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Thread: Electrical woes - low voltage, starting issues, etc.

  1. #11
    posplayr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exzachtly1 View Post
    Thank you. I pulled the battery today and started going through things again. Here is what I've found so far...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/HAGP68e92yfBLF5K9

    Photo 1 shows the ground wire coming from the R/R. You can see that it seems to be extended with a bullet connector (also in photo 9), but I'm not sure why. I don't think it needs the extra length. Is it that way from the factory? You can also see that I've already put a new ring connector on it since the old one was pretty fried. EDIT: I realize now that the length was added so they could run it directly to the negative terminal on the battery. That's a good thing right? Less resistance?

    Photo 2 shows a concerning rusty looking bolt, at the bottom of the battery cage... this is holding two wires. One of them goes up to the negative terminal on the battery and the other one connects to a point right above where the RR is, I think just to the frame. That bolt is very rusty but the metal point where it connects to the frame underneath is clean. I plan to try to clean that rust as much as I can. You can see the ring connectors weren't the best either, I didn't bother trying to clean them. Simply replaced them with new ring connectors. That's basically photos 3-7 and 9. You can also see in photo 9, that wire had also been extended with a butt connector... not sure why. I removed it.

    Photos 10-11 show the 4-pin connector from the R/R that previously was partially melted. This happened a long time ago, not exactly sure when it fried but I replaced that connector completely as you can see. Any idea why that could have happened?

    The last 4 photos are of the fuse box. I wanted to show the condition of it... to me, it looks OK but maybe I'm wrong? It does seem like it could use a little cleaning so I will probably go through it with some deoxit.

    Anything obvious jumping out from my description or photos? I'm doing what I can to clean/replace stuff but feeling pretty unsure about my progress (or lack of) so far.
    See previous comments. Chemically clean and prepare the contacts between battery and R/R including all those grounds. I have a thread i started a while back listing useful products. Deoxit is mainly for clean contacts with light imperceptible corrosion. if it is green you need something tougher (like Naval jelly, vinegar etc).
    All you pictures show ZERO cleaning. Not sure what the point of that is. You are lucky the fuse box is not melted. If you dont clean it it will melt.

    That ground extension to the battery is kinda pathetic. You can do the Phase A stator tests to measure teh voltage drops to confirm.

    Quote Originally Posted by posplayr View Post
    Did a quick look at your 5k voltages. Assume the bouncing is charging noise interacting with the voltmeter(not to worry). So just average the numbers 13-14.2==>13.6v which is lower than 2.5k rpm. Therefore dirty connection between r/r and battery (both grounds and 12v side).
    this doesn’t mean that stator is perfect, need to check fix connection before peeling back anymore layers of the onion
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by exzachtly1 View Post
    Last post for the night ... Is this normal? There is a ground wire spliced into the main negative battery cable, and it was running from there (battery terminal) to the ground point at the bottom of the battery box. It looks like maybe something someone added (I replaced the ring connector though):

    Attachment 61327

    Wondering if it's needed or if I can clean it up / remove it. The insulation around it is kinda crappy and falling apart.
    Some of these bike have some pretty crappy grounding so just replacing the stock setup is not even that great of an idea.

    Measuring your voltage drops and you can decide how in depth you want to go. If they are bad at all i woudl do the full enchilada.

    An SPG is universally foolproof but you might have to study my link a bit.

    The figures/thread that Nessism (Ed) has for a SH-775 ignores grounds.

    Any 5 wire R/R should be wired the same.

    https://www.thegsresources.com/_foru...31#post1138531
    Last edited by posplayr; 07-05-2020 at 11:44 PM.
    Read about Charging Quick Test GS Charging Health GS Stator

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    A couple of things in the first post caught my eye:
    Quote Originally Posted by exzachtly1 View Post
    My battery is older at this point, probably about 5 years but has not had much use and it's always been on a tender during down times.
    First, at 5 years your battery is very near, if not past, its useful life.
    Second, depending on the "tender", you may have killed it. Even the best of battery maintainers is not a good idea for constant, long-term use. Charging the battery over the weekend, once a month will likely do a better job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by posplayr View Post
    See previous comments. Chemically clean and prepare the contacts between battery and R/R including all those grounds. I have a thread i started a while back listing useful products. Deoxit is mainly for clean contacts with light imperceptible corrosion. if it is green you need something tougher (like Naval jelly, vinegar etc).
    All you pictures show ZERO cleaning. Not sure what the point of that is. You are lucky the fuse box is not melted. If you dont clean it it will melt.

