Hi, Tim you turn on the ignition switch press the starter button and all you get is the dreaded "CLICK" or "CLUNK" now before testing any electrical component in the Starter System it is "IMPERATIVE" that you have a fully charged battery of 12.5 volts or more and be able to pass a proper "LOAD" test if necessary, you may have a preliminary reading of 12.5 volts or more but little or zero amperage, the battery is faulty and must be replaced. AGM type batteries fall into this scenario more so than lead-acid batteries. Depending on battery voltage starter relays and starter solenoids can make the same noise when you hit the starter button. You can easily determine which one is at fault by the following two simple tests:
STARTER RELAY- place your thumb and index finger on the starter relay and press the starter button, if you feel the click then the relay is faulty and needs to be replaced.
STARTER SOLENOID- bridge the positive and negative poles of the solenoid with a small screwdriver if you get a loud clunk then the solenoid needs to be rebuilt or replaced as necessary. If the engine turns over then replace the starter relay otherwise the usual suspects for a faulty starter solenoid are:
1. Battery terminals have loose or corroded connections.
2. Battery cables faulty due corroded or broken internal wiring at the cable connector especially the "NEGATIVE" cable which needs to be checked at "BOTH" ends.
3. Battery voltage, must be 12.5 volts or better, voltage from the battery to the main circuit breaker to the ignition switch to the security/ignition fuse to the TSM/TSSM module to the engine stop/run switch to the starter button to the starter relay to the green wire that connects to the starter solenoid must not drop more than 1/2 volt of battery voltage.
4. Disconnect spark plug cables, with a voltmeter connected to the battery, the ignition switch in the on position, the kill switch in the run position, the starter button depressed, starter engagement should not bring voltage below 9.6 volts DC. If the voltage is below 9.6 the battery is faulty and must be replaced. I "HIGHLY" recommend a maintenance free AGM battery typically they have more amperage for cranking.
5. Faulty starter relay, check continuity.
6. Faulty starter solenoid, check contact plate and shoes for excessive electrical erosion/etching, refurbish as necessary or invert contact plate and use the virgin backside. Check contact shoes for being loose. Replace solenoid if the negative function is still a final outcome.
7. Faulty starter, bench test starter with a 12-volt battery if negative function check, decontaminate and undercut armature commutator segments as necessary, check segments with an ohmmeter probe each one and the segment next to it for shorts. Have the armature tested with a growler and field coils, and brush plate with an ohm-meter for opens, shorts or grounds. Replace brushes if less than .438" It is generally cheaper to overhaul/refurbish a starter motor than buying a new one.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need for viewing or printing please click on the blue links below. Good luck and have a wonderful day.
Bike Won START clicks won turn over
OEM Parts for Kawasaki
1998 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic Owner Manual
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