Author Topic: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?  (Read 3498 times)

Offline Summit670

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1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« on: August 20, 2012, 07:23:20 am »
Friend of mine has bike that has been sitting in a storage garage for years and he's been starting it once a month or so.  Whether that is good or not is not the issue here.

One day he goes to start the bike and it just "clicks".  Like the battery is dead.  I told him to bump start it but never having done that before he just installed a new battery instead.

The bike still doesn't turn over and the starter doesn't turn over, it just clicks.

What do you think the problem could be.  He says all the battery connections are tight and juice is getting to the starter because he said he "tested" that.  I presume with an ohm meter.

He said the kickstand kill switch had been bypassed by previous owner and he unwrapped the electrical tape and verified the wires were not corroded and looked good.

Ideas?
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Offline Stasch

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Re: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 10:44:32 am »
Where is the click coming from?

Starter Relay?  JBox issue?
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Offline Cholla

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Re: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 11:26:11 am »
The dreaded hydrolock?
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Offline Summit670

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Re: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 09:17:07 pm »
Hydro, hmmmm........... 

He said the click is coming from Starter but I haven't heard it myself.

Maybe to be safe he should pull the plugs and try to turn it over.  If the starter turns then, well.........

If the click is coming from the Jbox, what would that be?  $140 for a new one or a fuse or replacement relay that could be soldered in?

I'll have to make it over there this week or weekend and bring my stethoscope to try and verify where the click is coming from.

My suggestion today was to try and bump start it but now knowing about the hydro possibility I don't know if I want to do that.  I said bump start it and if it runs, run it for 15 minutes or so, then shut off and see if it starts.  If no start/no crank, then bump start again and while running hit the starter button and maybe it will rotate enough to get past a weak spot, then shut off and try to start.

Lastly, this bike has around 16,000 miles and is garage kept.  I'd be surprised if it was the starter but you never know.

Any electrical gurus out there, you're probably in disbelief at the caveman type approach here, lol.
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Offline Stasch

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Re: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 06:35:48 am »
Quote
He said the click is coming from Starter but I haven't heard it myself.

I saw that, but since the starter and jbox are on the left side of the bike within about a foot of each other it would be easy to miss which it is unless you got your ear right down there, or stethed it like you plan to do.

If we could hear the click it would probably give itself away.

Let us know what happens.
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Offline bbroj

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Re: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 06:35:15 pm »
Bad solenoid? The high current contacts could be corroded inside the housing. It would still "click" when the solenoid engaged, but no crank. Could test by shorting across the big terminals with the key on. Confirm no hydrolock first  :o
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Offline Summit670

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Re: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 06:50:13 pm »
Thanks.  Will hopefully get a chance to look at it before the weekend is over.
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Offline GeeBeav

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Re: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2012, 02:05:44 pm »
The relays plug in (not soldered). If it is a relay problem, there are 3 that are alike, so you can swap them around for troubleshooting.
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Offline Summit670

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Re: 1984 or 85 Ninja 900 won't crank, what could be wrong?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 08:48:12 am »
Update - he took it into the shop and they said the starter was bad.   He said he never abused the starter but since he bought the bike used he doesn't know how the previous owner treated the starter.
Arctic Cat M8 163 rules

Sleds, Dirt Bikes, ATV's, Street Bikes, Mountain Bikes.  Heck, I guess if it has handlebars I'll give it a try.