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Re: [TriumphTrophy] Re: 1991 Trophy 1200 starting problems

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  • Ed Johnson
    Thanks Nigel; You cleared this up much better than I could have. I have not made myself clear in my posts that the voltage drop is in the loom not to the
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 20, 2013
      Thanks Nigel;
          You cleared this up much better than I could have. I have not made myself clear in my posts that the voltage drop is in the loom not to the starter itself. As you describe, the relay which is really a solenoid connects the full voltage of the battery to the starter motor and it spins happily! The positive cable from the battery has two wires, The heavy cable that goes to the starter solenoid and another smaller wire that feeds + voltage into the rest of the components hooked to the loom or harness as it is called.
          Unlike most American beasts I have worked on; Triumph feeds a + voltage to most components at all times. Then they rely on a grounding system to complete the circuit. American manufactures do just the opposite. [ In the old days anyway! :-[ ] They ground everything and then shoot a + voltage to whatever they want to operate. Having said that; Here is my problem (s): As I said, the voltage to spin the starter is fine. The voltage going through the loom drops a tremendous amount before getting to the critical areas of our bikes. As Gordon discovered for me, he is getting the same voltage at the relay contacts of the starter solenoid as he is from the battery! [ Being in the UK he also has the option of not turning on his headlights so he not even getting the voltage drop of the lights being on.] Big Brother in both places have decided that we are all a bunch of idiots who would not only be smart enough to turn on our headlights but also would try to start the engine while in gear without pulling the clutch and would also attempt to drive off with the side stand down. So to circumvent these mental failings from happening they ingeniously have created this web of "SAFETY FEATURES" that must all be their proper stead before the machines can operate. This is all well a good as long as everything works properly as those of us who are ignorant enough to ride motorcycles manage not to injure ourselves by our obvious lack of comment sense. [ Which these days I consider a contradiction of terms. :-) ] However! If a failure occurs anywhere in this spider web of inter connected paths to ground we wind up with the starter motor getting full voltage but the coils and ignitor that actually make the machine operate are forced to operate in less than ideal conditions which is where my quandary rears it's ugly head! This is all due to the "God's of Electrikory" who have injected the all too famous "intermittent" that has driven electronic trouble shooters to drink for many years. My bike will sometimes start with the clutch released while in neutral and sometimes it won't! Not a real big issue on my part as I feel the clutch SHOULD be released while starting to avoid spinning a lot parts about that are not require for the engine to merely start! But that's not the point! The point is that somewhere in this spiderweb of safety features I have an intermittent ground which I believe is reducing the available voltage to my coils, ignitor, or both! I chose the starter relay contacts to check first because they are handy to the battery. In all honesty I have not pulled the tank and checked the voltage at the coils [Which are new BTW] nor have I pulled the nose cone to check the voltage at the ignitor. Mainly because when my SO sees the shop covered with motorcycle parts again she will know there is something more awry and be even more fearful of my returning should I leave the yard on this much valued machine. O:-)
          This doesn't even go into the fact that it is almost impossible to tell if a Trophy is flooded or starved for fuel when she doesn't start basically because by the time you crank her enough to find out she is not going to start, you have used up enough of the Cold Cranking Amps in the battery that the bike will turn over but may not fire the ignition.
          I'll spare you the details of the vacuum operated fuel tap with the knob that turns but may not be turning anything and the vacuum line that may not be sucking!
          So Yes Chris! There is INDEED a simple reason why your bike is hard to start. You just have to simply find it! :-\

      The above was all written in jest and is not intended to offend anyone! Only to relieve my own frustration!
          It is currently 62° and fair skies here in Florida and I must now decide whether to go for a ride [After I jump start it!] or tear the bike apart again! 8-)

      Ed J. 2001Triumph Trophy BBBB
      On 2/20/2013 7:49 AM, nigelpk@... wrote:
      Greg I agree, the diagrams are difficult to follow when relays are involved. Let me help try to clarify. The starter relay has nothing to do with the supply to the starter. It merely disconnects the supply to the lights when you press the starter button. It is the solenoid that carries the current to the starter. The big lead from battery to starter is only interrupted by the solenoid. The solenoid is really a heavy duty relay in that a small load is required to pulls an electomagnet in which connects two big contacts together to energise the starter. Providing the solenoid is not clicking (which would indicate proper contact has not been made) the starter will get full battery voltage even if there are low voltages in other circuits as in eds case. The relay is not really part of the starter circuit but merely fed a supply from the low current side of the solenoid. Good luck with those carbs.

      Cheers nigel
      99 BBBB nwuk
      Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

      From: "Greg" <gandrews@...>
      Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 11:39:39 -0000
      Subject: [TriumphTrophy] Re: 1991 Trophy 1200 starting problems


      Hi Ed,
      Electronics have always been a sort of mystery to me. I can follow a schematic, but soon as the current goes into a relay or junction box the mystery begins. As you know I am no stranger to working on our bikes, but me taking out the battery box hasn't been done in a few years. That is where the positive cable is hidden and doesn't it go directly to the starter relay?

      I think Samuel has a good point. Try replacing the the positive cable from the battery to the starter relay. Cheap fix. I grew up in Southern California and rust was a rarity on cars except those from the beach, Malibu and such. Salt air is tough on electrics.

      I also have an infrared thermometer, was it Bob who used it to help him turn the air screws? If one of the header pipes is 100 degrees different than the others that was the cylinder that got adjusted. What a great idea. Too bad exhaust gas sniffers are so expensive.

      I have taken the eBay Mikuni's off and will do a strip down and soak. So the Keihin's are back on. I went up a notch in main jet size 120's to 122.5 It helped at the top end.

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