Started as a spark plug post; now down the rabbit hole we go
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Enthusiast
2016 GTS 300
Joined: 09 Nov 2016
Posts: 89
Location: New Zealand
Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:49 pm quote
Tenders said "If you are looking for continuity (ie whether or not a wire is broken or poorly connected), you are to measure "ohms" or "continuity," and the meter should beep or read very high when the two probes are connected to a wire (or to each other) that is a continuous circuit. In that mode, the meter is giving you units of conductivity, not volts."

Ohms are a measure of resistance, not conductivity. If the probes are connected to a continuous wire (or to each other) the meter reading should be more or less zero, not very high. Or are we somehow talking at cross purposes?

Cheers - Jim.
Enthusiast
GTS 250, Harley FXST,
Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 90
Location: Derbyshire UK
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:11 pm quote
jimc wrote:
My money is coming down to a dodgy connection of one of the big red wires on the starter relay - perhaps a corroded crimp. Check this simple stuff thoroughly!
I had a similar starting issue with an old car - I eventually noticed that one of the large starter cable connections was hot after an abortive start attempt. A new cable sorted it.

There was no obvious external sign that the original crimped connection was poor
Banned
Joined: 06 Sep 2018
Posts: 129

Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:20 am quote
Content deleted by tenders. A forum where management/moderators repeatedly quash and delete well-intentioned, constructive concerns about governance issues raised by multiple users does not deserve my participation.

Last edited by tenders on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:43 am; edited 2 times in total
Banned
Joined: 06 Sep 2018
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Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:33 am quote
Content deleted by tenders. A forum where management/moderators repeatedly quash and delete well-intentioned, constructive concerns about governance issues raised by multiple users does not deserve my participation.

Last edited by tenders on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:50 am; edited 1 time in total
Enthusiast
GTS 250, Harley FXST,
Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 90
Location: Derbyshire UK
Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:24 pm quote
tenders wrote:
dalemanuk wrote:
jimc wrote:
My money is coming down to a dodgy connection of one of the big red wires on the starter relay - perhaps a corroded crimp. Check this simple stuff thoroughly!
I had a similar starting issue with an old car - I eventually noticed that one of the large starter cable connections was hot after an abortive start attempt. A new cable sorted it.

There was no obvious external sign that the original crimped connection was poor
Yes - I agree - entirely possible. Unfortunate, and a needless oversight if this wasn't detected/corrected when the connectors were removed and wirebrushed. But the symptoms didn't seem to change a bit after that was done.

Continuity/resistance testing (testing individual wires, from relay to terminal, with battery out) OR voltage testing (testing across terminals, with battery in) to the large starting motor wires when the scoot won't start will rule this in or out. Perhaps theschulman can comment on this.
just to clarify, my intermittent issue was the poor connection between the cable and its crimped on end.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37422
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:03 am quote
tenders wrote:
Yes - I agree - entirely possible. Unfortunate, and a needless oversight if this wasn't detected/corrected when the connectors were removed and wirebrushed. But the symptoms didn't seem to change a bit after that was done.
You can't wirebrush a poor crimp - you have to replace the connector. Still my best bet for your problem.
Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:49 am quote
tenders wrote:
Is it a digital, autoranging multimeter? You might well be seeing the gauge reading 0.3V or 0.100V or something else in millivolts (mV) while it resets its range as the voltqge fluctuates quickly. This would be consistent with the possibility that the starter motor windings are shorted out internally.
Yes, it is a digital autoranging multimeter. I believe the fluctuations between millivolts and volts are what I was seeing when the multimeter was measuring the connection to the starter (from the relay) and was "clicking", but not turning over.
tenders wrote:
Here's a key question: what voltage do you see coming out of the relay when the starter button is pressed, but the starter motor is disconnected? That should NOT jump around, and should be almost the same voltage as measured directly across the battery terminals (ie 12V, maybe a little higher).
I will need to re-disconnect the starter motor, which could take me a few days just because I'm a little busy. If I'm going to replace the starter motor, I'll have to do it anyway, so I might as well perform this test while it's disconnected.
tenders wrote:
theschuman, where in CT are you?
I'm about 20 miles east of Hartford, CT.
tenders wrote:
Continuity/resistance testing (testing individual wires, from relay to terminal, with battery out) OR voltage testing (testing across terminals, with battery in) to the large starting motor wires when the scoot won't start will rule this in or out. Perhaps theschulman can comment on this.
Dealer claimed, "TESTED CIRCUIT FUNCTION"... Probably by running one of these tests.


