Picture this - some salt and battery - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 2 Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 9:42 am Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Cumberland, PA, USA
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Picture this - some salt and battery

Okay, being a punster is always having to say you're sorry. Most of you probably do this all the time, but it might be helpful for the newer members or owners. Before doing any work on your bike, take pictures step by step. When finished, reverse the images on your camera and repeat your steps in reverse. For those with failing eyesight or a small screen on your camera, load the images into a laptop for a large display. Don't have a digital camera or laptop? Go stimulate the economy and buy one or both.

This suggestion was made evident to me yesterday when I installed a new battery. The old one, well, it really wasn't that old, was a Shorai that would not longer charge. I had somehow managed to drain it beyond the point of no return. Since it was only 18 months old, I had it sent back and received a replacement. This process took almost a month and I received the new one at a discounted price. (I know, that's a whole 'nother story.)

Prior to removing the old battery I took several pictures of the wiring connected to the battery terminals. My friend and riding partner, Lee, told me to do this years ago. After disconnecting the bolts I bundled the wires with twisties to keep them organized and out of the way. Once released from the terminals, however, these wires twisted around on their own like hyper-active kids who missed their Ritalin dosage. I'm pretty sure I got them all bundled correctly for the positive and negative terminals.

The replacement battery arrived this past Thursday and I figured, "Piece of cake." Slip it in, connect wires and fire it up." Wrong! Replacement battery is an upgrade and is larger than the previous model. Okay, remove layers of padding to make room. Slide battery in. A nice tight fit. But where's the retaining bracket? On the floor, of course! Remove battery, hook bracket onto frame, slide battery into its slot and watch the bracket slide down, clatter around inside the bike and fall onto the garage floor like the payout from an evil slot machine saying, "Loser!" Let's try this again. Rehook the bracket and maintain tension while reinserting battery with the other hand. Retaining bracket loses position and comes free when I give it a tug. After a few more attempts I quit and retreat into the house wondering if Doc Octopus has a few spare arms I can borrow. I call Lee and ask if he can come over tomorrow morning and lend an extra pair of hands. No problem.

10 AM Friday and Lee arrives right on time. After some socializing and a few cups of coffee (Jamaican Blue Mountain - I'm not cheap with my help.), we head into the garage to finish the job. In a few minutes we have the battery installed and the wires connected to the terminals. Turn the key and the dash lights up. Hit the starter button and we have ignition. I open the garage door and start to back the bike out just as my wife comes down to complain about the noise and exhaust fumes.

Once outside I close the garage door and check out the rest of the electricals. Horn works. Hyperlights for the brake work. Headlights are on. Motolights are a no go. Damn! We check the fuses; they're fine. We disassemble the switch and it's okay. Maybe it's the bulbs. Can both bulbs die simultaneously? With my luck, the answer is, "Yes." I replace one of the bulbs. The search for the lens wrench is like Indiana Jones without the snakes. The new bulb is in and, you guessed it, "No joy." At this point in the story I should inform you that every time we need a tool it's in the garage which requires us to continually open and close the garage door which makes my wife wonder if we're filming an Abbot and Costello routine.

Finally, I remember the pictures I took. I get the camera, yes, I have to open and close the garage door again to get the camera. I look at the wires to the positive terminal on the camera's screen. I ask Lee to count the wires we have connected. He says there are three. The picture says there should be four. By enlarging the image I can see that one of the wires that should be to the positive terminal somehow got wrapped up with the negatives. We move it and the Motolights now work. Lee and I exchange a high five. The bike goes back into the garage. The tools go back onto the nether regions of the workbench. Lee goes home with a pound of Wolf Blend coffee from Vashon Island, Washington.

I go upstairs and check the forecast for the weekend. It'll be cold and blustery with a chance of snow by mid-week. There are no more football games being played and it's too early for baseball. Maybe I'll just sit in front of the laptop and type up a posting on the bulletin board for others to read while they await the arrival of spring and road surfaces that aren't covered with inches or feet of snow.

Take care,

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God" Kurt Vonnegut

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post #2 of 2 Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 12:13 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 14,437
Re: Picture this - some salt and battery

Enjoyed the write up, Chris. As luck would have it, I'm just about ready to swap out an old battery for a new one. Wuz gonna take ole Toad down to the shed and do the swappage - changed mind and instead, took the Thudra, picked up the battery and brought it home to the garage. I'm thinking I oughta call Lee and buy him a plane ticket to Boerne, in advance of me and ole Toad dancing to the tune of Sparky and the Light-em-ups!!

Butt, I mean, how hard can it be? I've got each cable bolt-n-nutted to a piece of angle iron, L-bent and attached to the specific terminal. Barring a get-together of those two pieces of angle iron, I should be able to avoid any lost items, misplaced cables, and/or lightning strikes!!! And hopefully, that Murphy's Law dude is high on the sequestration list and is out of travel funds!! Wish me luck, or better yet - success!!
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