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suaga

2005 DRZ400SM Starter Rotating in Reverse

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Posted (edited)

New guy here,

I have a 28,000km 2005 DRZ400SM with the 3x3 mod and Athena Big Bore kit that ran for a couple months and started every time. While riding the engine stopped and wouldn't start again. Mechanic took it apart and found the stator was burned to hell because flywheel bolts were loose (loctite could have prevented this from previous owner or factory). So we replaced the stator but still wouldn't start. While trying to fix the no-start issue we cleaned the valves, replaced piston, replaced regulator, cleaned the carb, installed JD Jet Kit and still no start. The battery is running at 13v and lights, horn and blinkers all work and its trying to crank but will not start... So I took it into another mechanic and they said the starter is running in reverse. I asked them if the polarity was backwards and they still don't know why it's doing that. This is preventing a spark from the plug (which was working fine before the stator issue).

Any ideas from the forums would be super helpful... I've put 1k+ into parts and service so far and I'm kind of done...

Thanks guys,

Edited by suaga

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New guy here,

I have a 28,000km 2005 DRZ400SM with the 3x3 mod and Athena Big Bore kit that ran for a couple months and started every time. While riding the engine stopped and wouldn't start again. Mechanic took it apart and found the stator was burned to hell because flywheel bolts were loose (loctite could have prevented this from previous owner or factory). So we replaced the stator but still wouldn't start. While trying to fix the no-start issue we cleaned the valves, replaced piston, replaced regulator, cleaned the carb, installed JD Jet Kit and still no start. The battery is running at 13v and lights, horn and blinkers all work and its trying to crank but will not start... So I took it into another mechanic and they said the starter is running in reverse. I asked them if the polarity was backwards and they still don't know why it's doing that. This is preventing a spark from the plug (which was working fine before the stator issue).

Any ideas from the forums would be super helpful... I've put 1k+ into parts and service so far and I'm kind of done with this bike and mechanics...

Thanks guys,

Dang you've been through it.

 

So when you push the start button, what happens?

If the motor is turning over, it would seem the starter is doing it's job.

Have you checked to see if you are getting a spark at the plug? (hard to check if the motor isn't turning).

If there's no spark, it means either the stator, ignition coil, cdi, plug, or something connecting those components isn't working properly. What brand of stator did you install? The other components aren't known to fail, but who knows. I would make sure everything is plugged up correctly and has the appropriate resistance across it. Also look for frayed or pinched wires.

 

If there is a spark, see if the bike will start with ether. It will die after a second, but at least let's you know the ignition is working. If you get that far, make sure there aren't problems with the other requirements for brap: gas and air.

 

I would go through each system entirely. Clean and oiled air filter

No leaks in any boots between filter, carb, and engine.

Double check jetting and all passageways in carb.

Double check valve timing and clearances.

 

Is there a fuel filter?

Is there fork getting to the carb and filling the bowl?

Is it good fresh fuel?

 

If all that is how it should be... I'm lost.

 

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For clarity purposes:
The starter does operate in the reverse direction that the crank needs to rotate

This happens because the starter engages an idler gear the idler gear engages the starter clutch gear

Perhaps what your mechanic is stating is the starter is causing the crank to turn backwards?? But that really doesn’t make any sense

If power is applied to the starter motor at the terminal and the starter motor is grounded it can only turn one way

And when powered it can only drive the idler gear One Direction and the idler gear can only turn the starter clutch gear One Direction it’s honestly not possible to miss assemble anything and make it run backwards

Not trying to make any disparaging remarks about your mechanic but I would certainly double check that he understands which way the crank is supposed to rotate when the starter motor is engaged

there simply isn’t a common or a reasonable way for the starter motor to drive the crank in reverse

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Erik Marquez said:

For clarity purposes:
The starter does operate in the reverse direction that the crank needs to rotate

This happens because the starter and gauges and idler gear the idler gear engages the starter clutch gear

Alice what your mechanic is stating is the starter is causing the crank to turn backwards and that really doesn’t make any sense

If gold is applied to the starter motor at the terminal and the starter motor is grounded it can only turn one way

Intern it can only drive the idler gear One Direction and the eyelet gear can only turn the starter clutch One Direction it’s honestly not possible to miss assemble anything and make it run backwards

Not trying to make any disparaging remarks about your mechanic but I would certainly double check that he understands which way the crank is supposed to rotate when the starter motor is engaged 

there simply isn’t a common or a reasonable way for the starter motor to drive the crank in reverse

So pretty much the mech shop doesn't know what they are talking about? I've been through the ringer with mechanics and I'm pretty close to throwing the towel.

 

28 minutes ago, Juney said:

Dang you've been through it.

 

So when you push the start button, what happens?

If the motor is turning over, it would seem the starter is doing it's job.

Have you checked to see if you are getting a spark at the plug? (hard to check if the motor isn't turning).

