Indian Motorcycle Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of MAY's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
'14 Indian Chieftain, Stage 1 AC/Pipes, decatted, Dynojet PV3, Mid-Rise Bars, Heated Grips/Seats
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2014 Chieftain that I had a new VCM installed on in Jan 2021, as part of a recall that took place yrs ago that I knew nothing about. I've been taking the bike to my local dealer for the past two yrs and mentioned that I wanted to upgrade to LED lights. This is when the subject of the VCM came up and they mentioned that the bike would need that upgrade before I can install the LED's. Gave them the thumbs up to do it, they dropped the bike off in Jan and I installed the LED's in March when the garage was at a reasonable temp, went to power it up to test the lights and nothing. No power to the fairing, radio, dash, but had taillights, rear blinker lights, front fender (war bonnet) light, and that was it. It started but could not find the gears to drive. They picked it up tested things and said the new (2nd) VCM was fried. After six more ridiculously long weeks later and a third VCM that THEY fried, I was told on 5/1/21, that the main wiring harness is bad. No warranty, so I'm told it's a $2500 ($1080 part + 12 hrs labor) bill to get it up and running again. Total buzzkill after pouring thousands into upgrades (midrise handlebars, htd grips/seats, backrests, luggage rack, passenger floorboards, closeouts, Focal Access 130 speaker upgrades w/Dynamat vibration dampening material, Dynojet PV3 tuner, Stage 1 pipes and AC, decatted, new Metzler Cruisetecs, $800 in LED's, Captain Itch Crotch Cooler) I'm left with a really tough decision... cut and run, or suck it up and dump $2500 more into a 50K bike that I imagine would be lucky to sell for $12K-$14K (with all the extra's), on the local market today. Obviously, they are suggesting that they'll "work with me on a trade." However, I just got the bike exactly the way I wanted it (plus it's paid for) and now this... sucks to be me at the moment, but at least I'm still alive to ride another day, whenever the hell that may be.

Any insight from those of you that have had this done would be helpful. Did the bike function well afterwards? Also, if you were in my riding boots what would you be inclined to do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,641 Posts
I would be looking for a wrecked bike to pull a harness off of.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AZGunGuy and Weegz

·
Registered
'14 Indian Chieftain, Stage 1 AC/Pipes, decatted, Dynojet PV3, Mid-Rise Bars, Heated Grips/Seats
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've found a few on ebay ranging anywhere from $130 - $500+. Only concern there is that electrical can be so damn finicky that you hate to pay $1400 in labor only to have an unwarranted part installed. And to be honest I doubt the dealership would tie up a mechanic that long to install a used part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
I own a 2014 chieftain bought new. In late 2015 (I think it was) there was a new VCM flash that allowed LED lights to be added to 2014s without a new VCM. I still have the Eagle LEDs installed today. I also added additional LED rear lighting which is what I believe caused a similar issue related to the recall for 2014 forward lighting circuit. My problem was I was loosing power to the ECU and rear lighting causing the engine and rear lights to suddenly stop intermittently. Here is what I learned after some lengthy research. There are 3 red power supply wires going into the center connector of the VCM. Each supply power to different sections of the VCM. The VCM is a distributer of power to other parts of the bike, lighting, dash, ECU, heated grips, horn, etc. The recall for 2014 forward lighting circuit was an issue with connector for one of those red power leads going into the VCM. The connector pins were under spec'd and could not handle the current load and would eventually burn up. The recall, was to supply a new VCM if the male terminal was burnt and cut and attach a new red lead with female pin into the existing connector. My additional rear lighting caused the same thing to happen on a different red lead that supplied power to the VCM section that powered the rear lighting and ECU. I ended fixing it myself by buying the pins and connector parts online (cheaply) and borrowing the crimp tool. It took months of troubleshooting to figure out, but zero issues since I fixed it. This issue was solved for 2015 Indians and newer. So its likely that your issue is the connector at the center VCM plug is the compromised piece of the wiring harness. A person with the right skills can replace the whole connector reusing the unaffected pins already crimped and replacing the bad ones.
 

