ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > GSpot > GS Boxers
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-26-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
jdgmntDay OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Oddometer: 62
Eek Really weird electrical problem

I'm having intermittent electrical problems; they just started yesterday. I turn the key in the ignition, and the headlight and gauge lights turn on (I have the switch on, so this is fine). I push the start button; the lights turn off to save power for the starter. When the bike starts up, the lights should come back on, but sometimes they don't. I turn the key off to kill the motor, then turn the key back on again with the bike off, and it's about 1 in 4 tries that I get the lights back on. After starting the motor, it's about another 1 in 4 that the lights come back on again.

When I finally get the lights on and they stay on, I notice the headlight is flickering as if it were a bad connection somewhere. When the light is flickering, the turn signals won't stay on - I'll get a blink and a half or so and they turn off until I push the button again. I didn't notice an effect on the high beams. However, I think that's because (this is the weirdest part) by the time I was done messing with the turn signals and started fiddling with the high beams, the lights had "warmed up" and stopped flickering. By the time I got done with my 7-10 minute ride, my headlight and gauge lights had stopped flickering, the turn signals worked indefinitely, and turning the key off and on had everything working as it should.

I thought maybe my bike just had a case of the gremlins and it fixed itself, except that this morning it did the exact same thing, complete with the "warming up" weirdness.

Has anyone heard of this? It's really messing with my head. My only thought is a bad connection in the ignition area somewhere, but after wiggling all the wires I could grab I couldn't get a change. That also doesn't explain why things don't come back on after starting the motor (and not touching the key). Any help would really be appreciated.

Ben
jdgmntDay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
Beemerlover
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Oddometer: 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdgmntDay View Post
I'm having intermittent electrical problems; they just started yesterday. I turn the key in the ignition, and the headlight and gauge lights turn on (I have the switch on, so this is fine). I push the start button; the lights turn off to save power for the starter. When the bike starts up, the lights should come back on, but sometimes they don't. I turn the key off to kill the motor, then turn the key back on again with the bike off, and it's about 1 in 4 tries that I get the lights back on. After starting the motor, it's about another 1 in 4 that the lights come back on again.

When I finally get the lights on and they stay on, I notice the headlight is flickering as if it were a bad connection somewhere. When the light is flickering, the turn signals won't stay on - I'll get a blink and a half or so and they turn off until I push the button again. I didn't notice an effect on the high beams. However, I think that's because (this is the weirdest part) by the time I was done messing with the turn signals and started fiddling with the high beams, the lights had "warmed up" and stopped flickering. By the time I got done with my 7-10 minute ride, my headlight and gauge lights had stopped flickering, the turn signals worked indefinitely, and turning the key off and on had everything working as it should.

I thought maybe my bike just had a case of the gremlins and it fixed itself, except that this morning it did the exact same thing, complete with the "warming up" weirdness.

Has anyone heard of this? It's really messing with my head. My only thought is a bad connection in the ignition area somewhere, but after wiggling all the wires I could grab I couldn't get a change. That also doesn't explain why things don't come back on after starting the motor (and not touching the key). Any help would really be appreciated.

Ben
The first thing I would check is the battery cable connections to see if they're clean/tight, then the other end of the negative cable for the same conditions. Other than that, somebody with more knowledge than me will need to chime in.

Good luck.
Beemerlover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
erkmania
Still Adventuring
 
erkmania's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 842
I would investigate the 'Load Relief Relay". It is the relay that's triggered when then starter switch is activated.

See wiring diagram here,

MOD EDIT: Links to copyrighted service manuals are not permitted on this site.

A real quick way to check it would be to pull it out and put it back in while the engine is running. It should click audibly each time. Repeat that test until you are sure you hear it over the engine noise. Doing so should confirm that the triggering circuit is OK. Also, the lights should go off when the relay is pulled out. As a general rule, you could bridge spade connector 30 (+) to connector 87 (load). Those two spades form a "tee" and are the connectors for the relay points that conduct current to the lights. They are on opposite sides of the relay holder.

edit - I just realized you said the lights come on with the ignition on and engine off. Performing the test with the ignition 'on' and engine 'off' (KOEO) should have the same results.

I hope this helps.
__________________
-Sticks and stones, love.
-Insurmountable problems exist in the imaginations of the less traveled.

2011 BMW R1200GS, 2004 KTM 950, 1996 ATK 605 ESDS

GB screwed with this post 11-26-2012 at 05:27 PM
erkmania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 05:35 PM   #4
jzeiler
ADWrencher
 
jzeiler's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Hazel Green, AL
Oddometer: 109
If you get stuck and can't resolve it, I am just up the road and would be happy to give you a hand with it. I have dealt with several of these - mostly on the LT but I suspect you have an 1150 GS.
__________________
John
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT
2009 K300GT
K4AN
jzeiler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
Slaghammer
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Antioch, Ca.
Oddometer: 88
I've seen a lot of VERY strange behavior when the problem turned out to be the battery itself.

A voltage test may show 12.8 but only be a surface charge and any load causes wierd things to happen.

Before spending any money on other suspected problems, have a the battery checked out. ( wish I had before buying parts I didnt need )
__________________
05 KLR ( Sold )
07 DL1000
55 CJ5
Slaghammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
aGremlin
Studly Adventurer
 
aGremlin's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: New Zealand!
Oddometer: 508
Yup, first stop is the battery, check it's healthy. With the increased gadgets, batteries are more important than before.

I didn't touch your bike either...
__________________
Warning: My post quality varies according to my mood. If I sound sane give it a few minutes and I'll be back to normal
aGremlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
roger 04 rt
Beastly Adventurer
 
roger 04 rt's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Oddometer: 2,066
Something to know about the Load Relief relay is that it gets its ground through the starter motor solenoid--a wacky but clever design.

