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Old 11-30-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
Big John Sny OP
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R100 instrument cluster plug

Anyone else here have any issues with the plug that goes to the cluster. I get lights that dont work when it is cold outside. I have cleaned all of the terminals and it gets better, but on cold mornings I am not making good contact after a couple of weeks or so. I have tried putting dielectric grease on the contacts to try and keep them corrosion free. I don't much care about the gen light since I have a voltmeter, but I don't like riding without an oil warning light I can trust.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
PaulRS
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You sure it's the plug causing this problem?

Most of these problems are hidden inside the cluster.
Open it up and be amazed how flimsy the bulbs fit in the plastic 'print plate'.
Give that a good clean.

Oh, and you defiantly want your gen lt to work, on lt means no charge.

Paul.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
disston
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I think your battery may be getting weak. If the Gen light is off the alternator is not working. The Gen light is part of the circuit. How's your bike running? Does the Batt have enough juice to start?

There are contact cleaners that leave a dielectric residue. I think this may be better than what ever dielectric grease you use. Electronic contact cleaners are usually not at the auto parts stores but you can find them at Radio Shack or electronics supply stores. Sometimes sold under the name of TV Tuner Cleaner.

I have fixed these type of plugs by carefully bending the contacts with a small probe, sharp pointy thing.Carefully insert sharp pointy object into space between rubber part of plug and metal female socket. Object is to only slightly deform or reform the metal so it will make contact. In severe cases I have deformed the male portion of the plug by squeezing each individual prong with a pair of pliers. I don't think this is needed on an Airhead. Just fix the harness side of the plug enough so it makes contact.

Charlie
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
shel-bou
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Talking R100 instrument cluster

Had the same problem with my 1986 R100.
1. use a voltmeter to see if there is voltage at the pin in the plug which supplies non working light.
2.If there is voltage check light and circut board with voltmeter on ohms.
3. If no voltage see if there is voltage in wire suppling pin.
4.If there is voltage in wire but not the pin then plug is faulty.
5.If no voltage in wire trace back thru loom.

On my bike the plug was faulty didn't want to buy new so I bought used slightly different colour code on wires. Used clymers manual schematic to match the wires. When buying used plug there are two different types I think change was 1979-1980. Check Max BMW fiche.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:17 AM   #5
boxerboy81
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Are we talking about the thick multi female plug that fits into the rear of the instrument shell, which the circuit board within the shell fits into?

Only clean the plugs with electrical cleaner, avoid using a dremel and small attachment. The plugs will be clean, but might also be loose.

The internal circuit board might be toast after these many years, so an inspection and testing as described above may be a valuable start.

If the plug at the top of the loom (which fits into the back of the instruments) is toast, then I believe they are nla.

I've previously read that they were made by Wurth, but not any more. A good used one is an option, but then it still needs to be spliced into the old loom.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:20 AM   #6
Wirespokes
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I believe the wiring harness plug used to be available, but not any longer. A decent used harness is the solution there. Check it out as already suggested. There are numbers on the plug for each connection and those are listed in the wiring diagram.

The harness can be worn in the area under the steering head where it constantly flexes. It's possible some wires are shorting together. I've seen that and bad connections at the plug. But I've seen high resistance in the light board much more frequently. That's where I'd look first.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:48 PM   #7
Big John Sny OP
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I cleaned the contacts in the in the plug as well as the pins. I also cleaned the contacts on the circuit board in the speedo itself, however, I did not check the resistance. That is a great suggestion. I find it weird that it only happens when the speedometer is cold. Acording to my voltmeter I am putting out nearly 14 volts over 3000 RPM. After the last time of cleaning every contact, it now only doesn't show the oil and neutral light when the temp gets to the mid thirties. The lights were fine again by the time the temp got up to the low 40's. I find that really odd.

Thanks for all of the suggestions.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:38 PM   #8
disston
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I thought you might like to have somebody agree with you. Yes it seems odd to me too that you get this problem only when it is cold.

Maybe it's not a problem but an idiosyncrasy.

Charlie
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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Ha, is that like saying that my beemer is not unreliable; it just has character?

Also I can push the plug to one side or the other and they come back on while I am pushing on it.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:16 PM   #10
shel-bou
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cluster plug

I should mention the mylar printed board inside the instrument housing is troublesome. The sockets where the lights plug into wear out. When the instrument housing is apart check the contacts for the lights with ohm meter or you might be able to plug in the cluster plug and wiggle the lights. I think the printed board is still available or try e-bay [german]. Used electrical stuff is risky check vendors rating. I call it a printed board but it's just a mylar sheet.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:55 PM   #11
Wirespokes
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Not really a mylar sheet - but copper circuit traces sandwiched between two layers of plastic (mylar?). The problem is that the pins (that contact the big rectangular harness plug) are only staked to the traces. After thirty or forty years enough corrosion builds up in there that electricity isn't flowing from the pin to the copper trace.

I wish it was possible to re-create that mylar sheet. I've got ideas how to fix these things, but a replacement circuit would be ideal.

Pushing on the harness plug to enable the lights, could be the plug or those pins. Are you sure the female connections are tight?
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:20 AM   #12
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I tried pinching them down just a bit to try and make sure the plug was tight on the pins. If the resistance is high between the pin and the copper ribbon, maybe I could try to solder the connection, or quit being a tight wad and replace it.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:24 AM   #13
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Have you looked at the price of those light boards recently? I wouldn't call you a tight wad for trying to fix it. On top of that, some of the early ones are NLA.

The first ones I soldered came out pretty ugly, but they worked. The trickiest part is getting solder to flow when there's corrosion, but you've got to solder because there's corrosion. So it's gotta get cleaned first as good as possible, and then not heat it too much or the pins loosen in the plastic and all the mylar melts.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:50 AM   #14
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I haven't looked at prices. What is the going rate? I am guessing this is no longer available from BMW or just crazy priced from them?
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:46 AM   #15
disston
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Here's the page from realoem.com that shows the part. It's NLA

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...62&fg=11&hl=26

You can try to repair it yourself or have somebody with more experience repair it for you. If you don't have much experience with electronics type repairs then sending it out may save much grief in the long run. If ruined then somebody else may not be able to save it.

The guy to send it to is the other guy on this thread. If you haven't noticed the Tag line on WireSpokes posts say he does instrument repairs. I've heard he's pretty good but I have no personal experience because I have been able to do all my own, so far.

If you search the site you should be able to find some pictures and other threads about peoples repairs. There's a way to use Google to do this. That's better than the in house search engine.

I'm personally not convinced that the problem is in the board yet. You say that pushing on the external rubber plug, to the side,makes everything work? So it's still possible that connections between the the pins and the sockets of the rubber plug are the problem? Of course pushing the rubber plug also pushes the contacts inside the instrument housing. I'm just not convinced yet but others seem to say that chances are the problem is just the board.

Charlie
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