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Old 04-07-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
hardwaregrrl OP
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R90S taillight problem

Hey all I'm working on a friends bike. I have a taillight at the halfway position on the ignition switch but fully on its gone. I also have an orphan wire on the fuse panel far left side 4th from the top. It's a black/grey wire. I have nO idea where it belongs. Where do you get a schematic of the panel?? Tia

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Old 04-07-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Blaine posted this in my thread:



Grey mit black tracer looks to be the hot for the taillight, parking light and instrument lights. If it's loose and has a straight terminal, and not an insulated flag terminal, check the parking bulb in the headlight.

I don't see a black mit grey tracer, but there's a black, white tracer that goes from the TS relay to the TS dash indicator.

Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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Jenna, we need to know the year and model before diagnosing and before posting a schematic. Keep in mind (Melville and Blaine) that the schematic Mel posted is for a 1 year only bike. It seems like every time some one posts a query on a wiring problem, that schematic pops up from somewhere. That is the LAST one I would use a s a general example of wiring.
Jenna, do you mean a grey with black tracer? That color is for the parking/taillight circuit on all models. Never seen a black/grey on a BMW.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
Jim K in PA
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Just came in after looking at my tail light assembly (bulb was out). Gray/black is the tail light wire on my '79 100T. What is odd that yours goes out in the run position. I suspect that the orphaned wire is plugged in to the terminal for your tail light wire, but put a meter on it and see if the wire is hot and in which position. The city light in the head light bucket on my 100T is only hot in the first position, off in the run position. Methinks some one mucked about and swapped the tail light connector with the city light connector on the board. They should be close by each other, but I don't have a diagram.

If the orphaned wire is the city light wire, it's other half should be attached to the main headlight harness.

Not sure if this made any sense to anyone but me . . .
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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I Get it! City light being what I would call a parking light.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim K in PA View Post
Just came in after looking at my tail light assembly (bulb was out). Gray/black is the tail light wire on my '79 100T. What is odd that yours goes out in the run position. I suspect that the orphaned wire is plugged in to the terminal for your tail light wire, but put a meter on it and see if the wire is hot and in which position. The city light in the head light bucket on my 100T is only hot in the first position, off in the run position. Methinks some one mucked about and swapped the tail light connector with the city light connector on the board. They should be close by each other, but I don't have a diagram.

If the orphaned wire is the city light wire, it's other half should be attached to the main headlight harness.

Not sure if this made any sense to anyone but me . . .
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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76 R90S It;s the bare wire in the center of the pic which I guess is grey??? Black tracer being the stripe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by wirewrkr View Post
Jenna, we need to know the year and model before diagnosing and before posting a schematic. Keep in mind (Melville and Blaine) that the schematic Mel posted is for a 1 year only bike. It seems like every time some one posts a query on a wiring problem, that schematic pops up from somewhere. That is the LAST one I would use a s a general example of wiring.
Jenna, do you mean a grey with black tracer? That color is for the parking/taillight circuit on all models. Never seen a black/grey on a BMW.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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It's Grey/Black. The other end of it is plugged into the park cicuit, as it should be. Does the bike have a park bulb in the headlight? Is it missing it's wire?

The tail light is powered by the headlight relay when the ignition is "on" on '75 on bikes. (Thats a lot of "ons", ain't it?). This is a double pole relay, so even if the headlight works, it is possible for the parking and tailghts to not work.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:25 PM   #8
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Since that bike is a 76, don't use the posted schematic, The 74 didn't use a headlight relay and the wiring is way different
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
76 R90S It;s the bare wire in the center of the pic which I guess is grey??? Black tracer being the stripe?
Correct Jenna, the predominant color on the wire is always the first one in the description, ie, Grey with a black tracer, or, Grey/black, or grau/schwartz

By the way, there seems to be some seriously overheated wires in there.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirewrkr View Post

By the way, there seems to be some seriously overheated wires in there.
Yeah I know. There is one or two that go to the headlight relay that have tried to shed their skin. You should see the hi/low switch. I dont think I took a pic of that, somebody cut the yellow wire and spliced it in with the red wire. I'm not sure why....but he has ordered a new switch. His high beam never worked. Wonder why! I'm wondering if that's why the red wire is so heated looking??
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
I dont think I took a pic of that, somebody cut the yellow wire and spliced it in with the red wire.
PO wiring. Ugh.

The Germans are very organized and have a standard for everything, the DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung). Every color code in the wiring means something specific, and is the same for every vehicle. Red is an always-hot wire from the battery. Yellow is the headlight low beam. Grey-black is a taillight. And so forth (USW). And the color names are in German-- Red is Rot (abbrev RT). Yellow is Gelb (GE) Gray-black is Grau-schwartz (GR-SW).

