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1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 26 Jul 2021 11:19 #852579

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I've been riding my "new" 1982 KZ1000J since a few weeks now. There are a few issues I'll have questions about but the first one is the following,

In the ignition switch, there are four positions for the key:
1st - Fully left. 100% OFF with handlebar locked.
2nd - 100% OFF.
3rd - 100% ON.
4th - Fully right. 99% OFF (only the taillight is on) with handlebar locked.

So far, I got the problem twice; today and 3 weeks ago. Both times, it happened after a ride. I turn the engine off and when I turn the key on again (from immediately to within a few minutes), electricals are 99% OFF. There is absolutely nothing, beside the tailight, that turns on. Today, it happened after fueling it up. I pushed the bike beside the gas station and after about 10 minutes, everything turn back to normal. The first time, it also came back to normal after about 10 minutes or so.

Beside this, the bike works perfectly and all is 100% normal. When the problem is present, it is like if the ignition switch was in position #4 but with no handlebar locking.

I believe it could be ignition switch related and I'm wondering if this already happened to some else.
Thanks!
2017 Versys 1000
1982 GPZ1100
1982 KZ1000J2
1984 KZ750L

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Last edit: by Claude..

1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 26 Jul 2021 12:47 #852584

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It does sound like a worn out ignition switch.  

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1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 26 Jul 2021 15:34 #852593

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I had same problem on my 750 several years ago. Problem became more frequent until one night the bike just cut out at a red light. Eventually turned on again. Slimjim+z1bebe posted some time ago about refurbishing and cleaning the internal switch contacts but I couldn't do in with my switch without destroying it. Bought an Emgo switch which was plug and play and use an original key for seat lock

PS 4th key position "full right" is called  "parking position". Used it once accidentally and of course it ran the battery flat 
1980 kz750E1, Delkevic exhaust
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1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 27 Jul 2021 15:19 #852648

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I had same problem on my 750 several years ago. Problem became more frequent until one night the bike just cut out at a red light. Eventually turned on again. Slimjim+z1bebe posted some time ago about refurbishing and cleaning the internal switch contacts but I couldn't do in with my switch without destroying it. Bought an Emgo switch which was plug and play and use an original key for seat lock

PS 4th key position "full right" is called  "parking position". Used it once accidentally and of course it ran the battery flat 

Seems JR has a long memory.
kzrider.com/forum/4-electrical/606810-z-...-and-troubleshooting

Good Ridin'
slmjim & Z1BEBE
A biker looks at your engine and chrome.
A Rider looks at your odometer and tags.

1972 Z1 x2
1974 Z1-A x2
1975 Z1-B x2
1993 CB 750 Nighthawk x2
2009 ST1300A

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Last edit: by slmjim+Z1BEBE. Reason: Weird formatting when posted

1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 28 Jul 2021 07:17 #852689

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I had same problem on my 750 several years ago. Problem became more frequent until one night the bike just cut out at a red light. Eventually turned on again. Slimjim+z1bebe posted some time ago about refurbishing and cleaning the internal switch contacts but I couldn't do in with my switch without destroying it. Bought an Emgo switch which was plug and play and use an original key for seat lock

PS 4th key position "full right" is called  "parking position". Used it once accidentally and of course it ran the battery flat 

Seems JR has a long memory.
kzrider.com/forum/4-electrical/606810-z-...-and-troubleshooting

Good Ridin'
slmjim & Z1BEBE

Great write up you did; many thanks for that!!!
I do have three questions though if you don't mind. You wrote the following:

Resolution: after cleaning everything and burnishing the damaged contacts, we swapped the positions of the two movable contacts. Doing so placed a relatively fresh contact point in the WHITE circuit. A dab of conductive grease on all the stationary contacts ensures smooth operation and good electrical conductivity.

Q1- What is "burnishing"? (Take note that I'm a french speaking guy and have not a 100% understanding of english language). I believe it is kind of rubbing/polishing of the surface to bring back it's bare surface but not sure.

Q2- The erosion created a depression and a flat on the mating surfaces. Even with burnishing, there is a lack of material for a good contact. How did you solve this issue?

