mysterious CDI issue
Recently purchased an O5' Rhino. Original owner built the car then sold it when the RZR's came onto the scene. I purchased it from the second owner who didn't have any place to drive it. Car only has 30 original hours and in pristine condition. Build includes long travel, elka's, custom roll cage, custom fab roof & opening doors, etc.
When I purchased the car I noticed the digital dash speedo doesn't work and after some research on the forum I thought maybe it was because the CDI currently in the car doesn't support the digital system. The current CDI is an aftermarket Moose brand (long discontinued) which seems to work fine except for the speedo issue. After reading more forum discussion I pulled the trigger on a new 50 Caliber CDI that works with digital speedos. I figured even if it doesn't fix the speedo issue I would have an X-tra CDI.
I installed the 50 Cal CDI, turned the key one position to on accessory and immediately it blew a 10 amp fuse. According to the diagram on the fuse block lid it's the ignition fuse. Replaced the fuse, tried it again and same result. Replaced the fuse a third time, threw the old Moose CDI back in and started right up.
After talking to 50 Cal tech support they recommended putting a larger fuse...a suggestion I was very hesitant to do. they said the newer CDI's inject more juice on initial start up so after putting in a 20 amp fuse with the new 50 Cal CDI I tried it. Turned key on to first position accessory. Dash lights stayed on, fuse didn't blow but within a few seconds I started smelling an electrical/electronic burning smell and immediately turned the key off.
So I put the 10 amp back in, re-installed the old Moose CDI and figured I would send the 50 Cal back. I then discovered some forum discussion about starting the car in gear by pushing down on the brake. Mine doesn't do that so after tracking down the brake switch yellow and brown wires I discovered the brown wire had been cut just before the connector behind dash and rerouted to a grey wire. Not sure where the grey wire goes. I re-attached the wiring as per OEM, yellow to yellow, brown to brown and threw the new 50 Cal back in. Turned the key on...no blown fuses. Turned the engine over and it started. I was ecstatic. My joy was short lived. I turned the key off and then turned it back to the first position accessory and after a few seconds the burning smell came back. Before I was able to turn key off a loud pop and smoke came from my gear position sensor (at least that's what I think it is) just in front of oil filter where the shift linkage is attached. UGH!!!
I didn't know what kind of damage I had done so I threw the old Moose CDI back in, re-routed the brake switch wiring like it was when I purchased it (yellow to yellow/brown to grey) and crossed my fingers. The car started, no issues...all dash lights work OK, shifts OK...doesn't seem to be any permanent damage.
I am pretty much stumped. Hoping someone can shed some light on this issue. I was told some of the older aftermarket CDI's required some re-wiring/routing to work. This car has a 3 batteries with a comprehensive sound system, several PIAA lights, a Black Rhino fuel gauge so I'm not sure what type of wiring mods were performed in the past.