Re-wiring, Part 8 (Testing) – 17 Dec 2015

With all the wiring now connected up I needed to check that it would work although I won’t be able to test the ignition or charging circuits until I can run the engine.

I fitted my trusty 12 year-old (yes, it’s at least 12 years old) Odyssey battery but, before hooking up the -ve terminal, I checked for battery drain with the ignition switch in the “off” position. It was zero, as it should be.

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I switched the ignition on and…

…nothing – zero, zip, zilch, nada.

I got the meter out and found there was power to the ignition switch but nothing came out of it to power the bike’s circuits. I thought the switch must be faulty so took it off, checked it again then dismantled it.

To get the switch out of its mounting 2 small screws have to come out. Then the key has to be turned to “off” and removed. This allows a sprung locating pin to be pushed in and the switch can be released.

On the bottom of the switch are 2 screws holding the electrical parts onto the back of the lock. Once these are out, the connector block and its cover can be removed.

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The other side of the connector block looks like this.

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Behind the main contacts you can see three short brass coloured strips. These are spring loaded and are the actual switches. In this state they all are making contact. i.e all the terminals are connected together.

Still on the body of the lock is this piece which has 3 pins. These push on the spring loaded switches to break contact.

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If you lift this plate off the other side is like this. The pins will easily drop out but I was lucky.

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This is the last bit fitted to the lock body.

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If you look at the cross in the middle you can see that it can only be fitted one way. It has a ramp for each pin to push it up and let it back down according to the position of the key. So far as I could see, there was nothing wrong with any of the parts. However, I noticed that the red “power in” wire was not connected as I would have expected.

I refitted the block with the pins and turned the key to see which pins were down in each position. This would show me which of the little switches should be closed. This is what I discovered.

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Transferring this information to the contact block tells me which of the 3 little switches is for each function. Remembering that this is the contact side of the block.

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All this meant that the brown and red wires were transposed!

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When put together again and retested the error was confirmed. Although sold to me as a V7Sport switch, may be it was really for something else or perhaps the wires were just mis-connected. Either way the problem was easily sorted. I didn’t replace the wiring but sleeved them in the correct colours and changed the wire terminals as the starter one needs to be a piggy-back type.

Once the switch was back in place the correct connections were made. I checked again for current drain at the battery (still zero) then switched the key to “run”. The 3 warning lights came on, as did the bulb I had put across the fuel tap connections. I tried the lights, horn, starter, brake lamp and switches. Everything works as it should.

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I’ll have to leave testing the function of the ignition and charging circuits for now. I’ve checked continuity and don’t expect to have any problems.

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Re-wiring, Part 7 (Finished?) – 17 Dec 2015

All the wiring is now on Rhino. Here’s a run down of the final jobs.

Tail lamp wiring. I think that, originally, the wiring for the stop and tail light might have been a continuation of the main loom and not a separate sub-loom. However, I have incorporated a join under the seat and an earth return wire.

Before I could tackle the wiring the lamp and its mount had to come off the rear mudguard. I decided that the rubber gasket I had fitted might trap the wiring and damage it. A slot was cut to give more space. Before and after photos.

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The original wiring at the tail lamp was in a pretty sorry state. I cut off the original terminals and pushed the wires out of the bulb holder so I could look at remaking them. The bulb contacts are spring loaded.

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The back of the bulb holder is marked;

  • LP – Tail light.
  • LS – Stop light.

I cut the contacts off and carefully drilled out the remains of the wire strands and solder using a 1mm then 1.5mm drill. I then tinned my wires and soldered them inside. This rubbish photo of the tail light contact shows that it wasn’t a very neat job.

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A bit of heat shrink sleeve tidied them up.

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The two contacts were fitted back to the lamp housing and I checked that the springs still allowed the contacts to retract then come out again so the bulb could be fitted. I made up an earth cable with a tag to the lamp mounting bolt and checked continuity. Bullet connectors were fitted to the three wires and the extension cabling was made to connect the light up to the main loom.

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Brake light switches. These are fitted in the brake cables. I had some twin core automotive cable and used this to add the short lengths to link them to the main loom. They were easy to make, just having terminals at each end, but were pigs to fit. I had to take each cable off to do it.

