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Old 10-24-2013, 07:51 PM   #31
MikeinEugene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripsteruser View Post
I was hoping he'd look at the schematic for the answer.

Black is typical but not according to the schematic for his bike.

They also use a pictograph terminal lug instead of the ground/earth schematic symbol.
I almost posted up before leaving work that assuming black was ground caused me no end of grief when I first started troubleshooting the front blinkers/winkers on my old Magna.

Green is ground on my vintage Honda.

PO did not know this & really fubared up the front wiring & it took me a long long time to figure it out because I went in assuming black was ground too
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:03 PM   #32
LittleRedToyota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripsteruser View Post
I was hoping he'd look at the schematic for the answer.

Black is typical but not according to the schematic for his bike.

They also use a pictograph terminal lug instead of the ground/earth schematic symbol.
d'oh! sorry about that.

i also wasn't paying close enough attention to who was posting what...i get now that you were trying to quiz him to help him understand the diagram.

LittleRedToyota screwed with this post 10-24-2013 at 09:09 PM
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:26 AM   #33
Swashbuckler OP
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Ok I've been going through the diagram and see how I can start diagnosing a few problems.

With the front headlight: Since there is no black/ground running to or from it, does that mean that either the blue or green could be the ground?
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:57 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
With the front headlight: Since there is no black/ground running to or from it, does that mean that either the blue or green could be the ground?
green is the ground in that diagram (at least at the headlight...they actually use green/black for ground also in another spot). here is how you can tell:

start at the headlight. it has three wires coming from it. blue, white, and green.

the white wire is terminated at the first connector (there is no corresponding wire coming out of the other side of it), so that does nothing. so that means either the green or blue wires. start following each...

looking at the green wire, it comes to a junction (where the "dot" is) pretty quickly. if you follow where it branches off to from that first junction, you will see it is connected to black & green wire that runs through a connector to the ground on the kill (engine stop) switch. it goes into the switch and connects to a pole on the switch (the hollow circle inside the switch) also connected to that pole is a wire which goes out to the right and then into the "ground" symbol (the three lines that sort of make an upside down triangle).

that tells you the green wire is ground. (you can confirm by following the green wire past that first junction to the next junction...which is a green wire that goes to the ignition coil. you can tell that green wire is connected to ground the same way...on the drawing for the ignition coil, the green wire is shown connecting to a ring terminal that has another wire running to the the ground symbol).
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:19 AM   #35
Swashbuckler OP
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Originally Posted by LittleRedToyota View Post
green is the ground in that diagram (at least at the headlight...they actually use green/black for ground also in another spot). here is how you can tell:

start at the headlight. it has three wires coming from it. blue, white, and green.

the white wire is terminated at the first connector (there is no corresponding wire coming out of the other side of it), so that does nothing. so that means either the green or blue wires. start following each...

looking at the green wire, it comes to a junction (where the "dot" is) pretty quickly. if you follow where it branches off to from that first junction, you will see it is connected to black & green wire that runs through a connector to the ground on the kill (engine stop) switch. it goes into the switch and connects to a pole on the switch (the hollow circle inside the switch) also connected to that pole is a wire which goes out to the right and then into the "ground" symbol (the three lines that sort of make an upside down triangle).

that tells you the green wire is ground. (you can confirm by following the green wire past that first junction to the next junction...which is a green wire that goes to the ignition coil. you can tell that green wire is connected to ground the same way...on the drawing for the ignition coil, the green wire is shown connecting to a ring terminal that has another wire running to the the ground symbol).

Ok this is good info. You confirmed one of my thoughts and the diagram is starting to make a lot of sense. Hopefully I'll get some time this afternoon to learn how to use my multimeter and see if I can test the headlight wires.

Now a new question: When I start the bike I pull in the clutch and press the start button. Am I pulling electriclty from the battery by doing this (I'm guessing this would be at the speed of light?), or is there already power in the wires?
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:30 AM   #36
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One of the important hints is that wires can cross over each other on the diagram and NOT be connected.

A connection between wires is shown on that diagram as a big dot at the junction.

So follow the green wire from the headlight and see where it goes. If it hits a big dot, you have to follow each fork in the road to see where it goes. If it goes to a component - that's the ground for that component. If it goes to a terminal lug symbol - that's ground.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #37
Gripsteruser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post

Now a new question: When I start the bike I pull in the clutch and press the start button. Am I pulling electriclty from the battery by doing this (I'm guessing this would be at the speed of light?), or is there already power in the wires?
The clutch switch and the starter button enable power to operate the starter relay which connects BIG current to the starter. (thick wire = big current). You don't have big current running to the starter button on the handlebars. You don't WANT to have big current to the handlebars.....

