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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks, I've got another "just for fun" project while I'm waiting for parts for other projects. This time I've decided to add a tachometer. I've wanted one for years, but I've been intimidated by the wiring and lack of description on the part of companies selling the gauges. There are several threads here discussing tachs and how to install them, and they've been a huge help to me.

Well, I decided to go with the electronic mini tach from Bikers Choice:


After reading other threads about installation and wiring, I came up with a plan:


I found I needed just a few extra inches to get to the different locations, so I managed to find three different colored wires and soldered them:


I found the plug with the brown/blue wire in it under the seat:


My favorite way to stick wires to other wires is with solder. In this case though, I didn't like the idea of cutting up the original wiring, or stripping off insulation. I figured out that a small screwdriver will un-clip individual connectors from the larger plug:


The brown/blue wire sends power to light bulbs, but only when the key is turned on. That should work for the two power wires on the red extension. I found the plug for the pulse generator above and left of the carburetor. I also poked around for a solid green ground wire for lights. I found one in a plug closer to the front:


I found the blue/yellow wire that folks here say works for sending the RPM signal to the tach. I'll connect that up with the green signal wire (which in my case, has turned into a blue extension):


Here is the green ground wire from the plug I found. It will get the black ground wire from the tach:


So about connecting the wires... The connectors all have two crimps to attach to their wires; an inner crimp for the actual contact, and an outer crimp that I suppose is a strain relief that clamps down on the wire insulation. I decided to open the outer crimps and wrap the new wires through them. Is this a good idea? I don't know. I'm only pretending to know what I'm doing. We'll find out...
For example, the red power wire from the tach gets attached to that brown/blue wire:


Then each connector can snap back into its plug and everything can be put back the way it was. I ran my wires through the dust jackets too. The solder points got wrapped in electrical tape and everything got clipped and routed and bundled with the other cables. I left plenty of slack for turning the handlebars.

The gauge itself is bolted to the speedometer. I suppose it might be called the dashboard bolt? Anyway, I managed to get the rubber piece through the mount. I also discovered that this particular gauge has no rotation relative to the mount. So the gauge is a little crooked. I'll fix that later if it bothers me:


Well, the picture doesn't show it, but when I turned the key on, I got the needle to move in the "boot up" process, and also the lamp comes on. So that's at least 3 out of 4 wires hooked up properly!

I'll have to wait to test the actual meter function for a time when the engine actually has oil in it. I have the side cover off for a kick start project...
 

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The brown/blue wire is fused off the main and tail light fuse. I would have used the black wire (switched and fused off the main) but that's me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The black wire on the same plug as the brown/blue wire? Its not too late for me to change it.
I only chose the brown/blue because it seemed to be favored in the other threads. Having it just on the main fuse sounds like a better way to go. Less work for the smaller capacity circuit.
 

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Yep, that same plug.
Check out the wiring schematic and you'll see it takes switched power back to the fuse box for the lighting fuses.
Black is the switched power for everything on the first gen Rebel.

On the schematic you will see that the red and white wire takes battery power from the starter solenoid to the main fuse.
Red takes fuse main to the key switch.
Black takes switched back to the lighting fuses in that connector.
(Trace the black and you'll see it powers everything.)
Blue and brown wire takes the double fused tail light power back to the key switch.
Red and brown takes double fused power back through the start button (it disconnects when the start is pushed to turn off the headlight) where on the other side it become blue and white and goes to the high low switch.
I'll attach the schematic with that connector boxed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I moved the tach power to the black wire. I feel better about not putting the extra power through the smaller fuses. Also, thanks for the diagram. I only understand about a quarter of it, but I'll keep studying and learning as I go...
 

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If you need any help with interpreting, I'd be glad to try and explain.
Keep in mind, a schematic is to let you know what is connected to what.
It isn't a road map for the wiring. If it was, that connector on the schematic would be in the middle like it is on the Rebel.

Looking at that wiring diagram makes me feel like I just walked in on a Quantum Physics lesson
I have one that I added all my modifications to.
 

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If you need any help with interpreting, I'd be glad to try and explain.
Keep in mind, a schematic is to let you know what is connected to what.
It isn't a road map for the wiring. If it was, that connector on the schematic would be in the middle like it is on the Rebel.


I have one that I added all my modifications to.
I have read on here somewhere that the rebel fires both plugs every 2 cycles - did i understand that correctly? - would that make the tach read double?
 

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Yes, the Rebel does fire both plugs every time.
It will read correctly. If you note in the schematic supplied by the tach manufacturer, they are taking a reading off the coil on a distributor run two cylinder.
That coil would fire every revolution just like the Rebel coils and the distributor would physically connect the correct plug at the correct time.
The Rebel just eliminates all that physical switching and weight.
 

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Mike,
I did up a schematic with your tachometer using the color codes from the tach manufacturer. I don't know where you put connectors on your wires, so those aren't shown.
 

