The penguin's motorcycling and Jeep blog

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Adding an electrical socket

One of the things I wanted for the Nightstrom was a way to pump up the tires using a small electric pump. See, it's always wise to air down your tires if you're going to ride down a gravel road, it makes your tires ride smoother, gives you more traction because they can conform to the rough road rather than just the tips of the rocks hitting your rubber, and it keeps the sharp rocks from slicing your tires up because your tires deform instead of slicing. But then once you hit pavement again you have to air your tires back up. Given that the tires on my V-Strom 650 want to be pumped up to 40PSI, doing that with a hand pump is a PITA.

Another thing I wanted was a socket on the side that I could power a heated vest with. A Powerlet socket seemed just the thing for both, since it had positive retention for a heated vest jack, but there is an adaptor to plug a cigarette-lighter-driven airpump into it. So I headed off to Easter Beaver and got the V-Strom rear electrical outlet kit. And here it is:

The first thing I did was put the bracket on. Here is the bracket(note: click on any picture to embiggen): The bracket fits behind the footpeg mount. There is also a washer/spacer (in the little baggie with the fuses in the first photo) that goes under the other footpeg mount bolt to space it out equally. The bolts were locked on with threadlocker, as is usual for this bike (Suzuki apparently got tired of bolts rattling loose so threadlocks *everything*), but unlike some bolts I didn't need to pull out the butane torch and heat these up to get'em out, the threadlock compound let loose fairly easily. So:

  1. Loosen both footpeg mount bolts by about the thickness of the bracket
  2. Take out the upper footpeg mount bolt (the one where the bracket goes).
  3. Clean the old dried-up threadlocker compound off with a brass wire brush
  4. Put fresh new blue threadlocker on it.
  5. Slide the bracket in, and then put the bolt back in through mount and hole in bracket and tighten it until just barely snugged.
  6. Take out the lower footpeg mount bolt, wirebrush it, and re-threadlock it.
  7. Slide the spacer back behind the lower footpeg mount until you can see through it to the threads in the frame.
  8. Tighten the lower footpeg mount bolt until snug, tighten the upper footpeg mount bolt until tight, then lower footpeg mount bolt until tight.
So here is the result:

And now that the bracket is installed, now I put the socket through the hole in the bracket, with the spacers, washers, and nuts in the order specified on a sheet of paper inside the little baggie. Once the socket was tight in the bracket, I inserted the rubber boot over the end of the wires, and then shoved the connector ends into the empty socket where they belonged, and plugged in the connectors to connect it to the wire to be run to the fuse panel. Then I ran all the wires up behind the side panel to the vicinity of the battery. Here is where we are at this stage:

Now, I have an auxiliary fuse panel, previously installed (sorry that I never finished talking about that, but I'm not quite satisfied with my installation yet, oh well!). So now it was time to hook the wires up. Always pull the main fuse to whatever fuse panel you're working with, or if there is no main fuse, disconnect the ground wire from the battery. In this case, I pulled my 30 amp main fuse for the auxiliary panel, then ran the new wires to the auxiliary panel, cut them to length, stripped, and inserted into the connectors on the fuse panel. Here is the result, before I put the cover back on the auxiliary panel. The new wire is the one hooked to the 15A circuit, which is a permanently-on circuit (this being a Centech AP2, where the first three circuits are switched and the two nearest the front are permanently-on). I hooked it to a permanently-on circuit because I don't want to have to start the bike to pump up the tires. Before I put the cover back on the Centech, I temporarily replaced the 30A main fuse, and tested the socket by, err, plugging the Powerlet-to-cigarette-lighter adaptor in then the air pump, and turning on the air pump. It worked! So then I took the 30A fuse back out, and put the cover back on the Centech. Here is the final result: The new wires go through the grommet into the underseat compartment, and you can see the empty main fuse holder towards the left of the photo near the negative pole of the battery. Behind that is the relay for the Centech AP2 so that the first three circuits will be on only when the ignition is on, this was another Eastern Beaver kit, it plug-and-plays once you find room for it, no cutting of the OEM wiring harness required. The three fuse holders immediately to the right of the relay (as we look at this photo) used to be spaced along the backside of the battery compartment on three molded-in pegs, but I cut the pegs off and shoved them over to the side to make room for the Centech relay.

And anyhow, that's the end of the story. Hopefully I'll get back to providing a tutorial on electrical work, but it's hard work, and I've been very busy recently due to a project at work. If you have any questions, just ask!

- Badtux the Electrifyin' Penguin


Progressive Traditionalist said...

Hello, Mr Penguin.
I want to tell you. I think you deserve better gloves.

The gloves I normally wear for work are the Tillman 1414. You could say that these are the industry standard.

Earlier this year, I was working for P&G on a maintenance project. They had an on-site rule that no work could be performed without gloves.
Certain things, like threading a nut, can be difficult with gloves on.
The gloves we were issued there were the Tillman True Fit. They are thin, but grippy.

There are some tig gloves that are really thin goatskin like that that are good, but they aren't as grippy. Plus, they look like the Lone Ranger's gloves.

I really respect your work, and I think you deserve a better pair of gloves.
I think you deserve a sponsorship from Tillman's.
But I recommend to you the true fit.

BadTux said...

Thanks for the comment. The purpose of the disposable nitrile surgical gloves is simply to keep oil and grease off my hands. I have other gloves that I use for work where I need durability, but you'll notice that I'm working awfully close to the drive chain here. That drive chain looks really clean, and actually it *is* really clean for a drive chain, but it's not as clean as the camera makes it look -- it's still an oily, greasy drive chain that slings oil and grease all over the part of the bike that I'm working with there.

So anyhow, that's the deal with the nitrile gloves. They're pretty much the standard nowdays when you're working near lubricants because of all the stuff about how used motor oil can cause cancer and such. And I must say that they make dumping the crankcase a lot nicer, no longer having to worry about hanging on to the drain plug with greasy hands or, worse yet, soggy oil-soaked leather gloves...

Progressive Traditionalist said...

The synthetic motor oils that are alkylbenzene-based are innately carcinogenic, whether they have been used or not.

Gordon said...

Did you give any thought to the air pumps that take the place of the spark plug in your spare cylinder?

I think I'm showing my age...

Gordon said...

Then again, an additional socket might come in handy on those long, lonely road trips.

BadTux said...

Gordon, problem with those airpumps is that I have dual-spark-plug heads and CDI *really* doesn't want to have spark plug wires unplugged when it tries to do its sparking trick, meaning I'd have to take out the other spark plug and ground it out, which would let all my air out the other spark plug hole (eep!). So won't work. Electric it has to be.

As for the, err, "toy", I'm not quite sure how you're supposed to use it while riding a motorcycle. Seems somewhat, ah, awkward :-).

- Badtux the Electrified Penguin

Gordon said...

...not quite sure how you're supposed to use it...

Plug 'n play. Just try not to confuse it with your trailer harness...

BadTux said...

Yeah, Gordon, it would be plug-and-play on the Jeep, but on the motorcycle?! My mind is having trouble with that image :-).

- Badtux the Icked Penguin