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Night Trains Tech Tip of the week

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Night Train, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Night Train

    Night Train Member

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    If you could have a replacement electrical system for your 2004 and newer big dogs what would it be worth to you installed (standard wiring, Carb, travel/shipping not included)? What would a replacement EFI EHC system be worth to ya. Would you like to see a plug and play security system, lighting, accessory ports, switched power?

    What other type of items would you like to see in an electrical system or what would you like to see that you can add to a factory BDM electrical system (plug & Play)?

    Trying to gauge the market before I jump in with both feet. I have a unique history with Big Dog Motorcycle electrical systems so I figured I should put my knowledge to use paying some bills and getting some of you guys back on the road. (at the very least get some new tools for my garage)

    Thought I would start a new weekly thread (except those weeks I forget it will be "Night Trains Tip of whenever the heck I get around to it":rolleyes:

    These tips will often times be easy and I may get a lot of "Not Shit" replies but I figure I'm bound to teach somebody something from time to time.

    This may sound like common sense but when a guy is frustrated and just wants his bike to work he sometimes misses the forest thru the trees.

    When ever I am troubleshooting a Big dog, Harley, Windrower or just anything with an electrical system problem I always like to start on the outside and work my way back in. What is easier for you to understand a simple push button switch or an EHC. Rule out the simple things and the things you understand then work your way into the complex item. Sometimes people are too quick to zero in on a control module then they become overwhelmed quickly and forget how the module functions. A push button is simple to connect an ohm meter or continuity meter to see if it works when you push the button. OK, now lets check the connector put the ohm meter on the connector and make sure it you are still getting continuity, Ok that works, lets check the connector at the EHC, that works. OK now it looks like everything works to the EHC from that side, lets check the output from the starter back in. You rule out the inputs and outputs then you can start to concentrate on the more complex modules.

    I know, I know...no shit.

    Tip of the week #2.
    Some of you may have seen my tip of the week in regards to trouble shooting. The board has spoke and it looks like I put the cart before the horse. I gave you a generic tip on troubleshooting electrical systems and had quite a few of you asking for a simple Multimeter how to.

    These tips are to help you out but you need to know when to say when :bang: , a few words on a message board can never replace a good tech to bail you out before you get into trouble. This is true for your dogs or your late model cars, you can cause a lot of damage if not careful. Most dealer techs do not like customers looking over their shoulder but if you have a knowledgeable buddy buy him some beer and let him teach you. If I am working on a guys bike I love to teach him as I go if he is willing to learn. Usually I end up getting too detailed and I start to see their eyes roll back int their head.

    I'm probably going to get long winded here but want to give you some back ground as well as how to use the equipment.

    Electronics in today's transportation vehicles offer advantages and disadvantage over the systems of yester-year. Everyone has their opinions as to this being a good or bad thing; I think it falls some where in the middle. But we are not here to debate that. Most electronics today use solid state transistors to directly drive loads or to switch relays. Output protection has come a long way but there are still some devices out there that could be severely damaged if the right tools are not used. A prime example is the old reliable test light. You know the one you hook to ground and then probe around till the light comes on to tell you there is voltage on that pin. I have one of these lights…I turned it into a garage dart and suggest you do the same. The bulbs in these test lights will draw more current than the output circuit may have been designed to handle, if the circuit output is not protected the light may actually damage the circuit.

    So what is the right tool to use? A trusty digital multimeter (DMM) is all I use. I use a meter in my everyday job so I purchased a fluke, the big dog of the DMM world. They make a very nice, very accurate meter but you do not need one of these. I carry a $4.00 Harbor Freight meter on my bike and it does everything I need it to do for basic trouble shooting. They are not as accurate as more expensive meters but in trouble shooting the dogs you do not need a lot of accuracy. If you fell in love with your trusty probe test light they do make test lights now that have an LED instead of an incandescent bulb, they usually say "computer safe" or something like that on the package. This can be used and will not damage your modules; they are more expensive than a cheap multimeter and can't tell you near as much. You can make an LED test probe with about $5.00 in parts from radio hack, PM me if you want to know how.

