Brake failure at battery replacement - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2012, 4:50 pm Thread Starter
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Brake failure at battery replacement

Hi Guys, I need some help. I'm hoping someone knows the brake wiring well enough or has been through this.
I had to replace the battery today. During replacement I shorted to the frame, at least I think so. Once I was done with the install I noticed the red warning triangle on the dash was on. 2nd one from the left top row.
At first I thought is was nothing and would go away at startup, no go. It stays on constantly now whether bike is OFF, running, and even when key isn't in ignition. Only way to turn it off is to disconnect the battery.
The I noticed the brakes weren't on. Checked the manual and it said the triangle can be brake failure related. I have the BMW brake light bar installed, never had a problem with it.
The main brake light doesn't come on at all. Wiring and bulb all seem to be ok. I've gone through the wiring 3x now. I replaced the bulb with a new one just in case. If the main brake light bulb is installed the auxiliary bar is OFF, if I take the main brake light bulb out, the bar comes ON and stays on. The bar does not get brighter using the brakes.
So it would seem the bar is getting straight power somehow when the bulb is not installed in the main brake.
I'm guessing I blew some sort of solenoid or controller of some type. But then again I could easily be wrong. I followed the wires from the brake towards the front as much as I could without removing tupperware. I guess that's the next step.
Suggestions, ideas, solenoid location?
Thanks for any help.
So much for a nice ride today. My 74 Honda CB is also down right now.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2012, 8:51 am
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Without running my hands through the wiring, all I can do is guess but... I wonder if the problems might be coincidental. If you tagged the hot side of the battery to the frame (hint: always remove the ground lead first and replace it last), the current flow is between the (+) terminal, the wrench, the frame, and back to the battery's (-) terminal. I suppose the arc might have induced a pulse in the wiring and caused an electronic module to fail. But... the warning light is on even with the key removed - that sounds like a short somewhere between an "always on" lead and the panel. The odds of that short forming by snapping the battery are pretty slim.

The best you can hope for is to trace the wiring from the light back, looking for the point where 12V first appears where it shouldn't. You'll need a good wiring diagram (e.g., Clymer's manual) for this.

ADDED: Hmmm... I suppose that snapping the battery (how did it happen, BTW? Wrench to frame or...?) could have forced an alternator diode to die (arc pulse) and create a funny short, but... meh... that's reaching for it.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2012, 9:56 am Thread Starter
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Thanks, RB
I was tightening the hot side nut on the battery and touched the frame for a second. Minor little spark. It seems odd a touch would create such an issue. I could see it if it were prolonged crossing.
I guess I'll have to continue tracing out the wiring.
Thanks
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2012, 9:58 am
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First I'd disconnect that "Bar" completely and go to OEM wiring for further testing. I wonder if I may have the "installation instructions" for that "Bar", would have a wiring schematic I'd think....Hum and bugger I can't check that out from here, very slow connection. If you want to try looking in the pile of paperwork....send me your Email adress via PM and I can send you a link.

No specific "relay" for the brake light unless it also goes through the "ABS specific" relay. Don't know the year of your bike....all in the details sometimes. They do have year specific wiring schematics so Clymer may not be all that accurate on some of that.

I may just have the real BMW schematics for your bike/year, however....won't be home for a few days to check on that for you.

Got to ask "The Question".....Do you have both ground wires connected at the negative terminal of the battery?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2012, 11:51 am Thread Starter
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Sorry, 03 K12RS
The light bar has two feeds, main power straight to it and then taps off of the OEM brake light to activate it. I disconnected the power to the Bar but that didn't make a difference to the warning triangle or OEM brake light.
Yes, I do have 2 negative wires hooked to the battery, actually 4. The other 2 are for the fuse block and lights.
I'll PM you my email. Thanks
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2012, 4:18 pm
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I have to admit once shorting the battery to the frame, but in that case I had the two ground wires fixed to the battery post so all I got was an embarassing big spark which made me go off and wrap insulating tape/heatshrink sleeve around the tools I now use.

