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Discussion Starter #1
Hello friends. I'm stumped. The bike is an '86 SEi with 26K miles which I bought new. Back in '09 I asked for help with this bike and then life happened. Fast forward 11 years and I am working on it again! All of the pin couplers have been cut out and the connections have been soldered (the three yellow wires in front of the battery box as well as the corresponding connections at the rectifier/regulator). Keep in mind I cannot do any tests without the rectifier in line due to the soldered connections. Upon start up and idle, the volt meter on the bike reads 13+ for a few seconds, then it drops to 11ish. It will go back and forth between the two readings (11-13 sometimes up to 14) while at idle. The lights go dimmer when the volts drops to 11ish as you would expect. If the throttle is cracked while its at 13 volts, the volt meter instantly drops to 11 and stays there while at higher than idle RPM. Similarly if the throttle is cracked while idling at 11 volts it stays at 11 volts. With the bike idling and the meter set to AC, the neg. probe on the neg. battery terminal, positive probe touching each yellow wire one at a time, all three wires give a reading of 7 volts. As soon as the throttle is cracked the meter reads 0.1, or similar on all three wires and stays there until it idles again. When I checked the stator by reading the voltage between yellow wire A to yellow wire B, wire B to wire C, then wire C to wire A, each reading was 12 volts with the bike at idle. As soon as the RPM increased the readings dropped to 1.7ish volts for all three wires. Logic tells me that the stator is good because if it were shorted it would not create 13 or 14 volts at anytime as it has no moving parts. My thought is either its good or its not, but I am wrong several times a day so enlighten me. If you agree the stator is good, do you suspect the rectifier/regulator? What about the black sensor wire on the regulator. I've read that that wire monitors the electrical charging needs of the bike and tells the rectifier what to do. One other thing, the rectifier gets EXTREMELY hot very quickly. I expect it to get hot but this will burn you if you touch it for more than an instant. Is that normal? It gets so hot I would expect the faux gas tank plastic to melt. Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated!
 

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It gets hot normally, almost burning hot and would cook meat if left in contact, that's normal. There is a mod involvolving that black wire I recall, but in the least, check for voltage there.

Really though, I suspect voltage regulator / rectifier is the problem.

Make sure it is grounded too.

How are your soldering skills? Simple to cut the yellow ires and perform tests with it running, etc, then re-solder & seal, use electric soldering gun, no flame.
 

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I also suspect the regulator. May be shunting way too much to ground and dragging down the voltage you are seeing at the stator wires. I recommend using a modern mosfet regulator. Home
 

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I have had a stator break down with vibration, usually where the fine winding connects to the yellow wire but can be internal.
As the reg is a shunt to ground it should not be able to drop the stator voltage like that. You could try running with reg disconnected but keep a VERY good eye on voltage as if it is the problem you could seriously cook the battery
 

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It gets hot normally, almost burning hot and would cook meat if left in contact, that's normal. There is a mod involvolving that black wire I recall, but in the least, check for voltage there.

Really though, I suspect voltage regulator / rectifier is the problem.

Make sure it is grounded too.

How are your soldering skills? Simple to cut the yellow wires and perform tests with it running, etc, then re-solder & seal, use electric soldering gun, no flame.
I think I agree 100% with Crystal. The test results you got, to me, are questionable as they were done with the stator connected. Also the test you did using the battery ground as a test point doesn't seem to tell me much as the battery neg is not the same as the floating ground in the AC part of the charging system. The black wire is the wire that the regulator senses battery voltage and it can be the source of issues as a poor connection in the ignition switch or other places can give the reg wrong signals. To go a little farther with that thought I would say that is not your problem. If the issue was the black wire I would expect the reg to get a low voltage signal via the black wire. If the regulator saw low voltage I would expect high battery voltage. Not low like you have. That is why I agree with Crystal.
A shorted or poor connection internal the battery, though rare, can give all kinds of strange symptoms. If it was up to me I would cut the yellow wires and check the stator output the right way. Before that I would use jumper cables and a known good battery and see if by eliminating the existing battery changes the symptoms. I'm assuming you don't have a known good battery that fits the bike. Otherwise use that.
If you know the battery and stator are not the issue give the wiring a good look over. After that the ref/rec is about the only thing left.
 

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I have had a stator break down with vibration, usually where the fine winding connects to the yellow wire but can be internal.
As the reg is a shunt to ground it should not be able to drop the stator voltage like that. You could try running with reg disconnected but keep a VERY good eye on voltage as if it is the problem you could seriously cook the battery
By Disconnecting the ground (green) wires at the reg/rec from ground would be just like full fielding a generator or alternator. With the greens disconnected you should have lots of juice, but as Crystal said don't run it too long. Maybe even run the battery down some before performing this test.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I forgot to tell you that the battery is new and correct for the bike and I just added acid yesterday. It reads good voltage. I had purchased a brand new Shindengen rectifier some time ago because (if memory serves) I checked the output of the stator prior to soldering the yellow wires and it tested good. The rectifier is the same number as the original equipment piece.
This morning I did three tests.
1) With the male rectifier plug disconnected from system, I checked the voltage of the black wire that goes to the ignition. The voltage was 10.+ regardless of RPM.

