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Shadow Ace died while power no nothing.

Discussion in 'Mechanical & Technical' started by Northwestgrizzly, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. I have a 98 Honda Shadow Ace 750 and I pulled out of the bank drive through yesterday. It made a small "pop" sound and promptly died.

    No lights of any kind, no power, no response. Along with the audible "pop" I smelled what could loosely described as a burnt plastic smell tinged with an electrical hint. I checked all of the fuses I could find and they all were fine. I tried starting it hours later and still no power and no response.

    Could the battery dieing have this affect or am I looking more towards the regulator/stator area? Do they just audibly die?

    I have searched through this site and found a couple of references to older Shadows (83 and 85) having a similar issues. One fellow stated he heard a pop and and saw an accompanying flash of light.

    I've only recently gotten this bike but it ran and started up every time without fail other than a slight throttle hesitation while running when it was cold. In fact I put a 100 or so miles on it the day before this happened.

    I would appreciate you knowledge folks, thank you
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  2. Have a look at the connector comming from the stator to the rectifier
    You've got a short somewhere...

  3. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    Check the battery voltage as it sounds like you had a short somewhere. Could be the battery, but hard to say until you check it.
  4. Thank you.

    I was riding it when it popped and died. I understand that in motorcycles its not like a alternator/battery setup in a car but a are you saying a dead battery will cause it to just die mid running?
  5. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    If you heard a pop, it could have been a cell in the battery shorting OR a battery cable shorting. If you have nothing when you turn the key on, and all the fuses are good it's time to check the battery.

    If the battery is toast, I'd be looking at the regulator to see if it was overcharged. Typically, even with a blown R/R you will get lights or a horn or something to work. Nothing at all indicates a battery or bad cable. If the battery is shot, you need to find out why.
  6. Ok....I'll give it a check.
  7. Texasl

    Texasl Totally Charming Retired Moderator Staff Member

    Did you check the 30 amp fuse incorporated with the starter relay?

    (Wiring Diagram)

    If that has blown the "pop" you heard may have been the main power lead between the relay and the ignition switch shorting to ground. If the battery is up to voltage check to see if the voltage is present at the wiring harness side of the ignition plug.

    Good luck
  8. Ahhh this will help thank you!
  9. check the 30 amp fuse as texasl said, if it keeps blowing then it is probably the r/r
    , my 98 hawk did same thing last year, look at upgrading the r/r if that is the case, honda r/r seem to over heat(at least on the superhawks they do)

    if you smelled electrical burn - better do a really good check to make sure nothing else shorted out.
  10. I believe I'm probably the fellow with the 83 Shadow you noted. On mine it was the main power fuse right off the battery that died, but still appeared intact. I would assume they changed the design at some point to eliminate the paper-thin "wrench" looking fuse mine had.

    If the battery checks out good I would start at the main power feed or the ignition switch. You can take the switch apart and jump the pads to see if it makes contact. I had to re-do mine at one point when the pads worn down to where they wouldn't make solid contact when the key was turned.
  11. Ok, I checked the battery and if I did it right looks to be between 11 and 12 volts. I was able to take that measurement from the battery posts themselves and where the positive battery cable meets at the Starter relay switch.


    The 30 AMP fuse at the starter relay switch was intact and not corroded.


    Am I supposed to be able to measure voltage from the Starter relay switch wire that goes to the starter at any time. I tried in many ways and was never able to measure any voltage from where the red arrow points in the second picture.

    But to be honest even if something in this area had been bad, how would it affect the engine while its running and just kill it dead?

    Now where to next?
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  12. james1300

    james1300 Track School Dazed

    You will need MORE than 11 volts!
    Charge the battery and then let it stand. After an hour check the battery voltage.
    Your looking for more than 12v
    You can check voltage from the positive post to a GOOD frame ground. Or, the neg. post.
  13. I know there should be more than 11 but I think the Voltmeter has manual calibration that's off a bit (kinda cheap) and even so even with 11 volts I should at the least have "Low Oil", Brights" and "Kickstand Down" handlebar/forks lights and I got nothing. I put a battery charger on about 1 minute the charger said I had a full charge.

    Still nothing.....nadda.

    Here what I did.

    1. Grounded the Voltmeter.
    2. Placed Positive Voltmeter contact on battery positive terminal=Measurable reading as shown in the previous posted picture.
    3. Positive end on the terminal from the relay to starter= No measurable reading.
    4. Then turned the key on= No measurable reading.
    5. Pulled clutch in just to make sure I was neutral safe,
    Kill switch on
    Push start switch.
    6. Result= At no time did I ever get any measurable reading.

    The 30 AMP fuse on the bottom of the starter relay was intact.

    All connectors I tried were solidly secured.

    Shouldn't I have gotten something some time, with a charged battery?

    And even if the starter relay was indeed bad shouldn't I at least get lights, such as "Low Oil", Kickstand" and "High Beams when I turn the ignition key on? I get nothing....similar to a dead battery which it isnt.

    And would the bad starter relay kill the bike running as I pulled out of the bank drive through?

    I will attempt to cross the starter relay terminals tomorrow when I wake up....I work graveyard.
  14. 11V is generally considered discharged. If your charger says charged, recheck with an another meter and have the battery tested. (Putting a high watt 12V lamp across the battery will illuminate its condition if it really is not charged). FYI The Calibration on that meter is for ohms only.

    When you have a battery that is charged and good. Try taking the readings again. Then try taking the readings again with the starter motor cable disconnected.
  15. I will do as you suggest.

    Same question though....why would the bike just die as I was riding out of the bank drive through? It had been running without issue right up to that moment.
  16. Aligned planets? Electronic weapons normally reserved for disabling occupy protestors iPhones? Were you wearing black boots?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012

  17. Bwahahaha!!! crackup:crackup:

    Yes...yes I was indeed wearing black boots. :thefinge:
  18. Texasl

    Texasl Totally Charming Retired Moderator Staff Member

    Electrical troubleshooting can be a serious pain, but you need to keep it simple. Start where you have voltage, and move down the wiring in a logical sequence until the voltage goes away. The odds are pretty good that your offending component will be somewhere (electrically) between the 0 volt point and your last good reading.

    It may be as simple as a plug has arced out. I would not expect anything too esoteric since you have lost all power.

    Good luck
  19. Ok, I just re-read the thread (which is laidened with great advice BTW!) and now I got some questions;

    Did you check the stator and rectifier connectors?
    Did you get battery voltage where you marked your white arrow?
    Can you get access to the connector on the bottom of that relay/solenoid?

    Props to Texas for posting the wiring diagram which I only just looked at. That relay is a great place to check a number of things because it is, via internal connection, supplying power to the ignition switch and hence the rest of the bike. Try to measure the voltage on the small red wire at the relay. If it is not present try again with the rectifier unplugged.

    If you have battery voltage on the small red wire on the start relay check it arrives at the red wire at the ignition switch. Then check the red/blk wire coming out of the ignition and, as TexasL said, you are going to have to chase that down until you stop getting power.

    Aside from KISS also use your nose. Electrical burning smells (normally associated with popping sounds and subsequent power failure) linger for a long while and can lead you directly to a failed component. Like that diode pair in the fusebox area. ;-)
  20. Well, I havent got to the point of troubleshooting your points yet Andy but I did try...

    1. Ignition on.
    2. Bike in Neautral.
    3. Kill switch on.
    4. Starter button depressed.
    5. And on the starter relay switch, a screwdriver between the positive battery cable connection and the cable connector going to the starter.

    The starter turns over strongly and consisitently and the battery is charged. But the bike does not start.
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