Slow Crank - Different Problem? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:20 am Thread Starter
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Slow Crank - Different Problem?

Ugh... In the last week or so, my '99 LT (18K miles) has been starting sluggishly. Temps are no different than what they were last year at this time and I had no problems there. Oil is 20w-50 and never seemed to be an issue before (and may not be in this case either)..

Anyway, two days ago, the starter turned over the engine much slower than usual, but it fired up on the 2nd try. Same thing yesterday, but I started thinking about getting a new battery ASAP. However, I needed to take the bike to work. So all is well, until later yesterday I went to the gas station. It started fine (albeit slowly) going there, but after I filled up, the starter barely turned over the engine. All misc. electronics were off, and I had lights and fuel pump sound, just no juice to turn over. So I let it sit for 5 minutes while I waited for the garage mechanic to bring out the jump starter. Just before I hooked up the jump starter, I tried it one last time...surprise! It started!

On the way home I purchased a new battery (identical to what I had - which BTW was original 1999). When I got home, I parked it, stopped the motor, and just for kicks, tried to start it again. No Joy

So, out came the old battery and in with the new and I hooked it up to my Battery Tender..all is well to charge overnight ..

This AM, green light on Charger, bike starts better, but not like it did a few months back. I rode it to work and all seemed well. I stopped the bike and 2 minutes later, tried restarting it. It turned over extremely slow but started up. ARRGGGH..

Question for the masses...Do you guys think my starter motor is shot? I only have 18K on the bike, and there are no loose connections that I can see. I do not ride in the rain, so corrosion should not be an issue. I don't believe its oil weight as the slow turnover happens when the engine is hot or cold.

If it is a starter, how much time and $$ will it cost for me to do it?

Thanks guys!

-Larry

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post #2 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:44 am
 
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Timing maybe?
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post #3 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:05 pm Thread Starter
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Bike runs perfect once it starts. No drop in gas mileage and performance. I don't think a timing issue would be the answer. Thanks for your suggestion!

-Larry

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post #4 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:22 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJSMITH1
Bike runs perfect once it starts. No drop in gas mileage and performance. I don't think a timing issue would be the answer. Thanks for your suggestion!

-Larry
Larry - I can't find the thread I'm thinking of, butt sometime back, a similar question came up and IIRC, the solution turned out to be a loose connection at the starter motor; wuzn't making a good contact intermittently and the bike showed the same symptoms you're experiencing.

Not sure if this will apply to your problem, butt if I find the thread, I'll ping ya.
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post #5 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:28 pm
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Personally, I'd look at your charging system first. Make sure that it's actually getting your battery "full". At what, 2K rpm you should see an absolute minum of 13.8V on your system. Maybe even as high as 14.2V

Then, I'd do a voltage drop test on your battery during startup. Now, of course for that to be useful You'd need to know what the lowest allowable voltage should be - and that's something I don't have in hand.

Tate

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post #6 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 1:04 pm Thread Starter
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Zotter,

While I haven't taken a meter to the battery, I have a few assumptions.

1. The battery tender charged the new battery to full voltage overnight. Green light was lit, and the charger circuitry maintains the correct voltage.

2. Once I started it this AM, I reversed out of the garage and into the driveway. The reverse funtion has been working great (nothing unusual). This would indicate that the alternator is working and the starter motor should be OK.

Tonight (assuming I can start it and take it home), I will test it with a meter.

It sounds like there is excessive resistance against the starter (cold or hot). Why this is a sudden development confounds me.

Thanks for your input!

-Larry

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post #7 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 4:19 pm
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What Dick said. Pull your battery and look down and to the front. It'll take a hemostat or small hands, but there is a wire there that gets loose



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post #8 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 5:11 pm
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Yup Larry, I'm on the Dick and Griff bandwagon now. You might see that in the voltage drop test - IF you had a valid baseline to compare against.

Tate

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post #9 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 6:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJSMITH1
Ugh... In the last week or so, my '99 LT (18K miles) has been starting sluggishly. Temps are no different than what they were last year at this time and I had no problems there. Oil is 20w-50 and never seemed to be an issue before (and may not be in this case either)..

