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Electrical Issue, need some help

Old 06-12-2010, 05:59 PM
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Electrical Issue, need some help

Hello,

I am a little over my head on this one. Bike: 99 Firestorm.

For the longest time I have had a 0.5mA drain on my battery as measured as the FSM recommends. The FSM also says that a max of 0.1mA is tolerable.

As I am having battery troubles lately, I thought I best get down to work on finding this drain. I wired my meter between the negative battery post and the lead, with the key off, as expected it measures 0.5mA. With the meter wired, I begin unplugging connectors one at a time, checking the reading and re-connecting.

When I unplug the 6pin connector to the back of the gauge cluster the drain drops to 0.000mA. At first I thought this must just be the current keeping the trip meter from reseting, but the manual did say 0.1mA was the max, so I removed the gauge cluster to inspect the wiring, all appears good at first glance. I then set about it with the meter.

First, I measured resistance between each of the 6pins to every other pin. All are open except Black w/ Brown stripe to Green w/ Blue stripe. The resistance between these wires is 100 Ohm. Using a wiring diagram, I traced these two wires to the temperature gauge, disconnecting one wire from the gauge results in zero continuity between the aforementioned wires. Therefore, the wiring is good. Perhaps there is a problem with the temperature gauge?

I went in the FSM to the section of trouble shooting the temperature gauge. The FSM does not say anything about troubleshooting the gauge itself, rather the whole temperature indication circuitry. Does anyone know if there should be this resistance across the gauge? (seems plausible to me).

With my meter in hand, I returned to the bike and started measuring voltage between the female pins on the harness. With the key off I cannot measure a voltage on the wires mentioned above, so I assume this is not the problem. Measuring voltage I show battery voltage between Red w/ Green Stripe to any other pin or ground. The remaining 5pins all show 0V between each other and to ground.

Based on the above I am now officially stumped, I can find no obvious short in the gauge cluster. Other than that 100Ohm resistance everything else appears to open. And with no voltage (key off) on the 100Ohm resistance I can't see this causing the drain. Does anyone have any suggestions or know what I am overlooking?

Or do others think this is indeed the natural draw of the cluster to hold the trip meter memory? If so, should I just get a Battery tender and forget about it?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:29 PM
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Put everything back together, then pull the fuse for the meters. Put the ammeter between the fuse clips and measure current. This will double check that it's the meters and that the power is coming through the fuse block. If you still get .5mA then continue reading....

I think the problem might just be your ignition switch. The switch should kill ALL power to the fuse block when it is in the OFF position. There should be no possible way for power to get past the switch unless there is a fault in it somewhere. It might be a bug climbed in there and made a home, or there could be debris shorting across two contacts. I'd see if you can remove the switch, disassemble it, and clean and lubricate it to see if that fixes the problem.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:32 PM
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Just thinking aloud...

If you get power across the meter fuse clips then you should probably pull the rest of the fuses one by one to see what you get on those too.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:40 AM
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And before you go any further check the diodes in the R/R... If they aren't blocking current fully they are flowing current when the bike is off... And that current will show up "at the battery" and be added to all other current that you can find, so it's not 100% certain that the current you are measuring is all the gaugeclusters fault even if you measure it there...
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:47 PM
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Sorry for the delay, I finally got back to troubleshooting the electrical problem (got caught up adjusting ALL the valves).

Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
And before you go any further check the diodes in the R/R... If they aren't blocking current fully they are flowing current when the bike is off... And that current will show up "at the battery" and be added to all other current that you can find, so it's not 100% certain that the current you are measuring is all the gaugeclusters fault even if you measure it there...
I did not specifically check the diodes (not sure how to do that), but I do have a second R/R, swapping between the two (or R/R removed all together) shows the same current draw.

To be fair, I cannot confirm 100% that either R/R is functional. The second R/R (finned) was purchased used to replace a potentially defective stock R/R, I think it turns out my previous electrical problem was a weak battery (since replaced) rather than a failed R/R (replaced it anyway). My only assurance that the new-to-me-used-to-you R/R is functional is the "SH forum cred" (many thousand post SH guru) of the previous owner of said R/R.

Originally Posted by Hawkrider View Post
Put everything back together, then pull the fuse for the meters. Put the ammeter between the fuse clips and measure current. This will double check that it's the meters and that the power is coming through the fuse block. If you still get .5mA then continue reading....

I think the problem might just be your ignition switch. The switch should kill ALL power to the fuse block when it is in the OFF position. There should be no possible way for power to get past the switch unless there is a fault in it somewhere. It might be a bug climbed in there and made a home, or there could be debris shorting across two contacts. I'd see if you can remove the switch, disassemble it, and clean and lubricate it to see if that fixes the problem.
When I pulled the right most (odometer according to sticker) 10A fuse the current dropped off to 0.000mA. Pulling the remainder of the secondary fuses results in no change to the 0.5mA measured.

