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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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After doing some service on the wife's Rebel, oil change, tire pressure, spark plugs, sprockets and chain, clean battery terminals and general check over.

Took it on a gentle test ride. While on the road test, I noticed that at low engine rpms, I could feel the engine surging. Extended the road test, till I was sure their was a problem.

One of the first things that I was taught. If you change a component and you have a problem. Check the components that you have replaced.

I had installed 2 new NGK CR7HSA spark plugs. My Rebel was parked close by. So I removed the spark plugs (NGK CR7HSA) from my Rebel. Installed the spark plugs in my wife's Rebel.

Road test my wife's Rebel again. Still had the same engine surging problem. Back to my garage. Install the new spark plugs, than I had removed from my wife's Rebel, into my Rebel.

Road tested my Rebel. No engine surging problem on my Rebel. Now, I know that there is nothing wrong with the new spark plugs. Swap the spark plugs back between the Rebels.

Rechecked the new chain tension. Chain slack still at 3/4 of an inch. Raised the rear wheel off the ground. Check chain for tight links. Check sprockets for alignment. Check sprocket mounting fasteners for proper torque. No problem found with the sprockets or chain.

On the two road tests of my wife's Rebel. I had used the SEV to see if it was a fuel flow problem. It only made the Rebel run rich. No effect on the engine surging problem.

So a little Diet Coke break. Pull up a chair about 6 ft. from the wife's Rebel. Assumed the Thinker Position. You'll remember this pose, if you ever seen the Dobby Gillis Series on TV.

What kind of test can I perform, that will give me some more information on this problem. A light bulb above my head turns on. How can I verify the engine surge. KISS is the answer. That's what they made Tachometers for.

Retreived my Portable Tachometer. Taped it to the gas tank. Attached a pick up wire from a spark plug wire to the antenna on the Tachometer. Another road test.

On the road test, with the engine at 2,500 rpm's in 3rd gear. The rpms would drop by 100, then back up to 2,500. Kept increasing the rpms. At about 5,000 rpms, I could no longer detect the engine surge. Back to the garage.

What electrical component on the Rebel, controls the timing and spark? The Ignition Control Module. Could the ICM be defective? Corroded wire Terminals at the ICM? Low output of the Exciter Coil? Low output of the Pulse Generator? What about the ground circuit for the ICM?

To get to the ICM and the associated wiring. Off come the seats and gas tank. But first, I have to remove the Pet Carrier. The Pet Carrier is equipped with a single pin, quick release. Six bolts and the Pet Carrier mounting platform is removed.

Remove the ICM. Unplug the wiring connectors. Wire Terminals are clean and free of any corrosion. Check the inline Exciter Coil and Pulse Generator wire terminals. All clean and free of corosion.

Checked the output Voltage of the Exciter Coil, above 100 V Peak. Checked the output Voltage of the Pulse Generator, above .7 V Peak. Not much left at this point.

Next I start checking the Ground Circuit. Set my Fluke 87 to 2 ohms function. Connect the leads together, to see if any error in the leads or connectors. Display shows .000 ohms.

Connect Negative lead to Negative Cable Terminal of the Battery. Positive lead to engine case. Display shows .000 ohms. Then take the Positive lead and connect it to the Ground Terminal of the ICM. Display doesn't show .000 ohms. Finally, something that isn't right.

Locate the Common Ground Wire Terminal that is attached to the Frame. Location is shown in the image Below.



After removing the mounting bolt, you can see that the ground terminal, attaching metal bracket and the Frame is clean with no corrosion. Suddenly, I feel that Murphy's Law is going to Strike again. Just my Luck. No way, Jose.

So I have a seat in my chair, and enjoy somemore of the Diet Coke. Going thru the ground circuit, in my mind. Thinking how the Ground Circuit on the Rebel is constructed. Somewhere, there is a Low Resistance connection in the ground circuit.

