Suzuki GS450L, Starting problems.

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by Tomsey, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. Tomsey

    Tomsey Guest

    Hi all.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you have.

    I just bought a GS450L with the intention of fixing it up a bit -- the
    electric seemed to work fine, but the carbuerators were off. I've
    cleaned the carbs, tested the battery, and double checked my
    installation to make sure everything's where it needs to be.

    Here's the problem: When I push the ignition switch, the solenoid
    clicks, but nothing else happens. I'd originally thought it was due
    to a frayed wire running from the solenoid (negative) to the starter
    motor -- but I replaced that today and no dice. Same result. The
    wire needed replacing anyway, but what would allow the solenoid to
    click but the starter not to turn over?

    Thanks again.

    Tomsey, Jul 13, 2007
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  2. Tomsey

    Tomsey Guest

    Tried jumping off of my car battery -- no dice.
    Starter does not crank, but spins a bit -- ONLY when contact is
    broken. This strikes me as wierd -- why would the starter try to turn
    when the current is ending?

    Brushes are in good contact with the commutator -- commutator is
    clean. Starter cranks when I use my car battery.

    Wiped it out, but there was no noticeable corrosion.
    Looks clean.


    Any more ideas?

    Thanks for your help-- this is my first bike. Maybe I should have
    gotten one with fewer problems!
    Tomsey, Jul 14, 2007
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  3. Tomsey

    Ken Abrams Guest

    Yep, I've got a suggestion: How about being consistent with your story?
    Well, not consistent maybe, but there is a tiny bit of information missing

    We are within a RCH of identifying the problem.
    Be a little more specific (and careful) with your next reply and you will
    get the right answer.
    Ken Abrams, Jul 14, 2007
  4. Tomsey

    Tomsey Guest

    OK. I can see where that was vague:

    When I try to jump the entire motorcycle off of the car battery, it
    doesn't start the motorcycle.

    When I take the starter out of the motorcycle, and connect the battery
    from the car directly to it, it cranks the starter.

    I tried roll starting the bike (again, my first bike, I'm just
    learning about all of this), and it locked up the back wheel. I think
    the engine is frozen up? My next step is to take out the spark plugs
    and see what's going on in there... I'm guessing I might see corrosion
    or something... I have the sinking feeling that this bike was stored
    with the carbs off, and enough moisture crept in there to cause

    I guess I might be taking apart the engine... I guess I needed a

    I appreciate everyone's patience. I'm new to the stuff.

    Does it sound like the engine is frozen up?

    Thanks again for the patience.
    Tomsey, Jul 14, 2007
  5. What gear did you try and bump-start it in? If first, I'm not surprised
    the back wheel locked. Try second, or even third.
    How do you know? Were the carbs off when you bought it?
    I really, really doubt the engine needs rebuilding, unless it has been,.
    as you say, stored for a long time with carbs off and also the plugs
    The Older Gentleman, Jul 14, 2007
  6. Tomsey

    Ken Abrams Guest

    OK, you get a some slack for not being a mechanic, but this is getting a
    little old.

    EXACTLY how doesn't it start? Doesn't turn over at all? Turns over but
    doesn't fire?
    Turns a bit and then stops?
    The DETAILS are important !!!!!
    OK, so the starter is probably good.
    Maybe. That would match some of the other clues.
    Might not be as bad a problem as you think though.
    Could be that fuel has leaked into a cylinder and you have hydraulic lock.

    Remove the plugs and then try to turn it over (stand clear of the plug holes
    as fuel or oil might come flying out.......or pieces of a valve). Try
    this first with the kill switch OFF; that's the safest way to go but on some
    models the kill switch kills the starter too. If no-go, try pushing again
    in 3rd. gear with plugs out.

    Once again, the DETAILS of what happens when you do this are
    important.......especially any weird noises!

    If your theory is right, help from here is pretty much done.

    Although one poster would happily compose a 50 page message trying to tell
    you how to rebuild the engine, explaining not only how but WHY each step is
    done the way it is...........and some of it would even be right! ;-)
    Ken Abrams, Jul 14, 2007
  7. Tomsey

    Tomsey Guest

    Frozen pistons explain why you might hear the starter make a "grrrrr" noise
    I really appreciate all the help I'm getting from everyone here.

    This is exactly what seems to be happening. When I try to start the
    motorcycle, there's a click from the solenoid, the starter makes
    negligible noise, and when I release the starter button, the starrer
    "whirs". After opening the engine on the clutch side, I can see that
    the starter gear tries to turn the engine over, fails, and then
    releases, spinning in the opposite direction -- there's that noise
    you're talking about.

    Hah! Yes. Tis my "keep busy" project. My sanity is worth burying
    myself in something I've never understood. At the end of it, maybe
    I'll be handing out advice on Usenet groups! I'm going to work on
    this bike until I establish that it simply won't run -- and I think it
    will run.
    OK. I'm going to try this series first. When you say "some"
    penetrating oil, what sort of quantity is appropriate? Should I see
    oil sitting in there, or do I mist it?
    OK -- that makes sense. As long as the bike is in 5th gear, turning
    the wheel will move the pistons?
    Thanks again.
    Tomsey, Jul 15, 2007
  8. They don't. Suzuki gear-driven balancer shafts just don't go wrong.
    The Older Gentleman, Jul 15, 2007
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