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Help! I had to be rescued the other night when I tried to start Eeyore (85 'Wing Aspencade) and the battery was dead. After I got home I pulled the negative battery cable and put a voltmeter in place and I discovered a 4 volt drain on the battery. I pulled the fuses one at a time in the main fuse block and tested to see if I could narrow down a system but the problem was consistent with each fuse pulled.



I know the stator was replaced by the previous owner as I have the transferable Honda warranted repair, but I am a little clueless about where to even start looking for this short.
 

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Try the main fuse and starter solenoid connector, its tothe right of the battery, under a large plastic cover. On this vintage of bike, rightafter the stator problems is this area. Itgets very hot and can melt in to a glob of carbon and plastic. Good Luck
 

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Ruaidh wrote:
Help! I had to be rescued the other night when I tried to start Eeyore (85 'Wing Aspencade) and the battery was dead. After I got home I pulled the negative battery cable and put a voltmeter in place and I discovered a 4 volt drain on the battery. I pulled the fuses one at a time in the main fuse block and tested to see if I could narrow down a system but the problem was consistent with each fuse pulled.



I know the stator was replaced by the previous owner as I have the transferable Honda warranted repair, but I am a little clueless about where to even start looking for this short.
Ruaidh, a v (4-volt) battery drain isn't very much. Almost anything (like the clock or radio keep alive) will drain that much. Anything even close to a battery draining draw will at least pull a full 12 volts.

To measure correctly (using battery voltage isn't the way to do it) you need to measure the draw in Milliamps (mA). Probably any parasitic drain that exceeds 15-20 mA is worth looking for.

Another way is; to pull the positive battery cable from the battery, then use a good 12 volt test light between the removed cable & the + battery post, if the test light glows fairly bright then you have pretty decent parasitic drain.

Twisty
 

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twisty wrote:
Ruaidh wrote:
Help! I had to be rescued the other night when I tried to start Eeyore (85 'Wing Aspencade) and the battery was dead. After I got home I pulled the negative battery cable and put a voltmeter in place and I discovered a 4 volt drain on the battery. I pulled the fuses one at a time in the main fuse block and tested to see if I could narrow down a system but the problem was consistent with each fuse pulled.



I know the stator was replaced by the previous owner as I have the transferable Honda warranted repair, but I am a little clueless about where to even start looking for this short.
Ruaidh, a v (4-volt) battery drain isn't very much. Almost anything (like the clock or radio keep alive) will drain that much. Anything even close to a battery draining draw will at least pull a full 12 volts.

To measure correctly (using battery voltage isn't the way to do it) you need to measure the draw in Milliamps (mA). Probably any parasitic drain that exceeds 15-20 mA is worth looking for.

Another way is; to pull the positive battery cable from the battery, then use a good 12 volt test light between the removed cable & the + battery post, if the test light glows fairly bright then you have pretty decent parasitic drain.

Twisty

Thanks for once again proving the value of this forum. Like I said, I'm pretty clueless with this. I am kind of hoping that it's just the battery being old and maybe since we got a stretch of hot weather it is hurting it. I became enslaved (affectionately!) to Eeyore about 8 weeks ago and I don't know how old the battery is. Coincidentally, it was a weekend that I had the trailer hooked up and I thought that maybe with the extra draw from the marker/tail/stop lights it pushed my battery screaming over the edge.
 

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Ruaidh wrote:
Coincidentally, it was a weekend that I had the trailer hooked up and I thought that maybe with the extra draw from the marker/tail/stop lights it pushed my battery screaming over the edge.
Ruaidh, those 1200 Wings have a very marginal charging system on them so adding any extra lights or loads (like trailer lights) can drastically lower the battery voltage. Running at low engine RPM's or stopped in traffic with the brakes on and/or cooling fan on can deplete the battery in a hurry.

You could also have a weak charging system (another sore spot on the 1200 Wing).

You might try hooking your voltmeter to the battery posts then riding the motorcycle. That will show if your charging system is operational & if it can keep up. (you need to see 14-15 volts at 2000-3000 engine rpm's)

Another thing to do is charge the battery, then let is sit overnight, then measure the static voltage, if muchbelow 12.4 volts your battery is probably going south.

You can have your battery load tested at most bike shops & that will also tell how good that is.

One thing I can strongly suggest: that is to install a voltmeter on that Wing. I wouldn't own a 1200 without one as they can predict your future (well future starting issues anyhow)

Twisty
 

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I agree with the voltmeter item. The "83 I rode had one built into the dash package and I miss it sorely!



I know there is a thread somewhere about installing one, now I'll have to go find it.
 

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Ruaidh wrote:
I agree with the voltmeter item. The "83 I rode had one built into the dash package and I miss it sorely!



I know there is a thread somewhere about installing one, now I'll have to go find it.
Ruaidh, it's pretty easy, for a decent voltmeter reading just wire one wire of the voltmeter to the (+) post on the fuse box's accessory terminal,then wire the other voltmeter wire to the (-) post on the fuse box's accessory terminal.

