Completely Dead - No Electrical Power!

Discussion in '3rd & 4th Generation 1990-1997' started by 94VFRVA, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. 94VFRVA

    94VFRVA New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Herndon
    Map
    Hey everyone!

    1994, 24k miles on the bike, completely stock except for a Delkevic pipe and a Ricks R/R.

    Had this bike for about 5 years now and gotten to know it fairly well - mechanically.... and for the most part, it's behaved.

    Electrically, I think our relationship is just now getting started, unfortunately....

    Last rode the bike back in April after changing the oil and giving it a wash. My intention that day was to burn off the "treated" winter fuel in the tank.

    After the wash, I put the key in the ignition and nothing - no lights on the dash, fuel pump, nothing. Tried it with the spare and it worked. Warmed up for a few minutes while I put on my gear and off I went. During the ride it rode strong, shifted well and no problems whatsoever... until I stopped to stretch my legs about 45 minutes into the ride. I put the key in and again, nothing; tried other key, nothing. Tried turning the handlebars side to side, thinking maybe a kink in the wire...nothing. The only thing that lives is the clock. Checked all the fuses on the spot, including the 30A at the starter relay - all good. Towed back to the house.

    I haven't had the time to tear into the bike until now. It's stripped naked, including the top fairing (headlight) open and tilted forward. I've been searching the net and this forum as best I could and tried to make as much sense as I can from the schematic in the service manual, but I'm afraid I am a bit limited here, so I'm hoping someone here can help me through this... I've gone through some connections, and they all seem good and clean, but I know I need to approach this in an organized and methodical manner so I don't get all frustrated too quick...

    With your help, I hope to learn how to better read, interpret and understand wiring diagrams from this thread and face the issue head on, just like I've been able to do with the mechanical things in the past. I refuse to take it to a shop and my only riding buddy is only good for riding, not wrenching!

    From searching, I know that I need to start with a freshly charged battery, which I've got coming tomorrow in the mail (acid on the side). So I've got my service manual, a little multi meter and finally some time to put things right again and get back on the road. What's my first step?

    D
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  2. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    7,829
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Map
    suggest you find and pull apart the connection plug between the ignition switch and the wiring harness, then clean contacts. test contacts with multimeter.

    next, remove main ground wire, and clean both ends.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  3. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Western Lower Peninsula, Michigan
    Map
    You need to purchase a multimeter if you don't already have one.
    Did you charge your old battery and have it load tested?
    More and more posts are reporting that the Ricks R/R is not infallible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  4. lone_wolf

    lone_wolf New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Step #1: walk to the beer fridge, grab a cold beer, drink it
    Step #2: repeat step 1
    Step #3: repeat step 2
    Step #4: repeat step 3

    Did the clock reset after your break?
     
  5. 94VFRVA

    94VFRVA New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Herndon
    Map
    I have plug located and pulled it apart. It does look a bit oxidized so I will be cleaning up the contacts. How would I test these contacts using the multimeter?

    I do have an inexpensive Craftsman multimeter that I think should do the trick. I did charge it, but did not load test it. However, it was neglected over the past winter (not put on a tender over the winter). The R/R only has about 2k miles on it since the bike hasn't been ridden much...

    Lol, best piece of advice so far! About that clock - I'm not sure...
     
  6. fink

    fink Insider

    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    306
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Ardnamurchan Penninsula, Scotland
    Map
    Another tool would be a test lamp. A simple 12v bulb with 2 wires.
     
  7. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    French Alps & London
    Map
    Hmm that is confusing - Those symptoms point to two possible issues - a fault with the starting circuit or a charging system fault. Typically charging system issues usually result in a drained battery and obviously once a battery is drained it is unlikely to recover spontaneously - yet you say that after a while you returned to the bike and it started up fine which is not going to happen with a dead battery - so I would focus on issues with the starter circuit, so end to end checking from switchgear and any safety interlocks through to the starter itself. Dismantle - examine and clean off any corrosion on components. During cleaning it is possible you jogged the kill switch and it is now not fully closed - so maybe cycle the switch fully off/on several times to clear any crap from the contacts and then ensure the switch contacts are fully home. If you are lucky that will get the bike running fine.

    Typical charging system warning signs are the clock resetting, melted RR, stator or wiring connectors, blown bulbs etc which usually means things getting expensive. The usual testing very well described in post #9 of this enormously long thread... which includes a few rather unfavourable views on Ricks Electrex and other similar third party RR's

    http://vfrworld.com/threads/how-to-fix-common-regulator-stator-failures.39277/

    Please make sure you do those tests TWICE once with the bike cold and again after a 20-30 minute ride by which time the charging system will have warmed up and any heat related issues will be apparent. Sometimes a stator or RR may test fine cold but fail completely once the insulation on the windings heat up or a RR diode fails and shorts out so instead of charging the battery it drains it.

    If your RR is dead also check the stator. OEM RRs are not much better than Ricks so get a decent Shindengen FH020AA from roadstercycle.com. If you need a stator an OEM stator is the right replacement.


    Let us know how you get on.

    SkiMad
    SkiMad
     
  8. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Western Lower Peninsula, Michigan
    Map
  9. upwinger

    upwinger New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Behind The Redwood Curtain
    Map
    These bikes are notorious for going through voltage regulators. I had one go out at midnight getting onto a freeway in SoCal...first my lights went out, then the engine died. Dead on the side of the onramp. When it went, it took the battery out too.
    The VFR I have now has a 1 1/2 pound Lithium battery and the regulator from a RC51/ VTR superhawk.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  10. needragr

    needragr New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ive got $$$ againt its the ignition switch.
     
  11. Blackslide

    Blackslide New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I have a similar issue with mine. No lights no nothing when key is in the "on" position.

    But mine works when wiggled a bit and turned counterclockwise, after it starts, no issues. Worn out ignitiob switch, I guess.

    Sent from my PRA-LX1 using Tapatalk
     
  12. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    7,829
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Map
    take the switch apart and try cleaning the contacts ;)
     
  13. needragr

    needragr New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Not sure if gen3 switches are different (doubt it) but the switch on my gen4 isnt ment to be dissembled. The lower electrical part is encased in a snap together plastic case. To get at the actual electrics of the switch youd have to bust thas case open then figure how to glue it back todether after or if you found the swich was fixable. The part is NLA from any OE source so good luck
     
  14. Blackslide

    Blackslide New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Seems like you can get a non OEM, but quite good looking spare from a general parts store. They have Honda ignition switches in silver and black.. at least for gen3. Cost only about 60eur, containing whole switch loom of wires and two keys.

    You do loose the ability to unlock the seat and gas tank with the same key, unless a locksmith can redo those locks somehow..

    Tho, my ignition switch fixed itself with some light cleaning and a healthy dose of lubing the key with engine oil and wiggling it around in the switch.. and riding the bike. They sure don't like to just stand around.

    If my issues ever come back, I'll buy one and report back.

    Rolling on the highway
     
  15. LayinLow

    LayinLow New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Food for thought....my starter relay assembly just totally cooked the other day and this was the exact symptom. One minute was running fine, next minute wouldn't start at all. No gauge lights, no nothing. I'd give that a check, it's the little box right next to the battery. I agree with checking the rectifier too.
     
  16. bk94si

    bk94si Insider

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I had this problem recently and it was only a loose battery connection.
     
Related Topics

Share This Page