Some wires are powered when the key is turned on. Others get powered when a switch or relay is closed.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:35 AM   #38
LittleRedToyota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
Now a new question: When I start the bike I pull in the clutch and press the start button. Am I pulling electriclty from the battery by doing this (I'm guessing this would be at the speed of light?), or is there already power in the wires?
on a practical level, you are pulling "electricity" from the battery (but see below).

but, as mentioned above, the current that runs the starter does not go through the switch (running the amount of current required to drive the starter through the switch would fry the switch and, as gripsteruser alluded, having that much current near the handlebars, and, thus, near your hands, could be dangerous). only a much smaller current goes through the switch. when the switch is closed (i.e., turned on, pressed, etc.) it sends that small current to the starter "relay" which is just a special kind of switch that allows a small current to control a larger current. the small current closes the relay and completes the circuit between the battery and starter...thus, powering the starter.

rather than type out something long about how relays work, just see here if you are curious:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/relay.htm

but, getting back to another aspect of your question. the question you are asking, without probably realizing it, is "What, really, is electricity?" it's not as simple a question as you might think.

"current" is the flow of electrically charged particles from one atom to another. in metal wires, the charged particles that move are "electrons" (in other materials it can be the protons). the wires have electrons in them already, but they don't move until a voltage difference is applied (by the battery) to the wire to sort of "push" or "pull" the electrons along.

here are some additional resources (you don't really have to know this sort of "physics-level" stuff to be able to work with electrical systems on a practical level, but it does help.):

http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/chapter02.html

http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/chapter04.html

http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/chapter05.html

http://science.howstuffworks.com/electricity2.htm

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/clas...uits/u9l2c.cfm (pay specific attention to the section called "The Nature of Charge Flow")

LittleRedToyota screwed with this post 10-25-2013 at 10:46 AM
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:57 AM   #39
Gripsteruser
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The main reason for using a relay is to avoid running the heavy, thick, stiff wire from the battery up to the handlebar switch and back again. Saves weight and would reduce voltage drop over the longer wire run when cranking. Plus the size of the switch to handle the starter current would be a lot bigger than the cute little buttons we're used to.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:15 AM   #40
Falconfixer71
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Yea, fun with wires, woo-hoo!

First off, I applaud your willingness to learn how to do this stuff for yourself, instead of asking someone to do it for you. Most people I know always act like there's some witchcraft and voodoo magic involved with electrical shit. They over-think it and make it much harder than it should be.

Anyway, There's a a handy book available on Amazon titled "Motorycle Electrical Systems:Troubleshooting and Repair" that you might wanna check out, if no one else has mentioned it yet.

The Tusk kit is easy to use, I installed two for myself last year on a couple XR's, and one this year for a friend on his WR450F.

Here's the advice I have for you, since I read that you'd soon be buying a meter and some crimpers-don't use crimped connections on the electrical system of any motorcycle. Use a soldered joint instead. Crimped connections are more likely to vibrate loose, and cause problems. If this will be your only bike, and you want it to do EVERYthing, IIRC, do it once, and do it right. Dont be the guy that's constantly chasing down a loose wire or faulty connection. That shit sucks. Be the guy that's got the bike that's always ready to go. Don't know how to solder wires together? There's plenty of people that have posted YouTube videos on it.

Also, invest in some heatshrink wrap and a heat gun, you can probably get a Black & Decker at Walmart for about $25. They work great on applying gas tank graphics as well. also, get a tube of dielectric grease, that and the heat shrink will limit any chance that corrosion has of attacking your new wiring job.

Don't be too afraid to experiment with it, and NEVER be afraid of screwing something up, that's how you learn. Worst case scenario: you have to replace a fuse or a bulb.

Hope this helps some. If not, PM me if you want for more useless info!

Falconfixer71 screwed with this post 10-26-2013 at 06:17 AM Reason: I write a lot
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:53 AM   #41
LittleRedToyota
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imho, the best way to make connections is to use weatherpack connectors with the proper crimping tool. the ratcheting tool costs about $100, but it makes perfect crimps every single time in a couple seconds. as long as you use a proper crimper, the system makes bulletproof, weatherproof connections (as a bonus, they are a breeze to disconnect and reconnect whenever you want to. takes me 2 seconds to completely remove my headlight, subfender with tail light and turn signals, etc. very convenient).

this is a good starter kit:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007OWP91C?psc=1

(they also sell a $30, non-racheting crimping tool. it does work, but takes a lot more care and time to get the crimps right.)

i still do solder the joints where there isn't room for a weatherpack connector (they're kinda bulky), but the weatherpack connections are actually stronger and more reliable. solder joints break down over time from vibration.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:21 AM   #42
Falconfixer71
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That's a nice kit. Been meaning to try one for a few years now, but it keeps getting forgotten about once it comes time to do electrical work.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:22 PM   #43
LittleRedToyota
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Originally Posted by Falconfixer71 View Post
That's a nice kit. Been meaning to try one for a few years now, but it keeps getting forgotten about once it comes time to do electrical work.
i can't speak highly enough of weatherpack connectors with the racheting crimping tool. it's so quick and easy to make a perfect connection every time. it almost makes you want to rebuild your entire wiring harness just for the fun of it.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #44
Falconfixer71
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Good tools make the difference

Ive got the ratcheting crimper, but I got mine at a local hardware store when I was stationed in Germany-so Im not sure if any of the other type "jaws" that are easily replaced are compatible with my crimpers. I agree with you about wanting to re-do the system just for kicks, electrical stuff is actually kind of fun, once you have the right tools to do the job, make it reliable, and make it look good all at the same time. Damnit, LittleRedToyota, now Ive gotta go spend more money, now that you've reminded me that there's a tool out there that I dont actually have yet!
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