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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I have a weird one for you all... I removed my rear tail light, fender, etc. to do some cleaning up of accumulated mud and also to run wires to install so. It goes on straight, no resistance, no binding, etc. but no matter how hard I push it won't connect.

I have double and triple checked that the pins on the tail light are straight, that there are no bent pins blocking the entrance, etc. and also that the holes on the connector are free and clear. I was able to insert a thin wire into each one to confirm that none of them is blocked.

Based on how hard I have been pushing, and that the pins are as of yet undamaged, I am positive that the connector is not binding on the pins.

The male and female are keyed, so you can't put it in upside down.

This is a Canada spec bike, so same tail light as the USA. I have both the North America plug and the Euro tail light plug under the seat. The Euro tail light plug is a different size so I am sure I am using the proper one.

There is a clip on the connector, that you press to unlock when disconnecting. Usually it just slips over and locks when connecting but I manually pressed it to make sure it was not the issue.

I'm at a loss. I'm not inexperienced in taking apart BMW's. I've split an R bike in half before for a clutch job, and I have installed hundreds of electrical accessories on my own BMW's and dozens of customer bikes over the years.

I'm open to suggestions, ideas, witch spells, fortune tellers, etc. No idea is to crazy. Throw them out there no matter how absurd or simplistic they sound.
 

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2014 R NineT
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Sounds like you have the obvious bases covered, any chance you snapped a couple photos of things?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thumbnails below.. Click to see the larger version.


The back of the tail light.
Wood Fixture Gas Font Metal



The wire connector.

Finger Material property Cable Adapter Auto part



Anyone in the Toronto area have a spare taillight from a tail tidy kit that I can borrow to see if it is my tail light or the connector?
 

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I'd try cleaning the inside of the connector out a bit where there is some of the dirt, and keep an eye on the slightly blue tab by number 4. Seems like that may be catching a bit. Should pop right back on after that, even if it takes a bit of force. I do agree from the photos it looks as if it should just go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm able to insert a sewing needle into each hole. They don't seem to be blocked. The amount of effort I am using would have bent the pins by now. I'm really stumped.
 

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Referring to the dirt on the inside of the black plastic portion of the plug from the motorcycle side harness. Those are a pretty tight fit so may be enough to cause trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ah, I see what you are saying. I wonder if that rubber gasket around the perimeter comes out? I feel like that is about as far as it gets before it stops.
 

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My first question would be, What makes you think it’s not connecting ? Can I assume it’s because the lights don’t work? Did you meter the voltage at the plug or check the continuity of the tail light assembly. That will tell you if the bulbs are all in tact and not burnt out and that the wireing is sound and not broken. If you have a pin tool those pins are easily removed from the plastic bits and then can individually be connected to each other. If it functions without the plastic connectors and the lights all work your home free. I get the feeling you’ve overlooked something … Is the key on when it fails to work ? Meter the leads to the tail light and if you do have power then replace the plug … get back to us when it’s solved …..Blitz
 

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I would agree that if the rubber gasket can easily be removed without damaging it then that would be the best way to see if it fits without it. I have had a few issues in the past with rubber gaskets / seals expanding if WD40 or some solvents like brake cleaner etc are used to clean them and it doesn't take much swelling to cause this kind of issue.
 

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You are not putting it in the wrong way around? Wouldn't be the first time I did that!!

RJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My first question would be, What makes you think it’s not connecting ?
When I press the connector into place it won't go quite far enough to engage the locking pin. It just slips right out. The locking pin is functional, and the little tab it locks to is present. The pins (male) are molded into the tail light, so they are not removable with a pin tool. I know what you are trying to say, but that only works when the male is the connector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You are not putting it in the wrong way around? Wouldn't be the first time I did that!!

RJ
Nope, the connector is keyed, like most BMW connectors. It won't even start to slip on in the wrong position. But even though I know that I have tried it both ways several times, as this just doesn't make sense. Thanks!
 