If there's no spark, it means either the stator, ignition coil, cdi, plug, or something connecting those components isn't working properly. What brand of stator did you install? The other components aren't known to fail, but who knows. I would make sure everything is plugged up correctly and has the appropriate resistance across it. Also look for frayed or pinched wires.

 

If there is a spark, see if the bike will start with ether. It will die after a second, but at least let's you know the ignition is working. If you get that far, make sure there aren't problems with the other requirements for brap: gas and air.

 

I would go through each system entirely. Clean and oiled air filter

No leaks in any boots between filter, carb, and engine.

Double check jetting and all passageways in carb.

 Double check valve timing and clearances.

  

Is there a fuel filter?

Is there fork getting to the carb and filling the bowl?

Is it good fresh fuel?

 

If all that is how it should be... I'm lost.

 

Thank you Juney,

Tried a cheapo stator from ebay. Then I bought a Ricky's Stator online for $300 (which is a good brand). That is what's in the bike now. Starter Coil has been replaced, oil filter cleaned and oiled, no leaks (as far as I can tell), jetting was done to spec and valve timing and clearances, fresh supreme fuel.  I'll ask the shop if they checked these steps and tested resistance/pinching across the wires.

 

Edited by suaga

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Not saying your mechanic is mistaken
Just saying I can’t see a way his observations could be correct “starter is turning backwards” But I won't claim I've seen it all.  Folks have come up with many ways I never thought possible to build or assemble something wrong, or a part failing in a way I never thought it might, 

As well as
Perhaps his observation is correct as in he is seeing the starter rotate the opposite direction that the crank needs to rotate, and perhaps he does not know/ consider/ understand there is an idler gear between starter and starter clutch gear that effectively “reverses” the starter drive rotation.

It’s an easy thing to confirm

Remove the timing window plug, look at the flywheel
Push starter button

Which way does the flywheel turn ?

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It's probably just the stator wires are inserted in the connector wrong. Happens all the time with cheap Chinese parts.

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3 minutes ago, ptgarcia said:

It's probably just the stator wires are inserted in the connector wrong. Happens all the time with cheap Chinese parts.

That's what I was thinking too... but it's a Rickey's Stator. There's a tutorial on how to switch the red and white wires on youtube somewhere. At this point, I'd love it if that was the fix.

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Possible the first mechanic put it together incorrectly and messed it up? The dealership mechanic just recommends getting a new starter for $500 but I'm already into this bike for $3000 + $1500 in parts/repairs.

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Possible the first mechanic put it together incorrectly and messed it up? The dealership mechanic just recommends getting a new starter for $500 but I'm already into this bike for $3000 + $1500 in parts/repairs.
$500 is pretty steep.

Oem replacement: https://www.suzukipartshouse.com/oemparts/a/suz/53fb52016d81f594647e4e25/starting-motor

eBay knockoff?:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Starter-Fits-SUZUKI-Motorcycle-DRZ400-DRZ400SM-DR-Z400-DR-Z400S-2000-2017/222815166986?fits=Make%3ASuzuki&hash=item33e0d1a20a:g:vUsAAOSwDVtabtnx
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38 minutes ago, Juney said:

Yes I agree. I'm in Canada so it's CAD but still. We'll see what I can do. Thank for your advice!

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Yes I agree. I'm in Canada so it's CAD but still. We'll see what I can do. Thank for your advice!
No problem. I've certainly received my own hair share of advice from this forum. So when you press the starter button, what happens?
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5 minutes ago, Juney said:
22 minutes ago, suaga said:
Yes I agree. I'm in Canada so it's CAD but still. We'll see what I can do. Thank for your advice!

No problem. I've certainly received my own hair share of advice from this forum. So when you press the starter button, what happens?

 

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If the starter motor truly turns backwards from its' intended direction, it is because it was taken apart and the yoke (outer section with the magnets) was put on backwards. But confirm it truly is backwards. It can appear to be operating backwards if the sprag clutch does not engage. It may be turning in the correct direction but be damaged (or installed incorrectly) preventing engagement.

The engine rotates in the opposite direction of the rear wheel. Crank-clutch-mainshaft-countershaft/rear wheel

The starter motor turns the opposite direction of the engine. Starter-torque limiter-idler-Spraq clutch(crankshaft)

 

 

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That kind of sounds like it's not getting enough juice. I know you said the voltage is good, but something doesn't sound right there.

It does seem like the starter motor is turning the right direction. I don't think we'd hear much nose if it were installed backward because the motor wouldn't turn (I don't think). One way to double check beyond a doubt would be to prop the bike up on a stand so the rear wheel is off the ground. Then, try cranking with the bike in gear (you may need to bypass the neutral safety switch off you haven't already). If the wheel sounds forward that would put the backwards starter theory to bed. That said, the starter may still be faulty.

