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Went for quick ride on friday, came to a stop sign, put on my turn signal, engine died. Dogbone fuse was blown. Put in spare fuse, rode for another 5 miles, went into a service station for fuel, and engine died. Went ahead and bypassed fuse (had no more) with one strand of thin wire to get home.

Had smelled slight scent of electrical wire burning prior to 1st fuse blowing.

Before riding, I had just reinstalled my battery after charging it for several days at 1 amp. Also had toggle switched my cooling fan about a month ago with no recent problems.

My question is, what could be causing the fuses blowingout when I come to a stop? (Didn't use my turn signal at the service station). What should be the progressive steps I should take tofind the obvious short? The shop told me to just put in another fuse, start the bike and look for smoke. Is there a temporary breaker I can install to keep from testing with fuses?

Sorry for the long post.
 

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Check the connector on the starter relay, the one on the right top side of the relay. If there's any sign of melting or corrosion there that could be a source of the short that's blowing the fusible link (dogbone fuse).
 

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While youir are investigating replace the dog bone with a blade fuse holder..it's an easy fix..get a 30 AMP blade holder put eyelets on the wire ends and screw onto the screws that held the dogbone in place that's it..
 

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If you are blowing fuses as you are comeing to a stop check wiering circuit for the lights[brake lites]. You could also have a pinched wire,check that also.
 

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Will check the starter relay as you mentioned, and the wiring harness for the brake lights. I purchased 6 more dogbone fuses, so will probably use up a couple before buying a 30 amp fusible link.

I thought I might have pulled the positive cable to hard and loosened something when I reinstalled the battery. Had a hard time reconnecting the cable. I also suspect that one of the toggle switch terminals may be touching a metal braided brake cable on the right side of the front light. Will check all these out and repost in a few hours with results.

One quick question. Haven't been able to find in my manual how to remove the seat. It shows how to adjust the slide. Any quick pointer on seat false gas tank removal?
 

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I did not find any burnt connections on the starter relay. However, I noticed when I squeezed the front brake lever, the headlights, dashlights, and turn signal lightst dimmed. However, when I pressed on the rear foot brake pedal, there was no dimming.

Sooooo, could the brake lever have something to do with the short?
 

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If you are blowing fuses as you are comeing to a stop check wiering circuit for the lights[brake lites]. You could also have a pinched wire,check that also.



Litfuse - I think it is the brake light wiring coming from the front brake lever. When I squeeze the lever, all my lights and dashlights dim noticeably. Does not happen when I press the rear brake lever.

Will take of the seat and trace the wiring or at least pull off the rear brake light cover and check for the short.

Thanks.
 

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Dogbone? Is that the 30 amp fuse located in that little rubber housing to the right of the battery? It looks like a little strip of metal that spans two screws? Sorry to sound stupid, but I'm electrically challenged as I learn more about my bike.
 

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Xtracho wrote:
Dogbone? Is that the 30 amp fuse located in that little rubber housing to the right of the battery? It looks like a little strip of metal that spans two screws? Sorry to sound stupid, but I'm electrically challenged as I learn more about my bike.
Yep X, that's it.
 

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Thanks Mo, and accordng to another post I can swap that out and use a blade fuse instead? Sounds a bit more reliable to me.



I'm wondering, and I did not get a chance to check it out before I left for offshore, if that little fuse (seems awful fragile to me) could be a cause of my fuel pump relay getting fried the other day. I'll have to check that out when I get back home.
 

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Your brake lights, or any other light, should not blow the main fuse if it has the correct size fuse in the fuse box.
Since the front and rear brake switches are simply paralleled together if one has a short the other would also if the circuit is not broken somewhere, in this case one of them would not work the light.
 

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Brake lights would have to carry large amounts of current to lower the voltage and increase amperage enough to kill a 20 Ah battery. Brake light and signal device are joined, so if brake light is faulty the fault travels through the signals and through the secondary devices via the regulator, so dash lights dim.

These secondary systems are protected by a separate fuse and lower amps, check to see that all secondary fuses are what they should be. The main fuse at 30 A starts blowing at 24 amps. The higher amps cause the speed at which it blows to be faster. Check all devices on the bike work properly, a bulb can be used via its filament as the grounding especially when your grounds are faulty inspect all grounds and clean and make sure they are tight.

Since you have spare 30 A fuses, do not use them for now while you test, instead buy a couple slow blow 30 just for testing and tie them in where the dogbone fuse was, be sure to install correctly and no shorted or grounded connections.

Charge your battery off bike fully...measure battery and use a hydrometer to be sure battery is fully charged since a half charged battery will exhibit the same effect that you are experiencing. 20 Ah fully charged and somewhat less say 10Ah actually gives you a battery with no reserve, no reserve no recovery, in fact no safety net for the system since working only with the alternator leaves you a working electrical system that is operational above idle and the bike dies when lower speeds are in use.

If battery is no good use a known good one for testing purposes. Mount a VDC meter on the battery and start by reading the voltage at various speeds.

idle---13.xx VDC uo to 14.xx
1500 RPM 14.2-14.5
2500 RPM 14.5 to 15.00

Do not worry if voltages are not exact, should be higher at upper rev range.

Now load up the system.

Idle headlight high beam on read voltage, starts out low and goes to 13.xx Keep an eye on meter, voltage should stabilize with slight fuctuations, head light goes slightly dim and then bright.

