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Baileyrock

Vtec electrical problems info post

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We lost all the great and important info related to the Vtec's wiring harness problems and I wanted to try and rebuild all the great info that was in the old post that included problems, cures, dealing with your Dealer's and Honda related to repairs. Contact numbers to file complaints with American Honda, customer service contacts and all the results members had with fighting to get these repairs done by Honda even when their bike was out of warranty.

Please post your past problems and stories here related to our 6th Gens wiring harness issues. All this old info was used many times with service repair numbers provided by other members that help them convince both Honda and their Dealer that this is a common problem and should be repaired. Even pushing for a Recall through the NHSTA(?) or whatever.

The only purpose here is to help anyone with future problems and repairs related to Vtec wiring harness issues. Please help! :thumbsup:

Thanks.

We lost the post "My first electrical problem" and " something's burning" among other's. i f you posted in any of these please re-post.

PS Vtec bashing not welcome from non-Vtec owners! Thanks <_<

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I have backups of the database dateing back to before I started the huge purge. I may be able to rebuild the post but its raw data so it will be a biaotch. I start my workweek tonight (graveyard 12 hrs for the next 3 nights) so dont expect it any time soon, and well I need to get motivated to do it too LOL. Ya know pych myself up to do grunt dirty data work.

I had to get midevil after Robert (the owner of the server I rent space on) fixed the webspace counter, it was saying I was always ok then one day he fixed it and all of a sudden I was 300mb over the limit LOL opps howdathappen?

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I have the dreaded melted 30 amp fuse holder in the battery harness syndrome. An 03 that has under 20k and live a pampered life...

I didn't want to screw around -- and because I wil not trust the bike to some unreliable boy-mechanic I have opted to replace the main harness and the battery subharness. Plus, I felt comfortable digging into the electrics--i've had plenty of experience chasing electrons on my beemer. I bought the harnesses from Ron Ayers--alot cheaper than the dealer and most other online parts places.

I'm just about done--I haven't been in a hurry-a few hours every weekend so I can do it right--dielectric grease and tape in all the right places--I hope. But I have to tell ya--It is a PITA snaking the harness even with all the major ( and alot of minor) stuff off the bike.

I've ordered a Centech AP-1 fused bus to connect all of the accessories (jastek plugs for GPS and heated vest; heated grips; motolight diving lights, autocomm...) , and now I can position all of the relays better since I've got the bike completely apart. Oh, I am installing a C volt digital voltmeter before I'm done...

I'll give a report when I'm done and offer any help (thats if I put all this sh*t back together right)..... :huh:

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From: http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.p...topic=16632&hl=

If your harness and fuse looked like this --

friedfuseholder.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

fusefry.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

then it seems it's a common problem. 

Ask the guy at the shop to tell you which other models, Honda or otherwise, get corroded and end up looking like this after 2 years and 26K miles.

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Thanks for the link ProMed ! :huh:

Please contact Customer Service at Honda to complain ! Many VFRd members have had their bike repaired by Honda even with out being under Warranty, but it takes some pushing and being able to show 5, 10, 30 samples of other VFR owners having the same problems will help back you up.

I would love to have a list of every Vtec owner who has had these elec. issues and their bike Vin #'s to pass around to new members to bring to their Dealers and send to Honda when trying to get a repair covered.

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Posted this in other thread yesterday - bu tif you want to keep consistent - heres my $.02......

I have an 02' and after I saw Bailey's post about his burned up 30 amp fuse, I checked mine. HEre's how mine looked:

DSC03104.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

DSC03102.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

ANd here's how I fixed it - :

Lead from the battery:

DSC03109.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

30 AMp fuse with 10 guage wire:

DSC03108.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

I used heat shrink tubing, fibre loom for heat protection, and dielectric grease on the connectors. HAsn't been a problem since.

I will be pulling the BLue connector at the front apart before riding season - make sure the ground wire is still good.

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Here is the NHTSA web site(thanks to another member)

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems...laintsearch.cfm

I think every Vtec owner that has had the Headlights shut off or the bike Die in mid ride should file a Safety complaint with the NHTSA, because either issue is a major Safety concern and should be documented.