Update - 10/2/18 @ 6:45am EST - Thanks again for helping me. Vernon Vespa is a brand new Vespa dealer and only a few miles away - they specialize in scooters and have sold other brands of scooters for years. Given what happened with the "experienced" Vespa dealer in New Haven, I'm leery of spending the money and time with another dealer, lest they tell me it's the "starter solenoid" and offer to fix it for $200. The dealers have no parts in stock, and it takes a week or so to order parts and get them delivered! I can get orders in days from scooterpartsco, scooterwest, and probably sip-scootershop. I'm considering ordering both thick wires from the starter relay to the starter motor in addition to the aftermarket starter motor itself (all are relatively inexpensive). I have confirmed with the screwdriver trick (thanks, jimc) that the starter relay is the one clicking. Let me know your thoughts.
Ossessionato
'15 Blue GTS300 Super, '18 White GTS300 Super
Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 2553
Location: Sydney, Australia
Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:05 am quote
Just a footnote on that other non-starting problem. Took the scooter out for a lengthy run today, with several stops along the way. The scooter started effortlessly on each occasion. Apart from one hiccup, it has started perfectly every time since I replaced the ECU.

So I now pronounce my scooter fixed. The new ECU did the job. I guess I have beaten the odds by having two faulty ECUs, one after the other. Everyone said this was virtually impossible.

Have just re-installed the lambda emulator which I had removed while diagnosing the problem. It does make a difference to the take-off. Have also reset the ASR. I had been having a few hesitations on take-off, and I guess a new ECU has to learn the configuration of the scooter - wheel sizes and inflation, etc. I presume the ASR brains are in the ECU.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX190
Joined: 12 Oct 2007
Posts: 5739
Location: New Zealand
Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:08 am quote
Mike Holland wrote:
So I now pronounce my scooter fixed.


That's just asking for trouble.


Ossessionato
'15 Blue GTS300 Super, '18 White GTS300 Super
Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 2553
Location: Sydney, Australia
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:44 am quote
Thanks for those encouraging words.
Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:26 am quote
Mike Holland wrote:
Just a footnote on that other non-starting problem. Took the scooter out for a lengthy run today, with several stops along the way. The scooter started effortlessly on each occasion. Apart from one hiccup, it has started perfectly every time since I replaced the ECU.

So I now pronounce my scooter fixed. The new ECU did the job.
Congratulations, Mike Holland! I'm glad your scooter is running well, but I'm hoping the ECU isn't the cause of my woes - it's a pricey part.

Happy riding and thanks for your advice with this problem.
Banned
Joined: 06 Sep 2018
Posts: 129

Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:02 am quote
Content deleted by tenders. A forum where management/moderators repeatedly quash and delete well-intentioned, constructive concerns about governance issues raised by multiple users does not deserve my participation.

Last edited by tenders on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:41 am; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:17 pm quote
Update 10/15/18 @ 7:30pm - Sorry Iíve been off the forum for so long. Iíve been too busy to to fix the Vespa and participate in the forum. Plus, the forum members needed a break from me and my endless saga.

I have a new starter and a new wire from the relay to the starter. Even if I don't need the starter, it will be fine to have one in reserve as I've been beating on mine with a mallet and vacuum cleaner attachment for the last month or so. I hope to do installation this week or next week.

