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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
JINXED MYSELF!

IRONY!

BAD KARMA?

HOIST BY MY OWN PETARD?

Yesterday (Friday), in the recent "Rant" thread ( http://www.victoryforums.com/34-victory-cross-country-cross-roads/173386-rant.html ), I added some comments (post #19), as the thread went off on a minor tangent about battery terminals. This is what I wrote:

Yep, good advice. What works for me, for a few years now on the Vic:

- Toothed washers.
- Di-electric grease on the bottom half of the bolts.
- Blue (medium) thread-lock on the top half, and then things snugged down tightly.
- Powerlet Termin-8 ( Termin-8 Easier Than A Fuseblock - Powerlet Products ) attached, to negate ever having to mess with the terminal bolts.
- Xtreme smart charger hooked up all the time the bike's in the garage (i.e., not just winter), to keep the battery in tip-top shape.

I have also written, over the years, this and similar comments:

You might want to mess with the battery-terminal bolts, as loose connections here cause a bunch of problems, and as the official torque spec is too low.

(That's from http://www.victoryforums.com/5-rules-new-members-introductions/152497-done-hds-hello-xct.html , for instance.)

That was yesterday morning. Later in the day, I went for a ride with my buddy Ken.

We were at a pull-off on the Taconic Pkwy here in upstate NY, and getting ready to roll again I pressed the start button ... and nothing. Okay, I say to myself, a fluke, maybe the button needs cleaning, whatever. And press it again, and the bike fires up, and we roll.

Later, we're at an intersection in "downtown" (it must be, because there are only of handful of intersections there) Rhinebeck. And the light turns green, and I stall the bike, or it stalls itself. And pushing the starter does zilch. And I put the bike in neutral, and check the kill switch, and hit the button. Nada. And the gas gauge doesn't budge from the bottom (and I have about two-thirds of a tank). And the fuel pump doesn't make its priming sound. And the LCD is blinking, at a steady rate, showing the odometer reading (c. 34,500 miles), with some dashes or something above it.

And I wait a minute or so, try again, and nothing changes. And the stupid LCD area is doing that blinking ... with the key removed from the bike!

And I say to myself: it can't be the four-year-old battery, because I use a great smart-charger. And it can't be the terminal bolts, because I did such a good job with them some years ago -- what with the blue Loc-tite and all -- and I haven't had to mess with them in, yep, years, what with the Termin-8 extension thingy I added, yep, years ago.

So I push the bike to the curb, we walk to the nearest restaurant, order lunch, and I call AMA towing. Meanwhile we're at a technical loss. Gotta be electrical -- maybe a relay, or voltage regulator, or sumptin. And how the heck is the LCD showing anything with the key out?

I keep getting calls from the AMA or dispatchers, telling me that someone (else) will get back to me. I had asked for a flatbed truck, and about two hours later it shows up (so we had plenty of time for a leisurely lunch). We're about 14 miles (which is nice, because AMA towing is free for up to 35 miles, I was told) from Zack's V-Twin in Hyde Park, NY -- where I had my last set of tires, and Centramatics, put on -- and go there. I'm riding in the cab, hearing some strange towing tales (some other time), and Ken's following on his 2012 R1200RT. So we get to Zack's a little before it closes, and I talk to Zack and his two techs (one of whom is touted as a Vic electrical guru). They'll get to the bottom of this, but not that day.

So I ride bitch, on the back of the Beemer, an hour and a half back to Albany. It was mostly a dopey ride, but on some of the on and off ramps, we did do some serious leaning, what with two of us to lean off on the inside of the turns. (Note that we just did a track day -- on respective bikes -- two weeks ago.)

This brings us to the next day, today (Saturday). Late morning, Zack calls me: it's fixed. And the problem was ... ?

The fucking battery terminal bolt(s?) were loose!

So in the afternoon, my wife and I drive down from Albany to Hyde Park -- a nice ride -- and do a late lunch at the Eveready Diner there, and go to Zack's. I talk to Zack and the tech, and they both assure me that lead compresses, and you can't really do anything to permanently make those bolts stay tight. Like lubing the cable barrel-ends, etc., tightening those bolts should just be part of stuff you do during an oil change, or maybe during every equinox or something. (The tech also told me he rearranged my modest stack o' stuff on the bolts. I have only a couple of connectors -- remember, I have the Termin-8, expressly so that the bolts aren't glommed up with connector rings -- but he repositioned them so they were, apparently, flatter, and also moved the toothed washer from the top to the bottom, or maybe it was the bottom to the top; I'll look next oil change.)

So, I paid the $48, and rode back on the Taconic Pkwy late this afternoon.

What this means is that I should have written, yesterday:

Yep, good advice. What HAS UNTIL NOW worked for me, for a few years now on the Vic ...

So, from now on, if the bike ever doesn't start again, I will sit on the ground with a 4mm Allen key, take off the battery cover thingy, and check the terminals. No matter what I think I know, or don't know.

That's all I got.

Here's Bubba (who used to ride a V-Rod) loading up the bike yesterday:
 

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Mea Culpa here too. I have been preaching to others to use a pair of star type lock washers under the battery bolts, when in fact, I use split type lock washers due to their spring action which keeps continual tension. They do work at keeping the bolts tight longer than the star type.
Oh, BTW, sorry about your misdiagnosis and inconvenience. It happened to me too when on a road trip, my breaker tripped and wouldn't reset, but didn't know it. Eventually (the next day) I realized it was a $3.50 breaker I could have bought at an auto parts store right off.
 

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I wonder if a special battery wave washer would help keep tension on the lead terminals so even if they do loosen a little; there should still be a good connection. The split lock washers would help too. Maybe the lock washers AND the star washers would be a good combination or a wave washer and star washer.

Just kinda thinkin' out loud...

