Rear tail light out, comes on when braking
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  1. #1
    Noob! Jelorian's Avatar
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    Rear tail light out, comes on when braking




    Just picked up this 2010 yesterday and went straight to meet up with some buddies for a ride. One of them noticed the rear tail light was not working but the tail light DOES work when braking.

    I have not had much time to go through her but the only mods I'm aware of are the Arrow slipons and LED headlight upgrade.

    Before I start taking the rear apart, any quick things I can check?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Noob! Jelorian's Avatar
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    Checked the fuses and it looks like the 5A blew.  Replaced it with a new fuse it immediately blew.  I have not taken the rear tail light assembly off yet, but from these pics can you tell if it is OEM or aftermarket?
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  3. #3
    Squidly Diddlers chaos's Avatar
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    Once your armed with a few more spare 5amps fuses and ready to proceed.
    Firstly.Remove the main headlight fuse and spare your battery, if diagnosing with the ignition in the "On" position.

    The tail light is a separate circuit from the brake light and has its own fuse.
    Does it work in the 'park' position of the key-switch?
    Does the license plate light work?
    Ideally you check for +12V at the yellow wire at the lamp connector with ignition on - if you have power there then lamp is dead. (however same supply is for license plate so that should be good indicator without even measuring voltage)

    From what I've read.Worst case. Suspect a short/damaged wire(s) caused by the handlebar wire clamp.- it is usually the ignition wire that breaks.
    I'm sure someone with first hand knowledge on the subject will chime in soon,and get things sorted out.
    Last edited by chaos; 10-05-2020 at 10:37 AM.

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  5. #4
    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello Chewie.'s Avatar
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    I have the same model as you. The taillight is stock. There is a short which causes the blown fuse, and the fact that the taillight comes on when you use the brake indicates that the short is likely to be at the rear of the bike in the area just forward of the tail light.
    I would start looking there.
    John







    "I haven't shot anybody since 1992...and even then I didn't do it!" - Mark 'Chopper' Read

  6. #5
    Noob! Jelorian's Avatar
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    Hey chaos. Thanks for your reply. Answers to your questions below in BOLD.

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    Once your armed with a few more spare 5amps fuses and ready to proceed.
    Firstly.Remove the main headlight fuse, and spare your battery, if diagnosing with the ignition in the "On" position.

    The tail light is a separate circuit from the brake light and has its own fuse.

    Thanks for that info!

    Does it work in the 'park' position of the key-switch?

    It does not.

    Does the license plate light work?

    It does not.

    Ideally you check for +12V at the yellow wire at the lamp connector with ignition on - if you have power there then lamp is dead. (however same supply is for license plate so that should be good indicator without even measuring voltage)

    Nothing from the yellow wire on the tail light connector as well as on the license place wire connector. Green on the tail light connector gets a solid +12V when the front and rear brake levers are depressed.

    From what I've read.Worst case. Suspect a short/damaged wire(s) caused by the handlebar wire clamp.- it is usually the ignition wire that breaks.
    I'm sure someone with first hand knowledge on the subject will chime in soon,and get things sorted out.
    Looks like I may need to check there. The handlebar wire clamp seemed to very tight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chewie. View Post
    I have the same model as you. The taillight is stock. There is a short which causes the blown fuse, and the fact that the taillight comes on when you use the brake indicates that the short is likely to be at the rear of the bike in the area just forward of the tail light.
    I would start looking there.
    Everything looks good there. According to the manual the #9 5A fuse controls the tail light, license plate, and side lights. The side lights are working fine.

    I'm not getting +12V to the yellow connector on the tail light wiring so I'm thinking the short is further upstream? Ignition switch? How hard is it to check that assembly?

    Thanks for your reply, Chewie.

  7. #6
    Squidly Diddlers chaos's Avatar
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    Its good to know you have the service manual for reference.
    Familiarize yourself with the removal of the fuel tank. It would make the job so much simpler out of the way.

    Chances are,it's going to be in one of the suspected locations:
    The bracket on the head stock. It may have cut wires under it or It has pulled the wires out of the bottom of the ign switch.
    or
    Under the Left Side clamp.
    OR
    the big connector block under the righthand frame spar has a burned or pulled contact.

    How hard is it to do?? That depends on the area of re-work, your skillset and tools available to you.

    Wiggle the wires in the suspected locations and localize the problem area prior to cutting into anything.

    "Typically the wires right at the clamp will break internally and show little to no outward sign of damage . You will need to grasp each wire on either side of where the clamp was and try to pull the wire apart . The damaged wires will only have the plastic sheath holding it together and it will pull apart , getting thinner and breaking in the middle .

    If those wires check out then you are dealing with having to remove your top clamp to access the bottom of the ign switch and find / resolder the wire to the base ."
    Last edited by chaos; 10-05-2020 at 12:15 PM.