·
Registered
'14 Indian Chieftain, Stage 1 AC/Pipes, decatted, Dynojet PV3, Mid-Rise Bars, Heated Grips/Seats
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure I'm following completely on the suggested repair. Are you saying that I could cut off the entire main wiring harness connector with all the pin holes and simply splice on a new connector to mate with the VCM? I'm not at all up on electrical repairs so I'm skeptical (at best) that I could pull it off.
 

·
Founding member / Distinguished
Joined
·
3,679 Posts
Not sure I'm following completely on the suggested repair. Are you saying that I could cut off the entire main wiring harness connector with all the pin holes and simply splice on a new connector to mate with the VCM? I'm not at all up on electrical repairs so I'm skeptical (at best) that I could pull it off.
If the dealer states that the harness is bad then have them tell you what circuit is bad. The biggest issue on the 2014s was shorting the VCM to the positive terminal of the battery. If something in the harness is taking out the VCM then a tech with some electrical savey should be able to tell which circuit is taking out the VCM. Make sure the overall issue is not shorting the VCM to the positive battery terminal. It has been done many times already on the 14s. I believe on the 15s on up they put a cover on the positive terminal to keep from shorting the VCM out. If the issue is in the center connector I would look into splicing a new connector on long before replacing the entire harness. Dean
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weegz

·
Rider
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
In my opinion and it’s just that an opinion, I feel Indian has came a long way since 2014 and I’d be weighing my options of a new or gently used newer model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
If the dealer states that the harness is bad then have them tell you what circuit is bad. The biggest issue on the 2014s was shorting the VCM to the positive terminal of the battery. If something in the harness is taking out the VCM then a tech with some electrical savey should be able to tell which circuit is taking out the VCM. Make sure the overall issue is not shorting the VCM to the positive battery terminal. It has been done many times already on the 14s. I believe on the 15s on up they put a cover on the positive terminal to keep from shorting the VCM out. If the issue is in the center connector I would look into splicing a new connector on long before replacing the entire harness. Dean
Yes, what Dean E said. The outer metal shell of the VCM is +12v and is powered by one of the red leads into the center plug of the VCM. If the shell of the VCM touches the chassis or a metal tool is laid across the top touching both the chassis and VCM a high current direct short happens. The connector pin on the red lead can burn before the fuse melts. Like Dean E said, find out where the problem is in the wiring harness. If its because the connector pin is burnt or melted, then the parts can be bought online for about $25. However, it does take an expensive tool to crimp the pins that can be bought, borrowed, or rented. It's a standard automotive connector which comes apart allowing individual pins to be replaced or replace the entire connector. Indian will not replace the connector, but instead replace the entire harness. If you try it yourself, make sure to take pics and write down the wire colors with pin numbers. An automotive wiring specialist may be able to do it for you.

Depending on the date, the dealer may have gave you bad info on needing a new VCM in order to add LED lights. That was true very early on but was corrected by a later VCM update flash.
 

·
Registered
'14 Indian Chieftain, Stage 1 AC/Pipes, decatted, Dynojet PV3, Mid-Rise Bars, Heated Grips/Seats
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, what Dean E said. The outer metal shell of the VCM is +12v and is powered by one of the red leads into the center plug of the VCM. If the shell of the VCM touches the chassis or a metal tool is laid across the top touching both the chassis and VCM a high current direct short happens. The connector pin on the red lead can burn before the fuse melts. Like Dean E said, find out where the problem is in the wiring harness. If its because the connector pin is burnt or melted, then the parts can be bought online for about $25. However, it does take an expensive tool to crimp the pins that can be bought, borrowed, or rented. It's a standard automotive connector which comes apart allowing individual pins to be replaced or replace the entire connector. Indian will not replace the connector, but instead replace the entire harness. If you try it yourself, make sure to take pics and write down the wire colors with pin numbers. An automotive wiring specialist may be able to do it for you.

