Triumph Explorer / DMC M72DX Sidecar Rig - I found my dream rig, now please help me get it together!

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by TripleDaddy, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Hi Inmates,
    Inspired by Drone and many others, I wanted to upgrade from the 2 Urals I've owned in the past. I salivated over this rig when it went up for sale about a year ago, but the timing was bad and I didn't buy it. I kept in touch with the owner and when he decided to sell it this fall, I jumped on the chance.
    It's a wonderful bike (~3000 miles) and sidecar (~$11k new), but the original owner paid someone to build the mounts and they just weren't up to the task. As soon as I got the bike home, I ordered the standard 70 degree boss and clamp setup from DMC (should be here in about 3 weeks). In the meantime I have a few tasks to work out.

    20200827_183645.jpg 20200913_102751.jpg

    I do have to figure out the wiring; the guy who put it together made it a real cluster. Here's what I need to figure out:

    Wiring inside the sidecar. Right side of the photo points to the bike side, left side to the sidecar wheel (and thus brake light / blinker). The wiring going "up" is for the blinker and brake light.

    20200906_100818.jpg

    Closeup of the relay. If I understand this correctly, I think it was designed to use a momentary switch (press and hold to operate, release to stop) that would operate the actuator on the suspension. This should reverse the polarity on the DC circuit every time you press the switch (please correct me if I'm wrong).

    20200906_100948.jpg

    Here is the wiring on sidecar (wheel side). This should just be the wiring for the suspension actuator.

    20200906_095812.jpg

    This is the wiring in the sidecar on the bike side.

    20200906_095800.jpg

    Note: There is obviously some stuff missing, as the previous owner removed the switches and unhooked the actuator that was used on the 3 point mount setup.
    #1
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  2. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Here is how it was set up originally, and where it broke...

    img (12).jpg img (2).jpg IMG_20190613_114539.jpg IMG_1034.jpg 20200905_133823.jpg
    #2
  3. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    In this pic --

    20200906_095812.jpg

    Almost for sure the pink and the purple go to the actuator. They go to the power distribution block and connect directly to pink and purple going to the bike. Keep looking and I expect you'll see those same pink and purple going all the way to the toggle switch on your handlebars. DMC usually uses a 30-amp switch so that no relay is needed for the actuator circuit.

    The white, brown and blue will go to the light mounted on the fender. Ground-running-blinker, or ground-brake-blinker, or ground-running-brake.
    #3
  4. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Here is the remains of the wiring. I spent about 30 minutes cutting off electrical tape. As someone who does instrumentation wiring for work, this work makes me sick...

    That being said, it does give me the chance to make it right.

    20200913_145421.jpg
    #4
  5. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    ??
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  6. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Close up on the terminal block:

    20200913_150258.jpg
    #6
  7. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I think the relay provides switched power to the aux driving lights on the front of the tub. There are four wires going to it. Incoming power and ground of course, the trigger wire, and one switched outgoing power circuit. I'm guessing one of those lines, the switched power, goes up forward and powers your lights. The trigger wire most likely comes from a switch on your bars for controlling the aux lights.

    Right where your finger is, that's the white wire coming from the relay. Not connected? Not a ground? Do the aux lights actually work?
    #7
  8. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Here are the wires we've identified:
    • Pink and Purple: original DMC actuator on the sidecar suspension.
    • Yellow and red: Not 100% sure yet. Sidecar headlights (?) Yellow and red color coding would match up with on/off toggle switch.
    • White, brown and blue: sidecar fender mounted tail light and blinker.
    • Yellow, green, white, brown with trailer 4 pin connectors: I'm guessing this was used to operate the actuator on the 3 point mounting system, and could be connected to the winch to operate it instead.
    Keep in mind the bike also had:
    • Crappy Harbor Freight winch (gave to Goodwill)
    • Actuator for 3 point mounting system (gave that to Goodwill too)
    I haven't powered anything yet.
    #8
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  9. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    @TrippleDaddy, the wiring you've shown in photos thus far looks pretty good from what I normally have to work with, and for the record, I had two DMC rigs commissioned for me back in the day, and have worked on or refitted six DMC rigs, so I'm pretty familiar with both how DMC does wiring, and of course, that done by dealers and "previous owners" alike. As you sort your rig, the things to look for are those pesky "insulation-displacing" T-taps, P-taps and Scotchlok connectors, I consider everyone a potential point-of-failure, and spend a lot of time in refit seeking them out, repairing the insulation or if needed, replacing wires due to the broken strands they cause. I would also look for hidden fuses, or circuits with no fuses at all, very common. Finally, I'm sure you're already "on it", but my rule is, only one cable, and one wire should be fixed to the positive and negative battery posts: (1), the main high-current cable the manufacturer installed, and (2) a single 10/12 wire that you install that will feed a buss or power distribution fuse block. Stacking terminals on battery posts is bad practice.

