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Hooked battery up backwards for about ten seconds. Smoke came from the starter. Tipped me off polarity was backwards. Anyway, hooked it up right and smoke still comes from starter. Hooked it up again (even though smoking) and it started right up. Something looks to be oozing out of starter. Any ideas?
 

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Hooked battery up backwards for about ten seconds. Smoke came from the starter. Tipped me off polarity was backwards. Anyway, hooked it up right and smoke still comes from starter. Hooked it up again (even though smoking) and it started right up. Something looks to be oozing out of starter. Any ideas?
could be gravy!...sounds like you cooked it:confused:
 

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So you just connected it right? Never turned the key? If that's all you may not be too bad.
 

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Fried... but maybe not completely cooked. The insides are coated with a varnish and sounds like you melted some... if it didn't expose any of the coil, you may be ok.
 

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Replace starter or worry about premature failure. Starters operate near their capacity on V twins to begin with. Stressing it will affect its life expectancy.
Hopefully the price of a starter replacement will be ample reminder to not put yourself through this a second time.
The battery too took damage. Likely boiled off some electrolyte solution. Could result in shorted plates, loss of charge capacity, reduced cranking amps. Good news is you can test for battery health. Testing starter health is an option but a good battery test result indicates where it is in its life cycle. A starter test can report good results on a starter that will fail tomorrow.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I won't make that mistake again. Still curious though. Why is the starter smoking? It still works. What is causing it to smoke? I checked it late last night. It glows there where the varnish is oozing out. What's glowing? Why so hot? Aside from the temperary reverse polarity of course.
 

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What Pop says. You've obviously melted some of the varnish off of the wiring in the starter. Even if it measures fine now, the insulation has been weakened and you can get shorting which will at the least decrease efficiency. That means increased heat and possible further melting until it fails altogether. The battery needs to be load checked for damage as well. If you are used to taking short trips no more than two blocks from home you should be fine until one of the pieces fails. At least you can push it home. If you take longer trips and don't want to be deserted someplace inconvenient, replace them.

PS Hooking up the battery backwards in a bike with electronics may degrade other components as well. Don't be too surprised if strange things start happening in the future.
 

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Deathdog

What year and model is it. Check all your fuses. Once you have it running with a volt meter check the battery to see its being charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It is a 2000 standard cruiser. I have not started it for more than just a second to see if it started. Then in hooked cable. While it doesn't smoke any longer, where the varnish is leaking out it still glows red. So I'm afraid to to leave it hooked up long. I am tempted to hook up battery and start it to see if there is any further damage. Speedo, gauges etc.
 

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In the old days you would have fried your fusable links (I did that in the 80s to a Suzuki GS450 and it was never the same.

Sounds like your starter is living on borrowed time as the battery has a large gauge connection to the battery. Another thing to check is the quick disconnect for the starter.

I wouldn't be surprised if you also toasted your alternator and some electronics. Would have been MUCH worse if you keyed the bike on with the reversed polarity.
 

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Didnt it spark violently the instant you touched the wrong lead on?..
I almost connected my car battery up the wrong way the other day and the instant violent sparking was enough warning not to proceed.
 

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Got brave and went out and fired it up. Everything seemed fine. Everything worked... Mileage reads 0.
total milage?...or trip meter?
if its total might have to hook mine up wrong in a few years the way Im racking up miles on it:rolleyes:
 

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+1 on everything Pop said. Also, check your charging system output and make sure it was not affected either.
 

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Didnt it spark violently the instant you touched the wrong lead on?..
I almost connected my car battery up the wrong way the other day and the instant violent sparking was enough warning not to proceed.
I was going to ignore this but... I'm sure you've never made a mistake in your life. It must be blessed to be so perfect. Your post was not informative or helpful. Just an attack on my intelligence.
No it didn't spark. The battery in the bike was not the correct one. It had been beat into the bike. The garage was poorly lot. I put the new battery back the same way the old one came out.
Yes, have also seen 4th of July when battery's or reversed. This was not the case. Yes, I should have been mindful of polarity. I suffered a lack of judgement. It's my girlfriends dead husbands bike. I didn't feel comfortable working on it, especially in tight quarters and no light and no tools. I was rushing. I can only strive to be as clever as you someday. In closing... Stay off the forum if you're not going to be helpful.
 

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I was going to ignore this but... I'm sure you've never made a mistake in your life. It must be blessed to be so perfect. Your post was not informative or helpful. Just an attack on my intelligence.
No it didn't spark. The battery in the bike was not the correct one. It had been beat into the bike. The garage was poorly lot. I put the new battery back the same way the old one came out.
Yes, have also seen 4th of July when battery's or reversed. This was not the case. Yes, I should have been mindful of polarity. I suffered a lack of judgement. It's my girlfriends dead husbands bike. I didn't feel comfortable working on it, especially in tight quarters and no light and no tools. I was rushing. I can only strive to be as clever as you someday. In closing... Stay off the forum if you're not going to be helpful.

I do not see any attempt on his part to be demeaning or mocking to you in any way. Maybe YOU need a thicker skin.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Really... Repost the part where you made a helpful or positive statement. I shouldn't need thick skin. A Forum is not to put people down but a collaboration of thoughts and ideas. How was your post helpful? Anyone?
 

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Didnt it spark violently the instant you touched the wrong lead on?..
I almost connected my car battery up the wrong way the other day and the instant violent sparking was enough warning not to proceed.
So if he was mocking anyone in this post- it was himself. He could have left out the part where he almost did the same thing. Asking you if the same reaction occured doesn't seem the slightest bit out of line to me. Forums are people talking- not a bunch of suits recording meeting minutes so do get over yourself.

If he wanted to mock you he could have said something like- "You need thicker skin and brightly colored battery cables"
 
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