Depending on the date, the dealer may have gave you bad info on needing a new VCM in order to add LED lights. That was true very early on but was corrected by a later VCM update flash.
I believe mine was #1029 off the line while being manufactured in 2013, so I'm sure it was early enough. They got the first VCM approved through Polaris, so all I had to pay was $120 labor, so it seemed like a no-brainer at that point. Polaris covered the 2nd one that fried (just not sure if the dealership will have to eat the 3rd one that they fried, or what will happen there). Plus I had a couple of odd little electrical quirks that I figured would be fixed with the newer VCM. Not to mention, they showed me that the #10 pin had definitely burned somewhere along the line so again it just seemed stupid to NOT do it at that point.
At this point, all I know is I gave them a bike that was running fine in Jan and got back a bike with a shit-ton of expensive electrical issues and the bike nvr left my garage. I plugged in the new LED lights and this is what I'm left with. If I try to do any work on my own without filing a claim with Polaris and the dealership then I'll really have no leg to stand on going forward. Calling Polaris today. If that doesn't work I imagine my only other option is Small Claims Court. The dealership called yesterday and asked how I want to proceed. They say they've done all they can do short of a main wiring harness replacement, which they currently are saying they won't cover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I have a 2014 Chieftain that I had a new VCM installed on in Jan 2021, as part of a recall that took place yrs ago that I knew nothing about. I've been taking the bike to my local dealer for the past two yrs and mentioned that I wanted to upgrade to LED lights. This is when the subject of the VCM came up and they mentioned that the bike would need that upgrade before I can install the LED's. Gave them the thumbs up to do it, they dropped the bike off in Jan and I installed the LED's in March when the garage was at a reasonable temp, went to power it up to test the lights and nothing. No power to the fairing, radio, dash, but had taillights, rear blinker lights, front fender (war bonnet) light, and that was it. It started but could not find the gears to drive. They picked it up tested things and said the new (2nd) VCM was fried. After six more ridiculously long weeks later and a third VCM that THEY fried, I was told on 5/1/21, that the main wiring harness is bad. No warranty, so I'm told it's a $2500 ($1080 part + 12 hrs labor) bill to get it up and running again. Total buzzkill after pouring thousands into upgrades (midrise handlebars, htd grips/seats, backrests, luggage rack, passenger floorboards, closeouts, Focal Access 130 speaker upgrades w/Dynamat vibration dampening material, Dynojet PV3 tuner, Stage 1 pipes and AC, decatted, new Metzler Cruisetecs, $800 in LED's, Captain Itch Crotch Cooler) I'm left with a really tough decision... cut and run, or suck it up and dump $2500 more into a 50K bike that I imagine would be lucky to sell for $12K-$14K (with all the extra's), on the local market today. Obviously, they are suggesting that they'll "work with me on a trade." However, I just got the bike exactly the way I wanted it (plus it's paid for) and now this... sucks to be me at the moment, but at least I'm still alive to ride another day, whenever the hell that may be.

Any insight from those of you that have had this done would be helpful. Did the bike function well afterwards? Also, if you were in my riding boots what would you be inclined to do?
Sorry to hear of your issue. FWIW, I just had the VCM update done on my 2014 while in for the 30K mile service and my wiring harness was replaced by Polaris as part of the VCM recall and I paid $0. Any possibility that your dealer didn't advocate for you? Should you try another dealer to help you make your case to Polaris?
 

·
Registered
'14 Indian Chieftain, Stage 1 AC/Pipes, decatted, Dynojet PV3, Mid-Rise Bars, Heated Grips/Seats
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I bought it used in 2018 from the original owner. Even though I've had all of my service done there and spent thousands at the dealership and Indian website on accessories I am viewed as little more than a red-headed stepchild.

I will say the dealership advocated to get the original VCM approved by Polaris but I still had to pay $120 for labor. However, now that this has all blown-up into a wiring harness issue I can tell they would prefer I just disappear at this point. The problem with another dealership is then I'm bringing them an inoperable bike so all repairs are definitely on me. At least with the current situation I (and they) know I dropped off a bike that ran great and 6 wks later they gave me an electrical nightmare along with a bill for $2500 to get it running again.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top