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New Harness Color Code
#796511 01/25/20 4:53 am
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Bought a new harness for my 70 TR6C and started to identify each connection. Lo and behold there is nothing that matches the shop manual or owner's manual schematic's colors. Thought I would start with easy to identify connections like the rear tail lamp/stop lamp wires. Simple enough, but colors are not brown/green and brown/brown as shown on schematics. I have found exactly one wire whose color matches the schematic, the brown/blue with fuse from the battery.

What's going on here? Do aftermarket harness makers just ignore the factory color code schemes, or are the schematics that bad? I bought a new harness to make re-wiring the bike easier, but this could be a nightmare to sort out continuity on the new harness, let alone get it installed correctly. My old harness is no help. It has been butchered a few times by previous owners.

Any pointers gained from experience?

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Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796526 01/25/20 8:12 am
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Never come across that before, only ever bought harnesses from TMS or Andover Norton and they have always matched. Where did you get it from, Lucas used the same colours for the same functions so even if sent a BSA harness the colours would match.

Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796547 01/25/20 3:03 pm
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Yes, where did you get it?


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796549 01/25/20 3:11 pm
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The repro I bought from British Wiring years ago had all the correct color coding. When I replaced that harness with a custom-made one I used appropriately colored wire, again obtained from British Wiring.

PITA, but maybe you can work up a color translation table for your schematic. Here's a chart of Lucas color codes: www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm#wiring_cc

And yes, where did you get that harness?


Bruce Miller
aka The Hermit
The Bonnie Ref: https://www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm
Re: New Harness Color Code
desco #796569 01/25/20 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by desco
Yes, where did you get it?


I don't want to disparage the seller. They didn't make it, and it's not in a Lucas box. I should not be surprised at the ad hoc color coding. I have several wiring schematics and none of them correctly represent the motorcycle. Triumph seems to have cooked up the schematics as an afterthought and didn't bother to maintain them. Depending on which schematic is believed the engine cut-out switch, ammeter and second horn, come and go. The oil pressure switch is sometimes called an ignition warning light. None of this is any big deal as the system is pretty simple unless you have a wiring harness without a known color code, wrapped up in a cloth loom. Not plug and play. I'm back to doing point to point continuity testing to try to identify wires. The harness is high quality with good termination craftsmanship, but impossible to just plug in, the very point of buying a harness. I'll figure it all out, maybe end up cutting open the cloth to decipher connections, and I know I can't use it as-is with a Podtronics and Pazon system substituted for the stone age Lucas selenium/Zener rectifier and breaker points. I was hoping somebody would have a better plan of attack.

Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796578 01/25/20 7:13 pm
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Send it back and get a loom from British Wiring.

Have you considered the differences in schematics are due to specification changes through the years?

Rod


New, Genuine Lucas Motorcycle parts!

Insist on something else.
Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796586 01/25/20 7:54 pm
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All the basic color codes have remained the same for donkey's years,the only major change happened with the arrival of -ve ground in 1979, changing ground wires to black rather than red - but irrelevant to this situation.

It is hard to believe that somebody could be bothered to produce a replica harness without the correct colours. Why? All the colours are readily available. I'm at a loss!

Do the bullets fit your sockets nicely?

Assuming the different colours still take wires to the right places, you could persevere (its not a modern complex system) and get it working, but I wouldn't like to be the next owner.

Its a modest cost with major importance, I say get a proper harness from the suppliers already mentioned.

Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796589 01/25/20 8:34 pm
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http://www.britishwiring.com/category-s/282.htm

Call them. Best customer service on the planet.
It's OK to disparage the seller if he's selling crap. Might help to stop him before he screws someone else.
Was it on eBay?

How many Triumphs have you owned? Things did come and go. Lights changed function. Get a genuine Triumph shop manual for your year bike. Hang the Haynes manual next to toilet.
Triumph Motorcycles, not for the faint of heart.

Last edited by desco; 01/25/20 8:46 pm.

1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796591 01/25/20 9:14 pm
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It sounds like some manufacturer has created a generic harness for the 70 year 650s. The ignition cutout was TR6C and twin horns Bonneville. There may also be provision down by the battery terminal to fit a capacitor (TR6C). The ignition warning light did go out when the oil pressure was high enough, so it could legitimately be named after either.
As a matter of course, I always do continuity checks on my harnesses before installation. It doesn't take long and can rapidly identify the wiring, taking into account terminals and their position. I then draw up my own circuit, modifying the factory one which often wasn't correct. I then scan the new drawing and keep it as multiple copies. If and when I sell the bikes, the wiring drawing file would go with it. .