This will help all Vtec owner's down the road and help get Honda's attention. :huh:

Now if like me your wires just melt and the bike might not start, that's not really a Safety issue and so it may not help to file.

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Guest Viffed
Question:  is it the green wire at the bottom edge?  It is green with a silver stripe?  should it go to ground?  I know that some mentioned that they just jumpered around it. I was trying to go one better.

Green w/black stripe, green w/pink stripe, and solid green are the only colors in the entire wiring harness that go to a chassis ground (i.e. to the battery negative). Anything else is a signal ground and I wouldn't recommend connecting that to the chassis ground, as some very bad things might happen to your ECU if you did...

Chris

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Thanks, the blue connector looks fine.

Okay, weird thing. the 30 amp fuse that I had replaced with the radio shack literally melted today after I added the additional ground wire.

2 changes I made today:

1. I ran a ground wire to the wiring ground connectors where they bolt on the chassis.

2. Moved my heated grips to draw from the headlight power 12 v.

3. Dielectric grease everything I could get to with all fairings off.

Either of those changes could suddently make the main 30 amp melt with the aftermarket radio shack special?

Green w/black stripe, green w/pink stripe, and solid green are the only colors in the entire wiring harness that go to a chassis ground (i.e. to the battery negative).  Anything else is a signal ground and I wouldn't recommend connecting that to the chassis ground, as some very bad things might happen to your ECU if you did...

Chris

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Guest Havagan

Alrighty then, electrical woes (I'll post pics when I get home):

2002 VFR, one owner, meticulously maintained by one dealer and garage stored. Current milage: 50K.

08/2002: VFR dies at 80mph on the FL turnpike. Culprit: worn insulation on the front wiring harness (left side headlight relay) shorted and blew the main fuse.

04/2004: VFR dies at 50mph on US1 in the FL Keys. Culprit: blue connector between the front and main wiring harnesses shorted and melted together at the ECM ground wire connector pin.

05/2005: VFR dies at 30mph on Tarawa Road. Culprit: fried ECM. ECM has a visible bulge and crack which is too hot to touch and is oozing smoke. Crack is at the ECM ground wire connector pin on the ECM.

06/2005: VFR dies pulling into the driveway. Culprit: ECM ground wire is fried somewhere in the main wiring harness.

02/2006: Short wire at the 30amp fuse holder of the battery wiring harness is discolored and brittle.

The bike was dropped off at the dealership for repairs since that 30amp fuse holder wire is ready to go. Everything has checked out (read: they can't find the cause of the electrical woes) so my dealer asked if I wanted the wiring repaired or replaced. Duh. They're calling Honda today to fight to get me all new wiring harnesses (Front, Main and Battery) since they know this bike has been an electrical nightmare. I'll update this post when I hear back from them today or tomorrow.

I would be interested to see a count of those VFR owners who have had electrical woes compared to those who did/did not do the stator upgrade. I'm wondering if the wiring on the VFRs can't handle the higher output from the stator upgrade.

Hav <--- knows nothing about electrical systems

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Guest Viffed
Okay, weird thing.  the 30 amp fuse that I had replaced with the radio shack literally melted today after I added the additional ground wire.

2 changes I made today:

1.  I ran a ground wire to the wiring ground connectors where they bolt on the chassis. 

2.  Moved my heated grips to draw from the headlight power 12 v.

Either of those changes could suddently make the main 30 amp melt with the aftermarket radio shack special?

My money'd be on #2, especially if you were using the heated grips and didn't have them wired quite right. Are you using a relay setup off the battery to power the heaters (using the headlight wiring to turn the relay on), or are you drawing power directly from the headlight wiring? The first shouldn't cause a problem, but the second definately will. The headlights do have their own 20A fuse, but that fuse gets it's power through one of the 30A main fuses. Have you tried the highbeams with the grip heaters on? If you're using the headlight wires to power the grip heaters directly, this will pop the fuse, as there isn't enough headroom in either the fuse or the wire to support the added load.

Check your wiring setup and report back, more information is needed!

