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Challenging charging problem

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With the expert and patient help of Noble. I've been diagnosing a rather elusive charging system fault. My bike has gone through three stators (two of them fried) and an RR in two years and only develops 11.9 volts to the battery.

My wiring harness is perfect. How do I know? I split the loom front to back and at each branch and inspected each and every wire (no bull), tested continuity and repaired it if necessary (found two minor problems).

Each OEM plug both male and female had the contacts cleaned, I greased the OEM plug cases with dielectric grease.

The stator shows continuity through a ohm meter and also using a test light. It also develops 60 volts ac on each phase. The rectifier is good and the 6 diodes test fine for current flow.

My accessories are on a separate circuit which are turned off and on through a 12 volt relay activated by the tail light. For the purpose of finding these problems in my charging system I disconnected the accessories for the testing.

Additionally I removed the headlamp from the bike, disconnected the gage panel and unplugged the tail lamp assembly to insure the harness is isolated and easier to test. It still generates a constant 11.9 volts.

11.9 volts regardless of rpm seems to indicate the regulator to me, Noble seems to think that the stator is at fault and is intermittent but has not detectable at the correct moment. At this point all indicators point to a bad RR or a bad Stator.

I've started a couple of threads here over the last six months regarding stator overheating. Eddie says that ester based oils will prevent the stator from overheating. I started using ester based oils the day after he posted his comment. Noble believes that the my case protector may be retaining extra heat, I've removed it (but time will tell if that helps).

So, at this point I am totally stumped. The only credible culprits seems to be the stator or regulator, but the stator tests good and without an oscilloscope I cannot test the regulator.

My last stator was an after market replacement by RM Stator in Quebec. I called them this morning, explained the situation and he asked for me to send my stator and RR to him for analysis. In the mean time my bike sits useless.

I do have another stator that is good and I am thinking about finding a cheap RR so that I can at least run around town and put the battery charge when I get home.

Does anyone have any thoughts, help, experience they are willing to share?

Edited by vstromcharlie

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You can start by cleaning out all of the dielectric grease if it is in the contacts. The stuff is designed as an insulator.

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Eddie, no continuity to ground and the free power mod has been completed. One of the first things Noble had me check was that my soldered on leads from the RR were good.

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when you checked the reg/rect did you check the diodes on both the red to each yellow and black/white to each yellow?

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vstrom - You might want to post the picture of the stator. And the only additional test I can think of that has not been done is to find some place to do a hi-pot (high potential) test on the stator for insulation.

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Noble, I called RM Stator this morning. Mike asked me to send it back to them along with the RR. He is going to test both. By the way, he agrees with you that the stator is probably intermittent.

Eddie, yes all three yellows against the red and the black.

As diagnostics progressed I finally opened up the case to get to the stator and found the stator bolts loose. These were put in with blue locktite when I installed them during the last stator replacement, I thought I had them tightened adequately, evidence shows otherwise, correct torque values would be helpful but I'm unable to find them.

4tjyts.jpg

x53595.jpg

Flywheel was slightly damaged but on the outside not the inside. There was a small burr on it.

xkrgk7.jpg

These pictures were taken using an HDR camera. The coloration is somewhat sacrificed for clarity.

If the stator is fried AGAIN I have to believe that it is heat related. How is the oil exchanged into the stator compartment? If there are ports might they be clogged?

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I used red loctite, hope mine holds, I did them at 100 miles and they weren't very tight from the factory. I have 2400 miles now I guess I'll check them in another 2k. Good luck with your ordeal.

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I just found an interesting thing. I got to wondering if I had any current flowing with key off and the instrument panel disconnected. I show 10.87 mv on the dc scale. Why would that be ? All lighting circuits are disconnected and I simply have the meter between the battery and the + harness. With the key on I have 11.98 volts dc.

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To test for a draw I allways use a test light between the pos term and pos wire (pos wire disconnected so it runs thru the test light), if it lights there's a draw. You can test batt volts pos wire disconnected and then connect it, should read the same if no draw. If there's a draw dissconnect things one at a time till it goes away. On another note, I've run into Fuses that tested good but wouldn't carry a load they were rated for, good to swap fuses with strange problems just to rule out simple things that creat major problems. I watched people tear cars all apart because a 20 amp fuse tested good with a test light but would only carry 3 amps.

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As I stated above I have a separate circuit for my accessories activated by the tail light.

My bike is wired so that when turning the key on the tail light comes on as it should, this in turn activates the relay and finally the accessory circuit.

When I was testing just now I used my multi meter to see voltages key on and key off. (see above). I placed the meter in line with the positive lead of the meter to the positive battery cable (which is not hooked to the battery at this time. Next the negative lead on the meter was then touched to the positive lug on the battery. This DID NOT activate the relay when the key was turned on?

