'93 R100 Dead In Texas

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Martian, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Martian

    Martian Long timer

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    Some of you may have seen my thread "Airhead On the Move". Well, we stopped moving (under her own power, anyway) yesterday evening.

    The bike was running great until I stopped on the side of the road to let my butt re-inflate after 400 miles/9 hours of riding. When I climbed on to continue the last 50 miles, she decided she'd gone far enough. Thankfully, my BIL has a trailer, and I had cell phone reception. So, getting the bike here where I can work on it was easy.

    Here's what happens: When I turned on the key after my break, everything was normal; all lights came on bright. As soon as I hit the start button, there was a 'click', and then nothing. All lights went out. Hitting the start button again had no effect but to make the tack move to about the 2000 rpm position while the button was pushed. After scratching my head for a few minutes, I tuned the key back on, and the warning lights werre back, and the headlight was on so, I hit the button; everything goes away, and the tack jumps.

    Here's what I've done: Being as I was on the side of the road and help wasn't far away, I only performed the minimal checks of connections that were easily accessable; battery, ground terminal, and a quick look-see under the tank. Wiggling and pulling wires doesn't change anything.

    I was in such a hurry to be on the road that I forgot my meter; so I can't give you voltages yet, but as soon as it gets light, I'll use my BIL's meter to check the battery voltage. I'm hoping its the battery!

    Just in case, though, if anybody knows an airhead owner who may have some spare parts around the Bryan/College Station area of Texas, I'd sure be interested in hearing from you. The bike is currently on my BIL's trailer near Carlos. TIA
    #1
  2. kadesean

    kadesean eyesuck

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    #2
  3. Beater

    Beater The Bavarian Butcher

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    Sounds like you're not charging. Dead Battery.
    #3
  4. CurlyMike

    CurlyMike Formerly SaddleSoar

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    PM sent your way...
    #4
  5. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    The exact same thing happened to me with a spotty connection at the diode board. It's the connection at the right (looking at it) where the large wire plugs into the hot side.

    If the battery shows 12.5 volts, do a load test. See how far the battery drops when hitting the start button - shouldn't go below something like ten volts.
    #5
  6. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Try jumping it. I'm guessing a bad battery (or maybe charging system).
    #6
  7. Martian

    Martian Long timer

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    I get 12.5 battery volts. There is a relay buzzing in the cluster of three under the tank. It is the inside rear one. I also found that a packrat had been trying to set up house in the diode board area, but none of the wires look chewed or eaten through. Now, I don't have any idiot lights.

    I'll chheck the big black wire at the diode board. Thanks.
    #7
  8. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Be sure to check the voltage under load too when you push the starter button. Bad batteries will often show good voltage under no load condition, but when you hit the starter button they drop to 8V or less even. The buzzing relay thing and rodent sabotage could also be it though. Good luck.
    #8
  9. Horsehockey

    Horsehockey A GPS? Huh?

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    Remove the tank. Locate the starter relay. Unplug the relay and clean the connections. Insert the relay and remove it again - repeat this a couple times. Then test. If it isn't corroded contacts on the starter relay, I'm with the dying battery theory.
    #9
  10. Martian

    Martian Long timer

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    HH, is the starter relay the aft one of the two black relays next to the grey relay?
    #10
  11. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    A word of caution - don't cause a relay to click continuously. The arcing will kill it. Then when the original fault is found and handled, the relay won't work and will need to be replaced. This is also true of the starter solenoid which in essence is just a large relay.
    #11
  12. Horsehockey

    Horsehockey A GPS? Huh?

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    Not sure on a '93. It's the aft of two on my '75. Someone might help with a pic.
    #12
  13. Martian

    Martian Long timer

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    Okay, I'm going to get a new battery. Is the relay available from any parts store?

    With a charger on the battery, the solenoid clicks. But, I also have the tach going up to about 4000. Why would the tach react like this?
    #13
  14. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    If the relay is buzzing, then it could be rapidly switching current to the coil on and off which the tach would read as revs. Pure speculation though.
    #14
  15. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Glad you made it to a safe haven. This is your R100R that's been GS-ified, right?

    "Airhead on the Move" http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=837618

    The "no idiot lights, no starter joy, nuttin" all of a sudden and intermittently sounds like a bad connection or fuse (maybe in the headlight shell). There is one Green and Green-Black wire that powers idiot lights, starter solenoid, horn, etc that can cause that symptom. On my /5 I changed out the Fairing recently and left a horn wire loose during the transition and that Gn-Sw wire grouned out and blew a fuse (all of a sudden, at the grocery store at night) and did the same thing yours is doing. Either that, one of the new-fangled "headlight always on" relays. I don't have an R100R schematic, but I'm digging online, and I'll look closely.

    Xerox, fold up and carry a schematic in a baggie. It'll save your bacon some day.

    Battery or Alternator? If you've got 12.5V static, may not ne the battery. Like Wirespokes says, check the battery voltage while trying to crank the bike (heavvvy load). If it starts, what is the system ("battery") voltage with the engine at or above 3000rpm? If the voltage is 13.5 to 14V, the alternator putout is good.

    One item that is very good in general is an on-board voltmeter on the bike. It let you monitor the system voltage at all times and helps to prevent surprises. I like the Kuryayik LED bar-graph meter. A row of color LEDs, Green is good, Yellow is so-so, Red is bad. It's reliable and easy to mount and not expensive ($45-ish). http://www.kuryakyn.com/Products/872/LED-Battery-Gauge But there are others available.

    I need to run into town ang get some eeelectrical goodies-- got an heated jacket liner the other day and I have to get it wired in. Be back later...

    --Bill
    #15
  16. Martian

    Martian Long timer

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    Okay. It was the battery! I found an exact replacement GSM battery at BATTERIES PLUS for $159. Great place to do business!

    Napa had a replacement relay, which I put in, but I'm not sure I needed it. I'll put the old one back in when I return to Kansas just to see if its good.

    Thanks to all for the offers of help and the great advise.

    We are no longer "dead in Texas"!

    In my best Willie Nelson voice, I'll be "On the road again......."
    #16
  17. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Further proof that "it's always the battery."
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  18. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Oh SNAP!

    Glad it was an easy one.
    #18
  19. Beater

    Beater The Bavarian Butcher

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    Keep a volt meter on it! Make sure it's charging!

    I'll bet you a beer it's not. :deal
    #19
  20. Martian

    Martian Long timer

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    You should always keep a cold one on hand just in case I stop by! It is charging.

    Since this happened, everybody I talk to has either had a gel battery fail, or has ridden with someone who's gel battery just suddenly quit. My suggestion for anybody who has one is to keep it fresh. If I'm taking off on a long ride and the battery is more than 2 years old, I'm replacing it before I leave. The battery was a Panasonic, BTW. Not that it makes any difference.

    I usually carry a meter but had taken it out to use on a shop project. Tomorrow, I'm buying another one strickly for the bike. That will ensure I never need it.

    Thanks again for the help. I'm really glad I brought the laptop. That's for sure!:clap Y'all did good.
    #20