Measuring voltage: I see battery voltage between the bottom/forward (closest to diode) pin and ground. As a SH noob I would hate to argue with the master, but through my eyes looking at the FSM wiring diagram (page 20-1) I would say this is expected. It appears to me that one side of the odometer fuse tees into the hot wire running from starter relay (and main 30A fuse) to the ignition switch. This makes sense to me as the odometer (other side of fuse holder runs to odometer) needs some power to keep the trip meter from reseting (0.5mA seems very excessive though). Please let me know if I am mistaken.

Has anyone else ever measured their current leakage? What readings did you get?

If I had to guess I would say that my bike for whatever reason just draws 0.5mA to keep the trip meter alive. Any agreement from the sages?

No idea why I would exceed the 0.1mA spec so badly, but perhaps my cheap-o home depot meter is just that inaccurate at that low of a reading (next time the bike is at work I will try it with a calibrated FLUKE). It really is not that big of a deal as 0.5mA would take a very long time to kill the battery and I just purchased a battery tender and it appears to have no trouble keeping the battery topped off (even with the drain).

Any other suggestions I could try before I start bolting plastics and tank to it?

Thanks for your help.

Kyle
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:31 PM
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I will be looking at my bike this weekend as Have not had a working speedo for 2 years and time to check it out and fix or replace with a different one. See what I can find on ebay and I like. will not be a stock SH one. but I will check the draw for you have a good meter so will let you know ok should be sunday sometime my present to myself on Fathers day is to work on the hawk.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:22 AM
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You are correct in your finding on the trip odometer fuse. I have had issues with my 02 draining the battery if it sits for more than a few days. I will be installing a switch to kill it, and could rig it with a 9volt battery to hold the trip mileage. I keep forgetting to pull the fuse. I have never measured the draw, but I know it's bad enough.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:51 AM
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If your trip odo draws that amount, it can be for several reasons... Some are fixable...

But first verify the condition of that R/R... Since it's a Honda R/R it's suspect no.1 no matter who the source is...

Go find the electrosports fault finding chart, I have linked it in a few posts, but are to lazy to do it again... Go through it step by step... You will need a cheap multimeter, that have a test function for diodes... Any hardware store will have one for the price of a gallon of gas (or two over there!)

If the R/R checks out, the next step is to eliminate all resistance that causes heat buildup and increases the consumption... You need the multimeter and contact cleaner and vaseline, possibly a fine bronse brush... (And if you consider using WD40 or any equivalent that you mericans like so much feel free to flame yourself... ) Open up any and all contacts on the way to the gauge cluster and clean them meticulously and give them a good seal with the vaseline... The main need here is the path for the odo, but when you are in there you might as well do them all... Use the multimeter to trace the wires and to measure resistance along the way... .0001 ohms is ok... Anything above that means start working...

Since you have a 99 bike there are a bunch of screw terminals on the back of the cluster... Clean and seal them as well...

Once you have done all those wires, go over all the ground points where the harness grounds into the chassie... I think there are five or six of them...

If you find a crimped joint that are filled with oxide and hence produces resistance soak it in citric acid first for a good while, then clean water, brush it and solder it... Possibly double up with contact cleaner before the acid, but not the other way, it makes soldering a PITA...

A good help is this... http://tweety.se/download.php?file=V... Superhawk.jpg it's a colored wiring chart... It's available other places, but I'm lazy so I copied it to my webspace...

Last edited by Tweety; 06-18-2010 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:33 PM
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I got around to running some tests on my 2005. I have a good battery to swap, which is helpful.

First the problem is the same as the OP's. When I push the starter, the engine will not turn over, the relay just buzzes. I put in a fresh battery, engine starts right up. The old battery (which was new a couple of months ago) will no longer take a full charge. I did a current test when the key is off, 1.6 mA before the starter relay (no good). Pulled the 10amp odomenter fuse, draw goes to zero. BTW the Eastern Beaver harness has no affect on current draw when I tested it.

Based on this it sure seems that the problem is in the odomater circuit. I have not done any other tests yet. Next one will be disconnecting the odometer plug from the back of the odometer.

I will be installing an R1 RR (thanks Tweety for the "best one" recommendation) while I have this all apart. I do not think that will solve the probelm, but it will make me happy.

Any other suggestions are welcomed! Thank you. JB

UPDATE: I installed the R1 RR, no change in symptoms, but I am happy about my new trick RR.

Last edited by residentg; 06-24-2010 at 06:00 PM.
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