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I've spent the last couple of days searching out this topic on the forum, but I've not found a situation that exactly mirrors mine. I hate to be repetitive, but any and all insights will be greatly appreciated.

It all started 3 or 4 weeks ago, when I went out to start my bike and it wouldn't turn over. At first I thought maybe a combination of cold weather and a bad battery, so I had it tested and it turned out to be ok...I charged her up and re-installed and went riding...only to get stranded 100 miles from the house..

Here is what I've done so far. The dog bone fuse showed evidence of heat, so I removed and replaced with a blade type fuse. I borrowed a multimeter from a friend and checked the 3 stator wires. The readings I got on ac voltage was 45, 51.9 and 47.3 at 3,000 rpms. I checked resistance to ground and all showed infinite. I checked resistance between the wires, but this is where I'm getting a little confused. The meter that I have doesn't have a 10,000 scale setting, but the resistance was consistent with all combinations being checked. I re-charged the battery and checked the volts...13.4. But, when I re-installed the battery on the bike, the voltage dropped down to 12.71?? Maybe that is common, I don't know. I started the bike and checked dc volts at the battery...not so good.. at idle it was somewhere around 12.2. At 3000 rpms it was only reaching the 12.4-12.5 range. After shutting the bike down, I re-checked the battery and it had dropped down to the 12.3 range, and slowly inched it's way back up, but falling short of the 12.71...this time it only measured 12.65 ..I just walked outside and checked it again, and it's only showing 12.54. I haven't done the regulator check, so I guess that is my next chore.

I just wanted to some input from the experts out there, as I'm certainly a novice. I purchased the bike last July for $1000 and I've become addicted to riding her. But, I have a hard time justifying putting a whole lot of money in her. If it's the stator, then I'm prepared to try and tackle that job myself, but don't want to go that route until all other possibilities have been exhausted.

I guess I'm just a little confused why the voltage dropped so much when I re-installed the battery. It makes me think that there might be a connection problem. I haven't checked the battery ground connection. Maybe I'll try that next.

Sorry for the repetitive post, but I just need some help.

Best regards,

Chester/Chula, GA
 

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Have you still got the plug in line for the three stator wires just in front of the battery? If so, cut it off and hard wire and solder the wires. Heat in this plug may be the culprit. Above idle, you should be running 13.5 up to 14.7-15 v down the road. It may be too late for the stator but it's really not that bad of a job if you take a couple days to do it. Also install a voltmeter on it somewhere as a monitor. Over 2 years ago, I did mine and ended up with around $300 in the whole job doing it myself. You don't have much money in it if you only paid $1000 and decent shape. Still a cheap bike that will serve you for years to come. Paul
 

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No, I've by-passed the plug and soldered the wires..Could a short inside the stator be causing the battery drain?? I guess I'll need to find a different multimeter so that I can get a better feel for the resistance readings..

Thanks for your insights. I"m not a mechanic, but I'm slowly becoming one....of the shade tree variety..and if I have to, I will change the stator..
 

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Right, a battery won't last long with the stator going bad. You're running all the lights and ignition off the battery only if you're not putting more than around 13 volts back in. Other opinions and diagnosis will be along shortly I'm sure. The 1200's are a great ride.
 

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Sounds like the dreaded stator, do all your testing to be sure. I actually bought a new battery thinking it was the problem, only because the PO told me that stator was replaced a few years back, found out that was not true!
If it is the stator don't let the fact that the engine needs to be pulled is beyond your abilities, if you do the research and read what everyone here has experienced you'll do fine.
Just remember to take a lot of pictures!! It will help.
 

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Not to beat a dead horse, but it definately sounds like stator.

Before you hard wired your stator connections, was the plug showing signs of excess heat? One side much darker than the other?

That is what causes the stator in the 1100s and 1200s to burn out. The plug gets hot shorts and takes the stator with it. That and the fact that the factory wiring is way too small for that stator!



I increased the wire size on my 86 Aspencade during my restoration, and at idle, I am getting 13.5 volts. No other modifications were done.

I idle at 1,050 rpms. my bike runs a bit lean but once the weather warms up, I will mess with the fuel/air mixture.

Oh, and I bipassed every plug going to the regulator rectifier.

less weak points = less chances of it breaking.
 

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No, the wires didn't show any sign of getting hot..only the wire coming off of the starter solenoid...
 

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And I will add this one caveat...I rode the bike for 200 miles on Sunday...and nothing diminished..headlights...radio..blinkers..nothing seemed effected...It ran well...It just wouldn't start when I got home????
 

