AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 23 Old Mar 13th, 2014, 8:09 pm Thread Starter
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AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Hi all,
I'm having an electrical failure that I'm hoping someone can shed some light on for me. In March 2013 I transferred in my company from Florida to Georgia and decided not to take my 05 LT with me in the move (a decision I regret). I placed the bike for sale with a local car dealership on consignment (mistake #1). I know the owner personally.... he's an avid biker and has sold quite a few bikes for folks over the years. I instructed him to make sure the battery was kept up on the LT, and to ride it every now and then to keep it in shape. The job thing didn't work out so I came back home 8 months later. The bike hadn't sold, so I went down to pick it up. To my horror I found that the bike had not been started and the battery had not been kept up either. My only option was to have the bike jumped to get it home (I'm thinking mistake #2). The bike started but ran really rough which was probably due the Motronic box regarding throttle position after battery death and old gas as well. I made it to my driveway and when I hit the brake the bike died. I threw a volt meter on the battery and found that it was flat. I placed it on the tender overnight and the next morning saw that it did not charge. I replaced the battery with a new one, but the problem is deeper than that. Once the new battery was installed, I turned the key and had no electrical activity at all (no lights, dash, fuel pump, etc). I checked continuity on all fuses and they are fine. This has really got me stumped, as I cannot see or detect any burned wires, etc. Before I start tearing off the fuel tank to get to the relays I wanted to throw it out here to see if someone would be able to point me in the right direction. I apologize for the long-winded explanation, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible. Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Buster
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post #2 of 23 Old Mar 13th, 2014, 9:03 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Good news is that jump starting an LT with a car or truck will not harm it. Retrace your steps and look for a missing connection on the battery terminals. Also if you have an alarm it needs to be disabled as it defaults to "set" when a new battery is installed.


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post #3 of 23 Old Mar 13th, 2014, 9:46 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Also checked to be sure even the new battery has a full charge.

Scott and Theresa
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post #4 of 23 Old Mar 13th, 2014, 10:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Yep, the battery is in good and tight and has a solid charge.....as for the alarm, I cannot tell the status as nothing on the dash lights up (including the alarm led). I do not seem to be getting power to anything on the bike. I thought there might be a master fuse somewhere else on the bike, but don't see anything on the schematics. I see the electronics box (where the relays live), but was hoping it was something else as I really hate taking the tank off. I did wonder about the immobilizer, but cannot find any info on whether it totally disables the electrical system as in my case, or does it just drop voltage to the starter relay so it can't be started. It's a tad aggravating.....ok, it's a lot of aggravation. Thanks for the replies!

Buster
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post #5 of 23 Old Mar 13th, 2014, 10:26 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTBeemer View Post
Yep, the battery is in good and tight and has a solid charge.....as for the alarm, I cannot tell the status as nothing on the dash lights up (including the alarm led). I do not seem to be getting power to anything on the bike. I thought there might be a master fuse somewhere else on the bike, but don't see anything on the schematics. I see the electronics box (where the relays live), but was hoping it was something else as I really hate taking the tank off. I did wonder about the immobilizer, but cannot find any info on whether it totally disables the electrical system as in my case, or does it just drop voltage to the starter relay so it can't be started. It's a tad aggravating.....ok, it's a lot of aggravation. Thanks for the replies!

Buster
Sometimes the simplest things are overlooked. Not trying to say you overlooked anything, or offend you, but my bike is a 99' and has two main + leads presumably engine, and other electronics... is it possible that you simply failed to connect all of the terminals properly, or is there corrosion, or deterioration at any of the terminals?

Regards, Dale
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post #6 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 4:50 am
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Turn the battery 180 degrees around and reconnect it!
Maybe that's the problem

Seriously when you figure it out please let us know!

Capt.Jim
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post #7 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 5:24 am
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptJDavis View Post
Turn the battery 180 degrees around and reconnect it!
Maybe that's the problem

Seriously when you figure it out please let us know!
I Know the Capt is Joking but do not do this it will be an expensive repair. I am sure you have just left a wire off

Regards Linton
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and no koalas are not Bears



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post #8 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 8:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

No, connections were the first thing I dealt with. I too have two hot leads and one ground (actually 3 ganged into one). All wires are connected properly and there is no corrosion. I guess I should've made myself a little clearer in my original description. This electrical problem started before I changed the battery, meaning when I arrived home and the bike died, all electrical went with it. Changing the battery did nothing, I still have no power to the bike....maybe if I turn the battery upside down...hmmmm.

Buster
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post #9 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 9:02 am
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Did you or someone at the battery dealer actually confirm voltage and state of charge on the new battery?

Ross
K1200LT (99)
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post #10 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 9:34 am Thread Starter
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Yes...the battery is in great shape. In fact, it's been sitting for a couple of weeks now and still is at 12.8v. It's a 220CCA, 20 amp hour battery.

Buster
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post #11 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 10:14 am
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

I had battery trouble last year. The battery was bought new at the dealer about this time last year. Had troubles for a few months.Long story short it was a bad battery. It would be flat ass dead then 10 mins later it would start. FWIW BMW says not to push start...