Q3- I don't catch what position you swapped. Is it matchng wires in the plastic harness connectors or what?

The defective ignition switch I have is off a 1982 KZ1000J2 while yours, seems to be off a Z1. Hope your write up fits my switch and that I can take it apart like you did...

Many thanks!!
 
2017 Versys 1000
1982 GPZ1100
1982 KZ1000J2
1984 KZ750L

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Last edit: by Claude..

1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 31 Jul 2021 13:20 #852913

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I had same problem on my 750 several years ago. Problem became more frequent until one night the bike just cut out at a red light. Eventually turned on again. Slimjim+z1bebe posted some time ago about refurbishing and cleaning the internal switch contacts but I couldn't do in with my switch without destroying it. Bought an Emgo switch which was plug and play and use an original key for seat lock

PS 4th key position "full right" is called  "parking position". Used it once accidentally and of course it ran the battery flat 

Seems JR has a long memory.
kzrider.com/forum/4-electrical/606810-z-...-and-troubleshooting

Good Ridin'
slmjim & Z1BEBE

Great write up you did; many thanks for that!!!
I do have three questions though if you don't mind. You wrote the following:

Resolution: after cleaning everything and burnishing the damaged contacts, we swapped the positions of the two movable contacts. Doing so placed a relatively fresh contact point in the WHITE circuit. A dab of conductive grease on all the stationary contacts ensures smooth operation and good electrical conductivity.

Q1- What is "burnishing"? (Take note that I'm a french speaking guy and have not a 100% understanding of english language). I believe it is kind of rubbing/polishing of the surface to bring back it's bare surface but not sure.

Q2- The erosion created a depression and a flat on the mating surfaces. Even with burnishing, there is a lack of material for a good contact. How did you solve this issue?

Q3- I don't catch what position you swapped. Is it matchng wires in the plastic harness connectors or what?

The defective ignition switch I have is off a 1982 KZ1000J2 while yours, seems to be off a Z1. Hope your write up fits my switch and that I can take it apart like you did...

Many thanks!!

 

Q1 - Burnishing means polishing by rubbing.  If memory serves, we used very fine (2,000 grit or finer) wet/dry sandpaper.  Apply just enough pressure to remove carbonized debris & make the contact surfaces bright.  Another trick to clean some contact surfaces is to utilize an old-style typewriter eraser that has a little abrasive in the rubber.

Q2 - There's no practical way for us to renew or replace eroded contact material.  We just renewed the burned surfaces by burnishing and left it at that.

Q3 - We swapped the two internal moveable (rotary) contact plates in order to engage new(er), undamaged contacts in the WHITE circuit.  We did not move any wires where they're soldered to the back of the ignition switch.

The switch we used for the posting is indeed from a Z1.  We have never disassembled a KZ1000J ignition switch and cannot say if the internal parts are the same as a Z1.

Good Ridin'
slmjim & Z1BEBE
A biker looks at your engine and chrome.
A Rider looks at your odometer and tags.

1972 Z1 x2
1974 Z1-A x2
1975 Z1-B x2
1993 CB 750 Nighthawk x2
2009 ST1300A

www.kawasaki-z-classik.com
An enthusiast's forum focused exclusively
on all things Z1, Z2 and KZ900.

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1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 09 Sep 2021 11:35 #855055

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**** UPDATE STATUS ****
I still have the problem described in my original post.
However, I was wrong when I wrote only the taillight is "on" when the problem is present; all the following do works at this moment:
Taillight, headlight (low and high [and its pilot light]), turn signals and emergency hazard (as well as instrument's corresponding lights).
What don't work are: horns, brake light, starter, neutral light, oil pressure light.
I have two ignition switches that I stripped, cleaned and lubed (with dielectric grease). And when the problem is present, both switches act the same.

I now think that the problem is elsewhere.

Any of you knows where to look at?
Maybe a fuse, wiring or short somewhere. I will look at the wiring diagram but any hint at where to begin my search would be really helpful.

Thanks!!