Starter button. This is just another short piece of wiring from the connector block under the tank to the button under the front brake lever. The start button used screw terminals and my old wiring had the ends hardened with a blob of solder. I had to do something similar so crimped on some “bootlace” connectors, shortened them a bit, then filled them with solder. They should be tough but soft enough to be compressed by the terminal screws.

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Coil link cable. This is just a length of wire with a terminal at each end to link the +ve terminals of the ignition coils together.

Contact breaker wiring. I had intended to remake the wire from each coil to its contact breaker. However, I haven’t got all the necessary terminals to hand. The original wires seem very good anyway and I might just leave them alone.

Battery cables. I bought some 16mm² starter cable and terminals to fit. These are two right-angled with an 8mm hole for the starter terminal and earth point, and two straight ones with a 6mm hole to fit on the battery terminals. I don’t own any of the expensive crimping tools designed to fit these heavy duty terminals. However I have an alternative method which works for me.

First I remove enough insulation from the cable to allow it to fit inside the terminal plus about 4mm or so. Then I crimp the terminal on the end by squashing it in the vice with a hard rod beside it to make a decent dent.

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Next I use my butane torch to heat the terminal and fill it with solder. This is why the extra insulation is cut off. If you don’t, you can’t get the solder in and the cable insulation will melt back up the cable anyway.

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I fit heat shrink over the bare cable and the stem of the terminal. Then another layer over that plus a bit of the insulation. It does the job.

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That’s all the wiring I can think of completed apart from the spark plug wires. I need to do some testing next.

Re-wiring, Part 6 (Some fitted to the bike!) – 14 Dec 2015

Yes, some but not all of the wiring has made it on to the bike.

The handlebar switch loom was already in place but not connected up to anything.

The charging loom was fitted next . This connects the alternator, rectifier and voltage regulator together. My only difficulty was getting the cables fitted to regulator and rectifier because my damaged wrist is a hindrance. Here are the cables at the alternator end. You can see that the various connections are labelled.

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You can also see the “spare” grey wire tied up out of the way. This is ready for any future upgrade to the later high output alternator. Here’s the rectifier end of the wiring. Again the grey wire is insulated and tied up out of the way. The empty front connection is for the charge warning light.

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These are the rectifier connections.

Rectifier connections

There’s no photo of the regulator connections as I couldn’t get a shot of them. It’s just a three pin connector which can’t be fitted the wrong way around.

The alternator cover was refitted with the “long grommet” in place to protect the wiring.

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A wire to the under-seat light from the fuse box was fitted. It has a piggy-back connector at the fuse box end. An earth cable was also run from a mounting screw to the earth point I’ve fitted to the plastic inner mudguard.

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Note to self – I need to invest in the necessary fuses!

The main loom was then returned to the bike.

At the front of the frame there are the two wires. The red (looks orange in the photo) is from the “Gen” lamp and goes to that empty front tag on the rectifier. The other is an earth, wire with a ring terminal, from the warning lights and instrument back lights. This goes to the earth point on the rectifier bracket.

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There are a number of earths here.

  • The new earth return circuit.
  • From the warning lights and instrument back lights.
  • From the regulator (brown).
  • One from the switch loom for the headlamp etc.

The wires were plugged into the connector block mounted to the frame. At the same time the yellow wire from the switch loom was plugged in as well. You can also see that the wires from the ignition switch are fitted. The brown and blue ones have piggy-back terminals so that I’ll have somewhere to put the starter button connections when I get that far.

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You can also see the six bullet connectors which join the main loom to the switch sub-loom. There always were a couple but now there are four more for the revised headlamp circuits. There was also a wire to the horns  and one to the low oil pressure switch to connect.

Further back, the start relay and neutral switch wiring was fitted. You can’t see much of the neutral wire. It’s the green one down behind the starter solenoid.

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The headlamp relay connector blocks were fitted to the loom. Wires were added to supply the current to the load side and to earth the switching side of the relays. The power cable was fitted with a piggy-back connector as the main cable from the battery needs to connect to the same fuse box terminal.

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The wires to the warning lamps were fed up through the mounting plate and plugged in.

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The bulb holders for the instruments were wired up and the speedo and tach fitted.

Back to the switch loom to connect up the remaining wires. These were the second connection for the horns and those on the back of the headlamp shell. There are four connection tags here with coloured plastic backing.

