Intermittent electrical drain - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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To All,

My 1985 Limited has a peculiar problem. I can drive down the road and the alternator is charging between 13.8 and 14.1 volts. Then, all the sudden, the voltage drops to 11.1 volts. I thought it was the fan kicking in, but it does it when the fan engages or not. Then I thought that there is a loose wire that is grounding, but I figured that would blow a fuse or something.

Also, when I pull the hand brake, the voltage drops almost 2 volts for no apparent reason. I thought the brake lights were the big voltage draw, but when I use the foot brake, it only draws about a tenth of a volt. The battery is brand new and it was doing this with the old battery as well.

I'm thinking that the rectifier/regulator is bad. Some are telling me it's the alternator.

Any ideas?

Robert "that's why they call me Newbee" Guinn
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 12:31 AM
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Have you inspected or cut out the plug that holds 3 yellow wires just to the left side of your battery???

If ya cant fix it with a hammer, it's prolly lectrical
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 09:29 AM
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Hey Newbee,

Mine was doing the exact same thing last year, my three yellow wires by the battery were already fixed, but the connector under the false tank going to the regulator was melted, the wires were burnt and corroded. I removed the connector, cut out the bad pieces of wire and soldered the connections, been fine ever since, constant 13.8-14.0.

Cheers, Geoff

1985 Honda Goldwing 1200 Ltd,
1994 Kawasaki ZX9R.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hatchetman / Gtcouple,

I really appreciate your prompt reply.Sounds like you two know what's happening. This is my first Goldwing (previous Harley owner) and I'm really in the dark on most GW issues. I will check the wires tonight after I get off work and see if that's what's wrong. Either way I will let you guys know.

Thanks again,

Robert
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 12:16 AM
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You bet buddy! Old harley guy eh? Do you have an old cv 40 carb laying around? my 1340 needs one.

If ya cant fix it with a hammer, it's prolly lectrical
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Hatchetman / GTcouple,

Well, I tried looking for the three yellow wires by the battery, but I never saw them. I removed the battery and the false tank cover, had both eyes open, but never saw them. I did, however, see three yellow wires going to the rectifier / regulator and they were melted. Evidently, the previous owner (I've only had the bike 3 months) has addressed this problem before because the connector had several other wires melted in the plug that looked like he had tried to fix. Two of the three yellow wires were taken from the connector and soldered directly together. The remaining yellow wire was still in the connector.

I tried to seperate the two connector halves, but I couldn't get them apart. After I made sure thatno wires were not burnt together,I cranked it up. I let it run for about an hour and the voltage never dropped below 13.7 volts. I took it on a little test drive (about 10 miles) and it stayed between 13.8 and 14.0 volts. I drove it to work this morning (56 miles) and everything seemed okay.

I guess it's fixed for now, but I'm sure this will be something I'll have to monitor for the life of the bike. I really appreciate you guys help. I didn't know where to start looking for problems.

Hatchetman, I don't have any CV40 carbs laying around. Sorry. I've had four Harley's since 1982. I had a 1982 Sportster XLH Roadster (1000cc eng. & 4-spd), a 1983 SuperGlide II, a 1977 (I think) Harley 250 SX Enduro, and I currently have a 2005 883 Sportster Custom. I have liked every Harley I've owned, but I couldn't get them to go the distance. I put 60K miles on my 883 in two years. I wore out the engine and had to get another one. I figured I'd better get a bike that was made to go 300K without wearing out. That's why I bought the GW.

Thanks again for all y'alls help.

Robert
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Hatchetman / GTcouple,

Well, the old GW is doing it again. I'm convinced that I need to totally replace the connector between the motorcycle main harness and the rectifier/regulator.

Do either of you have any idea where I can get both halves of the connector ? I'm really not wanting to buy a whole new rectifier and bike harness, so if you don't know where I can get a "Honda" authorized part replacement, do you know of anything else that would work? I was told that the Honda Civic car had allot of connectors that were the same or very close the the Goldwing's. Could I use something like that?

Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks for all your help thus far.

Robert
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 02:14 PM
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Newbee,

I would remove the connector completely and solder the wires together, you can always cut the wires again if you need to remove the regulator. You want to get rid of the old connectors, they seem to cause a let of issues.

That is my opinion, if anyone else has a different thought they should be along soon

Cheers, Geoff



1985 Honda Goldwing 1200 Ltd,
1994 Kawasaki ZX9R.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 07:23 PM
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You are right gtcouple, it would be best to cut out the connector, slip some heatshring tubing over the wire, then solder the two wires together and when cool slide the heatshrink over it and shrink it on with a hairdryer. This was a common enough problem with Suzuki's and Honda's in the eighties when I repaired them. When the connection is burnt it can be corroded too, but you cannot see that and eventually you will ruin either your windings in the alternator or the regulator.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks GTcouple and Wingle. I appreciate your input.

I was looking at the GL1200 harness fix made by David Campbell (http://gl1200harness.tripod.com/harness.html) which suggests doing the same thing you two are talking about. I'm just not sure if the fix works on the Limited edition model though. I'm going to contact Mr. Campbell and see what he says.

Thanks again.

Robert
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