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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi y'all - asking because poor Sonreir's on vacation and has had to field a bundle of these questions from me. I've got a fresh harness from him, and I thought I'd nailed it after some trial and error, but starting the bike blew...something, somewhere. Fuse looks OK, but I'm worried I fried the ignition relay or melted something - there was a real nice "SQUEEEEEEeeeeee" after some vigorous attempts at starting. I was probably too enthusiastic :rolleyes:

Anyway, major question is, is it preferential to have multiple ground points across the frame, or is it OK to route my grounds largely to one point? Right now I've got the main strap going from the battery to its original location on the engine mount, and then a set of four ground wires from the harness where they converge, bolted to one of the old tool box mounting holes. Step one (after continuity testing EVERYTHING) is going to be re-scrubbing that mounting point, but is there any chance that part of the problem is that I'm putting all of my eggs in one basket?
 

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Grounds are grounds anywhere on the main frame area, but the key is to have a nice clean surface to connect it to. If you've powdercoated or painted the frame, you'll need to go to bare metal before connecting any of them, particularly the heavy ground cable that is intended to carry the load of the ground necessary for the starter's high draw. I have only 2 small ground wires on my 450 but I removed the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good to know, thanks! I think I must need to re-scrub those contact points, the frame was painted. I sanded them initially, but I might not have been thorough enough - time to break out the Dremel sander.

Gotta find what I screwed up in the meantime, too; I had power, lights, and starter prior to my misguided attempts at starting, but now I've got absolutely nothing. Thinking there's gotta be a main wire somewhere that could have melted. The fuse didn't blow though, so I'm not sure if that's any indication.

Edit: Better yet, I'm wondering if I melted the ground wires. Things to check after work :D
 

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I suppose if your heavy ground wasn't a clean connection, it could have made the funny noises due to trying to actuate the starter solenoid with an inadequate load-carrying ground and maybe melted something small, like one of the harness grounds.
 

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how did you confirm the fuse was good?
with a test light or multimeter? visual inspection sometimes isnt good enough.
usually with electrical, it helps to be thorough and trace the power as it leaves the battery, til you find where the break is.

edit: if youre using points, the condenser needs to be grounded.
also, there may need to be a ground strap from your gauges to the top clamp.
 

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A bad ground will not blow a fuse or melt a wire, it will simply result in no power. Since you initially had power, I suspect you fried an unfused wire due to a short circuit somewhere. Look for melted insulation on your wires.
 

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Is there a ground connection near the coils? The stock harness has a single green grounding wire connection that goes between the coil pack and the frame. I kept popping fuses on my new harness because I had my turn signal relay wired incorrectly. Silly things like that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Both good points! The main trunk is sleeved, so hopefully it’s not in there, but I’ll check the unsleeved ones and then start continuity testing if I haven’t found it yet.

Doode, are you saying that the condenser should be grounded through the body of the condenser itself? The whole area where the coils mount to the frame is still painted (with the condenser sitting on top of that bracket), and the condenser’s only got two wires (that go to the left and right points wiring arrangement), so that might well be it. How does the condenser normally ground?

I had the points cover off and they were sparking mightily when they open, so I’m wondering if you’ve nailed it.
 

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The condensors (it's a two-in-one kinda deal) are grounded through their mounting screw.

For grounding locations, I prefer one good spot. It often helps with troubleshooting. Grab a multimeter and measure the resistance between your ground spot and the negative terminal on the battery. You should be seeing less than one Ohm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Should have followed up, you're right! Welcome back :) at this point, a good sanding on all of the grounded connections seems to have addressed the issue. I sanded a spot under one of the condensor screws as well, and in terms of the engine electrical, everything looks good. I've got a separate thread chasing an LED blinking issue (in that they don't seem to, at the moment), but that one's on hold until the next set of bullet connectors arrives tomorrow, so that I can ensure the signals are actually grounding through the stalks as expected (right now I'm assuming they're grounding through the headlight bucket, but that doesn't seem to be working splendidly).
 
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