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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bit of a strange one. When i switch on the left hand indicator, it will flash at the normal rate, then suddenly flash very fast, then back to normal rate again. My first thought was that one of the bulbs had gone but that's not the case. I spent 15 mins today checking all lights and i can't find an obvious cause. Reading the manual (and from my K100 experiences) the rapid flashing should only occur when a bulb has blown. Anyone seen this quirk before?
 

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tbp said:
Bit of a strange one. When i switch on the left hand indicator, it will flash at the normal rate, then suddenly flash very fast, then back to normal rate again. My first thought was that one of the bulbs had gone but that's not the case. I spent 15 mins today checking all lights and i can't find an obvious cause. Reading the manual (and from my K100 experiences) the rapid flashing should only occur when a bulb has blown. Anyone seen this quirk before?
Yes, my R11R did that for a very long time. It was hard to catch the blinking speed change and many times I thought I was just losing my mind. Checked all bulbs and all were good. Finally I found that my alternator had failed - lost one of the 6 diodes. If that is your problem call Motorad Electric 256 442 8886, talk to Rick. He has very good prices on new Bosch alternators.

Good luck.

Mark
 

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Alternators are expensive.

Try the indicators first with the motor off, do they still do strange things? If they do it's not the alternator.

Do you get the same freaky flashing on both sides?
If you do you're looking for a common fault somewhere and it's still not the alternator.

If the flash rate is definitely the rate you get when a lamp fails, you might be looking at a wiring or groundwire fault around the electronic flasher unit even though your lamps are ok. Also check that ground wires for each lamp are good and low resistance both to the battery and the 'Blinkgeber' - that's the indicator unit. Both instrument panel lamps are in the flasher circuit, so check they are coming on in the fault mode. A really sensitive bulb fail unit would also tell you if the pilot bulbs were dead.

If the problem only comes on when the motor is running and it's on both sides, then as mbohn suggests, the alternator might be a reason. I can't figure out why, unless it's pulsing the battery line - in which case you'd expect more sensitive electrics to show problems, and battery discharge troubles. Make sure both battery terminals are nice and clean and tight.

Hope this helps.



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There maybe a bulb going, but not gone. Try replacing them all (cheap) at least then you'll know it's not a bulb problem.
 

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Had something like this happen to me a couple years ago. Right rear bulb went out so I went down to the local auto store and bought a bulb and worked fine fore several months then it started blinking like yours. Well to cut this short I bought a new bulb from bmw and it fixed the problems. I think that it could be resistance problem. Lots of luck. Cody
 

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mbohn said:
Yes, my R11R did that for a very long time. It was hard to catch the blinking speed change and many times I thought I was just losing my mind. Checked all bulbs and all were good. Finally I found that my alternator had failed - lost one of the 6 diodes. If that is your problem call Motorad Electric 256 442 8886, talk to Rick. He has very good prices on new Bosch alternators.
Why on earth would you replace an entire alternator, when all that is necessary was to replace the diodes? Diodes are replaceable, after all.

Bob.
 

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I hope your problem is anything but an alternator. Have you seen what hoops you have to jump through to get that thing out???
 

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diodes

RFWILSON said:
Why on earth would you replace an entire alternator, when all that is necessary was to replace the diodes? Diodes are replaceable, after all.

Bob.
Bob: I sure fought that one for along time. After removing the diode board from the alternator I removed all the diodes. I could then tell that one diode was a dead short. Next I tried to find a replacement diode. What I learned was that they are only about $0.50/ea but you need to buy 1000 of them and I could not source small quantities anywhere. I then tried to find a replacement board. I found locally a similar Bosch board. That was $50 but required some mechanical modifications to fit on my alternator. After much futzing around I got it to fit but it exhibited the same symptoms as originally. I got a quote from Motorad Electric for a replacement board but the price on a new alternator (new bearings, new regulator, new board, etc etc) seem to make the most sense.
 

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??

voxmagna said:
Alternators are expensive.
Just to be clear on this, I was not advocating starting his diagnostics by replacing the alternator. I was simply answering his question.
Mark
 

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Had a problem with the off-side indicator, traced it to a bad connection behind the front pod. The front indicator would stop working ( making the rear flash very fast ). Cleaning the contacts behind the pod cured all.
 

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tbp,

You will want to look into replacing the turn signal relay. In 98 they had some issues with them. I had one fail on a R1200C and when I explained the problem my mechanic said that he knew of the problem and it existed on both the K1200 and the R1200C.

Swapped it out and life was good.

Good Luck!
 

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Mine does this every so often. It is the ground wire on my right front bulb socket, the wire was pinched at sometime in the past, usually ok, but once in awhile I have to pop out the light and woggle the wire on terminal and all works great. I guess some day I will actually fix the wire.
 

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tbp said:
the rapid flashing should only occur when a bulb has blown. Anyone seen this quirk before?
Yes, and replacing the apparently good bulbs fixed the problem for me. The contact points on the old bulbs had apparently worn down too much and sometimes lost contact.
 

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mbohn said:
Bob: I sure fought that one for along time. After removing the diode board from the alternator I removed all the diodes. I could then tell that one diode was a dead short. Next I tried to find a replacement diode. What I learned was that they are only about $0.50/ea but you need to buy 1000 of them and I could not source small quantities anywhere. I then tried to find a replacement board. I found locally a similar Bosch board. That was $50 but required some mechanical modifications to fit on my alternator. After much futzing around I got it to fit but it exhibited the same symptoms as originally. I got a quote from Motorad Electric for a replacement board but the price on a new alternator (new bearings, new regulator, new board, etc etc) seem to make the most sense.
Actually, trying to buy individual diodes is a pain. They come in 2 "polarities" The ones that have the cathode connected to the case are easy to get even in small quantities. But the other 3 (that have the anode connected to the case) are special order, and hard to get.

What I had meant was to order the set of 6 from a bosch distributor like Euromoto Electrics
http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/index.html
They carry diode sets for almost all BMW alternators at good prices.

Bob.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fixed

Thanks to all of you for the advice.
Turned out to be the relay. Relay replaced, problem fixed.
 

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No Problem. Thats what we are here for :). I wrestled with that problem around 1999. Glad all worked out well.
 

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mbohn said:
What I learned was that they are only about $0.50/ea but you need to buy 1000 of them and I could not source small quantities anywhere.
In the event that you find yourself having to do this again sometime, try Digi Key. In some cases, a small component quantity buy may only be for 100 pieces instead of a thousand. If you're really lucky, batches of smaller quantities will be listed.
 

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carnadero said:
In the event that you find yourself having to do this again sometime, try Digi Key. In some cases, a small component quantity buy may only be for 100 pieces instead of a thousand. If you're really lucky, batches of smaller quantities will be listed.
Agreed. Digikey is phenominal! They have an amazing amount of components and the stuff arrives the next day!

Bob.
 
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