Question about 2001 Triumph Triumph Thunderbird

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Radiator fan does not come on, overheating lamp blinks

T'bird 01. The radiator fan does not turn on while riding or during cool-down. I disconnected it and applied direct power to find it works OK, and there is no shorting between incoming power and earth. When the engine is a little hot, eg 2 hours highway then stop/start traffic on a hot day, the overheating dash lamp comes on and flashes in sync with the blinker dash lamp when I turn the blinkers on !!? Otherwise the overheating dash lamp doesn't come on at all.

I opened up the plastic-wrapped wiring assembly which goes from inside the headlight to the dash lamps. Inside there is a little sealed black box about 2x1x1cm with 4 leads, being (i) plain black single earth in, (ii) brown earth which connects with both a brown earth on headlight plug and other brown earths going to dash lamps, (iii) and yellow and white lead from headlight plug, (iv) a white & brown lead going to overheating indicator lamp on dash. There doesnt appear to be any shorts between blinker power leads and overheating lamp.

So, I'm wondering why the fan isn't coming on, and why the curious flashing lamp phenomenon?

Posted by on

  • 02tbird Jan 02, 2009

    Hi I have the same problem on my 02 Thunderbird Temp light coming on and flashing with the indicator light at times any one have a cure thanks Tas

  • kiri94 Mar 22, 2011

    I think the original problem was the fan switch, as noted by MJJH above, but I decided to not replace it due to cost. In the end I "solved" my problem of not having working fan by removing the fan switch wires from the switch, and threading the wire and its end plug so they could be accessed outside of the tank. I mounted/positioned the plug on the frame at "north-east" end of the tank, and bridged the plug with an on/off switch.( I used a 1/0 switch from a dead computer power supply, small black, unobtrusive). With the wires inside the pipe, and the switch on top, and all cable tied to frame, it looks quite neat and invisible, and works perfectly for nearly two years now. Just have to switch manually when needed, can easily reach from riding position. Fan runs even when key off, so I can pull up to park, trun motor off, and leave the fan running if I want. The overheating lamp still flashes with the blinker !!!


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Disconnect the two fan plugs leads from the fan sensor switch in the thermostat housing bridge the two plugs with a wire if the fan starts then you will need to replace the fan sensor switch if not the fan will need replacing ,as for the temp light flashing with the indicator light maybe because they share the same fuse and they could share a common earth as well?
Cheers Michael

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

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To my knowledge on most designs of bike's electrical system, the overheat indicator lamp is independent of the radiator fan wiring. This light is triggered by a separate thermostat and is basically a sensor/indicator affair. On the otherhand, the radiator fan motor has multiple connections. On one end would be another thermostat to trigger the fan on, the other end would go to a relay/time delay device and is supplied by a fused wire from the IGN B+12. The function of the "relay/time delay device" is to perform the switching action plus to provide supply even when the bike is switch off hence, the fan would still work for a minute or so after engine shut down. Based on this, areas to check would be:

  • fuse;
  • relay/time delay;
  • wiring/connector;
  • thermostat (normally embedded to the radiator).
Just a start, do postback how things turned up or should you need additional information. Good luck and Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008

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I have all through my electrical system. My fan does not come on due to a faulty fan switch, located in the thermostat housing. It is held in place by a large clip

Posted on Mar 22, 2011

  • kiri94 Mar 22, 2011

    I think the fan switch you are talking about is the thermostat. I took my thermostat out, put a resistance meter across the terminals, and put the business end in boiling water and the meter didn't show connection, so I concluded its broken. I decided to avoid cost of replacing for now by making the switch work manually, see prev reply.


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Kirk 94. did you solve the problem. If so how. I have same issue.

Posted on Nov 14, 2009

  • kiri94 Mar 22, 2011

    I moved the fan switch wiring to outside of tank, and bridged it with an on/off switch, cable tied to bike frame. It all looks neat enough, just have to operate manually as needed. can send photo if you like. Works with key off. The overheating lamp still flashes with blinker...given up on that one, maybe I'll check the earth under the blinker/headlight switch assembly sometime...


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