Shocked my VN800 to death - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Angry Shocked my VN800 to death

I used my car to jump start my bike with a dead battery (the car was not running). I was able to crank the bike and fire up the engine. After about 30 seconds, I noticed that the positive terminal cover was beginning to melt and then the bike died. It was obvious that I had left the jumper cables on for too long (stupid me). The bike was now totally dead. Not only would it not crank, but all of the instrument cluster lights were dead as well. I checked the main 30A fuse and it was ok. Then I checked ALL of the fuses in the Junction Box and they were all ok as well. So what should I check next? What else could have been damaged that would block all current flow even though all of the fuses are ok? Any advice/help will certainly be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:07 AM
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If you melted the positive battery terminal cover, then there's a chance there's now a break in the internal wiring somewhere. I'd check your positive and ground wires for continuity, using a multimeter. Smarter folks than I will be along shortly to help.

Also, try disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it. I had mis-wired my battery last year (I put the battery tender ring terminal between the main bike harness and the battery terminal itself, and it arced until the negative terminal was friend, and pushing the starter button would kill the whole bike. Oops.) I found that disconnecting/reconnecting the battery fixed it, and then I had to bump-start the bike to get it to fire up. Ran fine after that, and I rode straight to my mechanic for a new battery. Got home and double-checked the rest of my bikes and fixed them too.

-John

2016 Vaquero (mostly stock)
2005 VN800B Bobber (Blue Collar Bobbers kits)
1979 KZ650SR
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 12:19 PM
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I would start with a new battery.
Sounds like yours may have had an internal short.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you John and sfair for taking the time to help me - your time and expertise is very much appreciated. Let me update you both.

Safir, you are correct. When I tried to charge the battery yesterday, the charger informed me that the battery was defective, so I purchased a new one.

John, your input is very good as well. If, after I install the new battery, things are still dead, then I will go with your suggestions. I can't install the new battery until tomorrow due to weather and not having a garage. I'll let you both know what happens when the new battery is installed.

Thanks again for your time and help.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Sfair, you nailed it - the old battery had an internal short! I've never encountered that before, so I wasn't thinking along those lines. Anyway, I installed a new battery today and everything works perfectly. Thanks again to you and John for taking the time to reply.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:37 AM
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Glad we could help! I know my input wasn't your solution, but at least it'll prevent you from making the same mistake I did!

-John

2016 Vaquero (mostly stock)
2005 VN800B Bobber (Blue Collar Bobbers kits)
1979 KZ650SR
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Still good input, John. Thanks to you and Sfair, I know a lot more now about Kawasaki starting issues and troubleshooting than I knew before!

-SolarSailor
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 10:40 AM
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For the record, there's no reason you can't leave the jumper cables connected for a while. The melting was caused by the internal short only - otherwise you'd have been fine.

'99 Vulcan 500, 29k miles

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Good input, fastpakr, and you are absolutely right. In retrospect, I can easily see in my mind what happened, but at the time, I was freaked out because I had never experienced a battery with an internal short, nor had I heard of it, so it wasn't even in my thinking. All I was envisioning was a partially melted wiring harness, destroyed components, or a spate of blown fuses.

Thanks for taking the time to add additional light to this event - much appreciated.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastpakr View Post
For the record, there's no reason you can't leave the jumper cables connected for a while. The melting was caused by the internal short only - otherwise you'd have been fine.
Not correct. If the battery is shorted, the booster battery will discharge through the bike battery and cause all kinds of problems, including melted posts.
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