2) With the large rectifier plug disconnected (and the yellow wires connected to the rectifier) and the green wires connected to ground, the black control wire was not connected, the voltage at the red wire with white tracer was 19.+ volts regardless of RPM.

3) For this test, I used the same connections as test 2 but added a jumper wire to connect the black system control wire into the system. The output voltage of the red/white was 19.+ volts regardless of RPM.

I cut my solder connections on the three yellow wires and got readings of 60 - 70 volts (depending on RPM) on each of the 3 tests, A to B, B to C and C to A. I have installed the new rectifier and the bike's voltmeter shows 13+ and goes up to 14 then drops to 10 volts and stays there. So the stator looks good, the rectifier and battery are new, where do I go from here? :rolleyes:
 

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Hello friends. I'm stumped. The bike is an '86 SEi with 26K miles which I bought new. Back in '09 I asked for help with this bike and then life happened. Fast forward 11 years and I am working on it again! All of the pin couplers have been cut out and the connections have been soldered (the three yellow wires in front of the battery box as well as the corresponding connections at the rectifier/regulator). Keep in mind I cannot do any tests without the rectifier in line due to the soldered connections. Upon start up and idle, the volt meter on the bike reads 13+ for a few seconds, then it drops to 11ish. It will go back and forth between the two readings (11-13 sometimes up to 14) while at idle. The lights go dimmer when the volts drops to 11ish as you would expect. If the throttle is cracked while its at 13 volts, the volt meter instantly drops to 11 and stays there while at higher than idle RPM. Similarly if the throttle is cracked while idling at 11 volts it stays at 11 volts. With the bike idling and the meter set to AC, the neg. probe on the neg. battery terminal, positive probe touching each yellow wire one at a time, all three wires give a reading of 7 volts. As soon as the throttle is cracked the meter reads 0.1, or similar on all three wires and stays there until it idles again. When I checked the stator by reading the voltage between yellow wire A to yellow wire B, wire B to wire C, then wire C to wire A, each reading was 12 volts with the bike at idle. As soon as the RPM increased the readings dropped to 1.7ish volts for all three wires. Logic tells me that the stator is good because if it were shorted it would not create 13 or 14 volts at anytime as it has no moving parts. My thought is either its good or its not, but I am wrong several times a day so enlighten me. If you agree the stator is good, do you suspect the rectifier/regulator? What about the black sensor wire on the regulator. I've read that that wire monitors the electrical charging needs of the bike and tells the rectifier what to do. One other thing, the rectifier gets EXTREMELY hot very quickly. I expect it to get hot but this will burn you if you touch it for more than an instant. Is that normal? It gets so hot I would expect the faux gas tank plastic to melt. Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated!
One thing I see wrong with your testing is measuring the output of the stator on the DC scale. It is an alternator and does not actually produce any DC voltage and has no connection to ground. The correct way is to disconnect the three wires and measure between any two legs. You should see 50-70 volts AC. That will tell you if the stator is good. Also,l when disconnected, measure each leg to ground. Should e no continuity to ground.
After verifying the stator is good, you can then start testing the downstream parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I may have mis-spoke (or mis-written) but I did test it with VAC, got correct readings. Also none of the three yellow wires had continuity to ground. Thanks for your input.
 

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I forgot to tell you that the battery is new and correct for the bike and I just added acid yesterday. It reads good voltage. I had purchased a brand new Shindengen rectifier some time ago because (if memory serves) I checked the output of the stator prior to soldering the yellow wires and it tested good. The rectifier is the same number as the original equipment piece.
This morning I did three tests.
1) With the male rectifier plug disconnected from system, I checked the voltage of the black wire that goes to the ignition. The voltage was 10.+ regardless of RPM.

2) With the large rectifier plug disconnected (and the yellow wires connected to the rectifier) and the green wires connected to ground, the black control wire was not connected, the voltage at the red wire with white tracer was 19.+ volts regardless of RPM.

3) For this test, I used the same connections as test 2 but added a jumper wire to connect the black system control wire into the system. The output voltage of the red/white was 19.+ volts regardless of RPM.

I cut my solder connections on the three yellow wires and got readings of 60 - 70 volts (depending on RPM) on each of the 3 tests, A to B, B to C and C to A. I have installed the new rectifier and the bike's voltmeter shows 13+ and goes up to 14 then drops to 10 volts and stays there. So the stator looks good, the rectifier and battery are new, where do I go from here? :rolleyes:
If I understand your post, and I think I do.here is what I think.By having only the yellow wires connected you in essence full field the machine. It charges full blast as there is no regulator.At 19 volts it clearly has the ability to put out lots of current. If you were to plug the rest of the wires in you would put the regulator back in to the circuit and your problem would come back. Therefore I am betting that in spite of the R/R being newer it still failed. Unfortunately even new parts fail on occasion of course. Maybe you can get some warranty.
With all that being said you still have an issue with the black wire reading 10+ volts. I am going to guess that low voltage made R/R work extra hard and might be the root cause for the issue. You should read battery voltage on the black wire plus or minus one tenth volt. You have 2 choices. You can try to find the source of the voltage drop on the black wire. The other thing you can do is add a relay that is activated when you turn the key on and run the black wire through the relay to the battery positive.
Just to be sure you might try one more test. Try jumping the black wire directly to the battery positive. Everything plugged together and just add the jumper from the black to pos. Also snap a jumper cable from the battery neg to the engine block and frame. Then run and check battery voltage while running the engine with your original R/R and let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update. Upon start up with the new rectifier the volt meter on the bike's dash is between 13 and 14. With increased RPM the voltage drops to 10-11 but will bounce back and forth between 11 and 13.+. The all of the lights dim noticeably when it drops to 11 ish. It seems like there is some type of switch opening and closing. Is there any other voltage regulating device other than the rectifier? As stated before, this new unit is a Shinderger, model SH574A-12, other numbers are 2.8031. If I decide to replace this unit, what brand, model do you suggest?
 

