Excursion and Electrical woes.


Seven years later and we have our first significant issue with the Excursion. 🙁

Yesterday C informed me that she didn’t have any brake lights (nor turn signals). I asked her to stop at an auto parts store and check the fuse for the brake lights. Sure enough it was blown. Problem was as soon as you put another one in it just popped. If course she didn’t know, according to her replacing the fuse didn’t fix it.

The fella at the auto parts store suggested it was probably the Flasher Relay, but they couldn’t figure out where that was.

When I got home I took all of the tail lights apart and looked for any visible shorts. I disconnected the trailer adapter just in case. There was a front marker light out but no visible signs of a short. So, yeah, let’s try the flasher relay.

I stopped by a couple different auto parts stores to find one. Finally did, picked up a bunch more fuses (for testing) and started the hunt for the relay. The Haynes manual says it’s mounted to the right of the steering column. That’s a lie, it isn’t there. Somewhere I read on the web that it was under the dash behind the cubby. After much searching and tearing a good portion of the dash apart I was able to find it hidden in a box under a cover, behind the cubby. Just about cost me my arm though trying to get up in there. I finally got it replaced, but the fuse still blows about 2 seconds after insertion, regardless if the brakes or turn signals are pushed.

We’re going to drop it off at the dealer tomorrow morning. I have a felling this isn’t going to be cheap. 🙁 But locating a short within that wiring harness is beyond my patience threshold.


Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t that bad after all. Something was ‘leaking’ onto the brake switch. What? Well, the tech didn’t elaborate, which had shorted it out.

They didn’t charge us full price for diagnostics on this since there was a recall they needed to perform anyway.

They did however talk me into the 100,000 mile service which included:

Coolant flush and fill, air cleaner, oil change, 8 new plugs and plug wires, transmission flush, etc.

We also elected to have them install new shocks front and rear.

The Excursion has been a very good vehicle for us. It’s paid for now and we plan on putting at least another 70,000 miles on it. The only difference now is that instead of a car payment we’ll have to start maintaining things that are wearing out. 🙁

We certainly hadn’t budgeted for all of this ($1200 worth) but it needed to be done.

FJR Maintenance Day & Barbarian Modification

Well at just over 6400 Miles and a weekend of hard riding last weekend it was time to look things over and do a little maintenance.

At the very least we needed an oil change though 3,000 miles is pretty short for today’s oils. The Yamalube was a little dirty but not bad at all when I drained it. I opted for 10w-40 Castrol this time. It was one of the few oils I could find without the friction modifiers so I thought I’d give it a go.

Also figured out that a FRAM PH7317 will fit my bike as well. That too will save me some dough, all though I do think the Yamaha/Denso filters are probably a little better filters overall, the FRAM should be just fine.

On tap for changes this time was the Barbarian modification.

For the 06 model it’s pretty simple. You peel off some plastic on the left side of the bike, expose the main wiring harness.

Unplug the big connector, push the plug out of pin location 25, remove the wire from 23 and move it over into 25, insert the plug into 23 and put everything back together.

DSC 3949

DSC 3950

This is all sounds pretty simple and it was until you break that orange/yellow wire. Grrrrrr….

Anyway we’re fixed and we’re good to go.

What this is supposed to do, is expose the CO level adjustment interface in the diagnostic menu. Then you can adjust the CO levels for each of the cylinders, giving you smoother (richer) off idle throttle response, and potentially, perhaps a cooler running bike too.

I haven’t taken it for a ride yet, but did adjust the levels +7 across the board as recommended. (Remember all manufacturers set everything lean as can be from the factory to appease the EPA).

My values were:

INITIAL Change to +7:

C:01 5 C:01 12
C:02 18 C:02 25
C:03 18 C:03 25
C:04 21 C:04 28

I wanted to resync the throttle bodies today as well but ran out of daylight. Will do that maybe tomorrow or on an upcoming weekend.

Total cost of today’s maintenance? Oil: $12 (on sale) Filter: $4.50 (already had the crush washer) Barbarian Mod, FREE.

For more information on the Barbarian Mod check out this resource.