:: Yamaha Virago XV Forums That Rock!!! Electronics Main Fuse Blows Instantly (SOLVED thanks to TRV)

#1:  Main Fuse Blows Instantly (SOLVED thanks to TRV) Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 20 May 2010 11:16 pm

My main fuse blew the other day, and as soon as I put in a new one, it fries it. What gives?

Last edited by shmalphy on 25 May 2010 01:02 am; edited 3 times in total

#2:   Author: anaman51 New post Posted: 20 May 2010 11:53 pm

What were you doing with the bike just prior to parking it before it started blowing fuses? Were you riding it or working on it?


#3:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:11 am

I was riding, and it died, the main fuse blew. It was raining very lightly, and I was riding at high rpm's because my pilot screw fell out on one side, and I was trying to make it home. It would die if the idle dropped down too low.

I am used to dirt bikes that take a beating and have very limited electrical systems, and no batteries or fuses. I am definitely learning the hard way with this Virago...

#4:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: AloRaptor New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:16 am

Something is shorted somewhere. Either a wire to ground or a component. Get a multimeter and check the wire to the fuse to see if it is grounded.

#5:   Author: anaman51 New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:23 am

Was it running on both cylinders when it died that first time?


#6:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:27 am

I have a multimeter.

I need you to me explain how to do that, in simpleton terms. I am a complete newb when it comes to electonics, that is why I came here. I bought a multimeter on the advice of another member, and only really know how to use it to test my battery so far.

#7:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: AloRaptor New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:32 am

Put the meter on resistance setting. Unhook your battery. connect the red lead to the wire and the black lead to a unpainted metal part of the motorcycle. Put the meter on x100 or x1000 scale. If it reads zero or close to it you have a short.

#8:   Author: grazingazer New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:32 am

you have a hot wire going to ground somewhere...

#9:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:32 am

It is hard for me to say to be honest.

I got a colortune plug, and that is when I realized that the front cylinder was not firing. I adjusted the pilot screw WAY out, and got it to fire perfectly. It was running like a top, then it started to get weird the other day on the way to work, and then it got real bad. When I got to work, i saw the pilot screw sitting on the engine...

I wanted to get it home before the rain storm, so I started it and went. It was running, but it would bog really bad at less than 1/4 throttle, so I was trying to keep it revved high.

#10:   Author: grazingazer New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:40 am

it sounds like you have a bad vacuum leak along with your electrical issues

#11:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: grnrngr New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:45 am

Check your key switch. Many yrs ago, I left my XS 650 (same kind of switch on the dash) in the snow, snow melted and shorted inside the switch. Popped three fuses before I decided to sit down and think about it over a couple beers. Not too much later, I remembered the old "wrap the fuse in aluminum foil" trick, got about 5 miles before it burned my wiring harness from the switch to the battery. Not an effective remedy and a very poor diagnostic procedure. But.... that was many yrs ago and after a couple beers.....and once that switch dried out inside, it was fine. One of my current xv500s has a similar issue, was getting power to the lights and starter but not the coils, lots of cranking but no starting. Spraying some contact cleaner in there has it working, for now...

#12:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:49 am

the side that was not was running has a bad spark plug wire, I pulled the coil and it was rusty. I had that on my list of things to fix next and I figured that was the reason it was not running right on that side.

I have sprayed the boots while running, and it seems there are no vacuum leaks. I could be wrong tho, crazier things have happened.

#13:   Author: grazingazer New post Posted: 21 May 2010 12:51 am

which bike are you working on they're not exactly the same

#14:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 21 May 2010 02:27 am

This is the 82

The 81 is in peices for the time being. I need to get the swingarm sandblasted, and I want to finish the 82 to my liking before I get into rebuilding that.

