Day 213 – El Calafate to Rio Gallegos, Argentina

Day 213 – El Calafate to Rio Gallegos, Argentina      03/22/11      Mileage: 209

I spent the morning updating the blog and doing some maintenance on the bike. The headlights and tail light were out due to a short in the wiring that was blowing the fuse…seems all the washboard dirt roads the last few days took their toll on the bike wiring. I couldn’t be bothered with tracing it down at the moment though….that could take hours to find. So I packed the bike and split without the lights…which I really won’t need unless I get caught out in the dark. On the way out of town I bumped into Beto and Tracy who I met at Machu Picchu back in Peru! It was great to see them again and we chatted for a bit. They were just pulling into town…so hopefully we’ll catch up again…perhaps in Ushuaia! Back on the gas it was all business down the pavement to Rio Gallegos…battling the west winds the whole way.

I decided to stop in Rio Gallegos and find a room with a good spot to work on the bike as finding that short could require taking a lot of the bike apart. After finding a room with parking out back, I unpacked and started looking for the short. The factory wiring to the headlight is pretty bomber and well protected running inside the main wiring harness from the fuse and battery to the front of the bike, so I started with tail light as it is much more exposed running under the rear fender. After 30 minutes of looking I found a short in the tail light wiring where the power lead and ground wires had rubbed through..but when I put another fuse in it popped as soon as turned the ignition on…crap. Two shorts…what are the odds…so I started looking at the headlight wiring. It’s mostly buried in the main wiring harness and it’s doubtful it shorted inside the harness and if it did it would be damn near impossible to find and fix without destroying the harness.

The leads to the headlights looked good so I tried another fuse just for giggles and it was fine…but then I noticed the low beam connector was not fully seated, and when I seated it the fuse popped. Huh…so I took out the headlight bulb and sure enough one of the posts in the bulb had bent and was touching the other post causing the short-circuit. Damn…I never saw a bulb fail that way…but I’m glad I found the second short and it only took about an hour total. It’s too late to get a new bulb now, so I’ll have to do that first thing tomorrow morning at the auto parts store. That done I scared up some dinner, worked on the blog and then called it a night…

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