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Discussion Starter #1
my 88 Bayou has been running great and now something is causing a dead short in my electrical system. Fully charged battery and the starter relay buzzes when I hit the button. I jumped it off with my boat motor and it will fire up but when I turn on the head light it kills the engine. I got it to run with the light on 1 time but it was very dim and when I shut down the bike it wont crank back up without being jumped. My question is why? Any ideas !!!!!
thanx much
 

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What did you test the battery with? A voltmeter will show you "surface" voltage but not ability to power a load. Test it with a load type meter and post results.
 

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The Dreaded Shorting/Intermittent Electrical Problem!


Here is the most basic method I know(Taken from KZrider.com - Home by member Patton)

1. Charge your battery and have it load tested if you can. The floating ball hydrometer can be used to check the specific gravity of the charged cells in the battery.

2. Disconnect the Black lead from the (-) Battery terminal... or Red from the (+) Battery terminal, it does not matter which one.

3. Connect one of the following test setups in series with the Battery terminal and lead:
3.1 A 12 V light bulb,
3.2 A 12 V test light,
3.3 A 12 V test buzzer or,
3.4 A 12 V horn... you get the idea.

4. With the Ignition Switch OFF, go through your harness and wiggle the wires while looking/listening for the test setup to go on/start buzzing.

5.With the Ignition Switch ON, repeat the test except this time the looking/listening for the test setup to go on/stop buzzing.

6. Be prepared to open the Ignition switch and check/test for solder joint failure and or circuit board micro breaks (don't ask how I know this ).

7. Be prepared to pull the wires out of the Head Light to test for failures at or near the grommet.

8. Be prepared to open the harness at or near the Steering Neck for failures. This is where wires tend to exhibit fatigue due to repetitive movement.

9. Be prepared to open the left and right switch gear to search for rust and or broken parts. CAUTION: watch out for flying springs, ball bearings and stuff. Do indoors on White sheet (again don't ask ).

10. Be prepared to follow the heavy gauge wire from the Starter Solenoid (Relay) to the starter for bare wire exposure. Especially near bends and grommets.

11. If you can reproduce the fault symptom your are pretty much home free. Be prepare to find and repair/replace any internal wire breaks, insulation break downs, exposed wires, rubber grommet failures, etc. Often, shrink tubing will solve the problem temporarily until something better can be done.

12. I use a very good electrical contact cleaner/preservative called De-oxit made by Caig Labs in San Diego Ca. Their website is caig.com - Home of DeoxIT - CAIG Laboratories, Inc. It can be purchased at Radio Shack and any other electronic supply store. I use it on all of my motorcycle’s electrical connectors , in my home entertainment center’s stereo patch cords and cordless phones charging cradles.
 
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