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2005 CRF 450X Electric Start and Battery Issues

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Hi everyone,

 

I've got an interesting situation that has left me scratching my head at this point...  

 

I'm trying to sort out starting and electrical issues with this 05 X that I recently picked up.  I just finished a complete top end rebuild, new piston, stainless steel valves, and complete carb cleanout, and it runs great (it will kickstart - although hard to kickstart, runs great once its going - so I'm positive this isn't a valves/engine related issue) I'm having problems with the electrical system reliably starting the bike.

 

When I first got the bike, the starter was dead, so I pulled it and replaced the brushes.  Tested it on a car battery, and it spins freely and works properly.  Put it back in the bike, and got a brand new battery.  The starter worked, although seemed to be cranking slowly.

 

Then just did the top end, and took it out for my first desert ride on it this weekend.  When I got to the desert, it started with the electric start (although cranking slowly), but the engine ran great.  Rode for an hour, then shut the bike off to rest.  When I went to start it, the battery was dead.   This led to me going through the electrical charging system when I got home, and found out that the regulator was completely dead.

 

Just replaced it with a brand new Baja Designs regulator tonight, and another brand new, fully charged battery.  I hit the starter with my fingers crossed.  It cranked (VERY SLOWLY for a new, full battery), but then fired up.  I notice immediately that the headlight is not working.  The engine runs fine.  I shut the bike off.  Then try to start it again.  It cranks veeeerrrryyyy slow, then will barely crank at all.    Will not hardly turn the engine over at all.

 

I took a video of it.  This is the second try starting it on a brand new battery, charged on the battery tender all night.  It will barely crank.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ-TbOnmMsU

 

 This is the second new battery that will barely crank in the bike!  I even tried my other new battery, same thing (it is fully charged too).

 

WHAT IS GOING ON?!

 

In short:

 

-Starter rebuilt and tested, working fine out of the bike

-Brand new regulator installed (old one completely dead)

-Headlight suddenly not working when running (noticed this on first start after new regulator)

 

I am at my wits end.  Was thinking about replacing the stator too, but tested everything with a volt meter and the stator checked out - only found that the reg was dead.  I cannot figure out why this thing won't start reliably!

Any help is totally appreciated.

 

Thanks!

 

EDIT: Added a few more details

Edited by DaxxRuckus

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Several things could be in play.

First, starter motor may have a short in the armature windings where they attach to the commutator. When it gets hot, it's open.

Second, your decompressor clearance may be too great. Lessen the clearance and see if it turns over faster.

 

Third, I'm not entirely sure that the Baja Designs reg will work on a stock ( un-rewound stator). The BD reg is designed to work with an all DC output. The stock headlight runs off AC power.

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Thank you both for the quick feedback.  How would I check the decompressor clearance?  And how would I test the starter to see if there is a short?

 

I will double check on the reg to see if that is the cause of the headlight issue.

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With a service manual you will quickly see how to adjust the decompression system.

It it's out of adjustment,  turn the adjuster in clockwise a 1/4 at a time until the motor spins faster.

 

You also need to put a multimeter on your battery: dead engine 12.0+ volts, live engine 14.0 volts. This will verify your charging system.

 

It can be as simple as going through the harness behind the headlight and cleaning all the connections, and cleaning the ground connection from the battery.

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I believe that Paul is dead on about the R/R and his headlight issues... BD's and Ricky Stator's R/R's both output only DC voltage and the headlights run on AC only. I comfirmed this when I was going to put on a HO stator. The headlight can run on DC voltage but the stock stator's output will will not be converted at the R/R unless it's an OEM R/R.

 

Do you have a buddy with a 450x? If so, swap R/R's and check.

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Several things could be in play.

First, starter motor may have a short in the armature windings where they attach to the commutator. When it gets hot, it's open.

Second, your decompressor clearance may be too great. Lessen the clearance and see if it turns over faster.

