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Discussion Starter #1
I have bad news. My bike was attacked by a mouse. My bike was stored in a heated garage and was fine up until a month ago. I checked it yesterday and sure enough it chewed through wires. The only damage appears to be the two sets of wires near the tool kit. One is for the fan and one is for the taillights I think. I haven't started or even turned the ignition on. No fuses appear blown.

Will I need a new wiring harness or can they splice in new wires?

The bike has less than 500 miles and I am not happy. No riding for me right now and I am going crazy...
 

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That doesn't sound good at all.


I hope you'll be able to splice in new wires.


Send us a picture and we might be able to offer suggestions on how to best repair the wires.


How did the mouse get in? did you have your seat off?


This calls for a good dose of poison, mice traps and maybe a cat?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
That doesn't sound good at all.


I hope you'll be able to splice in new wires.


Send us a picture and we might be able to offer suggestions on how to best repair the wires.


How did the mouse get in? did you have your seat off?


This calls for a good dose of poison, mice traps and maybe a cat?
Here's a link to the best pic I could get. The empty space is where the tool kit sits. The pink dust is insulation it used to build the nest...



But to answer your questions. There was multiple sets of traps and poison around. Never had issues with the 2 other bikes that have been stored there for years.

The seat wasn't off. Almost think I would have been better off because the mouse wouldn't have made a nest there since it would have been exposed.

I'm just really bummed. It isn't terrible but I want it done right so I am going to call the shop tomorrow. I'm praying they can splice in new wires as I'm sure harness would be $1000+ after labor. The new harness is $630 from BMW alone....
 

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get a couple of quick splice cable connectors and splice in new lengths of cables.


eg: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/10PCS-Car-Auto-Quick-Splice-Wire-Crimp-Terminal-Electric-Cable-Connector-JOINERS/323101553674?epid=6010501957&hash=item4b3a5a740a:g:ihwAAOSw3Hxak96Z


these connectors fit perfectly with the 2mm bmw wires


or even better heat shrink connectors: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/100pcs-Assorted-Solder-Heat-Shrink-Sleeves-Splice-Butt-Connector-26-10-AWG-Box/302595946240?hash=item46741fb700:g:aYUAAOSwBOlaVIwG


and make the wires a bit longer so they can be properly routed around the tool pack
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the response. I'll look into doing that. I'm going to see what the shop says and go from there. I don't want to do my own work if they will void my warranty.

Next year maybe I'll just bring my bike in the house. 😞
 

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Actually, if it's just the insulation and the wire conductors themselves aren't damaged, all you have to do is wrap each wire with electrical tape to keep them from grounding/shorting out. It won't be pretty, but it will work fine.

If the conductors are damaged, then you will have to splice in a small length of new wire. Not a major job if they are accessible, which they appear to be.
 

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If it were my bike, I would cut the wires where they were stripped. Remove the sections, slip on some heat shrink wrap and add some new wire, solder the connections, then heat the shrink wrap and seal it watertight. Personally not a fan of black tape repairs.
 

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From the photo, a bit hard to see, but if that's the only place, it does not look that bad. If the dealer offer crazy solution (like replacing the whole harness) and that you're not comfortable doing it, then check non-dealer places or even car electronic shops, like radio/starters/alarm system installers. They are used to cutting and joining wires.
If there is big damage elsewhere and that you end up having to buy the harness, take note there is currently one on ebay (from a parted bike), open to best offers, already at a "better" price than retail: here
But labor would be costly for changing that, no doubts!
In all cases, good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
To give everyone an update...

Spoke to the mechanic at the dealer. Told me that if I'm comfortable doing it, to use liquid electrical tape to seal it and then wrap it with black silicon electrical tape to protect it. I'm going to clean it up and apply some liquid electrical tape tomorrow and then wrap it the day after. I'm hoping for the best. If the fix isn't to my liking, I'll cut it out and splice in a new line. With it wrapped with the silicone tape it should look almost factory I hope.

And yes. I've been eyeing that wiring harness...

Now I have to get to my air box to check that as well to be safe.

Any help on getting to that? Can't find instructions anywhere...
 

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If it were my bike, I would cut the wires where they were stripped. Remove the sections, slip on some heat shrink wrap and add some new wire, solder the connections, then heat the shrink wrap and seal it watertight. Personally not a fan of black tape repairs.
Reduce those two steps to one, use some heat shrink solder connectors:wink2:
 

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To give everyone an update...

Spoke to the mechanic at the dealer. Told me that if I'm comfortable doing it, to use liquid electrical tape to seal it and then wrap it with black silicon electrical tape to protect it. I'm going to clean it up and apply some liquid electrical tape tomorrow and then wrap it the day after. I'm hoping for the best. If the fix isn't to my liking, I'll cut it out and splice in a new line. With it wrapped with the silicone tape it should look almost factory I hope.

And yes. I've been eyeing that wiring harness...

