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Last Saturday took my 85 LTD to get the front tire and brake pads replaced. On the way home I noticed a new red light on the right side of dash. "TAIL LIGHT". When I got home I checked the fuses and sure enough the 3rd fuse from the left was toasted. This has never happened before.Replaced it and it seemed fine. I mistakenly got ambitious. The amber lights on the rotor covers (PO) never worked. It was driving me nuts, so I traced the wires back under the left switch box and noticed 1 wire on the lower left switch was disconnected and 1 wire on the single switch above was cut. I spliced the wires and made a good connection. Next I replaced all 4 bulbs on the rotor covers (2 each side). Started it up, every thing came on for the first time since I have owned her. Got up Monday to go to work, Tail Light warning light was on, and since it was still dark, took her to work with nothing but the headlight and brakelights working.



Now the stupid, idiotic mistake. Mechanic at work gave me a 20A fuse to try. Put it in the bike after sun up, worked fine. Got on the frwy going home, light back on. I get home and the mechanic gave me a 25A, frustrated I try it, works, now I notice a little smoke coming from 1 small wire at the right side switch box!!. Turn bike off immediately, remove the fuse, and try to re-start. Cranking like hell, no fuel and notice pump not operating. Please note that on the way to work with no running lights at all I was getting 14.2 to 14.7 volts on the meter. It generally runs around 13.2 to 13.6.



Tonight I am going to back track. I am removing the 4 bulbs on the rotor covers, disconnecting the wires that I repaired under the swith panel, and putting a 15A fuse back where it belongs.



I checked the dog bone and it appeared ok. I will replace it tonight to be safe and clean the terminals.



My question finally is: When I start the bike out of habit I always engage the front brake lever. I am wondering if when the brake pads were replaced, something was a miss by the mechanic and there is a short or mis connected wire from the front to the rear brake lights???? If I get it running tonight, I will pull the front brake lever and see if my suspicion is true. Just thought of this possibility while I was wrapping up the thesus. I know, I know, pass the buck because of your stupidity and blame the poor mechanic!!!!
 

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You have a short to ground. The reason your voltage was higher is more than likely because demand for voltage was decreased by not having so many lights on. Find that short and find the wire you toasted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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The bike shut down, it is even calling me STUPID.
 

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You said there was smoke comming from one of the wires. That is where I would start. Trace that wire to see where it goes. It will be shorted out to ground some where . The reason your volt gauge is reading higher is because the shorted out wire is drawing all your current. (amps). You could destroy your alternator if not carefull. Changing the brake pads should not have anything to do with the electrical problem that you are experiencing.
 

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The "Bigger Hammer" solution applies to everything except fuses. Learned that the hard way as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Thanks for the replies as always!! Undid everything I had done yesterday. Disconnected the rotor cover lights, disconnected the 2 wires I had spliced under the switch panel, and tube wrapped everything. Cleaned all the connections and put the proper 15A fuse in place. Still nothing!. I had checked the main dog bone which was fine and as I was fumbling around by the battery found another dog bone above and behind the onethe battery. Walla, another dogbone which wasvaporized. Replaced it and the beast started right up, and all the lights that were working before were operating.



Pulled into work about 30 minutes ago, and when I park I always use the front brake to steady her before I put the stand down. Front brake was engaged 5 - 10 seconds, and the damn "tail light" lamp came on and I lost my running lights again.



Any suggestions. When I get home tonight I will put a meter on the front brake switch. My question: Where should I start and exactly what am I looking for.



By the way, I used my last 30A dogbone. Anybody know where I can get another 1 or 2. I may need them. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Well I just went out with a flashlight, and disconnected 1 blue wire that I forgot was not connected previously. Put another 15A in and everything lit up.I engaged the front brake several times and no warning light. Going through my tools and found another dogbone fuse!!! All is well for now but............................time will tell. N0 MORE OVER AMPED FUSES FOR ME, WHAT A PAIN. THANK GOD FOR THE FAIL SAFE SYSTEM AND THIS AWESOME SITE. THANKS
 

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Change the Dogbone out with a inline blade style holder and you will be alot happier. I'm glad you found the 2nd main fuse, I spent about 6 hrs tracing wiring and relays and testing fuel pump before I ran across that 2nd fuse on my LTD. Changed it out and the fuel system worked great.



Good luck on tracing the rest of the electrical snafuus
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Thanks, Night Wizard. Going to the parts store on the way home.
 

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Makes me think of that line in that song

"If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all":D



I feel for ya,brother........
 

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I'm glad you got your bike going, if you have some down time you may want to get everything working. I like to have all my features working when ever possible. If you want everything working I would trace out all the wiresand flat our replace them. Your maint manual should have the wiring diagrams so you can just run some new wires. Just my two cents though.
 

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I agree with getting everything working (all lights) if the ring of fire or rotor lights won't work then I would pull the rotor cover and lights if it were me, one less thing to worry about.

Good luck.

Jeff
 

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front rotor cover did the mech by chance remove it when he replaced your front pads? could he have inadvertanly grouned the ring of fire on something in the front?? just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Thanks for the replies. Problem was not solved. Burning 15A fuses as fast as I put them in. I think I found the wire that was shorting to ground, it was under the switch cover next to the wire that scorched. Of course the wire runs back to the fuse box and down beneath the front fairing God knows where. I have removed the lower left and right fairings, the faux tank and the seat. Now the question is (What is the procedure for removing the Big Boy (Front Fairing). I have removed the air lines from the compressor and the bottom allen bolts and bolts to the frame. DO I NEED TO REMOVE THE MIRRORS AND WINDSHIELD,or do they come off with the fairing. Also, how in the hell do I get to the headlight. When everything is off I do intend on checking all connections, vacuum lines, flush radiator, etc. etc. I want to be thorough so I don't have to go through this again anytime soon. I just hope I can get the damn thing back together again. I have never seen so many taped, spiced, and cut wires in my life. The PO had a field day adding crap and taking it off. The song "getting to know you" is being hummed while doing all this. Thanks as always. I will check the fire ring as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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By the way, I did download the electrical manual for the LTD. What a great site. Wish they had a Clymer manual to download. The Haynes is ok but not as detailed as Clymer.
 

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Hi Winger,

Have you given any thought to going back to stock? It sounds like you have a lot of accessories on the bike and one of the electrical onesis most likely the cause of your problems.

Youshouldn't need to remove the fairing. The wiring harnesses plug into it. To remove the headlight, start by removing the mirrors, then the windshield trim and the plastic cover under the light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Thanks Bike and Dennis!! Wow that will relieve a little stress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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Bike and........Dennis. Removed about 12 feet of wire from the switch panel to the add on accessories. Also disconnect the tap in clips (3) that were through out the wires. Problem solved. I am now running stock. Thanks
 

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Glad that worked for you, Winger.

Those LTD and SEI models are so complicated, the last thing they need is more wiring. Happy 'Winging. :action:
 
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