HPRE

Menu

Members Rides

Newcomb Ranch, ACH


in
Members Rides

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 02, 2014, 04:25:54 AM

Login with username, password and session length

 

Author Topic: Diagnosing electrical problem  (Read 1067 times)

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Diagnosing electrical problem
« on: March 05, 2014, 03:33:29 PM »
Hi,

My 2010 bike (the Haunted C5 of Doom) has another issue. Today after 5 blocks of ordinary city riding, the main 20A fuse (#3) blew.

I replaced the fuse with a spare, started up the bike, and before I could get moving, it blew again.

I replaced it again, started up the bike again, and before I could get moving again, it blew again.

I opened the battery cover, and covered over the positive terminal with electrical tape. I also taped over the plug end of my (attached) battery terminal harness, which hangs loose on the side of the bike, with electrical tape.

Then I replaced the fuse again (with the regulator fuse #2, because I was out of spares) and turned the key to On. Before I even had a chance to start up the bike, the fuse blew.

Battery appears to be fully charged.

Some notes:

- Haven't ridden the bike in 4 days
- Over those 4 days, bike was on the battery tender. When I put it on the tender, it blinked "charging, at 80% or better"; this morning the tender was green (full charge).
- Before I put it on the tender, battery voltage was normal (12.81, I think)

What do I check first, and how? I can bring a multitester and basic tools to the bike.

All the spare fuses I used were factory (original) fuses.

Remember that I had a problem relatively recently where the engine faltered and then the main fuse blew while I was "pushing" the engine (high throttle uphill at high speed in high gear). This may be related.

Bike is parked (illegally but safely) on the street. If I have to, I can push it the half mile to my garage.

High On Octane

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3971
  • Karma: 0
  • Go Fast & Look Good Doing It
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 04:18:16 PM »
99% of the time when a fuse blows immediately, you can almost guarantee you have a wire grounding out on the chassis somewhere.  Start looking for a frayed/cut/broken wire.

Scottie J
Bulldog Kustoms - Denver, CO
Specializing In Kustom Paint

The Blackhawk
1958 Enfield/Indian 711cc Twin

Building The 1st Ever Ace Performance
Enfield Twin Full Race Heads

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 04:21:11 PM »
That's what I was afraid you would say. I have one of the slightly older C5s with a rat's nest behind the headlight and another one under the seat, so I'll probably have to push it to the garage and take the whole damn thing apart...

Ducati Scotty

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 6144
  • Karma: 0
  • 2010 Teal C5
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 05:55:53 PM »
99% of the time when a fuse blows immediately, you can almost guarantee you have a wire grounding out on the chassis somewhere.  Start looking for a frayed/cut/broken wire.

Scottie J

+1.  Some good places to look are where the wiring exits the triangle box, near the back of the tank where the wiring crosses the frame and headstay bracket, near the front of the tank where the loom crosses the steering tube.  Also, you can get circuit breakers that replace the fuses, they're maybe $10-15.  Get the kind with a reset button, not the auto reset kind.  I wouldn't leave it in there long term but it's just the thing to diagnose this problem without buying 100 fuses.

Scott


Ducati Scotty

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 6144
  • Karma: 0
  • 2010 Teal C5
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 06:48:52 PM »
Exactly!  A little more than I thought.  I think the self reset ones are less.

Scott

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 06:51:41 PM »
The self reset ones are much cheaper. But what's the point of a self-reset fuse -- isn't that just like bridging the fuse socket with a wire?

no bs

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 299
  • Karma: 0
  • if it's got two wheels i'm on it
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 06:59:49 PM »
my blown fuse was caused by the taillight wires rubbing through on the fender where the grommet came out of the hole.
killing bugs since 1972 2011 g5 deluxe

Ducati Scotty

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 6144
  • Karma: 0
  • 2010 Teal C5
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 07:10:25 PM »
Good point.  Rich, is your headlight switch working?  If it is, turn off the lights and turn on the ignition.  If it doesn't blow, turn on the lights.  If it blows when you turn on the lights, well, you'll looking for a lighting short :)

And anywhere the wires pass over a metal edge or through a piece of metal is a good spot to check.

Scott

singhg5

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2231
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 07:33:53 PM »
I am sure you know all this since you had done quite a bit of work on wires sometime back. Wires may lose insulation by rubbing on metal at bends and can short anywhere throughout the bike, but most of the electrical shorts on RE have been reported amongst three or four areas - and most likely a visual inspection with a bright light will reveal itself.