For those that are wondering about chassis (power) grounds and signal grounds, they're quite easy. Chassis grounds are used to carry large amounts of power, while signal grounds are primarily used for low current applications, or to eliminate noise and interference. Most things on the bike use a chassis ground, but some things dont. Most of the "sensors" use a signal ground, for instance. The fuel injectors have special controls too, they get a constant +12V and instead have their ground connections switched off and on by the ECU.

Another oddity you may enounter if you work on the horn system of most cages: They use a switched ground in the steering wheel to actuate a relay, which in turn switches the positive side of the horn circuit... smile.gif

Chris

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Guest Havagan
hav were you also the victim of a fastener rubbing against the harness chafing off the insulation and shorting out something too?

Bailey's right -- that was the 08/2002 short. Front wiring harness was rubbing against the front fairing stay where a sharp edge rubbed the insulation off and shorted.

I also just remember that in between the actual failures I had the bike in to the dealer to look at the bike kept shutting off at speed and the bike running but with no headlights. I'm assuming these were precursors to an actual failure and would have to check my service records for exact dates.

Hav

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Guest Havagan

Here are the promised pics:

08/2002 - Worn insulation in front wiring harness

short.wiringharness.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

04/2004 - Blue connector fused so the dealer bypassed it

OriginalDealerFix.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

05/2005 - ECM ground wire fried in the main wiring harness. I took the original dealer splice and grounded it to the frame.

GitmoFix02.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Unfortunately I forgot to take pics of the ECM and I didn't have my camera on me at the dealer when I found the 30-amp fuse wire. I'll have them save the part so I can take photos when I pick it up.

Hav

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Guest Havagan

I have an extended warranty until 2007, so I haven't paid a cent for any of these repairs (including my dealer picking the DOA bike up off the side of the road twice). I have a good dealer that I go to so I rarely have to fight about anything.

Most of the problems were fixed with a bit of solder and some bullet connectors. The front wiring harness was snipped, spliced and wrapped in electrical tape. The front/main harness connector meltdown was snipped and spliced. The fried ECM ground wire was spliced and grounded directly to the frame.

The ECM was replaced, although Honda America refused to pay for this and I never got a good explanation as to why. My dealer picked up the cost of the expensive arse ECM so I didn't ask too many questions.

My dealer is trying to get approval to replace every wiring harness in the bike (front, main and battery) since this is a recurring electrical issue that I'm getting tired of dealing with. I haven't heard from them regarding Honda America's response to the request. They did warn me, however, that Honda has become really bad about approving warranty repairs and to expect a fight from Honda since the dealer is unable to pinpoint the cause of the problem. My existing call/complaint to Honda (and the NHSTA) may help with this but they asked me to be prepared to have to call and bitch at Honda directly.

Paul

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I took a quick look through all the post so far and it looks like the '02 model has the most responses as having electrical harness problems. Is this just because it's been out there longer or was there something different about the "early" VTECs?

Also, it would be interesting to see if others (outside the US) are having the same problems. If I remember right, Honda sells a lot more VFRs in Europe than they do in the US.

I compared all of the part numbers for all the wiring harnesses, battery, etc. between 2002 and 2005 models. The only changes were the part number for the battery was updated several times, no other wiring had changed according to the fiche at Ron Ayers.

I am very glad that Baily brought this issue back to life as I had never noticed it before. After reading the initial posts in this and another thread on this topic I found my fuse was melted and the wires were very burned and brittle. I replaced that part with new 10g wire and some wire loom, and am working on cleaning and greasing all my electrical connections. I still have yet to do the ones under the front fairing but have the sides and rear done.

I also just had to replace my R/R as it was putting out 16+ volts over 5500rpm with the brights on which may have contributed to the melted fuse. The bike is a 2002 with 32K miles, I bought it in September 05 with 14K miles.

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Guest Havagan

A quick update: still waiting on Honda America to "diagnose" the problem via pictures they requested from my dealer. No ETA and no info beyond being in limbo waiting for them to say whether they will replace all the wiring under warranty. I made sure Honda America knew I was pissed, didn't like not having an ETA, fully expected this to be a warrantied repair and that any unsatisfactory ruling on their part would result in a loyal VFR owner riding an FZ1 come the end of the year.

I don't think it made a dent.

