How to track down a short? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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How to track down a short?

Last year, I had a situation where I was riding my bike and all of a sudden lost power. Bike died, and no electrical power. Tried recharging the battery, but it wouldn't take a charge. Bought a new one, charged it up, installed it, and everything seemed fine.

Bike sat for about a month, not hooked up to a battery tender (I've left it for much longer than that in the past and not had a problem). Went to turn on the bike: no power. Hooked it up to my battery tender. The next day, still wasn't charged. Checked the battery: 3 volts. Took it to Autozone, they said the battery wouldn't take a charge again.

I've now got another battery, but I don't want to hook it up until I can figure out what's going on. It seems to me that I have a short somewhere that is draining the batteries. So how would I go about tracking it down, short of testing every single wire and connection on the bike? Or is that the way I have to do it? I simply still don't know enough to know how to proceed.

'95 Vulcan 750 - Purchased 8/2003 w/ 21,124 miles - passed 50K 9/3/15
* VN900 seat * Daytona handlebar * Converted ACCTs to MCCTs * Relocated R/R * Drilled clutch basket * Coastered * Repainted *
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-06-2017, 11:20 AM
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Use a test light or meter between the battery positive post and the positive battery cable, with cable loose. If there's a current draw with the key off, start removing fuses until the draw stops. The fuse that kills the draw is on the circuit causing the problem. That would at least narrow the search. Always a possibility the draw will not be affected by fuses, but this a place to start.

Lacking a test light or meter, you can touch the loose battery cable to the battery and watch for a tiny spark. Beware if there's any out-gassing if the battery has just been removed from a charger. The gas is explosive, if you smell rotten eggs near the battery, that's explosive hydrogen sulfide gas.

edit - Try unplugging the R/R first and see if that kills the draw. That's the most common place on this bike for a current draw problem.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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This is frustrating.

I pulled the fuses, and was still getting a draw, until I pulled the main fuse. Damn. Then I pulled the R/R, and that also killed the draw. Double damn, cuz I just replaced what I thought was a faulty R/R. So that means the R/R I just bought less than a year ago is bad!

Guess I'll be getting yet another one. Lame.

'95 Vulcan 750 - Purchased 8/2003 w/ 21,124 miles - passed 50K 9/3/15
* VN900 seat * Daytona handlebar * Converted ACCTs to MCCTs * Relocated R/R * Drilled clutch basket * Coastered * Repainted *
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 06:59 PM
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check the connector on the r and r

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I will.

Doesn't dielectric grease conduct? Cuz I smeared it all over the connectors, and am wondering if I created a short that way by using too much.

'95 Vulcan 750 - Purchased 8/2003 w/ 21,124 miles - passed 50K 9/3/15
* VN900 seat * Daytona handlebar * Converted ACCTs to MCCTs * Relocated R/R * Drilled clutch basket * Coastered * Repainted *
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 08:28 PM
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Nope, that's the beauty (and point, really) of dielectric grease, it doesn't conduct but seals out moisture nicely.

Did you replace with a stock R/R or are you a MosFet/Series convert?
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Stock one off eBay. Didn't want to have to do a bunch of rewiring.

'95 Vulcan 750 - Purchased 8/2003 w/ 21,124 miles - passed 50K 9/3/15
* VN900 seat * Daytona handlebar * Converted ACCTs to MCCTs * Relocated R/R * Drilled clutch basket * Coastered * Repainted *
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 09:44 PM
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could be bad r&r if you bought a used one.was asking about the connector cause that's a common issue on these bikes

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Support your local FREEBIRDS MC
1986/5 Vn700/750 Frankenfook cross eyed bitch "Mellisa Fayhe"
I am a BIKER and i'm proud.FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY

lowered with progessive 412 10" shocks
rejetted for K/N Pods part#rc 2340
sportster seat

'I didn't lose my mind.i gave it away

BRING BACK WOLFIE."Peace and Carrots"RIP
"And I'm free...as a bird"John Lennon Free as a Bird
"I only carry when I have my pants on"Joe Robinson RIP aka Old Dog
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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No, it was supposedly new.

What's the issue with the connector? What can be done to fix it?

'95 Vulcan 750 - Purchased 8/2003 w/ 21,124 miles - passed 50K 9/3/15
* VN900 seat * Daytona handlebar * Converted ACCTs to MCCTs * Relocated R/R * Drilled clutch basket * Coastered * Repainted *
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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And can someone remind me of how to test the R/R to make sure it's working right? slimvulcanrider used to have a thread with changing system test info, but he seems to have erased the first post for some reason. Had all the multimeter tests and expected numbers.

'95 Vulcan 750 - Purchased 8/2003 w/ 21,124 miles - passed 50K 9/3/15
* VN900 seat * Daytona handlebar * Converted ACCTs to MCCTs * Relocated R/R * Drilled clutch basket * Coastered * Repainted *
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