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October 25, 2014, 10:25:05 PM

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Author Topic: Diagnosing electrical problem  (Read 1166 times)

Ducati Scotty

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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

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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

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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.  :)

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Ducati Scotty

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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

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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

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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

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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.
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gremlin

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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.


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Arizoni

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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.
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Rich Mintz

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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

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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

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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.
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gashousegorilla

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Re: Diagnosing electrical problem
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2014, 11:12:51 PM »
  Something may have just gotten wet and shorted.....
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Arizoni

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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
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Pauly

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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
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