Author Topic: small fire... while I was riding... nothing to see here...carry on.  (Read 1086 times)

Offline franknsr

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Yesterday I had no movement in the throttle, was locked closed. Initially thought the ECU was shutting me down because the flashers went on. When I stopped I saw a small amount of smoke coming from the right side harness by the neck. Didn't have a 3/16 allen to remove the battery but fortunately the guy whose house I broke down in front of just happened to be heading out and came to mt rescue with a set of allen wrenches. Pulled the battery and the smoke got worse. Realized I had a fire under the tank. Removed the tank hardware and moved the tank back far enough to blow the flames out.

Think the fire originated from either the cheap turn signal flasher I picked up while out on the road a couple years ago, or the harness where the driving lights plug in. After a quick inspection I think the harness is repairable, but I'll need a pair of throttle cables and probably the wiring to the right handlebar controls as they melted to the throttle cables. The throttle cables got so hot they bent which is what locked them. Twisting the throttle closed was the last movement they made. I've got about 100 things to be thankful for as this could have been a lot worse.

So.. to reiterate what Jumper said a few months ago, check your harnesses.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 10:59:02 am by franknsr »

Offline wytfut

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Re: small fire... while I was riding... nothing to see here...carry on.
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 05:40:38 pm »
Frank......
boy howdy I guess.....  from yout pix, it looks like its still a go.... how fortunate.
Back in the early days, there were a an X or 2 that burnt to the ground from what I understand.....   mostly due to throttle cables rubbing on tank, AND grounding issues. I believe one of them was from NebraXi....   
I have no idea at this point what caused your scenario Frank.... but I feel this would be a good time to make some points....    not to use you as the example, but the fact that it did happen, maybe we all need to pay a little more attention.

I'm no better or worse than the next guy.... hell I pull my tank off at least once a year, and never think to look at the wiring....   I'll be paying more attention now..... 

Do we have updated grounds on our Xs? ....   This is a subject that has come up time to time.... but I think a lot of owners, either shut off the conversation in their head as they don't understand.... Or don't think it'll happen to their bike.  As mentioned many times in history of our Xs.... most if not all of the Xs have a ground bolt, in the case right by the electrical....    As a retired telephone man... What grounds are there are a little bit lite for the duty to pull, PLUS that ground bolt was dipped in Orange lok tite. For those that don't know, lok Tite unless other wise specified, DOES NOT conduct electricity.   ..... take a look at those 2 items, should tell you that you need to upgrade your grounds.
I personally, placed a very heavy ground at the electrical box to the bolt (cleaned).... AND another heavy duty ground from the starter bolt to the frame. ....

Another thing that I'm sure a lot of us aren't paying attention to..... Our bikes are now pushing 20 years old. And at that age, the milage on many of our "riders" is also going up. I today just turned over 39k....
At this age, we probably need to be looking a little more closely to our X's. Father time, and Mother milage, is going to show up somewhere on "new" issues....
At this age, look at the age of the average bike on the road these days... Very few that old, we are becoming the rarity. And thats ok, but to keep them going, we just need to pay more attention. ...

Frank.... nothing but the best of thoughts on repairs.
Everyone else..... lets keep our eyes open

Bruce
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Offline Berlin Bob

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Re: small fire... while I was riding... nothing to see here...carry on.
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 06:33:40 am »
You are so very right Bruce .. our wiring is old...check the insulation on the exposed wiring where heat is involved and under the seat ...many of the bikes I repair  have these issues ...the cables are a good starting point as you noted ...wrap a piece of vacum tube around them where they contact the frame ...if a bike sits for awhile ...mice like to eat insulation !!!

Offline franknsr

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Re: small fire... while I was riding... nothing to see here...carry on.
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 09:55:16 pm »
Finally had time to look into this and I don't think it was a relay or a turn signal flasher. Someone correct me if I am wrong but I think these bikes do not have turn signal flashers, they rely on the turn signal controller to work the flashers, does that sound right?

From what I can figure that blob of plastic from my third picture is what is left of the purge valve connector. I ~think~ my spot light wiring shorted and got a couple other things hot including the throttle cables and this purge valve connector. This is not a California bike so it doesn't have the purge valve, so I think I'll just properly terminate those wires, repair the spot light connector and replace the throttle cables and see if I have any codes before firing it up.

Wanted to run this by you guys to see if there is anything else I should be looking at before throwing a battery back in it.

Offline Donkey Hotey

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Re: small fire... while I was riding... nothing to see here...carry on.
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2018, 10:53:13 pm »
Have you been into the electrical bay under the seat and beefed up / cleaned all the grounds? I think I remember reading somewhere that when they lose the chassis ground, the next path for electricity is the throttle cables—resulting in a fire much like you’re describing.

It’s not a bad thing to do as a preventative anyway. I had one bike that absolutely had a ground problem in there and another I was suspect of being the same thing.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:26:06 am by Donkey Hotey »
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Offline franknsr

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Re: small fire... while I was riding... nothing to see here...carry on.
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 07:53:40 am »
Thanks for the reminder... no I have not. That will be my next move here. Thanks.

Offline Jumper

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Re: small fire... while I was riding... nothing to see here...carry on.
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2019, 10:53:22 am »
Chase the threads... Put a better ground on...
Jumper

Offline franknsr

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Finally got around to diving into my bike and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I think you guys were right in that this looked like a grounding issue through the throttle cable. Went through the grounds under the seat and added a new ground between the engine and frame.
Fired right up today so of course I had to go for a ride. Thanks all for the advice and info.