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Thread: New US Beat Owner with Gauge Cluster Fuse issue

  1. #1
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    New US Beat Owner with Gauge Cluster Fuse issue

    Hello All,

    New member here! I've been reading the forum for a while now and just last weekend picked up by own Beat imported into the US. Super excited to say the least, but also concerned at the moment. I have had my gauge fuse blow twice since getting it home on Saturday which causes the car to die (obviously an issue). At first I thought it might have been due to the drive home from where I picked it up which was a 7 hour drive at highway speeds (scary and fun at the same time). Now that it has blown again I am not so sure.

    The first time the fuse blew was on Monday as I was driving back from lunch with the A/C on (this might be important). I was stopped at a light and the engine bogged heavily before finally revving high enough to pull away. Next stop light it was idling at 500 rpm and just died. Quickly diagnosed that it was the gauge fuse and replaced it and drove straight to the auto parts store to get more fuses. With the new fuse it ran perfectly fine, but from the moment I started it up until today I had not used the A/C since it was a partial suspicion that it may have been the culprit. Today the same scenario happened on my way back from lunch again, A/C on, idling at 500 rpm before dying, so I am starting to think the A/C might be causing the issue.

    After replacing the fuse I decided to pay attention to exactly what happens when I turn on the A/C. When I turn on the A/C the engine idle immediately goes from around 1100 rpm down to 900 or less, and it never rebounds like it should to compensate for the added stress on the motor. When I turn it off the idle jumps up to about 1200 or 1300 before settling back down to 1100 or so. I checked the fuse and it seemed a little warm but since I had only tried it for a minute it wasn't definitive at all. Obviously something is pushing a bit too much current through the gauge fuse, but I am unsure where to start looking. Any tips or thoughts from more experience owners!?

    I will be forever grateful for any thoughts, and I am looking forward to being a part of the community! And as a thank you for your help and to cover the internet tax here is a picture of my car and a picture of an adorable otter.

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    '81 Honda CM200T
    '89 CA6 Accord Coupe
    '91 Beat PP1

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatPP1USOC/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    216
    First, quit going to lunch.

    Second, obtain a copy of the wiring diagram (unable to upload). There are 2 leads that travel to the ECU. The compressor clutch relay pink wire tells the ECU to bump the RPM and the Blue / Red from the ECU to the condenser fan relay allow the sys to operate. The AC relays are located on the RH wheelwell. See the blue jumper I had to add when I swapped motors because the Hayabusa ECU does not have A/C circuitry to complete the loop.

    Looking at the schematic, I do not see that the gauges (10a fuse) circuit ever merges with the A/C sys. You mentioned fouling at idle under load. The gauge circuit does feed the fuel pump.

    Unsolicited advice: As most modern elec sys operate on mili-amps, I add 'dielectric' grease to all accessible elec connectors, relays, etc. to form an oxygen barrier preventing oxidation or rust.

    By the way, you are the second Beat owner in Georgia. The first owner sold his in 2009 to the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum in Madison.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by marcair; 14-08-2016 at 05:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2015
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    Tohoku, Japan
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    Are those Rivazza wheels? Made by Enkei? I've got the exact same ones!

  4. #4
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    Aug 2016
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    Atlanta, GA USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Aaron GE View Post
    Are those Rivazza wheels? Made by Enkei? I've got the exact same ones!
    Yes they are sir! They are one of the reasons I purchased this Beat, it already had wheels I loved :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by marcair View Post
    First, quit going to lunch.

    Second, obtain a copy of the wiring diagram (unable to upload). There are 2 leads that travel to the ECU. The compressor clutch relay pink wire tells the ECU to bump the RPM and the Blue / Red from the ECU to the condenser fan relay allow the sys to operate. The AC relays are located on the RH wheelwell. See the blue jumper I had to add when I swapped motors because the Hayabusa ECU does not have A/C circuitry to complete the loop.

