Ignition Problems?  How Do You Know?

From: "Edward  St. Petersburg FL. USA" <edju@ij.net>
Reply-To: Cavalcade_USA
To: djones9213, "Cavalcade_USA" 
Cavalcade_USA
Subject: [Cavalcade_USA] Ignition switch-Start-Wont start
Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 11:11:49 -0400

Thanks for the timely reply Eugene. Something to consider here that I wasn't aware of is that there may be a difference between the LX and the LXE switch.  The parts book shows two numbers for the indicated switch without explaining the difference.  My switch has 8 wires exiting it with a plug at the end of the wires.  Actually, I only need the switch at the end of the extension tube that is held on by two screws.  The attached pix shows it all.

The problem that I experienced would be a good one for the archives.  Keep in mind that I had 35 years in the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling industry, service only, and am a good circuits trouble shooter.

The theory/analysis part of this unique problem took longer to resolve than the actual hands on resolution of it.  That's what retirement does to a person, or maybe because I've got a few other bikes to bum around on.  Anyway, here's a recap once again as to what I experienced and what I found and how I found it.

About three months ago I went to start the bike, put in the key and the radio came on as usual.  I pressed the starter without pulling the clutch to prime the carbs with the electric fuel pump (something I learned from our group) and nothing happened!!  I then noticed that I had no headlights or LCD display ( a major clue ) and that the only other thing working, besides the radio was the compressor.  I tried everything that I learned from being on this list, thank you, but to no avail.  So I got out the tools and went to work.

I pulled the upper shell, right radio speaker and side covers looking for what I thought might be a faulty ignition RELAY. some how, even after studying the wiring diagram and finding none identified as such, I still believed there might be one.  That assumption very quickly was proved wrong.  This led me to the ignition switch, which I dreaded having to remove because of the inaccessibility to the two Allen screws securing it.  Fortunately, I found among my considerable Flea Market acquired collection of tools a set of 12" long Allen wrenches that facilitated the removal of the screws, which I initially thought could only be removed by pulling the faring.  Confirming that I had juice into the switch, I then used a jumper wire to energize the stubs on the ignition switch, and in so doing found that one stub that only need the jump to bring everything to life.  I noted the stub and then opened (broke) the switch apart to find out why this aggravation, my first in 27,000 miles and 14 years of ownership.

What I found is that the fault was caused by the contact button imbedded in the brittle bakelite like disc being recessed in the disc, instead of protruding slightly above the disc, as did all the other contact "buttons". It is apparent to me that this defective part was not recognized as such when joined to the other part of the switch.

In concluding, The components within the switch are otherwise well made and should not be a chronic problem for Caders, unless of course, there was in fact a problem with the "button disc" in production, meaning that there could be a lot more out there.  It is important to remember the "clue" which is only radio and compressor on when the key is on.  This is the identifier of the problem and different I think, from the much suspected and more common clutch switch.LXEswitch.jpg (40590 bytes)


Whew!  That's it!  See what happens when you guys get me going on something?  I hope I haven't bored you.  

PS, There are 8 wires exiting the LXE switch. It may be that the LX switch is different as there are 2 part numbers for the switch.

Ed