Behind headlight nacelle
Under the tank rear behind the battery
Under the rear fender, wires coming off clips and rubbing against wheel
Around battery

Also notice if there is a connector sticking out a bit and touching metal.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 07:41:26 PM by singhg5 »
1970's Jawa /  Yezdi
2006 Honda Nighthawk
2009 Royal Enfield Black G5

gashousegorilla

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2745
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 07:43:59 PM »
 May also consider replacing the main fuse with the stock 20A.. Then the other two with a LOWER rated fuse, like a five or a ten for now. In hopes that lower rated fuse will pop before the main. If it does.... you likely just isolated the circuit where the short is. 
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

barenekd

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 5268
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 09:19:58 PM »
A little late, but the first place you look, when you're troubleshooting, is the last place you did any work on the bike, even just touching stuff! the next place is checking Known problems sites as gleaned from the forum, or previous experience. My Goose stopped runnning on one cylinder this morning as I was coming home from a ride. Previous experience has told me the first place to look as at the plug connector, as the stock ones are a bit crappy. I ordered different connectors after the first problem, but I haven't put them in yet. Looks like a good opportunity to do it when I go out to fix it! If that's not the problem, then I'll worry about having to dig deeper.
Bare

« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 10:00:47 PM by barenekd »
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 11:06:48 PM »
Thanks all, and especially Bare for the common sense.  (First thing to do: reseat the plug cap and see if it helps.)

One question: I ordered a passel of 20A fuses which are coming tomorrow. Meanwhile, my local hardware store only had 25A, and I bought a few. Can I do some basic  testing with these? If it's successful (if the problem turns out to be trivial, like my spark plug cap is seated wrong), and the bike starts and runs, can I ride it home half a mile on a 25A fuse?

Ducati Scotty

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 6144
  • Karma: 0
  • 2010 Teal C5
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 11:11:01 PM »
Larger could melt wires, but you can probably diagnose and get home with some smaller ones. 

Scott

Arizoni

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 4386
  • Karma: 0
  • "But it's a dry heat here in Arizona
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 11:41:41 PM »
Rich:  You can check the spark plug cap but I guarantee it's not the problem.  The 12 volt circuits that the fuses protect don't go there.

As was said, use a systematic approach where you can.  Turn off the lights and try a new fuse.  If it blows it isn't likely to be a light system problem.
If turning on the lights blows, as was mentioned, the fuse the place where the wires go thru the grommet at the tail light is a good candidate.  So is the metal tab under the rear fender that keeps the wires from rubbing the tire as is the place where the rear lighting branch plugs into the main wiring harness.

Turn the handlebars back and forth leaving them in a different position than when you begin.  That will move the harness a bit.  Try another fuse.  If it doesn't blow, the problem is probably with the harness where it enters the rear of the headlight casquette or where it tucks under the fuel tank.  It also could be inside the casquette.
If the fuse blows it might still be in these places but the chances of it is less likely.

IMO, getting a circuit breaker might be nice for future problems but it doesn't have much to do with your immediate problem.  Speaking of that area, I saw recently where someone posted a picture of a bare fuse wire sticking out of the fuse holder.  That's something to look at if you have the clamshell fuse holders.

Usually, the fuse will blow before anything visable on the wires show but after blowing several fuses, you might look for wires that don't have a nice smooth factory insulation on them.  The overheating the problem wire can have might cause the insulation to wrinkle.  A sure sign of a overloaded wire.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

Ducati Scotty

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 6144
  • Karma: 0
  • 2010 Teal C5
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 12:59:56 AM »
The circuit breaker allows him to "blow the fuse" as many times as he needs to while diagnosing without running out if fuses.

Scott

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 01:15:59 AM »
Well, I decided to live dangerously: I put one of the 25 amp fuses in the main fuse slot. I left the regulator fuse slot empty. I made sure the lights were off and then started up the bike. It started right up. I rode home to my garage, in the dark with the lights off, carefully, then killed the engine and rolled it inside. Then I removed the 25 amp fuse and plugged it into the tender.

So it appears that I have an electrical problem in the light circuit. I'll diagnose and fix over the weekend when it's light out and I have more time.

Thank you all for your advice, which will be useful for both this incident and future ones!

