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1982 Yamaha XJ550 Maxim NOT STARTING

Discussion in 'XJ Technical Chat' started by Jackson Reeves, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    Howdy! I'm new to the forum, and working on motorcycles in general, haha. I recently traded an 80cc 2 stroke motorized bicycle that I built in my dorm room for an '82 XJ550 Maxim that doesn't run. I have already swapped out the battery, ignition coils, and brake lever, all of which I know were bad. My main problem now is that when I switch the engine switch to "run," and press the start button, nothing happens, except the oil light turns on as I press the start button in. The starter solenoid doesn't even click, though! When I jam a screwdriver in between the 2 posts on the solenoid, the engine turns over, but still doesn't start. I took the right-most plug out and grounded the body to the head of the engine, and it doesn't get spark. I'd like to fix the starter button issue first, however, so that it's easier to troubleshoot the rest of the problems. Any ideas on what is wrong with it? I do have a new starter solenoid coming in sometime this week, if USPS can get it together, because the whole solenoid just looks super sketchy and I want to replace it anyways. Thanks in advance! I look forward to posting all of my dumb noob questions on here lol
     
  2. StahlMaster

    StahlMaster Member

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    side stand switch? My 650xj will do the oil light thing if I try to start it with the side stand down.
     
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  3. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    I'll check it, thank you! For some reason I haven't checked the switch yet, haha. I always make sure it is up when I try to start it, but the actual switch itself might be messed up. I might just try to bypass the switch if I can find the wires, this whole bike is a big mess...
     
  4. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    on the 550 under the seat you will find the sidestand safety relay you can remove it to bypass side stand , it is best to repair the switch on ssidestand and reinstall relay after you get bike started and running, it is easy to fix spray some cleaner into switch and some silicon lube.

    and the oil light is made to come on when starter button is pressed, to test the bulb. you will want to know when your low on oil when riding.

    when you chang the oil turn on the key before refilling to test oil level switch it is good to know it is working too.

    a little seafoam in oil will clean out sludge in swittch and motor about 200 to 300 miles before oil change.
     
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  5. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    clean the connections at solinoid for battery and starter could be dirty. sounds like a solinoid issue because the oil light comes on showing you have made the connection to ground.

    any connections you dissemble clean and grease. use electronic contact spray and dielectric grease(silicon)


    BUT if your sidestand switch is not working the starter will not spin.
     
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  6. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    Replace the start solenoid they are cheap , I bought 2 when I replaced mine, the old solenoid was intermittent.
     
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  7. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    UPDATE: The starter solenoid finally came in last Friday, so I swapped it out and now the bike will turn over with the start button under it's own power. However, I'm still not getting spark. The relays are all working (to the best of my knowledge, I'm going to buy a multi meter some time soon and start testing various connections and such) and I have bypassed the Side Stand Switch and Clutch Safety Switch. I did two simple spark tests using the spark plugs and a screwdriver, and I don't seem to be getting spark to the spark plugs. What all should I check, and preferably in what order should I check?
     
  8. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    first make sure the run/kill switch is in correct position. this happens a lot

    then ohm out the ignition coils both primary and secondary
    ohm out the pickup coils from the connector at the tci
    if in spec then its time to chase voltage.
    measure voltage at fuse both sides then at red/white wire at the tci
    all voltages should be close to battery voltage ther will be slight drop at every connector
    the connector near the ignition coils coming from right control has been an issue in my 550s you have to remove the tank to get to it.

    any connector you undo clean with electronic contact cleaner and add some dielectric grease

    if you find a large voltage drop follow back to closest connector up stream test and clean.

    I would clean the ignition switch

    Clean and lube the ignition switch
    the right control with kill/run switch can be cleaned just be carful not to lose the little bb in the mechinisim
    550ignitiona.PNG

    on tci there is a black white wire with bullet connector disconnect it leave it disconnected when testing
     
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  9. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The Ultimate Relay, Switch, Sensor, and Diodes Guide
    specs from above link
    XJ550 models:

    Pick-up coils:
    650 ohms +/- 20% = 520 ohms to 780 ohms acceptable range


    Ignition Coils:

    Primary side (input from main wiring harness):
    2.5 ohms +/- 10% = 2.25 ohms - 2.75 ohms acceptable range

    Secondary side (spark plug wires, without their end caps):
    11K ohms +/- 20% = 8,800 ohms - 13,200 ohms acceptable range


    Spark plug caps:
    10K +/- 20% = 8,000 to 12,000 ohms per cap acceptable range

    Spark plugs:
    0 ohms per plug
     
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  10. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    @XJ550H Thank you so much! I got this bike off of a trade from a budget build 80cc 2 stroke that I put about $175 into, I'm hoping to fix this up and flip it sometime this year! Hopefully I'll get the chance this weekend to start diving into the wiring and throwing stuff at walls!
     
