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Old 08-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
Blue Duck OP
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Question ABS II alternating warning lights

I have a 2001 GS with non servo ABS II. I am aware of the alternating ABS alert light sometime coming on if the battery is in low charge. Unually after a short right and a stop, they will go out. Today they came on immediately upon turning on the ignition and would not reset even after a several hour ride with several ignition on and off cycles. Battery appears to be fully charged. Is there a reset protcol or other issue I should be aware of? Any ideas would be helpful. (Are you out there Jim VB?)
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Duck View Post
Battery appears to be fully charged. )
How did you determine that the battery is fully charged?
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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The only way to rule out the battery, as far as I know, is to ride your bike to the top of a hill.
When you ride back down, you pull in the clutch and CAREFULLY turn off the ignition (with the key) and then turn it back on.
Then, you let out the clutch to jump-start the bike.

If this doesn't give you the parallel blinking, you need to look elsewhere.

[TaSK]
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hootowl View Post
How did you determine that the battery is fully charged?
Shows full charge on my battery charger (green light). The alternating dash lights come on immediately upon turning on the ignition and before I starting the engine.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagesk View Post
The only way to rule out the battery, as far as I know, is to ride your bike to the top of a hill.
When you ride back down, you pull in the clutch and CAREFULLY turn off the ignition (with the key) and then turn it back on.
Then, you let out the clutch to jump-start the bike.

If this doesn't give you the parallel blinking, you need to look elsewhere.

[TaSK]
I've been having this issue with my 2001 1150GS for a while too. I knew the battery was low over the Winter, but it would hold a charge for a week or more if I put it on the charger. The alternating blinking kept up even after a full overnight charge, so in late June I finally bought a new battery. Well, I don't have to charge the battery now but the lights still alternate. If I do as Tagesk suggests, I get the parallel blinking (both at the same time). So WTF I'm thinking... So I've checked out brake fluid levels (fine), pads are all worn ~50% but OK, yeah I could use a flush and bleed but the feel isn't squishy, so WTF?? Well, last Wednesday I finally stopped at the dealer in Salem, VA on my way home from work and scheduled an appointment to have them look it over and do a brake and clutch fluid flush and bleed. On the way home the rear brake started dragging to the point where I was smelling the pads burn! At the end of my ride the rotor was brown with some residue from the pads.

I had all the stuff in the garage for a pad replacement, flush and bleed (speed bleeders, fluid, etc.) but just hadn't had the opportunity to do it, hence my decision to have the dealer look at it. So last weekend I prioritized having a look at this issue. Well, it turns out that the rear brake line has a big bubble in it and the pistons in the rear caliper appear to be frozen. We rode about 800 miles the weekend before in the rain, so maybe that was the issue? I'd never had a single problem with the brakes on this bike in 50,000 miles of riding in everything from desert to downpour, even slush and salt-laden snow, so it was rather a surprise to have this happen.

I started searching ADVrider for similar issues and came upon this thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...3#post19472393

Well, my rear brake line is doing the bubble thing mentioned, and it may be that instead of frozen pistons in the caliper I've got the Dreaded One-Way Line Flap Failure going on. I decided to investigate myself further so I cancelled the appointment at the dealer; at $79 per hour plus parts I figured I can do some sleuthing and new parts installing first then turn to them if that doesn't work. I checked my bank balance and got on the phone to Bob's BMW this afternoon and ordered a rear caliper rebuild kit (actually two kits - the seals and the rubber caps) and a full set of Spiegler SS brake lines. I figure if one line shit the bed, the others might be planning the same thing. It is, after all, 12 years old and that's a lot of braking. My bike seems to fall squarely in the demographic mentioned in the linked thread above. I'm sure glad I didn't have to do any kind of emergency stop on my way home last week; that rear brake wouldn't have been there for me.

I should get all my parts by mid-next week, then I'll have to find time to do the exploratory surgery. I'll make sure to share my findings, but in the meantime I'd suggest you give your brake lines a good hard look. The only bubble I've seen in the rubber lines is just above the steel flange right at the rear caliper; apply pressure to the foot pedal and the line just balloons and the caliper stays engaged.

I live in fear of the problem being something with the ABS unit itself $$$$$, so I'm hoping this rear brake thing has been giving me the fault and I can fix it for a reasonable sum. Between the Spiegler lines, pads, repair kits, speed bleeders, etc. I figure I'm into this for almost $450 in parts without any labor expenses yet. To be fair, all those things are wear items and it's time to do it. BTW - the Spiegler SS lines set is significantly cheaper than the BMW replacement rubber lines and they have a lifetime warantee.

Good luck with your sleuthing! I love this website.