    That ground extension to the battery is kinda pathetic. You can do the Phase A stator tests to measure teh voltage drops to confirm.
    Thank you. I sense a little frustration in your reply - I do appreciate your advice and I'm sure it can be frustrating constantly answering questions that seem obvious. I guess I didn't realize how bad the fuse box is, and what "clean" really needs to look like... now I know and I am taking steps to address the problems as I learn. Currently I pulled all the fuses out of the fuse box and am soaking the entire unit + connectors in a vinegar bath. Then I will neutralize the acid with baking soda+water. Does that sound like a good method? Hoping that this will do the trick, I've had great luck cleaning screws and bolts with this method in the past. You are right that I did not pay enough attention to the fuse box and grounds on my first pass at cleaning - I basically focused on the connectors throughout the bike, mainly just spraying with deoxit and using small wire brushes to try to clean the contacts. Did not realize how important these ground wires are - like I said, obvious to you but not to me... still learning

    I do plan to study your previous posts you linked to regarding "single point ground" and so forth. And will do some more tests as I figure out how to. Will post updates as I progress!

    "That ground extension to the battery is kinda pathetic" - advice on how to change it? Should I just eliminate it and ground it to the frame instead of the battery? Or extend it with a new connector?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    A couple of things in the first post caught my eye:

    First, at 5 years your battery is very near, if not past, its useful life.
    Second, depending on the "tender", you may have killed it. Even the best of battery maintainers is not a good idea for constant, long-term use. Charging the battery over the weekend, once a month will likely do a better job.

    .
    Thanks, yeah I realize the battery could be bad after so long. But just FYI these problems aren't new... they've always been there as long as I've had the bike. I will take the battery to have it tested regardless and replace if needed. The tender I use is a "battery tender junior" and I don't really leave it on constantly. I do tend to unhook it for a while, then hook it up again after a week or so. Over the winter I alternate it between the two batteries I have (one for my other bike).
    ------------------------------------------------
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    I recently had my bike completely apart so took the opportunity to really clean all of the electrical connections. It's certainly easier when your're holding the harness in your hand and can do a bunch of connections at the same time. I took posplayr's advice on the naval jelly. Gooped it on, waited 10 minutes, then flushed with water. I used a WaterPik (that I just so happened to have). This worked extremely will, especially where the terminals are encased in a plastic block connector. I did not de-pin all of the connectors, but did de-pin one after the cleaning and was satisfied with the process. Naval Jelly is amazing stuff. The WaterPik makes a mess. Wear gloves and goggles.

    After flushing with water, I used compressed air to dry all connectors, then spayed all with electrical contact spray, which (I think) helps evaporate any leftover water. Then a final light touch of deoxit on all. Did the same treatment with every switch on the pike that I could get apart.

    This can be done with the wires on the bike. Hold a towel around the connector and get the waterpik in there. Towel to contain the mess. Very please with the results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich82GS750TZ View Post
    I recently had my bike completely apart so took the opportunity to really clean all of the electrical connections. It's certainly easier when your're holding the harness in your hand and can do a bunch of connections at the same time. I took posplayr's advice on the naval jelly. Gooped it on, waited 10 minutes, then flushed with water. I used a WaterPik (that I just so happened to have). This worked extremely will, especially where the terminals are encased in a plastic block connector. I did not de-pin all of the connectors, but did de-pin one after the cleaning and was satisfied with the process. Naval Jelly is amazing stuff. The WaterPik makes a mess. Wear gloves and goggles.

    After flushing with water, I used compressed air to dry all connectors, then spayed all with electrical contact spray, which (I think) helps evaporate any leftover water. Then a final light touch of deoxit on all. Did the same treatment with every switch on the pike that I could get apart.