Anyway, two days ago, the starter turned over the engine much slower than usual, but it fired up on the 2nd try. Same thing yesterday, but I started thinking about getting a new battery ASAP. However, I needed to take the bike to work. So all is well, until later yesterday I went to the gas station. It started fine (albeit slowly) going there, but after I filled up, the starter barely turned over the engine. All misc. electronics were off, and I had lights and fuel pump sound, just no juice to turn over. So I let it sit for 5 minutes while I waited for the garage mechanic to bring out the jump starter. Just before I hooked up the jump starter, I tried it one last time...surprise! It started!

On the way home I purchased a new battery (identical to what I had - which BTW was original 1999). When I got home, I parked it, stopped the motor, and just for kicks, tried to start it again. No Joy

So, out came the old battery and in with the new and I hooked it up to my Battery Tender..all is well to charge overnight ..

This AM, green light on Charger, bike starts better, but not like it did a few months back. I rode it to work and all seemed well. I stopped the bike and 2 minutes later, tried restarting it. It turned over extremely slow but started up. ARRGGGH..

Question for the masses...Do you guys think my starter motor is shot? I only have 18K on the bike, and there are no loose connections that I can see. I do not ride in the rain, so corrosion should not be an issue. I don't believe its oil weight as the slow turnover happens when the engine is hot or cold.

If it is a starter, how much time and $$ will it cost for me to do it?

Thanks guys!

-Larry
You need a good DC volt meter with alligator clips, 10-20 v range;

1-hook up directly to the battery - note voltage

2-turn key to on position w/ bright’s on, while applying the brake - note voltage

3-crank engine over while observing the voltage, it will dip to 11v or so- note voltage



If the voltage stays around 12 v dc on your new battery during the above tests;



4-hook meter to the starter's large red positive connection at the starter - note voltage, if the voltage drops appreciably, you have a loose connection in between (because 1-3 tests OK), if the voltage stays up but starer drags, suspect the starter, bendix & or solenoid (although I use an amp meter before condemning the starter.)



Start with this and post results if you would like.

Is your battery a gell or liquid/acid?

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post #10 of 17 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 1:39 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses!

Ok...I did some DVM measurements last night when I got home and here's what I got:

Ignition Off: 12.67VDC
Ignition On: 12.45VDC
Starting: <10VDC
Running: 13.84VDC

I'll have to check that starter lead connection to see if it's ok. If it is, I may have a more complex issue.

BTW: New and Old batteries are liquid acid type, 19Ah versions.

Thanks!

-Larry

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Last edited by LJSMITH1; Dec 21st, 2006 at 1:42 pm. Reason: Forgot Battery Type
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post #11 of 17 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 2:49 pm
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Good numbers of, on and running.

That drop to 10V bugs me though. Shouldn't be pulling that much - on a new battery to boot. Check the connections - if they're happy you may well have something wonky with the starter motor itself.

Or, did you put 90wt oil in the crank case?

Tate

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post #12 of 17 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 3:46 pm
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Could it be a starter relay problem? We all know how wonderful they are in the early LTs!

Dave
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and Pawleys Island, SC
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post #13 of 17 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 3:59 pm
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Shooting from the hip here: could the starter relay be on the long road to fubar?



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post #14 of 17 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 4:39 pm
 
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Starts good cold, hard to start warm. Sounds like something is going to ground when warm like maybe a worn or cracked bushing in the starter. Or the engine itself is harder to turn when warm like maybe timing. A loose connection could also get looser when warm.
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post #15 of 17 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 8:39 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotter
Good numbers of, on and running.

That drop to 10V bugs me though.
I'll bet it's that magic wire. How are your lights acting? Cutting in and out?



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post #16 of 17 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 8:42 pm
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OK, check out this thread



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post #17 of 17 Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 9:34 am Thread Starter
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The starting issue was more or less the same hot or cold. There are no unusual differences in the lights or accessory operations. In the last day or so, it seems that it is starting more like it used to.

This weekend I will pull the battery again and check the starter lead and grounding points. I need to change the oil anyway and put in 90W ..errr..10w-40..

Thanks for all the responses!

-Larry

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