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Finding a short

Old 11-28-2016, 07:13 AM
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Finding a short

Hello everyone,

I have an 2001, just replaced choke cable/fittings and float valves. Got it back together and runs great. Just before this (I don't know how long before this fix) I had blown the 10A fuse for brake/turn/horn. It repeatedly blows as soon as I turn the key to the "ON" position. At that point, I have running lights but they go out when I activate the turn signals. What does this tell me??? Also, taillight on, no brake light of course.
I don't remember seeing any wiring I could have pinched during the carb removal/install. In an attempt to find the short I have disconnected (at the components themselves) all lighting in the tail section, both front marker/turn signal lights, and horn. I thought maybe socket corrosion was at fault. Fuse still blows. I have continuity across the fuse terminals with key out. I have checked the rear brake switch at connector under the seat. There is continuity ONLY when switch is activated. I checked the front brake switch at brake lever. Same behavior.
I am not great when it comes to electrical diagnostics to say the least. I do have a DMM. Do any of you have some ideas? I was hoping for a "Hey, try looking here!" kind of response. I really don't know what the next logical step is. Do I just start taking off fairings? Cut away wire sheathing looking for a short?

Any advice/ideas will be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:10 PM
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One point where wires get pinched is the cable leading to the front brake switch on the handlebars; the wire can get trapped against the bars if the brake is rotated downwards for comfort.
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:51 PM
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Hey Sprayall, did you ever figure out what was going on?. I'm having the same issue and can't figure it out for the life of me. I've had the problem with two different wiring harnesses.

Originally Posted by Sprayall View Post
Hello everyone,

I have an 2001, just replaced choke cable/fittings and float valves. Got it back together and runs great. Just before this (I don't know how long before this fix) I had blown the 10A fuse for brake/turn/horn. It repeatedly blows as soon as I turn the key to the "ON" position. At that point, I have running lights but they go out when I activate the turn signals. What does this tell me??? Also, taillight on, no brake light of course.
I don't remember seeing any wiring I could have pinched during the carb removal/install. In an attempt to find the short I have disconnected (at the components themselves) all lighting in the tail section, both front marker/turn signal lights, and horn. I thought maybe socket corrosion was at fault. Fuse still blows. I have continuity across the fuse terminals with key out. I have checked the rear brake switch at connector under the seat. There is continuity ONLY when switch is activated. I checked the front brake switch at brake lever. Same behavior.
I am not great when it comes to electrical diagnostics to say the least. I do have a DMM. Do any of you have some ideas? I was hoping for a "Hey, try looking here!" kind of response. I really don't know what the next logical step is. Do I just start taking off fairings? Cut away wire sheathing looking for a short?

Any advice/ideas will be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Booker909; 02-21-2017 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Auto correct
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Old 02-21-2017, 03:54 PM
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I had a very similar issue when I first bought my bike and eventually traced it to a corroded turn signal bulb. Replaced the bulb and the problem went away.
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:58 PM
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Shute Mikstr,

That is a novel fix. No one would ever think of that!
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kenmoore View Post
Shute Mikstr,

That is a novel fix. No one would ever think of that!
I was EXTREMELY relieved to find it as I was readying to embark on a quasi-cross-Canada tour for my vacation and couldn't contemplate doing so without a functioning brake light (you can work around non-functioning turn signals by using hand signals at worse but a brake light is a strict necessity)...
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:57 AM
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Yes!!! Bulb sockets are always the first to check. Very common and easiest to do. Didn't fix my problem. Did replace one though as it was suspect. Went on to disconnect all connectors up front, testing pins for continuity and shorts. Tedious. Didn't find anything. Plugged everything back in. Didn't blow any fuses. But blinkers still working intermittently. Took the advice mentioned above and just wiggling the prong that comes out of the front brake switch seemed to affect how the blinkers functioned. i was going to order new switch but haven't since everything seems to work fine now. I am much better about checking my lights every morning now!!! I would say try the wiggle test at front brake switch and possibly the turn signal/horn controls. I've seen lots of posts about people having to take those apart and clean them.
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