  • Red for power to the pilot lamp.
  • Black for power to the headlamp high beam.
  • White is power to the headlamp dip beam.
  • Blue is for earth.

None of these relate to the colours in the bikes’ wiring loom in any way. However, the photo below shows the original wiring on the inside of the headlamp. This does share the same coding.

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That’s all for now. There are still a number of pieces of wiring left to make up and fit.

  • From the main loom to the stop/tail lamp.
  • From the main loom to the front brake light switch.
  • From the main loom to the rear brake light switch.
  • Ignition coil link wires.
  • Wires from the ignition coils to the contact breakers.

Then I need to make up battery cables and spark plug wires.

By the way, those bright yellow cable ties are temporary. I’ve bought some silver/grey ones from the £1 shop!

Re-wiring, Part 5 (The main loom finished) – 13 Dec 2015.

At the end of my last post I had fitted the partially built main loom to the bike to get all the cable lengths right. I had to shorten a few and thankfully none were too short. The loom then went back on the bench ready to fit the rest of the terminals.

Before I did so, I mounted the headlamp relays on the inner mudguard. I’m not too worried about drilling extra holes as I have a brand new spare hidden away.

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When wiring the connector blocks for the relays I noticed that I have two different contact pin arrangements. Both sorts of relay have normally open contacts and the same physical pin layout but internally they are wired differently. I have come across this before. I have called them Type A and B. Contacts “30” and “86” are reversed.

Relay pin layouts

The two headlamp relays are the first “normal” type and the starter relay is the “alternative” type.

I also had a second thought about the bulb holders in the speedometer and rev-counter. I realised that, rather than use earth tags on the back of the instruments I could get push-in bulb holders with two tags. I’ll be using these instead.

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I went ahead and fitted all the terminals. Here is the final main loom. At this point the relay connector blocks aren’t fitted although their latching terminals are.

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The warning light and instrument end.

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Here are the terminals for the connector block under the tank, the two original bullet connectors to the switch loom and the four additional bullet connectors for the new headlamp circuits. The red wire is the charge warning light connector on the rectifier and hidden behind it is an earth terminal. Lastly, there are connections for the extension to the front brake light switch.

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Here the large and small terminal are the +ve connections on the rectifier. The blue is power to ignition the coils. The two wires (black and black/white) are for the electrically operated fuel tap. The last bunch are three wires to the starter relay (more about this later) with the green one to the neutral switch on the gearbox.

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This lot end up under the seat. Besides the wires to the fuse box there are the load and switching wires for the headlamp relays, connections for extensions to the rear brake switch and the tail/brake light. There are also three earth cables connected to one ring terminal.

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I know I’ve gone on about all this at length but I have good reason. This is also my record of what I’ve done and I might need to refer back at some point!

Earth return circuit.

I’ve said previously that I was going to include a separate earth return circuit in my rewire. This is to avoid using any part of the frame as part of the earth circuit and to ensure that continuity is good. It’s not difficult and just entails joining the various earth points together and to the main battery earth.

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These are the front two connections. One is on the earth side of the rectifier board and the other to a bolt on the engine timing cover.

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Next the wire goes down to where the battery earth cable will be then back up again

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to a connection point on the mudguard under the seat.

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This is just a convenient place to run the various earth cables to under the seat. I think it’s where the indicator flasher relay goes if you have one.

3 o’clock in the morning.

I couldn’t sleep and took to thinking. I was a little concerned that my planned layout would mean three connections to one terminal on the fuse box. I don’t mind using one piggy-back connector but two is a bit much. I had to get up and write myself a note. “The start relay can take its power supply from the bottom end of the heavy cable from the battery to the starter. It doesn’t need to come from the un-fused supply side of the fuse box”. This means there will only be two cables at that point – the main supply from the battery and a cable to my headlamp relays.

The following morning the alteration was made. The old red cable was cut and pulled from the loom and a short length with a ring connector made up. Here you can see the relay connector block fitted. The red cable with sleeving and ring connector supplies current from the main battery terminal on the starter to the load side of the relay. The other red cable is the switched load out to the solenoid on top of the starter. The brown wire is the trigger cable from the start button and ignition switch. The black is its earth return. The green is for the neutral switch.

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I’ve done a lot more but this post is long enough already and it’s late.