Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Pop Goes the Breaker
On my trip to Columbus, as I pulled in for my first gas stop on the trip, suddenly the speedo and its light went dead. A little testing proved the turn signals and rear brake light were dead as well. The headlight and running lights (both front and rear were working). I did a brief inspection but couldn't locate anything. So hand signals were the rule of the day. But needless to say, the larger percentage of the general driving public doesn't know standard hand signals and are without a clue when they see them displayed in front of them what is being communicated.
That being the case, I looked three times, hand signaled and looked some more when I was making lane changes, stopping, etc. Yes, I know there are a lot of folks riding without turn signals (Jeffery). But, I am just not comfortable in interstate traffic without working signals. Refrain from emailing me sissy comments, thanks.
I consulted a friend who owns a bike shop who I met up with on the way to Columbus. We pulled the seat and he was puzzled trying to locate the fuse block. It seems the Sporty has it a bit different that the softails, go figure. So we buttoned it up and I came home sans signals.
Last night after getting home from being laid-off from my job (Monday huh?) and running errands, I dug into it. I managed to figure out how Harley had disguised the fuse block on the sporty and wala blown fuse. I replaced it, turned on the key and instantly produced a matching blown fuse. I quickly deducted that there was a broken wire or one with insulation rubbed off and grounding out by touching metal somewhere. So, I did some inspection and found a broken wire at a connector and repaired it. Replaced the fuse, turned on the ignition and a third matching blown fuse. I then road to Autozone and bought some more 15 amp fuses.
After returning from the parts store, I pulled the fuel tank and began tracing the routing of the wire. I found a bare spot, repaired it, replaced the fuse, turned on the ignition and produced the 4th in a series of matching blown fuses. I continued following the wire routing until it went above the headlight hidden from view. So, I removed the windshield and unbolted the headlight. Lo and behold, I found a couple of wires with bare spots worn by rubbing the headlight mount. My best guess is when the shop (name withheld to protect the guilty) replaced the ignition switch, the wiring didn't get tucked away just right.
So, I repaired the bare spotted wires and tucked them away into a space where they should be less prone to abrasions, replaced the fuse, turned on the ignition and the speedo light came on, the speedo reset, and the odometer displayed. Ah, nice refreshing site. I then tested the turn signals and they worked properly. A few minutes later I had it all reassembled and bolts and screws torqued to try to prevent them from rattling lose and falling off.
I wandered into the house and washed all the grime off and poured a glass of Tea. My wife mentioned the vacuum cleaner wasn't really picking up when she last used it. So, it was time to play vacuum mechanic. Some preliminary testing proved the 18 year old vacuum was going to have to be replaced. So, off to wallyworld at 9pm. Of course once we bought a new one, it had to be assembled (no, I didn't open the directions). Assembly completed, I gave it a test drive. Yeah, it works better than the old one. New and improved for sure.
So as Monday completed, I am jobless but the bike's electrical gremlins have been solved and we have a new Hoover. Just another day in paradise...