  11. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    if you need your tci tested to rule it out as the problem I can do it for you in my 550 would cost about 3 dollars each way shipping
     
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  12. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    Thanks! I might hit you up on that in a couple of weeks!
     
  13. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    UPDATE: Bypassed some things and replaced some other things AND SHE STARTED for the first time since (I believe) '84! Planning on starting a new minimalist wiring harness tomorrow, and I was thinking of running 10-12 gauge wiring throughout the whole thing. Does anyone think those numbers present a problem? Also plan on replacing the headlight with an aftermarket LED one, so hopefully that wiring doesn't present an issue! Thank y'all for all of your help so far!
     
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  14. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  15. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    Already got both of those downloaded haha, been studying the crap out of 'em. If I were to run 1 consistent gauge of wire throughout the whole diagram, what do you think a good size would be? I'm just going to get a big spool of one color wire and some black to know what is ground and what isn't.
     
  16. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I like to use wire rated 2 times the amps of the fuse so 16 ga wire for most circuits

    If the wire OD is 2.03mm - 2.19mm (.0799 to .0862"), then it's 20-gauge (20g) AWG or 0.40mm squared (metric size).
    NOTE: 20g wire is rated for a maximum load of 11 amps of current at 12VDC.

    If the wire OD is 2.26mm - 2.42mm (.0890 to .0953"), then it's 18-gauge (18g) AWG or 0.75mm squared (metric size).
    NOTE: 18g wire is rated for a maximum load of 16 amps of current at 12VDC.

    If the wire OD is 2.48mm - 2.64mm (.0976 to .1039"), then it's 16-gauge (16g) AWG or 1.25mm squared (metric size).
    NOTE: 16g wire is rated for a maximum load of 22 amps of current at 12VDC.

    If the wire OD is 2.89mm - 3.05mm (.1138 to .1201"), then it's 14-gauge (14g) AWG or 2.00mm squared (metric size).
    NOTE: 14g wire is rated for a maximum load of 32 amps of current at 12VDC.
    NOTE: 14g wire is the largest size wire normally found in the wiring harnesses on these bikes. Battery cables and the solenoid-to-starter motor cable are larger, of course, but of all the main harness and accessory wiring, 14-gauge is the largest that you'll find.

    If the wire OD is 3.49mm - 3.65mm (.1374 to .1437"), then it's 12-gauge (12g) AWG or 3.00mm squared (metric size).
    NOTE: 12g wire is rated for a maximum load of 41 amps of current at 12VDC.

    If the wire OD is 4.32mm - 4.48mm (.1701 to .1764"), then it's 10-gauge (10g) AWG or 5.00mm squared (metric size).
    NOTE: 10g wire is rated for a maximum load of 55 amps of current at 12VDC.
     
  17. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    Bet thanks. So if I just get hella 16 gauge wire for the minimal harness I should be good to go?
     
  18. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    yes . except for the wire that runs from main fuse to ignition switch you could run 2 wires and the wire that feeds back to fuses.
     
  19. Jackson Reeves

    Jackson Reeves New Member

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    UPDATE: So the bike came with those crappy pod filters, causing it to run super lean. While I was tuning the carbs, I believe one of the pistons was getting too hot, due to said leanness, and I'm pretty sure blew a piston ring. New game plan is to tear the bike down to the frame and rebuilt it how I want it. First step, however, is to rebuild the engine. Does anyone have any leads on a complete engine rebuild kit? i.e. Pistons, wrist pins, piston ring sets, piston pin bushings, rod bearings, main bearings, complete gasket kit, etc...
     
  20. Simmy

    Simmy Well-Known Member

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    The rings are hardened steel. The piston is soft aluminum. Heat from lean conditions will melt a hole through the piston, I've never seen rings fail from this.
    Buy yourself a compression tester, this will tell you if you need to start stripping the motor apart.

    Chacal could probably assemble you such a kit. This might sound harsh, but you are discussing a 550 Maxim with a $2,000 value for a museum quality bike.
    What you've listed can easily exceed this.
    Buy yourself a compression tester, this will tell you if you need to start stripping the motor apart.
     

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