[uPDATE] It did make a dent. The next time I called back I was forwarded directly to a guy at Honda Customer Service whom I now get to speak to each time. The first time I called him he apologized for the delay, etc. and promised me an answer by the end of day. Of course that was a week ago. I found out on Saturday that HCS wanted my dealer to resend the pictures (which I guess HCS somehow managed to lose) which my dealer has resent. Now it's back in HCS' realm. Back in limbo.

[uPDATE 03/15/2006] HCS is full of crap. I've had my dealer send them the requested photos three times in three weeks and HCS says they're not getting them and that my dealer is unresponsive to their requests for the photos. I had my dealer send them for a fourth time and had them CC me on the email and I've received the attached photos fine. I've posted them on my website and placed a call to HCS asking them to call me to confirm the've received the photos. If they haven't gotten them I'll make them download them off my site. One thing I did notice is that the photos have pictures of the entire battery tray (I'm assuming to see if I have any electrical accessories hooked up) and of the headlights (I'm assuming to see if I'm running high-draw aftermarket bulbs). If I get any flack from HCS I'm gonna be annoyed.

(I find that the longer I go without having a bike to ride the more annoyed I become.)

Paul

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Guest Havagan

[3/16/06] Honda finally said they had received the photos and would look into them. Honda had been blaming my dealer for improperly sending the photos and being unresponsive to their calls and requests. I let my dealer know that Honda had the photos and my dealer let me know that the owner of the dealership had called the regional support manager directly to complain.

[3/17/06] I got a call first thing this morning from Honda Customer Service... every wiring harness in the bike is being replaced under warranty. Main, front and battery wiring harnesses. The parts have been ordered and I'll have my bike next weekend.

Paul

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Here are my symptoms and solutions...

Symptom: ABS light flashing when brights are turned on

Solution: New R/R

More Info: Read code from ABS ? charging system problem. Discovered 16+ volts when brights were on above 6K RPM. Normal voltage when brights were off.

Symptom: Idle would drop to 600 for a few seconds and engine would stop.

Solution: Replaced 30 amp fuse and wire at battery

More Info: This would happen very randomly, only at idle. Not 100% sure the fuse is what fixed it, but it has not happened since it was replaced.

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30 AMp fuse with 10 guage wire:

DSC03108.jpg border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Hey Ken, that's the exact same fuse block I bought today from "Autobarn" here in Australia. I think it was "Narva" brand.

I'm curious how you ran your wiring though. The Narva fuse block has two short wires coming off it - did you solder joint these to longer wires?

Kaldek

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Right. I've fitted my replacement fuseblock tonight and encountered no problems. I'm not sure what other people have done but I used the existing Red/Yellow wire from the battery and spliced that into the wire provided with the fuse block. I could not remove the wires from the connector that connects to the ECM (and other electrical subsystems), so I just cut it out and directly spliced this wire into the fuse block as well.

I'll have to attack it later with some connectors (and sometime other than a weeknight!) and tidy the job up.

As for symptoms, my bike was cutting out whilst riding, and it started happening yesterday afternoon on the way home from work. No EFI fault codes lit up because the symptoms were of the EFI system losing power completely, then coming back. If I stopped the engine would idle at very low revs then stall unless I gave it some gas. My existing 30-amp fuse block was yellowed, with burn marks in places. The lead from the fuseblock into the connector (to the ECM/front of the bike) was extremely stiff and brittle, and so was its sheath. Today when I managed to get to work I noticed that this fuseblock was extremely hot. My fuse was also partially melted.

My only concern now is whether I have fixed the problem or merely moved it from one location to another. I hope that the old fuseblock wasn't acting as the pressure release point in the system - and now some other weak part will now suffer?

Kaldek

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Guest Havagan

Summary of Symptoms:

- Bike running but no headlights. Eventually the headlights would come back on.

- Engine dies for no reason. Sometimes she started right back up, other times she wouldn't start for a few minutes. Eventually she wouldn't start at all. =)

- Bike won't start and there's a buzzing coming from behind the dash (one or more of the various relays back there).

- FI warning light comes on and the fuel pump does not prime.

Fix #1: Spliced the green wire (ECM ground wire) at the blue connector (front to main wiring harness connector) which had melted together. The bike ran fine for a while.