    This can be done with the wires on the bike. Hold a towel around the connector and get the waterpik in there. Towel to contain the mess. Very please with the results.
    Cool, thanks for the tips. I have never tried using naval jelly I might have to give that a shot. Sounds like it would be faster than vinegar, and easier to do with parts on the bike (can't vinegar soak something that's attached to the bike!). I don't own a waterpik though, would have to get my hands on one of those I guess.
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    Another thing I found, is that there is an incorrectly sized fuse in the "Head" fuse slot... it has a 20 amp installed but calls for 10 amp:



    Could this have been the cause of the fried R/R connector? I tried to trace the wiring diagram to understand what this fuse controls but I got confused

    Here is some before/after of the fuse box after about 10 hours of vinegar soak and some light scrubbing:


    To my untrained eye, this seems a hell of a lot cleaner. Is it clean enough? I plan to spray with some deoxit, put the correct fuse in the 10A slot, and probably re-wire the positive battery wire. The connectors and wire are not in the greatest shape.
    Last edited by exzachtly1; 07-06-2020 at 10:58 PM.
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    Welp I've somehow managed to make it worse. I put everything back together because I wanted to see if replacing all those terminals for the grounds and cleaning up the fuse box helped... but now I am getting NO power to anything except my instrument cluster. Rear lights not working, starter not working, headlight not working... I have not touched anything else besides the fusebox, battery area, grounds connections for the R/R, etc.

    The only things I am suspecting are either a bad crimp on one of the new terminals (I was careful here to do it well!), bad fuse (they all look fine), or put something back together wrong (I've triple checked everything). Or maybe the battery is just dying, I will take it to be tested as soon as I can.

    I have new fuses coming tomorrow, so I plan to replace all of them just in case but they certainly don't look blown or anything.

    Now, in the past there was an issue one time where this happened. I basically just moved the battery into position (after having it pulled out at an angle to connect everything) and it started working again. Always chalked that event up to there just being a dirty or loose connection, or a short somewhere... that is part of why I am doing what I'm doing now. I know there are problems. But I'm wondering if that could mean an issue somewhere else? Maybe in the main battery cables? I can't understand why all this work I did would make things worse unless I just fudged something or knocked something else loose that was hanging on the ragged edge already.

    Happy to take suggestions... in the meantime I will continue to go over everything to make sure I didn't miss something.

    Edit: Used the multi meter to check continuity between all the ground wires, fuses, and battery wires. Everything checked out. So I don't think I have a problem in any of my new connections or the fuses...
    Last edited by exzachtly1; 07-07-2020 at 10:29 PM.
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    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    and am soaking the entire unit + connectors in a vinegar bath. Then I will neutralize the acid with baking soda+water. Does that sound like a good method? Hoping that this will do the trick
    Try adding salt to the vinegar. Works A1 to brighten up wire and connectors.

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    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    advice on how to change it? Should I just eliminate it and ground it to the frame instead of the battery?
    looking at the pictures, you have a lot of funk from a previous owner...the 20 amp fuse at headlights indicates they had trouble on that circuit and the larger fuse may have exacerbated them.

    The motorcycle's original ground system had the thick cable attached to the engine, with two smaller ground wires (Black/white stripe) coming out of the harness -one at front one at rear-attached to the frame...(NOT the forks) The added one...I can't swear to it per your "L" without looking at the particular diagram but my gs650G has no such thing and it sure looks like "funk" to me....perhaps the PO chopped the other off at the harness.

    The battery box is not the worst place to connect a (B/W) ground wire but connection should be rust free under a tight bolt...

    You can disconnect one fuse at a time and see if that helps your large voltage drops...and thereby narrows down bad circuits.

    Your regulator and stator are suspects. The old originals could blow SCR or diodes and allow power BACK into a stator. Which is pretty close to a dead short at the MAIN 15amp fuse, but not always.... Disconnect the regulator and see if that helps- the bike can run on a battery alone for a little while.

    ABOVE ALL consult your wiring diagram and try to figure out what the Previous owner was "fixing" with the additional? wires and black tape. Black tape can be ok for ceertain purposes but good 3m black tape will not unravel so easily and is worth the xtra $...

    A coloured wiring diagram can help. go here
    http://members.dslextreme.com/users/...650wiring.html
    Last edited by Gorminrider; 07-08-2020 at 10:13 AM.

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