Do fuses blow for no reason? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Do fuses blow for no reason?

My main fuse just blew and I'm wondering if there's some kinda pain in the ass electrical failure I gotta look for or if the fuse can just blow for reasons related only to the fuse.

I put in a 10A fuse in the main and everything's working again. I only had the one 10A fuse, need to go buy some more fuses. 30A for the main? It had a 20A fuse in there, but I kinda recall seeing 30A was the one needed for the main...
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Also, if it helps... it blew just as I was trying to ride the bike into the driveway. So I wasn't even in gear or moving... I think I was backing it up to line it up to get it in.

I've had a faulty hockey puck that I managed to get working, maybe a weird contact in there made the fuse blow? I already replaced the hockey puck before putting in the new fuse.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I just found something that seems a bit odd... might not have to do with the fuse, but it's still electrical, so I thought not to make a new thread, since it still MIGHT be related to what made the fuse blow.

So my fan is wired so it comes on as soon as the switch is on the "ON" position.

I just noticed that when I put the key to the "P" position, the fan's speed and the headlight's intensity go up, compared to the "ON" position... which I'm guessing means they're getting more juice. Bike is not running in "ON" position and obviously not in "P" either, when making these comparisons.

So what is the difference between "ON" and "P" that could make such a difference in voltage getting to the headlight and fan? What is bypassed in the "P" position?

Does it look like there's some sort of short when it's on the "ON" position or some kind of voltage loss/drain that shouldn't be there? or maybe it's normal?

Last edited by Ceal; 10-14-2011 at 03:03 PM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 03:05 PM
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Yes, main fuse is a 30 Amp. Fuses never get weak with age, they just perform their job as required. Your original 20 Amp fuse was probably working at its peak, but then possibly received a surge... possibly from the Ignition Hockey puck. Replacement with proper 30 Amp & expect no repeated problems.
.....The other day my bike cut out cruising up the road @ about 70 mph. Tach showed dead. I immediately grabbed the ignition key and .... Varooooom ! ...continued up the road. Problem has not repeated itself since. How did u resolve your ignition hockey puck issue ?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I have now replaced the hockey puck, but I got by on the same one for about a year by taking it off, taking it apart and cleaning the contacts inside, as well as stretching out the little springs in there to get them to push the contacts up into place nice and snug.

The main problem with mine after I took it apart and cleaned it was that I broke the plastic housing (when I removed a 2nd time for something that wasn't even related to it) and then it wouldn't work the same cause it wouldn't close right. If you can take it apart and clean it and expand the little springs a little and put it back together without breaking it, it should be fine.

The wires themselves could also be a problem... they are soldered onto the contacts on the hockey puck's plastic base and sometimes they need to be re-soldered. Also, if you open it, be careful cause there's 3 metal contacts, 3 small metal springs and a small ball bearing in there that will go flying off if you're not careful when you open it (yea, it happened to me lol).
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceal View Post

So what is the difference between "ON" and "P" that could make such a difference in voltage getting to the headlight and fan? What is bypassed in the "P" position?

Does it look like there's some sort of short when it's on the "ON" position or some kind of voltage loss/drain that shouldn't be there? or maybe it's normal?
Park - should only let the rear tail light and the front running light go on.

On - should light those and your instrument lights.

Your headlight should only go on after you start the bike, and I am not sure why your fan is wired that way... Can't be helping.

Yeah. Get a 30 amp fuse.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Park - should only let the rear tail light and the front running light go on.

On - should light those and your instrument lights.

Your headlight should only go on after you start the bike, and I am not sure why your fan is wired that way... Can't be helping.

Yeah. Get a 30 amp fuse.
Fan is wired that way cuz I just like it lol... I was running it without a thermostat and the fan on all the time and it was running up to that second white line in the temp gauge. Which seemed fine to me.

Now I have a thermostat in there and it goes up to the middle of the gauge and a bit above it if it's hot outside.

The thing is, that in both "ON" and "P", the fan is on, so that's not making a difference. It just made me notice the difference in voltage cause the fan spun faster on "P".

I dunno why the headlight comes on with the switch without turning on the engine... it's done that since I bought it and continues to do it after I changed out the whole wiring harness... so I dunno.

But like the fan, the headlight is turning on at the same time on both "ON" and "P", so that can't be the reason that there's a difference between those positions (right?).