The resistance of the starter solenoid is low, low enough that it will ground, and activate the LR relay. So far, so good. Then when you press the starter button, the point that normally grounds the LR relay is connected to the battery, turning over the starter and I grounding the LR relay and the lights go off. Then, when you let go of the starter button, that connection becomes nearly ground again.

So in addition to the other good suggestions, it is possible that the LR relay needs to be replaced or the wiring to ground through the starter motor needs attention.
roger 04 rt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
jdgmntDay OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Oddometer: 62
It's a new Odyssey battery from Batteries Plus as of about 4 months ago, and a new starter from BMW about two months ago, so I hope neither or these is bad haha. I can check connections - that sounds easy enough.

Few more points to add to the weirdness though - I can sometimes get the lights back on by revving the motor a few times. Also I tried the high beams soon after getting them to work again. As soon as I hit the switch, I lost all lights again for about a half second before everything turned back on and worked fine. And lastly, I've had another lighting problem for the last few weeks in that sometimes I turn the key off after a moderate ride and the lights won't go off immediately. Sometimes they stay on for half a second longer, sometimes up to 15 seconds after I turn the bike off.

Does this sound like the work of a load relief relay?

Ben

jdgmntDay screwed with this post 11-26-2012 at 11:02 PM Reason: Remembered more weirdness
jdgmntDay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 04:58 AM   #9
roger 04 rt
Beastly Adventurer
 
roger 04 rt's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Oddometer: 2,066
Ben,
That's a really useful input.

The LR relay is connected to the key switch and directly to the battery. So your lights are staying on for one of two reasons:

1) The contacts of the LR relay are sticking or degraded. This sounds most likely given your other symptom. The fix is to replace the relay.

Or

2) The key contact for that function is staying on. The horn relay also connects to this key contact so try your horn when the lights are staying on.

RB
roger 04 rt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 05:52 AM   #10
jdgmntDay OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Oddometer: 62
I don't have a working horn. The PO sold me the bike and handed me the horn separately, saying he couldn't get it working. I put a voltmeter on it and the circuit through the horn is open, so I think it's burnt out or something. I've also noticed the fuse for the horn is blown, and replacing it only immediately blows that one too. I think something shorted on the bike, blew the horn, he couldn't find it and gave up.

What's a key contact, and where can I find it to check it out?

Ben
jdgmntDay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 06:19 AM   #11
roger 04 rt
Beastly Adventurer
 
roger 04 rt's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Oddometer: 2,066
Here's a good block diagram: R1150 Electrical. Although it's for an RT, the GS is the same in that area of the schematic.

The horn relay is on the same key contact as the LR relay. I think you need to have someone good with electrical help you trace this through.

You could pull the Horn Relay and see if that affects the lights problem. I doubt it but since it's on the same circuit and since the Horn circuit has a problem, you may as well try it.

I'm still guessing it's the LR contacts. The key switch contacts are at the base of the ignition key and not easy to get to.
roger 04 rt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 05:25 PM   #12
erkmania
Still Adventuring
 
erkmania's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 842
^^^^ With that diagram I could put the yellow highlighter away.

I didn't see the 15E connection from the LRR (Load Relief Relay) to the lights and horn on page 3, but I'm sure it exists. It seems telling to me that the horn fuse is roasted and you are having lighting troubles. I am suspicious that the shorted horn might have damaged the LRR points. That would make sense.

I never thought you had a battery or battery connection problem since the engine starts. If the primary power circuit can handle up to 100+ amps then the 170Ma draw from the LRR should be nothing for that circuit. Nevertheless, it's always good to be sure the starting/charging/battery circuit is OK.

So far, everything points to the LRR. Even if this is wrong, the replacement relays are cheap. If you don't want to parts swap then have someone else look at the bike as previously mentioned.
__________________
-Sticks and stones, love.
-Insurmountable problems exist in the imaginations of the less traveled.

2011 BMW R1200GS, 2004 KTM 950, 1996 ATK 605 ESDS
erkmania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 07:48 PM   #13
roger 04 rt
Beastly Adventurer
 
roger 04 rt's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Oddometer: 2,066
Yup, the connection is missing. Here is a marked up page 3:

page3 r1150Rt schematic
roger 04 rt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:30 PM   #14
schlim66
Loner
 
schlim66's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Somewhere in SoCal
Oddometer: 663
Is there any possibility of the ignition switch being damaged or worn out? You might try jiggling the key back and forth or up and down (without turning it) and see if it causes anything to change.

Schlim66
__________________
'14 S1000R
'11 R1200GSA
'09 HP2 MegaMoto
schlim66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:58 PM   #15
Warin
Retired
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Oddometer: 1,697
One problem left long enough can cause another.

Suggest you fix both the horn problem AND your light problem.

Lights
1) I too suspect the load relief relay.
While one side of its coil is connected to the battery +ve through your ignition key switch, the other side of its coil goes through the starter motor to 'ground' (or battery -ve). Tapping this relay may have an effect on the problem, don't use a big hammer , a small tap with your finger should be enough?

2) Another possiblity no suggested yet are the wires running from your Ignition key switch. These I suspect flex as you turn the handle bars. Try turning the bars gently to see if that has an effect on the problem.

Horn
Get another working horn... wreckers?
Then find the short in your system .. could be where the wires flex ... possibly related to No 2 above! Or it could be at the handle bar it self - the leaver could have rotated in a fall and cut through the insulation...

Good luck. But do fix both problems.
Warin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 01:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014