Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 1:46 pm Thread Starter
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Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Has anyone had this:

When I rev the engine suddenly to about 5k standing still the lights and everything electrical blinks on and off rapidly. I have not noticed it while riding... The clutch and transmission was recently replaced, but I cant see the connection with that. Is there a ground strap someplace from the trans. to the frame?

Any hints are appreciated, Thanks!

Wolfgang

K1200LT 1999 Champaign SOLD
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post #2 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 1:56 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Sounds like the ground wire inside the headlight bucket to me. If it were a main ground, the engine would most likely skip if the connection got that loose.
HTH

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post #3 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

I've had weird stuff when the battery terminals come a bit loose, might want to check those out. I use the direct batt connect for the escort, I'm sure that doesn't help any so i do have to check them at times.

ps...oops, I was talking about my K12S, sorry..still, worth a check I'd think.
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post #4 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 4:12 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

I can tell you exactly what the trouble is. There is a 5mm hex bolt at the rear of the starter that is loose. You almost have to remove the battery to get to it. Dan (dfinazzo) had the battery out and I was able to tighten the bolt with a 5mm ball driver. Ran into this at STC up in the smokies Dan's bike and the issue is this is a ground for the starter which in turn provides a ground to the load shed relay. The starter will work normally but this ground will haunt you at anything above 3,500 rpm. This is the one that turns off lights and other non essential loads during starter operation. Once you tighten up that bolt your troubles will be gone.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
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Last edited by jzeiler; Jul 7th, 2009 at 4:43 pm.
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post #5 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 4:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I can tell you exactly what the trouble is. There is a 5mm hex bolt at the rear of the starter that is loose. You almost have to remove the battery to get to it. Dan (dffinazzo) had the battery out and I was able to tighten the bolt with a 5mm ball driver. Ran into this at STC up in the smokies Dan's bike and the issue is this is a ground for the starter which in turn provides a ground to the load shed relay. The starter will work normally but this ground will haunt you at anything above 3,500 rpm. This is the one that turns off lights and other non essential loads during starter operation. Once you tighten up that bolt your troubles will be gone.
That sounds logical!! I will try that later tonight, hopefully I can post a success message later.

Thanks!!!!!

Wolfgang

K1200LT 1999 Champaign SOLD
R1100RS 1994 Teal SOLD
R1150RT 2003 Blue (Sold)
R1100RT 1997 Blue


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post #6 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 4:52 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

To help you ID the correct bolt, it is item #3 in the PDF.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Bolt.pdf (118.8 KB, 255 views)

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #7 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 5:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
To help you ID the correct bolt, it is item #3 in the PDF.
I suspect that the wire was left off when the transmission was replaced... Thanks again. I may not get to it tonight..

Wolfgang

K1200LT 1999 Champaign SOLD
R1100RS 1994 Teal SOLD
R1150RT 2003 Blue (Sold)
R1100RT 1997 Blue


Pest, Budapest Hungary

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post #8 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 6:06 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Now that you mention it, I had a complete electrical failure after I had the rear main seal replaced. The tech forgot to tighten the ground strap bolt you are showing, and it actually ran fine up until it essentially plasma cut the bolt clean off the housing.... then it all went dead!
The wire must have been jiggling around in there and arcing all over the place

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post #9 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 7:35 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Actually there is no ground strap there but just the mechanical connection of the starter to the transmission. That is all it takes to throw off the load shed relay at RPM.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #10 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 9:47 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

I must be looking at that schematic wrong. It looked like the bolt over to the left I'll have to dig to find an online microfiche I can use for reference. Sorry bout that!

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post #11 of 21 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 10:28 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Some one may have used it one time for a ground but the only pupose for that bolt (other than to help ground the starter) is to hold the starter in place as you remove the transmission. None of the bikes I have worked on had any wires there. Like I said it is almost impossible to tighten it in the bike. Even with the battery removed the best we could do with the ball driver was snug it up. That one is only meant to be removed when the tranny is off the bike to facilitate starter removal.

It may have something to do with the fact both ends of the starter have o-rings on them and that bolt forms the only real ground.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #12 of 21 Old Jul 8th, 2009, 8:19 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Previously Posted: after STC 2009

I developed an electrical problem and all my farkeles were turning off and on
Saturday night I drag John Zeiler into the garage after dinner and after a few moments of observing the problem, a quick look at the wiring diagram on his computer he provides a quick diagnosis and he shouts out with conviction - "Load Shed Relay".
After taking out the battery and disconnecting my Centec fuse block we find a loose bolt - not an obvious electrical connection in front of the battery compartment. Is was this loose connection that was creating a non constant grounding condition. Used a special tool to tighten up put all the works back together and viola - we are back in business.
I believe this loose allen bolt was due to the new riding style we learned at STC - running at RPMs between 6,500 and 8,000 RPMs.

