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The fact that you said the headlamp doesn't dim and there is no voltage drop when hitting the starter switch makes a strong case in my mind that there is no current being sent to the starter. The starter switch closes the circuit, which allows current to the starter itself, which will cause a drop in voltage as it spins the motor. It it were me, I would get a jumper wire and bypass the individual switches one at a time. The kickstand switch would be the first one I would test, simply because it is exposed to a lot of crud and moisture. Someone mentioned the spring being weak and not holding it against the plunger fully. That is another easy check. You will find it, but it may take some time to trace!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Maybe the ECU?



So far all the switches have tested fine as far as I can tell on the continuity tester. I went to see a friend of mine whom owned a Harley dealership for years but is retired now. When I told him what had occurred with the Vol and the manner in which it just died with no warning, and how I had been testing all the switches with no luck he immediately and with no hesitation came back with, "Sounds like a bad ECU to me. I have seen situations like this before and all the symptoms match."


So, I guess my next question is this... anyone ever had to replace the ECU. If so what were the symptoms? What lead you to replace the ECU?


This Vol runs hot. Not sure why yet but it does run hot. I know the jetting is wrong on it and there is carb work in my future. Previous owner had it jetted at the dealer for Cobra drag pipes and then didn't like them and put the stock pipes back on. Does a lot of popping on deceleration which I can mitigate this some by pulling the choke out just a hair. But I was sitting in traffic the other day and my right leg was getting cooked. I don't remember my last Vol running that hot but it's been a long time so... I checked the reservoir/overflow bottle under the cover on the left side and it's bone dry. I know I should remove the tank and check the coolant level but I am trying to avoid this if possible as the tank is almost full. My LC1500 is air and oil cooled so I can't remember, what coolant is everyone using?


I knew going into this that the Vol was going to be somewhat of a work in progress. It is badly in need of back brakes and carb work. Some of this is at present beyond my skill set. I have been around bikes long enough to do routine maintenance and some minor repair work, but when it comes to diagnosing some problems, especially electrical, I'm as confused as a baby in a topless bar.


So thank you everyone for your help and let me know what you think about this whole ECU thing.


-David
 

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would rather be the baby in a topless bar than in your situation with the bike...but hopefully it gets resolved...good luck...check ebay for the ecu.
 

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I had an overheated connection in my 2003 Vol ignition switch. It was intermittent. It was the result of adding the OEM running lights kit which is installed without a relay. I added a relay and repaired the plug connection, problem solved.

I would check that plug located behind the neck covers where the ignition switch is located.
 

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Did you check the fuse box? It happened to me the same and it turned out to be a fuse. Everything worked but it did not start the motorcycle.
 

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My S50 did the same thing 2 days ago. I have read all the entries but don't see the actual solution yet. I have gone through the manual thoroughly and carefully looked over the electrical schematics. I am afraid it is the ECU as well. After I let it sit at the side of the rode for a bit, I started it again and let it idle, thinking I could go home. But the moment I let the clutch out, it died, and wouldn't even crank over. So I pushed it home.
Today I went out and started it, but the moment I do anything it dies, and won't start or turn over. Sounds like some electrical part is working, but has no endurance. That says warn out or burnt out or overworked electrical diode or something like that. Please let me know the solution. New ECU are expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
My S50 did the same thing 2 days ago. I have read all the entries but don't see the actual solution yet. I have gone through the manual thoroughly and carefully looked over the electrical schematics. I am afraid it is the ECU as well. After I let it sit at the side of the rode for a bit, I started it again and let it idle, thinking I could go home. But the moment I let the clutch out, it died, and wouldn't even crank over. So I pushed it home.
Today I went out and started it, but the moment I do anything it dies, and won't start or turn over. Sounds like some electrical part is working, but has no endurance. That says warn out or burnt out or overworked electrical diode or something like that. Please let me know the solution. New ECU are expensive.

Okay, well for me at least it is not the ECU. There is something amiss in my ignition system. After going through all the safety switches, kill switch, etc. I decided to check my fuses one more time. Sure enough I missed one. The 15 amp fuse in the upper right of the fuse box was blown. I replaced it and the bike fired right up. Rode it a couple of miles and it dies again. Checked the fuse again and sure enough, it was blown for a second time.


So now at least I have a place to start. There is a short/exposed ground/? somewhere in my ignition system. Now I just have to find it because what ever it is it kills the bike and then it won't start again until I replace that fuse. Any ideas anyone?
 

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By the description you gave of the problem I assumed it was a fuse that opened, I almost did the same. I'm glad it's already working well.
 
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