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Thread: 1989 BMW R100RT - Charged Battery and Nothing

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    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Calgary, AB. Canada

    1989 BMW R100RT - Charged Battery and Nothing

    Well I think I may have done really stupid in that when I was taking the battery out I touched the bar frame on the seat latch and some sparks flew. Thinking nothing of it went to put a fresh battery in connected the + and - and turned the key and nothing. Dead! Normally when you turn the key on, the instrument lights come on, but in this car nothing. Took the ground wire off and took some emery cloth to bot ends and where it grounds to the transmission housing took some brake cleaner in a rag and made sure the flat flange area was cleaned. Used a little dielectric grease for contact. Still nothing.

    Came across this statement in reading in Mr. Robert Fleischers - Snowbum's web site under electrics:

    A very commonly seen problem is at the plug-in STARTER relay, where even a small amount of corrosion or poor contacts at the relay male spades and/or the socket female connections, would cause big electrical problems...quite often the entire bike goes dead electrically. Hmmmmm! Now to find the little devil he is referring to0?

    Checked the fuses and they are fine but sadly I have no clue where to even start looking. One seemed to be a little twisted, but still one complete link. I am wondering if someone would be so kind to help me out with what direction to go and sort this out.

    Update: March 5th, 2013

    I spent some time studying the wiring schematic and with the help op of several Air Head guys in Lethbridge AB on the phone trying to sort out the issues that I am having. It appears that when i shorted out the battery I may have caused the Starter Relay Part # 61 36 1 389 105 to short out. My bad! This was confirmed as well in doing some more research with the Airheads Beemer Group - Oak Oklershen and Snowbums web page Robert Fleischers.
    With that information (I am sure everyone knows this) I started doing some more research in sourcing this Starter Relay Switch and discovered other vehicles such as BMW cars utilize the same switch . It appears the 1998 BMW 323is Stribel Relay is the same that is causing me some grief here. Quick phone call to the local BMW dealer, yes they have 5 in Canada and will have one for an added $ 3.00 shipping at the counter later this morning here in Calgary.
    I will give an up date later this week after i get my hot little hands on the relay and am able to swap out the defective item. Stay tuned......

    Update: March 6th, 2013

    Well spent some time discussing some viable solutions, what to search for and what to clean with several senior guys from Lethbridge who are part of the Airhead Beemers Club. Found they were very knowledgable and even willing to set up a tech day.
    Got the R100RT into the shop and on to the work platform. Walked away to have supper and do some paper work and thought I would go and do some isolating to find what is the issue. First thing was I took the battery and had a closer look and decided to take my wife's used sandpaper nail file and clean up the land screw area. Didn't take much, but you can now see bare metal. Put the battery back in place and then sorted through all the wires that the PO hooked straight to the battery for auxiliary running lights and LED brake light. Took a few minutes to remember what went where. Did this several times before and nothing. This time I turned the key and she lit up like a Christmas Tree. Even the horn was strong. Strange and the only thing I can say is the filing the land area on the battery screw indeed now allows a current. Beats the Hell out of me but it was an invaluable lesson to learn about making sure all connections are clean.
    Thank you for all the suggestions to what to look for.
    Last edited by b25bsaboy; 03-07-2013 at 04:26 AM.
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 1992 R100RT, 2009 R1200RT

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