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Thread: Starting System Failures-Blown Fuses-Causes/Solutions

  1. #1
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Starting System Failures-Blown Fuses-Causes/Solutions

    Some of these Buells are now approaching age 20 and i'm seeing 3 onboard systems fail at alarming rates:
    CHARGING SYSTEM
    FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM(FUEL PUMP)
    STARTING SYSTEM

    In lieu of incessantly answering everyones' STARTING SYSTEM problem related questions i will commence this thread which should be a permanent fixture on this board. Use this info to trouble-shoot and repair. Generally speaking ALL tube/XB/1125 starting systems essentially the same with minor differences. NOTE: commonly in conjunction with a "no start" scenario will be a blown 15A headlight fuse. KEEP THIS IN MIND: a fuse will NOT blow from a low/dead battery OR a faulty ground. it will ONLY blow from an overload or short to the POSITIVE SIDE of the circuit it controls.

    BUELL STARTING SYSTEM COMPONENTS: (I AM NOT DISCUSSING CLUTCH/SIDESTAND SWITCHES)
    starter button on right switch-gear
    fuse-box relay
    starter motor
    starter motor solenoid
    positive battery cable.

    HOW THE BUELL STARTING SYSTEM WORKS:
    With key on/kill switch on the headlight circuit positive wire now feeds power to the starter button. pressing the button sends power to the START relay in fuse-box which sends power to the starter SOLENOID which is part of the starter motor assembly.
    NOTE: ALL buell relays are multi-phase meaning they can simultaneously perform more than one task. the headlight supply is part of the START RELAY. why? so that when the start button is activated the relay can "open" the headlight circuit turning off the headlight.

    I AM NOT DISCUSSING DEAD BATTERIES...LOOSE/CORRODED CABLE ENDS....GROUNDS!
    IMPORTANT: YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE A KNOWN GOOD 15A HEADLIGHT FUSE AND START RELAY TO PERFORM THE BELOW TESTS!!!!!

    MOST COMMON STARTING SYSTEM AILMENTS CAUSING A NO-START/BLOWN FUSE CONDITION:
    1-loose and/or corroded positive cable. grounds have been discussed ad nauseam on here so not mentioned.
    2-corroded start button. remove from switch-gear and clean or replace.
    3-BLOWN HEADLIGHT FUSE. see the following: NOTE: prior to following the below steps you need to establish that both low and high beam headlight circuits are NOT the sole source of the blown fuse problem. simply do that as follows: key on...kill switch off...selector switch on low beam....then selector switch on high beam. if fuse does NOT blow your headlight circuits fore of the frame steering neck are OK.
    HOW TO TROUBLE-SHOOT AND IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM AS FOLLOWS:
    with known GOOD 15A HEADLIGHT FUSE installed place the headlight switch in HIGH BEAM mode. now try to start. all ok? you have a short-to-ground on the LOW BEAM positive wire feed. find it and repair.
    fuse still blows????? then do the following:
    remove wiring harness plug from both LOW AND HIGH BEAM bulbs and remove GREEN WIRE from starter solenoid. now replace HIGH BEAM harness plug ONLY and try to start. fuse blows? you have a short-to-ground on the HIGH BEAM positive feed wire. find it and repair.
    fuse still blows??? then do the following:
    remove the GREEN FEED WIRE from starter solenoid. now try to start. fuse still blows? you have a short-to-ground somewhere on that wire. find it and repair.
    WHEN ALL THE ABOVE HAS BEEN ATTENDED TO NOW REPLACE THE 15A FUSE AND TRY TO START. fuse still blows? you have a dead short/burned out STARTER SOLENOID. remove starter assembly and replace the solenoid.
    THE ABOVE IS SIMPLER AND MORE CONCISE THAN THE SM CURRENT FLOW CHARTS AND DIAGNOSTICS WHICH MOST FIND VERY CONFUSING.
    hope this helps as i'm seeing these exact failures almost daily now.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 03-04-2019 at 01:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Thanks John for taking the time to school us !

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Thanks John for the the quick troubleshoot scenario!



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