    Looking at the schematic, I do not see that the gauges (10a fuse) circuit ever merges with the A/C sys. You mentioned fouling at idle under load. The gauge circuit does feed the fuel pump.

    Unsolicited advice: As most modern elec sys operate on mili-amps, I add 'dielectric' grease to all accessible elec connectors, relays, etc. to form an oxygen barrier preventing oxidation or rust.

    By the way, you are the second Beat owner in Georgia. The first owner sold his in 2009 to the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum in Madison.
    Thank you for that great information! I found the wiring diagram in Japanese, still looking for the English translation. I will be going over all the wiring this weekend and fingers crossed I will track down something that is going wrong. As you say, if the A/C does not merge with that circuit but the fuel pump does, maybe the fuel pump is failing?

    As an addition, my coworkers told me that my right brake light seemed dim, but only right before I had the engine and fuse issues, so I am also going to track that circuit and see if there is a short or possibly water in the light (it does have condensation under the plastic).

    The unsolicited advice sounds like some good unsolicited advice, and I will definitely look into protecting all the connections like you say.

    And I will be avoiding taking the Beat to lunch until I figure this out as well ;-)

    Also, that is awesome to hear that there was a Beat in Georgia before mine, I researched the Microcar Museum and sadly it closed and all the cars were auctioned off back in 2013. Sad day for tiny vehicles. My fingers are crossed that I will see another one locally as I am not exactly excited to make another 7 hour trip to another state to meet up with others (at least until everything is sorted). Will update this thread as I know more! Thanks!
    '81 Honda CM200T
    '89 CA6 Accord Coupe
    '91 Beat PP1

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatPP1USOC/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Tohoku, Japan
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    Before you start tearing your hair out, check that your IACV is functioning normally. It should open up when the A/C kicks in. I know that it sometimes sticks in older Hondas.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WatchmanPP1 View Post



    Thank you for that great information! I found the wiring diagram in Japanese, still looking for the English translation.
    PM me, PDF in English available

  7. #7
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    Sep 2007
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    216
    Re the wiring diagrams, I got mine from someone on the site. Just a pdf but 350k too large. Try multiple drives with out ac to confirm proper engine operation. Pm. Me w tel#

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Atlanta, GA USA
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    First off, big thanks to old'uns for a translated wiring diagram and some other bits of info, gonna come in handy this weekend.

    My plans are to check out a variety of circuits for possible shorts or overload issues. Then see if any components are failing, specifically A/C and the idle air control valve per marcair's suggestion, and then the possibly faulty brake light. After that I'll just keep driving it around with no A/C to make sure the rest of the systems are operating correctly and no more fuses blow.

    Besides all that, I'm going to go over the rest of the car to find any upgrades or aftermarket parts (pretty sure the brakes are upgraded Fit/Jazz rotors and calipers) to have a better picture of where I'm starting at. Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll update when I learn more.
    '81 Honda CM200T
    '89 CA6 Accord Coupe
    '91 Beat PP1

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatPP1USOC/

  9. #9
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    Aug 2015
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    I've got a set of RS-R springs if you need them. I gotta dig it out, but I've got an HKS exhaust as well. Would have to find a suitable box to ship that in though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Aaron GE View Post
    I've got a set of RS-R springs if you need them. I gotta dig it out, but I've got an HKS exhaust as well. Would have to find a suitable box to ship that in though.
    Sending you a PM-

    Now for the update.

    Okay, so a bit of new information comes to light. I found the brake light was indeed full of water and the socket corroded so I drained the water, heated up the light to remove any drops, and proceeded to seal the entire light with silicone sealant. Sanded and cleaned the socket and bulb and reassembled. Everything seemed to work well. I didn't find any circuit issues elsewhere but I have not tested components for failure.

