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2007 FJR A Model
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
EDIT: Post #29 on page 3 contains links to pdf files of posts with pictures.
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Yep, I been bitten by the dreaded ground spider! Actually, 'dreaded' is such a strong word. More like PITA. Here's my story, remember I mentioned that I think my battery is beginning to die:

Tuesday as I'm leaving out for work I notice my right headlight low beam is burned out. So I stop on the way and get a 2-pack of the bulbs of [my] choice. Wednesday morn I commence to doing the deed. Thought it went really well as I was bleeding from only 3 small nicks ;). So I start the bike and voila! headlights work again as designed. Cool! So I think, since I've already got the tools out and the oil & filter on hand and it's nearly time for an oil change and I got an [approx] 800 mile trip coming up, wth I'll change the oil. No biggie, oil & filter done. Start the bike to circulate the new. Not! WTF?!?

So I see 2 things right off: high beam head light indicator on; both turn signal indicators on. "Dammit!", I says, "I know what this means!" And I figure I know where the problem is, too and I didn't even need to dig out my X-ray spy glasses.



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2007 FJR A Model
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Discussion Starter #2
SO, for the benefit of science and future bite victims, I do a quick check of what I got and mostly what I ain't got:

- no engine start. No click, nothing;
- high beam headlight indicator on as mentioned, regardless of switch position;
- both turn signal indicators on as mentioned with no turn signals;
- fuel gauge reading completely full with about 3/4 tank in it and blinking once per second for 8 seconds, then pause for 1.5 seconds then repeat without end;
- clock did NOT reset;
- trip odometers did NOT reset;
- no windshield motion;
- no horn;
- no glovebox solenoid.

Solved the puzzle yet?

............
 

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2007 FJR A Model
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yep! That's the one!! The S4 Ground Spider.

Lucky me! I just inspected these a few months ago and everything looked fine. C'est la vie, let's get to work. I pull plastics. S6 by the glove box fine. Both the S7 and S8 are fine- I looked at them whilst replacing headlight bulbs- but I check them again. Off comes the tank. S2 & S3 by the fuel rail left are fine. S5 by the cooling water temp sensor is fine. And thar she blows! S4, which I suspected from the very beginning is toast.





So I'll do the usual and snip it off and solder them together with an extra 14 ga. wire that'll run to ground. So here's my question for those (KEN) who may have does this before me (KEN) and can offer up a little advice (KEN): kinda tight in there, easier if I remove the nose plastics? Any other tidbits of advice?
 

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Isn't there a recall that replaced that spider with a harness that goes right to battery ground?
 

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2007 FJR A Model
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Discussion Starter #5
Isn't there a recall that replaced that spider with a harness that goes right to battery ground?
Sort of. It addressed that 1 spider but just moved the problem to another. I knew about the recall when it was issued and consciously chose not to have it done deciding instead to take my chances with yearly inspections, cleaning and gooping with electrically conductive corrosion inhibiting compound. No complaints, I made it nearly 9 yrs and just shy of 93K miles. Way longer than some who even had the recall done.

By the time the recall was issued 2 different dealerships had already convinced me that Yamaha techs were way less knowledgeable of this vehicle and cared less about my safety than I did. In other words, their workmanship sucked and they broke stuff and wouldn't make good on it. My bike has not graced a dealership service department since 2009 and I swore then it never would again.

Part of my point in posting all this that didn't really come through so well was the correlation between bad battery indications I linked to in a previous post and the possibility of something more involved.
 

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Russ,
I never had a spider problem because I did a preemptive strike on them. Pulled 'em, cleaned 'em, and put dielectric grease in all of them. IMO, best method for just one like you have is to strip everything as far back as practical then solder them all together. I would not worry about disconnecting them for anything else down the line, just fix it now. Solder and cover with liquid tape.
Rod
 

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2007 FJR A Model
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Russ,
I never had a spider problem because I did a preemptive strike on them. Pulled 'em, cleaned 'em, and put dielectric grease in all of them. IMO, best method for just one like you have is to strip everything as far back as practical then solder them all together. I would not worry about disconnecting them for anything else down the line, just fix it now. Solder and cover with liquid tape.
Rod
Hope you're not feeling too confident with your preemptive strike. I disassembled, cleaned and gooped all 8 spiders every spring. And I mean EVERY spring, without exception. And still this happened. But stay tuned, I took some really great pics while working and came across a couple disturbing surprises. You'll see what I mean......
 