I have no idea how the new-fangled CANBUS has mucked up the color coding. :(

Same deal with the terminal designations on switches, relays, etc. A relay 87a always does the same thing.

I've misplaced my .PDF and Web link to the DIN automobile color codes, but here is a text file of the terminal codes:

Code:
Ignition system
1 coil, distributor, low voltage
1a, 1b distributor with two separate circuits
2 breaker points magneto ignition
4 coil, distributor, high voltage
4a, 4b distributor with two separate circuits, high voltage
7 terminal on ballast resistor, to distributor
15 battery+ from ignition switch
15a from ballast resistor to coil and starter motor

Starter
50 starter control

Battery
15 battery+ through ignition switch
30 from battery+ direct
30a from 2nd battery and 12/24 V relay
31 return to battery- or direct to ground
31a return to battery- 12/24 V relay
31b return to battery- or ground through switch
31c return to battery- 12/24 V relay

Turn indicators
49 flasher unit in
49a flasher unit out, indicator switch in
49b out 2. flasher circuit
49c out 3. flasher circuit
C 1st flasher indicator light
C2 2nd flasher indicator light
C3 3rd flasher indicator light
L indicator lights left
R indicator lights right
L54 lights out, left
R54 lights out, right

AC generator
51 DC at rectifiers
51e as 51, with choke coil
59 AC out, rectifier in, light switch
59a charge, rotor out
64 generator control light

Generator, voltage regulator
61 charge control light
B+ battery +
B- battery -
D+ dynamo +
D- dynamo -
DF dynamo field
DF1 dynamo field 1
DF2 dynamo field 2
U, V, W AC three phase terminals

Lights
54 brake lights
55 fog light
56 spot light
56a headlamp high beam and indicator light
56b low beam
56d signal flash
57 parking lights
57a parking lights
57L parking lights left
57R parking lights right
58 licence plate lights, instrument panel
58d panel light dimmer

Relay
85 relay coil -
86 relay coil +
Relay contacts
87 common contact
87a normally closed contact
87b normally open contact
88 common contact 2
88a normally closed contact 2
88b normally open contact 2
Maybe 'Wire or sombody has the DIN color codes handy.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:33 AM   #12
Wirespokes
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I'm sure I could find the color code for the wires, but I rarely use it. Brown is ground, red is hot, etc. And the wiring diagram - that's mostly what I get manuals for.

So, you can't find the other end of that wire?

I think wiring and electrical are the hardest things for people to understand - as evidenced by the 'repairs' I've had to deal with. A bike may look pristine, but guaranteed the wiring will be mucked up!

What tends to happen is the headlight switch shorts out (not exactly sure why) and fries the wiring, and the switch is toast. It may have something to do with the always hot 'flash' function, or that full headlight current passes through the switch. Supposedly the way to help save these switches is to wire in a headlight relay, but it's tricky fitting one more thing in the headlight bucket! Been there, done it, got the T.

My wiring diagram for the 76 shows the Gray/black wire going straight to the tail light from the second fuse.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:45 AM   #13
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The weird thing is that I had the taillight working a few weeks ago. I've been focused on the m/c and calipers for the past few weeks. I went to ride the bike back to him yesterday and discovered the taillight was out. Before i had just cleaned all connections and everything was cool.

The only thing I did that could have caused turmoil was to remove the yellow wire from the red in the switch. I've since resoldered it just until he gets the new switch. I'll snap a pic of that and post it just because...
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
I'm sure I could find the color code for the wires, but I rarely use it. Brown is ground, red is hot, etc. And the wiring diagram - that's mostly what I get manuals for.

So, you can't find the other end of that wire?

I think wiring and electrical are the hardest things for people to understand - as evidenced by the 'repairs' I've had to deal with. A bike may look pristine, but guaranteed the wiring will be mucked up!

What tends to happen is the headlight switch shorts out (not exactly sure why) and fries the wiring, and the switch is toast. It may have something to do with the always hot 'flash' function, or that full headlight current passes through the switch. Supposedly the way to help save these switches is to wire in a headlight relay, but it's tricky fitting one more thing in the headlight bucket! Been there, done it, got the T.

My wiring diagram for the 76 shows the Gray/black wire going straight to the tail light from the second fuse.
Put it under the tank. Go to post 131 et al.

The switches cost $180. The relay costs $30ish.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:53 AM   #15
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FYI the bike is a 76 and does have a working, factory relay.
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