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Discussion Starter #1
It looks like my solenoid is starting to fail. I found some universal ones on ebay, and I was wondering if anyone has had experience with these. My stock solenoid has a wire that runs to the back of the solednoid, and I don't see that on universal ones. What Im assuming is on the universal solenoid, there is green box with multiple pins. This is where the universal part comes in and I would match the right pin. Sound right?

Thanks,
Joe
 

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Not sure about compatibility, but have posted pics of the 84 wiring diagrams with 2 crops focusing on the starter solenoid/spark controller 2 circuit. @swifty2014 may have some insight here...
From the wiring diagrams, I'm reading a third lead possibly coming from the solenoid and intersecting the wiring to the second spark unit between two diodes. In a different thread there was speculation that this may be a triggering circuit to possibly retard spark during cranking. It may well be that the "generic" solenoids you are looking at lack this third connection, but overall, may not have any adverse effect if eliminated.
@swifty2014, do you want to weigh in on this?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sure about compatibility, but have posted pics of the 84 wiring diagrams with 2 crops focusing on the starter solenoid/spark controller 2 circuit. @swifty2014 may have some insight here...
From the wiring diagrams, I'm reading a third lead possibly coming from the solenoid and intersecting the wiring to the second spark unit between two diodes. In a different thread there was speculation that this may be a triggering circuit to possibly retard spark during cranking. It may well be that the "generic" solenoids you are looking at lack this third connection, but overall, may not have any adverse effect if eliminated.
@swifty2014, do you want to weigh in on this?
To your comment about the Spark controller 2 circuit, I had removed Spark Unit 2 since it was causing my bike not to start. With the universal solenoid, there is a green block which I am assuming is where i would have to figure out which pins would make up the third wire combo
 

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I worked on Japanese cars for years and have found they are pretty tight lipped about design information. I sure would like to know more about that additional spark unit since my 1983 has one and yet the manual shows none till 1984. Very confusing.



But as far as the start solenoid all you need is 2 wires to trigger it. One comes from the ignition start switch (yellow/red) and the other is the grounding side (green/red) through the clutch switch, neutral switch (and kickstand switch on later bikes). If you have the added yellow/red just connect it to the ignition switch power side.
I wonder if that wire is to give full battery voltage to the ignition while cranking, eliminating voltage drops ???
I say that because I know I always have about .7 volt drop to the front as it is. And cranking will increase that.


Anyone remember the old point ignition systems where there was a wire from the start solenoid directly to the coil while cranking? Other wise the coil and distributor had a lowered voltage through a dropping resistor to preserve the points.
Just an idea.
 

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I worked on Japanese cars for years and have found they are pretty tight lipped about design information. I sure would like to know more about that additional spark unit since my 1983 has one and yet the manual shows none till 1984. Very confusing.



But as far as the start solenoid all you need is 2 wires to trigger it. One comes from the ignition start switch (yellow/red) and the other is the grounding side (green/red) through the clutch switch, neutral switch (and kickstand switch on later bikes). If you have the added yellow/red just connect it to the ignition switch power side.
I wonder if that wire is to give full battery voltage to the ignition while cranking, eliminating voltage drops ???
I say that because I know I always have about .7 volt drop to the front as it is. And cranking will increase that.


Anyone remember the old point ignition systems where there was a wire from the start solenoid directly to the coil while cranking? Other wise the coil and distributor had a lowered voltage through a dropping resistor to preserve the points.
Just an idea.

I remember them well.... ballast resistors :-D
 

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Exactly.

Just wonder if that is what that extra yellow/red wire going directly to that extra unit is.

But then again the bikes will run without that unit.

My brain hurts now !
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Exactly.

Just wonder if that is what that extra yellow/red wire going directly to that extra unit is.

But then again the bikes will run without that unit.

