Ongoing Electrical gremlins

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by FINNDIAN, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. FINNDIAN

    FINNDIAN Mine goes to 11

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,872
    Location:
    Wawa, ont, Canada
    Another electrical problem solved

    Since about 25k kms my 04 950 S GO!!!! Has intermittently and rarely shut itself down. Ussually in the dark in the middle of nowhere. Luckily enough always firing right back up.
    I had read of pyndon’s electrical issues on his great thread and did clean and inspect the contacts of my starter relay.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10511617&postcount=1088

    Last summer while crossing the international bridge back into Canada, the line was long to get to customs and it was 35Celcius. I shut the engine down for a few minutes and when turning the key on to move ahead there was absolutely no power. After pushing through customs and 20 minutes of cooling down time suddenly power was back.
    I rode about 80 or 90 kms with the odd stutter and miss as power would sometimes cut out for a second.
    Pulling over to perform a little diagnosis lead me back to the starter relay.

    [​IMG]

    It turns out the red and white power feed wires in the 4 wire plug on the relay are on very small connectors and finally got so hot and corroded they basically fell apart. Pulling these 2 wires out of the plug I stripped them back a bit and shoved them under the Main battery feed wire on the relay for full time power.

    Once home I added in a 30Amp inline fuse and a proper ring terminal.

    Problem solved! no more cutting out, But that was so, last year.

    Getting back from a 3000 km weekend trip this season, everything was great except a few times on my trip my hard wired gps would lose power for a spit second or two.
    I assumed the connector to the gps was going beginning to crap out.

    Bike sits for a week or so and as I go to head out on a weekend trip....

    Engine fires right up, NO TACH, NO SPEEDO, NO HORN, NO BRAKE LIGHTS, NO GPS …….WTF!!!!!
    I take if for a spin and power comes on sometimes but has low voltage on that circuit as when I hit the brakes the extra power load of the light shuts everything back off.

    A quick check tells me 2 fuses are not getting power.
    No Problem I’ve seen this before.
    I've read somewhere on Orange Crush that after 40 k kms ignition switches will fail and I’ve been expecting it eventually. I test for power on the wires going into the switch and they all have power. Must be the switch!

    No time to tear into it any farther I abandon the bike trip.




    Now that some spare time presents itself I consult the forum and get some great info courtesy of Osteo.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4938291&postcount=18

    I perform the procedure and find the switch internals looking mint.

    [​IMG]

    I clean the contacts and stretch the springs anyway and with the switch back on the bike, it brings no change.


    After some testing I find one of the red/white feed wires looses it’s battery voltage when a load is applied.

    Consulting the wiring diagram I see these are all fed from the starter solenoid area and join together somewhere between the ignition switch plug and the starter solenoid.

    Tracing the harness down I see no obvious trouble points.

    Getting closer to the relay I see some of the red/white wires look like they go past the starter relay and maybe double back.



    Upon slicing into the oem harness Green death begins to appear.

    [​IMG]

    I’m surprised to see an ugly looking glob of green solder

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One wire is no longer connected and I’m able to pull all the wires apart without tools and very little effort.

    All cleaned up and ready to solder in some new wires.

    [​IMG]

    Soldered up and back in place

    [​IMG]

    there we go all those thingys light up again.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. DeeGee

    DeeGee I'm a Yorkshireman thanoz

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,895
    Location:
    Up North In The UK!
    Thanks for sharing Finnidian :thumb

    I've had a couple of issues with the electrics. No dash-turned out to be a nick in one of the wires in the loom coming from under the ignition barrel. While I was away in Europe recently one of the fuses kept blowing. I've not got to the bottom of it and tbh I've been putting it off. The PO has made a real bodge of fitting the heated grips and I should really get my arse into gear and get it sorted.

    Your post will be very helpful. Cheers.
    #2
  3. Lc8grrr

    Lc8grrr Vtwin madness

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Not quite Tamworth, Aus
    Only solved an ongoing electrical fault this week in my '04 950 Adv I've owned since new. On hitting the starter button the start solenoid would click then the whole bike would shut down as evidenced by the dash going out completely. I had assumed a faulty solenoid and was trying to obtain one but thought I'd better prove it before spending. Turned out to be a faulty crimp on the +ve batt lead as attached to the battery. Once the red heat shrink was trimmed back you could see the cable wiggle loosely inside the terminal and the crimp mark only just evident. This should also solve the long standing issue with charging. Would have been like that from new.
    #3
  4. gsholz

    gsholz Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    PNW
    What is causing these electrical gremlins? Want to prevent them? Easy, don't take your bike through water more than a couple of inches deep.

    There are lots of critical connectors, relays and fuses low in the bike. If you absolutely have to do it, pack connectors with dielectric grease and use Corrosion X.