    OK this is the point I am supposed to make you a master at using a DMM. I had about a page and a half written on the subject and then realized I need to harness the technology of the internet. Instead of writing out the basic use of a DMM I figured I’d point you to a few sights that you can watch videos. You can also just google “How to use a multimeter” and you’ll get a lot of hits. Different meters function differently so I can not stress enough that a beginner should read the manual that came with their meter. You are doing research so we will not take away your man card for reading instruction. There is a geek website called How To Videos on Wonder How To - Video Tutorials, DIY Lessons & Tips that has a lot of information. Don’t reply back and call me a geek, I just found it during my google search (it’s got some cool information up there so I’ll probably go back…OK call me a geek). Copy this link into your search engine. use a multimeter - How To Videos | Wonder How To You can also go to you tube and search for videos. Here is one with some pics of a meter: using a multimeter

    These sites will give you the basics; let me cover some of the more important points. You’ll probably understand the rest of these better AFTER you learn about the multimeter. Nicer meters have an auto-range function others you have to manually move the dial to a range. An easy way to tell at a glance which you have is by looking at the scale around the dial. If you see a bunch of symbols/letters and not a lot of numbers it is probably auto range. If you have a bunch of numbers on the dial it is probably manual range. To use a manual range you can usually start at the highest setting and move the dial down to get the resolution you need. Again, read the manual is the best thing you can do.

    Units: Voltage (Volts), current (Amps), Resistance (Ohms). You can google the definitions, a water analogy usually works pretty well in explaining electricity. Here are a link that explain in terms of water: Water Flow Analog of Electrical Current

    Electric circuits analogy to water pipes - Scientific, embedded, biomedical, electronics contents.

    You may see something that says mV (Milli) or mA. 5mV is equal to .005 Volts, 5mA is equal to .005Amps, basically you move the decimal point 3 spaces to the left. Resistance may be listed as Kohms (Kilo), or Mohms (Mega) 5Kohms is equal to 5000ohms, 5Mohms is equal to 5000000ohms. Move 3 space to the right for Kilo, 6 spaces to the right for Mega.

    Voltage and resistance is measured across a component, otherwise called in parallel. When you measure the voltage across a battery you are measuring in parallel. If you measure resistance from one end of a wire to another you are measuring the resistance in parallel. Current on the other hand is measured in series. You have to break the circuit and place the meter in-line with the circuit to measure Amps. This should be clear from tutorials, if it is not find another tutorial until they show you how to measure voltage, resistance and current. If you did not take my earlier advice and read the manual that came with your meter you should at least read the part about how to measure current with your meter. Some meters use the same plug ports to measure voltage, resistance/continuity and current but most have one set of ports for voltage and resistance/continuity and another port for hi current measurement and another for low current measurement. Make sure you know what the current rating is for your meter and which port is hi current and which is low. If your meter has a hi current port and a low current port always start on the hi current port and once you verify the current is low enough for the lo setting you can move to the low current port. If you start out on the low and the current is too high you will damage your meter or blow a fuse.

    When measuring resistance you need to make sure all power is turned off to the circuit that you are measuring. If there is voltage present when you are trying to measure resistance you will damage your meter or get a reading that is not accurate. In most cases when you measure resistance you would remove the component from the circuit to measure resistance. If you kept it in the circuit you may get a false reading if there is another resistance path from one side of component to another.

    Try to do all your voltage measurements, then any resistance measurements then your current measurements (order does not matter). If you go back and fourth between current and voltage measurements it may be easy to leave the probes plugged in the wrong ports and could damage the meter or if it is high voltage you will arc weld (I did that early in my electrical life, I haven’t done it again).