    I then did some other items that had been on my list, shorten and relocate a ground/earth wire that had been added to the battery terminal, as well as rewire and relocate a battery "enhancer" capacitor unit that was also added. (Might end up removing this in case it is causing unusual surges to the system) I checked some service items to get a list going of what to order. By this time it was getting late and I put everything back together and went for a drive.

    Left the A/C off, fan off, radio off during the drive to make sure that had no effect. It was at night so headlights were on. Did a little spirited driving for about 5 minutes, total drive time was 15 minutes before the idle bogged to 600, I had no throttle response after pulling up to a stop and it died shortly after turning the corner. Pulled the gauge fuse and it had NOT blown. Reinstalled the same fuse, car started just fine and I drove home.

    Today I pulled the main relay and ECU out to check some components because now I am wondering if it is electronic instead of component failure (still planning on removing the IACV/EACV to clean it as well). The main relay seemed fine, no cold solder joints but it's possible the actual relays are bad and it needs replacing. I'm looking for a replacement, probably going to go with something domestic like the RZ-0139 out of early 90's Preludes as they are all the same thing. But now we come to the possible interesting bits. The ECU seems to have a leaking capacitor (I think) where others have had the issue - see pics below.

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    Also, there is a very small switch added to a resistor that makes me very curious. I haven't been able to find a limiter cut module added anywhere, even though I am able to redline in 5th gear. Is it possible that this switch is a type of work around for that? My computer system knowledge is incredibly lacking when it comes to that. Or is this something else that could also be causing an intermittent issue that I am experiencing lately.

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    I have replaced everything into the car and am going out for another drive to see what happens. Until then have a ponder over the images and I'll return with the second drive results.

    Also, I adjusted the air in my tires last night before the drive (they were all sitting at 32 psi and I dropped them to 28 as per the recommendation on the door jamb). During the drive I experienced a shimmy when over 50 km that I have not had before. I always had a very smooth ride, no shimmy or rough wheel feedback, no issues with road vibration besides a small vibration under aggressive braking I think due to the slotted rotors. Curious as to what may be causing this.

    Thanks - be back soon
    '81 Honda CM200T
    '89 CA6 Accord Coupe
    '91 Beat PP1

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatPP1USOC/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Shropshire
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    Your ecu has been socketed and chipped in Japan so the speed limiter has been removed, as for what map is on the chip it is hard to say may just be standard fuel/ignition with speed limiter removed or it could have slight adjustments to go with the mods on the car if there is any. That little switch is to go between the standard oem setup or to the delimited chip setup.

    As for the capacitors I would replace they as a matter of course that one you've pictured looks a bit of a mess if the eml light isn't on then you still have a good chance of replacing it and not having a damaged pcb, but whoever replaces it I'd get them to check the pcb in that area and have them use some sort of pcb cleaner to make sure any residue from the capacitors are gone.

    If you got the cash I would look on the auctions and get an ecu relocation extension harness it will allow you to relocate the ecu to under the passenger seat so it takes it away from the heat of the firewall, as for your question on the brakes side if they are around 240/242mm vented discs then yes you have a gd1 fit/jazz upgrade.
    Last edited by Gavin; 21-08-2016 at 08:05 PM.

  12. #12
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    Aug 2016
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    Atlanta, GA USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin View Post
    Your ecu has been socketed and chipped in Japan so the speed limiter has been removed, as for what map is on the chip it is hard to say may just be standard fuel/ignition with speed limiter removed or it could have slight adjustments to go with the mods on the car if there is any. That little switch is to go between the standard oem setup or to the delimited chip setup.

    As for the capacitors I would replace they as a matter of course that one you've pictured looks a bit of a mess if the eml light isn't on then you still have a good chance of replacing it and not having a damaged pcb, but whoever replaces it I'd get them to check the pcb in that area and have them use some sort of pcb cleaner to make sure any residue from the capacitors are gone.