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When I press the connector into place it won't go quite far enough to engage the locking pin. It just slips right out. The locking pin is functional, and the little tab it locks to is present. The pins (male) are molded into the tail light, so they are not removable with a pin tool. I know what you are trying to say, but that only works when the male is the connector.
Then perhaps the suggestion to replace the rubber gasket it the answer. If you treated it with some chemicals to clean it some times the material will absorb it and swell never to return to its original shape. Last resort … solder wires to the connector that can’t be changed and attach your own plug to those wires. Cut away the plug on the wiring harness and splice your plug on to it. Basically replacing the original plug arrangement with one you attach. Then you can still disconnect it when necessary. Try replacing the rubber gasket first…….Blitz
 

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I guess it's just the light that makes position 2 (my ID) look defective. Try a bit of dielectric grease on the gasket and the associated mating surface. This tab (A) looks strange. Is it fixed in that position? I see that this tab (A) appears to be a guide to run on the outside of the small black vertical nib in the lower left corner of the male connector picture. Grease up both of these points as well, I bet it will slide right in, seat, and the locking tabs will latch.

Rectangle Gas Auto part Motor vehicle Electronic device

Gas Auto part Cable Automotive exterior Font
 

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This is going to echo @Juice , but I was curious about the same thing: where is pin #2 supposed to go? Did the female receptacle in the #2 position get pushed into the inside of the connector somehow? (Sorry, I can't bear to take my bike apart just now, to check how mine looks...)

It also looks as if there's some corrosion at pin #4, on both the male and female parts, which I'd be inclined to try to get off.

But I realize your issue is making the connector click on and connect. And on that I've got nothin' -- except to agree that the tab-like thing @Juice has marked as "A" looks funny, as if it's bent and might be interfering with the connector pushing in far enough...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Good eye. Pin number 2 is unused so it just goes inside that large square recess. If the pin was being used then there would be the beveled surface and a smaller pin hole like 1, 3 and 4. Tab A appears to be okay. It sits outside of the L shape in my original photo.

I pulled apart the terminal, removed the cap and the gasket and confirmed that the connector does fit into the light socket all the way and make contact. This ruled out any issues with pins lining up, etc. I added the gasket and it would no longer fit. It appears that the gasket, which is still quite pliable and soft, just isn't able to compress enough to fit inside the cap.
I didn't think of adding dielectric grease to the gasket, so I trimmed it to fit. It is basically a 3 layer accordion design, and I cut it precisely so that I had a single layer and a double layer. With the double layer it was still too tight to fit, so I used just a single layer and then loaded the connector up with dielectric grease prior to installing. With the single layer gasket it popped on relatively easy.

Original gasket, three layers thick.

Circuit component Gas Electrical wiring Cable Electronic device .


Cut into a two layer / one layer. I used the one layer.

Human body Jaw Ear Finger Thumb
It makes me wonder why the gasket was now an issue. I've never used cleaning products on it, and it is pretty buried away inside the rear fender assembly. It's not exposed to UV of any type either.

Thanks everyone for all your help and ideas. I was really stumped by this and I've never come across this issue before.
 

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Wow, that was a stumper. Glad you got it sorted out, and good job on the solution! 👍
 

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Everything electrical I open/close etc I spray in and out with aerosol silicone spray and have for a few years now. Plastics and rubber love the stuff, keeps copper corrosion at bay. I learned to use the stuff in my working life on aircraft, now retired doing likewise with bikes. 😎
 

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Everything electrical I open/close etc I spray in and out with aerosol silicone spray and have for a few years now. Plastics and rubber love the stuff, keeps copper corrosion at bay. I learned to use the stuff in my working life on aircraft, now retired doing likewise with bikes. 😎
Great idea VagueOut ….. just be careful not to get on the floor or your shoes ……Blitz
 

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Really interesting that ended up being the issue, good to know. Glad you were able to get it resolved!
 
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