It sure doesn't take much for these X bikes to start acting weird as far as loose battery terminal connections go.
 

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I put a little torque on the terminal bolts at the beginning and end of every season.
 

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A. This is why I use split lock washers , they hold a constant tension on the bolt .....

B. Bill , please tell me you have pictures of you riding BITCH on the back of Ken's Beemah to share with us !:ltr:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A. This is why I use split lock washers , they hold a constant tension on the bolt .....

B. Bill , please tell me you have pictures of you riding BITCH on the back of Ken's Beemah to share with us !:ltr:
Nope, sorry, Ken wouldn't let me use the camera, once on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wonder if a special battery wave washer would help keep tension on the lead terminals so even if they do loosen a little; there should still be a good connection. The split lock washers would help too. Maybe the lock washers AND the star washers would be a good combination or a wave washer and star washer.

Just kinda thinkin' out loud...

It sure doesn't take much for these X bikes to start acting weird as far as loose battery terminal connections go.
Yeah, I was thinking, too. Something like Nord-Lock washers; see Nord-Lock wedge-locking washers | Secure your critical bolted joints with the original lock washer from the bolting experts

But I don't know whether the bolts can be torqued to the minimum requirements of Nord-Locks (before they snap off).
 

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Bill I was out your way yesterday, all I can say is I'm glad this incident happened before my ride....If I ever saw the two of you guys on Ken's bike OMG! I would have had to turn around :eek

My neighbor Suzuki Sammy finally sold his little GSXR and rented a 2016 Street Glide for the weekend. So I took him and his girl on a best roads big bike tour :) of NW CT, MA and NY. We came out of Great Barington, MA on rt 71, took rt22 south back onto rt23 west until we picked up Rt 82, it was a traffic free magic carpet ride all the way. I absolutely love Columbia and Dutchess Co. in NY......
 

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PaiN . what did Sammy think of the HD ?
 

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I started with a star washer, went to a split ring locking washer and mine STILL loosens up. Now when I'm draining the oil during an oil change I pop the left side chin spoiler and check it. It's just part of the routine now.
 

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PaiN . what did Sammy think of the HD ?
He loved the comfort but every time we stopped he complained about what a dog the bike is power wise. I explained that these types of bikes are for having fun closer to the speed limit than a GSXR600 is. Also temps didn't get out of the 70's yesterday and on the last leg to home it was a flat 60 degrees.....When he got off, the first words out of his mouth was "damn these engines throw a lot of heat" ...good thing it wasn't a 90 degree day :rolleyes: Then he said something about buying an Indian next year. I just let that be ;)
 

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I started with a star washer, went to a split ring locking washer and mine STILL loosens up. Now when I'm draining the oil during an oil change I pop the left side chin spoiler and check it. It's just part of the routine now.
How often are they loosening up?
 

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How often are they loosening up?
They don't. I've just made it a part of my preventative maintenance program due to the fact a loose terminal creates so much havoc. Better safe than sorry.
 

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I started with a star washer, went to a split ring locking washer and mine STILL loosens up. Now when I'm draining the oil during an oil change I pop the left side chin spoiler and check it. It's just part of the routine now.
Why do you need to remove the left side panel? To access the battery, I only need to remove the front grille.
 

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Why do you need to remove the left side panel? To access the battery, I only need to remove the front grille.
My grille's a real pain to get back in if I don't at least loosen one of the side panels. I do it just to eliminate the struggle.
 

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Yeah, I was thinking, too. Something like Nord-Lock washers; see Nord-Lock wedge-locking washers | Secure your critical bolted joints with the original lock washer from the bolting experts

But I don't know whether the bolts can be torqued to the minimum requirements of Nord-Locks (before they snap off).
These are what I am going to try next winter on our Vic's: McMaster-Carr
You can stack them for more pressure if necessary. Like this: ><. They are a spring just like what is in the compensator only much smaller.

There are these too if those don't work out : plain metric beleville washers


Not sure those links are going to work. I tried.... If those links take you to a page with a menu of washers, page down till you see metric spring belleville lock washers and spring belleville lock washers . Something on one of those two pages should work. You can also just search McMaster-Carr for those items and get to the correct page.
 

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LOL...Paul must have seen this post..

I always enjoy his videos. Well done ALWAYS.

 

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When I got serious about solving the stalling issue with our two bikes the first thing I did was remake all the battery connections. That was the first thing everyone told me to do.
The cables were nice and tight and good and it had no effect. I'd just put the batteries back in the month before and use star washers and get the connections good and tight but what the heck, it was worth a shot.

It took a while to get the map right and everything else done, in fact it took quite a while and I have abbreviated this tale some but finally I got it all good, bikes were about stall proof. No stalls for months and months.
We rode quite a bit then because the wife was enjoying a bike that she wasn't stalling as hers had from day one.
Fast forward 6 months and I lend my bike to a close friend who comes and visits and it stalls twice on him in one day. I'm riding the wifes bike and it stalls once. All in the same day!
I check the PCV 5, reload the map, check some other stuff. Stress some, I'm pretty bummed cause I had put a lot of time into getting it fixed. Finally checked the battery. Both batteries had loose cables.
Of course my friend had flown home by then. However when he came back a few months later he was quite impressed with the bike which is what I had hoped for the first time.

All that to say I know how you feel...:wink

That is why I am looking at the belleville washers. We put them on buss bars and they never shake loose even though there is quite a bit of vibration especially when they are heavily loaded. i have high hopes. I've also used them to solve rocker box gasket failures before modern gaskets were invented on motors with extremely high internal pressure spikes.
 

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They don't. I've just made it a part of my preventative maintenance program due to the fact a loose terminal creates so much havoc. Better safe than sorry.
You said yours were still loosening up. But, like you said, better safe than sorry.
 
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