Electrical short - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 2 Old May 19th, 2009, 12:54 pm Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Posts: 3
Electrical short

Forgive me for being long winded....it's a long, frustrating, expensive issue.

I have an 02 K1200 Lt. I absolutely love the bike. Purchased used with 10 k on it from an elderly gentleman and it was absolutely immaculate. 5 yrs later the cruise stopped working as well as the radio and the 12v ports. I took the bike into BMW and told them the issues. I also explained very clearly that if I hit the cruise button with my knuckle while riding it seemed to work fine...but only temporarily and would kick off.
Well, 6 weeks later they looked at the bike. The phone call I received was asking me when the last time was that the bike was ridden. ( it was the day I rode it to the dealership where it worked perfectly ) They were asking this because they had taken the bike apart and it now wouldn't start they then said the "main computer for the bike" had failed. I found this to be very, very odd. They then told me the short had occurred because of the after market halogens installed on the bike. Well, the bike now had 30k on it and seemed to be fine before BMW worked on it. The next "fix" was some other computer in the bike associated with the cruise control. Unfortunately, that didn't fix the problem either. They finally changed the cruise control switch on the handlebar ( the one that I explained that seemed to have an intermittent problem) and it has since worked perfectly.

Thankfully they cut there labor bill in half ( which still cost me 2k plus the parts).

Here's what I have now.

Both high and low beams no longer work ( and it's not the bulbs ), the bike came back to me with the rear speakers no longer functioning, the auxiliary power ports still short and the radio stopped working entirely last weekend.

I really don't expect anyone to be able to help me with a resolution but is there anyone in NC or even SC that knows someone who may be able to figure the problem out? I figure at best the bike is worth 5 or 6k....and that would be with the problems fixed....so at this rate I can't even dump the bike ( and would feel guilty doing so ).

Any suggestions would really be appreciated and forgive me for being so harsh but the 8.5 x 11 on the wall that says someone is a master mechanic doesn't suggest for a moment that they have a clue.

Raleigh, NC
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post #2 of 2 Old May 23rd, 2009, 9:11 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Fredericksburg, VA, USA
Posts: 217
Re: Electrical short

Hi Warren

I see a whole bunch of people viewed your post, but no replies. So I'll take a shot. Not sure how handy you are working on your own bike, but there are some things that you could check anyway.

Typical electrical problems have several sources. Here is the order that I've seen things fail.

1. Fuses. Yeah, they sometimes blow for no reason. Or for a temporary condition that no longer exists There are 3 fuse 'boxes' that you can find when you tilt the driver seat up to look at battery. Fuses boxes are just under the passenger seat. The radio also has another fuse, plugged into the back of it. You would need to pull the stingray, and then open up the radio compartment from the bottom to find the radio. Also, when you do pull the stingray off, there will be 3 connectors on the clutch side, plus an antenna connector. Don't remember which is which, but they are for (memory test here) A) power to the radio and front speakers and controls, B) rear speakers and controls C) CD changer, D) Antenna

2. Connectors. Most of these are exposed to the elements a little more than they would be on an automobile. Most are 'weather proof' types, and they do sometimes work their way loose. Looking up the fork from the front tire, on clutch side, is a connector that feeds the headlights. It is a weather proof type, and may have worked loose. Also, on the clutch side, if you remove the black tip-over cover, and the chromed plastic piece behind it, you might see the connector for the Aux power port. I've forgotten to reconnect that port when I've had the tupperware off, and know you can sometimes see and reconnect that port without removing much other than the 2 pieces I mentioned.

3. Wires broken. Well, not always broken, but with the insulation abraded/melted/crushed. This happens if a cable-tie breaks, or a the cable slips out of its holder. Can be *anywhere* on the bike. Wire wiggles and vibrates and rubs somewhere and the insulation exposes the wire. Bodywork put on without moving the wires out of the way first would cause the insulation to be crushed, exposing the wire inside. You'd really need to take off nearly all the bodywork to see the wires. Some are buried even deeper, like under the fuel tank. Either the wires touch where their not supposed to (a short) or the wire breaks (an open). I've even seen insulation chewed by rodents, exposing the wire inside. Also, a strain on the wire could also pull it apart, much like breaking a stray thread on a garment. May not be obvious if the insulation is still intact.

4. Component failure. A switch could go bad, as could a relay. I had the alarm fail, and it would eat 15A fuses as fast as I could plug them in. No damaged wires, just a bad component.

Hope some of this makes sense to you. If not, maybe your mechanic could look it over, and help his diagnostics.

2001 K1200LT der LadungsTräger
1978 GL1000
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