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I think I did a bad thing. I moved to South Florida a few months ago; that's a good thing. Bad thing is it has taken a few months to legally get the bike back on the road (title issues/reg issues.) Anyway as k12s tend to do the battery went about dead. Yeah in retrospect I should have had the trickle on, or at least disconnected batt to avoid alarm & clock drain etc.

Anyway - I stuck a car charger on for a few minutes to give it a boost and then tried jumping it off the car. the starter stuck arg!. I had to remove the batt positive lead to get the starter to stop cycling. Ok I backed up, thought for a minute. No car or charger, just attempting to reconnect the lead causes the starter to cycle. Doesn't require me to disable the alarm, the starter just immediately cycles. Please tell me I didn't screw anything up too bad.
 

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You must have a pre 2001 bike. The starter relay on the earlier bikes would weld the contacts together if you tried to start it with too low battery voltage. You have not ruined anything too bad.

Sometimes you can unstick the relay by hooking up the battery cable then while it is trying to start hit the starter switch quickly a couple of times. It MAY unstick.

If not, you have to replace the solenoid, and if it is indeed one of the earlier bikes there is an updated relay kit that has a new socket, relay, and wiring harness which keeps this from happening again. The new one will not try to engage if the voltage is too low.

The relay is in the electrical box under the fuel tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bike is an '02.

Thanks for the comment, I've give it a shot in the morning- While I was still researching and waiting for an swer to my plea I found other observation slike your. There was some chatter about using two Ford relays as a work around to the OEM updated part. What's your thought about this?

Also will a car charger trash my Gel battery if I put it on over night?

Thanks. Tim
 

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Tim_in_NJ said:
Thanks for the comment, I've give it a shot in the morning- While I was still researching and waiting for an swer to my plea I found other observation slike your. There was some chatter about using two Ford relays as a work around to the OEM updated part. What's your thought about this?

Also will a car charger trash my Gel battery if I put it on over night?

Thanks. Tim
A larger automotive relay will certainly work, but I would not do that to my bike since there is a BMW "fix", although fairly expensive. If the bike is sold, or taken to a dealer for any service the modification could cause a bit of confusion.

To be safe I would not use a car charger on a Gell Cell battery. Gell cell batteries are the most picky about charge voltage of the three types, flooded acid, gelled electrolyte, and absorbed glass mat.

Flooded acid is the cheapest, but requires careful maintenance. It can take the highest overcharge without damage as long as the electrolyte level is never allowed to drop below the top of the plates.

Gell Cell was developed to avoid acid spill and outgassing, but there are some limitations. They cannot be deep discharged, and can be easily overcharged to the point of damage. They need much better voltage regulation of the charger. Typically 13.2-13.4 volts.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), such as Odyssey, are the best of the bunch, but more costly. AGM batteries can use the same chargers that flooded acid batteries use, can charge at a higher rate than Gell Cell, do not self discharge like either flooded acid or gell cell do (they can sit for MONTHS without being charged), and they can take the deepest discharge of any and not be damaged, down to 20% capacity, where lead acid or gell cells would have their life reduced.

To me, BMW going to Gell Cell was a step in the wrong direction. Less maintenance required, but far more sensitive to over charge and deep discharge.

My pick is the Odyssey or Westco AGM battery. I would not purchase a Gell Cell in a bike. If I buy a bike with a Gell Cell in it, I would continue to use it until it showed the first signs of any problem, then it would be replaced with AGM.
 

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Don't use that Car charger.. I would replace the Gel the first chance you get as a matter of convenience; I did mine to avoid the need for a special charger.
Ken
 

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Uum. Florida. Sounds hot.
Heat kills batteries.
Probably time to replace that NJ battery anyway.
Bob
 

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A technique that's worked for a few people since 1999 when I first had this happen. The solenoid doesn't get welded as you might think. It does get stuck in the closed position without battery juice and needs a solid battery to reset itself after pressing the starter button. This old post has worked for quite a few so maybe try it before any expensive fix.

>When my relay froze from bad battery I did this twice:

>1) Removed battery and charged separately.
>2) Put bike on stand.
>3) Connected battery (with two people)
>4) When starter cranks as last battery connection is made, I pressed
>the starter button and it disconnected normally.

>As I say, worked twice and since replacing factory battery, has
>never been a problem since.

>Good luck,
>Paul Miller 99LT
>Calgary
 

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pjdm said:
-------------------------------- The solenoid doesn't get welded as you might think. It does get stuck in the closed position without battery juice and needs a solid battery to reset itself after pressing the starter button. -------------------------------------------
It actually is welding of the contacts that causes the relay to stick. The weld areas are small, even microscopic, but it is still welding. The return spring force on the armature of the relay is not strong enough to overcome the slight welding, thus it "sticks". Hitting the starter button quickly a few times causes the armature to be pulled down and released, and the force of the "bounce" can often pop the little welded areas on the contacts loose.

However, once a relay has experienced contact welding, even to a small extent, it is damaged and the rough surfaces on the contact left by the arcing will cause the relay to arc more and the contacts "wear" more rapidly under normal use. Once one sticks it is a good practice to replace it. On the LT especially if it is a old style, then it is wise to upgrade it.
 

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Same Shite here....98 K1200RS Starter keeps running due to low bat condition. Turned key on and hit the starter button 3-4 times...Voila! Unstuck! $200 Bucks for something BMW should fix anyway? Not going to happen....The Germans have some bizzare electrical practices.

Much Success!

Thanks
Tomas :dance:
 

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My '02 did this 2 years ago. I tried to find the solenoid, and stopped before I popped an aneurisim from frustration!

My local dealer (BMW of Grand Rapids) picked up the bike, took it to the shop, replaced the battery and solenoid, and brought the bike back. I was out of town, but my wife was there when the owner personally returned the bike.

When he opened the door of the enclosed trailer he discovered that the straps holding the bike had loosened and the jostling around had scuffed up some paint on the saddlebag. After swearing at whoever had put the straps on, he then realizing that he had loaded the bike himself. He took the bike right back, promising to repaired the paint or replace the bag, whichever would satisfy me.

I picked it up a week later. The new solenoid and battery ended the original stuck starter problem, and the re-paint looked fine to me.

Now that is a positive experience!
 

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I would get the starter relay replaced. My wiring harness was melted at a BMW dealer when they tried to start it because the relay stuck. Search for "wire harness burned" to find the ordeal I went through.
 

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you responded to an almost five year old thread. Fret not, you do not hold the record. :D
 

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I had the relay on my K100 stick. I figured I can always buy a new relay, so I took the old one apart & filed the burn spot off the points.

you responded to an almost five year old thread. Fret not, you do not hold the record. :D
It' all the Same stuff, just a different day..:wave
 

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The starter solenoid stuck both on my K100 and K1200, on the K100 I replaced it as it is easy to get to and there was nowhere to put the car solenoid.

On the K1200LT I fitted the car solenoid since the original one is not easy to access and had melted! I'm no electrician but this modification it took me about 2.5 hours from start to finish.

I doubt I'll ever take my bike to a BMW dealers, she is 13 years old, so what difference does it make to add this mod!?
 
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