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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm new to the forum but have been consulting it since I got my first CX about 3 months ago. I am just buttoning up my cafe build and have installed LED strip turn signals in the front and rear. I have bought an LED compatible relay that should be allowing my turn signals to blink. Both the front and back strips are properly attached to power and ground (w/ both a Red and Black 20g. wire). As of earlier today my front turn signals would light up when indicated, but only and about 1/2 brightness level. In the rear, both sides would turn on as running lights, but the opposite side would go out when one side was indicated. I read on another thread that the blue and white wires (with white stripe) in the front, that would be used as running lights with the original turn signals, should be disconnected if installing LEDs. So As stands, the front remains the same, and the rear does not light up at all, even when power is given and signals are indicated. Am i not plugged into the correct wires or have I not connected a wire I should have? Is this the wrong relay? Anything helps and thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide.

LED Turn Signals: Partsam 2x Mini Strip Black led motorcycle Turn signal Universal Amber lights Strip 6LED
LED Relay: Novita EP34

Gavin
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok, after further tinkering, I realized I had plugged the front running light wire into the rear turn signal wires. Now that the wires are correctly lit when indicated, they both shine extremely dim. I understand now that the voltage is definitely not high enough to allow the relay to blink, but how do I trace back and provide power to both?
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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1) Connect both wires of one of your turn signals directly to the battery to verify how bright they actually are (usually black to negative and red to positive). Some of the ones sold online are not very bright and nothing you can do to the wiring will make them brighter.

2) Go to the CX Wiki (link in my signature) and download the appropriate wiring diagram for your model & year so that you can follow the circuit on it and figure out what you are trying to do.

3) Assuming that the new signals are actually bright, make sure they are all properly connected to the green ground wire in the harness. And no, some convenient place on the frame or forks or headlight bucket is not a proper place to connect to ground. Incorrect ground connections account for a substantial percentage of turn signal problems.

4) The flasher you bought may not be suitable. The specs for the EP34 say that it is a load sensitive heavy duty flasher, which is pretty much the opposite of what you need for LEDs. Depending on your lights it may or may not work. How did you connect the flasher? Its terminals should be marked and must be connected as follows:
E = earth (ground) = green wire
L = load = gray wire
B = battery + (switched power) = black or green/white depending on your model/year

If that doesn't help you fix the problem let me know and I will try to figure out what you have done wrong.

BTW: If you put your bike's year & model in your signature we will know which model you are talking about and it will be easier to help you.
 

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I had similar issues with dim blinkers that would not flash (bob knows all about it). Tried a flasher recommended by a few and it did not work for me. Went with this one from NAPA and it works perfectly.
Auto part Material property Technology Tire Automotive wheel system
 
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There is a EP34 and EP34L. L being for LED
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had similar issues with dim blinkers that would not flash (bob knows all about it). Tried a flasher recommended by a few and it did not work for me. Went with this one from NAPA and it works perfectly.
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Thank you friends, Swayze, I went with your recommendation and got the EP34L, which I just connected this morning. Power is diverted to the turn signals correctly now, but the flasher only trips once, then stays off. What can I do to fix this? I've heard of others having this issue before. Any ideas anyone?
 

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What happens with the indicators on the dash? Do they light up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What happens with the indicators on the dash? Do they light up?
When I flip to either side, it indicated for the one flash, then becomes very dim, but still partially lit on the dash. Once I go back to center position, the light on the dash goes completely out.
 

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I suspect that you have a grounding problem. You might try a jumper wire from ground at one of your turnsignals directly to the battery ground terminal.
 
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Does your battery have a full charge? And did you connect all three wires to connector?
 

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Thank you friends, Swayze, I went with your recommendation and got the EP34L, which I just connected this morning. Power is diverted to the turn signals correctly now, but the flasher only trips once, then stays off. What can I do to fix this? I've heard of others having this issue before. Any ideas anyone?
Have you done what I suggested in my previous post?
 

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I'm having a similar issue, same relay as Swayze (EP34L). No blinking and lights are dim when I wire it up logically... the relay gives a click, when I ground at the battery though. I feel like I've wired it up correctly...
power -> relay, via the B prong
relay -> ground, via the E prong
relay -> lights, via the L prong
lights -> ground

No blinking, although they're bright. :confused:
 

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I'm having a similar issue, same relay as Swayze (EP34L). No blinking and lights are dim when I wire it up logically... the relay gives a click, when I ground at the battery though. I feel like I've wired it up correctly...
power -> relay, via the B prong
relay -> ground, via the E prong
relay -> lights, via the L prong
lights -> ground

No blinking, although they're bright. :confused:
Be sure to read through Swayze's thread. He and SidecarBob did some solid diagnostic work. You may need to get out a voltmeter and see what is happening
 

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These problems always turn out to have simple, obvious solutions. Are you trying your signals with the engine running or off? If it is off is it fully charged? LED lights are often pretty bright looking even when the voltage is low but some flashers need to have the full voltage before they will operate.

Also, are your ground connections to green wires in the harness or to the chassis? Chassis ground connections are not considered reliable....
 

