1500 blowing brake/turn fuse


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erkmann
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:46 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500

1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby erkmann » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:58 am



Blew the 15 amp brake light/turn signal fuse. Did spend all day in rain recently but worked well following two days. Shot electronics cleaner all through left switch assembly, cut the ground wire to my brake wigwag just in case, but still blows fuse. Ideas?



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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:44 am

I would pull the seat and the trunk under cover and have a very good look for pinched/shorted wires. Does it happen regardless of whether the front brake lever or the rear brake pedal is used?

erkmann
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:46 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500

Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby erkmann » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:11 pm

Thanks for the reply.

Further development: I had been testing the circuit by activating turn signal, always resulting in blown fuse. When I tested by activating brake, all was good. Sounds like it's time to replace the turn signal switch.

Is it available separately?

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virgilmobile
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Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:08 am

Its unlikely the switch is bad.Ill point you to a problem in the wiring to the turn signals.Does the bike have any add on wiring,like a trailer plug?
Rather than going through a box of fuses,I've been known to replace the blown fuse with a pigtail wired spot light or headlight lamp.Something that is at least 55watt.Turn on the key and operate the switches.When the short occures,the lamp will simply light bright.Normal load and it will be dim.
This can help isolate if its in the left turn or right without popping a fuse and allow time to wiggle wires to see if it can be located.

erkmann
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:46 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500

Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby erkmann » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:52 pm

Thanks for that. Yes, on further review in the forums, it would be premature to think switch. I will fabricate the pseudo fuse as you have indicated and get to work. Lots of add-on lighting in addition to trailer wiring from previous owner. I'll provide follow up.

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virgilmobile
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83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:30 pm

Because you mention that it blows the fuse only with the turn signal,I'd go directly to the trailer wires...Unless the add on lamps happen to be wired to the turn signal circuit ,then there suspect too.
The lamp idea allows a dead short to happen without smoking wires or popping a fuse.Just select a lamp that near matches at least half the fuse size..
eg..15 amp fuse---180 watts....normal circuit draw through the fused is usually 70% of that...or 10 amp---120 watt....Use a 55 watt halogen lamp....
Same for others...10 amp fuse-7 amp nominal use a 3.5 amp lamp or 40 watt (or so)...
Just don't put in a test light in the circuit to bypass a blown 10/15 amp fuse...It only takes 3-4 watt to light it..or 0.03 amp...it will light full brightness all the time..
When you get it hooked up,you will find that the turn signals will be dim due to the lamp in circuit...That's OK...Try each direction with the turn signal...you may find that it's just when you turn the left blinker on that it shorts out.
If you find the problem...take a picture of the problem and post it....We like to see this kind of thing so we too can get a idea what to look for when we have this kind of problem.
One point of interest...A 55watt halogen lamp will get VERY hot when light up bright..suspend it away from everything...especially plastic...

erkmann
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:46 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500

Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby erkmann » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:42 pm

Virgilmobile, you totally rock. Thanks for the suggestion substituting a bulb for the fuse. As the fuse in question was 15 amp, I used a 100w aircraft landing light and incorporated a short segment of 22g wire just in case I accidentally shorted something, which I did on one occasion and the 'fusible link' saved me.

bulb, fusible link, crimp-on fittings
bulb, fusible link, crimp-on fittings


hook-up at fuse box
hook-up at fuse box


After inserting the wires from the bulb into the two contacts where the blown fuse had been, the bulb pulsed dimly when the right blinker was actuated, shown brightly when the left was used, and did not react to the brake being applied. I inspected the trailer wiring and all left turn indicator lighting unsuccessfully, assuming that at this point it had to be in the switch. I spent quite a bit of time tracking down a buzzing sound coming from the back of the bike when the left blinker was actuated, but this was simply found to be the blinker relay reacting to the grounded left circuit. Upon disassembling the left handgrip I found the short in wiring that had been routed between the handlebar and the clutch lever. Once this was resolved all was good.

shorted wires at clutch lever
shorted wires at clutch lever


Image above shows wiring with clutch lever removed. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I located wire bundles here but this was the root cause.

When this GL1500 was new to me last Fall, I recall troubleshooting the clutch lever and why I couldn't start the bike with the lever fully squeezed. As found in this forum, the problem was the big fat aftermarket grips that had been installed, keeping the lever from actuating the microswitch at full squeeze. Somehow in the troubleshooting, and then subsequently installing heated grips, I had routed the two wire bundles from the left grip BEHIND the clutch lever, starting the clock on eventual electrical shorting.

I want to thank my new friend Virgil for saving me TONS of time on troubleshooting this issue.

erkmann
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Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby erkmann » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:54 pm

IT'S HAPPENED AGAIN! All looked good in the shop. Left indicator, right, brakes, hazards, even got my radio station selector indexing up as well as down now. But then....a road test. Twenty miles, lots of turns successfully using my now-functioning handlebar turn indicator switch and then BAM...dead once more. Back to shop, hooked up Virgilmobile's handy-dandy indicator light and once again, dead short on left turn. No short in right turn signal or stop lights. And, when I tried the hazard lights..bam...blew that fuse as well.

Before I venture into the left handlebar switches, I need some reassurance from the group here that I'm barking up the correct tree.

A recurring, intermittent dead short in the left turn indicator system that also shorts out the hazard lights. Tackle the switch???

erkmann
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:46 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500

Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby erkmann » Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:37 pm

Opened up the left handgrip switch unit and VOILA...the short was gone. So, something is shorting the left turn indicator either to the handlebar itself or internally. Here is what I found.



I borrowed this photo from a different forum but my setup was identical. The hazard switch has three solder joints where wires project out toward the center of the switch unit i.e. toward the handlebar. On my GL1500 these three had been clipped with a side cutter and left protruding in a very sharp point 1/8 - 3/16" that had poked through the small piece of material covering them that was intended to insulate them from the handlebar, as shown in the photo above immediately above the wire clamp at the bottom. I filed these down, rounded their profile, and reinforced the insulation. While I was in there I was able to inspect the original grease on the switch contacts, primarily the turn indicator switch. It is amazing to think that even repetitive sprays of contact cleaner could ever budge that stuff because after eighteen years that lube looked more like waxy shoe polish. Using a shortened flux brush, contact cleaner, and 60psi compressed air I eventually got the internals cleaned up. Before reassembly I gave it all a dose of a quick-drying teflon-containing lube.

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7644
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
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Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: 1500 blowing brake/turn fuse

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:44 pm

I am truly happy that you've resolved the problem....It's kinda easy once you get the hang of it.




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