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Ok like stated in previous post, I restore nighthawks, magna's, sabre's and from time to time shadows. One thing I have noticed with the shadows from this time frame is they are so freaking hard to start if the voltage drops just then tinyest bit.

I once even saw a guy riding a 83 750C with a jump box strapped to the sissy seat and yes of course he was always jump starting his bike.

On the last shadow I had worked on, I had to get the starter rebuilt and a brand new Yuasa battery just to take as much load off the battery for it to start.

Well now I have accquired another shadow with the same exact problem again. I have no idea how or what kind of condition the starter is in, but I know the battery is not 100%

One quick fix that I did on the last one as a plan B was I jumped the clutch switch and if in the event the engine wouldn't start, while it was turning over you could put it in gear bump the clutch and it would start every single time this way. It is like there is not enough voltage getting to the ICU packs.

Has anyone ever figured this problem out ??

Thanks
 

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fiero
You're right about the inadequate voltage supply from the "T" batteries. I hadn't thought of rebuilding the starter to help lessen the starting load on the battery. You only get four or five chances at starting these bikes and then the voltage is too low to get the job done. Figure out a way to get rid of the wet cell lead acid "T" style battery and replace with a stronger one, at a reasonable cost, and the old shadow owners will beat a path to your door. Other than that keeping the bike well maintained and the battery fully charged are the only options I see.
 

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I pull the side cover, loosen the airbox screws, and squirt a little starter fluid in there after start #3, because I know that it'll croak. And that's with a NEW Yuasa T batt. last season.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
re:

Rebuilding the starter does make a HUGE and I mean HUGE difference.

I was thinking that the circuit cuts the headlight off when you hit the starter button, but what about the two blinker front lights that stay on at all times. That is a voltage pull on the system.

Its funny even the Kawasaki Vulcan 750's have the same issue with starting.

The new Yuasa CX battery claims to have 30% more cranking amps than your average battery so I wonder if its true or not.

I did buy a brand new part unlimited normal battery today and so far I have tried starting the bike 14 times today and it has started every time, so maybe this is a good thing.

I will still work on doing more research on this issue.
 

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Re: 83-86 VT750 and VT700 hard starting issue's Need Wiz Mec

fiero880 said:
It is like there is not enough voltage getting to the ICU packs.
Clean the “engine stop switch”. Unlike a kill switch, it must have current thru it. Battery voltage drops when the starter is cranking and if the engine stop switch is dirty, the voltage to the ignition drops even more.

I by-passed the engine stop switch on my 85 VT1100 and my starting problem went away. I started using the Yuasa YTZ14-S and my battery problem went away.
 

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I had nothing but trouble with the Tshaped batteries and finally bought a tiny sealed unit that fits nicely in the battery compartment of my 83 750 Shadow. Most of my starting problems stemmed from the starter motor. Which was a bitch to troubleshoot because when I removed the starter and hooked it up to a charger it worked fine. I couldn't see that it lacked the power to turn anything until I was told to hold it like a Dremel tool and jam the spline of it onto the edge of a 2X4. If it eats it up it's good, if it stalls it's bad. Also don't hold down the starter button for more than 5 seconds before backing off the button and let the capacitors recharge for 10. A motorcycle mechanic that I took my bike to for topend work cranked the engine like he was starting an old Chrysler. The systems are not the same. I do notice that my bike starts with a TOUCH of the starter button with new plugs, even though the "old" plugs look very nice.
 

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Steve157 said:
I had nothing but trouble with the Tshaped batteries and finally bought a tiny sealed unit that fits nicely in the battery compartment of my 83 750 Shadow. Most of my starting problems stemmed from the starter motor. Which was a bitch to troubleshoot because when I removed the starter and hooked it up to a charger it worked fine. I couldn't see that it lacked the power to turn anything until I was told to hold it like a Dremel tool and jam the spline of it onto the edge of a 2X4. If it eats it up it's good, if it stalls it's bad. Also don't hold down the starter button for more than 5 seconds before backing off the button and let the capacitors recharge for 10. A motorcycle mechanic that I took my bike to for topend work cranked the engine like he was starting an old Chrysler. The systems are not the same. I do notice that my bike starts with a TOUCH of the starter button with new plugs, even though the "old" plugs look very nice.
Steve, what make/model battery did you find to fit the battery holder? What capacitors?
Enquiring minds want to know. :D
 

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Daver84 said:
Steve157 said:
I had nothing but trouble with the Tshaped batteries and finally bought a tiny sealed unit that fits nicely in the battery compartment of my 83 750 Shadow. Most of my starting problems stemmed from the starter motor. Which was a bitch to troubleshoot because when I removed the starter and hooked it up to a charger it worked fine. I couldn't see that it lacked the power to turn anything until I was told to hold it like a Dremel tool and jam the spline of it onto the edge of a 2X4. If it eats it up it's good, if it stalls it's bad. Also don't hold down the starter button for more than 5 seconds before backing off the button and let the capacitors recharge for 10. A motorcycle mechanic that I took my bike to for topend work cranked the engine like he was starting an old Chrysler. The systems are not the same. I do notice that my bike starts with a TOUCH of the starter button with new plugs, even though the "old" plugs look very nice.
Steve, what make/model battery did you find to fit the battery holder? What capacitors?
Enquiring minds want to know. :D
Yeah, I'd like to know too!
Tried to get my '84 700 going a couple days ago.
It caught and ran for about 5 seconds and then died.
I ran down the battery trying to get it going again, even hooked up cables to my car (with the car off) and tried to crank some more.
Even taking breaks after a few seconds the starter began cranking slower and slower.
I gave up, pulled out the battery and will try again once this fresh foot of snow melts.
-K
 

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Daver84 said:
Steve, what make/model battery did you find to fit the battery holder? What capacitors?
Enquiring minds want to know. :D
He probably meant the coils. They are not capacitors, but sorta act like one.
There are two coils inside the ignition coil... a primary and secondary.
The primary energizes and when supply is removed from it, it collapses and
that energizes the second coil which sends voltage to the plug.

