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Old 06-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1985 Honda 250ES Electrical Problem

I recently purchase a 1985 250ES three wheeler. The original owner stated that the unit ran fine last fall, but could not get a spark when he went to crank it this spring.

The condtion I received it in, is that the green neutral light will not come on but the reverse light and headlights do come on. I have tested the reverse/neutral switch and the switch appears to be working properly. After inspecting the wiring diagram to see where the issue may be, I notice that the neutral switch wire ties into the CDI, where the reverse indicator does not.

Given the fact that the unit could not get a spark and the neutral indicator both have the CDI in common, is it a logical assumption to think the CDI unit may be bad? Or is there another path I should be chasing.

I purchased two identical units at the same time, and the other unit is near perfect. I guess I could try to swap the CDI units and see if the indicator light will come on. Is there any chance of blowing the working CDI by doing this? I would hate to have both units down.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forums. Unplug the wire from your neutral connector and temporarily ground it to the engine and see if your neutral light will come on. I think you have two problems, because I don't think a bad CDI can cause the neutral light to not come on. But I'm guessing that your CDI might be the reason for the no spark issue. Sometimes, you can tap on a bad CDI with a screwdriver handle while trying to start the ATV and it will start working again. If not, I would try swapping the CDIs. Swapping the CDIs shouldn't cause any damage to the CDI unless there's already a problem that's causing the ATV to fry the CDI. I doubt that's the case, though.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for that. I have already checked the continuity of the neutral switch per the repair manual. The switch seems to be functioning normally. If it is not the cdi, then it will have to be a broken wire somewhere between the neutral switch and the cdi, or between the cdi and the ignition. I don't really see what else would come into play here.

I will try to do a test on the wiring in the next day or two.

Edit:

Sorry, I read that wrong. I will try to short the switch to ground and see if the neutral switch will light up.

Last edited by phil1995; 06-16-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok, I unhooked the neutral/reverse switch and shorted them both to ground. The reverse light came on, but the Neutral switch would not light. I swapped the bulb just to make sure it wasn't the bulb.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil1995 View Post
Ok, I unhooked the neutral/reverse switch and shorted them both to ground. The reverse light came on, but the Neutral switch would not light. I swapped the bulb just to make sure it wasn't the bulb.
Are you get power to the neutral light bulb on the other wire?
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Are you referring to the "other wire" that feeds both the neutral and reverse light? If so, then yea because the reverse light will power on.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Are you referring to the "other wire" that feeds both the neutral and reverse light? If so, then yea because the reverse light will power on.
Yeah, that's the wire, but I would check it inside the neutral light socket because sometimes the contacts inside the socket corrode and don't make a good connection. If that's not the problem, then it might be the diode. There's a diode in the wire somewhere in between the neutral light and the neutral switch. I'm not sure where it's located on that model, but you should be able to follow the wire and find it. If that's not the problem, it would have to be a wiring problem or a bad connection at a connector, because there's nothing else in the circuit.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok, finally made a little bit of progress today. I stripped back all of the wiring harness from the Neutral / Reverse switch until the junction of the CDI and the neutral light indication. The continuity between the indicator and the junction was found to be good. The continuity between the junction and the neutral switch terminator was found to be bad. I grounded out the wiring at the junction, and the neutral light came on and I was able to bump the starter.

A few questions:

1. Since this was the junction that grounded both the neutral switch and the CDI, could this be the cause of the initial problem of no spark? Seems that an intermittent or non existent ground would make this happen.

2. What gauge wiring is predominately used in the wiring harness? I found this three way connector that is used on 22 awg wiring. Microswitch Signal 3-Way Splitter
I just need to know what wiring gauge to use.

Hopefully this will kill both birds with one stone.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil1995 View Post
Ok, finally made a little bit of progress today. I stripped back all of the wiring harness from the Neutral / Reverse switch until the junction of the CDI and the neutral light indication. The continuity between the indicator and the junction was found to be good. The continuity between the junction and the neutral switch terminator was found to be bad. I grounded out the wiring at the junction, and the neutral light came on and I was able to bump the starter.

A few questions:

1. Since this was the junction that grounded both the neutral switch and the CDI, could this be the cause of the initial problem of no spark? Seems that an intermittent or non existent ground would make this happen.
I'm not 100% sure, but it's possible. Hopefully, that will solve both problems.

Quote:
2. What gauge wiring is predominately used in the wiring harness? I found this three way connector that is used on 22 awg wiring. Microswitch Signal 3-Way Splitter
I just need to know what wiring gauge to use.
I'm not sure on the size of wire either, but I'm guessing about 18 gauge.
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Most 4-wheeler problems are caused by a loose nut connecting the handlebars and the seat!!

You only need two tools in life -- WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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