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1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help - (SOLVED)

Have a question about fixing something on a Yamaha Virago XV750? Post it here!

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Blackfireball5
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1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help - (SOLVED)

Post by Blackfireball5 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:21 pm

Hey all.

Hoping someone here can help my buddy and I diagnose and fix an issue my bike developed on my last ride.

Incident:

I was on a ride and suddenly and abruptly my bike started dying. Kind of like a quick misfire and then I was coasting in neutral. I pull off the road and start troubleshooting with limited tools. The bike will turn over and idle, but the moment too much throttle is given it sputters and dies. I have a few friends come out and meet me with tools. Doing some troubleshooting, we swap the spark plug positions and it seems to help. I ride the bike home, but many electrical functions are not working, and I did have to pull off the road another time on my way home for it stalling.

What works and what doesn't:

I have the bike in my garage and this is what works and what doesn't:

The horn, turn signals, and tachometer, neutral indicator light, and brake light all do not work.

The taillight, headlight, and gauge cluster back light work fine.

The bike starts up just fine and idles fine. It seems as though one cylinder might be dumping raw fuel or is running rich. (the cylinder toward the back of the bike when sitting on it)

Fuses all look intact.

Where we are at:

We are thinking it could be something related to the voltage rectifier. Upon reviewing the wiring diagram (http://www.viragotech.com/wiring/81_83_us_XV750.jpg), we noticed that the brown wire touches all the things that are not working (horn, turn signals, tach unit, etc )



We are hoping some smart guys or gals would know what to check from here or provide any insight into our rectifier lead.

Thank you in advance!

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ViragoJoe
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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by ViragoJoe » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:06 am

Track the path of the Brown wire and every connector you come in contact with separate and clean it with solvent. Disconnect you negative battery lead before hand. Maybe a good idea to clean all your connectors. All Virago's are aging and require a little more TLC these days. Depending how the bike is stored can cause some oxidation to connectors. Yours has some years on her, like 35.

Also, has the tank been checked for rust and or cleaned? Fuel filter changed? Carburetor's been cleaned? How long have you yourself owned this bike? Has it run well in the past? Pull the plugs. Take a picture of the electrodes and post the pictures here.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
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Blackfireball5
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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by Blackfireball5 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:09 pm

I have owned the bike a year now. When I bought it it had carb issues, so we tore it down and rebuilt the carbs. Did all maintenance (spark plugs, oil, gear oil, air filter) . We drained the gas tank, cleaned it, and rebuilt one of the fuel petcocks.

It was stored in my garage through the winter. Basic garage, no heat. No direct moisture on it.

Last season, the bike was reliable. I took many all day trips on it.

What exactly are the "electrodes"? What solvent do you recommend for the connectors?

Thank you for the reply!

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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by ViragoJoe » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:14 pm

Blackfireball5 wrote:I have owned the bike a year now. When I bought it it had carb issues, so we tore it down and rebuilt the carbs. Did all maintenance (spark plugs, oil, gear oil, air filter) . We drained the gas tank, cleaned it, and rebuilt one of the fuel petcocks.

It was stored in my garage through the winter. Basic garage, no heat. No direct moisture on it.

Last season, the bike was reliable. I took many all day trips on it.

What exactly are the "electrodes"? What solvent do you recommend for the connectors?

Thank you for the reply!
When carbs were cleaned, what was exactly done. Where they ultrasonically cleaned or sprayed with carb cleaner etc.?

Your storage is fine. It isn't outside under a tarp and that is good! How was it stored prior to you getting it? Was the bike stored for long time periods without riding or ridden often by previous owner?

When you stored it for the winter. How did you winterize it? What was done?

Click on Images to make larger and get correct orientation:

Terminal Cleaner:
20170312_154529.jpg
Spark Plug electrodes sample pictures:
20170312_154656.jpg
20170312_154738.jpg
When you provide pictures indicate which is front cylinder and which is rear.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
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Blackfireball5
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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by Blackfireball5 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:19 pm

Hey Joe,

To answer your question: My buddy and I rebuilt them using a kit from Yamaha (re-jetted etc) and cleaned everything thoroughly with carb cleaner.

I know very little about the way the bike was treated or stored previous to me. I do know it was ridden a lot. The previous owner was selling the bke because she brought it to a shop to fix it because it wasn't running well. The shop wanted an arm and a leg to do a carb rebuild for her. So she sold it to me, and my buddy and I did the rebuild, and the bike ran strong and reliable for a full season.