The connection is the mounting of the engine to the frame. 2 mounting bolts in the rear, 1 mounting bolt in the front and 3 mounting bolts at the top of the engine. Things aren't looking good at this time. Got to be a simple solution. There is, KISS. Yeah, Right.

OK, less think this puzzle out. The Negative Battery cable is connected to the engine. So, for the Starter Circuit, I have a complete .000 ohm ground circuit. This is the Largest Amperes Return Circuit. I don't have a problem on this circuit.

The Common Single Point Ground Circuit is a 14 ga. wire. It attaches to the Frame and not to the Negative Post of the Battery.

Hey, I know the Solution. OK, Make my day, tell me.

We use a lenght of 14 ga. wire. Attach a ring terminal to each end. Attach one end to the Frame Common Ground Bolt. Attach the other end of the wire to the Negative Post of the Battery. You mean like this?





Now that will work. After rechecking the ground circuit from the ICM to the Negative Post of the Battery. The Fluke 87 Display reads .000 ohm.

Reinstall all of the removed components. Road test the wife's Rebel. No engine surging. I call this problem, Solved.

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Excellent diagnostics! Well written.
Thanks for the heads up. Grounding to aluminum (the engine) can cause bimetal corrosion and make the grounding less effective. A second ground strap to steel is a great way around that!

For those who don't know Dobie Gillis
 

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The diagnosis was correct, but resistance of the problem connection was high not low as you stated. Sounds like you added an additional ground wire to the system, right? I would be careful doing that to prevent ground loops from causing further problems. Ground loop problems can be very difficult to diagnose. Adding an additional return ground can have adverse problems down the road with many electronic and electrical systems.
I would have checked the resistance of the original wire after isolating it from other connections to make sure it is not the problem itself, instead of a metal to metal connection, which is more likely. Since you have taken the time to dismantle so much of the bike, I would have rather found the originating problem instead of by-passing the problem, possibly causing a new one in the future. OEM metal to metal connections are almost always never treated with any type of anti-corrosion compound, instead using a star washer instead to bite into the metal. Being an electrician for 29 years, I know the value of a good clean electrical connection, and the many pitfalls that they can produce. I have been using a product from Thomas & Betts called KOPR-SHIELD part number CP8-TB for years for every connection that may ever be subject to water, moisture, weather, salt, corrosion etc. It works wonders for dissimilar metals, and is one of the best anti-seize compounds out there. Available at most electrical supply houses or easily available on the internet. I've used on my battery posts for over 20 years, and have yet to see any corrosion...ever! I have also used it on frame off restorations of many cars and trucks for ground points and ground straps with zero failures.
If that where my vehicle, I would go through all the metal to metal ground connections, clean them and apply the anti-corrosion compound, and also check the original ground wire in question, and I guarantee you will never have that problem again because of a corroded electrical connection.
 

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Ultra,

A few question for you about the anti corrosive agents.
Are there any that can help with badly corroded steel to aluminum connection?
I'd also like to hear more about the ground loop issues.
With the Virago motorcycles, they ground to an aluminum rear footpeg mount that attaches to the frame. With some of them approaching or at 30 years old, many have developed ignition troubles because of it. If course, Yamaha uses a Transistor Controlled Ignition that, unlike the Honda, it dependent on good voltage to spark correctly. The hot tip with those is to add a second ground strap from the battery to the frame itself using a cable of equal gauge. Many of the Virago riders have done this and report good long term results.
Would the anti corrosion agent help with that scenario?
With the going from a copper cable end to an aluminum peg bracket to a steel frame, it just seems like a bad design idea for longevity.
Any thoughts?
 