    Continuity. The tutorials may have touched on continuity but I’ll explain it briefly. Continuity is essentially measuring resistance and if the resistance is less than the preset limit on the meter, an audible alarm will sound. It may be possible for you to have continuity across a circuit however if you have a bad connection point that causes a higher resistance the meter will not beep. The bad connection point actually acts like a resistor and you drop voltage to your circuit. Measure continuity the same way you measure voltage.

    Accessories for your meter. Your basic meter comes with a set of probes. I would recommend you go to Sears, Grainger or some place like that and get you some accessories. I couldn’t live with out some type of alligator clip attachment. They are good for clamping onto a ground and using the other probe to check voltage. Pierce probe. This is a probe that has a needle point to pierce the wire insulation and not damage the wire. There are several types. I use a set that clips over the wire and then you screw down the clamp to pierce the wire. I also have a set that is just a very thin, long probe with a needle point. It is good for piercing wire as well as getting into tight spots, like the end of a connector to tough a pin without touching the pins around it.

    Please look at some of the links, make sure you understand your meter and what you are measuring with it. If you are have questions about this subject post them and I and others will answer them. In future tips I will get into putting what you learned into practice on your dogs. Testing hand controls, voltage regulators, inputs/outputs ect. Start posting specific items you want learn about and I’ll try to accommodate them.
    So until next time…

    Tip of the Week #3
    This week...The "Shade Tree" Mechanic Tips and Tricks


    1. When routing wires be sure to avoid any sharp edges. A sharp edge, even plastic, may wear away the wire insulation over time and can cause a short or intermittent electrical problem. This was probably the number one issue I saw on 2004-2006 models. Don't forget about the holes entering and exiting the frame...they can be sharp.

    2. Avoid connecting and disconnecting electronic components when power is being supplied to them, damage to the component could result. Disconnect battery when servicing the EHC, ignition switch or power and back bone harnesses. I gotta admit even though I know better I try to take the gamble to save time, 99% of time you may be OK, it is the 1% that costs you money. It is a bad habit to get into so try to break yourself of it now.

    3. Wires exiting a sealed connector should have a distance of at least as tall as the connector before they are bent. Otherwise stress may be put on the wires and/or seals and defeat the seal.

    4. When replacing the right hand PCB/hand control tape the cable hole before the throttle ferrule is removed so it does not fall off and go into the handlebars. I've lost more than one ferrule down a handlebar. If you are only troubleshooting or replacing the PCB on either side tape the hand control to the bars and remove the screws holding the controls together, if you don't have an extra set of hands this helps hold the control for you. To replace the right PCB you will need to remove the tape to get to the brake sensor but if you can remove the screws that hold the PCB first then you only have to worry about one thing falling onto your paint.

    5. Do not over tighten the front brake sensor set screw or it will ruin the unit. Turn the set screw until it makes contact then add another 20-30 degrees. This is especially true if you have the older PCB that has a plastic sensor instead of the newer aluminum one.

    6. Do not over tighten the EHC mounting nuts. Max torque is 15 in-Ibs. Do not over tighten the EHC connector screws. Tighten until they seat and then another 1/8 of a turn.

    7. If the bike will sit for more than 30 days disconnect the negative cable or place on a battery tender. (Just place on a battery tender and forget about it). Always clean the battery before long storage. Periodically check the torque of the terminal bolts. Make this is as regular as checking the air in the tires. It is easy to do and may save you some trouble.

    8. Always check the under tank connectors (especially 2004-2006) when ever the tank is off. Check for damage to wires and connectors.

    9. Compression reliefs only stay active for ~1second after the starter has been engaged. If your bike does not start right up you may release the starter and try again. This helps the battery recover a bit as well.

    10. 2004 models: The 2004 EHC has a seal in the bottom of the connector (EHC side). I found this seal does not allow the connector to fully seat. If you are having intermittent issues or moisture issues you should carefully remove this seal (use a small pick to get one side going then slowly pull straight out). Check pins to assure they are not bent, fill cavity about 1/2 way with quality dielectric grease and then push connector down till all four locks have seated.