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post #12 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 11:27 am
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Usually 12.8 volts is not a fully charged battery. I'm not an expert but I have been reading this forum consistently for five six years and the experts all say voltage should be above 13 volts and higher as the LT is very sensitive to slightly lower voltages, but even with low voltage it should turn on all your dash lighting I would think but maybe not start.

Hopefully one of the experts will chime in as it seems to me it would be something wrong with the electronic/wiring system that is shutting the juice off.

Good luck and let us know what you find.
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post #13 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 1:49 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Hello LT,
My Clymer diagram (such as it is) shows no fusable link in the hot battery line, soooo...if the primary batty wiring has intregrity, ceartain circuits should be powered even with the ign sw in the o.f.f. Position.

Check these sources with a meter to the batty neg post, then to another grnd point.
=At least one power socket should show batty voltage (thru fuse 7)
=Fuse 3 (to relay box) should be batty hot
=Fuse 4 (moronic)
=Fuse 5 (lcd display)
If you don't get battery voltage at those points, I'm going to say that you've got an open (or something) somewhere in the primary battery wiring

Rand & Susan Hawksworth
2000 K1200LT
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post #14 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 3:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Thanks!!!! I'll give a try.

Buster
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post #15 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 5:17 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

I have experienced a battery with a broken connection inside the battery. Showed good voltage, but wouldn't pull any amps. Just for grins, try jump starting it and see what happens. Also check your primary ground lug which is just in front of, left of, and below the battery. You can just see it with a flashlight. Pulling the left side foot panel and plastic panel allows easy access.


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post #16 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 5:17 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

What happens to the battery voltage when you turn the key on? Does it drop at all indicating there is electrical activity due to the key being turned on?
Or does it drop a whole bunch?


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post #17 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 5:24 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey View Post
I have experience a battery with a broken connection inside the battery. Showed good voltage, but wouldn't pull any amps. Just for grins, try jump starting it and see what happens. Also check your primary ground lug which is just in front of, left of, and below the battery. You can just see it with a flashlight. Pulling the left side foot panel and plastic panel allows easy access.
+1 happened to me as well

Gary
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post #18 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 5:52 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Doesn't kill switch also cut all electrics on BMW's? Could it be stuck or faulty?


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post #19 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 6:30 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Of course I was kidding!

But also everything about your battery could be perfectly ok EXCEPT your ignition may have a problem.

I mean when you turn the key if nothing is happening, maybe the problem is in the ignition switch!

Capt.Jim
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post #20 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 8:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey View Post
I have experienced a battery with a broken connection inside the battery. Showed good voltage, but wouldn't pull any amps. Just for grins, try jump starting it and see what happens. Also check your primary ground lug which is just in front of, left of, and below the battery. You can just see it with a flashlight. Pulling the left side foot panel and plastic panel allows easy access.
Ok,
Thanks to deanwoolsey and Gary45 I think we're on to something. I had placed the battery on the tender today for a little while, so I decided to do a quick test after reading the posts regarding internal battery damage. I took off the charger and tested as normal with the voltmeter. It was at approximately 13.4v. This time however, I used the clip leads for the meter and attached them to the battery so I could observe over a longer period of time. About every ten seconds or so the battery voltage dropped incrementally during the time that I was watching it. I never kept the leads on that long as I usually just lay on the probes , check voltage and then move on. The voltage drop had me intrigued as the battery is not connected to the bike....it's just dropping on its own. My next test was to haul the car next to the bike, connect jumper cables to the cables on the bike (bypassing the battery altogether) and turn the key. Sure enough, the dash lit up, got servo whine, fuel pump and headlights. So happy days....I hope. At least I know I have electrical integrity on the bike itself, because my biggest fear was that the smallest, most obscure wire located somewhere buried at the bottom of hell was fried.
My thanks to you all....I'm off to pick up another battery and I'll see what happens.

Thanks again!
Buster
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post #21 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 8:18 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Contrary to what was posted before a good fully charged battery, at rest, will read 12.75 volts. My second factory GS battery (after about 6 months) would read OK until I turned on the key and it would drop to nothing. After I replaced it with an after market battery I opened it up and found a bad joint between cells.

Hopefully you issues will be resolved with a replacement battery.

John
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post #22 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 9:16 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enduro View Post
What happens to the battery voltage when you turn the key on? Does it drop at all indicating there is electrical activity due to the key being turned on?
Or does it drop a whole bunch?
If you do the above you will get your answer. If the problem is the battery it will drop a whole bunch. The combined load of the lights will exceed the current capacity of the battery and the voltage will drop like a rock.


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post #23 of 23 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 11:07 pm
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Re: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Stumped by electrical issue!

Buster, most tenders "float" between 13.25 and 13.4 volts. So while 12.8 is fully charged, you'll see 13+ when on a battery tender or regulated charging system. As soon as you unhook it the voltage will slowly drop to 12.6 to 12.8. Your battery voltage sounds normal, but it does sound like you have a break inside the battery case. This is normally a crack in the terminal which will allow normal charging, but won't carry enough amps to support the system, so a no-start occurs. Any auto parts store can load check the battery and confirm it is indeed bad.


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