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Ultra,

A few question for you about the anti corrosive agents.
Are there any that can help with badly corroded steel to aluminum connection?
I'd also like to hear more about the ground loop issues.
With the Virago motorcycles, they ground to an aluminum rear footpeg mount that attaches to the frame. With some of them approaching or at 30 years old, many have developed ignition troubles because of it. If course, Yamaha uses a Transistor Controlled Ignition that, unlike the Honda, it dependent on good voltage to spark correctly. The hot tip with those is to add a second ground strap from the battery to the frame itself using a cable of equal gauge. Many of the Virago riders have done this and report good long term results.
Would the anti corrosion agent help with that scenario?
With the going from a copper cable end to an aluminum peg bracket to a steel frame, it just seems like a bad design idea for longevity.
Any thoughts?
To answer your questions in order asked...
*All connections can be repaired to new conditions if the following apply...the steel and aluminum surfaces must be cleaned to a shiny and flat appearance, using emery cloth, file or sandpaper to achieve a flat and smooth surface. Apply anti-corrosion paste to both surfaces, and clamp, bolt or screw together.
*Ground loops deal with return paths to ground. If you have more than one return path to ground, one will be more effective than the other, resulting in different harmonics, ie, different speeds of electical paths to the ground, causing electrical noise within the system that can adversely affect the performance of electronics, versus a single path to ground, which has no noticeable effect of electrical noise.
Electrical noise can cause a multitude of problems such as mis-timing issues of ignition systems and electronic or IC systems, low voltage issues, or even high voltage issues dependent on the electrical/electronic systems involved.
They are most sensitive to electronic and computer controlled circuits.
A simple analogy...you need to run a lap around a garbage can and ring a bell.
The first guy runs around the can on a smooth asphalt track, the second guy runs around the can over old tires and logs. Each person finishes the race, but the first guy running on the smooth track finishes first, and the second finishes much later.
Each one rings the bell, but at different times. The first one rings the bell at the correct time, the second rings at a later time, disrupting the timing.
*The copper to aluminum is the same as I stated before, there is no anti-corrosive agent applied to the connection at the factory, it is just a matter of time before it degrades and gives you problems. My experience has been that on older machines there was no type of secure mechanical connections to keep corrosion at bay, just a screw or bolt, without even as much as a star washer to bite the metal surfaces to make somewhat of a good connection.
 

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Ground loops deal with return paths to ground. If you have more than one return path to ground, one will be more effective than the other, resulting in different harmonics, ie, different speeds of electical paths to the ground
Reminds me of the problem that can occur when having two tower supply cables connected in parallel. If they are long and they are of different size or length you get something like what you describes (not any good with AC and 20kV:eek2:).
 

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Would dielectric grease serve the same function? I'm not saying it's as good as the KOPR-SHIELD in all applications, just wondering if it wouldn't serve the same purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Resistance in Ground Circuits.....

The diagnosis was correct, but resistance of the problem connection was high not low as you stated.
In the Image below. Circuit 1 is a circuit schematic of a Low Resistance Ground. When the switch is closed. The Lamp (Load) will Burn Bright.

Circuit 2 is a circuit schematic of a High Resistance Ground. When the switch is closed. The Lamp (Load) will not Light up.



Sounds like you added an additional ground wire to the system, right?
Yes, I added a ground wire. But it was for the DC circuits of the Rebels Battery Systems.

I would be careful doing that to prevent ground loops from causing further problems. Ground loop problems can be very difficult to diagnose. Adding an additional return ground can have adverse problems down the road with many electronic and electrical systems.
The automobile industry has been using this ground system for many Decades. After working for Cadillac for 25 years, and dealing with as many as 28 onboard computers. The Rebel's Electrical System is far behind the Times. The Rebel's Electrical System is using 1980's Technology.

I would have checked the resistance of the original wire after isolating it from other connections to make sure it is not the problem itself, instead of a metal to metal connection, which is more likely. Since you have taken the time to dismantle so much of the bike, I would have rather found the originating problem instead of by-passing the problem, possibly causing a new one in the future.


Using the image below. Trace the Ground Circuit from the Common Ground Mounting Bolt to where the Negative Battery Cable is attached to the Rebel's Engine. All of the DC Components on the Rebel, connect to a Common Ground Circuit. It is attached by a Single Ring Terminal to the Frame.



