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Discussion Starter #1
Ok.. since I've bought my 2018 chieftain darkhorse about a month and a half ago it has been throwing codes like a bartender throwing shots at happy hour. The first time the handle bar switch was replaced, then the battery terminal came loose, and today I will be looking at the ground side of the battery. The two main codes it will throw is the ECM and the operator switch, but will also throw the TPS, and the ABS sometimes. When it throws the codes the switch on the left side handlebar will completely stop working and last night I noticed the headlight will go bright, dim, bright, dim until i turn the bike off and restart it. I'm almost half tempted to check the fuel with a lighter but man i love this bike. Anyone have any clues I might use?
 

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Loose connections to the battery terminals seem to be a very common cause of random code-throwing. They're the first thing I'd check, even if I'd checked them before.
Definitely check out the battery terminals. Careful in there. The ones on my Chieftain I check twice a year. Keep them tight.

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If you're working near the battery, be careful not to short either of the terminals to the VCM housing (i.e. the unit that sits on top of the battery). I wrapped most of my ratchet handle in self-amalgamating tape to prevent this eye-wateringly expensive error.
 

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If you're working near the battery, be careful not to short either of the terminals to the VCM housing (i.e. the unit that sits on top of the battery). I wrapped most of my ratchet handle in self-amalgamating tape to prevent this eye-wateringly expensive error.
If I may, bungie it out of the way too.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Ok.. so this time after greasing all of the electrical connections.. I found some of the fuses and came up a little bit .. took it for a short ride and no codes so far
 

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Ok.. so this time after greasing all of the electrical connections.. I found some of the fuses and came up a little bit .. took it for a short ride and no codes so far
By gosh and by golly.............hope it stays that way!
 
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I completely disconnected it and set it off to the side while I do battery work.. mostly so if I do short something it will not hurt it
Good idea and very easy to do. Also most people mistake this for the ECM. It is not. It's the VCM. The ECM is UNDER the battery.
 

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For sure as everyone said check battery connections, but also might want to have your regulator checked also, and wire harness, had both problems on mine at different times.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok.. so update.. so Sunday went on a ride and everything was working great, I was so excited.. stop to eat at some Mexican restaurant and when I go to leave I press the power button everything works.. press the start button and click... so turn it all the way off and same thing 2 more times.. on the third time, not even the dash lights up and nothing.. so I disconnected the battery negative and wait a few seconds, and it started right up... yesterday started fine.. which brings me to today.. get out to enjoy a nice relaxing ride to class this morning and it starts up just fine.. I go to stand it up off the kick stand and it makes the loud pop again and shuts back off.. I am so ready to strap dynamite to it..

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Ok.. so update.. so Sunday went on a ride and everything was working great, I was so excited.. stop to eat at some Mexican restaurant and when I go to leave I press the power button everything works.. press the start button and click... so turn it all the way off and same thing 2 more times.. on the third time, not even the dash lights up and nothing.. so I disconnected the battery negative and wait a few seconds, and it started right up... yesterday started fine.. which brings me to today.. get out to enjoy a nice relaxing ride to class this morning and it starts up just fine.. I go to stand it up off the kick stand and it makes the loud pop again and shuts back off.. I am so ready to strap dynamite to it..

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Have you checked the ground to frame, not just at the battery?
 

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Time for a trip to the dealer. I know it's not much consolation, but you've eliminated the most frequent cause of electrical problems.
 

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It would have to be an electrical short or regulator in that case a regulator is the same thing if it shorting out. BUT you did mention checking and pushing all the fuses into place so I am hoping for you that that will be the end of the issues. Nothing more frustrating than buying anew bike ands going through all this .Lucky you can work on the bike as it can save you lots of time in a dealerships workshop.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It would have to be an electrical short or regulator in that case a regulator is the same thing if it shorting out. BUT you did mention checking and pushing all the fuses into place so I am hoping for you that that will be the end of the issues. Nothing more frustrating than buying anew bike ands going through all this .Lucky you can work on the bike as it can save you lots of time in a dealerships workshop.
Taking her to the dealership now.. I have to have it fixed today lol.. road trip starts tomorrow.. I will let you all know what they say

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good luck... my dealership won't look at crap if you just ride in you have to make an appointment... and usually it's a couple weeks out... so DYI a lot...
 
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