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

  1. #41
    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    I was wondering! it's such a heavy lug for those wires and looks to be for a battery connection....

    The "wiggling around the battery that fixes everything" has to be a big clue as to area....it's going to be "obvious" when you finally spot the gremlin, I bet. But meanwhile,

    You can of course easily take the solenoid off and bench test it, just to be sure it's working...yellow/green stripe is the relay's +....

    CLICK CLICK hopefully.

    usually I just say to touch the connection of the Y/G wire on the solenoid to the battery + terminal while on the bike (big red wire coming from the battery to the solenoid) which normally would engage a working starter on a bike safely in Neutral..(gas fumes ignited by sparks permitting) even with the key off, because the wiring and handlebar button and sometimes the key switch can be problematic... but in your case, I'd say take it off and test it away from the funky wires, whichever one it is...you might even have a burned out relay coil in the solenoid?

    There shouldn't be any problem grounding as shown to the battery box if it's securely attached to the frame...metal to metal via a bolt,weld,et-al. There's plenty of electrons there that'll be happy to go for a ride ...

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorminrider View Post
    I was wondering! it's such a heavy lug for those wires and looks to be for a battery connection....

    The "wiggling around the battery that fixes everything" has to be a big clue as to area....it's going to be "obvious" when you finally spot the gremlin, I bet. But meanwhile,

    You can of course easily take the solenoid off and bench test it, just to be sure it's working...yellow/green stripe is the relay's +....

    CLICK CLICK hopefully.

    usually I just say to touch the connection of the Y/G wire on the solenoid to the battery + terminal while on the bike (big red wire coming from the battery to the solenoid) which normally would engage a working starter on a bike safely in Neutral..(gas fumes ignited by sparks permitting) even with the key off, because the wiring and handlebar button and sometimes the key switch can be problematic... but in your case, I'd say take it off and test it away from the funky wires, whichever one it is...you might even have a burned out relay coil in the solenoid?

    There shouldn't be any problem grounding as shown to the battery box if it's securely attached to the frame...metal to metal via a bolt,weld,et-al. There's plenty of electrons there that'll be happy to go for a ride ...

    OK so -- I could not for the life of me figure out why that ground was not working. Tested both points (upper and lower) with the multimeter and there is no ground at those points. There is, however, ground at the bolt just below the relay, on the front of the battery cage - it kinda angles forward. Tested as a perfect ground. So I ran a small wire from the old wire at the top of the relay (where the harness ground used to connect) to that point... and voila she starts! I really wish I knew for sure why the ground specified in the manual doesn't work though. Possible I just don't understand it... idk. If anyone has a picture of what theirs looks like that might help!

    I'm even happier to report:

    1. I have enough voltage at the instrument cluster for an LED bulb now... so my high beam indicator is restored
    2. Re running the simple test, all my numbers are bang-on. 5000 RPM test was sitting at a rock solid 14.5v
    3. The friggin horn works, but only while revving above 2500 RPM or so... that hasn't really ever happened

    So... next steps I guess is to move the grounds to the recommended place for the SPG setup (right now they are at the bottom of the battery cage), complete the setup by running the #4 ground strap mentioned earlier, do some more cleaning. And then I really want to figure out the horn. I want that sucker to blow while the bike is just sitting.

    Is a horn relay the best option for that?

    Overall... right now I feel a LOT more confident that my electrical system is in good shape now. Everything runs brighter. So THANK YOU for the patience and help to all who contributed.
    ------------------------------------------------
    1982 GS650L
    2020 Triumph Speed Twin

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by exzachtly1 View Post
    .....And then I really want to figure out the horn. I want that sucker to blow while the bike is just sitting.....
    There is a small setscrew with a locknut at the back of the horn. Loosen the locknut and turn the setscrew in or out slightly until the horn works properly.

    You can also measure the voltage at the horn - if it is low, there is voltage loss in the connectors or the horn switch itself is dirty inside. A relay is a "bandaid" to restore full voltage that should be available if all connectors are all clean.
    1981 GS850G "Blue Magic" (Photo of the Month Winner April 2009)

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  4. #44
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    test....................
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  5. #45
    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    Glad you are making progress. Horn doesn't need a relay. Take it off and bench test it. to be sure it works and of course, connections back through switch,ground etc.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BRacing View Post
    There is a small setscrew with a locknut at the back of the horn. Loosen the locknut and turn the setscrew in or out slightly until the horn works properly.

    You can also measure the voltage at the horn - if it is low, there is voltage loss in the connectors or the horn switch itself is dirty inside. A relay is a "bandaid" to restore full voltage that should be available if all connectors are all clean.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gorminrider View Post
    Glad you are making progress. Horn doesn't need a relay. Take it off and bench test it. to be sure it works and of course, connections back through switch,ground etc.
    I should have mentioned it's not the original horn. I replaced it a long time ago with one of those FIAMM horns. I know that it does work, I've bench tested it and it does sound if the bike is revving past a certain point. I've measured the voltage at the horn terminals and it was low, don't remember exactly but I think maybe only like 6-8v were getting to it (can't test it easily right now because I currently have no horn button assembled). That's what prompted me to take apart the left switch gear (if you've seen my other thread you know how that went ). So yes - I do need to go through some more connectors and just make sure everything is as clean as possible. I bought some naval jelly and dielectric grease and I have a set of new bullet connectors if needed. Ready to get down to business as soon as I get the switch gear sorted.

    The encouraging thing is that I know I have reduced the voltage drop by a couple volts already. At least at the instrument cluster. So it can only improve from here I hope.
    ------------------------------------------------
    1982 GS650L
    2020 Triumph Speed Twin

  7. #47
    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    ah, Fiamm horns...I have the compressor (garage sale) but no airhorns to suit it. I'm thinking they would draw quite a lot of current..likely the stock ones do too. So you are in the right place with turn signals and all...the button.

    I'm not a horn guy anyways though I test 'em every so often.... Actually, come-to-think, nobody hereabouts uses the horn except to say goodbye to family or friends from the curb....
    Last edited by Gorminrider; 07-13-2020 at 11:24 AM.

  8. #48
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    A relay for horns is always a good idea when you consider their current draw and the flimsy switch contact in the bars.
    ---- Dave
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  9. #49
    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    My single does without quite well without but maybe the Fiamm would benefit...cars use relays for horns and lights but they have more, the routing is a bit longer, and the harness has a lot of wires so smaller gauge helps, I guess.

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