Electrical problem 94' Vulcan 500, PLEASE HELP! - Big Jimmy's Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-04-2009, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Electrical problem/ wont start Vulcan 500, PLEASE HELP!

1994 Vulcan (EN) 500

The other day after an hour ride i went to start my bike again and got no power what so ever, i immediatly checked my junction box and a section of fuses were burned and the junction box it self melted all the way through. I replaced the Junction box and the fuses. When I turn the key still got no electricity. I then opend up my ingnition switch to find that it was not getting a strong connection and had shorted out on one of the metal connectors (that explains the melted juntion box) when the key was in the "on" position. I then pressed it together and got electricity and the bike started right up. however i had no way of keeping the connection in order to get the bike home. Because i had to replace the ignition switch any way, i cut the wires and tried to hot wire the bike (was not the smartest idea). when i tried hotwirein the bike i connected the Blue and Red wire together and the white brown together. i got electricity however the second i press the "start" switch the bike tried starting (cranking but not turing over) and keep on trying to start even when i was not pressing the switch. i disconnected the wires. The next day i was able to find a new ignition switch for my bike, i hooked it up turned the key and got nothing (due to the battery being dead after draining its self out). I then tried to jump the bike and this is what happens

Even with the ignition in the "off" position when i touch the + battery cable to the + terminal it sparks and tries to start the bike (yet again cranking but not turing over). when i turn the key into the "ON" position and touch the + terminal i get the same sparking and trying to turn over, the only difference is with the key in the "on" position i have electricity and if i hold the cable on the + terminal it will spark, try to start, and the alarm with make sounds.

I am looking for even a quick fix just to get the bike started once to get it home (about 30 min) because the parking garage called and told me they will tow the bike if it is not moved tomorrow.

I would tow it but money is very tight right now and i need to save up what i have to actually fix the bike being it is my only mode of tranportaion.

Last edited by seth539; 12-04-2009 at 05:35 PM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-04-2009, 09:01 PM
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Well, the starting thing without pressing the button tells me the either something is miswired, or melted through and shorted. Power to the starter should only be engaged when the start button is pressed, but you would have power to the ignition system to fire the plugs. If it turns over when applying power, then you're putting power to the starter, possibly in addition to the ignition system.

Do you have a volt meter, or continuty checker? First thing I'd do is grab a pic of the wiring diagram for the bike, and take my meter and start checking wiring. Sometimes, particularly in a short situation, the wiring can get hot enough to melt through the insulation and make a dead short with the copper in the wire next to it. If you find a bundle of wires that are tied together or close bundled, I'd split that open and take a look and see if that's where the problem is. In general, wiring shorts caused by heat/melting is usually located wherever the wires are in close proximity, usually a corner, etc.

Do this without the battery connected though - no sense it making things worse. Once you can establish that the wire to the starter is not shorted to anything else, then you can move on to the starting problem. I suspect that if you find whatever is causing the starter to turn and clear that, your other problems may be fixed, or at least, you'll know where to look.

That may not be much help, and someone else may have a better idea, but from what I understood, that's where I'd start at. I don't know anything specific to Vulcan's, but your problem sounds like general wiring rather than bike specific.

Randy (WyldStreak aka "Grumpy")
'86 ZL600
I ride an Eliminator. What you got?

Last edited by wyldstreak; 12-04-2009 at 09:05 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2009, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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thanks alot ill try it out. as of now im just trying to get the bike started once to get it out of the parking garage so i can get it to my mechanic. i know the basics when it comes to bikes/cars but electrical stuff ive never worked with before. is it possible that it is my bike alarm that wont let the bike turn over? because when the switch is "on" and i touch the battery terminal the alarm makes noise while it is trying to turn over
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-06-2009, 05:06 PM
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Sure, it's possible. Does the alarm disable the bike, so it won't start? Some on autos do, I don't know about bike alarms.

I'd more likely suspect the melted wiring issue, perhaps melted into a ground wire. If you have a melted power wire, and that power wire is shorted to a ground wire, or a ground of any kind, then you're putting power backwards into the grounding system of the item in question, and that can cause all kinds of oddities. Direct Current(DC) voltage travels in only one direction - or it's supposed to. It flows like water, from the source to the drain. If you back up that drain, and we've all had some experience with that, then you can imagine what might happen with electrical power.

It's hard to guess at, there are a number of possibilities that could be the problem. From your description, I'm not entirely sure you'll be able to get it started without causing significantly more damage along the way. It could be OK, too - there's just no way to tell for sure without being there and going through it.

Randy (WyldStreak aka "Grumpy")
'86 ZL600
I ride an Eliminator. What you got?
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