The repair may not be necessary! I've managed to fix my problem by changing the starting sequence for the scooter! I've stopped using the kill switch because it seems unnecessary and is just another item for me to overuse and break. So, the new starting sequence is:

Step 1: Turn on ignition.
Step 2: Hold brake lever and press start button.
Step 3: If the scooter starts, greatÖ If not go to Step 4.
Step 4: Did the scooter turn over? If yes, repeat Step 3 (this may take four or more attempts before the scooter starts). If the scooter did NOT turn over (i.e. if it only clicks), go to Step 5.
Step 5: Move handlebars of scooter until the scooter moves slightly on the center stand. Then, repeat Step 2. If the scooter does not start, go to step 6.
Step 6: Move the scooter off its center stand so that it is resting on its tires. Retry Step 2. If the scooter does not start go to Step 7.
Step 7: Rock the scooter back and forth on its wheels. Repeat Step 2. If the scooter does not start repeat Steps 4 through 7. If it still wonít start, go to Step 8.
Step 8: If the scooter will not start after trying Steps 4 - 7 multiple times, call AAA and have the scooter towed to a convenient location.

So far, this new starting sequence is working perfectly. I've never had to use Step 8. I'll let the technical writers at Piaggio know about this new scooter-specific starting sequence so that they can update my manual!
Enthusiast
2016 GTS 300
Joined: 09 Nov 2016
Posts: 89
Location: New Zealand
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:35 pm quote
theschuman, I wouldn't say that you have "managed to fix your problem". I'm pleased that you are finding a way to get it mobile in the meantime, but there is still a problem, you shouldn't have to bugger about like that to start it. Keep going with the diagnostics, and good luck! I also have a GTS that was built in 2015, so I am keenly following your efforts as it may save a problem for me too.
Cheers. - Jim.
Hooked
GTS 300ie Touring
Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 302
Location: Limassol, Cyprus
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:01 pm quote
Jim in NZ wrote:
theschuman, I wouldn't say that you have "managed to fix your problem". I'm pleased that you are finding a way to get it mobile in the meantime, but there is still a problem, you shouldn't have to bugger about like that to start it. Keep going with the diagnostics, and good luck! I also have a GTS that was built in 2015, so I am keenly following your efforts as it may save a problem for me too.
Cheers. - Jim.
Agreed. You've come too far to stop now and accept a starting procedure that's not addressing the problem. Continue with the diagnostics however tedious this may seem. You might as well replace the starter and wire now that you have gone to the trouble and expense of buying them.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 7107
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:40 am quote
The procedure you have to use points to a wiring issue that is not going to get better.
Banned
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Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:14 am quote
Content deleted by tenders. A forum where management/moderators repeatedly quash and delete well-intentioned, constructive concerns about governance issues raised by multiple users does not deserve my participation.

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Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:13 am quote
Update 11/4/18 @ 8:15am EST - Autumn continues here in Connecticut. This means lots of yard work, especially leaf collection. The never ending yard work, combined with my professional and personal commitments, leaves me too busy to make the repair. I'm still riding using the "modified starting procedure" noted above. The procedure is less reliable now (requiring some gentle banging on the starter from time-to-time), but still working... I've still not needed AAA to provide a tow. With snow arriving in the next month or two, riding season will be over for a time, and I'll be able to concentrate on the starter and/or wiring repair and a belt change (I'm at 9,000 miles on the original belt). Happy riding!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX150, GTS300, BV350, EN650
Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 5233
Location: Home of the Alamo
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:21 am quote
Good luck over the winter - hopefully with a heated garage?
Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:49 am quote
Update 12/27/18 @ 10:15am EST - Happy Holidays! I've been off the forum for a while and extremely busy... The leaf raking is almost finished! Somehow, I'm still riding in Connecticut despite the below freezing temperatures and frequent (almost every time) starting issues. People think I'm crazy.

The intermittent starting problems persist and still include intermittent clicking at the solenoid (but no turning over) AND/OR turning over (but no starting). So far, it can always be fixed by moving the handle bars and/or moving the bike on and off the center stand. I've yet to be stranded, but sometimes it can take 5 minutes of playing around with the scooter (moving the handle bars, taking the scoot on and off the center stand, jiggling wires, and - before I installed the new one - banging on the starter with a vacuum cleaner attachment and mallet).

