show signs of shorting or deeply grooved will require clean up. My trick is to usually clean up the faces of the contacts with a fine file to smooth things out. Be aware they are brass so gently gently and watch you don't bugger up ya file. Once done, clean everything again to remove all filings and dust.
5. Now remove the contact sliding plate from the ignition. This is white with two sprung mounted contacts in it. These should only have light marks on em and not be deformed. If they are badly bent, have holes worn or electrically blown through them, the ignition unit is not worth repairing, buy a replacement unit.
6. Provided these two contacts are fine, lift the whole plate out carefully.
Be aware there there is two main springs (key side) behind the white mount plate, these provide tension on the white mount plate. These springs sit into holes on the mount plate and have ball bearings that back onto the ignition aluminium moulding. As the plate is lifted up, rotate to one side to see these. Rescue these now to save a long hunt on your knees and put in a safe place.
7. With the mount plate removed, the two contacts are also spring mounted, again rescue and clean everything up.
8. Whilst everything is removed I sprayed a tonne of CRC down into the key area and operated the key and removed it several times, amazing how much yuck comes out, leave key out to allow remainder of crc to drip out.
9. Re-install white mount plate with rear springs/beall bearings using grease to hold in place. re-install in to ignition.
10. Re-install springs and contacts to front of the white mount plate. Use NO grease, copper contact or a like as this will cause shorts.
12. re-install fixed contact plate, again no grease along rear cover and screw up. Before screwing up, press rear down and make sure ignition key turns to all positions and should have a notched feel to it as turning. Note, I have drilled a small hole in the rear plate to let water out as mine had evidence of water damage.
13. Remove from vise and re-install ignition to bike.

Have fun.

Enjoyin life out n about New Zealand, feet first, two up on our Vulcan two-point-O.

Last edited by RuaphuNZ; 06-05-2016 at 09:29 PM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2016, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DANAD View Post
........and pulled the starter button assy off the handlebars. There was a lot of corrosion in there, so I cleaned it...
Yep same here, starter switch was badly corroded, poor design, it lets in too much water, horn is the same too.

Enjoyin life out n about New Zealand, feet first, two up on our Vulcan two-point-O.
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