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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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ABS Problems

For a couple of months now, the ABS on my 2014 FJR has been giving me grief, every now and again, it will start flashing the ABS warning light at me while riding. At first, it was mainly when I had been riding twisty mountain passes where I work the brakes real hard, but recently it started occurring any time. It would blink the ABS light for a while, then stop, or stop every time I stopped and re-started the bike.

The manual says that, if the ABS light comes on permanently, there is a definite failure in the ABS system, but if it blinks, the ABS is operational, but the ABS ECU is unhappy with one of it's input signals, but which signal.

I did some reading of the manual, and discovered that I needed special tool P/N 90890-03149, Test Coupler Adapter, in order to read the fault codes in the ECU memory, and of course I don't have one. So, I did a bit of searching on the internet and discovered a simple jumper lead with 2 crocodile clips could be used in lieu of the special Adapter, so I went into the local electronics shop and bought some jumper leads.

The next problem is that the ABS Coupler connector on the bike has 4 pins, and you need to jump 2 of them, but which 2? Further searching found that it is the Black/White and Sky Blue wires that need to be jumped, the other 2, Blue/Black and Blue/Red are not required for this procedure.

I then removed the inner fairing panels and found the ABS Coupler connector mounted near the positive terminal of the battery. I dismounted the connector, jumpered the 2 test pins, and was then able to read the fault codes from the ABS ECU.

I got ABS - 11, 23, 25, and 41 codes. The manual says 11/25 refer to the front wheel rotation sensor, 23 refers to the Brake Light being faulty, and 41 could be a brake dragging. The 11/25 codes seemed the most likely cause of my problems, so I went to the Front Wheel Sensor and removed the sensor from it's housing, just one screw holding it. Sure enough, there was corrosion between the sensor mounting plate, and the housing, probably causing a bad earth for the sensor. I scraped the corrosion off and polished the metal with Scotch-Brite, then applied some CRC 5.56 Penetrant / Lubricant and re-mounted it. I also did the same to the rear wheel sensor and found corrosion there as well, but not so much.

I then deleted the fault codes and reassembled the bike. This morning, I took the bike on a 200 Km test ride, and the ABS light didn't blink at me at all, I hope that's the end of the problem. So, the moral of the story is, get those sensors off every now and then, and clean any corrosion off.






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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 09:59 AM
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Fantastic info. Thanks so much for posting it. I'm checking my 2014 today while I replace a rear tire!
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 10:06 AM
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Wow, Bernie, since I have joined the forum you have been on vacation and mostly posted pictures so I did not see this side of you, except now and then in your insightful answers to questions. Thank you for this post. The main reason I got rid of my 03 which I loved was for the ABS and this will, hopefully, if I do the maintenance, keep me from having any problems with it.

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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 01:12 PM
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Thanks Bernie, will look at this next time the wheel comes off, hopefully not while I'm riding!!

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 01:40 PM
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That is interesting as I also had a problem with the ABS light flashing from time to time on my 2014. If I touched the front brake lever it went off so I did not worry about it. However since changing the front tyre it has not done it, and I always clean the sensor and put a tiny amount of grease on the black collar to stop it seizing.
It must be a weak point

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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 05:33 PM
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While I will probably utilize the comprehensive warranty should I ever have this problem, out of curiousity, what specifically are you cleaning and greasing?
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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The third picture above shows the sensor on a steel mounting plate, which is screwed to the rotor housing by a single Allen head screw. Simply remove that screw, pull out the sensor, and clean off any corrosion which may have formed between the steel plate and the aluminium housing.

Note, when dissimilar metals are held together, electrolysis occurs between the metals, which greatly speeds up corrosion.

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 06:22 PM
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I do not believe cleaning it is fixing a ground (earth), as the sensor's two wires are connected to the ABS ECU, and the black collar is actually a plastic insolator. The sensors can get stuck in the housing due to aluminum corrosion thus grease helps to keep it from being seized in there.
All that said, I have no explanation why removing, cleaning, reinstalling would have any effect other than ensuring the gap is correct to the trigger wheel, if it is sensitive to gap size.
I would also suggest a periodic (annual) cleaning and greasing of the rear brake pivot however, as it can stick, perhaps unknown to you, but I'm not sure if that would cause a code or two.
The system was changed in '08 with new wheel sensor design and sensors. Now you could buy a sensor housing and rotor ring separate from the wheel. After 2012, the sensor part numbers remained the same but the sensor housing changed part numbers to one that was 1/3 the price. So, Gen III did get a slight change. We haven't heard much in the way of ABS problems '08-'12........ hmmmm.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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The problem may be more a function of screening or shielding rather than an actual earthing fault. ECU's are extremely sensitive to any electrical noise on their signal lines, maybe the process of electrolysis itself may generate enough electrical noise to upset an ECU. From a lifetime of working on aircraft avionic systems, I know how critical earthing, bonding, and shielding are to the proper operation of modern electronic equipment.

I have heard reports that a sticking rear brake lever pivot does cause an ABS fault condition, as well as burning out the rear brake pads, rotor, and even melting the caliper itself.

FJR Models owned from new, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014.

Last edited by Bernie; 12-24-2015 at 07:10 PM.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well, we all knew it wasn't going to be that easy didn't we? Lynn & I went on another ride yesterday, and the poxy ABS light started blinking almost as soon as we set off. It blinked on and off all the way to Briagolong where we stopped for tea, then it blinked on the way to the swimming holes where we stopped again, but then on the way back to Sale, it was as good as gold.

Today I took the covers off again and read the ABS fault codes, but this time I only got code ABS-23, which mainly refers to the brake signal to the ABS ECU, which is controlled by two relays, the Brake Switch Relay, and the Brake Light Relay. These are items 45 and 46 in the wiring diagrams. The brakes and brake lights are working fine on the bike, so again, after a lifetime of working on aircraft avionic systems, I know that relays are horrible, intermittent, things, particularly if they are plugged into relay bases instead of being hard wired into the circuit.

However, once again, I don't know where the relays are physically located. I read the manual from cover to cover, and as usual with manuals, it tells you everything except what you want to know. Does anyone have any idea where these relays, items 45 and 46 are physically located, I don't want to go mining for them unless I have some clues.

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