    Sorry, I kinda phoned this one in this week, snow messed my up. Next week I'll cover troubleshooting the charging system.

    Till then.

    Sorry I missed last week guys, I'll try to double up this week.

    Tip of the Week #4

    Here is an easy way to test the Voltage regulator on a 2005-2009 if you suspect it is bad. For this test the wire to the battery will be called B+, the two pins out of the stator plug will be called Pin 1 & Pin 2, case will be ground.

    1. Disconnect the ground cable from the battery.

    2. remove the B+ wire from the circuit breaker.

    3. Attach an ohm meter between B+ and ground (by the way the case is clear anodized therefore when measuring ground you need to measure it at the bolts). The resistance should be over 2meg Ohms, or an open circuit depending on your meter.

    4. Measure resistance between B+ and Pin 1 or B+ and Pin 2. There should be great than 1megohm, or an open circuit depending on your meter.

    5. Measure resistance between Pin 1 and Pin 2. There should be more than 1megohm.

    6. Measure resistance between Pin 1 and ground and then Pin 2 and ground. should be greater than 1megohm.

    If any of these values are less than specified you have a bad voltage regulator. This is a good test to confirm that it is bad however there has been one time that I did this test, everything measured fine but the VR was still bad. So what this means is if you are less than specified resistance you definitely have a bad VR. If you are not less you may still have a bad VR but should double check the rest of the system before you spend money for a new VR.

    This is to make of for missing last week, it goes along with Tip #4 cont.

    Testing the Stator.

    Let me preface this be saying you need to be extremely careful when performing the AC voltage check. It should not kill you but it is sure to scare the shit out of you of you let the probes touch each other or ground and will probably damage your meter and probes. Perform this test before the beer.

    To test the stator start with a resistance test.

    1. Remove the VR plug from the stator.

    2. Measure the resistance across both pins of the stator plug. The resistance should be 0.5ohms or less, usually it is zero on most meters. Do not forget to subtract the resistance of your meter leads. If it is an open circuit the stator windings are damaged and the stator needs to be replaced.

    3. Measure resistance from Pin 1 (either Pin) to ground and then from Pin 2 to ground. It should be an open circuit in both cases. If it is not then that means the windings are shorted to ground and the stator is bad, the plug may be damage or the rotor has interfered with the wires. Remove outer primary and rotor to inspect stator.

    4. If stator passes resistance check you can check the output voltage. Again BE CAREFUL!!:angry: remove the vR/Stator plug. Start the bike, measure AC voltage across the to stator pins. At idle you will have around 15-20VAC, the voltage will increase as the RPM is increased. The voltage can go up to about 60VAC or more at high RPM. Have a buddy help you run the throttle, keep you eyes on the probes and do not let them touch each other or ground. If you see voltage as indicated below the stator is functioning.

    Don't forget to plug your VR back into the stator plug when your testing is done. I can admit it, I made that jr mistake and was left stranded on a prototype fuel injected bike :confused:
     
    #1 Night Train, Feb 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2009
  2. Nomad2day

    Nomad2day Longhair Redneck Geek

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    If I would take a guess here there is already options on the table so I figure you would have to ante up on what you can do....

    I think most want to eliminate the EHC and would like to convert to a current system and eliminate the proprietary controls.

    If one wants to retain the existing BDM controls only a wire plus module is needed to eliminate the EHC.

    If a Fuel injection system is warranted a Thundermax Wide Band Auto Tune system is pretty much a plug and play for the EFI bikes so you can ditch the single band locked EFI modules and bolt on any mods and the bike will learn on it's own...
    Neil
     
  3. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    In case you haven't searched the forum...

