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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2004 Honda Shadow Aero 750. Had it about a year. I just gave it a wash, and now it won’t start. The lights turn on. I’ve got 12.3 volts coming from the battery with nothing on. I have had it on the battery tender.
Bike did the same thing to me last year, after I washed it for the first time. I replaced the battery, the starter relay, and a used sea foam to clean everything out. Eventually it would start and run well. I’ve put about 4,000 miles on it since then. I’ve even washed it since then.
But this last wash seems to have killed it.
I popped the clutch to start it, went for a ride. Everything was fine. But the starter doesn’t even make a sound. I took it for a second ride by popping the clutch, and this time it would die at idle. I’d have to pop the clutch while riding just to keep it going. Got it back in my garage, where it still sits.
Any ideas?
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Possible the start switch contacts are wet or corroded since it runs and drives after getting the engine running.
 
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Spray carb cleaner around the rubber boots and hoses on the carbs. Maybe a vacuum leak or a hose fell off or split.
Make sure all your battery connections are clean and tight.
Maybe speed the idle up until you figure out anything else causing it.
 
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I was thinking start button too...
BUT???

I need to clean the VTX for John...
Yeah, it is dirty and that switch too,
Dennis

Yeah, it looks like I`ll be riding his more, since my Baby has that oil leak...
A good bath and clean that start switch is on the agenda for the VTX...
 

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Water’s probably shorted out something, but issues like that are just the funnest to track down! Have you tried going over the wires, starter, coils, ignition and other electrical wires and bits with a hairdryer for an extended time? I’ll assume you’ve never ridden it in the rain...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have had my dehumidifier pointed at it for 2 days. I have ridden it in the rain a couple of times, but nothing too wet.
I found a few videos on YouTube about taking the ignition switch apart and cleaning the connections. Those bikes seemed to have the same problem mine does. So I did that. Nothing.
I used my voltmeter to test the power at the starter relay. Power is going to it. Then I test at the ignition, and nothing.I even tested them when pushing in the ignition button. 0 volts.
 

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Do you have the service manual downloaded so you can check the wiring schematic? Were you checking the ignition boxes, or the coils themselves? If you apply power directly to the positive terminal on the starter, does it turn over? (In Neutral, of course! 😉)
 

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Hook you up an external tank so you can view all your elecctrical, coils, plug wires, etc. Start the bike up at night time with the outside lights off. Squirt a mist of water all over the engine, if you have old plug wires, coil wires or a bare wire going to ground you'll see some sparks going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do you have the service manual downloaded so you can check the wiring schematic? Were you checking the ignition boxes, or the coils themselves? If you apply power directly to the positive terminal on the starter, does it turn over? (In Neutral, of course! 😉)
I took apart and cleaned the ignition switch and kill switch on the handlebar. No improvement. I did not see any corrosion, but I cleaned it all anyways. (Now I’m having trouble getting the housing to fit back together, but that’s another issue.) Prior to this I took out the starter coil and did a peremptory external inspection. I did not take it apart.
I have tested the battery and it’s connections. All of fine. The terminals at the starter relay have power. But when I test the terminals at the starter, I get no power (with the ignition switch pressed). The positive terminal on the starter has an intact rubber cover, which is difficult to remove, so I suspect it is in good order.
I’ll take the tank off and visually inspect as much of the wiring as I can. I would expect that since I have had it garage kept and had the dehumidifier pointed at it for several days, if the issue was a shorted or exposed wire, the issue would have resolved itself. I’m afraid it’s a deeper issue, and that the ignition problem is linked with the idling problem, but I’m not a mechanic, so I have no idea.
 

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If you got water in the connector for the starter solenoid, that may be the failure point. Wiggle the big connector on the solenoid while you push the start button.
 
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Those handlebar have a hole & the control housing a peg that fits into that hole, it DOES Line up...
Somewhat of a hassle BUT they DO line up...
Hint, Look for where housing sat originally, you see a line of dirt or discoloration...
Good Luck,
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Those handlebar have a hole & the control housing a peg that fits into that hole, it DOES Line up...
Somewhat of a hassle BUT they DO line up...
Hint, Look for where housing sat originally, you see a line of dirt or discoloration...
Good Luck,
Dennis
Ok. I got this problem fixed. I cleaned the connections with electronic cleaning spray. Now the housing is back on the handlebars - yeah, that little peg and hole lining up was my biggest problem there.
But the bike still won’t start. I’ve ordered a replacement starter solenoid relay. I inspected and cleaned mine, and the fuse looks good, but it still doesn’t seem to want to give any power to the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do you have the service manual downloaded so you can check the wiring schematic? Were you checking the ignition boxes, or the coils themselves? If you apply power directly to the positive terminal on the starter, does it turn over? (In Neutral, of course! 😉)
This was fun. The starter tried, but could not turn over unless I had the choke all the way out. Then it would sputter and whatnot, but could not sustain itself once the choke was pushed back in. I sprayed carb cleaner in and around the air intake.

I’m assuming from this experiment that it’s the starter solenoid relay. But why does my engine die so easily at idle? I had a very similar problem last year when this happened - it would just run real rough. I finally poured some sea foam in the tank, and once that ran through, it seemed to solve the problem. But I never figured out what the problem was.
 

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Sounds like the starter is cranking at least. So the solenoid is doing it's job.
Now go to the fuel problem.
Turn the idle speed higher to see if you can get it to stay running, then look for vacuum leaks, etc.
Turn the idle mixture screw out 1 turn to see how that works. Then adjust for the fastest, smoothest idle and turn down the speed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sounds like the starter is cranking at least. So the solenoid is doing it's job.
Now go to the fuel problem.
Turn the idle speed higher to see if you can get it to stay running, then look for vacuum leaks, etc.
Turn the idle mixture screw out 1 turn to see how that works. Then adjust for the fastest, smoothest idle and turn down the speed.
Yup. That was my problem with the idle. I had fiddled with the idle adjustment days ago, not knowing that’s what it was. I just adjusted it back to normal, and the bike stayed running.
So, I think all of my problems are fixed. I have a new starter solenoid coming tomorrow, and that should fix that problem (fingers crossed). To get the bike to start, I just bypassed the solenoid by connecting the positive line from the battery directly to the line going to the starter.
Thanks a ton you guys! I have read so many posts on this forum to help me, and this was my first time asking for help. I really appreciate y’all sticking with me. Ride on!!
 

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Good one. Heh, just to clarify terms, though, the starter was able to ‘turn over’ the engine. But the engine wouldn’t ‘start’ or ‘run’ at first. When you said the engine wouldn’t turn over, I was thinking the starter couldn’t turn it at all. Until you mentioned the choke... 😉
 

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Yeah, once our Gurus get onto something, We DO NOT Quit!
Until it`s fixed ;)

Good To GO,
Dennis
Lets RIDE
 
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