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It sure sounds like the stator is weak. Have you considered installing an external alternator? You can read about them here: http://www.gl1200goldwings.com/viewforum.php?f=52 I've been using an external 50 amp alternator on my 84 GL1200 for quite a few years and I'm very happy I didn't bother with a Honda stator and all of its sadness.



Vic
 

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Ok, well with what's been said about the stator I have a question. You said you had consistant resistance readings when you ohmed out the stator wires, if the stator was shorted wouldn't you get a low to no resistance reading? If I'm on the wrong track I apologize. I had the three wire burned plug on my 84 a few weeks ago and Icalled my mechanic at Wing Enterprises in OKC and he told me that while it is common for this plug to burn up that it doesn't always mean the stator has gone bad. I then connected the wires directly and after that jumped the bike and checked the battery and I was getting 14.65 volts (good charging system). I'm thinking maybe check your wiring connections again and maybe you have a cold solder joint if so you've saved a lot of pain of pulling the stator if that fixed the problem. I know these guys on the site have ton of more experience with these bikes than I do so sadly they are probably right about the stator being bad, but I thought maybe if you took one last look at the easy stuff it may save a headache. Good luck.



Jeff
 

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84GrayWing wrote:
Ok, well with what's been said about the stator I have a question. You said you had consistant resistance readings when you ohmed out the stator wires, if the stator was shorted wouldn't you get a low to no resistance reading? If I'm on the wrong track I apologize. I had the three wire burned plug on my 84 a few weeks ago and Icalled my mechanic at Wing Enterprises in OKC and he told me that while it is common for this plug to burn up that it doesn't always mean the stator has gone bad. I then connected the wires directly and after that jumped the bike and checked the battery and I was getting 14.65 volts (good charging system). I'm thinking maybe check your wiring connections again and maybe you have a cold solder joint if so you've saved a lot of pain of pulling the stator if that fixed the problem. I know these guys on the site have ton of more experience with these bikes than I do so sadly they are probably right about the stator being bad, but I thought maybe if you took one last look at the easy stuff it may save a headache. Good luck.



Jeff
Don't leave out the regulator rectifier, they will fail also. It sounds like your stator has tested ok. Check the reg/rec before pulling the motor.
 

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ac voltage was 45, 51.9 and 47.3 at 3,000 rpms. I checked resistance to ground and all showed infinite. I checked resistance between the wires, but this is where I'm getting a little co
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The stator is designed to give you the same voltage L1 L2and L3, your readings are too different. From these readings your stator can not deliver balanced voltage and thus will become corrupt in the low to high RPM.

But stator indicates no shorts. Common connection should read nothing to ground and the 3 lines should read infinity to ground, and leakage is cause for concern

That said you must verify the reg and rectifier, can you borrow a good multimeter, digital or analog. and retest.

The battery, I suggest take it off the bike and equalize it by over charging after a normal charge. Battery voltage should be 13.xx after charging, clean the terminal and clean all connections on the bike...all of them. If battery spent a long time on a tender it is encrusted and must be equalized

During the equalization the battery will gas, it will stink Hydrogen, no open flames. When all connections are tight and clean :

Off, connected battery at 13.00 VDC
Started and idling, reading of DC at battery posts 13.00-14.4
Rev up to 2500 up to 15 V

Also repair ground connections all of them
 

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This is the method I used to check my system last year...I discovered a bad voltage regulator...replaced it and have put over 5000 miles on it since with no problems.

The big drawback is you have to disconnect it all "again".



I got these instructions from a Clymbers manual. Therewill be 3 wires of the same color (probably yellow)from the stator to the voltage regulator/rectifier.



You can check the regulator and the stator with your multimeter.

Disconnect the regulator...black (Com/ground) multimeter lead to green wire...touch each of the yellow wires and note the ohms of resistance they should all be the same if one is very high or very low the regulator is bad. Replace it.

Check the stator in much the same way...with regulator disconnected ground the black lead and touch each of the yellow wire going to the stator (with engine off) you should get no ohms if you get ohms on any of the 3 wires you have a bad stator.




Good luck.

Cerfer
 

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When your bike does start how does she sound when she turns over? Is it fast,slow,sounds like the starter is dragging,does she spin and then sound like she locks up?
 

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Bigmick wrote:
When your bike does start how does she sound when she turns over? Is it fast,slow,sounds like the starter is dragging,does she spin and then sound like she locks up?
Well....she's not exactly spinning very fast...it will generally drag a little bit...and then catch..and then maybe drag a little...even when I'm boosting it..
 

