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Discussion Starter #1
Short story: My battery is not staying charged. What should I do?

Long story: About two years ago I spent an entire winter pulling the engine on my '84 GL1200 Aspencade and replaced the pulse generator. While I was in there, I went ahead and replaced the stator, because I've heard so many stories of them failing. The bike hasn't been ridden a lot because of other problems. I'd say I've ridden less than 4,000 miles since the replacement. But this spring I went on a ride, and my battery was dead at the end of it. I hadn't noticed the volt reading on the dash until my next ride. With the engine revved up, I hit high 11s, but rarely go over 12 volts. I seem to recall 13s and 14s soon after replacing the stator. If I sit at idle, the volt reading drops into the 8s. So it is putting out some power, but not enough. Could the new stator have failed so soon? I'm looking for advice before I start down the road of doing the "poorboy" external alternator installation. I'm certainly not keen to pull the engine again.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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You obviously have a problem, but not necessarily the stator itself.

First question is, where did you get the stator and what brand is it?
Question 2; did you change the regulator at the same time, and if so, what brand is it?
Question 3; have you done any tests on the stator?
Question 4; have you inspected all of the wiring between the stator and the regulator?
Question 5; have you tried running the bike with a different battery, or at least checked all of the battery connections?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First question is, where did you get the stator and what brand is it?
Question 2; did you change the regulator at the same time, and if so, what brand is it?
Question 3; have you done any tests on the stator?
Question 4; have you inspected all of the wiring between the stator and the regulator?
Question 5; have you tried running the bike with a different battery, or at least checked all of the battery connections?
Thanks Dennis, for your advice. You've definitely given me my homework for the weekend. :)
1) eBay. It was new, but I can find no details on it now. :-(
2) No. My lack of expertise is glaring. :-( I'll try to figure out how to test the regulator.
3) I will do that this weekend.
4) Ditto.
5) I will check all the connections.
 

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Dennis asks all good questions but if the stator has failed you say you want to go to a Poorboy. So why not just check the stator for AC output of 50 volts (Again AC volts) or so at 3,000 RPM. If the stator is no good save the tome and start the Poorboy install.
 

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1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
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"Stator Test
1- First, put the bike on the centerstand. Cut the wires on both sides of the stator connector plug. Strip the insulation aprox. 1/2"-1" back on all three yellow wires. Label each wire A, B, and C.

2- With a multimeter, digital or analog, set to read resistance, check each leg to ground for short's. If no short's are found, (o resistance), you're good to go so far.

3- With the meter set to read resistance, check across each leg. A to B, B to C, then C to A. The reading's should be about 3 ohm's. If you read infinite resistance across any of the legs you have an open winding and the stator is bad. If they read good, keep going.

4- A helper is good to have for this next step. With the battery fully charged and the three yellow wire's separated so they cannot make contact, crank the bike. Have your helper rev the bike to 3000rpm after the bike warm's up.

IMPORTANT!!!
You are checking for AC voltage NOT DC voltage!! Make sure the meter is set to read a minimum of 120vac!!

With the bike at 3000rpm, check leg A to B. Note the voltage.

Then check leg B to C. Note the voltage.

Finally check leg C to A. Note the voltage.

Compare the three readings. They should be between 50-70vac plus or minus about 5vac per leg. If they read good, chances are you've got a bad regulator."
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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If you got more than a couple hours of service from an eBay stator, it's a record. Do you still have the OEM stator? They were the only quality units made.

It's really sad that this happens. The original plug was why there were so many stator failures, but that didn't stop the know-it-alls from flappin' their jaws and getting a rumor going. I suspect they just wanted to sell poor boy kits, or some such. Had you not messed with the stator in the first place, you'd probably be riding right now.

Anyway, I'd advise against the poor boy. I've never seen one installed well and it's not as easy as pulling the motor. Lots of cutting and modifying parts etc.
 

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I know Dennis doesn't like the Poorboy and I get it.
If you talk to most who installed the Poorboy I think you would have a hard time finding one who regrets it. Isn't that in essence what Honda did when they moved the alternator outside on the 1500's.

I never owned a Poorboy but many years ago I made a crude one for a friend and co-worker. It wasn't pretty but very functional.

It's been 10 years and still going strong. Not even a belt failure. I would say to do your due diligence to make a good decision and then go for it.
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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I have seen many Poor Boy installations that were very neat, and totally hidden behind the fairing out of sight.

Those usually were the result of someone who had shop tools and knew how to manufacture things so they work right.

One of those guys, actually made his own V-Belt pulley to run off of the crankshaft, it was a beautiful setup.
wish I had the bookmark for it.

found the bookmark right off, but alas, all of the pictures are now missing :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
"Stator Test
1- First, put the bike on the centerstand. Cut the wires on both sides of the stator connector plug. Strip the insulation aprox. 1/2"-1" back on all three yellow wires. Label each wire A, B, and C.

2- With a multimeter, digital or analog, set to read resistance, check each leg to ground for short's. If no short's are found, (o resistance), you're good to go so far.

3- With the meter set to read resistance, check across each leg. A to B, B to C, then C to A. The reading's should be about 3 ohm's. If you read infinite resistance across any of the legs you have an open winding and the stator is bad. If they read good, keep going.