Have you tried bump starting it? Hope old is the battery? I have a battery charger that plugs into the wall. In addition to charging batteries it can provide enough juice to crank the motor over. I think it was 40 USD. I know you probably don't want to spend more money on things that may or may not be the solution, but that's an idea to eliminate the battery as the problem.

If you haven't already, I would also check that you ARE getting a spark when you crank it. Easiest way is to remove the plug and reattach the plug wire outside the motor. Ground the side of the plug by touching it to the cylinder. I recommend holding it with pliers so you don't have to yourself. With this all in place, try cranking. You should see a spark. It might help to have another set of hands for that.

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8 hours ago, Juney said:

That kind of sounds like it's not getting enough juice. I know you said the voltage is good, but something doesn't sound right there.

It does seem like the starter motor is turning the right direction. I don't think we'd hear much nose if it were installed backward because the motor wouldn't turn (I don't think). One way to double check beyond a doubt would be to prop the bike up on a stand so the rear wheel is off the ground. Then, try cranking with the bike in gear (you may need to bypass the neutral safety switch off you haven't already). If the wheel sounds forward that would put the backwards starter theory to bed. That said, the starter may still be faulty.

Have you tried bump starting it? Hope old is the battery? I have a battery charger that plugs into the wall. In addition to charging batteries it can provide enough juice to crank the motor over. I think it was 40 USD. I know you probably don't want to spend more money on things that may or may not be the solution, but that's an idea to eliminate the battery as the problem.

If you haven't already, I would also check that you ARE getting a spark when you crank it. Easiest way is to remove the plug and reattach the plug wire outside the motor. Ground the side of the plug by touching it to the cylinder. I recommend holding it with pliers so you don't have to yourself. With this all in place, try cranking. You should see a spark. It might help to have another set of hands for that.

That's what I was thinking too, sounds like the starter is struggling to turn and it sounds like the battery is losing power fast. @suaga how old is the battery and is there a chance of trying a different or even new battery? I know you've spent  lot of money on the bike already but I've had a similar issue in the past with a bad battery, I'd charge the battery overnight or even two days, charger would indicate that the battery is fully charged (green), then crank the bike for a very short time and then the battery is flat again.

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11 hours ago, suaga said:

 

1: Its not turning over fast enough to start
2: That "charger" in no way can provide enough power to help start.... look at bat voltage when your trying to start and Id bet it is low 11 or in the 10's
3" The crank IS being rotated, if the starter was "running backwards" if would be turning the starter sprag clutch in its freewheeling direction,,,and the crank would not be driven at all.
4: So now we have one thing for sure, not fast enough cranking speed...and ?????? perhaps something else  causing the no start....But you need to address the power issue first... 

If you wanted to diag no spark.....perhaps being a Stator plug wiring issue, pull the spark plug so there is no compression and that partially dead battery can crank over at speed.
then crank over with spark plug in the cap and end touching some metal, crank it over now and check for spark. Remember the DRZ uses a "Wasted spark" ignition system, so you will see two sparks per full 4 cycle evolution.. you will get a spark on compression stroke and exhaust stroke..thats normal and as designed. 

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I agree with Erik above. Pull the spark plug out and crank the motor if it spins much faster then its probably the battery.

I'm spit balling here but if a new battery doesnt solve the issue then perhaps something gone wrong with the auto decompression...

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18 hours ago, Kyli3_Boi said:

I agree with Erik above. Pull the spark plug out and crank the motor if it spins much faster then its probably the battery.

I'm spit balling here but if a new battery doesnt solve the issue then perhaps something gone wrong with the auto decompression...

Update: so all electrical is coming back sound including the battery and spake plug. The kickstand has been bipassed as it was being finicky. It all came back to the starter which was disassembled and cleaned by the last mech. Guess is something was not put back right. Going to order a new starter and see if it fires up. Any experience with After Market starters?

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RMATV's website lists an oem starter for $256. They also offer a "Neutron" brand starter for $39.99. If you check on this one, there are numerous reviews on it. Maybe someone on this site can comment.  Keep in mind that your Suzuki dealer will probably refuse to install a non-oem starter. You may be hesitant to install any new starter yourself, but can you count on either of your 2 previous mechanics to do better, and for additional labor $?

 

neu_19_sta-1761270021.jpg.55d038b8df36b584d26692a5ffd0a7d2.jpg

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1 minute ago, 76xtdrvr said:

RMATV's website lists an oem starter for $256. They also offer a "Neutron" brand starter for $39.99. If you check on this one, there are numerous reviews on it. Maybe someone on this site can comment.  Keep in mind that your Suzuki dealer will probably refuse to install a non-oem starter. You may be hesitant to install any new starter yourself, but can you count on either of your 2 previous mechanics to do better, and for additional labor $?

 

neu_19_sta-1761270021.jpg.55d038b8df36b584d26692a5ffd0a7d2.jpg

yeah that is a good points... I've cheaped out before and cost me more in the long run though so I'm hesitant.

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