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Hesitation under load when Turn Signals are flashing! Lol

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by xonix_digital, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. xonix_digital

    xonix_digital XS650 Addict

    Hey guys,

    I got a good one here!

    So I have been having intermittent hesitation while riding around on my '80 xs650. Always when the bike is under load (fat guy on board) in first gear and/or when I'm "blasting" down the highway at 70mph (heh). Always seemed to be at high RPMs so naturally I thought it was the coil when replacing the spark plugs didn't help. New ultimate coil is in and I have the same problem.

    Riding to work today I had to stop and pull over because it was so bad. I spend a minute troubleshooting and it was surging and hesitating in a timed rhythm when I would rev and hold. When I go to pull out and limp home, I notice the turn signals stopped working and the bike started running like a champ!

    Fast forward, leave work early, come home and find the turn signal fuse was blown. I replace the fuse and pull the tank to find my flasher relay jammed in between the tank and the motor (WOOPS!). I fit the relay back into its nifty rubber housing and jump on for a test ride.

    Same issue as before! So I rip around town using hand signals and the bike is roaring away with no issues at all. Then as a test, I stop at a light, flick the signal, and give it a fistful. Bucks and hesitates on time with the turn signal...

    Here's what I have done:
    New Plugs: No Change
    New Coil: No Change
    Re-terminated flasher relay wires and heat shrink some tubing around them: No Change
    Fit the flasher back into its rubber holder: No Change

    Any guesses????
     
  2. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi xonix,
    either your flasher wiring or your signal switch is shorting out or your flasher unit is fucked or all three.
     
    xonix_digital likes this.
  3. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    I'm thinking some kind of *floating* ground, the return current from the flashers is interferring with the grounding of the ignition...
     
  4. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer Top Contributor

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    or bad battery cell maybe ...stock signals draw a lot of current
    Is the engine running ok with the headlight on ?
    Might be worth disconnecting the flasher canceling unit to see if that makes any difference .
     
  5. xonix_digital

    xonix_digital XS650 Addict

    I think you might be right sir!

    Took the tank and seat off to see what I did wrong.

    [​IMG]

    See if anyone can see the problem in the photo below:

    [​IMG]


    You guessed it!
    The harness is grounded to the tail light bracket, and the tail light bracket is zip tied to the bike! haha

    Ran a new ground line off the battery to the tail light bracket

    [​IMG]

    And another line to the coil ground.

    [​IMG]

    Will report back regarding how well this worked.
     
  6. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    Those crimped connectors bother me as much as bungee cords and antique furniture.

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
    xonix_digital likes this.
  7. xonix_digital

    xonix_digital XS650 Addict

    I have started heat-shrinking my wires so they're not so ugly...
    Just want to make sure that hits actually fixed before I do.

    MrTwoWheel, is there something better that I should be using?
     
  8. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi xonix,
    aero-space quality crimped connections and soldered connections both conduct equally well at perhaps 95% efficiency.
    The el-cheapo crimps from the local store are perhaps 70% efficient.
    Both good quality and el-cheapo crimps have to be done right or their efficiencies drop considerably.
    OTOH, besides needing care, soldered connections may tend to cook the wires just next to the soldered connection.
    I'd say good crimps or careful soldering are tied for first place with corner-store crimps running third.
     
  9. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    cutting away those insulators, crimping and soldering, heat shrink to replace the plastic insulators, that's a much better way to use those connectors.
     
  10. xonix_digital

    xonix_digital XS650 Addict

    F!!!

    Same issue...

    Thanks for the wiring tips.
    When I figure out why my bike is hesitating with the blinker on I will assess and address the connections. I do not think that that is the culprit.
     
  11. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

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    xonix_digital likes this.
  12. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    The hesitation when the signals are on, may simply be due to low voltage to the TCI (ignition). TCI's don't function well with low voltage. The other clue is the blown signals fuse. I suspect one of the 4 signals has either a bad bulb or the bulb socket is shorting out. Also a wire leading into one of the signal lights could have a bare spot in the insulation.

    Open up each of the signal lights and check for dirt, debris or maybe even water.

    Does it happen when only "left" or only "right" signals are on, or does it happen with either?