#15:   Author: anaman51 New post Posted: 21 May 2010 02:42 am

The reason I asked if it had been running on both jugs when you brought it home hurt is because I don't want you firing it back up if it might have dumped some gas in your oil. If that jug wasn't firing for any period of time exceeding a couple of minutes, you might have a problem. Check to see if the oil level is higher than it was before, and crack the filler cap and give the crankcase a sniff or two. If it smells of gas, drain it! If there's the slightest doubt, drain it!


#16:   Author: grazingazer

#36:   Author: disturbedbonsai, ,  New post Posted: 22 May 2010 10:56 pm

I had the exact same problem a while ago. For me the r/r had blown. If you disconnect the r/r and stator from the wiring loom and try replacing the fuse again if it runs without blowing again then that'll be your problem

#37:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 22 May 2010 11:52 pm

I do not know how to read that diagram... If the bike is relying on me figuring that out, it is in serious trouble.

What do you mean "main switch"?

I am ripping apart my wire harness trying to follow the wire from the main fuse, and nothing looks bad inside.

I disconnected the wire connector that is coming out of the r/r and the one from the stator. The test light still lit up.

#38:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 23 May 2010 12:13 am

at the battery at the positive wire (the thick wire) there is a 12 gauge wire with a connector.. unplug that.. see if the test light goes out...this is the power wire to the fuse, r/r and main switch.. the main switch is your ignition (where the key goes).
if the light goes out (which it will because the fuse out did not allow the test light to work). plug back in.
go to the r/r.. it is behind the tool box on the left side of the bike.. the r/r is removable and unplugs.. unplug the r/r see if the light goes out..
if it dont.. go to the ignition switch remove it and unplug it see if the light goes out..
if the light does not go out when these are unplugged then the problem is in your harness.....dan

#39:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: grnrngr New post Posted: 23 May 2010 12:57 am

Bummer. Sorry to hear it's still an issue. When you're thinking about "recent things" you did to the bike, don't forget about possible pinched wires somewhere when putting things back together...not sure about the 750, but the kill switch on my 500 sits directly over the starter button, could it have sustained brake fluid damage?

#40:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 23 May 2010 01:10 am

the wire in question does not feed the kill switch. thanks for info though...dan

#41:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 23 May 2010 04:08 pm

Unplugged the r/r and it still lights up

I found the only plug under the headlight that has a red wire, but it is hard to tell if it is going to the main switch, and I can't figure out how it comes out. I unplugged it and the light still lit up.

is this the right one? should I start ripping out the harness now or what?

#42:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 23 May 2010 06:16 pm

well if you know nothing about wiring.. you are going to get a fast lesson..ready??
first off.. in the pic above the right term looks very hot. you may have to replace it..
(very hot)-- the term is not shinny like the others..
that is a male term..look where it plugs in that is the female term. if it looks hot then it also will need replaced..
instead of tearing the harness completely out of the bike.. i am going to recommend hard wiring the circuit.
you will need 12 gauge wire, solder, soldering gun, heat shrink, black tape. (battery disconnected)
start at the fuse. leave about 3 to 4 inches from the fuse and cut the old wire. remove the wire cover to expose the wire. (IF the wire looks hot) black in color.. it is no good and you will need to get a new inline fuse.. IF the wire is shinny then splice your new wire to it put your heat shrink on the wire before soldering.. solder you new connection, heat shrink..move on to the r/r.. take your new wire to the r/r to the female connector. do the same as you did to the fuse.. if the wire is black then you will need to get a male and female terminal.. you can pick out the terms. and get them matched up at a auto or electric store. you will place your new wire in the terms. solder and lock them back in the connector.
when that is done. hook up test light to the battery. (fuse in) see if test light is out..(it better be)
if it is out then go to the new wire you just did and about 4 inches from where you made your splice. (razor blade for this) open the new wire cover about 1/2 inch. to expose the wire. get your test light and poke a hole in the new wire.. get another piece of your new wire remove the covering start it in the hole you made and twist it tight.. solder this connection.. and black tape it.. this new connection will go to your ignition. feed your new wire up to the ignition.. again look at the male and female connections.. if they look hot or black replace them ..once the wiring is done connect all your connectors install the test light make sure it is out.. if is out.. connect your battery and enjoy your ride...dan

#43:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 24 May 2010 01:43 am

hmmm.... So the main problem is that the red wire is burnt out inside?