My brain hurts now !
I was looking at the wiring diagram and yeah it looks like yellow/red goes to extra spark unit, and it was a bit hard to follow the green to clutch. THis is more like my solenoid https://www.ebay.com/itm/Starter-Relay-Solenoid-Fits-Honda-1100-VT1100C-SHADOW-1989-1996-Motorcycle-NEW/290694691877?epid=2032948274&hash=item43aec0fc25:g:4Z8AAOSwD0lUiFIp:sc:USPSFirstClass!61107!US!-1. Its for a an older VT1100, but im sure it would work either way.
 

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Here is the start circuit on our older bikes.


A starter solenoid is just a big heavy duty electric switch. It handles the big current while being activated by a small current. Any solenoid will do the same thing if it fits where you need it.
 

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Here is the start circuit on our older bikes.
 

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I think you guys have it figured out from the solenoid wiring standpoint. I just came up with a bright idea on the possible function of the 2nd spark unit (that due to the tight-lipped and likely deceased Japanese engineers, probably can't be proved/disproved)...Bikes have a separate switch that actuates the starter. In other words, there is no unitized switch that both controls the ignition and accessories. That said, there is no ignition switch position that kills the accessories while cranking, so whatever is "on", is "on" during cranking the bike. My theory is that since the second spark unit is in parallel with the first unit, you guys are right on with the similar function to the bypass circuit on the old coil resistors. My guess is that the second spark unit is a second set of capacitors that gets brought in as a boosting capacitor discharge unit to boost voltage to the plugs during the load on the battery during cranking. It may even be a "shower of sparks" CDI to aid in cold starts. My guess is that in later models, they eliminated the 2nd unit by increasing the capacitance in the primary units, running a " hotter" ignition full-time. Just my $.02..
 

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So many possibilities. But these older ignitions are called Transistor Ignition systems that replaced the old basic point systems. They used a power transistor to ground the coil negative as the old points used to do.

Then later years came out with an actual CDI system and the service manuals for those show a voltage to the coils over 100 + volts. That was new to me too.
 

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So many possibilities. But these older ignitions are called Transistor Ignition systems that replaced the old basic point systems. They used a power transistor to ground the coil negative as the old points used to do.

Then later years came out with an actual CDI system and the service manuals for those show a voltage to the coils over 100 + volts. That was new to me too.

Remember back in the old days when on any given day in any given parking lot or side street you could watch some car with a dead battery getting push started by their friend in another car?

Then along came alternators and ruined everything. :-D
 

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Yes those were the good old days. Automatic transmissions had a rear pump so you could get it up to about 35 MPH and it would turn the engine to start.

And the good old steel bumpers that when you rear ended someone your front bumper got hooked under their rear bumper , so you would see guys jumping up and down on the bumper to free them. Fun Times !


I saw this picture of a bumper mounted trailer hitch and had a good laugh. Built like a tank.
 

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Yes those were the good old days. Automatic transmissions had a rear pump so you could get it up to about 35 MPH and it would turn the engine to start.

And the good old steel bumpers that when you rear ended someone your front bumper got hooked under their rear bumper , so you would see guys jumping up and down on the bumper to free them. Fun Times !


I saw this picture of a bumper mounted trailer hitch and had a good laugh. Built like a tank.
And the body work was 8ga. and 10ga. "sheet metal" that did a wonderful job of transferring collision energy directly to the passengers.. And "souped up" ignitions were dual-point dual-coil setups to keep up with the demands of balanced and blueprinted engines that would turn (Wow!) 7,000 rpm to move those lead sleds...
 

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ok perhaps late or off track a bit But you can disassemble the new solenoid /relay and re use your old harness ...I did ... I have 86 vt1100 and the start relay was not an exact match wire wise ...
so after purchase from ebay I disassembled the top of mine and new and did the swap ...
worked like a charm....good luck
 

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ok perhaps late or off track a bit But you can disassemble the new solenoid /relay and re use your old harness ...I did ... I have 86 vt1100 and the start relay was not an exact match wire wise ...
so after purchase from ebay I disassembled the top of mine and new and did the swap ...
worked like a charm....good luck
now THAT is something you should have taken pics of!! A few helpful photos to assist those of us who've never seen one dissassembled!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I found a NOS solenoid. Should be here next week. Having some other odd electrical problems. Going to create a new thread for that.
 
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