These bikes are full of electronics. The most sensitive and expensive are the ECU and the ABS computer. As far as I know, the only electronics which stay connected when the ignition is off would be the alternator (diodes, maybe regulator). I tend to agree that if warning lights are on when the ignition is off then something in the wiring loom may have fused or shorted. But you have to be careful, because hanging on the warning lamp could be the expensive ABS computer. Unfortunately BMW do not always use a relay to isolate and switch every warning lamp. That means voltage fed back due to a burned and shorted wire could do damage to the electronics driving the lamp.

I would say your best approach is to have diagnostics (GS911 or dealer) scan the bike and read any fault codes. That will tell you if there are failures in the seriously expensive modules. Your fault may have been easy to put on, but a current surge or voltage spike could have caused some damage. If you start poking about the wiring without knowing what you are doing, you might do more damage.



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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2012, 7:56 pm
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In your second post you say 03 K12RS, so Solonoid? So this a 'whizzy brakes' version? Mine doesn't have solonoids that I know of, so.......my first thought, if it was prior to whizzy brakes, is the ABS relay. Your post actually says your brakes are not working, then you go on about lights....Do you not have brakes? (maybe this is obvious to someone with whizzies.....) A dead or nearly dead battery will certainly fry a relay, 50/50 whether it fries the starter or ABS relay, and a short, I would assume could do the same. I have to admit to being with Vox, in that I have also tagged the frame on my '00RS, but only got a big scare and shock. The light staying on all the time also makes me think relay as that is what happens with the starter relay when it fries, only way to cut the starter is to unplug the battery. So, if the whizzy brakes have relays like my 'old' RS, check that as well. The old caps can be pried off, then if the contacts are welded together, gently pry them apart and run some really fine sandpaper through to clean them up, pop the cap back on and plug it back in.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2012, 8:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AugWest
Thanks, RB
I was tightening the hot side nut on the battery and touched the frame for a second. Minor little spark. It seems odd a touch would create such an issue. I could see it if it were prolonged crossing.
I guess I'll have to continue tracing out the wiring.
Thanks
If all you got was a little sparkle and not a serious arc (melted notch in the wrench, etc.), I'm less inclined to think you fried anything and more inclined to think it's coincidental. My guess is changing the battery pushed around some wiring in the immediate area and... oops.

Not all who wander are lost. Which still leaves room for more than a few lost wanderers...

Red Flash - '03 K1200RS, lightly farkled
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2012, 3:03 am
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The ABS relay is unique to the bike unlike 5 of the others that are interchangeable so you can't swap them about to see if it's the cause , however if you pull the relay - its the white one, top left on the relay rail, it will stop the power feed to the ABS warning and ABS indicator instrument lights. Also, with ignition on, you will hear the relay clicking on and off with the ABS dash lights. I would at least check the relay is good before moving in further. I am not a big believer in coincidences and think the frame short will be related, albeit, it may be the straw that broke the camels back. BTW the LT is the only model that has a brake light relay. Last time I seriously arced the battery was way back when I owned a Suzuki 250 Hustler No electronics back then

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2012, 10:43 pm
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I'm a newbie in this area, but my most recent experience is similar. I would not have believed it had I not seen it happen on my bike. I bought my bike used with about 60,000 miles on the clock. The dealer (local second hand dealer, not the BMW shop) had purchased the bike at auction without a battery. He installed a new battery from an aftermarket supplier. The ABS system had blinked (both lights) since I bought the bike. I called the dealer in Missoula, MT. The service guy asked me a few questions about the bike, and then he asked me if it was a "factory battery". I told him no, he told me that was probably the problem. I thought, "yea, right, the battery is the problem!!!". Guess what, the battery was the problem!!! I Installed a factory battery and the ABS now works fine! I can't tell you what the problem was, but the battery solved the problem. The service tech told me that most of the aftermarket batteries are not quite to the same specification as the factory battery, and that it will cause problems with the ABS. Just my .02$ worth.

SEEYA KEV

Kevin
Great Falls, MT

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