I finally had time to replace two more items, the starter itself and the red cable from the starter relay to the starter. Neither replacement made any difference. I also brought the scooter to Vernon Vespa (after my disappointing experience with New Haven Vespa), but the owner said they have no one qualified to work on the 300 (it's a long story), nor do they have a code reader. He was going to speak to his Vespa representative about the problem, which I thought was nice of him.

In summary, the intermittent starting issue still exists and happens almost every time I ride. For those of you not wanting to read through four pages of posts, the replacements have included: new spark plug and cap/boot, new spark plug wire from the coil to the spark plug, new battery, cleaned all connections on the starter, battery, and visible grounds, new starter relay (solenoid), new starter (RMS brand), and new "red" cable from the starter relay to the new starter.

What's next? Here are some options:

1. Well, I was able to purchase a brand new ECU/throttle body for the extraordinarily low price of US$100... That's probably the deal of a lifetime. So, I could install the new ECU/throttle body - doing so seemed to fix the similar problems of another forum member from Australia.

2. Try to figure out the other wiring myself. From my perspective, there are three other wires to examine, the thin wires from the solenoid and the heavier black wire (on the part of the solenoid closest to the frame). It appears those wires all go to the wiring loom, so I'm not quite sure if that's something I can do myself. Do I open up the wiring loom? Do I buy a ridiculously expensive new wiring loom (or a used loom)? I don't know.

3. Take the scooter to yet another Vespa dealer (or an independent shop). The next Vespa dealer would be a "big city" one - either Boston or New York. There are lots of independent motorcycle shops (and dealers of other brands) around here, but I'm not sure about the level of expertise given the specialized nature of the bike.

Let me know your vote (or if you have other options/suggestions). In the meantime, I'm going to keep riding as long as the roads are clear and the temperature doesn't get too much lower.
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2697
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:45 am quote
theschuman wrote:
Update 12/27/18 @ 10:15am EST - Happy Holidays! I've been off the forum for a while and extremely busy... The leaf raking is almost finished! Somehow, I'm still riding in Connecticut despite the below freezing temperatures and frequent (almost every time) starting issues. People think I'm crazy.

The intermittent starting problems persist and still include intermittent clicking at the solenoid (but no turning over) AND/OR turning over (but no starting). So far, it can always be fixed by moving the handle bars and/or moving the bike on and off the center stand. I've yet to be stranded, but sometimes it can take 5 minutes of playing around with the scooter (moving the handle bars, taking the scoot on and off the center stand, jiggling wires, and - before I installed the new one - banging on the starter with a vacuum cleaner attachment and mallet).

I finally had time to replace two more items, the starter itself and the red cable from the starter relay to the starter. Neither replacement made any difference. I also brought the scooter to Vernon Vespa (after my disappointing experience with New Haven Vespa), but the owner said they have no one qualified to work on the 300 (it's a long story), nor do they have a code reader. He was going to speak to his Vespa representative about the problem, which I thought was nice of him.

In summary, the intermittent starting issue still exists and happens almost every time I ride. For those of you not wanting to read through four pages of posts, the replacements have included: new spark plug and cap/boot, new spark plug wire from the coil to the spark plug, new battery, cleaned all connections on the starter, battery, and visible grounds, new starter relay (solenoid), new starter (RMS brand), and new "red" cable from the starter relay to the new starter.

What's next? Here are some options:

1. Well, I was able to purchase a brand new ECU/throttle body for the extraordinarily low price of US$100... That's probably the deal of a lifetime. So, I could install the new ECU/throttle body - doing so seemed to fix the similar problems of another forum member from Australia.

2. Try to figure out the other wiring myself. From my perspective, there are three other wires to examine, the thin wires from the solenoid and the heavier black wire (on the part of the solenoid closest to the frame). It appears those wires all go to the wiring loom, so I'm not quite sure if that's something I can do myself. Do I open up the wiring loom? Do I buy a ridiculously expensive new wiring loom (or a used loom)? I don't know.

3. Take the scooter to yet another Vespa dealer (or an independent shop). The next Vespa dealer would be a "big city" one - either Boston or New York. There are lots of independent motorcycle shops (and dealers of other brands) around here, but I'm not sure about the level of expertise given the specialized nature of the bike.