When I stored it for the winter, I filled up the gas tank, and just started it up a few times in the winter. I didn't treat the gas.



Here is a progress update for you:

I went and got terminal cleaner, similar to what you had shown in your picture. I cleaned every connector, relay, and fuse holder I could. Turned the key, and everything still wasn't working. On a whim, I wiggled the rectifier, and wouldn't you know all the electronics started working again. I unbolted it and and will be cleaning the connector to it and checking it.

But separate from that, unfortunately the rear cylinder is still firing very weak. When the bike is running, raw fuel is coming out the rear pipe. If I remove the ignition wire to the rear cylinder while the bike is running, the bike stays running and sounds strong despite it being on one cylinder. If I remove the ignition wire to the front cylinder, the bike sounds very weak and sounds like ti is about to die. I tested the plugs themselves by swapping which side they were on, and the problem stayed in the rear cylinder and did not follow the plug, so I don't believe the plug itself is the issue.

I forgot to get pictures of them for you. Sorry.

I think our next plan of action is to find a way to test the ignition coils and see if a coil is going bad.

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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by ViragoJoe » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:49 pm

Switch the coils from one cylinder to the other. If the bike then runs on the rear cylinder you have a bad coil.

These older Virago's are notorious for having bad CDI modules too. Components are hard to find and re-solder up. We do have a person that can repair them if it ever becomes an issue for you. http://viragotcirepair.com/ Dave lives in Illinois. Don't know where you are located.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
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Blackfireball5
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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by Blackfireball5 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:12 pm

I will try that! Thank you.

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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by ViragoJoe » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:18 am

Blackfireball5 wrote:I will try that! Thank you.
Let us know, if that fixes your problem regarding the running. So, we can mark this post solved. By the way where are you located?

Added note: On Winterizing your bike. Always a good idea to fill the tank with fuel and with stabilizer included. Helps stop varnish build up. In researching, gas goes flat in about 30 days. Also, run the bike to get the fuel with stabilizer into the carb float bowels. Unless you are going to drain them. Virago's love hot batteries too. When you aren't riding and especially when you store the bike, place it on a Float Charger. Float chargers turn on/off automatically depending on the batteries needs. You can spend anywhere from $5 to $50 bucks for a float charger. I got a couple good ones from Harbor Freight for $4.99 ea., when on sale. Charge battery with low amps below 1 amp is best. I've had the same battery for 10 years. I do baby it however. Every winter it is removed from the bike and placed on a bench in the basement with a float charger. Place the bike on the center stand and jack the front tire up off the floor. If the tires on the bike are 6 years or older and especially if the side walls show cracks. Good idea to put on new ones. Remember you only have two tires on the ground. Trust me, road RASH hurts!!

I believe you stated that you start the bike up a few times in the winter. It is best to just leave it alone. Reason for this: warm and cold creates condensation. That's why you see your exhaust pipe drip on you car in the winter months, or cold water pipes sweat in the summer. Unless you are going to start it and run it until it really gets hot, not a good idea to start and stop it after 5 minutes. You'll be doing more harm than what you think may be good for it and the battery. Then again, you have to add more fuel to fill the tank. There are now stabilizers out there that give off a vapor to protect metal tanks where there are air pockets. Cost a little more. But your iron maiden will love you more for it.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
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Blackfireball5
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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by Blackfireball5 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:28 am

Thanks for the tips Joe!

I'm located in Lakewood Ohio, near Cleveland.

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ViragoJoe
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Re: 1982 Virago 750 Electrical Issue Help

Post by ViragoJoe » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:58 am

Blackfireball5 wrote:Thanks for the tips Joe!

I'm located in Lakewood Ohio, near Cleveland.
You are about 189 miles away. I was hoping you might be closer. There are a few of us up here in the mitten with Virago's and try to get together and take group rides now and then. One of our members here is also in Ohio. She is a little closer. However, her new used '96 Virago 1100 Special is being restored. Once it is in running order. Maybe her and hubby, me and others, can tag up and get a ride or two in. Hopefully, one day, we can drop down your way. Unless you decide to come up.

Let us know how things with your bike are going. We want to keep these Virago's running for as long as we can. They are a great bike. To bad they decided to discontinue them after 15 years of production.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
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