Now I have to get to my air box to check that as well to be safe.

Any help on getting to that? Can't find instructions anywhere...

Are you sure that that wiring harness has the plugs for the rear light/indicators and the fan fuse, can't seem to see these in the pictures.


Are the rear light/indicators and the fan fuse separate from the main wiring harness?
 

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Reduce those two steps to one, use some heat shrink solder connectors:wink2:
I would remove the damaged core because it may have been compromised by the mighty teeth of a mouse.:grin2:
 

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Having had a Marine Electronics business for 35 years I’m used to splicing wires. I would use Ancor butt connectors to splice in new wire or just connect the old wires if the lengths haven’t been compromised. You can crimp the connectors with a standard crimping tool and then use a butane torch to heat up the sealant in the connector. Make sure to keep the torch moving rapidly to prevent burning the insulation on the wire. Done properly this will produce a secure, waterproof splice that will last for many years. Much better than electrical tape or solder joints that tend to fail due to vibration.

The Ancor connectors are available at any West Marine store (in the US) or online at Westmarine.com. These come in different sizes (red-22-18 gauge; blue-16-14 gauge; yellow-12-10 gauge) to accommodate different diameter wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just because the pictures aren't the best...no wire was cut through. The worst wire lost 2 copper strands out of however many are originally there.

With that in mind, I'm not sure if completely removing it is necessary.
 

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A couple of notes/observations here (20+ years as an Air Force comm tech and 25+ as a data center facilities manager/engineer).

* Any connection point is a potential failure point. The fewer connections in a system, the fewer things that can fail. If the conductors are intact, you're better off re-insulating them.

* Solder on a connection subject to stress/vibration is a potential failure point - solder is brittle and will wick up a stranded wire creating a rigid section that won't flex.

* A good crimp connection is your best bet for longevity. This requires using a proper crimping tool. The one that came with your kit of 137 assorted connectors is, in all probability, not a good tool.

Top tool is a good tool, Bottom tool is not.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
A couple of notes/observations here (20+ years as an Air Force comm tech and 25+ as a data center facilities manager/engineer).

* Any connection point is a potential failure point. The fewer connections in a system, the fewer things that can fail. If the conductors are intact, you're better off re-insulating them.

* Solder on a connection subject to stress/vibration is a potential failure point - solder is brittle and will wick up a stranded wire creating a rigid section that won't flex.

* A good crimp connection is your best bet for longevity. This requires using a proper crimping tool. The one that came with your kit of 137 assorted connectors is, in all probability, not a good tool.

Top tool is a good tool, Bottom tool is not.

Thanks for the advice. Since the wiring was not cut through, I don't think I will splice in new wire. The purple wires have little damage. The one red wire has more damage but still has probably 80% or 90% of the original wire present. The two loose strands I was thinking of soldering down but your comments on solder wicking up a stranded wire makes sense.

With that in mind, I'll remove any loose insulation to clean up the section and reinsulate with the liquid electrical tape and then wrap it with silicone tape to completely seal it. It self seals and is waterproof/heat resistant. I don't think it would be a good idea to cut the wire just to add heat shrink.

I figure the less I cut up the wire the better. Plus my fear if adding in new sections and more solder points seems valid with your input as them being points of failure.

Correct me if I'm wrong. And thank you everyone for all the help!
 

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With that in mind, I'll remove any loose insulation to clean up the section and reinsulate with the liquid electrical tape and then wrap it with silicone tape to completely seal it. It self seals and is waterproof/heat resistant. I don't think it would be a good idea to cut the wire just to add heat shrink.
You can get heat shrink tape. In marine grade.

You might be surprised at just how much stuff in your local boat store applies equally as well to motorcycles.

Especially the electrical stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I did some work tonight...

Tried to get the side body work off to get to the airbox to check for mice. Couldn't figure it out. I took out every screw but no luck. Didn't take any bolts out of the center black portion if that makes sense so that could have been why. Since I couldn't get into the air box I just took a nylon ziptie with a piece of duct tape on the end and stuck it up the air intake and pulled it out a few times. No insulation like I found in the mouse nest was stuck to the tape. The tape was clean which I took as a good sign the airbox was free of mice or nests.

I used brush on/liquid electrical tape to seal up all the wires. It wasn't hard and looks well sealed. I will wrap them too once I can pick up some electrical wrap.

I then proceeded to start up the bike. Took a minute of cranking as it hasn't been started in 5 months. Plus the temperature around me is about 28F with snow...

The two wires were for the radiator fan and rear turn signals/brake light if you don't remember. I tested my signals and all looked good and worked as intended. I let the bike idle all the way to 220F when the radiator fan kicked on.

So the two wires appear to be functional and at this point, if the bike ran for 30 minutes, I'm hopeful the air box didn't have any mice or mice nests...

Thanks for all helps everyone. I'm glad everyone is so helpful around here.
 
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