|Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 05:23 pm: ||
I just bought a 96 lightning off of someone and on the ride home heard a spark and the bike shut down. Later I realized that the battery clamp must have fell off and the battery shifted during the ride and pushed the positive battery cable against the exhaust and burned through the insulation exposing the wire.
I checked all the fuses and they are still good. The battery is completely dead. I tried jump starting it, but get a click sound instead of the engine cranking up.
I disconnected the battery, hooked an amp meter up to the positive cable and negative cable, and there is connectivity between them. That doesn't seem right to me. I'm a new bike owner and really don't have much of a clue on what I'm doing. Any ideas?
|Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 05:56 pm: ||
Hey congrats on your tuber find!
This place is full of tuber FANATICS! You've come to the right place. I don't have a tuber and frankly the " way of the sparkles " is not my forte.
Forgive me if you have, but... Have you tried charging the battery and starting it normally, if the battery is fried then you'll need a new one anyway. I'd also sort that positive cable out so it isn't going to hit again. Why did the battery come adrift? The resident brainiacs ( not I ) will surely chime in and help.
Might try tuber forum too?
|Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 06:19 pm: ||
Hello there Mm. I think you mean the battery hold down came loose? And the positive connection shorted to some point which is ground. I would get a new battery and clean all connections (including grounds and positives). It is a wonder the fuses are OK. You said an amp meter but it was probably an ohm meter. The battery connections are very important to proper operation. Clean all battery, starter, and ground connections well. And make sure the battery strap is done properly.
|Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 09:58 pm: ||
Thanks fellas; I'll give the new battery a try. Hopefully that works. And I guess the battery hold down came loose from the vibrations of the bike. I didn't think to check it right when I bought it because I didn't know better.
|Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 12:26 am: ||
I am not so familiar with the tube frame bikes, but some things to consider.
If you heard a spark over the engine, it was a pretty big spark. If the spark killed the battery (sounds like it did), then the engine probably shutdown due to lack of current to fire the engine. A short like this may well kill a cell in the battery. You cannot re-charge or otherwise revive a blown cell. It’s history. Spring for the $80 and get a new battery.
If you burned through the positive cable and the short was between the positive cable at or near the battery and the frame / muffler / other metal, then I suspect you probably would not blow a fuse. Reason is that current dump was before the fuse box. Path was battery to muffler which is part of the ground to battery (negative terminal). Fuses protect the delicate electrical stuff which your current very likely bypassed.
You might also want to replace the positive cable depending on the damage. If the metal is green in color, then the cable has seen too much heat and is history also. Take a good look. If the cable is still silver (some black scorch marks are OK) then you could use electrical tape and repair it. Better yet, buy the liquid electrical insulation wrap that you dip parts into and use that – looks much cleaner and lasts longer.
As for your “closed circuit”. I too suspect you meant ohm meter. With no battery, you have no voltage and hence no current. An amp meter would read 0. An ohm meter provides a small current and measures resistance to the current. Anything that was left on (ignition, instruments, clock - does a 96 lightening have a clock?, etc.) is a closed circuit. If it was an ohm meter, try it again. If the reading is in the mega ohms, then you are probably OK as the power draw on the battery is minimal and probably is supposed to be there (i.e. some item that gets constant battery power).
When you get a new battery, check the voltage to the main fuse block with the engine off. It should be right at 12 Volts. If you have no voltage, you burned more than one wire and have a tracing exercise to follow. Then crank the bike and check the voltage going to the battery. It should be something like 13.5 volts (charging from alternator). You may have to crack the throttle to bump the RPMs to 2000 or so to get the alternator to fully charging status. This is to verify that you did not do any subsequent damage to the alternator from your short. Not likely but better to find out this way…
I have an xb12Ss and I use locktite on the battery post connections. If I do not, the posts shake loose. You may want to do the same for the clamps.
All things considered, this is a fairly innocuous problem as you probably did not do any damage other than kill the battery. Get a battery, secure everything and enjoy the bike!
Oh, and welcome to the Buell club.