    If you got the cash I would look on the auctions and get an ecu relocation extension harness it will allow you to relocate the ecu to under the passenger seat so it takes it away from the heat of the firewall, as for your question on the brakes side if they are around 240/242mm vented discs then yes you have a gd1 fit/jazz upgrade.
    Thanks for the knowledge Gavin, I'll definitely plan on trying to replace and resolder that capacitor, and clean up the board. I haven't had the check engine light come on besides right before the gauge fuse blows so unless the capacitor is intermittently failing it seems like the ECU might be ok then. Good to know that the switch probably isn't causing those issues and is a nice bonus to have it be delimited. As for the ECU relocation I had that on my list of future things to do, until then I might add some heat tape on both sides of the firewall to help insulate it a bit better.

    On my afternoon test drive I had no issues with the fuse, idle, or engine dying, so that issue is still a mystery until I fix the ECU, possibly replace the main relay, and go over more electrical components and the IACV. Also, the A/C relays are not located in the front wheelwell on my Beat, so I will have to locate those to see if there is any problems with them.

    Good information on the brakes, it turns out that I have the stock brakes but just some slotted rotors, which I just discovered on my afternoon test run are what is causing the shimmy. There was no shimmy today until after braking very hard 3 or 4 times and then the shimmy started to come back. It seems the small rotors are warping under heavy loads and since my ultimate plan for this car is a canyon carver and track car, I might as well do the upgrade to the more available Fit/Jazz brakes. Is the conversion only feasible for the front brakes or will they work on the rear as well? I know the Fit/Jazz only had front calipers for the first gen in the US, so could I buy a set to replace the rear as well or is there another vehicle that would have something that would work? Or do I have to locate a set from the European model for the rear?

    Anywho, back to tinkering and figuring things out. Thanks so much everyone for your input!
    '81 Honda CM200T
    '89 CA6 Accord Coupe
    '91 Beat PP1

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatPP1USOC/

  13. #13
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    Little update as I start more weekend work. Drove the Beat a few times this week with no problems, no gauge fuse issues and nothing else popped up. That might be the most frustrating part since it isn't an easily repeatable problem. Will be pulling the ECU to clean the board and determine what capacitor to order. Looking at ECU relocation harness extensions but I might end up making my own by splicing all the wires and extending them. Bit of a risk since if even one wire fails I'll have myself to blame but paying $120 plus shipping from Japan for 24 inches of wire bundle with 2 connectors seems a little ridiculous.

    Will be pulling the IACV to clean it, and at that point finishing up my list of service items I need to order from Japan and what I can get locally to do a full service. Anyone purchased more readily available spark plug wires from a different model car that works? With a random quick check it looks like the 3rd gen Prelude engine has the same style wires with the extended capped boots, just need to see if the dimensions are similar and will fit. I would imagine there are other Honda engines that use the same style and might work (and wouldn't cost a ridiculous amount from Japan).

    Will update with anymore info or questions as I proceed. Thanks everyone!
    '81 Honda CM200T
    '89 CA6 Accord Coupe
    '91 Beat PP1

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatPP1USOC/

  14. #14
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    So I pulled the ECU again and determined the proper capacitor to get, and then proceeded to clean up the gunk. This after trying isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, acetone, toluene, and finally some nasty MEK, nothing even touched the gunk on the board. It is rock hard and can only be scratched with metal tools leading me to believe it isn't something that leaked from a capacitor. My expertise is not in this arena though. Checked the gunk for conductivity with a voltmeter and it was nonconductive, so I'm going to venture a guess that even though it is touching a couple different contacts, it may not be causing any issue.

    Replaced the ECU and pulled the IACV to clean it. Looked pretty clean but gave it a good spraying with throttlebody cleaner and let it dry. Replaced the IACV, started the car and the idle sat at 500 rpm. Throttle was responsive, no bogging was occurring and it idled smoothly even though it was only at 500 rpm. Turned the car off and on a few times to cycle the ECU and then let it sit for five minutes before starting again. Immediately idled at 1200 rpm for 30 seconds before settling in at 800 rpm where it has since stayed. Took it out to drive with the engine warm and the car drove perfectly normal and the idle was smooth and consistent at 800. If I sat at a light for longer than 15 seconds, the idle would slowly start to creep back up and if I sat long enough, it would eventually settle at 1100 rpm. So clearly the idle has changed and the ECU has relearned that it should be at 800.