Doug
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Duck View Post
Shows full charge on my battery charger (green light). The alternating dash lights come on immediately upon turning on the ignition and before I starting the engine.
A better test of battery health is with a volt meter and the battery under load.
A battery can show 12 or more volts with no load. Put a volt meter across the terminals, turn the key on and hit the starter. If the volt meter drops to 10 volts or less, the battery is no good.
How many years has the battery been in the bike?

Richard
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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Reset it and see if it goes through the roll-off. You reset it by putting a jumper wire from the brown and blue wire (inside) to the brown wire (outside) on the diagnostic plug under the seat. Turn on the ignition key and press the ABS button for 10 seconds. When you release it both lights will be lit. Turn off the ignition and disconnect the wire. I used to have to do this fairly often when my ABS was failing. It ended up in full failure last spring so I pulled the pump and sent it to Module Master in Moscow, Idaho. They fixed it and gave me a 5 year warranty all for $250. I think they are now charging around $300. It still beats the hell out of the $2300 BMW wanted for their pump with a 1 year warranty. I have run the unit hard all summer including a trip to Honduras and back (5 million topas). The temps here have been in the upper teens (116 and up) and the unit works flawlessly. Let me know if I can be of any further help.

Good luck.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:04 PM   #8
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Doug, thanks for the valuable info. My bike already has the SS brake lines installed and a recent rear brake service. Rear brake works fine. I'm hoping the problem lies with my near five year old Odyssey battery. Keep me posted on your success with your issue. Thanks also to everyone who is offering great suggestions and help, please keep'um coming....Steve
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
tjt94
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You will still have to reset the system after a battery replacement. Again, do the jumper wire or use a GS-911.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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search this forum for reading fault codes on abs. Some fault codes require a hard reset, others soft (as in fuse pull in/out). I would not clear it without reading the codes first, incase its intermittent.

Also check the wheel sensors are not damaged and are spaced correctly. have you changed a tyre recently?
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:41 AM   #11
manfromthestix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjt94 View Post
Reset it and see if it goes through the roll-off. You reset it by putting a jumper wire from the brown and blue wire (inside) to the brown wire (outside) on the diagnostic plug under the seat. Turn on the ignition key and press the ABS button for 10 seconds. When you release it both lights will be lit. Turn off the ignition and disconnect the wire. I used to have to do this fairly often when my ABS was failing. It ended up in full failure last spring so I pulled the pump and sent it to Module Master in Moscow, Idaho. They fixed it and gave me a 5 year warranty all for $250. I think they are now charging around $300. It still beats the hell out of the $2300 BMW wanted for their pump with a 1 year warranty. I have run the unit hard all summer including a trip to Honduras and back (5 million topas). The temps here have been in the upper teens (116 and up) and the unit works flawlessly. Let me know if I can be of any further help.

Good luck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Duck View Post
Doug, thanks for the valuable info. My bike already has the SS brake lines installed and a recent rear brake service. Rear brake works fine. I'm hoping the problem lies with my near five year old Odyssey battery. Keep me posted on your success with your issue. Thanks also to everyone who is offering great suggestions and help, please keep'um coming....Steve
This is why I love this website - I'd have had no idea how to do this on my own. I've recently replaced the tires (always check the ABS sensors, no issues) and did the battery replacement earlier this summer, but I'd never heard of this trick with a jumper wire or pulling the fuse to reset. It's great to have info on the rebuild too, I was unaware there were companies out there that do this kind of thing (and in Idaho??) This is my third BMW with ABS and I never had issues with any previous service work causing an ABS fault, but who knows. Diagnosing and fixing electrical gremlins in vehicles is mostly beyond me.

I posted my experience in that thread I linked above and someone else has already chimed in that this happened with his 2001 GS, so it sounds like it's kind of common. CAVEAT: I'm well aware that most people only chime in on stuff like this if they have a problem, and that can skew the number of reports toward the negative. I've ridden this GS hard for 12 years and 50,000 miles and it has been the most reliable, bombproof motorcycle I've ever owned (out of 44 so far) so I have no complaints about this brake issue. In dog years, the bike is 84 years old, so I cut it some slack on wear items . I know that's not a lot of miles on the GS, but I had a lot of other bikes to ride as well during that time .

Um, Yeah, Blue Duck, five years is a long life for a motorsickle battery. That's 35 years in dog years . I hope sticking a new battery in resolves the issue!

Did you replace the brake lines yourself or have a shop do it? Are you aware of a thread on this subject?

Thanks!

Doug
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:02 AM   #12
Blue Duck OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjt94 View Post
Reset it and see if it goes through the roll-off. You reset it by putting a jumper wire from the brown and blue wire (inside) to the brown wire (outside) on the diagnostic plug under the seat. Turn on the ignition key and press the ABS button for 10 seconds. When you release it both lights will be lit. Turn off the ignition and disconnect the wire. I used to have to do this fairly often when my ABS was failing. It ended up in full failure last spring so I pulled the pump and sent it to Module Master in Moscow, Idaho. They fixed it and gave me a 5 year warranty all for $250. I think they are now charging around $300. It still beats the hell out of the $2300 BMW wanted for their pump with a 1 year warranty. I have run the unit hard all summer including a trip to Honduras and back (5 million topas). The temps here have been in the upper teens (116 and up) and the unit works flawlessly. Let me know if I can be of any further help.