At higher RPM with high beam on the voltage should increase, the light brightens and does not fluctuate. Record voltages so we can discuss.

While your at it examine all wires, all connections, all grounds, verify each and do not use dielectric grease at this time. Verify each component and do not assume and keep a record of your work.

If the bike is 30 years old so is the electrical system.

The bike dies when the voltage dies since the HT coil sees lower secondary volts instead of 20 to 30 KV, since the primary voltage is lower than 12.
 

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Under the rear fender, I found that two of the three wires leading to the stop/tail light were frayed with wires touching. I spliced in some good wiring using some electrical connectors (small plastic triangle/teepee doodads that you twist over the top of both connecting wires). I also noticed that the fuse for the stop light was almost burned out. I changed the fuse. This corrected the problem of the front brake lever dimming the dash and head lights. I also figured that this couldn't be the cause of main fuse blowing (as you related) because the stop light fuse would have blown first.

What I did find is that the rear brake pedal when pressed does not turn on the brake light. I guess this may be a switch problem, but has nothing to do with the main fuse blowing?

What you mentioned about the battery may be a possible source of main fuse blowing. I charged it over severa days outside the bike @ 1amp for about 48 hours because it had appeared to not be strong enough to start the bike sometimes. The engines sometimes turns over slowly like the battery is low (like on a car) and then it sort of turns over faster and starts. I noticed it doing this again when I rode it after charging it.

I will charge it up and take it in for testing to see if this is the problem. I'm not adept electrically to do some of the things you recommended.

Thanks to all who responded. I will keep you posted. Let me know if you have any more thoughts or recommendations.

Oh, forgot to mention that after fixing the frayed wiring, I did ride for about 20 miles without the main fuse burning out. Go figure!
 

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Buy a $10 hydrometer to test battery electrolyte. After charging see if the electrolyte by means of the floats, if the electrolyte is charged. This will be your load test. Poor liquid conductors (electrolyte) make a battery less than specified. If it is less charged then overcharge for a few minutes, hydrometer test, let sit for an hour then test both hydrometer and voltage and continue overcharging for definite periods of increasing time start at 3 minutes the first time and increase 1/2 a minute each time. The battery may come back. Once you know you have a good battery then examine the complete system. Do one step at a time. Voltages should stay up for longer periods of time and the specific gravity of the electrolyte should increase from 1 to 1.2 or even 1.3 and that is a reading you take directly from the hydrometer. Do the battery testing as close to 65 F as possible and take safety precautions around that battery, wet sulfuric acid and use your common sense, no pets no kids near.

Don't want to buy a hydrometer? Find some one competent and pay them to do the leg work.
 

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Glad you found your dimming demon. You may have to start looking at the starter and related components for exess current draw. Loose or worn/dirty starter internals can cause starter drag and high current. :gunhead:
 

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I can do the hydrometer test. So in essence, if the battery is bad, this would be the logical source of the dogbone fuse blowing?
 

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If the battery is bad then the prognoses are still up in the air. A fuse blows at 80% load at starting threshold ie a 30 A fuse begins to blow at 24 Amps. What causes the higher than normal amps?

Well a battery less than 20 Ah can cause a multitude of problems especially when full battery power is needed. The problem of frayed brake wires causes a higher load than normal, but a brake light fuse should not cause a main fuse to blow...but it can if the surge of the brake system is acting on a compromised main system. You must verify that you have a good battery, good battery cables, good battery connections because the bike electrical system does not work alone. Often a high amperage draw in one area puts a strain on the voltage elsewhere. The complete system is called a 12 VDC nominal system, but in reality the system works from 10 V to 15 V.

What I am saying: The battery is the heart of the complete system, remove the battery and the system is compromised, keep the battery in but weaken it, the system is compromised. A weak battery has no back up, a weak battery has no reserve, a weak battery loses its ability to act as a condensor, a weak battery can and does lead to other problems.

In a nut shell take the weak battery out of the link, by doing what I have asked and then doing further testing of the system.

A drain on the system say brake lights or headlights is a drain on the complete system because they are all tied together. The alternator sees the drain, the connectors and wires, plus any electronics like the regulator.

To do a thorough test on the system start with the battery, then the alternator, then the voltage regulator, then the connectors and then the wires. Do one system at a time and record and check it off. Eventually you will examine every part and record the results. Do it in order and frustration and confusion will not be involved. An understanding of the electrical system is beneficial to you since you can then solve matters of black box technology.

The bike's of our vintage are simple, the task in figuring the mess of wires and components makes us pull our hair but there is method in this madness. Let me tell you auto manufacturers make it there business to do things very cheaply and wiring line diagrams are terrible to read, but blow the diagrams up look carefully at the color codes and remember there are basically 3 circuits, series parallel and a combination.

If the circuit has but 1 pathway it is series, more than a single pathway it is parallel. Remember that light bulbs can act as a parallel circuit especially if the ground connection for that circuit is faulty, so check each and every circuit for: good positive source, good negative return, good connectors and connection. This goes for devices on the bike, the battery the alternator.

The job is time consuming, be patient and do not skip anything, good luck, keep us informed.
 

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Thanks for the thorough assessment. I will take my time and go through the step-by-step process of elimination. As for now, I'm charging the battery so that it can be tested properly. Will keep you posted.
 
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