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The rectifier DOES NOT regulate voltage, that is done by a totaly seperate electronic unit that may, or may not be in the same casing as the rectifier. Sorry but numbers mean nothing to me what colour wires go into the rectifier
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Redwing52...I will double check the black wire reading tomorrow and then try your last test suggestion. I will advise. Thanks again.
 

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This reminds me of a situation from years ago. Someone was having this kind of problem and found another component connected in series with the regulator, It's a radio noise suppressor. At a later time I was working on a 1200, found the same thing. Removed and all was well. I had a picture of it but photobucket has it now and I'm not paying them for it. Is there another connector the same as the R/R connector with the same color wires nearby?
 

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The rectifier DOES NOT regulate voltage, that is done by a totaly seperate electronic unit that may, or may not be in the same casing as the rectifier. Sorry but numbers mean nothing to me what colour wires go into the rectifier
On the GL-1200, ... they are two different functions and both are handled in one potted finned housing.

321189


Ignor my circle.
 

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Something else you might want to look at is the connections on top of the starter relay (as in the pic above).
 

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As Dave suggested, check the starter solenoid connector's two red & red/white wires at the front of the connector for burning. That might be the problem.

That said....

I remember a member that had charging problems with an '85 Ltd Ed. He did the test's on the stator and put an Electrix brand regulator/rectifier on the bike which lasted as long as the Electrix I tried did which was about 10 miles or so before crapping out.. After much discussion, since I was going on vacation to my house here in Fla. from Marion, Va. anyway, I told the guy I would do a daytrip to his house in Ft. Myers and test his charging system and install a new Shindengen regulator I bought for him! Well the bike tested good so I ran three new 12ga yellow wires from the stator to the regulator, cut the connectors and hardwired/soldered Everything including bypassing the 30amp dogbane with an inline fuse holder.... When I got done the bike would only charge at about 13.5vdc...

Balls.....

The Ltd Ed I've got charges at 14.0-14.2vdc so I knew something was still not right.. After much looking and head scratching I found a brake light modulator. Unhooking it from the system brought the voltage up to 14.0vdc so we declared success, removed the modulator thinking I was successful and had done a Great Thing!!!!

Wrong....

After about a week or so he started having charging problems again!!!!! I couldn't believe it!!!!!!!! As it turns out the MAIN PROBLEM was,,, The Freaking Positive and Negative Battery Cables!!!!!!! Yep!! He had a friend who was a mechanic, they started discussing the bike, checked the cables and it turned out both were burnt and super stiff! His friend made some new cables and no more problems!! A side note is I DID notice the positive cable was stiff when I was installing the 30amp inline fuse but I didn't pay it no mind.....

Moral of the Story? These bikes are OLD!!! And there's nothing wrong with that except more attention needs to be directed to the electrical connections AND the wiring it's self!!!!!!! At 90vac per leg, that bike had the highest AC Voltage I've ever seen or heard of on a GL1200!!!!! That could've been part of the problem also...

Anyway, check those battery cables also.. That might be part of the problem!!
 

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Something else you might want to look at is the connections on top of the starter relay (as in the pic above).
Very good idea!! Good catch!! :)
Coastin,
Dave's suggestion is a very good one and could very easily be your issue. The red/white wire carries power from the R/R to thee battery but not directly. The power flows from the R/R to a plug on top of the starter solenoid. This plug has a history of melting and bad connections. If all would be well the current would flow through the fuse that is integral with the solenoid and on to the big stud that holds the positive cable from the battery pos. Check out the connections in this area. I think it is quote possible/likely where the root cause is. 2020-02-05 (1).png 2020-02-05 (4)_LI.jpg
 

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A modification Honda included in a revised plug for that connection on top of solenoid. It provides a redundant path around those two connection where OEM had power going into solenoid, then back out through same plug, but different terminal. I added the coloring to help clarify it. On mine, I replaced the dogbane with a 30 amp inline fuse holder & two ring terminals. Once running, if the 30 amp failed because of a crack, the 1200 kept running, but next start up, no power.
321193
 

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Havent done much with the 1200 except build engine(s) but i know on a similar Yamaha system they went from combine to seperate and back to combined over 3 years of spares supply
 
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