Well, I took the bike to the parts store with the 10A main fuse... it got me there and as soon as I tried to leave, it blew lol. Which is not surprising lol. I put in the 30A fuse, went to pick up my payment at the school, came back home and the fuse didn't go out yet... hope it just stays that way. I did get spares though, I had no spares left
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 07:24 PM
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I had a similar experience with my bike. It would blow the main fuse at times when I was just trying to center it in my garage or making a "K" turn. This seemed to always happen when the I was moving the bike but not under mechanical power (but engine on). The 30 amp fuse would blow. Happened in a parking lot one day and had to have it towed to the dealer as I was too new to find the problem myself. Dealer charged me some good bucks to "fix" it plus the tow and it did the same thing as I pulled into my garage after riding home from the dealer in a torrential rain storm that night.

I tore the side covers off and the neck covers plus opened the headlight bucket to examine the wiring. Inside one of the bundled wire groups I found a small rip in some insulation that was getting pinched on the tab that prevents the bars from rotating too far to either side. It took some time to locate as it was buried within the wire cluster but with some determination I managed. Repaired that and never had a problem again. I learned that some dealership mechanics are as ignorant as I was and also learned to carry extra fuses in my tool kit at all times. I dealt with the dealer a week or two later regarding the lost riding time and expense that gave me nothing. He did not initially see things my way during several respectful discussions at his office and then he showed up at a group ride trying to drum up more business for his shop and I shared my experience with the group. During our previous discussions he refused to see my side nor did he want to discuss a compromise on the bill. He was determined that his shop deserved the full payment even though they never fixed anything and had lied that a short was corrected. Things are now worked out between us although he has since stayed away from the group rides from my observation or maybe just stayed away from me.

If a fuse is popping there has to be a cause. Sometimes the only way to find and fix it is to go one small step (wire by wire) at a time. Check all possible pinch and contact points. In the mean time carry lots of spare fuses.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Vulcan2000! I was thinking it might be something like that, since I was doing something similar both times they blew... although the 10A can't really count much lol... it was bound to blow sometime.

I'll try and check the wires this weekend.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 04:12 AM
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First of all, yes, fuses can wear out. Especially on something with vibration. They eventually fail, just like light bulbs. But not nearly as often. Nothing is perfect, and occasionally fuses may have a bit more current drawn through them than they are designed for, but not enough to blow them. But it can weaken them. Over time, they get weaker and weaker, their resistance goes up, and finally they blow. Depending on the metal used, it can develop higher resistance over time just by having current going through it. Even wire tends to become brittle over many years, though it is so many years it easily outlasts the bike. Circuit breakers eventually fail for the same reason, but usually last a lot longer than fuses. However, if a fuse is constantly blowing, you have excessive resistance somewhere in the circuit.


I live in the hottest place on earth, and the Vulcan's cooling system is marginal here. I have rejetted a couple of my air cooled bikes to help compensate. You need the thermostat in place, it not only functions as a thermostat, bur also as a metering device of sorts, restricting the coolant flow enough for the water pump to keep it moving. In other words, it serves as a volume regulator. You need the obstruction in the cooling system to keep things working properly. It will work even if stuck open, but it won't warm up as fast. It will quickly overheat if it sticks closed, as in the needle reaching red zone minutes after starting.

I have tried hardwiring the fan on a couple of liquid cooled bikes, so the fan would never shut off. It made no difference. The fans were running pretty much 90% of the time anyway. IMO, the best thing you can do with the Vulcan's cooling system, assuming it is not plugged up, and there is nothing mechanically wrong with it, is use the thermostat, and either premixed ETHLYNE GLYCOL coolant, or 50/50 ethylene glycol and distilled water. Make sure it is silicate free, or it will damage the water pump mechanical seal. I tried some stuff called Engine Ice, and quickly went back to ethylene Glycol. It ran just as hot with this stuff, but took longer to warm up to began with, and cooled off faster, which meant it took longer to warm the bike up initially, letting it idle unnecessarily, and even required allowing it to warm up again after only being parked a short time. I will not ride my bike until the needle on the temperature gauge reaches the second mark from the left. I would like to have an oil temperature gauge, as they are a more accurate indicator of actual engine temperature where it counts.

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