    If you can come up with a more reliable and better priced idea than this, I'd love to see it!! :2thumbs:

    This is going to be very hard to beat for the money without changing hand controls.

    http://www.bigdogbiker.com/forums/how/7946-how-wire-plus-hand-control-module-ehc-removal.html
     
  4. Night Train

    Night Train Member

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    Here is what I am looking at. I am wanting to provide a service to all areas of power sports with a focus on 2004 and newer Big Dogs. I am not looking at reinventing the wheel. I am still putting the numbers together but what I am visioning right now is a replacement electrical system that would be about $200 less than the total installed cost of the Wire Plus system and offer some additional funtionality and add on options down the road (security systems, RF Proximity security, other accessories). This is $200 less than the shop installed cost, not the guy that can do it at home. I would also provide custom wiring for any motorcycle regarless of how complex or simple they would like to make it. If someone want to puchase a WP system and needs it installed I would provide that service. If someone had a bobber project that wanted a few simple wires that could be done. For instance I just wired a 2006 K9 with a 47 knucklehead engine and BDM controls, it wasn't a simple follow the instructions install, I had to custom wire this bike and added a neutral starter kill for him as well.

    I am looking at providing more of a service than a product, I wasn't real clear in my original post, sorry about that. I think the Wire Plus system is a good product, the only reason I would even suggest the other option I have is that I could install it much cheaper than the Wire Plus, I could not provide the components much cheaper so I am not planning to unless I can get a lot of volume and can get the pice down.

    Some other services I was thinking about is for someone that does not want to change out the EHC or does not want to affect warranty and wants to water proof the system or add accessories.

    This entire idea is a work in progress stemming from a lot of work I have been doing on the side lately. Ridgeback, I would not see myself as competing with you on products, infact I think we may be able to work together on a few projects as the need arises. Are there electrical products people have been asking you for that you can't find a source for, maybe we can team up on some of these things.
     
  5. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    I can buy a BDM harness off Ebay for $35, pre-wire the WP-374 module to it for customers for $200, plus the module @ $475 and $20 shipping. This harness would plug in under the tank so the hand controls don't need rewiring.

    So about $700 and it is plug and play with all the stock controls and stock wiring harness.

    What would you be using as a controller to keep the 2004-2009 hand controls and integrating the EFI & Air ride on the bikes as well?

    Also, are you talking of a person shipping the entire bike to you to have this done or just pre wiring it so that they have to completely rewire the bike?

    Just wondering and curious.
     
  6. TCALZ06

    TCALZ06 Well-Known Member

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  7. chacha

    chacha Chaff Your EHC!!
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    Sounds like an interesting approach Night Train.

    I've taken a different tack -- I just don't trust the entire BDM electrical system on my 04 (which is torn down for paint. I've gutted the entire system ( hand controls, signals, harness, EHC) an am building it up from scratch with an HD harness and hand controls.

    Not the cheapest aproach, but I don't like the bike dying for an electrical problem in the middle of no where -- happened too may times for my likeing and with the bike down for paint, now is the perfect time to excise this electrical demon for good.
     
  8. Night Train

    Night Train Member

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    Buying things off Ebay could turn into a supply issue eventually, I could supply you with connectors and terminals that would meet your needs.

    I would use a thunder heart module as the main controller with some little add-on's of my own. They could keep their BDM hand controls or any other type they would want. If they had air ride I could integrate that into the controls as well or if they do not have air ride they can trigger other things...like nitro :eek:

    They would need to get me a bike or pay for me to travel which depending on their location would price it out of what makes sense but as I said I am wanting to provide more of a service than a product, I think you have the product covered very well from your side already, no use reinventing the wheel. While they are up here with their bike they can visit the factory and get a tour. I live about 20 miles south of BDM HQ. If someone was really interested I guess I could ship them the parts and walk them thru an install but the clientele I am looking for are the ones that just don't want to mess with it. The system I am offering would be custom built for their product and functionality.
     
  9. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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  10. bdmridgeback

    bdmridgeback Low Down Chop Shop

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    Just remember, running 12 volts, and any amprage at all through those hand control pads will make them fail very quickly.