For a better (more accurate) reading wire directly to the battery's posts then use a micro relay hooked to the accessory circuit to control the direct wired voltmeter.

Here is a decent (easy to install) voltmonitor (not exactly a gauge but works quite good)..

http://kuryakyn.com/products.asp?bn=Honda&ci=2302

Installation instructions..

http://kuryakyn.com/documents/installation/4218-21HD-0503.pdf

Twisty
 

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Reply with results (I hope!) and closure (I hope again!)



I think I found the problem. When I pulled the battery each of the cells was dry below the tops of the plates. I am sure with the heat, stop-and-go commute traffis that I was in and the additional load of the trailer I just convinced my battery to commit suicide. (Assault and battery?!?) Anyway, got a new battery, charged it overnight, riding and wait to see what happens. BTW, also order the LED Battery meter from Kuyrkyn and will get it installed the day after it gets here.



Thanks again to one and all who helped. My personal situation lately is that I've moved away from friends and family and not a lot of bike friends locally. Glad for the brotherhood and friendship this forum provides.



Ruaidh
 

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Sadly, I am now back at square one with a new battery that is all but drained. I'm no much of an electrician so I may end up taking it to (gasp!) a shop to get it worked on. Thanks to you all for previous and future suggestions.



Ruaidh
 

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Ruaidh, try unplugging the regulator. I had a problem with mine and it kept draining the battery. I wouldn't have thought this was possible, but that's what it was in my case and another reggy fixed my problem.
 

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Thanks, Brian. I'll try that. How hard to replace is the regulator? Where is it located? (Sorry, like I said, I can turn a wrench, but you may need to point at what I need to turn...)



Ruaidh
 

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Ruaidh wrote:
Sadly, I am now back at square one with a new battery that is all but drained. I'm no much of an electrician so I may end up taking it to (gasp!) a shop to get it worked on. Thanks to you all for previous and future suggestions.
Ruaidh, taking your bike to a repair shop for an electrical problem can get real expensive in a hurry. Especially on those older bikes.

You might start with a few basics yourself first to see if it's an easy repair.

It sounds like you have a voltmeter (per the 4 volt draw comment).. Place the voltmeter across the battery posts & see what the voltage is while riding the bike (charge the battery up before riding).. You need to see 14-15 volts at the battery posts with the engine at 3000-4000 RPM's.

If you have the 14-15 volts while riding then you probably have a draw on the system while parked & will need to address that (a 4 volt draw would take a long time to run that battery down) .

If the charging system is working try disconnecting the positive battery post at night to see if the battery stays up.

If the charging system ISN'T putting out the required 14-15 volts to the battery, thenlook at the connector in the 3 yellow wires (just in front of the battery). That connector mentioned tends to burn & oxidise therefor limiting charging system output. If that connector is burnt ( a good possibility) just cut the wires on each side of thet connector & solder the wires together without the connector. Use splice clips over the bare wire connections then solder, then cover with heat shrink tubing. If that connector is found to be bad post back here for further details on repairing it.

If that connector looks good (pull it apart to have a close look) then disconnect it, then place your voltmeter on the 100 volt AC scale & measure the charging voltage between the 3 yellow wires.. To do that, mark the 3 yellow wires coming from the rear of the engine A, B, C. Then (with it disconnected from the front wiring) run the engine at 3000-4000 RPM's & measure between the A & B,, B & C, C & A wires. You need to see about 50 + AC volts form all 3 wires & about the same from each leg. If you don't have that 50 volts AC from each wire then post back for further details.

To answer your question about the regulator? Is is under the L/H side of the false fuel tank (you have to remove the false tank to access it. Before replacing that (very expensive) voltage regulator keep in mind those regulator's very seldom go bad. Do ALL the other charging system tests before condemning the regulator..

If you don't already have one I would strongly suggest you purchase a repair manual for your bike (Clymer makes a real good one) & the price is reasonable. All the charging system, current drain, starter load, battery system tests are in that manual & are fairly easy to follow. Also all the help you need is here on this site, all you need to do is ask.

Twisty
 

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Thanks, Twisty. I have a Clymer manual and it does help a major way. Part of it is my lack of free time and fear of really making things come up all pear shaped with my lack of skill.



Thank you for your suggestions and guidance, now let's see what we shall see...



Ruaidh
 

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I wonder if you guru's know how much confidence you give a person that should be typing in monosyllables...



I made the tester with the fuse and the amp gauge (0-60 amps +/-, couldn't find another one smaller...) and while I was at it manufactured my own set of motorcycle jumper cables with some 10 ga. wire and clips to keep on hand (car versions are too bulky and awkward.) then mounted the voltmeter from Kuryakyn. The three-wire plug (formerly yellow wires with smooth, white connector; now toasted, brown/black and crusty) is in the process of being replaced with hopes of being on the road once more.



Shrek, the ogre from the movies, has more mechanical aptitude than I braved these tasks only with the confidence instill by you all.



Ruaidh
 
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