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Electrical gremilin trouble shoot help needed

PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 9:42 pm
by eap
I got caught in big rain on my crosscounty ride which was followed by some electrical issues including a blown taillight, heated grips and auxiliary plug. I replace the taillight and it is fine but the 4 amp fuse for the heated grips keeps blowing. A5 amp fuse blows too. I assume this is connected with the auxiliary plug because it is out also. Any ideas on where to start.

Oh yeah, I can change kitchen light bulbs and a taillight bulb but that is as far as my electrical knowledge goes...

Re: Electrical gremilin trouble shoot help needed

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 11:58 pm
by DiscoPete
With almost no electrical skils you are limited to doing a visual inspection of the wire insulation and connectors, disconnecting/connecting things and turning things on and off to see what is blowing the fuse. This would require a supply of fuses to last you through the test procedures.

Starting at the blown fuse and working toward the equipment getting power from that fuse, check for visible breaks in the insulation that allows the inner conductor to contact something it should not, for example, the bike's frame or other wires. Look for loose connections in the wiring harness and water that may have gotten into connectors, etc.
If the wiring between the fuse and the heated grips is good, there could be a short in the grips or the power switch to them. Maybe water got into the grips or the switch. If necessary, the wiring harness can be pulled apart at the connectors to isolate different sections of the wiring.

If there was nothing connected to the auxillary socket when that fuse blew, and the socket is the only thing connected to the fuse, that looks like shorted wiring or a short in the socket.

It isn't hard to learn to take voltage and resistance measurements using an inexpensive meter from WalMart or Radio Shack. It's well worth doing. Then with the meter and the bike's wiring diagram, it is a straightforward job.

This sounds like a job for tech day if you can't find anything wrong by looking at it and fiddling with the wires.

Good Luck.

PS: Using techniques like these, I fixed my Subaru last spring when it died in the driveway because the main fuse was blown. The wiring diagram indicated that the main fuse fed power directly to the engine computer and the fuel pump via the ignition switch. Everything else got power from the main fuse through a relay that closed after the fuel pump and engine computer switched on.
So I disconnected the fuel pump and found that the fuse still blew, but after a slight delay caused by the relay switching. Trouble was, there were a lot of components that got power through that relay, so which one was shorted ???
From a Subaru BB, I learned that O2 sensors frequently shorted when their wire insulation melted against the exhaust pipes. In my case, the insulation on the O2 sensor cable had rubbed against the right front axle shaft until the wires shorted to that.
It took some time to do all this because I wasn't familiar with the layout of the car, but it was a straightforward process. It can be done, even the first time you try it.

Re: Electrical gremilin trouble shoot help needed

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 7:25 am
by eap
Thanks Disco, I did a pretty thorough visual Sunday, pulled the tank disconnected/reconnected the grip wire under the tank... After replacing the fuse I had heat on the left until twisting the throttle - which resulted in a blown fuse. So it appears the problem is under the right grip - also noticed some cracks in my fuel lines so, a tech day looks to be in order.

I have read about having to solder connections under the grip, but the procedures appears to be somewhat delicate so I could definitely use some adult supervision.

(power outlet works fine - I think the problem there was just a loose connection to the cable I was using to charge the phone)

Re: Electrical gremilin trouble shoot help needed

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:00 am
by DiscoPete
Excellent! You made short work of that.

Re: Electrical gremilin trouble shoot help needed

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 5:32 pm
by henwin
DiscoPete wrote:Excellent! You made short work of that.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW................absolutely horrible pun, Pete! :lol:

Re: Electrical gremilin trouble shoot help needed

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:26 am
by eap
Well fortunately the warm weather riding season is hear, so I have some time for this fix. When I get a chance, I'll peel the grip to see if the short is obvious and fixable, then replace with Progrips for $10. Otherwise it'sa $100 replacement just for one side.