super beginner question about restoring a 79 suzuki gs 550

Discussion in 'Classic Motorbikes' started by taylor.ellis, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. taylor.ellis

    taylor.ellis Guest

    I recently was given a 79 suzuki gs550 as a gift(person was going to
    junk it.) It ran 2 years ago, but it has sat in a driveway in Texas for
    2 years. There is a bit of restorative work to be done on it, but I'm
    interested in getting the engine to start first. I don't know much at
    all about repair and maintenence but I'm wanting to learn how to get
    this one up and running. (I'd like to make restoring bikes a hobby)

    Anyhow enough backstory, here's my question:

    When I turn the key, all of the electrical will come on, with the
    exception of the horn. However, when I hit the start button, nothing
    happens.

    What I would like to know is what are some of the obvious issues I
    should look for?
     
    taylor.ellis, Apr 30, 2006
    #1
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  2. taylor.ellis

    platypus Guest

    Some models of the GS550 had a safety interlock which required you to pull
    in the clutch lever before the starter would operate. That's probably the
    first thing to try.
     
    platypus, May 1, 2006
    #2
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  3. taylor.ellis

    Hog Guest

    Well apart from pulling in the clutch and making sure the kill switch is
    ON and the battery has charge <whew> the three first stops are the
    starter switch (1) the starter relay (2) and the battery terminals (3)

    (1) only carries low current for the upside of the starter relay but
    they still get corroded and gummed up. You can strip the switch but they
    are full of tiny springs and ball bearings (pingfuckits). Easier to give
    it a good flush through with a contact/electrical switch cleaning
    aerosol.

    (2) These can be part of or seperate from the starter motor, in either
    case they can have their own fuse somewhere on the casing (you have
    checked the main fuse board haven't you?)

    (3) corrosion between the battery posts and the connecting terminals can
    allow low current to pass but baulks at starting loads. Remove
    terminals, clean both sides with wire wool, do not allow wire wool to
    short to earth as it burns nicely :eek:)
     
    Hog, May 1, 2006
    #3
  4. Different type of starter engagement mechanism entirely so doesn't apply
    at all. Other than that, not bad.
    --
    Dave
    GS850x2 XS650 SE6a
    Every post contains Nutri-Ceramide-R and Pre-Biotics
    for your reading pleasure.
    [email protected] Team UKRM
    http://vspx27.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=teampage&teamnum=47957
     
    Grimly Curmudgeon, May 1, 2006
    #4
  5. taylor.ellis

    taylor.ellis Guest

    We got a good reading off the battery when we tested it - is there a
    chance the rest of the electrical is giving me the problems?
     
    taylor.ellis, May 2, 2006
    #5
  6. It's a GS - if nothing else, the alternator and the reg/rec will be
    shagged, or about to be.

    On general principle, clean up all connectors in the loom and clean all
    the earth points - they're chronic for corrosion.
    --
    Dave
    GS850x2 XS650 SE6a
    Every post contains Nutri-Ceramide-R and Pre-Biotics
    for your reading pleasure.
    [email protected] Team UKRM
    http://vspx27.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=teampage&teamnum=47957
     
    Grimly Curmudgeon, May 2, 2006
    #6
  7. taylor.ellis

    A.Clews Guest

    Thus spake Hog () unto the assembled multitudes:
    This is exackerly what happened to me last year with my Trident 900. The
    starter had been steadily deteriorating for a couple of years, with
    sluggishness especially in winter, culminating in complete deadness one
    morning, which made me think something really nasty had happened (thanks
    again to the regulars here for their advice at the time). The simple act
    of cleaning it up gave it a dramatic new lease of life and it's been fine
    ever since. Thinks: must grease the terminals one of these days...
     
    A.Clews, May 5, 2006
    #7
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