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Ya know, an electrical engineer tracking circuits would say that the spider setup should not be a problem. I kinda agree if I were just circuit tracing but IMO there are both mechanical and load issues that make the spider a poor design. I'm kind of a brute force electrician. I would have had one or possibly more ground lines/buses and run more returns to them rather than the spider. When you consider the number of FJR's out there, the number of spiders that function properly probably make it statistically not that bad of a setup, but to me an electrical grounding system should have a zero percent failure rate. To that end, ANAL me would have replaced all spiders with a hard wire setup after the first sign of failure. Good luck on your repair. Fixing electrical crap is right up there with overflowed toilets for fun factor.
 

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We ran into the same problem with my 08 this year, it had been recalled back in 2011. Luckily the spider was not damaged so we were able to clean, lube and solder in a ground. Luckily our failure occurred when the bike was stationary warming up, I would not have liked this to happen while riding, so we will be servicing the critical spiders annually from now on.
 

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2007 FJR A Model
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Discussion Starter #12
Alrighty, I gots us some pics. The whole thing centers around getting the wiring harness pulled up into the engine compartment to access the S4 Spider for repair.

3 of 4 dash panels removed- remember no solenoid power for glovebox and left lower cowling removed.. Where the S4 spider is is actually a 'T' in the wiring harness. When you look down from the top it goes down and forward. A few better pics follow. Screwdriver points to part of the harness containing 3 plugs to be undone. On the right where the boot cover is by the exposed wires are 2 big plugs. The circle shows the S6 spider.


Small plugs undone


Big plugs undone
 

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2007 FJR A Model
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Discussion Starter #13
Circle shows the little chute where this section of 'T" gets pushed up into to gain slack in the engine compartment.


Screwdriver points to the object of my desires- the main wiring harness- to be pulled up. You can see the burned S4 spider on the right.


And the offending wiring in the S4. I later learned that this one small wire carries all the current collected in the spider back to the main ground wire. Also note- the straight sections of harness are covered with a folded wrap like a sticky note folded together with the sticky glue holding it closed. The 'T' section is plain ol' electrical tape.


The arrow shows the coolant hose clamp removed to gain a little room. In this pic, by pushing up from the bottom and tugging up from the top you can see the harness starting to cooperate.



And now time to carefully unwrap




Once the tape is removed you can see what I meant about the sticky note-type cover
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Once untaped/unwrapped you can see there's a lot of wire to work with. See the electrical tape on the big black wire on the right? That's the main ground wire.


Unwrapping it exposed a crimp connector with small wires from various places.



Circle on right is crimp connector. Circle on left- curved wire- is the single wire that carries all the current from the spider back to the main ground wire. I twisted together that one wire with the 3 coming up from the bottom and soldered those 4 wires together


Left circle shows wires 4 wires soldered. The remaining 2 wires form the spider: I stripped back some insulation from the main ground wire, twisted the 2 wires onto it and soldered. I also tinned the crimp connector and other wires connected there.



And voila!! Bikes runs. No hiccups yet!!


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So that's that. Except it's a complete PITA to attempt to re-wrap/tape the harness this way. There's simply just not enough room. So the plan is to drain the coolant and remove the coolant pipe. And since I'm going through all this, while I'm here I'm going to do the S5 (coolant sensor area) and the S6 (glovebox area) spiders the same way. I'll take pics but I don't see any need to post them unless someone wants to see them.
 

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So sorry this happened to you, so glad you documented the repair. Thank you.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
So sorry this happened to you, so glad you documented the repair. Thank you.
Thanks for the sympathy ;-). I can honestly say I'm not all that concerned or troubled by it, I think since it's been so well discussed and researched on all the forums. I [we?] know that despite our best maintenance efforts and Mammy Yammy's "recalls" it's gonna happen sooner or later. The real measure is how prepared each of us is, how we react to it and how we go about our day repairing it. I tried my best to consoladate the symptoms and the details of this particular repair for folks b/c I believe that as our effected bikes enter their 10 y/o anniversary this will become more prevalent. And with the weather as it currently is seems I have all the time in the world. Plus where I'm working (my carport) is on the leeward end of the house, the kitchen end, nearest the coffeepot. How cool is that? So despite the malfunction all the good in the world has come my way this weekend! :ale:

In fact, the wifie and I are supposed to be hitting the party circuit this evening- former coworker's 60th birthday. Cookout, horseshoes and badminton, corn hole- the works!! I dug out my golf umbrella. Check! Poncho? Check! Aluminium frame yard chairs and anchors? Check! Beer cooler with ice? Check! Beer? Nah, we opted for Mike's Hard Lemonade Party Pack. Check! Never been to an outdoor hurricane party :shock:. Ever play badminton in [currently] 20-30 mph wind? Me either. :crylarf: Oughta be interesting. If we tough it out past 8 or 9 pm Big Ol' Matt should start moving away from where we are.
 

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Russ, just want to say thank you for this great write up, so a silly question that I am pretty sure I already know the answer to is are the gen 3's also affected by this ? I have always made a habit of every time I pull an electrical connector on any of my bikes I clean all accessible connectors and dielectric grease them. Honda is really bad about connectors being non-water proof whereas the fjr seems to be better but after looking at your write up,I suspect the spiders are just a poor design. Any inputs or advice on the gen 3's? And I just want to say thanks for the excellent write up again.
 

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It does appear the GenIII's also have spiders, some on the power side as well as ground. They are taped to the harnesses so may not be visible until you untape them to see what's under the tape. The good news (we think), is the wiring is better in that there doesn't seem to be the heavy loads that the lightweight GenII spider wiring couldn't handle. Someday over the winter, I'm going to dig in and do some preventative maintenance anyway, can't hurt. Ground spiders would benefit more from contact paste rather than dielectric, but either way you're preventing future issues. On my GenII I was fortunate enough to get a Brodie harness, which was overdesigned and definitely put away any worries.
 
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Alrighty then, back to MY thread since it's MY spider bite and I'm the only one that matters :p. Ha!!

So, what I've learned here is that if you're going to cut out and solder at the S4 spider, save yourself the hassle. Go ahead and drain your coolant and remove the dang coolant pipe. You'll be glad you did it in the beginning instead of the middle like I did.

Enough pics were marked previously you should see here that I've removed the coolant pipe to gain access room all around the wire harness. You actually gain a lot of room by taking the pipe out so just do it! Note the big hose straight above my ring finger, opening staring right at us. That hose goes down and bends left as we see it here. Pushing it down and pulling out from the bottom really helps gain room to work, too.




And then everything topside reassembled. Note- the coolant pipe cap screws are m6-1.0. I dropped one and had to to fetch another. It's down in the bowels of the engine somewhere below the throttle bodies. Who knows, maybe it'll fall out someday.


I then moved around to the S6 spider. Unwrap, blah, blah, same as before. Cut, solder and wrap up.




Refill with coolant, put the plastics on etc., etc. In all not a bad job if you take your time and take lots of pics to refer back to. Only dropped and lost that 1 screw. Had no leftover parts or fasteners. Plus I used this snap lid type box with movable dividers for screws, rivets, etc. Once you get in the habit of re-snapping the lid every single time you open it, it doesn't matter how many times you drop it things stay put and nothing gets mixed up. Please don't ask how many times I dropped, kicked or swore at this poor box.


So that's it. Hope someone somewhere someday is helped by all this. Over and out.
 

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I had a thought today, while riding my 07 FJR and thinking about maybe having to go through this procedure a thousand of miles from home and all my tools and soldering iron.

If we know the two or three spiders that cause most of the spider problems, and since we know {I think} that it's not ALL the wires but the ground wire that overheats and causes the damage to the other wires.

Why don't we just cut that ground wire off on both sides of the three spiders, bypass it with a piece of good wire and solder and double heat shrink both sides.

Not only would this avoid the main problem, which is the corrosion that builds up [and then HEAT} at that poor contact area inside the spider. But it would also keep the ground wire from burning up all the other wires if it ever DID overheat.

Seems cutting and splicing three wires {or even more} NOW would be worth it for the peace of mind.

I probably don't know what I am talking about here, so please be gentle. I am NOT an electrician OR a mechanic. {I did stay in a Holiday Inn once}.
 
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