Good luck.
I looked at my plug and see 2 wires going into it. One is grn/blu and one is green/white. both lead to seperate internal female wire connector. This plug is a small retangular 2 wire plug. No outside wires or connectors and nmo brown wires.. The newer GS's have a round multi wire plug I believe. Is this the type of Diagnostic plug you're referring too? I don't want to potentally create a bigger problem by jumping the wrong wires if I try to reset. Thanks, Steve

Blue Duck screwed with this post 08-31-2012 at 09:43 AM
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:13 AM   #13
def
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Mr. Duck,

After you replace your rear flex lines (I had to do the same a couple years ago...I used Galfer lines from Cycle Brakes...great prices and excellent service), perform a thorough DOT4 flush. Here's how I do mine:

1- Remove the tank and expose the ABS hydraulic unit.
2- Procure a milk jug or some other plastic container with a wide mouth into which you can fit the vacuum hose from your shop vac (or your wife’s vac).
3- Put a hole into the neck of the jug and fit a tube (a tube size that fits over the bleeder nipples) into the hole.
4- Open the brake fluid reservoirs.
5- Have fresh DOT4 ready.
6- Insert the vac hose into the jug and fit the tube onto the ABS nipple.
7- Turn on the shop vac.
8- Loosen the bleed nipple and allow old fluid to run into the jug (I know, the jug will likely collapse from the vacuum).
9- Keep the DOT4 reservoir filled as the brake fluid is pulled from the system (Fear not if it the reservoir does happen to run dry…just keep flushing and filling until the air is gone).
10- Flush both front and rear circuits at the ABS hydro unit. Then move to the calipers and do the same flush procedure.
11- Don’t forget the clutch…it uses DOT4 as well on your model.
Hints; You don’t need a strong vacuum so leaks in your jug-hose-tube interfaces are permissible. Clear plastic tubing helps you evaluate when the old fluid has been exchanged for new. If you see pieces of debris in the old DOT4, I would not hesitate to remove the bleeder nipple altogether and suck out the fluid. This will insure that the debris is not impeded at the bleeder nipple.
Inspect all flexible lines for deterioration. The OE lines absolutely will need replacement at some point. I recommend aftermarket lines that are constructed from Teflon, strengthened with stainless steel braid and covered with plastic. You’ll be surprised at the improved brake lever “feel” after replacing the OE lines.
If you suspect a caliper is not functioning properly, don’t hesitate to remove it (disconnect it from the brake line) and clean it thoroughly. The calipers on our oil heads are pretty basic and respond to well to cleaning and service. I clean mine every year by removing and cleaning with WD-40. Don’t worry about air…the shop vac procedure will remove the air without fail. Make sure the small “C” lock ring is in good shape and lubricate the pad retaining pin with a light smear of grease. Also, don’t forget the pad clips…make sure they are properly installed and not broken or cracked. Replace them as needed.
Inspect your rotor for thickness and wear. Replace rotors that are thin and grooved. I use EBC rotors and pads. They are high quality and 50% the cost of OE. I get them here;
http://cyclebrakes.com/html/ebc_brake_rotors.html
Remember, the brakes on your motorcycle are the most important system on the bike. They will likely save your life one day. Keep them in top condition.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:26 PM   #14
Jazz62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Duck View Post
I looked at my plug and see 2 wires going into it. One is grn/blu and one is green/white. both lead to seperate internal female wire connector. This plug is a small retangular 2 wire plug. No outside wires or connectors and nmo brown wires.. The newer GS's have a round multi wire plug I believe. Is this the type of Diagnostic plug you're referring too? I don't want to potentally create a bigger problem by jumping the wrong wires if I try to reset. Thanks, Steve
No, the diagnostic plug, round multiwire barrel looking thing on top of the airbox lid. Check out this video to get a better idea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MpWF6ov41o

Don't mind the syrupy guitar backing track and Tagalog commentary. The sequence is important - tjt94's post above is correct. And remember, ignition on during the proper steps but don't start the engine.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
Blue Duck OP
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No, the diagnostic plug, round multiwire barrel looking thing on top of the airbox lid. Check out this video to get a better idea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MpWF6ov41o

Don't mind the syrupy guitar backing track and Tagalog commentary. The sequence is important - tjt94's post above is correct. And remember, ignition on during the proper steps but don't start the engine.
Thanks so much for the video. I was looking at a plug behind the airbox. I wish the video had been clearer and in english but I get the idea and will follow the earlier instructions from the thread.
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