Author Topic: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice  (Read 674 times)

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Offline ghostrider990

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Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« on: October 21, 2017, 05:00:24 pm »
It pains me tremendously to have to post this, but i need some advice.  :truce:

Short Story: cleaning battery terminals and reconnecting the battery, I messed UP - bad.  :-[

I wasn't paying attention and connected one of the ground wires (see diagram) to the positive terminal.
Sparing the gory details, it melted the sheathing on this wire in a rather undesirable way.  This is the ring spaded bk/y ground wire that is present in the battery compartment, and typically connects to the frame outside of the battery box. BIke is a '12 with ABS.

Needless to say, I need to replace this entire wire now.  And I'm worried about any other damage it may have done.

Tracing it is difficult, as it is taped together and fed backwards through the battery compartment and under the gas tank.  I'm not trilled about taking off the gas tank if I don't have to (never done it), but I doubt I can avoid that now.

My question is: does  anybody know exactly what  systems this ground feeds directly, and how difficult it will be to replace it?  Also, sparing the "you're a complete dumbass" comments, I'm looking for any input on any other trouble spots I should be looking for after this mishap, or correct course of action.

The sheathing on the wire is visibly melted and I can see strands exposed in several places in the battery compartment on this wire.

Ok, bring on the embarrassment.  :-[

thanks in advance.

gr
..."I like to keep this handy -- for Close Encounters"...

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2017, 06:54:18 pm »
I won't lecture you on any mistakes, I know you already feel bad enough.
That wire should be traced though, and to insure damage to other wires within the bundle its grouped into has not occurred, I highly suggest this...
I you just run a new ground wire to replace the damaged areas visible, without tracing that line, other wires that ran alongside it, all taped up, may have been damaged and are now shorting together, and could result in issues hidden for a while.
The tank is easily removed,  and does not need to be drained, follow the instructions for removal in the FSM, which is unbolting all the hard mounting points, lifting the rear of the tank and blocking it up back there with a 2x4 for access to the fuel pump harness plugs, and fuel line. Fuel line pops right off after displacing the locking clip on that line, and it will seperate, just a few drops of fuel may leak out, but it won't pour out... place some rags below that hose to prevent making a mess...
Of course, the battery should already be removed again from the bike, and this will allow examination access to the taped up harness.
Carefully begin unwrapping the taped and damaged wrappings using a small sharp scissors, and remove enough tape along that line to see how far back damage has occurred. That wire ties into multiple "common" dead head jumper plugs, so it may take a while.. they lucky part tho, is that a ground wire attached like that, will take a direct path to ground, and should only damage the wire between the connection, and the ground... but at some point if it toasted enough, prior to disdonnection, it will have "searched" for the next grounding point along the line, and the next, and so on... hopefully it was seen prior to that happening.
As for the components on the bike, everything is pretty robust, and likely this was seen before attempting to turn on a key... so other areas should not have seen any damage electrically, only issue would be compromised wire insulation on wires laying against that burning wire.

So don't be afraid of the tank, it comes right off, best of luck in your repairs.

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW

Offline ghostrider990

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 08:39:29 pm »
Thanks Guys.

That's what I needed to hear.

My project just got unnecessarily bigger. Dammit.

gr
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Offline ghostrider990

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 10:31:39 am »
Just a Quick update:
All is well.
Traced the ground wire backwards in the loom through the lower pass-through in the frame, and observed no
undue stress or ancillary melting deformation.  Also opened-up the loom working backwards under the seat towards the ECU, and saw no signs of damage.

It appears on the wiring diagram that this ground travels all the way back to the three-point ground point, and terminates under the fuel tank, as was originally suggested. 

I replaced the insulation with heat-shrink tubing, and re-secured the protective insulation over the wire to the battery box.

I'm confident everything will be fine.  WHEW!

Moral: Pay attention when you're reconnecting your battery terminals!!

gr

**I did take the time to clean ALL connection and grounding points, and was surprised to find my positive terminal on the battery moderately corroded, as well as corrosion INSIDE the connection points of the starter solenoid.  All metal grounding points were sanded and di-electric greased, as well as molex connectors greased.**

Good maintenance op.
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Offline Deepsea

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 06:32:10 pm »
While heat shrink is good for many things it's not the equivalent of wire insulation. If you used dual wall (the kind with glue inside) you're probably ok, otherwise I'd keep a close eye on it.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 08:23:46 pm by Deepsea »
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 07:18:21 pm »
Nate,
Sent ya a p/m in response,

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Offline Bruiser

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 03:46:37 am »
MOB said it. I made the same mistake a few years ago. Thought I was gonna cry. The ground ran clear under the bike and was a pain to replace. All hope is not lost. I just go slow when reconnecting my battery since that mishap.
Bruiser

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Offline ghostrider990

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 11:13:18 am »
Thanks Bruiser.

Good to know I'm not the ONLY one who did something like that.  :-[

I took MOB's advice, and dug-back-into the loom after I did my first "fix", and cut-out the wire that was
effected, and replaced it with a Clean - Fresh - Properly Insulated 12ga wire.
I butt connected that wire into the loom where the grounds were adjoined with a 4-way crimp, and soldered that
connection securely.
I then put a protective plastic loom over that wire and ran it back to the battery, leaving just a little extra length
this time for posterity.  Better than new!

Just like you said.....I'll be WAY more careful next time I perform such a mundane task.
I seriously almost burnt my bike down!  >:(

gr
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Offline Deepsea

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 03:36:10 pm »
Ahh, don't beat yourself up too much. Anyone, me included, who does their own work has made boneheaded mistakes for many different reasons. When I first built the LSR bike it was running on only 7 cylinders. Well to find the one not firing what's the easy solution? Measure the header pipe temp. Handheld thermometers like we have now didn't exist yet. Burnt fingers hurt. >:(
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Offline ghostrider990

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 12:10:01 am »
Thanks Deepsea.
I appreciate your advice as well on replacing the wire, rather than just leaving the old one in place.

Unfortunately, I have made far too many little mistakes like this over time that could have been prevented with
a little more preparation, and attention to detail.
Such is my lot in life, and even mild a.d.d. can have it's effects.

I often say -- It's a good thing I don't wrench for a living, because I'd be BROKE!!  ::)

This experience did, however, make me realize that I need to have a fire extinguisher in my garage.  :-[

gr
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Offline gPink

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 12:36:13 am »
Coming soon, fire sale on Kidde fire extinguishers!

Offline ron203

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Re: Electrical Mishap: Need Advice
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 01:32:20 am »
Somewhere on here is a thread of bone headed things we've done while wrenching. I know I've had a few. Don't sweat it. You're in good company.
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