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  #1  
Old 8th June 2021
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SaddleBronc SaddleBronc is offline
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Default Battery Fuse Stray Voltage

This all got started by what I believe was a bad TSM. The main symptom was that the Battery Fuse (shown below) kept blowing any time I tried the starter.



So while researching, I found the sticky about IAC Cycling and the bad news about 2007-2009 fuse block corrosion. Just kept getting deeper and deeper. At least I don't have the security option - no key fob or siren so it's just a TSM.

So I've pulled all the fuses and relays, used contact cleaner and a stainless brush on the fuse panels, got new relays (just in case), and cleaned up all the fuses. Yes, there was considerable chalky residue. I will reassemble with dielectric grease.

It all looks good now, but since this all started with the Battery Fuse, I've been sensitive to what that circuit is doing all along. And that brings me to my current question.

I have all fuses & relays removed. TSM removed. ECM unplugged, fuel management module unplugged. Ignition switch off, key removed. However, when I hook up the battery and plug in the Maxi-Fuse, I still get a small current across the terminals of the Battery Fuse. It's not full battery voltage (starts at about 12.4 when battery is at 12.88) and will just barely make a test light glow. With the Maxi-Fuse in and the voltmeter across the Battery Fuse, the voltage drops slowly just from the draw of the meter. If you unplug the Maxi Fuse, it slowly draws down into the single digits, like there's a capacitor draining or similar.

So I have the wiring schematic, and that circuit doesn't show anything else that might be causing this behavior. There's not enough current there to blow the fuse, but it could be an indication of load that is the final straw. It is something that could drain a battery after a while.

Any ideas? I wasn't sure about posting here or in the Electrical section, I'll repost if needed.
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  #2  
Old 9th June 2021
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Here's the Sportsterpedia section on Voltage Draw:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...key_switch_off

If you simply put your meter on DC-AMPS, and use it to jump across the Maxi-Fuse socket (instead of installing the Maxi-Fuse), the meter will now function as the fuse... You should be able to read in AMPs (Milli-Amps Likely) how much current is being drawn by whatever is still connected to the battery...

Then, you can continue to disconnect devices until you see the current change to know what connectors/devices are drawing the current...

Every connection has the potential for corrosion to degrade the voltage across that junction... If there is excessive corrosion it is possible for there to be a short to a near-by ground pin in that connector (it doesn't happen often, but if you ride in wet weather, it is a possibility)...

Keyswitches are also known to sometimes have low grade shorts...

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  #3  
Old 9th June 2021
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Thanks, IXL...I'll read up on it and try your suggestion.
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  #4  
Old 24th July 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
Here's the Sportsterpedia section on Voltage Draw:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...key_switch_off

If you simply put your meter on DC-AMPS, and use it to jump across the Maxi-Fuse socket (instead of installing the Maxi-Fuse), the meter will now function as the fuse... You should be able to read in AMPs (Milli-Amps Likely) how much current is being drawn by whatever is still connected to the battery...
Well, it turns out that my drain is apparently "acceptable". Thank you, IXL for helping me understand more about HD's apparent philosophy around their products...ride less than on a daily basis "at your own risk / peril".

I'll be putting a Battery Tender pigtail in this bike soon so when it sits for a week it won't be a hassle to hook up and remove the charger, and I won't be tempted to jump it and risk more damage.

The good news is that after reading all the stuff about TSM's, relays, battery cables, grounding, corrosion and the like, the starter is spinning like never before, it starts immediately every time, and it's running great. I still have an issue or two, but that's for another thread.
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Old 25th July 2021
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Glad to hear you're making progress - It can be amazing how much corrosion and loose bolts or loose connectors can affect the electrical operation of various parts - especially the starter.

Ride On - The XLForum is here to help with your other problems (with the bike) if you need some assistance.

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  #6  
Old 25th July 2021
Bluto Bluto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
Here's the Sportsterpedia section on Voltage Draw:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...key_switch_off

If you simply put your meter on DC-AMPS, and use it to jump across the Maxi-Fuse socket (instead of installing the Maxi-Fuse), the meter will now function as the fuse... You should be able to read in AMPs (Milli-Amps Likely) how much current is being drawn by whatever is still connected to the battery...

Then, you can continue to disconnect devices until you see the current change to know what connectors/devices are drawing the current...

Every connection has the potential for corrosion to degrade the voltage across that junction... If there is excessive corrosion it is possible for there to be a short to a near-by ground pin in that connector (it doesn't happen often, but if you ride in wet weather, it is a possibility)...

Keyswitches are also known to sometimes have low grade shorts...

IXL _______ >>>> My Motorcycle Chronicles Are Here <<<<
For Sportster Tech Info:
Ride The Sportsterpedia - A Toll-Free XLForum Information Highway!
True on using the ammeter with the fuse pulled to measure and troubleshoot a parasitic current draw...but a word of caution, if it is a heavy draw (like 10 amps or more) that can blow the expensive and hard to find internal fuse in the DMM. If in doubt on the current draw you can use a 12V bulb instead, it will glow brightly if there is a short or low resistance load downstream plus it will limit current i.e. a 12 watt bulb will only conduct about 1 amp max in a 12 volt circuit. The bulb will go out or dim considerably when you find the problem...and should only be used for troubleshooting, not riding ;-) Anyway this method can save on fuses for the bike and your multimeter.
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Old 25th July 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
If in doubt on the current draw you can use a 12V bulb instead, it will glow brightly if there is a short or low resistance load downstream plus it will limit current i.e. a 12 watt bulb will only conduct about 1 amp max in a 12 volt circuit. The bulb will go out or dim considerably when you find the problem...and should only be used for troubleshooting, not riding ;-) Anyway this method can save on fuses for the bike and your multimeter.
Good point...that was the first series of tests I ran...and never got a bright bulb. I had already explained that when IXL made the DMM recommendation.

Wouldn't want the casual reader to jump in too deep too soon.
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  #8  
Old 25th July 2021
Andy56 Andy56 is offline
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I know of a chap who found one day that he couldn't fully switch his bike off. After going through all of the connectors he found one full of water causing a bit of a short circuit.
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