The amount of time the coils build up a charge or saturate is called dwell.

When you have a weak battery, sometimes the primary coil doesn't
get saturated fully and when it collapses, the secondary doesn't get a full
spark to the plug. Sometimes letting it sit with the ignition in the ON position
will let the coil energize.
 

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My bike usually starts up easily--once the starter actually cranks. Most of the time when the bike is cold, I just get a 'click.' Could this be the starter, the solenoid, or what? I use a battery tender charger on it, and I pulled apart the start/kill switches and cleaned everything up, but no real change. Has anybody ever had to add fluid to their battery?
 

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Litnin, good point regarding the ignition coils. I was kinda wondering if he thought these were capacitor discharge ignitions.

jtm-45/dr504, Maybe poor ground connection at the battery or frame. The click is the starter relay operating but the starter relay contacts could be arc burned causing a high resistance contact and not supply enough juice to turn the starter. Or the starter itself could use a rebuild. As far as battery fluid I found on the '84 I did need to top up the battery occasionally.
 

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The little battery that I bought to replace the T shape in my 83 750 Shadow is YUASA part number YTZ14S and it was shown in the catalog at the motorcycle dealer where I bought it as a replacement for the T. The YUASA website shows other models of Shadow for that battery but no model is shown below the year 1988. It is a sealed AGM battery. I bought it 09-28-06...so far so good.
Now...on the subject of CAPACITORS I quote my Clymer:
"Direct current charges the capacitor. As the piston approaches the firing position, a pulse from the pulse generator coil triggers the silicone controlled rectifier. The rectifier in turn allows the capacitor to discharge quickly into the primary circuit of the ignition coil, where the voltage is stepped up in the secondary circuit to a value sufficient to fire the spark plugs."

WHERE the "silicone controlled rectifier" is beats the **** out of me. It is shown on the wiring diagram but not on the schematic. It is NOT the voltage rectifier below my left side cover, it is something else.

NOW, it seems the capacitors are INSIDE the spark units. They are the only things between the coils and the pulse generators.
 

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Yo Steve157

I got an 85 VT700C that is undergoing some surgery. With the new battery, would you say there is enough room to stash the 2 Ignition packs that are typically under the passenger seat? (I am custom fabbing a new rear fender) Either under the new battery in the former battery's T-slot, or above it? THX, ~Doug
 

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There is certainly no room above the battery, the little AGM is the same size as the T without the lower portion. Without the lower portion there is not enough space to fit the igniters without modifications to the battery rack.
 

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Daver84, thanks for the info. I took off the seat and checked the frame ground, and it was solid. I went ahead and unbolted it, shined up all the surfaces with some sandpaper, and put it back--no change. I know the battery connections are good because I already checked those.

Should I pull out the solenoid and try to clean the contacts on that?

BTW--I found the above mentioned AGM battery for $108 online, if anyone was interested. Sounds like a good deal to me!
 

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jtm-45/dr504 said:
Daver84, thanks for the info. I took off the seat and checked the frame ground, and it was solid. I went ahead and unbolted it, shined up all the surfaces with some sandpaper, and put it back--no change. I know the battery connections are good because I already checked those.

Should I pull out the solenoid and try to clean the contacts on that?

BTW--I found the above mentioned AGM battery for $108 online, if anyone was interested. Sounds like a good deal to me!
I would suggest you take the starter out and give it the "Dremel Test." I had a hell of a time troubleshooting when I got that dreaded CLICK. I replaced the solenoid, battery, cleaned the ground, etc....all because when I tested the starter out of the bike with a charger the starter turned, making me think it was good. Then someone told me the Dremel trick and it showed the starter to lack the power to turn the engine. I changed the starter and had no problems.
I had the same starting problems a few months later...clicking solenoid. The starter was bad and was rebuilt under warranty. I was told moisture had entered the starter. The price of cleanliness.
 

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Steve157 said:
Now...on the subject of CAPACITORS I quote my Clymer:
"Direct current charges the capacitor. As the piston approaches the firing position, a pulse from the pulse generator coil triggers the silicone controlled rectifier. The rectifier in turn allows the capacitor to discharge quickly into the primary circuit of the ignition coil, where the voltage is stepped up in the secondary circuit to a value sufficient to fire the spark plugs."
By golly you're right. Thats what the Clymer says. Now here's the thing. The Honda factory manual says the '83 to '85 has a Transistorized Ignition. If you check both manuals further you will find that when performing a charging system current test the Clymer inserts the ammeter in series with the 30 amp main fuse tap off the battery, with the bike off and then restart bike to test current draw. The Factory manual has you disconnect the positive battery post, with the engine running, and connect the ammeter in series with the positive cable and the battery positive post to test current draw. Both procedures make sense for the indicated type of ignition but which one is correct? I would lean toward the factory manual over the Clymer. Has anyone push started their Shadow with a dead battery? I don't think you can with a capacitor discharge ignition as it requires the battery to charge the capacitor.
My son's Shadow isn't put together yet (probably wouldn't start in this weather anyway) or I'd try it myself. Anyone got some answers?
 

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Daver84 said:
By golly you're right. Thats what the Clymer says. Now here's the thing. The Honda factory manual says the '83 to '85 has a Transistorized Ignition.
I think I'd have to go with the factory manual.

Clymer's is better than some of the others, but they have been known
to have information that is flat out wrong, just like the others have.
 
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