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Discussion Starter #1

'92 K1100LT, 45,000 miles (Winter Autobahn-Eater)


1. Intermittent/strange turn-indicator problems, no 4-way flasher facility.
2. Occasional fan failure to cut in at high coolant temperature!
3. Intermittent "click" but no starter turnover when hot.

I got "thumped" from behind on the rear tyre whilst at a roundabout (by a darling Indian lady who couldn't speak english but was, I am sure, the proud holder of a British passport). I pushed the bike to the roadside and attempted to turn on the hazard 4-way flashers.....nothing. Minor damage to the rear mudguard only. Sorted out the paperwork but when trying to restart, the green neutral light dimmed and the starter relay "clicked," but the starter wouldn't turn when the starter button was pushed. I rocked the bike in 2nd gear and after a few minutes the starter functioned normally.

The indicators occasionally behaved strangely on the way home and the radiator cooling fan didn't cut in at traffic lights as normal.

I searched the forums and found several useful hints as follows:

"Indicator lights behaving erratically? Radiator Fan not functioning properly? Look for the load shed relay, I'd suspect that one, but a dirty starter from carbon build-up will cause all sorts of gremlins too.”

“It looks like the fan gets its hot wire from the horn relay? This in turn is fed from fuse 7, which in turn is fed from the load shedding relay, which in turn needs the ground from the starter.

I cleaned the starter yesterday. It was actually a far easier job than I had expected. Pull out the computer, the battery, a few hex bolts, and it was out. It was extremely dirty. I couldn't believe how fouled the area around the brushes where. I cleaned the entire thing with carb/choke cleaner. The brushes are going to need to be replaced before too long, but I just wanted to see if cleaning it did the trick.

Sure enough got it all back together, everything worked perfectly. The starter kicks so much harder than when it was working previous. I thought the battery might not be holding a charge, turns out it was just a dirty starter. I suppose anyone with an early K and having strange electrical problems, [should] look to the starter first!”

Excellent advice which cured my problems. The starter brushes were still in good condition but I think that the "thump" might have dislodged some carbon dust and buggered the common earth through the starter commutator. This would, indeed, be required for a number of seemingly un-related functions, few of which seemed immediately obvious to someone like me. Getting the starter motor out is a bit of a fiddle once you are in the bowels of the beast and tying the earth cables from the LHS starter bolt together helps sort out what goes back where! Again, detailed instructions are available elsewhere.

My sincere thanks to those who provided this extraordinarily pertinent information; reinforced here again for fellow K-Bike enthusiasts.

Engine vibration, what vibration?
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