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These problems always turn out to have simple, obvious solutions. Are you trying your signals with the engine running or off? If it is off is it fully charged? LED lights are often pretty bright looking even when the voltage is low but some flashers need to have the full voltage before they will operate.

Also, are your ground connections to green wires in the harness or to the chassis? Chassis ground connections are not considered reliable....

Engine is off during my testing. I've just been testing out the signals/running my wires on the floor with my battery to make sure that everything works well. Battery shows 12.32 - 12.33 volts, I'm fairly sure that's good. Ground connections, for this test, were made to my motorcycle lift (on a portion that has no paint), also tried grounding at the battery (which is the only time the relay has clicked for me)... I've removed the original harness except for anything involving the CDI or R/R... previous owner really really REALLY liked electrical tape, I had to fix that. ;)

I'll bust out the multimeter and take some more readings throughout the circuit to see if that can diagnose the problem.


**Note: I read through the thread between SidecarBob and Swayze... I'm thinking my issue may be a grounding issue now, considering the only "click" I got from the relay was when I grounded to the battery. I'm guessing that, before I move forward on the wiring, I'll need to put the motor back together and get her running THEN fiddle with my signals
 

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Ground on a motorcycle, or car/truck/etc. is different than a ground for house wiring where true Earth, as in soil of the planet Earth is used. A motorcycle ground is an internal isolated ground, solely within the structure of the machine, and is solely based on the negative terminal of the battery (the Earth in this case). Grounding to your lift is useless for this testing.
 

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Ground on a motorcycle, or car/truck/etc. is different than a ground for house wiring where true Earth, as in soil of the planet Earth is used. A motorcycle ground is an internal isolated ground, solely within the structure of the machine, and is solely based on the negative terminal of the battery (the Earth in this case). Grounding to your lift is useless for this testing.
I'm glad you clarified that... I suspected that trying to ground on my lift wasn't going to work, but, being the novice that I am, I tried anyway ;) I really do appreciate everyone's input, I hate not knowing how to do something so it's my mission to learn this to the point where I can teach someone else. I'll bust out the multimeter today/tonight if I have time and post the results. Part of me feels like it shouldn't matter if the circuit is connected to a running bike, as long as the circuit is getting the current that it would normally get from a charged battery.
 

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Engine is off during my testing. I've just been testing out the signals/running my wires on the floor with my battery to make sure that everything works well. Battery shows 12.32 - 12.33 volts, I'm fairly sure that's good.
1) Measuring the no load voltage really doesn't tell you a lot about a battery's state of charge. The voltage under load, on the other hand, can at least give you an indication (e.g. if it reads 12 V or more with a 20W or more load it might be close to full charge).
In truth, the only way to really tell is to measure the specific gravity of the electrolyte with a hydrometer.
2) If the ground info below doesn't help try testing them with the battery connected to a charger. I don't know that specific flasher but some of them require more than 12.6V to work.

Ground connections, for this test, were made to my motorcycle lift (on a portion that has no paint), also tried grounding at the battery (which is the only time the relay has clicked for me)...
Any electrical circuit must be connected to both sides of the power source (in this case the battery) in order for current to flow through that circuit. As Joel already told you, the "ground" on a vehicle isn't the same as the ground in your house wiring. In the old days it meant the connection to the chassis through which all of the circuits returned to the "ground" side of the battery (usually negative in North America but a lot of European/British stuff was positive ground). These days "ground" usually means one or more wires in the vehicle's harness that is/are in some way connected to the battery's negative terminal as well as the chassis (in the case of these bikes the battery and the harness ground connect to the frame at different points so the ground wire connects to the battery through the chassis).(I consider this to be a design flaw)

I've removed the original harness except for anything involving the CDI or R/R... previous owner really really REALLY liked electrical tape, I had to fix that. ;)
You didn't happen to remove the green wire, did you? If you did put it back. Better yet, replace it with a bigger green wire (if you don't want to re-do all of the connections you could run the new wire in parallel to the original one and connect them together at each end and maybe in the middle). If you do that I highly recommend adding an additional direct connection to battery negative (see design flaw above).
BTW: You do know that the harness was wrapped with electric tape from one end to the other when it came from the factory, right? It is common practice to wrap harnesses with tape to seal out moisture, protect from abrasion and generally keep the wires together and tidy. A tape wrapped harness is easier to get inside of when something goes wrong than one covered with heat shrink and easier to close back up again afterward (you would have to completely remove the harness from the bike and probably remove a bunch of connectors to get new heat shrink on).

I'll bust out the multimeter and take some more readings throughout the circuit to see if that can diagnose the problem.
How familiar are you with using the multimeter? Electrical meters in general? If you aren't already intimately familiar with meters I highly recommend studying this page about meters in general and when you get to the bottom click the link for the next page about multimeters. If you are unclear about what they are telling you about measuring both pages have links (near the top) to the page about voltage & current. If you really want to understand how electrical/electronic stuff works, click the Study link and start working through all of the pages. I guarantee that if you learn what they have to teach you a lot of stuff that sounded like mumbo jumbo before will seem simple.