I am gonna have to absorb all that. I will have to take pics before I do anything to confirm we are on the same page.

I am trying to imagine what you mean when you say replace terminals, do you actually remove the wire from the plastic plug, and remove the terminal from the plug, and put in another one? Or do you run the wire outside of the plastic plug and get male and female terminals for the ends? I am not familiar with this, sorry if that is a dumb question...

At this point I am pretty frustrated, and dissapointed that I am not riding. I spent all weekend ripping the bike apart, and got nowhere. I might just try to find a wire harness for sale, and go that route.

#44:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 24 May 2010 01:53 am

just relax... take this as a learning experience.. this will not be the first time you will be doing wiring..
yes the terms. will come out the connectors. you will need to replace them..
the red wire is shorting to ground somewhere in the harness..
look at the diagram.. you see the red wire from the battery wire connector? follow it.. it goes from the battery connector to the fuse (the one that keeps blowing) from the fuse it goes to the r/r... in the middle of the wire there is a black dot.. that is a splice.. at that splice it goes to the ignition.. that is the wire you need to replace...dan

note: if you order a new/used harness you dont know what you will be getting. and pulling out the old harness the engine will have to be lowered.. alot more work in going that way.. my way 2 hrs tops. and your riding the same day.

#45:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 24 May 2010 02:15 am

ok point taken...

so i cut the plug off the fuse, or keep it on the fuse and cut on the other side?

In my understanding, I need to cut out the wire between the fuse and r/r and solder in another. then splice in a wire and go to the ignition, put a new terminal on the end and plug that into the plug. what about the wire that goes from the fuse to the battery? i replace that too right?

#46:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 24 May 2010 02:27 am

ok slow down.. cut the red wire at the fuse area.. not the battery side of the fuse. the harness side of the fuse.. remove the coating look at the wire.. if it is black or discolored then the inline fuse will have to be replaced. if it is shinny then you can splice your new wire there... i will work with you on this on step at a time.. so you dont feel overwhelmed......dan

#47:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 24 May 2010 02:41 am

Ok, I think I got step 1 now. I am gonna take a picture tomorow morning of where I am going to cut, just to be safe. I will post that during the day, and start this project after work. Until then I need a few beers...

Thanks TRV, I really appreciate all the help.

#48:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 24 May 2010 02:50 am

look at the diagram.. the arrow is where you cut.. i used orange on the red wire for the area to cut..dan

81_83_us_XV750 wiring good shrunk cut.JPG
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81_83_us_XV750 wiring good shrunk cut.JPG

#49:   Author: grazingazer New post Posted: 24 May 2010 03:27 am

have you checked the battery yet...a shorted battery can show a full charge [surface] and still put a tremendous load on the system even to the point of cooking wires...the cells should be within .05 of each other using the hydrometer

#50:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 24 May 2010 02:06 pm

I will check if the fuse is still good first, because I have to run to Radio Shack, I have to get heat shrink, and I am gonna practice splicing the wires into each other, so I don't mess it up.

The wire from the battery to the fuse looks pretty cruddy, and the plastic around the terminals is all messed up, so I might start by replacing that (can't hurt, and I want it all done up nice) Then I am gonna run a new wire from the other side of the fuse (since I already changed the battery side) to the r/r. Then splice a wire into that and run it to the ignition. Hook it back up and ride right?

I will get a hydrometer while I am out and check that as well.

#51:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 24 May 2010 02:27 pm

when you cut the the wire on the fuse, do you leave the plastic terminal on the fuse, or cut it out? (do I cut where my fingers are, or down below the plastic plug)

#52:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 24 May 2010 04:10 pm

pull the plug apart. look at the terms. see if they are discolored..if they are then replace..if the terms are discolored then the fuse assy. should be replaced also..
the connector is power in from the battery through the fuse and out to the harness....dan

#53:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 24 May 2010 04:22 pm

To remove the terms, do I just pull em out? I don't want to break em.