I wanted to verify that my relay was still functional. I removed the meter completely and touched the positive battery wire to the positive poll of the battery, the relay was pulled in.

Am I doing something wrong here are is the meter just adding too much resistance to the circuit for the relay to be activated? I've been doing this too much and I'm starting to get confused. Is it possible that the relay is causing my problems?

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Let me just clarify what you are saying there?

With the meter on voltage or amps did you try and activate the relay?

The relay will only become a part of the circuit on amps, and then you will need to ensure the meter fuse is good, which it is easy to blow. On Voltage it will not pass current, and threfore will not activate the relay.

You also need to be careful how you are using a meter. + circuit to + circuit will show a volt drop, but the circuit needs to be loaded or being used to asses the reading. It also needs to be complete.

You would expect a low figure, preferably under 0.2 V max 0.5 V for a good circuit.

+ to - only negative measures what is flowing in a circuit.

Now with your wiring resistance checks, the posting about the fuse is the clue here. If you have a wire that has minimal contact or half broken it will still resistance check ok. It needs a volt drop to show the true condition or use a meggar meter on an unplugged circuit. Resistance/continuity isn't a true check of wiring condition. It is merely a good indictor for checking wiring points. With the RR you are checking diodes so continuity is ok.

Not sure what will be causing your issue, but might be worth going over any connections in the charging circuit again, and especially any connections made to the circuit after leaving the factory.

RR seems a likely fault for a static voltage on your charge readings, but seems as if you are having something more than just a component failure.

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Let me just clarify what you are saying there?

With the meter on voltage or amps did you try and activate the relay?

The relay will only become a part of the circuit on amps, and then you will need to ensure the meter fuse is good, which it is easy to blow. On Voltage it will not pass current, and threfore will not activate the relay.

You also need to be careful how you are using a meter. + circuit to + circuit will show a volt drop, but the circuit needs to be loaded or being used to asses the reading. It also needs to be complete. The connection was made with the red wire on the meter connected to the + pole on the battery and the negative wire on the meter connected to the positive wire that is attached to the battery (the positive wire was disconnected from the batter at the time. The meter pos/neg completed the circuit. Motor was not running but the key was turned on)

You would expect a low figure, preferably under 0.2 V max 0.5 V for a good circuit.

+ to - only negative measures what is flowing in a circuit.

Now with your wiring resistance checks, the posting about the fuse is the clue here. If you have a wire that has minimal contact or half broken it will still resistance check ok. It needs a volt drop to show the true condition or use a meggar meter on an unplugged circuit. Resistance/continuity isn't a true check of wiring condition. It is merely a good indictor for checking wiring points. With the RR you are checking diodes so continuity is ok.

Not sure what will be causing your issue, but might be worth going over any connections in the charging circuit again, and especially any connections made to the circuit after leaving the factory.

RR seems a likely fault for a static voltage on your charge readings, but seems as if you are having something more than just a component failure.

I was trying to establish if there was voltage present on the harness because I connected the positive wire to the battery (battery harness lug) I saw a slight spark before the connection. I found this odd because nothing was on, key was off and the instrument panel was unplugged.

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I allso use a relay for my seperate acc. circut to power fans, horn, voltmeter and hesd with no issues. My alarm, gps and TT vapor is powered 12v allways on from the wire from batt that has constant power to the relay. I allso use a normally closed relay on the h/lamp triggered by the starter button that turns the h/lamp off during cranking.

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vstrom - In your "voltage" test you found the circuit completed by the normal leakage thru the RR. Pay no attention. A better test for current leakage is to use the mA function. The procedure is in the electrical troubleshooting guide in FAQ. If a battery discharges in a few days of sitting, current leakage is the concern. You do not seem to have that problem but you can always check.

You can also get leakage of that magnitude just form dirt across contacts. For example the LED tail light on my KTM will glow after I wash the motorcycle just because of water on the ON/OFF switch. It means nothing.

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vstrom - In your "voltage" test you found the circuit completed by the normal leakage thru the RR. Pay no attention. A better test for current leakage is to use the mA function. The procedure is in the electrical troubleshooting guide in FAQ. If a battery discharges in a few days of sitting, current leakage is the concern. You do not seem to have that problem but you can always check.

You can also get leakage of that magnitude just form dirt across contacts. For example the LED tail light on my KTM will glow after I wash the motorcycle just because of water on the ON/OFF switch. It means nothing.

Thanks, well I guess I am dead in the water until my "new to me" RR comes in. The one we did testing with is on the way to Quebec and RM Stator.

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My nearly new (763 miles) should be here by Monday or Tuesday.

I have one very battle worn stator sitting here in the bike so I think I am going to put the regulator/rectifier on and ride until my custom stator comes back from QC. Not riding is driving me insane. I will ride with the head lamp off and plug into the tender when I get home I suppose.

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