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Finally got the opportunity to fit the new battery and swap out the relays. Interestingly three of the under seat relays were numbered by hand. Not sure why given they are identical - related to cable attachment during assembly maybe.

Fitted the new Shorai battery. Spaced the battery for height to match the original battery and so the strap provided security. Put longer bolts in the posts, with spring washers. Was‘nt happy with security of the OEM shorter post bolts. Taped the Shorai charging cable to the side of the battery/box to ensure lowest profile. Tank back on, reconnect, turn key, nothing. Completely dead.

Tank back off; it is pretty easy with a little practice and I’ve had a lot! Checked seating of relays etc, all good. Battery fully charged but no power to bike. Pulled the 30A fuse from the positive cable housing and checked resistance, all good. Manipulated the positive cable with ignition on and ‘voila’, ignition lights came on, relays click, fuel pump primes. Gently manipulate the cable again and the sound of shorting and ignition off. This doesn’t explain all of the symptoms of my charging/ electrical difficulties but obviously a significant contributing factor.

A closer look at the positive cable shows what appears to be some sort of crimping damage just below the terminal boot and further damage under the boot, adjacent to the terminal. The crimping damage is a mystery. The under boot damage I can only assume comes from contact with the tank. I was very careful when packing the Shorai for height in the past, to match the original battery, noting that as such the battery strap is under minimum tension. That said this must be a vibration/rub damage from the tank. How it transferred through the rubber boot is also a mystery.

With the battery so mounted, when viewed from the underside, lifting the tank slightly (no fixings in place) and lowering again, the tank does contact the battery and lower the tray slightly. My guess is this is how battery trays have been failing, under permanent tension and through vibration. If I lower the battery by removing packing the strap has no tension.

So my immediate problem is the replacement of this cable, which routes under the tank/frame and disappears into the main wiring loom wrap. I guess this terminates at the starter motor but may also feed other parts of the electrical system. I have (very) limited auto electrical knowledge. Is the replacement of this cable/section going to be difficult - it seems so? Am I better trying to section in a new terminal/ fuse cable end to the existing wiring? Should I be getting out of the way and giving this repair to my dealer? Thanks Tony/guys - any input would be gratefully received, as ever.

View attachment 80752 View attachment 80753
I think that may explain all of your issues !
 

Stephen_Spencer

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I think that may explain all of your issues !
Thanks guys, fault has become apparent! The reason I am unsure is that this positive cable fault causes intermittent total power loss; not sure when I broke down last how I was still able to read my displays, voltmeter etc. and watch the voltage drop. No matter. The fault is obvious.

The positive battery terminal end was roatating on the host wires. Removed the shrink wrap and the terminal end came off in my hand. This has obviously been interrupting voltage to the electrical system on an intermittent basis. The cables were being held relatively firmly to the terminal end by the shrink wrap and rubber boot. Only luck that I found it really!

Not sure whether it is normal practice but there seem to have been a few manufacturing errors made here. Principally, two electrical wires crimped to one terminal end - not good practice methinks. Exposed wire ends are not quite long enough for the terminal end and set at angles, to present to the battery terminal - hopefully before the crimping occurred.

Gonna see if there is enough free length in the cables and expose fresh wire ends and crimp on a new terminal end. Should do the trick, unless we can see a better option?

Gonna be ridin’ soon!

Long live Norton.

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The
 

cliffa

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Bingo !!

Thats been your problem all along.

Wow pretty grimy looking wires too. I guess the reason for two wires in one terminal is down to space under the tank. I think what I would do is cut them back to a clean section, twist, solder and double shrink wrap them to one cable and put a new terminal on the end of the new single cable.
 
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Thanks guys, fault has become apparent! The reason I am unsure is that this positive cable fault causes intermittent total power loss; not sure when I broke down last how I was still able to read my displays, voltmeter etc. and watch the voltage drop. No matter. The fault is obvious.

The display would only need to see 12v with minimal current draw and it would be able to get that even through the 'dodgy' connection, but starter relay etc would require a heavy amperage and the poor connection would prevent that... I reckon this defo the source of your problem.
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Thanks guys. Yes, pretty pleased with the find. The damn thing was only rotating fractionally, no way I’d have picked it up from that alone.

Don‘t like the idea of trying to securely crimp two wires into one terminal end whether soldered together or not, although I will if need be - noting that I have very little free cable length to work with unless I splice in further lengths.