 

Third, I'm not entirely sure that the Baja Designs reg will work on a stock ( un-rewound stator). The BD reg is designed to work with an all DC output. The stock headlight runs off AC power.

I have read that these symptoms appear when the reduction gears become unpressed and spin independently.

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I have read that these symptoms appear when the reduction gears become unpressed and spin independently.

 That usually only results in the starter motor spinning rapidly while the engine barely or doesn't turn over.

The gear separation is often caused by an ill adjusted decompressor. This causes the starter and reduction gear to labor against higher than designed compression.

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That usually only results in the starter motor spinning rapidly while the engine barely or doesn't turn over.

The gear separation is often caused by an ill adjusted decompressor. This causes the starter and reduction gear to labor against higher than designed compression.

Ah, makes sense. Thanks for the clarity!

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I figured out the headlight issue - it was the bulb burnt out from running the bike with the regulator unplugged when we were testing stator and reg.  This regulator works fine powering the headlight.

 

I think I have narrowed it down to a starter issue.  I have tested everything, thought it might be a bad ground or crappy negative cable.  Tested all that and it checks out.  I just hooked up the bike to my truck battery and tried starting it, and same thing.  So at this point, the charging system checks out, it's just a starting issue.  I did replace the brushes on the starter and tested it out of the bike off a car battery and it spins freely under load.  But I'm now thinking it is still a problem with the starter being worn out and can't turn when it's in the bike.

 

I'm looking around locally for someone with an X that I can borrow a working starter from to test it before I buy a new one.

Edited by DaxxRuckus

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You said it was also hard to kick start, It sounds like your decompression needs to be set. . .014   It will make the engine turn over easier.

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Hi all,

 

just wanted to follow up on the solution to everything.  Since the bike was still able to kick start just fine, I wasn't really sold on the problem being the auto decomp.  I was leaning toward the starter. I looked around locally to borrow one from someone with a working starter to test with, but couldn't find one so just ended up buying a brand new OEM starter from the only shop in so cal that had one in stock.  Picked it up in Temecula yesterday and installed it last night.  

 

The bike now starts instantly when I hit the button!  It was the starter all along!  Even though I replaced the brushes in the original starter, it still was worn out and couldn't start the engine.

 

Went riding today, and aside from some brake issues and random leaks to take care of, things are working fine!

 

Thank you all for all of your help and suggestions!!!!

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Hi all,

just wanted to follow up on the solution to everything. Since the bike was still able to kick start just fine, I wasn't really sold on the problem being the auto decomp. I was leaning toward the starter. I looked around locally to borrow one from someone with a working starter to test with, but couldn't find one so just ended up buying a brand new OEM starter from the only shop in so cal that had one in stock. Picked it up in Temecula yesterday and installed it last night.

The bike now starts instantly when I hit the button! It was the starter all along! Even though I replaced the brushes in the original starter, it still was worn out and couldn't start the engine.

Went riding today, and aside from some brake issues and random leaks to take care of, things are working fine!

Thank you all for all of your help and suggestions!!!!

Hi daxx,

I need to replace my brushes too, but I am not sure which way to remove it, do I need to tear down all carb cam tensioner etc, or the cylinder. You said you did it within a nite so maybe you went through a much more easier way to remove it. Can you give some details on how to remove the starter. Your help will be very much appreciated...

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Hey msimsek,

 

The starter removal is actually fairly easy, and can be done without removing the head like the shop manual says.

 

1.  Remove the cam chain tensioner cap (top and bottom bolts) - it slides right out.

2.  Pull the subframe back a little ways to give you room

3.  Remove your carb

4.  Remove the wires running to the starter

5.  Remove the two bolts that hold the starter in place

6.  Now pull the starter straight back toward you, and rotate it counter clockwise a bit

 

It's tricky, but I 100% guarantee you that you can twist the starter and get it out this way.  Just play with it a bit.

 

Then replace your brushes, and reinstall it the same way.  It takes some messing around with, but can definitely be done!

 

Let me know if you need more help, I can take pictures or something.

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