    They were made only to transmit ground pulses to the computer (EHC). With the Wire-Plus module they still do just that but they are controlling relay driven functions now without amprage.
     
  11. Night Train

    Night Train Member

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    The 4250 module does run load thru the hand controls, that is not the one I would use unless I am working on a 2003 or older.

    The big dog hand controls are rated at about 250mA, they are for switching a logic level. I have already wired a Big Dog (with big dog controls) up with the TH module and it works great. I was the electrical engineer at BDM before the layoffs and understand how the system works.
     
    #11 Night Train, Mar 2, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  12. BorgerBigDog

    BorgerBigDog BORN TEXAN

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    I shock myself when i flip the lightswitch.:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: I would be like anyone who knows nothing about the electrical system. I would need #1. Reliable #2. Ease of install #3. Price. and someone to answer questions no matter how dumb they sound.:2thumbs: :2thumbs: :2thumbs:
     
  13. Night Train

    Night Train Member

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    I am wanting to provide a service where i do the install and can assure everything is wired correctly. I do not mean to sound arrogant 98% of the people out there may be able to wire a system just fine, especially if I give them a good option for a plug-play system however based on what I have seen come back to the factory for repair there are some people out there that have no right doing anything but putting gas in the bike and riding it. They should stay away from all other things mechanical and electrical. All it takes is one person wiring it incorrectly to give my system a bad name. If I get a good enough name on the board and industry maybe I'll branch out provide a cookie cutter product, until then I want to offer custom systems and solutions to wire in accessories.

    My wife is also my secret weapon. With three kids and a big goof like me in the house she is an expert at answering dumb questions :D
     
  14. Little-Boo

    Little-Boo Well-Known Member
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    :eek: :eek: WOW you were the Electrical Engineer at BDM, then you must have something to do with the EHC on this bikes. Tell why so many problems with the ECH and VR and Speedo and just plain electrical issues with this bikes. I don't mean to bust your chops, but why would I want to have you work on my ride if you had something to do with the faulty electrical systems on this bikes to start with.:loony: I recently change over to the Wire Plus module and have not had an electrical problem since the change over. All I did was order the module Kit and followed Jakes Instructions to the T. Thanks Jake I think you solved my BD electrical problem.

    Carlos :2thumbs:
     
  15. Night Train

    Night Train Member

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    Mike
    I was not part of the 2003-2006 EHCs. I was part of band aiding the 2007 and newer electrical system that went from a 26% failure rate to a 1.5% failure rate. I worked with what I had for the three years I was there and was in the process of designing an entirely new system when the market for the bikes fell out and nearly all of the engineers were laid off. I completely understand the concerns with the 2006 and earlier bikes, ask anyone with a 2007 or later how the reliability compares to the older bikes. Yes you will find some issues on the newer bikes as well but it is more on par with the issues you would find on pretty much anything built in volume with an electrical system. We had to look at the development time of a new electrical system compared to improving the one that was already out there. A new electrical system would have taken a longer time to implement and would leave all 2005 & 2006 owners with very view options to improve their systems. Not to mention a new education program to teach the techs how to work on them. One of the things that added to EHC replacement costs was BDM had one ehc in 2003, another in 2004 and another in 2005. It was not surprise there were issues, there was not consistency.

    Don't worry about busting my chops, I figured it had to come up sooner or later. The advantage I have now is I can do things the way I want to do them. I pride myself on workmanship and reputation and will not let a bike out of my garage if I did not think it was reliable.
     
    #15 Night Train, Mar 7, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  16. Little-Boo

    Little-Boo Well-Known Member
    Troop Supporter Supporting Member

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    Thanks for your explanation on the BDM electrial issues. My bad, I thought you were the one who had designed the EHC for BDM. I am sure you are very competent at what you do or you wouldn't be offering your services. Hopefully some of those who are still having issues will turn to you for help. :2thumbs:

    Carlos :cheers:
     
  17. Night Train

    Night Train Member

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    No worries. There is bound to be skepticism out there about me, I would have it also if I was in your position. All I can do is post some solutions when you guys have electrical issues and gain your confidence. I have first hand experience with the big dogs and understand what thing electrical historically caused problems and what things mechanical helped give the electrical system a bad name.