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I'll keep track of how this turns out. Once I get mine up and running a Tach would be one of my first want - to. On my old Yamaha 2 cycle I watched the tach more than the spedo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
These schematics you're drawing up look very professional. I had assumed you'd gotten them from a manual somewhere. Here is an updated version of the diagram I made with the power connecting to the black wire:


I don't know if my terminology is correct, so I'll put my home-made names for things in quotes. I noticed the plastic "plugs" all have brass "connectors" in them which can be pulled out with a very small screwdriver to unclip the tab on the bottom of each connector. I used the "strain relief" crimp on the back of each to clamp down on the added wire, which I bent around so it would be contacted by both sides of the crimp. I figure as long as there isn't a heat issue, this should work fine.
Another updated picture:


The plug I used for the ground was one of two that were connected through a metal bracket just above the ignition coils. Its the plug closest (of the two) to the front of the bike. If I remember right, the plug is a box that can accept up to 4 connectors, although it only has three. Green, Red, and Black. I think the plug next to it has the 3 yellow wires from the alternator.

I really only used it because it was the first plug I found with a solid green wire.


I'll keep track of how this turns out. Once I get mine up and running a Tach would be one of my first want - to. On my old Yamaha 2 cycle I watched the tach more than the spedo.
I hope you find this thread useful. All the stuff I've done so far is based on other threads I've found here from folks generously offering their knowledge and experience.

I'm supposed to get some tools and parts in the mail tomorrow, and I'm hoping to test this gauge out soon!
 

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I start with the color drawing from the forum and then put in my additions. Its just a simple graphics program.
The schematic I altered for your addition has the wires routed just as you show, tapping the existing connections. I just didn't know about any additional connectors you put in.
It looks like you didn't. I usually add some connectors of my own just to make repair and replacement easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I haven't forgotten about this thread, but I haven't got my bike running yet either. Although, I'm much closer now than I was a month ago.

The schematic I altered for your addition has the wires routed just as you show, tapping the existing connections. I just didn't know about any additional connectors you put in.
It looks like you didn't. I usually add some connectors of my own just to make repair and replacement easier.
I see I misread your earlier post. Yeah, instead of adding extra connectors, I just tapped into the existing ones. My other electrical mods have connectors, but they're mostly routed directly to the battery. And I've added fuses to them. For some reason, I'm still not sure why, cutting into the existing wires just didn't sit well with me.

Anyway, thanks again for the schematic. Its way more useful that the black-and-white one in my manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Almost done:

I'm just waiting for a couple of washers in the mail and also fixing the left foot peg.
Looking forward to being back on the road!
 

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Looking good!
______________
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Done!
I finally got enough assembly done to be able to start it up.
By the way, be careful when putting things back together, and pay attention to where your drop light cable is:

I had to take the seat back off to get my light back. :lol2:

Anyway, tapping into the pulse-generator wire for the signal wire worked:

You can maybe just barely see the back light (camera flash is in the way), but the really cool thing to see is the reading of what RPMs the engine is idling at.
In this case, just under 1,500. This is with the engine mostly cold, but with the choke off anyway.
I'll have to make sure I'm watching the road and not the tach until the novelty wears off. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Finally got to go riding around town!

Not too bad for a 26 year old bike, eh?
The grease spot, by the way, is from my car, not the Rebel! :angel:

The new tach is a neat little device.
I decided to drive normally and see what kind of habits I might have.
Looks like I'm cruising at around 4-5,000 rpm, and shifting maybe a little over 6,000 rpm.
I figure this will come in handy some day when I go to adjust the carburetor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Voltage Regulator

I'm curious as to what kind of voltage regulator you all might recommend.
As far as I know, I'm still using the original 87 regulator.
To get that extra 1v or so in the system I figure I have a few options:

-Get a brand new 2013 regulator
-Get a used regulator between 2009(?) and 2013
-Get a new aftermarket regulator designed for the rebel (from China)
-Get some crazy aftermarket universal unit and try to make it fit

So what do you all think? I'm not too keen on the last option.
Here's the changes I've made to the electrical system:

-9003 headlight, wired the same as the original
-Light bar with 2 bulbs around 20W each, wired through its own switch and fuse directly to the battery.
-Tachometer, tapped into the black wire off the main fuse
-Power outlet, wired directly through its own fuse to the battery
 

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-Get a brand new regulator between 2001 and 2013
-Get a used regulator between 2001 and 2013
-Get a new aftermarket regulator designed for the rebel (from China)
-Get some crazy aftermarket universal unit and try to make it fit
Options one and two are fine.
Options three and four, not so much.

The 9003 bulb will draw 55/60 Watts.
The 2001 and up will help keep your start button cool.
The extra 40 watts on the running lights will be an over draw.
 
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