Let me know your vote (or if you have other options/suggestions). In the meantime, I'm going to keep riding as long as the roads are clear and the temperature doesn't get too much lower.
Don't buy any more Vespa parts (yet)!!!

If you have the urge to buy something now, get:
1. Vinyl electrical tape. Might as well get the good stuff, Scotch 33, which will stick when the cheap crap doesn't.

2. A length of flexible wire. About 6 feet of 14 AWG stranded wire should do it. You can find smaller rolls at auto parts stores since your local Radio Shack has disappeared.

3. A digital multimeter (DMM). The red ones that Harbor Freight gives away with a coupon are good enough. Or you can splurge and spend $30 on the same thing at Home Depot.

If you're intrepid enough and have the time, try to find a broken or shorted wire --

You're going to twist the handbars around to the point where the scooter doesn't start. Then, disconnect the battery.

Then with the aid of a wiring diagram for your Vespa and with the DMM on its lowest Resistance (Ohms) range, check the continuity of each wire in the starting circuit: battery to start switch, start switch to starter relay, kill switch, etc. Also, check the last wire that connects the starting circuit to ground, wherever that may be. You may need to extend one of the leads of the DMM in order to reach some of the end points of the wires. You can use your flexible wire for that.

When you check each wire for continuity, also measure from the wire to ground (the scooter chassis or the battery negative terminal) and look for wires shorted to ground.

If you find a suspect wire, which has continuity (zero ohms) when the handelbars are turned one way, but is an open circuit when you move the bars (or center stand), you can jumper around that wire with your 6 foot piece of wire. Reconnect the battery and see if the scooter starts with the jumper wire in place. You may need to scrape away some of the insulation on wires to try the jumper wire. If you do that, or if you find any bare spots on a wire, tape it up with electrical tape.

When you're lucky enough to find a faulty wire you can decide if you want to replace a whole wiring harness, or just route a new wire and jump around the faulty one.

Good luck!
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2697
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:11 am quote
Damn, I wish I'd not thrown away some of the hundreds of broken wires I've found in appliances, lamps, and vehicles over the years. I'd take photos of what broken wires and terminations look like...with strands of wire poking out of the insulation near crimped terminals, burned spots, kinks or sharp bends in insulated wire, nearly invisible slits in insulation,...

You'd have an idea what to look for.
Ossessionato
Piaggio Fly 150
Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 3267
Location: Sanibel Island
Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:02 am quote
I just finished reading this whole thread from the beginning. The OP has mentioned that turning the handlebars will make things come and go. STOP whatever you are doing and trace that and fix it!

I have been into the wiring found in the headset and leg shields of about six Vespas, old and new, repairing lights, kill switches, replacing horns, etc. Intermittent electrical problems there are common, they come from the factory with them, and you can usually see them when you get the area opened up. If a wire is cut a little short or misrouted so it becomes tight when turning, it may wear through producing a short to ground, or it may pull a connection loose. An all time popular source of problems is the (usually) green wire to the kill switch. They seem to be subject to all the listed ailments plus because they carry a sometimes big dump of amps when killing the engine they corrode badly.

Until you eliminate the handlebar intermittent nothing else means anything
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 8519
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:29 am quote
JKJ-FZ6 wrote:
Damn, I wish I'd not thrown away some of the hundreds of broken wires I've found in appliances, lamps, and vehicles over the years. I'd take photos of what broken wires and terminations look like...with strands of wire poking out of the insulation near crimped terminals, burned spots, kinks or sharp bends in insulated wire, nearly invisible slits in insulation,...

You'd have an idea what to look for.
Sorry, but I have this persistent mental image of you setting up a Museum of Bad Wiring in your garage when you retire.
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2697
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:43 am quote
fledermaus wrote:
Sorry, but I have this persistent mental image of you setting up a Museum of Bad Wiring in your garage when you retire.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 7107
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:45 am quote
Tor2ga wrote:
I just finished reading this whole thread from the beginning. The OP has mentioned that turning the handlebars will make things come and go. STOP whatever you are doing and trace that and fix it!