**Note: I read through the thread between SidecarBob and Swayze... I'm thinking my issue may be a grounding issue now, considering the only "click" I got from the relay was when I grounded to the battery. I'm guessing that, before I move forward on the wiring, I'll need to put the motor back together and get her running THEN fiddle with my signals
Actually, you will need a certain amount of the wiring in place and working before you can start the engine. I think that once you figure this out you should be able to do the rest of the wiring before you start the engine. You will need to use the charger more often than you expected, though. I find the battery usually needs to be recharged if I have the electric system on without the engine running for more than half an hour or so (depending on what I have turned on).
BTW: You must recharge the battery any time you run it down testing electrical stuff. If you leave a lead/acid battery at less than half charge for more than a few hours the chemistry inside the cells will will no loose some of its ability to store charge. Do it a few times and it will be like having a smaller battery. Do it too many times and it won't hold enough charge to be useful.
I don't know how long your bike has been apart but you should know that a lead/acid battery will self discharge if left alone for any amount of time and if it gets too low and continues to sit the stuff I mentioned above will happen. This means that it needs to be re-charged at least every 6 weeks (I prefer every month) during storage unless it is connected to a battery maintainer.
 

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You didn't happen to remove the green wire, did you? If you did put it back. Better yet, replace it with a bigger green wire
Actually... see... what had happened was... yea. I removed it. I have plenty of 16-guage wire (doing 99% of the harness with it), would that be okay? I know I've come across a table, somewhere on the interwebs, that shows different wire sizes and their relative ranges of current. I think I may be okay as long as I don't try to go with anything bigger than a 16 or smaller than a 20.
BTW: You do know that the harness was wrapped with electric tape from one end to the other when it came from the factory, right?
I didn't. If memory serves me correct, the harness that was on the bike when I got it (2013) was minimal, not stock. CDI and R/R connections still have the the stock wiring, didn't wanna mess those since I really don't know what I'm doing I'd rather not create another headache for myself.
How familiar are you with using the multimeter?
Not at ALL... haha. I kinda lucked-out cuz I was able to borrow one that automatically finds the correct range, so I haven't had to actually know how to use it yet, it kinda does the job for me. Although I do have one that looks like the ones I usually see, with about 20 different modes to switch from.
You must recharge the battery any time you run it down testing electrical stuff. If you leave a lead/acid battery at less than half charge for more than a few hours the chemistry inside the cells will will no loose some of its ability to store charge. Do it a few times and it will be like having a smaller battery. Do it too many times and it won't hold enough charge to be useful.
I got a new battery about 8 months ago I think. It's sat, unused, since then really. Plugged it up to my Battery Tender about an hour ago and it showed a full charge within about a minute of doing so... so I guess in that time it didn't lose that much. I'm single, so I keep the bike in my living room or bedroom, so maybe not being exposed to fluctuating temperatures/humidity has helped keep things... shall I say... not-shitty.
I don't know how long your bike has been apart
Funny you mention that. I have personally put 206 miles on this bike (of it's 50,000+). I had always wanted to ride even though it scared me. So, in 2012 when I got out of the Marines, I got myself a 1967 Triumph T120R to teach myself how to work on, well, anything automotive. My dad was an old gear-head, but he passed away in 2011 so I didn't really get the chance to learn from him. So, as naive as it may have been, I got the Triumph to force myself to learn... how to ride and how to maintain a car/bike, at least the basic concepts.
So, I jumped in, balls deep, took the Triumph apart down to the crank case and hit a wall. Work, life, and needed a couple parts as well. But I was restless, wanted to ride sooo bad. So, I got the CX to learn to ride while I work on the Triumph (that was the part when my uncle told me I had lost my mind... which was true, in part). Rode it for 206 miles and it sputtered-to-a-stop on me twice, each time 10-15 miles from civilization (I ended up finding 2 or 3 tiny balls of rust in the right carb when I started working on it... maybe/hopefully that was the issue). That was in October/November of 2013. Since then it's sat in my living room while I scrape together the money to get it going again. So, 3 years now.


Thank you for the in-depth response. I'll definitely be taking myself to school with the links you posted and the knowledge you've passed on. Putting the radiator, thermostat, water pump, and carbs on tonight. In the following weeks I'll be changing/bleeding the front/rear brakes, putting on new tires, changing the oil, flushing/re-filling/bleeding the coolant system, re-doing the wiring harness, and everything in between. Willing to learn and up to the task though.



P.S. I'm drinking and I just thought I'd pass-on a quick laugh for those of you who read this... when I bought the CX (on eBay... that's not the punchline) I accidentally paid $1500 more than I would have. You know, there's a "Max Bid" button and a "Bid" button... well, the current bid was at $3500 with about 30 seconds left, and there was a lot of back-and-forth going on. So, I thought I'd set a max bid of $5000, because surely it wouldn't go that high in the final 30 seconds. Well, I didn't click the "Max Bid" button like I should have.
...so anytime you feel like you're at the height of your stupidity, I'd like you to just bring yourself to this post and be reminded that somewhere there is a village that's missing their idiot. ;) G'night gents... time to go turn this wrench.
 
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