In a reply to another thread on why I decided to "refresh" my starter I wrote the following. I though you might like to know my reasoning for why I chose to even consider the starter.
I was having a difficult time in starting my bike from time to time. It sometimes took 2 pushes of the button to get her to ignite and the odd time 3. That’s when I decided to clean the started.
In my case though, before I cleaned the starter, I measured the voltage drops at various points around the electrical system… including the wires going to the coils from which they get the power boost up. When my starter was acting up, there was a considerable drop in the voltage going the ignition system. At some points it was below 7.5 volts. The starter was simply sucking the juice from the system. My battery is in its 3[suP]rd[/suP] year and I am sure not at 100%. This did have its effects in this scenario.
As I was cranking the system there was simply not enough spark getting to ALL the plugs. The engine would not start and sometimes after a bit got flooded making the problem worse and killing the idea of a quick getaway.
When it did start, it ran rough until the RPM’s got high enough for the charging system to kick in and then it smoothed out and idled much better. I could see the exact second where the threshold was broken through and the charging system would provide the “running power” on both my DMM and my O-scope.
As a side note, I also found that if I delayed the turning on of the headlamp for 5 to 10 seconds that it greatly helped this system during this troubling time.
When I cleaned my starter it was like night and day. The bike started like it hasn’t for quite some time… almost instant. My voltage and current readings are where I would expect them to be when starting now. The system is much more relaxed.
I would suspect that a lot of Wingers out there that have these old Wings would get another year or two from their battery if their starter were cleaned up. It is the largest draw on the system. Let’s face it… we replace the batteries when they start to fail when starting the bike. Keep that draw to a minimum.
From what I learned from this experience is that I will be doing two things this fall when the bike is put away for her long winter nap and that is:
1) I will build a headlight start up delay circuit. Very easy to build and will help in problems like this.
2) I will be wiring the coils directly to the battery with lower gauge wire and use a high quality relay for the switching. I really don’t think that corroded, small gauge 27 year old wire is doing the trick anymore.