    An on board volt meter is a very useful device, for observing the state of your electrical system.
     
    xonix_digital likes this.
  13. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

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    :agree: that left rear signal looks to be a future problem. Some thin plastic tubing, heat shrink or electrical tape between the wires and stem?
     
    xonix_digital likes this.
  14. xonix_digital

    xonix_digital XS650 Addict

    Thanks for the tips!
    I will dig into the lights to have a look.
    I will also confirm whether or not it's happening on both sides in the morning.

    I will report back!
    Thanks again.
     
  15. xonix_digital

    xonix_digital XS650 Addict

    Hey all.
    Took the bike for a rip today and dug a little deeper into the electrical system.
    Fixed some stuff and found some more rats nests.

    First, I found that the issue is the same on both sides.
    It doesn't matter if I am turning left or turning right, the net result is the same.
    I took the lights apart and the bulbs and fixtures were spotless. Looked brand new so I sealed them back up.

    Took the whole rear light assembly apart and found several soldered wires that were heat shrunk.
    Also found a ground wire that only had one or two threads of copper wire making contact. Re-terminated and connected all wires making sure there was perfect connectivity end to end.

    [​IMG]


    Ugly but 100% functional.
    Same issue...

    Started running some tests with a multi-meter.
    12.05v off the batter when key is turned off.
    12.4v off the battery when the bike is running.
    12.8v off the battery when the bike is revving.
    Amperage fluctuated similarly from 3.4-3.8 amps.

    Turn signals running did not change the read out.

    Then I pulled the bike up to the garage, started it up, and watched the headlight against the door.
    When the directional signals are flashing, the head light dims momentarily with the flashing signals by approximately 15-20%.
    Turning the signals off the headlight returns to normal.
    Revving the engine made the headlight run brighter by approximately 15-20%.
    Returning to idle the headlight returned to normal.

    Thinking that this could be related to the charging system not generating enough juice I took a look at the stator/rotor.
    Found a gnarly black streak on the rotor from the old greasy contacts.
    Hit it with some electrical contact cleaner and a toothbrush.

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    Same issue...

    Now that I've exhausted all possibilities on the rear tails, inspecting every wire and re-terminating every connection, I decided to look at the front.
    I remembered that the previous owner put in an H4 bulb conversion so I whipped off the headlight housing and found another fun mess.

    [​IMG]

    There's a bunch of wires soldered and taped together up here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Going to have to study the wiring diagram for this one.

    While I'm at it I found that the ignition switch was tied to the frame using safety wire! haha

    [​IMG]

    So I bolted that up properly since the bolts were in their proper holes.
    Someone is supremely lazy! Hats off to you sir!

    The H4 headlamp is 60/55w and the turn signals are all the same incandescent bulbs.

    Next questions:
    1. Is that headlight behavior normal? Brighter under rev, dimmer when the turn signals are flashing?
    2. Am I supposed to get more than 12.4v off the battery when the bike is running?
    3. Is replacing all my lights with LEDs a lame work around to lower the amount of load on the electrical system?
    4. What about the sh*tty bus fuse panel under the seat? Have any of you seen significant electrical system improvements by updating.upgrading this?

    Thanks again.
     
  16. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer Top Contributor

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    good work so far and ... you've also confirmed that your complete wiring loom is utterly fubar.
    The pink wire normally connects the horn to the horn push button and grounds the horn when the button is pressed so why it is twisted together and soldered to a blue wire is a mystery ? then theres a yellow wire joined to a red wire ? yikes yellow is usually reserved for the headlight main beam and the associated warning light .

    Looks like someone has tried to eliminate some ancillary stuff and reduce the wiring but its illogical and badly done.
    You are definitely going to need to check the whole loom to see what exactly has been connected to what and compare to the schematic.
    Its not too bad if you seperate out each part as you go.

    http://www.xs650.com/threads/some-wiring-diagrams.61/
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
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  17. xonix_digital

    xonix_digital XS650 Addict

    This is helpful.
    The one I was looking at wasn't matching up.
    This list has what looks like a more accurate representation.

    Thanks!
     
  18. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer Top Contributor

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    Apologies I thought the link I gave you pointed to this specific schematic . However the thread has some very useful diagrams
    1980.jpg
     
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