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Cerfer07 wrote:
This is the method I used to check my system last year...I discovered a bad voltage regulator...replaced it and have put over 5000 miles on it since with no problems.

The big drawback is you have to disconnect it all "again".

 

I got these instructions from a Clymbers manual. There will be 3 wires of the same color (probably yellow) from the stator to the voltage regulator/rectifier.

 

You can check the regulator and the stator with your multimeter.

Disconnect the regulator...black (Com/ground) multimeter lead to green wire...touch each of the yellow wires and note the ohms of resistance they should all be the same if one is very high or very low the regulator is bad. Replace it.

Check the stator in much the same way...with regulator disconnected ground the black lead and touch each of the yellow wire going to the stator (with engine off) you should get no ohms if you get ohms on any of the 3 wires you have a bad stator.


 

Good luck.

Cerfer
Here is one area where I get a bit confused. When testing the resistance on the stator wires, I get all -zeros- when checking from each wire to ground.. When I take a reading between wires, I get a fluctuating reading from .1 to .2..Now, I think this is an auto ranging multimeter, but I'm not sure. There is no way to set the ranges on this instrument, or at least I can't figure out how to do it. Would this indicate a short??
 

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I think you may get some resistance (Ohms) if you check yellow to yellow....I am not sure...Idid the check as describedabove and as I saidI replaced the voltage regulator/rectifier and have had no trouble since. I did replace all of my rear lightsexcept the turn indicator bulbs with LED bulbs toreduce the draw on the electrical system.



How did your voltage regulator/rectifier test out?



Cerfer
 

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Meters read slightly different, if autoranging hold leads together and read the minimum that the meter indicates. This is your shorted reading or in effect zero. Remember this number, now place leads on 1 and 2, write the reading down. Do not rely on your memory. Take the reading on all 3 pairs, record.

The readings must be equal so keep hands off the metal parts of the leads...if readings are not dead equal how close are they...unsure post you numbers.

The coils in the stator are influenced by the permanent magnets, these coils and the fields of the magnets will give slight erroneous readings, so start the bike and read voltage AC from the 3 leads disconnected. All voltage readings are to be equal, record them and post.

Stop bike hook everything up. Start bike let warm no choke at idle take DCV at battery,
post reading. At 1500 and 2500 RPM take reading and post.

Is battery fully charged, post reading

Verify battery by specific gravity 1.25 or higher, do not trust only voltage reading. A battery may have voltage but not enough current, that is why you load test them but a chemical analysis is easily done with a float hydrometer for $10.
 

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Okay, today was a bit of an epiphany...and I think that maybe..just maybe I might have found the problem...or at least part of the problem. Being just before tearing the bike apart, I decided to check the stator one more time..and I got the following ac voltage readings....41.9....43.2....45.9...not the strongest in the world, but maybe still above the jumping off point..I checked each of the wires to ground and all read infinite or 0...I then checked the resistance between the 3 wires and I got a .3 reading..As I've stated before, this is the first time I've ever used a multimeter..or let alone any kind of meter...and I didn't know how to set it on the right scale..So, I pulled the false tank off and was going to check the rectifier, when I decided to go another route..The p.o. had mounted a toggle switch on the inside of the right fairing..I had always been curious as to the purpose of this switch, as I had engaged the switch with no reaction from the bike...I made the mistake of leaving the switch i the "on" position several months ago, only to have a dead battery the next morning..So, something told me to investigate these wires..ie...rip them out...and that is just what I did, or at least as many as I could get my hands on..After doing surgery on the wires, on a lark I decided to check the voltage at the battery, and much to my surprise....it had jumped...to a solid (or at least in my opinion) 12.5 volts..I reved the motor a little and it continued to rise...to the point where it was showing 13.5 volts!!!!! And this was with the stator wires simply twisted back in place, and not soldered!!



From what I can tell, the p.o. had some sort of switch rigged up to the fan..What ever it was, it was definitely a drain on the system. I'm not getting the volts that some of you are getting, but at least it seems to be charging, which might buy me a little time..My stator isn't performing at it's optimum level, but at least it is performing...which gives me a few more options...and a little time to shop...and to educate myself on the poorboy conversion, as I've already decided that is the direction that I'm going..



I know this is a very lengthy post, but I wanted to let everyone know just how much I appreciate their input..It not only enlightens the unwashed ( like myself), but it stirs our minds...and it provokes thought..and it heightens learning..In closing, I would encourage each and all of you to continue to provide input and feedback to those with problems. You might not think that it matters, but you help makes a signifcant difference..Thanks again to all of you..



Chester/Chula
 
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