High On Octane

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3971
  • Karma: 0
  • Go Fast & Look Good Doing It
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 04:31:21 AM »
+1 On pulling the fuse and riding home in the dark!

It definitely sucks, but when it becomes necessary, it takes an experienced and very alert rider to have the balls to think about it, let alone safely pull it off.  So hats off to you Rich!   :D  I have found myself riding home in the dark before as well due to electrical issues and needing to kill the lights in order to have enough juice to get home.  It definitely gets your heart rate up and is always a huge relief as you are pulling up to your house.  Glad you made it home safe.  :)

Scottie J
Bulldog Kustoms - Denver, CO
Specializing In Kustom Paint

The Blackhawk
1958 Enfield/Indian 711cc Twin

Building The 1st Ever Ace Performance
Enfield Twin Full Race Heads

Ducati Scotty

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 6144
  • Karma: 0
  • 2010 Teal C5
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 05:12:31 AM »
Well done Rich.  Glad you and the bike are home safe.

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 05:14:51 AM »
Thanks! I live in the city and everything is very well lit, so I was as concerned about getting a traffic ticket as I was about getting hit. But everything came out okay.

And I'm hoping that the NYC Department of Finance will accept this message thread as evidence that my vehicle was disabled and dismiss my parking ticket!

Roeland

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 05:42:42 AM »
Also check the relays. I had one of the wires of the indicator relay touching and rubbing against the box untill the insulation was exposed.

Chuck D

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 898
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 06:04:02 AM »
Also check the relays. I had one of the wires of the indicator relay touching and rubbing against the box untill the insulation was exposed.
"touching and rubbing" ;D ;D ;D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXvPqOGujXc
2006 Bullet Sixty-5 w/ Ace "Fireball 535" Kit (#10)
Ace "GP" head in the works.

'76 Honda CB550Four K(sold)


"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understandin'?"

gremlin

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1245
  • Karma: 0
  • "Do one thing each day that scares you"
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2014, 06:56:50 AM »
May also consider replacing the main fuse with the stock 20A.. Then the other two with a LOWER rated fuse, like a five or a ten for now. In hopes that lower rated fuse will pop before the main. If it does.... you likely just isolated the circuit where the short is.


+1
1996 Trophy 1200
2011 RE B5
1979 XS11 w/vetter terraplane
1981 XS11 streetfighter
1983 Venture Royale
1982 CB750K
1971 Triumph Trident
1969 CB450
1966 Sears (puch) 250


Arizoni

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 4386
  • Karma: 0
  • "But it's a dry heat here in Arizona
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 10:14:43 PM »
Rich:
Before you turn on your headlight check to see that the 20 amp fuse didn't blow.  Then turn on your parking lights.  If the fuse doesn't blow, turn on your headlight.  That will probably blow the fuse but it also tells you the problem is most likely in the headlight wiring and not elsewhere.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2014, 05:55:13 PM »
Okay, I got some 20A fuses and did some testing.

1. The fuse didn't blow on the parking lights, headlight, or engine start. I rolled the handlebars all over the goddam place, bike stayed running. (I didnt get on and ride since I didn't have my helmet.) So if it's a lighting fault, it's an intermittent one.

2. I removed the headlight and poked around in the nacelle with a strong flashlight. It's a rats nest, but nothing appeared obviously exposed. I've already worked back there (a year ago when I fixed my "bike shipped with gerbil nibbles in the rectifier circuit" issue) and had previously done some light rerouting and rebundling.

3. I removed the two tank bolts (neck and underseat) and looked carefully at the routing of wiring under the tank and especially under the neck flanges. I found a couple of dicey stretches I wrapped with electrical tape, but nothing that was obviously the source of a fault. Under the front right tank flange there was a plastic tube containing a bundle of wires that was pressed against a bolt head, so I rerouted that a bit and reinforced it with tape. Similarly on one of the wires on the right rear of the tank. (The throttle cable housing in that area is definitely rubbing, and I reinforced that too, but it's not the cause of my fault.)

4. I removed the battery cover and checked carefully above and behind the battery, focusing on the positive terminal. I removed and discarded some obsolete accessory wiring in that area that was in the way. I taped up an exposed area (about 1mm) at the very end of one of the wires leading to the positive battery terminal, just in case it was shorting on something.