4- A helper is good to have for this next step. With the battery fully charged and the three yellow wire's separated so they cannot make contact, crank the bike. Have your helper rev the bike to 3000rpm after the bike warm's up.

IMPORTANT!!!
You are checking for AC voltage NOT DC voltage!! Make sure the meter is set to read a minimum of 120vac!!

With the bike at 3000rpm, check leg A to B. Note the voltage.

Then check leg B to C. Note the voltage.

Finally check leg C to A. Note the voltage.

Compare the three readings. They should be between 50-70vac plus or minus about 5vac per leg. If they read good, chances are you've got a bad regulator."
Thanks for this information!
Well, life gets in the way, and I can never get around to what I want to get to. :-(
I finally got around to checking the stator. Sounds like I've got a dead one. :-(
I apologize for using "baby talk", but I want to make sure I've got the correct settings/readings on the multimeter.

Step 2: I put the meter on the setting that has a little picture of a diode, and has a sound icon. As I tested each leg, I saw that they are all connected to ground. In other words, I hear the beep from the multimeter. (See, here's my baby talk. :) ) So I think at this point, we've already determined it's bad, correct? Or is this "zero resistance", as step 2 above discusses?

Step 3: I set the meter to 200 ohms. I got a reading of about 0.8 ohms per leg, which also was the same reading between ground and each leg. Just to be clear, I disconnected the cable coming out of the stator, and had three yellow wires. I tested each leg to each other leg.

Step 4: I wanted to make sure I had the meter on the correct setting, so I checked it by poking the leads into a regular AC socket: 120vac, as expected. Then I started the bike, had a helper keep RPMs around 3,000. I got absolutely zero volts on all leg-to-leg readings.

So....dead stator, correct?

I believe I do still have the old stator, so I'm pondering Dennis' advice I saw in another thread. But I'm still wondering how disconnecting everything and sliding the engine to the side to swap the stator is easier than doing the poor boy install. I saw another thread discussing Don Piggot's external alternator kits. Fortunately for me, if I decide to go that route, he still provides those.
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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yes,
you have a dead stator.

FYI, since all 3 of the phases have a Common connection, a short to ground on one of the legs, will also show up as a short to ground on the other legs.

Since it does show low ohms to ground, one of the legs has a fault in the enamel insulation, allowing the bare wire to contact the frame.

it is now 'trash', or suitable to be rewound by a good alternator repair shop.

.
 

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I believe I do still have the old stator, so I'm pondering Dennis' advice I saw in another thread. But I'm still wondering how disconnecting everything and sliding the engine to the side to swap the stator is easier than doing the poor boy install. I saw another thread discussing Don Piggot's external alternator kits. Fortunately for me, if I decide to go that route, he still provides those.
I did a stator swap in 1997 on my '85 GL1200A, used Honda OEM that came with lifetime warranty. Replaced the plug too with Honda upgrade kit. Took a piece of 1/2 or 5/8" plywood, added a couple ribs on one side to "lock" into cooling fins or other features under transmission, then added a piece of plywood (smaller) with hole cut to accept my floor jack's head, screwed /glued it to center of other side of the big sheet, I easily jacked enough to remove the engine, balance with one hand, and move engine to set down on two big blocks while I swapped the stator. No worries about engine sliding off, it was "locked" in position on jack head.

That stator is still going. Wasn't so bad, just evenings after work one week, spent a lot of time cleaning & waxing too.
322567
 

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I did a stator swap in 1997 on my '85 GL1200A, used Honda OEM that came with lifetime warranty. Replaced the plug too with Honda upgrade kit. Took a piece of 1/2 or 5/8" plywood, added a couple ribs on one side to "lock" into cooling fins or other features under transmission, then added a piece of plywood (smaller) with hole cut to accept my floor jack's head, screwed /glued it to center of other side of the big sheet, I easily jacked enough to remove the engine, balance with one hand, and move engine to set down on two big blocks while I swapped the stator. No worries about engine sliding off, it was "locked" in position on jack head.

That stator is still going. Wasn't so bad, just evenings after work one week, spent a lot of time cleaning & waxing too. View attachment 322567
You have the patience of a saint. Looks like new. :)
 

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I did the alt mod on my '85 Limited Edition, carb models have a lot more room for the install. Had to replace the alternator on a trip to LA and back 2 years ago. If I had not had an external alternator, the bike would probably still be there. Having mentioned this, I agree with Dennis that the OEM stator connection by the right side of the battery is an issue. Renew, or remove, clean and reuse the original, or change the connector with a modern, high amperage waterproof connector that can be found on line from places like Eastern Beaver, or even a marine parts store. A dirty connection can cause all sorts of issues. The connections at the RR can also be suspect. These should be disassembled, cleaned and put back in. As you do maintenance and have a chance, I would recommend this be done to all the connectors. Clean connectors make for good connections, happy bike.

You can solder the stator wires, but a new OEM or aftermarket connector will probably outlast your riding days, and work well.

If you do pull the engine for a stator change, suggest having a go at the sprague clutch, clean and replace the small bits that are needed. Not expensive, but can eliminate a problem down the road where the starter runs on and does not engage.

Good luck.
 
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