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1997 Kawasaki Bayou 220 Rehab - wiring question

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Let me start with I have about 30 years of ATC experience, but not much with stuff made after 1988.  Some, but I'm mechanically inclined so it's all good.  I"m rehabbing a 1997 Bayou 220 to send back into the wild and the mechanicals are now all good, just working on making the electrical system...electric.  Right now, I have no power on the white wire as tested directly on the plug at the starter solenoid.  I'm assuming that wire is supposed to be hot any time it's attached to a battery?  The genius that had it before snipped a couple wires and inserted a fairly heavy push button for electric start bypassing the electrical system. I think i've corrected everything north of the solenoid but the white wire has me stumped.  Is my assumption that this should always be hot with a hot battery correct?  Does this indicate a broken circuit in the starter solenoid?  Relay was also bad and wired incorrectly, but that's resolved and I can make the relay click bypassing the solenoid and connector, directly giving the white wire 12V.  Thoughts?

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There is a neutral safety switch located on the shifter side of the engine.   It’s a light green and a red wire going into the engine.  

Take the light green wire from the harness side  and ground it. That should close your stayer relay circuit.  If so then you have an issue with the neutral safety switch.  

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Neutral safety switch grounds normally, breaks ground in gear so it's fine. My issue here is no electricity in the harness at all past the + terminal of the solenoid. For that matter, I get no internal connectivity between + solenoid and white wire spade on the solenoid using multimeter.  I assumed there would be connectivity there within the solenoid circuit even in the absence of electricity.  am i wrong?

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Yes you should have power on that white wire all the time.    From the positive terminal to the relay, at the relay it branches off internally  into a small fuse holster that’s attached to the relay with a rubber cap over it.

Have you located that’s and checked it? It could also be broken inside the relay.  

You can put a jumper from the positive terminal to that wire to test it your distribution of power to the controls but have a jumper with an in-line fuse just in case you or someone else made a wiring error down the line someplace.  

If you have checked the fuse and still no power then chances are the relay is broke.  

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Thanks for the info brother. Pretty certain the solenoid circuit has an internal break somewhere. New one should be in tomorrow so we'll find out. Oddly noticed last night that if jumping 12V to the white wire manually the starter engaged. Pretty much tells me the solenoid is bad and stuck closed I think. 

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Here’s the wiring diagram.   

Mean time take a tester, put it in continuity and go across the two lugs on the solenoid.  You should not get any reading. If so then yes it’s stuck in the closed position.  

Print this diagram out and do what I do, take a few different color highlighters and color code the wires. It makes it way easier to pick things apart. 




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I had the same problem, ended up replacing a blown fuse and the ign. switch


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To resolve this thread:  it ended up being the solenoid.  The solenoid itself was good but there was an internal break in the circuit somewhere between the incoming 12V from the battery lead and the white wire that should be outbound 12V to the bike.  I did a continuity test on the new one and as expected, there is continuity in a good solenoid.

Thank you all for the help.

Now to just narrow down a few floating grounds to make the dash lights and headlights perk back up and this thing is ready for a new home.

Just started a 1993 Kokiak 400 4X4 rehab as well.  Should be a fun one!

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Awesome work brother. Let us know how you make out on the bayou. 

Post some pics of the Kodiak ! 

Lets get started on that one.  

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This is the front birds nest I sorted out. Also attached is the before. Under the plastic was a complete mess but its almost sorted now. Tearing into it revealed a mess but its mechanically ok. Runs good, needs a bit more fuel at WOT. 



Here is the Kodiak. My oldest picked it up for $600 and it just needs front wheel bearings and the trans case leaks. Small things. Only 1300 original miles. 


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Two wires were broken inside of the harness and I had to disassemble the combo switch to rebuild the light section (spring was broke in the contact pad...BTW a pen spring is the same size!) and now we're all good. Need to wrap and loom some wires but it's ready for a new home. 

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Ole 220 drove away to it's new home today. Sold it in an hour, quicker than I thought. Older lady bought it to run out to her deer stand. Good to hear itll be used. 


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