October 23, 2011

Too good to be true?

And that's exactly what went through my head as I received an email that I had the winning bid, and that it's been approved by the seller. I did fetch the bike for a song, but I wasn't fooling myself since I can imagine in most cases these machines land in the salvage yard for a good reason. In this case, judging from the dead odometer (and 0 / NA in listing's mileage), it was clear that the bike's electricals were shot. The kicker is that in modern bike electricals are digital, ie the engine management system, and fancy safety and security features.

For example, as I did my research waiting for the bike to arrive by freight I learned that the bike's instrument cluster was part of the digital Controller Area Network (CAN, a standard common in modern vehicles), and with these disconnected the bike would not even power up. Guess what?! It was clear from the pics that the instruments on mine had been sheared off in the crash! Note, I believe that the communication protocol on these modern Triumph is technical not CAN but the ISO 9141-2; I think it may be just a case of overly broad use of the 'CAN' term.

As I got into learning about all the fancy aspects of vehicle electronics, brushing off my knowledge of digital electronics, it did not occur to me how different work with vehicle electricals is and how little experience I have in this domain. I've included a copy of the main wiring diagram; quite a feat if you consider that it needs to be correlated with several other more detailed diagrams, wires are not uniquely identified by their color (4 black wires coming out of instruments, item 1 on diagram!), and the order in which the wires are crimped into connectors doesn't necessarily follow the connectors conventions (again the connector on the instruments). The second shot in the post is the instrument connector, where the black wire at bottom is in fact wire 1 and not 8 as marked on the connector.

Well, long story short and a couple of fuses later, I can say I'm just about there in getting the bike started. I've fixed a couple of other items around the bike and now cleared all the engine codes (w/ ISO9141 dongle & tuneecu, more in later posts). As I hot wire the bike (busted ignition switch ;) ) and flick the engine switch all kinds of fuel-priming, actuator-whirring sounds are coming from under the tank, but as the starter relay flick on I get no action out of the starter motor. Almost!

Oh, and the last shot shows the odometer reading which confirmed my suspicion that the bike is practically brand new. 6082mi is not even a season's riding!

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