    I am not looking at becoming a millionare by wiring bikes on the side. Motorcycles are a passion for me. I work in the agriculture industry now and miss the motorcycles, this is a way for me to keep my foot in the motorcycle industry and maybe talk the wife into letting me buy a few more shop tools. By the way I also do wiring on classic and race cars. One of these days I'll have the time and energy to start restoring my road runner.
     
  18. mimbler

    mimbler Member

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    Night Train, I have a 2002 prosport with the Thunderheart ehc. I've had no problems with it - in your experience are they pretty reliable?
    thanks, Mike
     
  19. Night Train

    Night Train Member

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    I didn't see too many issues with the 2002 models, most of those were out of warranty by the time I started so not many came back to the factory for repair or needed field updates. If you haven't hand any problems with it to date I wouldn't mess with it.

    As for the 2004. I changed EHC manufacturers as one of my improvement measures. The 2003-2006 (most of 2006) manufacturer had an excellent engineering team however I questioned some of the manufacturing processes, especially ESD. If a part was "zapped" with ESD it may fail the part instantly or damage it where it would work but have a high infant mortality rate. I usually like to tell people if it is not broke don't fix it. The reliability of all the early EHCs increased exponentially if the ehc had over 5000 miles on it. Most of the failures I saw were on EHCs with 3000miles or less on them.

    Some things you can double check though is routing of wires around sharp edges. Some of the early 2006 and earlier bikes were bad about routing around sharp edges with no protection, especially around the battery tray area of the 2005 and 2006 models. The connectors under the tank of 2004-some 2006 bikes had a tendency to get smashed if not routed or placed correctly. The new hand controls PC Boards are more reliable, if you have a 2004 style board (no click) then it may not be a bad investment to upgrade. If you have a 2005 or newer bike you can tell the new boards apart from the old. The new ones have an aluminum encapsulated brake switch sensor instead of black plastic and the clear covering over the dome buttons on the board go to the perimeter of the boards, they keep moisture out better. I also update the button rubber and mounting screws. The over better feedback when pushing the button and do not tend to preload the dome buttons. 2004 and newer could benefit from an updated ignition switch. Aside from offering more key switch combination's they also offer better protection from intermittent "off" issues. Easy way to tell if you have a new one is to turn the bike on, very slowly turn if off. If the bike powers off before you get past the "OFF" detent you probably have the old style switch. The early tach boards were not coated an prone to moisture issues. BDM has an updated board with a coating on them but you can do almost a good buy purchasing some liquid electrical tape (plastic dip) and coating the exposed contact areas. You can also coat the back of the LED boards to protect from moisture. When routing connectors make sure you do not make to tight of a bend right outside the connector seal. This could cause the wire seals to stretch and let water in. Dielectric grease in the connectors will help as well. The lubricate the pins and help if moisture does find a way in. Use a good dielectric grease, I say a bike come back with what looked to be moly grease in them, this can be conductive.
     
  20. thexaulted

    thexaulted Member

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    Hey Night Train, I got a serious question if you were an electrical engineer at BDM! Hey Dude, I mean serious! I am not trying to be a wise ass, but at 45 years old, having owned many cars, hot rods, motorcycles and a bunch of other shit including old screwed up city houses that were 100+ years old. Never and I mean never have I ever ever had anything this electrically screwed up as my 03 Chopper. Demons! Gremlins! An electrical exorcist should have been done at the factory! I don't want to believe that any company would employ college educated individuals to create electrical Frankenstein monsters!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No offense my friend, now that I got that off of my chest, I just had a WP 147 module for the hand controls installed, single fire dyna ignition and re-wiring for $9 and change!:down:
     

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