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Can Someone Help Please??


fpierce22
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Hi all,
 
I still have my beloved 1998 VFR - right at 18,000 miles.  A few weeks back the dreaded gauge cluster resetting started - (clock reset, trip resent).  Before I could address it the entire gauge cluster died and then a few seconds later so did my bike.  I thoroughly checked the R/R, battery, and Stator and ALL  checked out fine.  However since these (especially the R/R) are weak points in our electrical system I replaced them both - Mofset style for the R/R.  Not only did I replace them but I direct wired the R/R to the stator.  Took the bike out the next day and the gauge cluster started resetting again - U turn back to my garage.
 
I then removed all plastics and checked all connections around the batter, fuse block, and gauge cluster.  I also removed the awful green ground 'block' that we have on the 5th gens and direct wired all grounds.  Also, checked the ground connection on the right side of the frame - all good - no corrosion or discoloring.  Lastly, I installed a voltmeter.
 
Just came back from a ride and the gauge cluster (after approximately 5 miles) started to to reset, blink, etc.  The voltage (per the voltmeter) is rock solid at 14.5 volts at any RPM above idle.  It literally does not move.  At idle it will go down to about 12.7.  
 
Am I at the point that Im going to have to start removing tape from my wiring harness to look for burnt or frayed wires or am I missing something??  Again I have not replaced the batter but there doesnt appear to be a reason to even go down that route (and expense).  Can anyone shed some light on this???
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Your instrument cluster may not be a battery or charging issue.

Confirm your instrument cluster power and grounds are good. Refer to your wiring diagram.

The cluster can also suffer badly from broken/corroded tracks on the flexible printed circuit board behind the cluster. There are 6 screws that mount and connect the lcd to the panel check all these and and associated tracks for continuity back to the main panel connectors.

This particular cluster was suffering from strange blinker effects.

 

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4 minutes ago, fpierce22 said:

Grum, I would agree if it werent for the fact that the bike died (before replacing the RR and stator).

 

Sorry...are you saying that ONLY the instrument cluster dies, everything else is working, including headlights, engine running and your charging voltage is good?

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Check the state of the connections for Both your main fuse 30amp A and B. They can suffer from heat stress and high resistance connections.

 

Check the 4p plug at the Starter Relay the connections can suffer badly especially to the main Red power wire comming from main fuse A.

 

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Grum, the instrument cluster starts reseting and blinking but the engine doesnt die as I immediately turn around and head back to the garage.  And yes the voltage is 14.5V the whole time. 😅😅😅

 

Do you think that the gauge cluster issue could have been caused by the charging issue but now that (supposedly) the charging issue is resolved the gauge cluster has been in some way damaged?

 

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3 minutes ago, Grum said:

Check the state of the connections for Both your main fuse 30amp A and B. They can suffer from heat stress and high resistance connections.

 

Check the 4p plug at the Starter Relay the connections can suffer badly especially to the main Red power wire comming from main fuse A.

Grum,

 

The 4P plug at the starter relay was a bit 'powdery' (for lack of better terms) around the female connector but nothing that would lead me to believe that the issue is originating there.  What do you think?

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1 minute ago, fpierce22 said:

Grum,

 

The 4P plug at the starter relay was a bit 'powdery' (for lack of better terms) around the female connector but nothing that would lead me to believe that the issue is originating there.  What do you think?

Then I go back to my first post. You must make sure the Grounds for the cluster are solid back to the negative terminal of the battery.

Make sure the power feed to the cluster both the permanent clock power and switched power are good. Failing that there may be an internal issue of the cluster as mentioned.

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Just to be sure. Are you Only loosing the LCD display of the cluster? Indicator lights, Tacho, Speedo, illumination lighting, are they all working?

VERY important to know exactly what is NOT operational when the fault occurs.

 

Just incase you don't have it. The Service Manual can be downloaded from the forum!

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I can't recall on my 5th gen - is the ground on the right side of the frame also the one that attaches the negative battery cable?  My 6th gen has a main ground for the harness and a separate one for the batt negative cable.

 

As Grum points out, grounds can cause all sorts of mysterious and wacky problems.  When electricity can't get back to the battery through a ground or earth, it looks for another way - sometimes backfeeding through circuits - so you can get blinking or dim lights that are switched off or all sorts of unexplicable behavior.  Any white powder around ground points can be bi-metallic corrosion from a steel bolt threaded in to an aluminum frame.  At 20 years old, that would not be a surprise.  A good antidote to that would be some Oxgard on the ground points to overcome the corrosion and promote conductivity.  A circuit with a tiny current flow can be more affected by a poor ground than something with a large current flow like the starting circuit, so that could possibly explain some of the it starts and runs but the display doesn't work behavior. 

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