Help tracking down a electrical pblm.... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 12:53 pm Thread Starter
 
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Help tracking down a electrical pblm....

Howdy!

I need some fresh ideas on tracking down a electrical pblm...

I have a pair of Hella Micro DE Fog Lights mounted under the chin of my LT - they have been there for several trouble-free years, but recently they blew the in-line fuse (25A).

Yesterday I pulled both (L & R) upper tupperware pieces, unplugged the lights from their harness, gave them a dab of dielctric grease, plugged them back in and viola! Put the tupperware back on, checked the lights and they still worked.

This AM, they blew the fuse again - this time the 20A fuse in the Blue Sea fuse box. I replaced it with a 25A since I was out of 20A's - they blew that fuse.

I cleaned the connections again (I can reach them without removing the tupperware) with contact cleaner and this time the 25A in-line fuse blew!

The wiring running to the lights is encased in a fairly thick vinyl covering and it didn't appear to have rubbed through or anything - I tried to check when I had the tupperware off. I have tried to route the wiring along the inside of the various portions of the frame from under the seat up to the front.

I need some ideas on how to trace down where the problem really is.
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post #2 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 1:09 pm
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Since there is evidently a short somewhere in your system I would start with inspecting the obvious places.

You mentioned a Blue Sea fuse box. Where is it located? Under one of the seats or in the nose cone? Is it secured to the chassis? Check the positive half of the Blue Sea connectors for a possible contact with the frame (since at one point you blew a fuse there). Follow that wire to your lights relay, and again check for a positive lead possibly touching the frame or a ground wire.
Does your relay show any sign of a short (burnt or melted area, or funny smell)?
Then check the wiring for chaffing between the relay to the lights themselves Swapping the relay with a know good one would be the next step.
Last but not least, check the wiring inside the lamps themselves to see if a positive lead is touching the metal housing.

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post #3 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 1:34 pm Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Gilles!

The Blue Sea is under the seat sitting on the battery. I have cecked it, but will again.

I will follow the wiring to the relay. The realy seems fine, but it is several years old - is it possible for one to begin going bad intermittently?

I had not thought of checking inside the lamps themselves!

Thank you for the advice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Since there is evidently a short somewhere in your system I would start with inspecting the obvious places.

You mentioned a Blue Sea fuse box. Where is it located? Under one of the seats or in the nose cone? Is it secured to the chassis? Check the positive half of the Blue Sea connectors for a possible contact with the frame (since at one point you blew a fuse there). Follow that wire to your lights relay, and again check for a positive lead possibly touching the frame or a ground wire.
Does your relay show any sign of a short (burnt or melted area, or funny smell)?
Then check the wiring for chaffing between the relay to the lights themselves Swapping the relay with a know good one would be the next step.
Last but not least, check the wiring inside the lamps themselves to see if a positive lead is touching the metal housing.
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post #4 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 1:35 pm Thread Starter
 
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Hi Dave!

No ballasts on these - just plain old fog lights... I wish they were HIDs... ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
Try unplugging the lamps from the ballasts and see if the fuse blows when powered up; if so, the balasts is shot.
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post #5 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 3:02 pm
 
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I have a pair of Tulsa Fog Lamps on the Gold Wing - Did the same thing after riding through some real heavy rain back in the spring time in Arkansas.

I traced each wire to the fusebox and finally disassembled the lamps themselves. Put everything back together and no more blown fuses. I believe the problem was in the light housing iteself as these sit at chassis ground.

Hope this helps the cause. I know how you feel, as I have been waiting ever since for them to blow another fuse and maybe I can troubleshoot to the point that I can lay an eyeball on the problem.
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post #6 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 3:09 pm Thread Starter
 
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No Worries Dave!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
Sorry, my bad, I read Micro DE's and thought HID.
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post #7 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 3:11 pm Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Don...

Looks like that is going to be the path forward after I try replacing the relay.

I am about ready to rip them out by their roots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by broxsond
I have a pair of Tulsa Fog Lamps on the Gold Wing - Did the same thing after riding through some real heavy rain back in the spring time in Arkansas.

I traced each wire to the fusebox and finally disassembled the lamps themselves. Put everything back together and no more blown fuses. I believe the problem was in the light housing iteself as these sit at chassis ground.

Hope this helps the cause. I know how you feel, as I have been waiting ever since for them to blow another fuse and maybe I can troubleshoot to the point that I can lay an eyeball on the problem.
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post #8 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 4:09 pm
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Not sure if the relay is the culprit. The typical failures of a relay are:
1. It won't "click" on. Bad relay.
2. It stays on, won't "click" off. Bad relay ( contacts welded themselves "on", usually only found in circuits where the relay powers a motor, or something else with coils of wires or high inrush starting current)
3. It does "click" on, but doesn't seem to get power where it is needed. Bad relay (most common failure: contacts simply wore out)
4. Magic smoke comes out of relay, showing you it's bad.

More than likely, you have a wiring problem, where a wire is broken, or the insulation wore away. Could even be the wires got pinched when putting the tupperware back on, or the zip ties that hold the harness in place squeezed a little too tight. Just because the outer vinyl sleeve is intact doesn't mean the wires inside are 100%.

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post #9 of 13 Old Nov 5th, 2007, 4:19 pm
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You might want to try to disconnect one at a time to see if you can pinpoint which light is giving you the problems.

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post #10 of 13 Old Nov 12th, 2007, 1:32 pm
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Basic electric troubleshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
You might want to try to disconnect one at a time to see if you can pinpoint which light is giving you the problems.
Actually, disconnect them both, then turn the system on, (with good fuses). If the fues(s) don't blow, the problem is in the lights, then try connecting one at a time to see which one is the problem. If the fues blows wiht the lights disconnected, then the problem is in the wiring.

GB


By the way, what is the past tense conjugation of "troubleshooting"?
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post #11 of 13 Old Nov 12th, 2007, 2:27 pm
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Quote:
By the way, what is the past tense conjugation of "troubleshooting"?
hmmm...troubleshooted, troubleshot, maybe troubleshit?



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post #12 of 13 Old Nov 12th, 2007, 3:40 pm
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Me thinks the problem is a bit flipper trying to act like a hardware tech.

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post #13 of 13 Old Nov 12th, 2007, 3:59 pm Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaffyK
hmmm...troubleshooted, troubleshot, maybe troubleshit?
Thanks Raffy... That's kind of the natural progression ....
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