- The symptoms described above came back only the ECM now had a hot spot (complete with bulge in the plastic and cracks in the gel sealant around the connectors) and was slowly oozing wisps of smoke (from the crack in the gel sealant).

Fix #2: Replaced the ECM. The bike ran fine for a while.

- The symptoms described above came back. After a really long time testing every electrical component under the sun (per the Honda Service Manual) I diagnosed a broken ECM ground wire (the same old green bastard from the first time) in the main wiring harness.

Fix #3: I grounded the ECM ground wire directly to the frame bypassing the wiring harnesses completely.

I didn't wait for the problem to recur. My bike is now having every wiring harness in the bike replaced. When I get the bike back (sometime this decade) I'll let you know if the symptoms come back. No one at my dealer or Honda America can tell me what was (still is?) causing this problem.

Hav

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Man, this post is like 3 years too late for me.  I had my 30A fuse burn up long ago and already went through the issues of my headlights/display dying on me in the middle of a ride from a blown fuse.  I ended up taking of the front fairing, jiggling some wires, putting everything back together and now, no problems  <_< .  Never really found the issue but I'm guessing a bad gound in a wiring harness somewhere.  F-ing BS  +1.gif

Some guys had the harness rub through the protective cover (insulation) and short out against the bike, sounds like this might be your problem.

Actually this post was several years old with some fantastic info, but was lost or deleted some time back and I have been trying to get it rebuilt again with the help on members. Very Slow process! :huh:

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I have been "away" a while (SNOWBOARDING!) and just got back in the saddle, and on line here since getting the bike back after my ordeal.

I can NOT believe that "my first electrical" post got deleted! that was my original post...

I also have not read all of this thread... sorry, short on time lately.

if you suffer from this crap, be SURE to get honda to fix it!!!! to add to my already long list of gripes... the dealership had my bike over 3 months before they STARTED working on it! that means everyday it sat in the sun outside the garage, bleaching everything! AND THEN? now that I have had the viffer sitting on a charger on and off a few times in the garage, and actually rode it a few times - poof! battery is TOAST!

argh!

replaced... all's well - so, how is everybody's burnt fuses?! :lol:

hope honda takes care of you!

-c

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OK, here's my reader's digest version....last November I noticed that the 30 AMP fuse holder was a little discolored, but no melted insulation. My accessories include heated grips, 2 jastek plugs (for garmin-very little draw; and the rear mounted jastek for the heated vest), fork mounted driving lights, autocom...all within the alternators load capacity (yup, I did the math).

The funny thing was--I had the bike in the garage, with a multimeter hooked up to check voltage and @ 2000 rpm the voltage spiked to 18.2 and then the bike died. Fried 30 AMP fuse holder, melted battery harness at the holder and melted fuse. Battery toast. Hmmm, timing is everything.

Now, It's an '03 with an extended warranty, but I didn't want to dick with the worthless dealer ("VFR, thats a Yamaha, right")and with all the accesories on the bike, so I inspected the wiring harness and decided that I could do the main harness swap. I purchased the main and battery harness, RR and Ron Ayers. Battery I got locally.

The swap was a PITA. But I shielded, covered, and dielctric greased the crap out of everything. I mean everything. Plus I took the opportunity to rewire and conolidate the accory wiring with an aux fuse box and install a digital voltmeter....

So, I know I didn't report it, scream about it or poke Honda in the chest--but I didn't need the extra stress--I threw my money and time into it. My choice, but at least I know some pimple face 18 YO excuse for a mechanic touch my bike after waiting for the bike to become sun bleached while waiting for its turn to be worked on....

See ya next week at the Gap. I'll be the one with extra 10 GA wire.....

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Putting my engineers hat on for a moment....running hi beams continuously means around 210W (2x50 & 2x55) continuous power draw, which is 17.5A at 12v. Add to this the other lights that are on continuously...2 tail lights, marker lights etc, that adds another 20w. Add to this whatever else is going on and you have at least 20+ A continuous current draw.

There is no way that main fuse wiring is up to carrying that kind of current continuously.

So even of I replace the fuse block, what kind of state is the wiring harness in ?

Maybe time to stop running hi-beams, or wire up a switch to switch of lo-beams for daytime use ???

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