Strange thing though is that the problem always disappears about 5-15 minutes of waiting.
2017 Versys 1000
1982 GPZ1100
1982 KZ1000J2
1984 KZ750L

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Last edit: by Claude..

1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 09 Sep 2021 12:35 #855059

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Follow the path of voltage on the brown wire (fuse box output) with a multimeter! Some fuse/connector metal can disintegrad, corrode, aged, overheated and lost the ability to give a good voltage/current flow. In my bike/car wrenching history i found dozent of fuses/connectors that failed but look visualy ok.
 
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1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 09 Sep 2021 16:01 #855083

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Follow the path of voltage on the brown wire (fuse box output) with a multimeter! Some fuse/connector metal can disintegrad, corrode, aged, overheated and lost the ability to give a good voltage/current flow. In my bike/car wrenching history i found dozent of fuses/connectors that failed but look visualy ok.

 

I'm glad I asked on the forum as I just looked at the wiring diagram and the brown wire is linked to all the items that do not work when "the plague" is hitting my bike. Many thanks for hilighting this!!
I must also ask what to check with the multimeter: continuity? resistance? voltage drop?
Thanks again!!
2017 Versys 1000
1982 GPZ1100
1982 KZ1000J2
1984 KZ750L

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1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 09 Sep 2021 16:52 #855086

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The Brown wire is the main control power distribution to the bike from Ignition Switch, when Ignition Key is in the ON position.   The White wire feeds power to the Ignition Switch from the Battery through a Fuse.

...The same White wire feeds power to the other wires on the Ignition Switch, depending on the key position.   You should be able to read than on the electric schematics; Iginition Switch Box....that tells what passes power to what, and in which postion.

Because you are getting power to other things, I would assume the White wire has power (it should, always, as long as battery and fuse are good).   So it looks like Ignition Switch is not passing power from White wire to Brown wire when you turn Ignition Key to ON..

Basically, when Ignition is ON, you should have 12VDC on Brown Wire everywhere it goes.    You can verify that  W/meter on Volts DC, and other lead to bike chassis (no paint) or ground (Battery Negative).

 
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1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 10 Sep 2021 12:47 #855112

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Hi Claude, 
There is a couple of points here, you are asking whether to test continuity, resistance or voltage (I will do a post in the tech forum on the principles of elec fault finding if people think it would be useful) basically you should do all fault finding (where possible) with a volt meter. This is the best way not to disappear down a rabbit hole with innacurate test result. I would suspect that the fault you have is a high resistance, the reason it starts working again after 5-10mins is quite straight forward. A ristence causes a build up of heat, as the heat increases so does the resistance until it gets to point were not enough current flows to operate the consumer. When you turn it off there is no current flow so it cools down and the resistance reduces which is why it starts working again until the whole process repeats itself. You will not find a resistance fault normally by measuring resistance with an ohmmeter (I will explain why in the teach post) hope this helps
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1982 KZ1000J electrical problem 10 Sep 2021 16:37 #855114

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Hi Claude, 
There is a couple of points here, you are asking whether to test continuity, resistance or voltage (I will do a post in the tech forum on the principles of elec fault finding if people think it would be useful) basically you should do all fault finding (where possible) with a volt meter. This is the best way not to disappear down a rabbit hole with innacurate test result. I would suspect that the fault you have is a high resistance, the reason it starts working again after 5-10mins is quite straight forward. A ristence causes a build up of heat, as the heat increases so does the resistance until it gets to point were not enough current flows to operate the consumer. When you turn it off there is no current flow so it cools down and the resistance reduces which is why it starts working again until the whole process repeats itself. You will not find a resistance fault normally by measuring resistance with an ohmmeter (I will explain why in the teach post) hope this helps

Wookie, your description of the problem is exactly what I think. Please make a post in the tech forum as soon as you can; it will be extremely useful to me and many others for sure.
Please post here a link to your tutorial.
But in the meantime, in just a few words, how do you hunt such a resistance?
Many thanks!
2017 Versys 1000
1982 GPZ1100
1982 KZ1000J2
1984 KZ750L

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