So I am a believer in The Myth - The Man - The Mustache . . . John Zeiler!!!

John did admit he enjoys solving problems - mine however took him only about 5 minutes!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Since returning home I decided to really tighten up that pesky bolt. I had to buy a 5mm allen wrench and cut off the short end to about 3/8" long. I then had to remove the battery and clear out the wiring in front of the battery box. In fact i undid the ground wiring from the frame just ahead of the battery box. Then carefully get the allen wrench in position to tighten up the bolt. Took a little effort but I finally got it really tight. I have owned the bike for 6 years and the bolt decides to come loose at STC 2009.

The symptoms were all my electronics were going off an on at RPMs about 3,500 except the fuel and ignition were not effected and the bike ran just fine. My riding partner says I looked like a blinking Christmas Tree running down the road.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

I guess my sign off says it all ...

Dan Finazzo
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post #13 of 21 Old Jul 8th, 2009, 8:21 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Glad you got it tightened up good Dan. Maybe I'll make one of those "shortened" allens and keep it in my tool pouch.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #14 of 21 Old Jul 8th, 2009, 9:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

I have postponed working on this till Saturday. I was sick for a few days and too many other things have piled up at work and at home. But I have no doubt that that is the solution.

Now, can you tell me a quick and easy way to replace the throttle cables. I have read all or most the stuff on the board, I am still not feeling warm and fuzzy about doing it...

Wolfgang

K1200LT 1999 Champaign SOLD
R1100RS 1994 Teal SOLD
R1150RT 2003 Blue (Sold)
R1100RT 1997 Blue


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post #15 of 21 Old Jul 8th, 2009, 9:32 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang
Now, can you tell me a quick and easy way to replace the throttle cables. I have read all or most the stuff on the board, I am still not feeling warm and fuzzy about doing it...
I know what you mean by that! I have the throttle cables and steel brake lines sitting on my work bench waiting to be installed.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
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2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #16 of 21 Old Jul 8th, 2009, 9:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
I know what you mean by that! I have the throttle cables and steel brake lines sitting on my work bench waiting to be installed.
Just come to Austin, we have a local wizard at that. Stevie Shreeve aka Katnappin.
He installed my brake lines while I recovered from dehydration... in a few hours. He has done several since.. piece of cake --- so he says... Some are born wrenches , I used to be one

Wolfgang

K1200LT 1999 Champaign SOLD
R1100RS 1994 Teal SOLD
R1150RT 2003 Blue (Sold)
R1100RT 1997 Blue


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post #17 of 21 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 8:53 am Thread Starter
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Just a quick follow up and huge THANK YOU to John. The starter bolt was loose and the issue is resolved. I can only imagine how much time and effort it would have taken without your help.

Thanks!

Wolfgang

K1200LT 1999 Champaign SOLD
R1100RS 1994 Teal SOLD
R1150RT 2003 Blue (Sold)
R1100RT 1997 Blue


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post #18 of 21 Old Aug 12th, 2009, 12:48 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

You are welcome. I think that one needs to be in the HOW or at least a quick article in the Tech Files area.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #19 of 21 Old Jun 27th, 2014, 5:19 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

THANK YOU MY NEW FRIEND!!!!!! The same thing happened to me and your suggestion was the cure! The dealer forgot to tighten my starter bolt after a clutch & seal job. They quoted me a $1300.00 alternator after I told them what the problem was. I got fed up after 3 weeks and fixed it myself thanks to you! I used lock tight and peened the bolt head enough to prevent it backing out.
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post #20 of 21 Old Aug 18th, 2017, 5:57 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

This is an old thread, but it just happened to me after 170k miles on two LTs. Never would have found it without this conversation!

Once I figured out the bolt everyone was talking about wasn't the one that holds the brown wire on, I recognized the bolt hole where the hex bolt belonged. My starter was rotated because the hex head bolt was out. Although it wasn't hard to see, actually tightening that bolt was a several hour ordeal. My hands aren't agile enough to get the cutoff 5mm wrench in place, but I did manage to do it with a modified tool made from the wrench, a short piece of rubber house and a coat hanger (see photo). This let me position the wrench and then get my fingers in to push it onto the bolt. Turn it a fraction, pull it out, repeat. Still far from easy, but it worked.

Thanks for the helpful info.
Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM-img_1585.jpg
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Bolt.pdf (118.8 KB, 25 views)
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Alan
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post #21 of 21 Old Aug 18th, 2017, 7:05 pm
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Re: Lights flicker above 4,000 RPM

Ah another BMW special tool, well done, hope I don't need this one

Regards Linton
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and no koalas are not Bears



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