    Still no issues with the gauge fuse after spirited driving, and the engine is running smooth, but obviously I now have a small idle issue? Should I drive the car for a few days like normal and see if it sorts itself out? If it doesn't then I'll search the forum for how to adjust idle and other things to check. I know I'm being nitpicky at this point but I would hate to ignore something minor and have it turn major. Thanks for any advice!
    '81 Honda CM200T
    '89 CA6 Accord Coupe
    '91 Beat PP1

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatPP1USOC/

  15. #15
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    Sounds like that cap may have been leaking in the past, and has been replaced once before. I seem to recall seeing ECU overhaul services on Yahoo Japan having some new coating on the pcb in the places where the electrolyte had eaten through to the metal.

    Also, the idle screw is under a rubber cap on the top of the ITBs.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Aaron GE View Post
    Sounds like that cap may have been leaking in the past, and has been replaced once before. I seem to recall seeing ECU overhaul services on Yahoo Japan having some new coating on the pcb in the places where the electrolyte had eaten through to the metal.

    Also, the idle screw is under a rubber cap on the top of the ITBs.
    Thanks for the info, I'll keep my fingers crossed for now that the pcb is actually okay. As for my idle problem, after a couple times driving it the idle has returned to around 1150 and the car still runs smoothly, so I think I'll do the idle adjustment process with the idle screw just to be sure but I think that problem is solved for now

    Oh and of course still no issues with the gauge fuse blowing so I'm starting to believe it might have something to do with the A/C and the added stress on the electrical that might come from a failing compressor. Won't know until I locate the relays and check to see how they are operating. Work, work, work, work, work, I guess it could be worse. Thanks everyone!
    '81 Honda CM200T
    '89 CA6 Accord Coupe
    '91 Beat PP1

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatPP1USOC/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    216
    Re. The Ecu location: check out second skin thermal barrier in Arizona. I bought a variety of materials for heat and sound. When I did the engine swap I lined the engine compartment with thermal and lined the floor and door interiors with sound mat.

    If your ac relays are not on the rh fender, has there been a mod? Maybe suspect.

  18. #18
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    Apr 2010
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    Japan
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcair View Post
    Re. The Ecu location: check out second skin thermal barrier in Arizona. I bought a variety of materials for heat and sound. When I did the engine swap I lined the engine compartment with thermal and lined the floor and door interiors with sound mat.

    If your ac relays are not on the rh fender, has there been a mod? Maybe suspect.
    My a/c relays are not on the rh fender either. I think they are the two relays next to the fuse panel under the cowl on the rh side. (1994 Model Z)

    Steve


    Past Hondas:
    1960 125cc Honda Benly CB92R
    1964 305cc Super Hawk CB77, the only vehicle I have ever bought new in my life!
    Honda CB160, roadraced as 175cc 1967-1970.
    Honda Lawnmower, bought used in 2003, caught fire and melted in 2005.

  19. #19
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    Sep 2007
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    Steve, see my earlier attached pic of the fan and condenser relays. Are we saying the same with different terms or are there 2 different configurations

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Different configurations. I am also aware the parts manual shows them where you have them. They are definitely not there on mine, nor any holes suggesting they were moved. (My car is about as original as they come.)


    Past Hondas:
    1960 125cc Honda Benly CB92R
    1964 305cc Super Hawk CB77, the only vehicle I have ever bought new in my life!
    Honda CB160, roadraced as 175cc 1967-1970.
    Honda Lawnmower, bought used in 2003, caught fire and melted in 2005.

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