    Let's see a photo of the battery posts on your rig (and, you're off the hook, you didn't do it <g>!).

    If you haven't found them yet, the ONLINE LED STORE has some useful wiring stuff: https://www.online-led-store.com/

    If I can be of any help, feel free to reply or IM me. Good luck!
    #9
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  10. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    marlin horror.gif
    #10
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  11. Dynamick

    Dynamick Ornamental Supporter

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    Congrats on you score! I suck at electronics so will be watching.
    #11
  12. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

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    As there are no color codes for sidecars, we went with trailer color codes. So in general, white wires are ground. Brown is your lighting circuit, Green is the turn signal You will have two in coming green wires as Cambus equipped bikes need them separated, if you look close at the terminal strip board you can see a jumper connecting these as your bike does not have Cambus. Blue is brake, red battery plus. Often a relay is for keyed power inside of the sidecar for items such as power outlets and seat heaters. Your sidecar must have been order with out the need for keyed power as the relay you have is for the driving lights which use the yellow wire. Pink and Purple go to the electric trim actuator. Why pink and purple, these are the colors that Champion sidecars uses and while there are no standards at all in the industry, it make sense to me as much as possible to "standardize" things. Power would have been fused with in line fuse holders at the bike side. There would have also been direct connection to the battery for both positive and negative.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    Hours Monday - Thursday 6-4:30
    866-638-1793
    #12
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  13. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Jay's post reminded me that I saved a generic trailer wiring cheat-sheet a while ago. Now where did I put it?

    OK, found it!

    wiring colors.png
    #13
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  14. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Very cool; thanks Jay and Ned for all the help.
    #14
  15. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    I did some looking today at the relays and found this explanation of which relays are for what purpose.

    Explorer-Relays.png 20200918_120820.jpg 20200918_120802.jpg 20200918_120810.jpg
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  16. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Screenshot_20200918-190856_Chrome.jpg

    Consider these to match up with OEM connectors?
    #16
  17. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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  18. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I think Cycle Terminal is a pretty good outfit and deserving of our support over some unknown eBay source. If you plan to use Deutsch connectors, be sure to get a Deutsch crimping tool. I use a cheap one from Amazon that works OK, but I bet @mikepa can steer you to a really good one. Also, since mistakes are inevitable, a connector extraction tool is useful.

    The only rig I built where I did my own electrical design and execution was my R1100GS rig, and I spent many many hours planning and planning before I bought any wire or connectors. Just a thought.
    #18
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  19. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    Agreed - I've purchased from Cycleterminal - recommended.
    #19
  20. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Update: A critical step in the process - the garage was cleaned and reorganized to make room for everything (while making sure my wife still can park her car inside :lol3). Next steps are:
    • Get the mounts from DMC (ordered on August 31st, so should be here in the next week or two)
    • Get the electrical sorted out. I'm thinking about ordering tools and connectors from CycleTerminal.com, so that I can make nice long leads that run from the plug back to the appropriate relays under my seat.
    • Figure out how much wheel lead I want / need. The bike is 61" from axle to axle (on center stand - no compression on suspension).
    20200927_112734.jpg 20200927_114448.jpg
    #20
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