Starter would not stop

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Starter would not stop

Post by foster » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:23 pm

So,
I had a new and a little bit of a unique experience this past weekend. After running around on my 2011 Gear Up for a while with at least 2 stops and no issues, I got home and shut the bike off in the driveway. Came in, said hey to the dog and the bride, took off my gear, got something to drink and then went back out to put the bike up in the barn.
It started up and as I drove it into the barn I hit the kill switch to let it roll into place and the starter was still turning. It continued to turn even when I turned the key off. No matter what I tried, in gear, out of gear, switch on, switch off, the starter continued to spin. Since it's hard to access the cables in a hurry, and fearing further damage to starter or battery or whatever, I quickly cut the positive cable and pushed it on into the shop to begin the process of troubleshooting.

Thoughts include starter button short or starter relay short. While I wait to get new cables made up and get the bike cleaned up a bit does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks in advance - hope you are all healthy and managing to maintain your sanity!
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by wooden nickel » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:41 pm

Most likely the main contacts on the starter solenoid welded together. If it was still engaged when the motor was running, you will likely need a new starter. You can take it apart, clean it up, and dress the solenoid contacts first though. You don't have much to lose.
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by rivers » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:11 pm

+1
Stuck/welded solenoid-relay would be my first suspect.
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by RC20 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:26 pm

I think you are right to suspect the starter switch as well as the rest of it. It could be any of the suspects, starter switch included.

Take the power off the starter, fix or replace the wire, breakout the voltmeter and then see what is getting signal voltage or is not and has continuity through the power contacts.

Main starter signal and you know its not starter contacts welded. Power relays would be more suspect than others (don't have your wiring diagram)

Good thinking to cut the positive wire. Negative might have other ground right off the battery and not stop the starter.

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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by foster » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:40 pm

Thanks for the replies. Working on new cables and checking everything out as I go. I did find that the black wire had pulled out of the connector for the starter relay. IAt least I think it's the starter relay since both the starter relay and one for (I think) headlight are on the same part of the harness. I've replaced the starter relay a couple of years ago and I can't really remember which one. No biggie.
I'm going to continue disassembly and check everything including the starter and solenoid before I restore power then if nothing is obvious I'll trace the fault.
I don't mind working on the bike at all. The real kicker is that the weather here has been beautiful with the final arrival of spring so yesterday I had to take the vstrom out instead of the ural. It's a really good motorcycle but it's just not the same...........
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by windmill » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:47 pm

Short in the solenoid is a distinct possibility, it happened to my Patrol going down the road. It felt like a Jake brake, and the starter was clearly audible. The kill, and key switch had no effect, I had to disconnect the starter to stop it.

I was also told of a instance where it happened to a parked rig that was left in gear. The starter caused it to cross a parking lot until it hit a curb, which held it in place until the wires melted.
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by foster » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:10 pm

While I'm working on it I may wire a cutoff switch into the system somewhere. That might be a good failsafe for potential future failures. Cutting the power on Sunday seemed like a better option than taking the time to access the battery and or starter cable connections. Solved the problem instantaneously.
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by Lmo » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:51 pm

This is the one I wired into my rig; it interrupts the ground cable. Mounted it low on the right side of the bike. Besides emergency electrical, it makes for a good anti-theft deterrence too.

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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by Speedbump » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:36 pm

Lmo wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:51 pm
This is the one I wired into my rig; it interrupts the ground cable. Mounted it low on the right side of the bike. Besides emergency electrical, it makes for a good anti-theft deterrence too.

Image
Used it on my travel trailer also to interrupt the negative cable.

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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by Desantnik-VDV » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:43 pm

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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by chaos2 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:57 pm

welded contacts on the starter relay is a common problem on older BMW K bikes, almost always caused by a low battery. Often can be cured by whacking the relay. I had it happen on my K75s once and have since added a battery disconnect.
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by jeffsaline » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:55 pm

It should be pretty easy to isolate the cause of the unwanted cranking. Remove the small black wire from the back of the starter solenoid. Apply battery voltage to the heavy black wire you cut. If the starter cranks it suggests the issue is in the starter solenoid and welded contacts are a probable cause. If the starter doesn't crank it suggests the solenoid may be fine. Apply battery positive voltage to the small terminal on the back of the starter solenoid (with the small black wire still disconnected). The starter should now crank. If it cranks it proves the starter solenoid and heavy black wire from the battery and the ground connection. Then, with the small black wire still disconnected, check the small black wire for battery positive voltage. It should only have battery positive voltage when the key is on, the big red switch is in the run position and the starter button is pressed. If it has positive battery voltage at any other time it suggests you have a problem in the starter activation circuit. Could be a stuck contact in a relay or a faulty starter switch or something else. I suppose if you wanted you could just connect the small black wire to the terminal on the back of the starter solenoid and see if the starter cranks. If it doesn't crank, turn on the key and press the starter button. If the starter then cranks it suggests it might have magically fixed itself, until next time.

The starter motor itself probably didn't get hurt from cranking with the engine running. The overrunning clutch in the starter drive keeps the engine from over revving the starter motor. But excessive cranking (load) on the starter motor could cause it to overheat and if an armature overheats it could throw solder. Only way to know in that case is to take it apart and inspect it. Probably wouldn't hurt to inspect, clean and lube the starter as a preventative measure.

Best,

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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by foster » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:59 pm

Update:
I rewired the severed cable, ran continuity checks on both the starter switch and the solenoid, no short in either. Decided to temporarily reinstall the battery and see what happens. Normal! Starter works as it should, doesn't continue to crank on as it did this weekend. Everything normal.

Right now I am tempted to believe that the black wire that I found that was loose in the starter relay plug may have been the culprit. I don't have a wiring diagram handy but will try to check that out soon just for my own enlightenment.

While it's in the barn I need to do a fair amount of routine maintenance so I'll go ahead and pull the starter to look for signs of damage, clean, rebuild, repair as necessary. Thanks for all the feedback folks. I love working on this thing and have enjoyed learning about its strange ways.
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by foster » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:03 am

I am definitely going to order and install a cutoff switch.
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Re: Starter would not stop

Post by jaybird » Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:15 am

As has been mentioned, a stuck starter solenoid is usually caused by low battery voltage, so it would be a good idea to check the battery and connections. If it happens, you can usually break the connection with a tap on the starter with a hammer, a wrench, a rock, or whatever else you might have handy. It’s especially likely to happen in the winter/colder weather.
I installed a battery disconnect like the one mentioned above on my GearUp many years ago, I mounted it in the right side, side cover
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Mounting it in that location provides easy access and allowed the use of the factory ground cable so I only needed to fabricate one cable.

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