68TR6P rebuilt as a C
70 TR6R
Re: New Harness Color Code
desco #796628 01/26/20 5:48 am
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Originally Posted by desco
http://www.britishwiring.com/category-s/282.htm

Call them. Best customer service on the planet.
It's OK to disparage the seller if he's selling crap. Might help to stop him before he screws someone else.
Was it on eBay?

How many Triumphs have you owned? Things did come and go. Lights changed function. Get a genuine Triumph shop manual for your year bike. Hang the Haynes manual next to toilet.
Triumph Motorcycles, not for the faint of heart.


Thanks for the good advice. Calling British Wiring as soon as they're open. This is my fourth Triumph, two Meriden and two Hinkley. Didn't use E-Bay for this part, but I have learned the perils a few times the hard way. Never had a Haynes manual, but have correct Owner's, Shop and Parts manuals. You are right about faint of heart. This forum is a wonder, even if only for sympathy from a fellow sufferer.

Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796635 01/26/20 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by TrophyGuy
Originally Posted by desco
Yes, where did you get it?


I don't want to disparage the seller. They didn't make it, and it's not in a Lucas box. I should not be surprised at the ad hoc color coding. I have several wiring schematics and none of them correctly represent the motorcycle. Triumph seems to have cooked up the schematics as an afterthought and didn't bother to maintain them. Depending on which schematic is believed the engine cut-out switch, ammeter and second horn, come and go. The oil pressure switch is sometimes called an ignition warning light. None of this is any big deal as the system is pretty simple unless you have a wiring harness without a known color code, wrapped up in a cloth loom. Not plug and play. I'm back to doing point to point continuity testing to try to identify wires. The harness is high quality with good termination craftsmanship, but impossible to just plug in, the very point of buying a harness. I'll figure it all out, maybe end up cutting open the cloth to decipher connections, and I know I can't use it as-is with a Podtronics and Pazon system substituted for the stone age Lucas selenium/Zener
I rectifier and breaker points. I was hoping somebody would have a better plan of attack.


Ttiumph weren’t ad-hoc with their colours, you need to get the right model and year to go with the diagram. I believe the C (off road type) models would have had a kill switch in the headlight. It functioned by bridging out our the points( of your using points its the only way to kill the ignition I’d still live at the key and if not using a cut out in the feed Ala oil in frame switches (sa169 type)

Also the 67/68 and maybe earlier bikes have an ignition warning light, a red lens which is only on when the ignition is on, I copied this when I did my lightning as I had an extra lens hole in the bucket. The oil pressure switch came later and replaced the red light for ignition, if the engine isn’t running there there will no oil pressure and the light will be on, if the engine is running then you’d know anyway.

The Ammeter fitment would relative to the bucket size, 7” had them, 5 3/4” competition style did not.

On a previous note, I’ve seen A10 (pre unit) harnesses use all sorts of colours, if you have several of the same bike it doesn’t matter as you will be able To use the first one as a pattern. But otherwise it’s a right royal PITA, and the reason why I make my own harnesses.


beerchug
Re: New Harness Color Code
Allan Gill #796645 01/26/20 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Allan Gill
.....and the reason why I make my own harnesses.


I did that when I replaced the entire harness on my 1972 T100R. Took a bit of convincing by others because I had little knowledge and started with nothing (no tools, wire, connectors, insulation etc) and so the initial outlay was quite expensive but having completed the job I'd do it again rather than buy a harness off the shelf. I learnt a lot about how it all worked and was able to incorporate improvements.


1972 T100R
Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #796653 01/26/20 4:49 pm
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"there is nothing that matches the shop manual or owner's manual"
Are you serious?
I have never come across this before.
I have seen harnesses which have the wrong connections (no flasher provision for example) but even those have had the correct color wiring.
I think you would be doing all Brit bikers a favor by telling us where you got this strange harness from.
That might at least prevent more of us buying a pig in a poke.
And I would strongly recommend that you return your harness for a full refund.
Just my two cents worth of course.

Re: New Harness Color Code
TrophyGuy #797148 01/31/20 10:49 pm
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Send it back then make your own.

My wee 500 had a number of PO Upgrades inc EI, removal of distributor and a few other things. I sat in a (virtual) room with Stuart who QA'd my diagram and talked me though building a harness and away I went. Quite daunting at first but completed it to a good standard and everything was still going well when I sold it. Doing it myself I was able to add a number of extra fuses, so always a bonus

Re: New Harness Color Code
jimmymckenna #797405 02/03/20 12:12 pm
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Hi,

Originally Posted by TrophyGuy
can't use it as-is with a Podtronics and Pazon system substituted
hoping somebody would have a better plan of attack.

Originally Posted by jimmymckenna
Send it back then make your own.

+1.

Bear in mind that, even if you buy from British Wiring, you only might get a harness that doesn't need modification for "Podtronics and Pazon". BW is supplied by Autosparks in GB, who are the source of the harnesses sold certainly by TMS mentioned by "kommando" in the first reply; Autosparks won't make any modifications from original.