    When buying a used bike, take off the bash plate and look at the state of the relays/fuses/connectors. Don't buy a bike with visible corrosion unless you enjoy being stranded out in the boonies.
    #4
  5. FINNDIAN

    FINNDIAN Mine goes to 11

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,872
    Location:
    Wawa, ont, Canada
    The starter relay is a poor design IMO. I will change mine to a simpler unit with better connectors at some point. I may relocate it also as it was intended to be near the battery in original design but my battery no longer lives down there anyway. :D

    As far as this wiring connection that was giving issue, Maybe mine was just a poor solder connection from the get go and other won't see the issue but it's definately something worth looking at.

    ps. my bike it not babied or kept clean by any means.
    #5
  6. ProblemChild

    ProblemChild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    106
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Wow. This thread couldn't be more perfectly timed.

    Just yesterday, after having the bike "apart" for a week for a bolt check and a few other things, and having already idled it a couple of times (TB balance and EFI adaption), I went to restart and as soon as I hit the starter everything goes blank. I wait a few minutes and after trying to roll it back up a steep hill to my garage, everything works. So far today no problems as well.

    Wheatwhacker thought a loose battery connection and I was thinking that or something related to the starter. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be dropping the bashplate tonight and having a look.
    #6
  7. kennyd

    kennyd kennyd

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    237
    Location:
    kamloops b.c.
    i have had erratic starting issues over a few months too! it began with once or twice a day with no response from the starter switch. when it became more frequent i made sure all fuses were replaced and installed a new battery too as it was weak and could contribute to the problem. no change. i was upgrading to the euro switch for the added light delete feature with the euro headlite too.this replaced the start switch and of course it started every time for a month!! this was not the problem! then i inspected the starter solenoid and is was dry and coated with the green corrosion. i cleaned the connections and ordered a new solenoid. it worked great for several weeks. i packed the spare solenoid with me and after 2 more weeks it quit dead and could only jump the 2 large terminals with a screw driver to start! then i installed the new solenoid with dielectric grease and it worked great for several months!! fixed! then it began all over again! 1 or 2 times a day dead starter button! i traced the wire from the solenoid to the starter auxiliary relay red/ white and found the relay was not always clicking .i swapped it with the fuel pump relay as i am not using it with my vacuum fuel pump set-up and they are the same part# of course it worked!! but only for a few days then back to the same intermittent dead button! i swapped the relay for a new one and as i installed it, the red/ white wire from the relay pulled out of the single white plastic plug in going in to the harness to the starter solenoid! it sits 2 " from the relay. there was no visible crimp so i cleaned and bared back more wire reinserted the wire and made a good crimp . plugged it in and WOW instant start! i think this connection was bad form the factory and took 70,000 k to finally let go! i now have a great understanding of all the starter circuitry if anyone has issues!
    #7
  8. FINNDIAN

    FINNDIAN Mine goes to 11

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,872
    Location:
    Wawa, ont, Canada
    As shitty as it is having a problem. The knowledge you pick up becoming familiar with the intimacies of you machine are invaluable when you have to troubleshoot on the road.
    #8
  9. StmbtDave

    StmbtDave AKA Invisible Dave

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    CO / AZ
    I carry a folded up printout of the wiring diagram in a plastic bag. Gremlins while on the road are much easier to deal with if you know what connects to what.
    #9
  10. Lc8grrr

    Lc8grrr Vtwin madness

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Not quite Tamworth, Aus
    Very true! Those fellas riding old BMs for decades would be able to pull them apart in their sleep because they've fixed everything themselves and know the bike inside out. Thats somewhat the goal to me with my KTMs. My battery lives in the toolbox and the start solenoid mounts on the back of the airbox. Very easy access. Only the reg left down there.
    #10
  11. DeeGee

    DeeGee I'm a Yorkshireman thanoz

    Joined:
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    1,895
    Location:
    Up North In The UK!

    Electrics are my weakness, but like you guys say, to fix your bike is to get to know it. My last ride I only just about managed to tighten the chain! I'm a bit better on swinging the spanners now I'm happy to say and I'm fairly confident at tackling pretty much anything now, thanks to the OC and friends I've made. :thumb

    Have you got any pics of the relocated battery??

    Thanks.
    #11
  12. FINNDIAN

    FINNDIAN Mine goes to 11

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,872
    Location:
    Wawa, ont, Canada
    mine lives under the seat.

    [​IMG]

    still have to move the solenoid once i find a replacement I like.

    I keep my stock tool kit behind it and my first aid kit on top all under the seat.

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Lc8grrr

    Lc8grrr Vtwin madness

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Not quite Tamworth, Aus
    Battery is the stock Yuasa in the same location as above. You can see it in the bottom of the pic and the start solenoid is on the back of the airbox using its original mounted bracket modified to fit.
    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. mgorman

    mgorman Crashing since 1964

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NEO
    For those searching for relay issues.


    Mine died and it took a while to figure out since ot was intermittent. Seems like the metallic tab between the hot post from the battery to the fuse corroded into 2 pieces. When the area got hot, the swelling of parts made the halves separate. Found out when I pulled the hot wire off and it came off with it.

    Check yours also since it had that much corrosion


    Hope that helps someone else some day
    #14