So I am having this issue right now. Bike acts like dead battery so lights or anything 30amp fuse is fine and if I jump the starter solenoid she will crank. She broke down in a restaurant parking lot so I got a ride and will be running home to get some tools and give this a try. I will let you know if this doesn't fix it and update with the resolution. Thanks for posting this repair!!!
harryp, thanks so much for you detailed post about the switch repair had to fix one to night for a friend and this was spot on. Due to you detailed post the repair took only thirty minutes to fix and had his back on the road.
i opened the tank and plastic covers to get access to the ignition assembly. i discovered that the bolts holding the ignition assembly are round so a torx bit would not work. anyone know how to get around this?
Seems like a lot of work to lube the ignition switch. If I had a problem with the ignition I would first spray the switch with Corrosion Block and operate the switch a few times Corrosion Block is available at West Marine and on line. I have been using corrosion block for years it fixes lots of electrical problems with switches and connections etc. It both lubes and cleans electrical contacts and switches.:wayhappy:
For those running a lot of extra lights etc one of the best ways to prevent trouble with your ignition switch from over heating is to run the extra light load via a headlight relay drawing directly from the battery. Not only will the relay protect your ignition switch but it often will make your auxiliary lights or more powerful Headlight brighter. :twisted::wayhappy::twisted:
This fix saved my butt. I was lucky the ignition failed in my driveway after an afternoon of running errands. I have had luck wiggling the key but it did not work this time. I had the symptoms only the taillight and blinkers worked.
I have done the mod on the light bar with the tractor lights, so I am pulling a little more juice through the ignition switch than I probably should. Note it has been five years since I switched over to the tractor lights and the plastic was only slightly deformed from over heating.
Bike was up and running in an hour.
This site is awesome. I love to work on my bike and the answers to many questions can be found here. :wayhappy:
Great Write up Hary. Thanks Very much.
Yesterday 2 hrs from home turned my key and nothing troubleshoting pointed to ignition switch.
This morning I performed this EASY FIX in half an hour, turned my key and Volia im good to go all working. One of the sliders was stuck closed.
Saved me a few hundred bux at the repair shop.
Its not the key, its the ignition switch. My advice... do the fix. This will come back to haunt you if you don't. You never know where you will be when the switch will meet its final demise. For me, it was 700 miles from home, at the Sturgis Rally, at 1:00 am, just as the RAIN came in (and bikes must be off the streets over night). That sucked!
Nice Article... Just had my switch replaced 2 years ago (Warranty Work)... but now the one that replaced it seems to be having the same issue.... Gonna try this myself.... (no more warranty) will post my results.... 2007 C50
Nice writeup. I will be doing this as soon as I get my bike back from the dealership. (Stripped spark plug threads on the rear cylinder. Warranty work)
I had an issue with my Vulcan, it would die when I turned the handlebars in a parking lot. It always started, but had the issue when I turned the bars. The switch was mounted on the right side of the upper tree and the wires would move as you moved the bars.
I ended up taking the switch apart and it was full of fine dirt and sand. I cleaned the contacts and lubed it with dielectric grease, and it never died again.
One thing I would recommend is when you take the switch apart clean the contacts with some 2000 grit sandpaper. It's a PITA I know, but it will help with making a good contact. I spread the springs out a bit on my Vulcan to put a little extra pressure on the contacts. I wouldn't recommend using WD-40 in the switch, as dirt tends to stick to it and gum it up. I use a good quality lock graphite, and it works great.
I have a light bar on mine with 55 Watt bulbs wired directly to the switch. I'm going to put in a relay this winter while I do some needed repairs. My Vulcan had an exciter wire that ran off of the Stator that would turn the headlight on once the bike fired up. I like that idea.
One idea that I'm going to try is to drill some holes in the neck covers to help alleviate some of the heat buildup inside of there.
had the same issue with my 05 c90 back in june of this year...got the bike to start by pushing to jump it and then the same problem happened again 2 weeks later. Finally got it to start again just by "sheer luck" brought it into the service dept where they kept it for a few days and every time they would try to start it, it would start right up...told me when I brought it in that without the unable to start issue actually happening there would be a good chance they would not be able to find the problem and would not just replace things that would not in reality need to be replaced. Checked everything they thought could be the problem...found everything to be in order... flipped me the keys and reluctantly told me next time it happens...tow it in and they'll at least be able to trace the problem. Haven't had any problems since...have put on over 9k miles since but in the back of my mind realize it could happen again...wonder if they used the same ignition switch on the c90 as they did on the c50's back in 05?
I just had my ignition switch fail after a nice long ride from Sarasota to Lakeland. Luckily it failed at my girlfriends house and I was able to fix it thanks to this extremely helpful post. Now I am wondering if there is somewhere that I can just buy the center section of the switch. You know, instead of shelling out $180 for a entire new switch. Thanks again for this post!