I have been into the wiring found in the headset and leg shields of about six Vespas, old and new, repairing lights, kill switches, replacing horns, etc. Intermittent electrical problems there are common, they come from the factory with them, and you can usually see them when you get the area opened up. If a wire is cut a little short or misrouted so it becomes tight when turning, it may wear through producing a short to ground, or it may pull a connection loose. An all time popular source of problems is the (usually) green wire to the kill switch. They seem to be subject to all the listed ailments plus because they carry a sometimes big dump of amps when killing the engine they corrode badly.

Until you eliminate the handlebar intermittent nothing else means anything
The OP doesn't seem to want advise, he seems to want to replace parts till he finds the problem. So once he replaces the wiring harness he may fix his problem. Unless his does what has been suggested a few times and starts testing his wiring.
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2697
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:25 am quote
WEB-Tech wrote:
The OP doesn't seem to want advise, he seems to want to replace parts till he finds the problem. So once he replaces the wiring harness he may fix his problem. Unless his does what has been suggested a few times and starts testing his wiring.
He's building a new scooter piece by piece. How many parts are in a Vespa?
Molto Verboso
2009 GTS 250, 2013 Buddy 125, 2014 Triumph Bonneville
Joined: 23 Apr 2016
Posts: 1712
Location: North Jersey
Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:31 am quote
From the OP's post of September 13....

Then, I tried the starting button again... "click". In a last ditch effort of frustration, I moved the handle bars a bit to the right, as I've done a few times with the steering wheel of an automobile when the car would not start. Other than moving the handle bars/steering, I did nothing! But when I hit the starting button, much to my amazement, the scoot started up! So now what?

Veni, Vidi, Posti
Modded Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2017 C650GT, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 5282
Location: Downtown Toronto
Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:40 am quote
JKJ-FZ6 wrote:
WEB-Tech wrote:
The OP doesn't seem to want advise, he seems to want to replace parts till he finds the problem. So once he replaces the wiring harness he may fix his problem. Unless his does what has been suggested a few times and starts testing his wiring.
He's building a new scooter piece by piece. How many parts are in a Vespa?
I think about as many as how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop.

licking machine.png

Member
Vespa GTS Super Sport 300
Joined: 22 Dec 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Singapore
Fri May 03, 2019 11:13 am quote
loose connection, crimped cables or dirty connection , that could be solved with a contact cleaner. Cut all cable ties and re-do it without making it too tight.
Enthusiast
2016 GTS 300
Joined: 09 Nov 2016
Posts: 89
Location: New Zealand
Fri May 03, 2019 6:44 pm quote
Hi theschuman, any resolution of your problem yet?
Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:12 am quote
Update 6/27/19 @ 2:00pm EST - First off, Iíd like to apologize to YummyBurger and Jim in NZ both of whom posted on May 3 and received no response from me. Iíve been off the forum due to work/family commitments, but now Iím on vacationÖ I think some people call a vacation a ďholidayĒ, but to most Americans, holidays are July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Yearís Eve, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Good Friday, Easter, and Memorial Day. I had to look up what Boxing Day was a few months agoÖIf we celebrated Boxing Day in the U.S., it would be a holiday. Sorry - I digressÖ Iím on vacation, so I finally have some time on my hands.

After Decemberís not-so-kind comments including, ďThe OP doesn't seem to want advise [sic], he seems to want to replace parts till he finds the problem.Ē, ďHe's building a new scooter piece by piece. How many parts are in a Vespa?Ē, and my personal favorite, ď Ē, I decided to bring the scooter to an independent shop in February/March.