OEM metal to metal connections are almost always never treated with any type of anti-corrosion compound, instead using a star washer instead to bite into the metal. Being an electrician for 29 years, I know the value of a good clean electrical connection, and the many pitfalls that they can produce. I have been using a product from Thomas & Betts called KOPR-SHIELD part number CP8-TB for years for every connection that may ever be subject to water, moisture, weather, salt, corrosion etc. It works wonders for dissimilar metals, and is one of the best anti-seize compounds out there. Available at most electrical supply houses or easily available on the internet. I've used on my battery posts for over 20 years, and have yet to see any corrosion...ever! I have also used it on frame off restorations of many cars and trucks for ground points and ground straps with zero failures.
If that where my vehicle, I would go through all the metal to metal ground connections, clean them and apply the anti-corrosion compound, and also check the original ground wire in question, and I guarantee you will never have that problem again because of a corroded electrical connection.
When you trace the Ground Circuit, from the Frame Ground Bolt to the Negative Battery Cable attached to the Engine. The Path is through the Frame, to the Engine Mounting Components. The Frame where the Engine Mounting Bolts are attached, are covered in Paint. We all know that paint is a good insulator. What was Honda Thinking.

In the late 80's. Cadillac changed the ground cable from a single cable, to a multi lead cable. Prior to this change, the negative cable attached to the engine. A braided ground strap or cable was attached from the body to the engine. With the multi lead ground cable, a seperate dedicated ground circuit was provided for the body as well as the engine. After 2000, another grounding circuit was added. All of the computers, as well as their sensor inputs received their own dedicated ground circuit.

Our Rebel is equipped with both a DC and AC Voltage Source. In it stock configuration, only a single ground circuit is supplied. In an electrical circuit, Power will flow in the circuit of least Resistance. Now the DC components have their own dedicated ground circuit. The High Voltage AC that supplies the Ignition System has it's own dedicated circuit. The High Voltage from the Ignition Coils to ground is now seperated from the DC circuits.
 

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Sounds like you are saying I am wrong on all counts?
Been quite awhile since I seen a post picked apart down to the last detail.
 

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Would dielectric grease serve the same function? I'm not saying it's as good as the KOPR-SHIELD in all applications, just wondering if it wouldn't serve the same purpose.
Dielectric grease is mainly used to prevent corrosion from starting in the first place by sealing moisture out of an electrical connector or joint (that is why it is so commonly used on spark plug cable ends) and also aids in easier removal of the plug wire boots. It is non-conductive, therefore I wouldn't use it between say several ring terminals, but would use it to coat the connection after to seal out moisture and prevent corrosion.

But then again, after my last post in this thread, this answer to your question will be quite wrong along with multi quotes and pictures. But that will come later, I'm sure.:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Questions.....

Sounds like you are saying I am wrong on all counts?
Been quite awhile since I seen a post picked apart down to the last detail.
Just answering your post by what I have been taught. I'm certain that the things that you have been taught, probably doesn't coinside with mine. Just asking for some information, about your understanding of the Post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Investigation Continues.....

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The next day, after correcting the surging problem on my wife's Rebel. Without checking anything, I also installed an addition Ground wire on my Rebel.

Did you ever have something that would never leave your mind. It would always pop up at the oddest of time. Well, this Ground Circuit of the Rebel would not go away. I wanted to know everything about this Ground Circuit.

So, what's a person to do. Last week, I decided to explore this recourring Question. Time to remove the Rebel's Engine and see for my self. Just think of all of the first hand knowledge that I will accumulate.

After removing the Rebel's Engine. I was suprised at what I discovered. Without photo's, who would beleive me. So, like a good investigator, I took some images.

Front Mount to Engine Mounting Bolts.



Front Mount to Engine Mounting Bolt & Mount to Frame Bolt.



This next one doesn't show the whole photo when using the function. So to see the whole photo, click on the link below.

