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Thread: My gs450L starter motor does not respond

  1. #1
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    Default My gs450L starter motor does not respond

    I have not ridden my 450 in many months because it wouldn't start but now that it is warm ... I want to fix the starter problem. I ordered a starter motor repair kit with new brushes, etc. for $14.

    Last fall, the 450 was running just fine and then I suddenly had a starter motor issue. I could hear the starter relay clicking ... but no starter motor spinning. My assumption is a bad starter and I want to pull it and apply 12 volts to it directly to see if my assumptions are correct .... UNLESS there is a better way to determine starter motor condition in the engine case?

    THE BIG QUESTION IS: On the 450L model, do I have to loosen the 2 carbs and tilt them up (or take them off) to get clearance for the removal of the starter motor? I have taken the carbs off 2 to 3 times previously (for cleaning) .... and would love not to do it again if not needed!
    Dennco2
    1985 GS450
    Stock condition and a work in progress


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    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    put the bike in neutral and just short the solenoid across the two big bolts with a screw driver...that'll test starter.

    OR take one step back in the system and apply + voltage with a piece of handy insulated wire from Battery + to where you see a yellow/green striped wire connected to solenoid..this'll test solenoid and starter together which will leave you with bad connections or bad switches at button and clutch-safety switch.

    all that said, a weak battery can be your problem too...check water level in a wet battery, charge it .. Sealed batteries are a slightly different animal. But they die too.

    it's been awhile but I think for sure the cam-chain tensioner will want to come off to get the starter out... I don't remember removing carbs.
    Last edited by Gorminrider; 07-21-2019 at 08:47 PM.

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    all that said, a weak battery can be your problem too...check water level in a wet battery, charge it .. Sealed batteries are a slightly different animal. But they die too.
    Agreed, start with the basics and work your way from there, if the battery is good then go to the starter relay jump test Gorminrider mentioned.

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    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    yes-I should have put battery first maybe...it can make the solenoid click but poop out when the starter makes its big demand.

    .. AND then there's "ground"- always, the "grounds"...your solenoid grounds through the base plate then to frame then to battery neg so be sure that it is cleanly bolted to the frame. ....the clutch safety switch and starter button and on These bikes, the kill switch too are all inline to deliver + through the solenoid coil and finally to ground.

  5. #5
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    So far, I have charged the 2 year old battery and I get 12.44 volts. I tried to short a screw driver across the relay terminals .... no spark. I think I momentarily shorted the + to some other nearby metal and got a big spark. I tried to short the terminals with a long insulated wire with small clamps on both ends ... and no spark with ignition ON or OFF. Then with the ignition ON, I pressed the starter button and could hear and feel the relay working, but the clicking sound seemed weak. Nothing so far even budges the starter motor.

    So why is my attempts to short the relay leads not working? Why does the starter button seem to be delivering voltage to the relay .... but nothing to the starter motor?
    Dennco2
    1985 GS450
    Stock condition and a work in progress


  6. #6
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    Previously, I remember removing the starter relay and cleaning up the mounting plate and screw areas ... with the intention of improving the ground to frame. I don't suspect that as a problem but will take it off again if you think it is a problem.
    Dennco2
    1985 GS450
    Stock condition and a work in progress


  7. #7
    Redman's Avatar
    Redman is offline Forum LongTimer Past Site Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennco2 View Post
    So far, I have charged the 2 year old battery and I get 12.44 volts. I tried to short a screw driver across the relay terminals .... no spark. I think I momentarily shorted the + to some other nearby metal and got a big spark. I tried to short the terminals with a long insulated wire with small clamps on both ends ... and no spark with ignition ON or OFF. Then with the ignition ON, I pressed the starter button and could hear and feel the relay working, but the clicking sound seemed weak. Nothing so far even budges the starter motor.
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    All good test.
    Seem to be pointing the the starter motor not being a starter motor any more.

    You mentioned having a voltmeter, so for a final test: Take the cover off the starter motor cavity, so have access to the cable to the starter motor. Test for voltage at the starter motor termional when try to start it.
    If have voltage at the starter motor termional, but no cranking, then you know everything else is okay and the starter motor is not a starter motor anymore.
    Check th voltage with the meter negitive on the battery-, and then again with it on the engine cases just to verify the engine case is grounded.

    Also: I am kinda wondering how you knew to get a 2 brush rebuild kit OR a 4 brush rebuild kit without habeing taken out the starter.


    Quote Originally Posted by dennco2 View Post
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    . . . . . . . . Why does the starter button seem to be delivering voltage to the relay .... but nothing to the starter motor?
    Do you actually know is not voltage at the starter...? Or just saying that because starter doesnt turn....?




    Quote Originally Posted by dennco2 View Post
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    So why is my attempts to short the relay leads not working? ....
    Beacuse the starter motor is not a starter motor. Is no path for the current to flow. Probably brushes worn so short that they are not making contact with anything.

    Had 850G for 14 years. Now have GK since 2005.
    GK at IndyMotoGP Suzuki Display... ... GK on GSResources Page ... ... Euro Trash Ego Machine .. ..3 mo'cykls.



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    Redman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennco2 View Post
    Previously, I remember removing the starter relay and cleaning up the mounting plate and screw areas ... with the intention of improving the ground to frame. I don't suspect that as a problem but will take it off again if you think it is a problem.
    You say the solenoid is clicking when push the button, so the solenoid must have a ground or it would not even click.

    Had 850G for 14 years. Now have GK since 2005.
    GK at IndyMotoGP Suzuki Display... ... GK on GSResources Page ... ... Euro Trash Ego Machine .. ..3 mo'cykls.



  9. #9
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    I tried to apply 12 volts directly to the starter motor bolt terminal with the cover off and ground to the starter case. Nothing happened. So after pulling the cam chain tensioner off I was able to pull the starter motor out with 2 bolts and slide out. I pulled the motor apart and nothing looked bad. The brushes looked like about 25% worn. The commutator surface was black and coated. I sanded that caked on junk with 1000 grit and then installed the starter motor rebuild kit but mostly just the 2 brushes and new plate. I had trouble getting it back together but finally got it and applied 12 volts. Again nothing! No spinning. The motor seems to be difficult to turn over by hand.

    I checked my leads to make sure they were carrying current and they were. Apparently I have a dead starter armature?? How do I confirm my suspicions? Looks like I have to buy a good used one on Ebay?
    Dennco2
    1985 GS450
    Stock condition and a work in progress


  10. #10
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    12.44v on a freshly charged battery isn't good, you might want to pull it out and have it load tested. Pretty much any place that sells batteries should be able to do this for you.

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