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  last updated 04.21.08               Visit My Blog
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  wire bundled tied  

Fixing intermittent electrical cutout

Many thanks to Mick (from Tuscon) from the list who helped me identify an electrical failure. Symptom: moving the handlebars a fraction caused all the electrics to shut off. Wiggleing the bars restored them. The problem - broken wires coming from the ignition switch. The five wires in this bundle from the ignition switch were very tightly cable-tied under the upper triple clamp.


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  wire bundle unitied showing break  

The cable-tie, which would have been put on at the factory, was so tight that movement and vibration had cut through the sheathing and through two wires (the R1100RS is a 1999 with 32K miles).

    broken wires  

After stripping the sheath off the bundle, the violet colored wire was broken clean through. Handling the wires caused the green wire to break as well. The white, red and the blue-white wires appeared to be in good shape - no nicks. I considered cutting and splicing them all - but it is very tight working conditions. So I decided to repair just the two broken wires.

      butt splice  

I considered an all-solder joint, but I would have to add wire and the thought of trying to keep all four ends of wire in place and soldering in such tight quarters made me think otherwise. Instead, I stripped and tinned each broken wire end and used a mechanical butt coupling, which made for a rejoined wired about the same length as the originals. Note the double layer of heat shrink tubing to be placed for insulation.



  heat shrink tube  

The heat shrink is shrunk...

  silicone dab  

... and the first of several coats of black silicone RTV is on to reinforce the bundle. Later I added spiral cord wrap and used several cable ties to move this bundle away from the steering head mount - but not tied as tightly or at such a tight bend as the original.

Total time about 3 hours, cost about $1. Let's hope it lasts!

Thanks again Mick!

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