My choice to bring the scooter to an independent shop was made after two Vespa dealers were unable to diagnose the problem (see previous posts). One Vespa dealer traced it to the starter relay (nope) and the other didnít feel that they had the skill set to diagnose it after hearing all that had been tried. SoÖ off I went to the local shop in Mansfield, CT. I explained the problem in detail (see previous posts) to the owner/service manager. After a week or so, the service manager called to tell me they were confident that it was the starter. I explained that I had previously replaced the starter with a non-OEM (RMS) starter. They were ďpretty confidentĒ it was the starter and the RMS starter was probably junk ďmade in ChinaĒ (his words). So, I was able to get a used Vespa starter (from a 2018 GTS300) and the shop installed the ďnewĒ used starter in my Vespa. I got the scooter back in March (over $200 in just labor - I supplied the starter). The scooter started perfectly - for one day, about ten times - then the problem returned. The next day, I called the shop and explained the problem had returnedÖ The owner/service manager complained that he didnít have a wiring diagram (I have one and had offered it to him previously). The owner/service manager suggested I bring it back in and provide the wiring diagram. After I took a look at the workmanship of the ďrepairĒ - one of the brackets is missing from where the battery cover screws on (the screws donít hold too well without the bracket) and also a bolt was missing from where the air cleaner housing attaches to the frame, I decided against returning to that shop.

So, despite the help of professionals, Iím back to where Iíve been for almost a year (again, see previous posts). As one poster predicted, itís getting worse; Iím having to move the bike on and off the center stand multiple times (sometimes 10 or more) to get it to start, but Iíve still yet to be stranded! Once in a while, Iíll disconnect the battery and then re-connect it. Then with some ďcenterstandingĒ Iím able to get it to start... Yes, Iíve created a new verb - ďcenterstandĒ = to move oneís Vespa on and off its center stand, usually with some amount of force, in order to get it to start... Usage examples: 1. My scooter wonít usually start until I centerstand it. 2. Sorry Iím late, but I had to centerstand my Vespa six times before it started.

Meanwhile, Iíve put about 3000 miles on the scooter since the problem started. Iím going to try to test the wiring, although I donít have much experience reading wiring diagrams or testing wiring.

I also saw this post recently - Re: GTS300ie, 2014 - will not start

Could that be my issue?
Ossessionato
'15 Blue GTS300 Super, '18 White GTS300 Super
Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 2553
Location: Sydney, Australia
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:08 pm quote
Have you tried bypassing the wiring? Take a lead from the battery through a switch to the starter relay, and then another from there to the starter?
Enthusiast
2016 GTS 300
Joined: 09 Nov 2016
Posts: 89
Location: New Zealand
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:32 pm quote
Thanks for the update, theschuman.
If it was my scooter I would try Mike Holland's suggestion of bypassing the wiring.
If it still doesn't work, I would take a very deep breath and try to forget all the aggro you have had with the bike. Choose a suitable couple of days when your time is your own and you are in a calm frame of mind. Go back to the beginning and start troubleshooting as if it was a brand new problem. Read carefully through this whole thread, as there is an enormous amount of experience and wisdom contained therein. Apply the ideas to your troubleshooting as you go. It is almost inconceivable that the solution to your problem will not be in here somewhere.
Since the dealers have not been able to fix it, YOU HAVE TO DO IT, so start again and keep a positive and enquiring outlook. If you start to get frustrated leave it alone for a day.
Best of luck, and let us know (eventually) how you go!
Cheers, Jim.
Hooked
GTS 300ie Touring
Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 302
Location: Limassol, Cyprus
Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:36 am quote
[b][img][img]
theschuman wrote:
So, despite the help of professionals, Iím back to where Iíve been for almost a year (again, see previous posts). As one poster predicted, itís getting worse;
    Iím having to move the bike on and off the center stand multiple times (sometimes 10 or more) to get it to start
, but Iíve still yet to be stranded! Once in a while, Iíll disconnect the battery and then re-connect it. Then with some ďcenterstandingĒ Iím able to get it to start... Yes, Iíve created a new verb - ďcenterstandĒ = to move oneís Vespa on and off its center stand, usually with some amount of force, in order to get it to start... Usage examples: 1. My scooter wonít usually start until I centerstand it. 2. Sorry Iím late, but I had to centerstand my Vespa six times before it started.

Meanwhile, Iíve put about 3000 miles on the scooter since the problem started. Iím going to try to test the wiring, although I donít have much experience reading wiring diagrams or testing wiring.