#54:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 24 May 2010 05:09 pm

this calls for a really good set of eyes.. look into the plug (just like the pic. on top) there is a piece of plastic. L shaped. you need to get a small pick and pry back on the L while pulling the wire at the same time.. once you get the hang of it... it will come easy...

some connectors do not have the plastic L...
what they used is a piece of the term. (metal) the piece is like a leg collapse the leg and pull on the wire at the same time... dan

#55:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 24 May 2010 05:43 pm

OK, i removed the fuse from the plastic connector. It looks like the wire is pretty dark

#56:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 24 May 2010 05:54 pm

yep alot of heat in those connectors.. you are better replacing all. all the terms, inline fuse, and all the wire.. if your terms look like that your wire is burnt also.... cannot solder to burnt wire.. i see you have the metal legs.. are you getting the hang of them yet?.....dan

#57:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 24 May 2010 06:19 pm

I got the males figured out but not the females. (Story of my life)

I see how to get the females out but I need a smaller tool I almost broke the plastic trying. Where can you get the plastic pieces? Some seem brittle and now that I know how to change em I wouldn't mind doing preventative maintenance

Will radio shack have an inline fuse or should I order online?

#58:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 24 May 2010 08:23 pm

yep radio shack will have all your needs... they may even help you remove those pesky females...if the plastic breaks.. there is a way around them...let radio shack look them over.. they may recommend just installing a male and female terminal (no plug).... get plenty for the r/r and ignition switch....dan

#59:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 25 May 2010 01:00 am

well I went to radio shack. The guy was definitely not helpful. He was about 60, he sat on the counter while I searched through poorly organized drawers looking for terminals. They had none that whould fit into the plastic connectors, the gut didn't even know what I was talking about. He said he couldn't wait to get outta there, he had been partying at the casino last night. (WTF?!?!?)

So I grabbed what I could, they only had a 6 pack of m/f terminals, so I figured I could get away with that, I got home soldered the splice (second try) and put the inline fuse in, and males on the 3 exposed ends, I put the corresponding females on the r/r, main switch, and battery wire.

Worked like a charm. Cannot thank you enough. Now I gotta put it all back together and ride.

DAN: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. never could have done it without ya

#60:   Author: grazingazer New post Posted: 25 May 2010 01:07 am

don't overlook that battery

#61:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 25 May 2010 01:38 am

the problem is fixed, what could still be wrong with the battery?

I just rode a few miles, what a feeling of releif. It is gonna be 80 degress tomorrow, can't wait to enjoy it on the bike

#62:   Author: shmalphy New post Posted: 25 May 2010 01:49 am

headlight and turn signals are way brighter, and the horn is way louder now. I got new plug wires, gonna put them on tomorrow and tune it with the colortune plugs, should be sweet after that. The brake caliper and m/c rebuild kits should be in this week, the whole bike should be perfect by this weekend

#63:   Author: totallyredvirago New post Posted: 25 May 2010 02:20 am

really upset :(
you got to party before me... sorry you have a bad experience with radio shack.. the last time i walked in ours there were 3 guys trying to help me.. (as they tripped over the tumble weeds)... really glad she is up and running for you... but do what graz. says. double check the battery with the hydrometer.. with the load the wire and connectors were pulling on the battery.. the plates may have been damaged.. you could see the heat the wire and terms got.. the battery got the same.. do this last task so you dont get let down on a long ride.. after that ride safe...dan

#64:  Re: Main Fuse Blows Instantly (SOLVED thanks to TRV) Author: anaman51 New post Posted: 25 May 2010 05:41 am

If it's got wires on it, Dan's Da Man! Electronics Main Fuse Blows Instantly (SOLVED thanks to TRV)

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