5. I looked at all the wiring from the underside with a strong flashlight. There was no evident issue (aside from filth) with the wiring under the rear fender leading to the taillight.

6. I put everything back together and parked the bike. Later I'll take it on a test ride (a couple miles in loops close to home, so I can push it to the garage) and hope for the best.

Oh, and I'm carrying 8 spare fuses on the bike...


Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2014, 09:41:17 PM »
Just took the bike out for a 2-mile ride, lights on. Ran it up to 50, put it through all the gears, took it over rough jerky pavement. NO PROBLEM. I don't know whether I fixed my electrical problem or it's just hiding.


barenekd

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 5268
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2014, 10:14:12 PM »
Sounds like my fuse failure a couple of years ago. I blew a 20 amper and put the spar in then immediately blew that one. This was shortly after I had installed the headlight relays. I got the bike home via AAA, definitely too far too push! I was running up Ortega highway about 50 miles from home. The first place I looked was in the headlight to see whether or not my rewiring wasn't the culprit. I found a couple of possible suspects and fixed them, but there was never anything conclusive whether they caused the problem or not. I had gotten some American fuses put them in and never had any more fuse problems.
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

gashousegorilla

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2745
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2014, 11:12:51 PM »
  Something may have just gotten wet and shorted.....
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

Arizoni

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 4386
  • Karma: 0
  • "But it's a dry heat here in Arizona
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2014, 04:50:22 AM »
Rich:
During the first year of ownership I also had the main 20 amp fuse blow for no apparent reason.

I replaced it with the spare and everything seemed fine.  After riding it for a few weeks without any problems I decided it was just the quality, or lack of quality of the original fuse so I replaced all of the fuses with some American made ones.
After 2 years of riding without any fuse problem at all I've about decided it was just a crummy fuse.
Hopefully, your blown fuses were just crummy fuses so your problems will never return. :)
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

Pauly

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2014, 06:15:37 AM »
When mine did this I got a very strong burning rubber smell that Led me right to the issue, if it happens again, use the sniffer and see if any particular area smells "hot".  The nose knows
2010 G5
'84 Honda VF45

mattsz

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2545
  • Karma: 0
  • moto-gurdyist
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2014, 11:44:41 AM »
Pauly - is that you in your avatar photo?  If so, the rest of us might not have as much success with your troubleshooting techniques as you do!

 ;)

Royalista

  • phaneropter
  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 762
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2014, 11:13:15 PM »
My thoughts exactly.  ;D
moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2014, 12:05:12 AM »
Tonight I took the bike out for a 15 mile round trip in the freezing cold pouring rain (which I wasn't expecting but that's another story).

Lights and engine ran normally. No electrical trouble* of the kind I was having. Assume I solved it?

*I did have one issue: intermittently, pulling in the clutch is triggering the high beam and the high beam indicator. But I don't think that's related to my electrical problem. If it continues I have a couple of ideas: either the bar mitt is slightly deforming the angle of the clutch lever, or when I gently laid the bike down on its side unexpectedly last month (nothing interesting to tell, I got unbalanced while working) I bent something in the lever housing

singhg5

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2231
  • Karma: 0
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2014, 03:34:32 AM »
Tonight I took the bike out for a 15 mile round trip in the freezing cold pouring rain (which I wasn't expecting but that's another story).

Lights and engine ran normally. No electrical trouble* of the kind I was having. Assume I solved it?

*I did have one issue: intermittently, pulling in the clutch is triggering the high beam and the high beam indicator. But I don't think that's related to my electrical problem. If it continues I have a couple of ideas: either the bar mitt is slightly deforming the angle of the clutch lever, or when I gently laid the bike down on its side unexpectedly last month (nothing interesting to tell, I got unbalanced while working) I bent something in the lever housing

There is a YELLOW COLOR SWITCH on the front of left handlebar that turns ON high beam as long as it is pressed. That must have been pushed in on pulling the clutch lever.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 03:49:49 AM by singhg5 »
1970's Jawa /  Yezdi
2006 Honda Nighthawk
2009 Royal Enfield Black G5

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2014, 10:37:51 PM »
You are correct! The bar mitt fabric is triggering the yellow high beam switch in certain positions. Not an electrical problem, just an inconvenience. Thank you!

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2014, 01:43:07 PM »
I've now done a full tank of riding in all weather with no more fuse trouble, so whatever the short was, I fixed it when I taped up those loose ends...