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(Not) such a bright spark!

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I've fixed my charging issue - I was lucky - the bullet was protruding from the connector  - easy I thought, but...

I have now run into a self inflicted issue, somehow I've cocked up my battery connections! For info, I'm running positive earth & I've never touched the cabling so I'm hoping it still looks 'standard' if you refer to the attachment:

I attached cables A, B & C to the positive terminal  (A comes up from beneath the airbox on the left of the photo; B & C come down from the loom at the top left of the battery area)

I then tried to connect cables D & E to the negative terminal (both come up from beneath the airbox to the left). As soon as I tried to start screwing in the terminal bolt there was a big spark, so I don't think this is correct + a trace of smoke from under the tank!

So I'm stuck, looks like Grimethorpe sprint won't be happening for me tomorrow!

Any advice/help gratefully received  - I have little understanding of electrickery. I know only that it is the Devil's handiwork! Really irritating  - I normally tie them together, just don't know what I've done this time!

Cheers , Mike

 

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There are two golden rules with this sort of electricity-both being broken here hence 'smoke'

First rule follow the basic colour code. In Norton case this is Positive earth hence all earth wires are RED. The 'live' is BROWN/BLUE. (as this is a MKIII there is also a large supply cable, possible black as well as the large RED earth cable) The other rule (that MKIII has a bit of trouble with) is ONE cable ONLY to the battery. In fact for most of our (pre MKIII) Nortons you should have one RED from the positive to earth and one BROWN/BLUE to the fuse.

In this case the owners have doubled up, and abused colours=SMOKE.

I know this does not help Mike Sullivan, but over this mode you cannot see where the non standard wires go, so someone with decent knowledge needs to sort this out.You certainly can't have an earth wire (RED) and a fuse wire to the same terminal 

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Discovered my mk iii wiring diagram. this  seems to show 4 connections:

2 red  from + (for earth & starter earth) - possibly D & maybe E?

1 Black to starter via solenoid

1 BlueBrown that goes to the loom via the rectifier 

I'm slightly colour blind, so this is a bit of a problem. coupled with  he fact that I seem to have  3 red  & 2 black!

So possibly I've reversed the battery? still don't see how this would cause sparks (but as I said it's magic to me!)

Mike

 

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.... my 1952 ES2 is negative earth as are lots of 1950s bikes.....

I actually prefer negative earth and converted my 850 Commando (rewiring appropriately of course) as an ageing mind and occasional lack of attention appreciate having consistency across my vehicles.

I also use a fuse in the earth lead as well as the live. I accept this adds a possible weak point but is does avoid the scenario when a screwdriver etc accidentally touches the live side of the battery and earth and fries all the earth wires in the loom......

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You can have lots of fun and games when you start modifying your electrical system.  When I was preparing to put my bike back on the road, I re-made the wires between fuse and battery, so that the brake lamp was also fused.  I got a whole lot of mystery fuse blows, actually caused by an intermittent short in the brake lamp wire, which did not previously affect the fuse....

A little later, I also switched from positive earth to negative earth.  That meant switching the battery around, and re-flashing the dynamo.  I should also have reversed the ammeter, but haven't got round to that yet.  But clearly I am a heathen, as I have not replaced the wires with ones of a more suitable colour.  It's still brown for feed wires.

Paul

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As per Paul above, changing the polarity of earth is fine with a mechanical regulator-which doesn't concern itself with polarity-BUT with any electronic regulator (which I supply) this would be taboo. BROWN for the live feed wires is acceptable, but BROWN is really-stop lamp to stop switch. BROWN/BLUE is the norm for battery live for Commandos (and Triumphs) but some times BROWN/WHITE for all post 1963 bikes. But it helps if the EARTH lead is appropriate-RED or BLACK.

Ian-having a fuse in the EARTH is acceptable provided it is in SERIES with the battery and the bikes earth. And in fact Triumphs in one of their guises had the one fuse in the earth. Yes it works and I cannot see any reason why it shouldn't But having been brought up with mains electricity (as well as bike electricity) having a Neutral fuse is actually taboo and very dangerous. So I still prefer the fuse in the battery live only. If of course you want to add seperate fuses for say headlights and ignition, a headlight fault that blows the fuse doesn't stop the bike. Be aware of the purpose of the fuse, it won't protect the item that has failed-often too late-but it will stop all that excessive energy getting out of the battery and causing 'smoke' in the rest of the bike.

Finally in the start up to this 'story' the nice blade fuse fitted to Mike Sullivans bike has RED cables, as RED is earth........you are signing your own disaster. Don't do it!

Have fun.

 

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