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  #11  
Old 15th June 2012
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Did you try swaping the rear bulbs? If the 04-06 bikes are the same as my 07's (which for lighting I believe they are), the fronts and rears are all connected before the TSM (Turn Signal Module).

I believe what rocketmangb was referring to was to take a resistance reading with a meter at the amp connector (bike off, lights off etc). Take a reading comparing the left side wiring with the right side wiring. Resistance is measured in Ohms. When measuring resistance (generally) you don't want any other voltages. being applied (by having key on, etc). I would leave the bulbs in and compare from the connector forward. Make a little more sense?
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  #12  
Old 15th June 2012
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Lightbulb It gets brighter when I jiggle it...

When the signal is doing its dim/hyper thing, and I reach down and jiggle those wires leading to the RF signal, it still flashes hyper, but the flashing gets BRIGHTER, (with the same brightness as the left side one).
So there must be a weak connection in either the BK (ground) or the BN{V} ('feed')!
Those are two of the only three wires I interfered with (according to the FSM, the BE ('switch input') connects the two switches so that's unlikely to be the culprit. Could be one of the splices. I used the existing 'socket' ends already crimped onto the wires. Must be a bad solder job!

How can I test to find out which wire it is without needing to redo both splices?
I guess I've got a 50/50 chance of getting lucky the first time, eh?
I'll have to do better on my next attempt, cos the tails at the socket ends are already pretty short, and I don't have any more AMP sockets...

I'll try to test the "Ohmage" of those two suspects tomorrow.
(to be continued).

Last edited by Sporting Lad; 15th June 2012 at 05:27..
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  #13  
Old 15th June 2012
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Thermal turn signal flasher theory...

Hmmm... Basically you have a bimetal piece wrapped in a wire coil. The wire coil is connected to +V (through some turn signal switching mechanism) on one side and a couple of lamps connected in parallel on the other. The other side of the parallel lamps are of course connected to ground. When +V is connected to the coil, the coil heats up. This heats the bimetal material and causes it the snap/flex. This snap/flex action (what you hear in your car when you signal a turn) closes a contact that connects the turn signal lamps directly to +V and shorts out the coil - allowing the coil and bimetal material to cool. Once the bimetal material cools enough it snap/flexes back to it original position and opens the contacts. The open contacts disconnect the lamps from +V and removes the short across the coil causing to coil to begin heating again. The process repeats itself until the turn signals are turned off.

So what happens when one lamp (bulb) burns out. Basic electronics - placing two equal resistors in parallel produces a total resistance equal to half of one of the resistor's value (Ohms). In the opposite direction - removing one of the parallel resistors from a parallel circuit doubles the total resistance. For the purposes of the discussion - a bulb can be considered a resistor that produces light. When a bulb burns out it creates an open - the same thing as removing the bulb from the parallel circuit. With one Bulb gone, the total load resistance doubles. Increasing the load resistance reduces current flow through the coil. Less current through the coil produces less heat. Less heat requires less time for the bimetal material to cool enough to snap/flex back to its original position - breaking the contacts and turning off the turn signal lamp (no longer "lamps" - plural - because one lamp is now burnt out). So the remaining working lamp blinks much faster (but stays in the "on" state for a shorter period of time).

When the wire coil is heating up the bimetalic material the lamps are in the circuit, but not enough current is flowing in the circuit to get the lamps to produce light. This is because the wire coil also has a resistance that is in series with the lamps. This increases the total resistance in the circuit reducing the current.
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  #14  
Old 15th June 2012
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Cold/poor solder joints can add resistance to the circuit and can prevent a good path to ground. Increasing the resistance will lead to faster blinking. Adding resistance would also cause the lamp not to burn as brightly because additional resistance added in series to the circuit creates a voltage divider - dividing the voltage between the two. Of course a bad solder joint doesn't have to be on the ground side to have this effect, it could occur anywhere in the series part of the circuit and have this effect.

Turn the power off/disconnect the positive terminal of the battery. Get a DMM out and start "Ohming" it out. For example, you might want to measure from the lamps sockets negative terminal to ground on the bad side. Then do the same on the good side. Are they the same? Or does the bad side have more resistance in it's path to ground...

Of course - this all assumes that motorcycles are still using simple automotive thermal turn signal flashers...
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  #15  
Old 15th June 2012
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Ha!... My last bike was a ZX-12R. It had a simple thermal flasher. I figured since Harely's weren't known for their bleeding edge technology they would still be doing it old school. Nope... They're using some fancy-dancy TSM module to control the turn signals. Just saw it in the manual....

Don't I feel like a horses ass...

Then again... I didn't look at how old your bike was....
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  #16  
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Looked closer at the manual... Their troubleshooting flow chart for this exact symptom basically has you checking for corrosion at the terminals etc... This is for 2009....

In your case - especially since your were cutting wires and soldering - it may be a bad solder joint or bad connection...

There is no DTC thrown for this condition.

.... Babbling... I think I'll just go to bed now... past my bedtime...
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  #17  
Old 15th June 2012
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Arrow Electrons. What are they good for? Absolutely nothin'!

T^2, you seem like one of those guys who really likes electrons!
As stated earlier, I HATE the things and wish they'd never been born. Life was so much simpler before electricity came along.

My bike is an '06 and it does have the fancy-dancy TSM.
My $100 "Service Manual" does not have a troubleshooting guide in the 'Electrical' section. It has one in the 'Engine' section, vis, "Engine does not start: Check to see if fuel is in fuel tank." and so on. But no thing about anything to do with turn signals.

Since the circuit flunked my special jiggle job test last night (e.g. getting brighter when I jiggled the prime suspect wire) I'm just about to inspect those joints. Maybe I can access that AMP connector without having to remove the 'fuel tank' again!

(more later...)
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  #18  
Old 16th June 2012
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Thumbs up I fix him!

It was the BK (ground) wire. When I wiggled it, it felt unstable, so I took the AMP connector apart and dragged the wires and signals over to the bench (for the second time in two days). As I was peeling the heat shrink away from the splice, the joint just fell apart. One wire had a glob of solder on it, and the other had none. The tail sticking out of the AMP socket was too short to accept another splice, so I had to crimp on a butt connector & heat shrink (prolly a good idea given the way I'd soldered it! )

It's all good!
Road test was fine.

And now on to other things...
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Last edited by Sporting Lad; 16th June 2012 at 19:56..
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  #19  
Old 22nd June 2012
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Thanks for posting this and what you found wrong. Im wiring in a badlander module, and I had all the wires jsut sticking out, and twisted together to test everything for function before doing and soldering or anything and my right side was doing the exact same thing as yours!
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  #20  
Old 24th June 2012
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Thumbs up 'It's all about sharing.'

thx That's another one of the benefits of XLF membership--The ability to share info, tech tips, and fixit discoveries.
Everytime I spend time working with Mariah she shares more of her secrets with me. I have a lot of respect for her, and I'm glad she tolerates my tinkering.
And anytime I can't understand what it is she's trying to tell me, I can always post a Q on the XLF.

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