However, in the past, some posters who've bought from BW have requested and received modified harnesses; if you intend to ask, I'd be happy to PM you a list of modifications for Podtronics and Pazon; if BW refuse, "jimmymckenna's" and others' similar advice is the best.

Nevertheless, whatever you decide to do, you need to understand your Triumph workshop manual better, particularly the schematics:-

Originally Posted by TrophyGuy
I have several wiring schematics and none of them correctly represent the motorcycle. Triumph seems to have cooked up the schematics as an afterthought and didn't bother to maintain them. Depending on which schematic is believed the engine cut-out switch, ammeter and second horn, come and go. The oil pressure switch is sometimes called an ignition warning light.

... none of this is correct:-

. The "Workshop" in the manual's title is a dealer or other commercial "shop" half-a-century ago, not a modern amateur restorer's "shop". The earliest parts of the manual were written for the '63 model year, the manual was intended to be updated with supplements in/for later years, not edited and reissued complete every year.

.. The people for whom the manual written worked with the bikes day-in, day-out; "the engine cut-out switch, ammeter and second horn" did not "come and go", the oil pressure switch was never the same as the "ignition warning light", all these parts were fitted to specific versions in specific model years between '63 and 70 (a complete new manual was issued for the '71 OIF 650's). With respect, it's up to you to understand what the manual's telling you; this Forum can help but it's better to post questions rather than ill-informed statements.

. Triumph titled most schematics "from" an engine number; between '63 and '70, none of the engine numbers in the same format descended numerically so, while the schematics might not always be in numerical order in the workshop manual, the chronological order isn't difficult to work out:-

.. You require a schematic titled "from" either DU85904 ('69) or a HD- or JD-pefixed number ('70, the actual first '70 number is confused :().

.. "the engine cut-out switch" shown in earlier schematics but not in a '69 or '70 schematic works entirely differently from the "Kill button" illustrated and listed in a '70 650 parts book; they aren't interchangeable, the one in the parts book cannot be connected the same as the one in earlier schematics. Btw, the later "kill button" could be and was fitted to any bike if required legally or requested by the customer.

.. "ammeter" - 'R'oad versions only, your bike doesn't have one unless it's been retro-fitted with a R 7" headlamp and 'half-egg'-shaped shell. Absent the Ammeter, original C harnesses continued the Brown/Blue wire to the rectifier, Zener diode and ignition switch. If rectifier and Zener are being replaced with a Podtronics, neither connection is required in a new harness.

.. "second horn" - Now you should be clear about the chronological order of schematics, the second horn (and relay) only appears in '69 and/or '70 schematics?

.. "The oil pressure switch is sometimes called an ignition warning light" - Again, now you should be clearer about the chronology, look more closely at the schematics:-

... only '69 and '70 schematics show "OIL PRESSURE WARNING LIGHT (RED)" between a "white" line/wire off one side of "IGNITION SWITCH" and a "red/green" line/wire to "OIL PRESSURE SWITCH";

... only pre-'69 schematics show "IGNITION WARNING LIGHT (GREEN)" between a "white" line/wire off a coil "-" terminal and a "red" line/wire; the Ignition Warning Light didn't "go out" unless the ignition was switched off;

... at the time, the schematics would have been supplied from Meriden to dealers in separate manual supplements at least two years apart.

.. Giving more than cursory glances at the schematics should clarify that Lucas supplied the same wire colour(s) for the same or similar functions consistently for years; far from a "generic harness" having only "exactly one wire whose color matches the schematic", most or all should do so.

Hth.

Regards,

Re: New Harness Color Code
Chris Brasier #797410 02/03/20 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Chris Brasier
Originally Posted by Allan Gill
.....and the reason why I make my own harnesses.


I did that when I replaced the entire harness on my 1972 T100R. Took a bit of convincing by others because I had little knowledge and started with nothing (no tools, wire, connectors, insulation etc) and so the initial outlay was quite expensive but having completed the job I'd do it again rather than buy a harness off the shelf. I learnt a lot about how it all worked and was able to incorporate improvements.


I hear you there, it continues to get expensive sometimes however thats with things like buying bulk packs of bullets and sockets etc, additional wiring colours because the new loom has indicators etc. Although for some of the popular colours it was cheaper long term to buy full rolls. It'll take me for ever to use those up, and for the extra wires I've bought I could probably make 3 more looms and them not cost me a penny. I did work out when I built my first loom (2011) that a 1970 style loom (which should be similar between triumph and BSA) cost about £15, a pre-unit loom was cheaper .... This is for actual lengths used, it would cost more as you'd buy longer than you need most often.


beerchug

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