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Bike doesn't start in cold weather

Discussion in 'XJ Technical Chat' started by Joshua Olkowski, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    Which brings up another question.
    @Joshua Olkowski: Are you measuring battery voltage at idle, or at 3,000 RPM right after starting?
    The way to test charting voltage is to measure right after starting the bike, so the battery needs to be charged. If you're measuring after riding for 15 minutes all you'll ever see at the battery is the fully-charged state. At that point the voltage regulator will dump the excess voltage to ground so it can be turned into heat instead of over-charging the battery.
     
  2. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    I'll try what you ask but should everything be this complicated?
    I'll tell you what happened today. I went out for a ride on a fully charged battery and a new regulator rectifier. The voltmeter pointed at 14volts as it usually does in the beginning of a ride. After 20 minutes the volt meter started to waver and was barely going past 12volts. When I got home I measured the battery and it read 12.5 volts. About 3 hours later I went out for another ride. I measured the battery before I left and it was still at 12.5. At the beginning of the ride the voltmeter was pointing just below 14volts but eventually after 20 minutes the same thing happened and it was barely making it past 12 volts again. When I arrived home I measured the battery and this time I got 12.19 volts. There you have it. I changed out the stator and the regulator. Same problem is still happening. I can say that since the weather is a little chilly the bike stays at 14+volts longer then it does in the hotter months. I also checked the ohms on the rotor after the first ride and it read 6.7ohms. Is it suppose to be out of spec when the components are hot?
    To add insult to injury now, the motor is starting to sound bad. The loose change sound is starting to sound like A LOT more loose change. I just can't get a break on this thing.
     
  3. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    Remember that the bike does charge for the first 20 minutes and THEN goes down. So, I'm guessing this is not a brushes problem if it's doing it's job in the beginning of a ride but not after 20 minutes.
     
  4. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    70 degrees is the optimum temp to measure components. measuring when hot is when you look for open circuits/failed connections

    recheck your work on stator and rotor bolt may be loose

    have you adjusted the cam chain tensioner?

    550s have a sound at idle turn idle up to 1200 rpm and make sure your oil is toped off. you may be hearing primary chain due to oil preasure.
     
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  5. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    Right when I start the bike, it's fine. 20 minutes later it's not. Let me ask this: if the charging system is working and I go out for a ride and the battery reads 12.5 volts before I go out on the ride and then when I arrive home it reads 12.19 volts. Is this normal?
    In the past I have started the bike without fully charging the battery and it will still put out 14+volts in the beginning and then slowly go down again. In other words, whether the battery is charged or not it will still do the same song and dance of charging at 14+volts in the beginning and then dropping down after 20minutes.
     
  6. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    Your charging system is supposed to maintain 12 volts , and 12 volts is your battery voltage. If your charging system put out 15 volts constant it would cook your battery this is one reason for a voltage regulator . Should I be worried I had a battery tender on my bike , and it read 13.0 volts and started bike and battery read 12.5 volts ...short answer is NO ! If i were to ride and after 1 hour my bike died and voltage read 10 volts then yes there is a problem this was what happened to my 82 Honda CB 750 custom did . The charging system was kaput, I still say yours is working , I know you are frustrated seen from your posts , sometimes it is best to take a deep breath and not worry about things . :cool:
     
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  7. Polock

    Polock Well-Known Member

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    what would you like the voltage to be after a half hour ride?
     
  8. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    12.7 or more
     
  9. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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  10. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    Will bad clutch plates make the engine sound bad. The bike is starting to sound horrible. I don't really know how to describe the sound. It still idles fine and you don't hear that sound. Only when you start riding the bike. It's starting to get harder to find neutral at stop signs as the clutches sticks really bad. I've already adjusted the clutch cable. Where would be a good place to start?
     
  11. Polock

    Polock Well-Known Member

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    Budapest Hungary
     
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  12. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    I never said it put out 15 volts. According to the manual it says when you rev the bike to 2000rpms it should read 14.5 volts of charging output when you connect to the battery terminals. Is there a place where it says after 20 minutes of riding your charging output will only put out 12.5 volts? I wonder if I'm being clear. If you say it's not charging, why is my bike now down to 11.7volts after a ride today? It just gets lower and lower after each ride unless I connect it to a charger the night before and I don't want to do that anymore. If you say it works then you better come out to LA and prove it to me.
     
  13. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    Okay tiger , looks like you put in a stator, and voltage regulator , the only other item is the ROTOR perhaps you should look there next
     
  14. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    Yes, I checked it and it reads fine. But now the motor is starting to sound rough on acceleration. Still idles great. My uncle and I took the top end down to the jugs a couple months ago and we discovered the plunger to the cam chain was missing. We replaced it and the engine sounds fine but now the loose change chatter has gotten louder like the engine is working harder. Is it possible that after the engine has been working out it's own kinks if the cam chain tensioner might need one more adjustment. Also, the clutch sticks really bad when I try to put it in neutral at a stop light. I already adjusted the clutch cable. How do you know when you need to replace the clutch plates?
     
  15. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    clutches making noise as you described need to be looked into pull the cover. there is oil under the cover. clutch repair inspection instructions described in link below

    sticks as in it does not release when you squeeze the clutch. by that I mean if your in first gear clutch pulled and the bike keeps rolling?
    is there a lot of slack in the clutch cable at the clutch housing end of cable?.
    do you have 3 mm play at the clutch lever (gap between perch and lever )?




    read this about how to replace clutch
    CLUTCHES 101-Part 1: the 400/550/600s with pics
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  16. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    Right, it sticks when I pull the clutch I still can't shift from 1st to neutral but only when I'm stopped. It shifts fine when I ride. I already messed around with the cable. I tightened it to within spec and I just can't pull it up from 1st to neutral. Again, this is when I'm stopped. Thanks for the read up.
     
  17. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    more questions
    1 jams up in 1st at a stop?
    or can you shift up to second when you cannot get neutral?
     
  18. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    Well, both. I'd say about a third of the time it's jammed in 1st and can't move it. Another third it's as you described where it will go into second but can't find neutral. And the rest of the time it's working okay.
     
  19. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    Back to the rotor it is possible the windings which are encased in shellac are breaking down when engine heats up . Try to focus on fixing one problem first ...I can tell you are getting frustrated go slow you will figure it out.
     
  20. Joshua Olkowski

    Joshua Olkowski Member

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    Okay. The rotor ohms out okay. How else do I check it?
     

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