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Will look at options for individual terminal ends noting the wire gauge and the fact that these positive terminal leads feed the starter and Rec/Reg circuits,(amongst others). Not sure that I’ll get away with this noting positive terminal height. A relatively easy fix though compared to what others are going through.
 

cliffa

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Actually I wasn’t suggesting putting two cables in one crimp terminal. What I meant was, take both existing cables and make a nice twisted connection to a new single cable, solder all three together so you have an upside down “Y” , shrink wrap the joint ( ideally with adhesive lined wrap) twice at least, then put a new crimp terminal on the end of the new single piece of cable. I hope that makes more sense.
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Thanks Clive, I did understand I’m just not sure it’s viable. The two wires are quite thick gauge and twisting them into one wire effectively would be difficult at best. I would also have to strip wire back a significant amount to even give it a go, noting that I have very limited length of wire to play with If it does’nt work out. Also not recommended to solder wire before crimping in a non-insulated terminal end.

Bottom line is, there appears to be no appropriate/correct way to crimp two wires into a single terminal end. Norton did us no favours here. I’m surprised there have not been more examples of faults on the forum. We are locked down at the moment - I’ll find a fix when I can get out and about:).
 

Fast Eddie

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Bottom line is, there appears to be no appropriate/correct way to crimp two wires into a single terminal end. Norton did us no favours here. I’m surprised there have not been more examples of faults on the forum. We are locked down at the moment - I’ll find a fix when I can get out and about:).
After reading your diagnosis my thoughts were ‘I wonder how many current gremlins folk are struggling with are due to this’?

Should be put on the (growing) list of things to check / upgrade I reckon.
 

cliffa

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Hi Stephen, actually I didn’t suggest you pre solder the end to go in the crimped connection. Agreed it may be tough to twist the 3 wires together, but its doable. ( I know, I have done it)

As you say that is not a great engineering solution by Norton and as FE says definitely worth adding to the list of things to check on a 961.

it also seems pretty daft to place fuses under the tank.

cliffa.
 
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Stephen_Spencer

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Finally found time to address my leccy problem - pretty simple in the end of course. Couldn’t find a suitable way to combine cables into a single terminal end; not one that I was satisfied with anyway. I crimped individual non-insulated terminal ends on and took FE’s advice by lowering the battery and placing a section of the Shorai packing above the battery to maintain strap tension. This has worked, as the tank does not now overly contact the battery nor apply any pressure to the battery box.

Tank on, ignition on, started first push of the button and idled beautifully; charging system almost immediately raising voltage to 14.4v. Result! Got to find opportunity to go for a decent test ride but am pretty optimistic this this simple repair has resolved what I thought a more complex electrical charging system issue. The security of these cables on the positive terminal is well worth checking, especially if you have ongoing electrical gremlins.

Thanks for the advice guys, as ever. Steve

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Stephen_Spencer

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Test ride today (200km+), to make sure this has fixed my electrical gremlins. Started first push every time, idled beautifully and generated 14.8v throughout! (a bit high?) - she ran like a dream!

It’s been a couple of months and I had almost forgotten what a f@#$g awesome bike this is to ride! An absolute blast! It really is worth persevering with. Got a little carried away chasing my mates V4S - carbon wheels transform this bike! Don’t do this to your gear change lever though!! LH exhaust also took a hit. Not going to magically achieve more ground clearance so I guess I need to be hanging off a little more:oops:. What a buzz; you can keep your 250hp hyper bikes - not required to maximise the fun factor!

Serious question - is the gear change lever end supposed to rotate on the mounting bolt?

Long live Norton.

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Stephen_Spencer

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This picture is off the 961 owners FB site. The box atop the battery is some form of alarm/tracking device. How does he even get the tank on? Beats me!

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In all honesty, as shoddy as that terminal looks, Ive never personally experienced an issue from it. What year is the bike? They switched to an Indian company, Dhoot Transmission pvt ltd, to make the harnesses around 2016 from what I recall....there is probably around 5 different harnesses for the Commando, over the years of production ie sva Omex, 600 Omex, SC, Omex 630, euro4 Omex....with each having different variations on the theme.
 

Stephen_Spencer

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In all honesty, as shoddy as that terminal looks, Ive never personally experienced an issue from it. What year is the bike? They switched to an Indian company, Dhoot Transmission pvt ltd, to make the harnesses around 2016 from what I recall....there is probably around 5 different harnesses for the Commando, over the years of production ie sva Omex, 600 Omex, SC, Omex 630, euro4 Omex....with each having different variations on the theme.
Hey Stuart. Not surprised there are multiple harness types. Love this bike, it’s a lifelong keeper, but an oddity in so many ways as we know!

My bike was fixed by seperating two positive terminal wires, originally crimped into one terminal end. The above picture is from FB. I was just marvelling at how the owner got the tank on with all of that hardware strapped to the top and side of the battery:oops:!
 
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Haha yeah he messaged me about it too, asking what it was. It was quite a common place for mounting it, but had to be done using a lower height lithium battery
 
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