  8. #7
    Noob! Jelorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    Once your armed with a few more spare 5amps fuses and ready to proceed.
    Firstly.Remove the main headlight fuse and spare your battery, if diagnosing with the ignition in the "On" position.

    The tail light is a separate circuit from the brake light and has its own fuse.
    Does it work in the 'park' position of the key-switch?
    Does the license plate light work?
    Ideally you check for +12V at the yellow wire at the lamp connector with ignition on - if you have power there then lamp is dead. (however same supply is for license plate so that should be good indicator without even measuring voltage)

    From what I've read.Worst case. Suspect a short/damaged wire(s) caused by the handlebar wire clamp.- it is usually the ignition wire that breaks.
    I'm sure someone with first hand knowledge on the subject will chime in soon,and get things sorted out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chewie. View Post
    I have the same model as you. The taillight is stock. There is a short which causes the blown fuse, and the fact that the taillight comes on when you use the brake indicates that the short is likely to be at the rear of the bike in the area just forward of the tail light.
    I would start looking there.
    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    Its good to know you have the service manual for reference.
    Familiarize yourself with the removal of the fuel tank. It would make the job so much simpler out of the way.

    Chances are,it's going to be in one of the suspected locations:
    The bracket on the head stock. It may have cut wires under it or It has pulled the wires out of the bottom of the ign switch.
    or
    Under the Left Side clamp.
    OR
    the big connector block under the righthand frame spar has a burned or pulled contact.

    How hard is it to do?? That depends on the area of re-work, your skillset and tools available to you.

    Wiggle the wires in the suspected locations and localize the problem area prior to cutting into anything.

    "Typically the wires right at the clamp will break internally and show little to no outward sign of damage . You will need to grasp each wire on either side of where the clamp was and try to pull the wire apart . The damaged wires will only have the plastic sheath holding it together and it will pull apart , getting thinner and breaking in the middle .

    If those wires check out then you are dealing with having to remove your top clamp to access the bottom of the ign switch and find / resolder the wire to the base ."

    I do have a Hayne's manual but I would not mind getting my hands on a factory manual or if it is online some where then even better.

    It seems moving the tank or tank removal is a bit more involved on the S3. On my current VFR's and my old Yamaha's it was 2 bolts near the triple clamps and the whole tank would pivot up on a rear hinge and hoses and tubes would stay intact and not need to be disconnected unless removing the tank from the bike. I would hope that I can do something similar with the S3 tank and not have to remove it all together to get access to the ignition wiring and later down the line, the air filter.

    I also see lots of references to tubes/hoses reconnected to the wrong place, hoses that get kinked or smashed when putting the tank down. I'll make sure to mark everything and probably take vid/photos along the way since this would be my first time messing with this bike.

    Thanks for your help, chaos. I'm hoping that it is simple as a wire break in an area that can easily be reconnected, soldered, and then covered with marine grade heat shrink. But, I'm pretty sure it will be some place much harder than that. Haha. I was hoping it was more towards the tail section but when I tested with my volt meter and there was nothing going to either the tail light or the license plate light then I knew it was further upstream. I will post back what I find out.

  9. #8
    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello Bad Santa 1050's Avatar
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    Re Fuel Tank -

    Nope, it fits not gonna hinge, however removal is pretty easy.
    Sadly I have it down to removed in about 2 minutes...
    Fuel hoses are quick release, but still scent you with cologne de fuel...

    Re Tail light - thankfully, I've had minimal issues in the last 14 years, apart from actual LED diodes starting to fail and no longer illuminate. I just purchased an aftermarket integrated unit, but only plugged in the tail/brake light wires

    Your lack of working number plate light suggests you need to keep chasing wires... which you already know...
    I'd probably see if you can check if not the tail light and number plate light will work if given power directly from the battery. Longshot, but not impossible that the numberplate light has gone and part of the tail light unit itself as failed over time, with the timing being coincidental.

  10. #9
    Squidly Diddlers chaos's Avatar
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    Very optimistic. However. Burned lamps coincidental or not, would not blow fuses.

  11. #10
    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello Bad Santa 1050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    Very optimistic. However. Burned lamps coincidental or not, would not blow fuses.
    (Shrugs)

    LED tail light units are all secret white man's magic to me...

    On my 98 Daytona, the spring on the back of the rear brake pedal which activated the brake light switch, used to short out, blowing the tail light and indicator/turn signal fuse, which then had the brake lamps illuminated continuously.
    Speedy never had those issues (thankfully) - that said I did go to an afternarket pressure switch for the rear brake.

    Maybe there's an issue with the trail light unit itself? You're right, it is optimistic... but if it were, it'd be easier than chasing a wiring short the length of the wiring harness...

 

 
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