I also saw this post recently - Re: GTS300ie, 2014 - will not start

Could that be my issue?
theschuman,

How about this as a possible cause of your problems:

Your GTS is fitted with a 'tip over sensor' located under the floorboard. If this was to become stuck, it woud cut power to your engine even when it was upright. You say you have the the most success starting your scooter when you are 'centrestanding', the action of putting your scooter on and off the centrestand. Perhaps this action is enough to move the stuck sensor slightly to allow power to start your engine.......?
Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:46 am quote
Update 6/29/19 @ 9:45am EST - Thanks everyone for the advice. My family and I spent most of yesterday "troubleshooting" (quotes because we are mostly clueless so it doesn't seem accurate to say we were troubleshooting, per se). I fashioned a makeshift cable to test the starter strait from the battery using a spare cable - the one that goes from the starter relay to the starter - and the terminal off an old starter relay which I broke apart with a hacksaw... See attached picture of the the two ends of the cable. I attached the looped side of the cable to the starter itself and then touched the broken starter relay end to the positive battery post. We then connected the scooter's negative cable to the negative battery terminal: there was terrifying sparking at the negative terminal and the starter did indeed turn over (chug, chug, chug) continuously. Voltage at the starter was at 11+ as it was turning over. Of course, the scooter wouldn't start from this test (the other electrical systems weren't running??), so we tried something else. We re-connected the real positive wire to the battery, but left the wire from the starter relay to the starter disconnected. Then, while the real positive cable was connected, we also touched the makeshift cable (still connected to the starter) to the positive battery terminal and then the scooter's negative cable to the battery's negative terminal... More sparking and turning over of the starter ensued, but then, while all the turning over was occurring, we also tried to start the bike (with the ignition button). No luck. I'm glad we are all still alive. Thoughts? Should I try testing connectivity/voltage at the relay next?

VespaStarterTester.JPG

Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 2697
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:25 am quote
I would look for a bad ground connection between the battery and the scooter. Try this:
Put everything back the way it was. Starter relay, wiring, etc. Get a set of jumper cables. Actually, the cheapest you can get might be best because they would be more flexible -- but if you have jumper cables for your car that would be fine. Connect the black jumper to the negative terminal of the battery and the other end to bare metal on the frame of the scooter -- a bolt head or something. Don't use the red wire of the cable. Then try to start the scooter normally. If it tries to start but doesn't you may have just run the battery down fro previous attempts so you may need to charge it. If the scooter does start, look for corrosion or a bad connection in the ground wire at the battery or where it's attached to the scooter frame. You might need to replace the wire.

Good luck!
Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:43 pm quote
JKJ-FZ6 wrote:
I would look for a bad ground connection between the battery and the scooter. Try this:
Put everything back the way it was. Starter relay, wiring, etc. Get a set of jumper cables. Actually, the cheapest you can get might be best because they would be more flexible -- but if you have jumper cables for your car that would be fine. Connect the black jumper to the negative terminal of the battery and the other end to bare metal on the frame of the scooter -- a bolt head or something. Don't use the red wire of the cable. Then try to start the scooter normally. If it tries to start but doesn't you may have just run the battery down fro previous attempts so you may need to charge it. If the scooter does start, look for corrosion or a bad connection in the ground wire at the battery or where it's attached to the scooter frame. You might need to replace the wire.

Good luck!
Thanks - I tried but still got just clicking at the starter relay.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37422
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:00 am quote
a) Have you swapped out the starter relay for a known good one?

b) If so, have you swapped out or bypassed the wire from the relay to the starter motor?
Hooked
2015 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 213
Location: Connecticut
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:07 pm quote
jimc wrote:
a) Have you swapped out the starter relay for a known good one?

b) If so, have you swapped out or bypassed the wire from the relay to the starter motor?
a) Yes, I installed a new starter relay in September 2018. Unbelievably, the intermittent starting issue has been happening since last summer.

b) Yes, I swapped out the big wire from the starter relay to to starter motor. I think I "bypassed" it, too - see post from a few days ago.

Thanks again, everyone. For all the money I've spent and frustration I've endured trying to fix this problem, I might as well have flown a Vespa technician to Connecticut from Italy and paid them to fix it.
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