Front Mount to Engine Mounting Bolt & Mount to Frame Bolt/Spacers.[/color][/b]

[url]http://www.hondarebelforum.com/members/2909-albums656-picture3984.html[/url]

[color=white].[/color]

When was the last time you saw White Rust ????????? :nonono:

[color=white].[/color]

[b]More to Follow.[/b]

[color=white].[/color]
 

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Eddicational to say the least. There is much about the behavior of electrons that is counter intuitive. I had a hard time grasping the concept of electrolysis when learning marine electrics. Not the same, but again, undisciplined electrons running amok have a way of burning bridges, as it were. If you let too many through the same path at the same time, they burn it. If you let too few through, they clog it with their litter. Almost like another Woodstock reunion, without the overpriced T shirts. Seems like Rebels designate their own sacrificial anodes when we aren't looking.
 

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Not a metalurgist, but guessing the "white rust" might be powdered zinc or zinc oxide from the galvanizing on the bolts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Investigation Continues.....

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The 3 front and 2 rear engine mounting bolts has a light gold coating. Underneath the white coating, nothing but brown rust. I think the white coating, is the light gold coating dissolving. I have noticed other fasteners on the Rebel, with this same coating. Like the front brake caliper components.

The front engine mount is a rubber isolated mount. Their is no metal to metal contact between the frame mount bolt and the two mount to engine mount bolts. No electrical path to the negative battery cable.

The top engine mounting bolts are regular zinc plated fasteners. Also notice that the mounting plates are painted, with no clean metal where it attaches to the frame or engine.

Top Engine to Frame Mounting Plates.



The two Rear Engine Mounting Bolts. Mother Nature at work still. :lol2:



Front Engine Mount Frame Mounting. Some clean Frame for a Rubber Isolated Engine Mount.



Top Engine mounting location of the Frame.



Rear Frame Engine Mounting Location.



 

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I wonder if you would create a dedicated wire (with good contact at both ends) to go between the engine and the frame, if that would eliminate some of the corrosion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is this Solution Feasible.....

I wonder if you would create a dedicated wire (with good contact at both ends) to go between the engine and the frame, if that would eliminate some of the corrosion?
Sounds like a Great Solution. But, it's exposed to Mother Nature Tear's. As you know, h2o and metal has a very incapatable relationship. The cost of the materials would not be cheap. As opposed to 2 ring terminal and 3 feet of 14 ga. wire. Plus, it's location is protected from Mother Nature Fury, unless the water level is chest deep, while riding on your Rebel. :lol2:
 

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Not a metalurgist, but guessing the "white rust" might be powdered zinc or zinc oxide from the galvanizing on the bolts?
The white powder corrosion 'white rust' is corrosion caused by a reaction of salt and moisture on zinc.
The bolts, nuts, washers, and screws on the Rebel that are not chrome plated are zinc plated, not galvanized.
Since Soulsearchers bike is in Florida, there is a significant amount of salt in the air from both the ocean and gulf coasts of the state, which contributes to faster corrosion of zinc plated parts.
In the lower to midwestern states, that corrosion takes much longer with just water corroding the zinc, but in states that have snow and where salt is used on the roadways, the corrosion is just as significant as in the coastal states, but only if you ride in wet conditions where salt is still on the roadways mixed with water.
Once the corrosion has started on a zinc plated fastener, the zinc coating is gone, and you are left with bare steel, which will rust at a much faster rate than before.
My suggestion on the corrosion, would be to replace the fasteners with new ones, clean the corrosion from the other mating surfaces, apply a corrosion inhibitor such as Nolox, Kopr-shield or equivalent, reassemble, and forget about the extra ground wire. If you are going to take the time to take things apart to that extent, repair it correctly, and it will perform as the factory specified.
If you are going to do a job, take the time to do it right.
 

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Zinc is the metal used to make sacrificial anodes for marine applications because it corrodes at a predictable rate, and much faster than copper or lead in a marine environment. I'm curious if it would be better to use stainless bolts in coastal areas, or if it would further complificate things to change the chemistry.
 
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