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Hi guys and thanks in advance for any and all advise. My 86 SEi has 25K and I bought it new. The volts suddenly went off the dial and from what I read, it sounded like the rectifier went bad. I bought an aftermarket job from a supplier in Canada and at the same time decided to eliminate that troublesome three wire connector just in front of the battery.My solder joints seem solid, but I'm no electrician. Everything seemed fine for around 100 miles, then the volts went the other direction (steadily dropped)until the battery was sucked dry.When I attempted to seperate the two yellow wire connector near the rectifier (to check for continuaty), I discovered one side of the connector had began to melt to the wire from what I assumed was a bad connection. I cut the plastic away and removed the plastic housing from bothset of wires. I checked for a short in the stator and found none, as all three wires had continuity with one another, but none had continuity to ground. I then re-inserted the male ends of the connectors into theappropriate female connector (I marked the wires before removing them) and pinched the female connectors tight against the male connectors to ensure a good connection. I started the bike with the help of a car battery jump and the voltage read 11.8. It remained at 11.8 or 11.9 with or without the car battery jumped to the bike's battery. Afterless than fiveminutes, I grabbed the wire connection which I had reinserted into the plastic housing and wrapped in electrical tape. YEOWWW!!! HOT HOT HOT! With my low batt, the thing shold be puttn out 13+ but it did no beter than 11.8. Any ideas on what's going on here? Should I run new wires from the solder joints up to the rectifier? Do you think my solder joints are bad causing too much resistence? Like I said, I'm no electrician! Thanks again, Gary.
 

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Take that connector out of there and make nice clean splices and heat shrink the splices. I use 2 pcs. of heat shrink on my splices for extra protection. I had a similar problem but the PO of my bike used brass barrel connectors with set screws and it was getting very Hot that it melted away the heat shrink that was covering the connectors. I fixed the problem and no more Hot wires.
 

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Your solder joints may not be good or they are Cold causing much resistance. Check the plug at reg./rec. too and splice those if need be.You need a good solder gun with electrical type solder and patience.
 

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At 11.8 -11.9 VDC the system is trying to charge the battery, but with the connector as hot as you describe the current is trying to move through the connector with a lot of the electrons rubbing each other and the connector. Sounds like too many amps shoved in too small a space. The connector sounds like a poor connection. If the battery was up to 13.xx volts and higher the electrons would be routed through to ground, because the battery is indicating full.

Either by-pass the connector with a good proper solder job that isn't cold soldered. Remove the battery, remove the connector, strip down to clean copper wires. Take all wires to be joined and tin or solder a thin layer of solder on them. Install a shrink tube on A,B,C wires so you can insulate the joint after you western union splice the wires. If wires are shot cut back to clean copper and add a good working length of #12 stranded wire. OK to have more than one joint on the wire harness, just solder them at differing points along the way so you don't end up with a large bulbous mass of joined connections, stagger the joints so when all is done you have a fairly neat 3 wires joined. Make sure the wires are hot enough to melt the solder, silver solder or brazing.

Charge the battery off the bike, verify the full charge. Install the battery.

Now go through the entire bike's electrical system looking for poor connections, stiff wires, burn marks. This is an all day job.
 

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Hi Gary sorry to hear about the problem, I had a similar problem with my SEI also. Got an aftermarket replacement and it went crazy, same things as happened to you and my wires were solderedcorrectly.

There is a difference in the standard and LTD/SEI rectifiers, the stators on the standardsaren't as strongas the stators on the fuel injected bikes, therefore the standard rectifiers won't hold up if they are used. I know they have different plugs to keep them from being mixed up but I wonder if some of the aftermarket companies are using the rectifiers for the standard 1200s while changing the plugs and selling them for the LTD/SEI bikes. I went thru 3 (1 under warranty and 1 from another company) before I got fed up and changed mine over to use the Denso auto alternator.

You may want to check with Honda to see if the rectifier is still available for your bike, it may cost more but would be worth it if you plan on keeping it stock.

Good luck.
 

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1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
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Like TNroadrider, I tried an aftermarket regulator and had no luck with it as it only lasted about 25 miles. OEM is the only way to go on the SEi or the Ltd Ed as they have a 500 watt stator vs 350 watts for the Interstate and the Aspy.

Solder joints: A good solder joint will appear to be smooth and shiny while a "cold" solder joint will look to be grainy and dull. To repair a cold solder joint, touch the soldering iron to the wires and then add a bit of solder to the point where the iron and wires touch to form a "bridge" so the heat from the iron can transfer efficiently to the wire. Once the solder starts to flow move the iron and add solder as needed to repair the joint.

Soldering takes a little practice but you'll get it!!

Also, use heat shrink tubing for insulation instead of elestrical tape.

2 more things and I'll go back in my little corner!

1- Check the stator output. It's AC voltage and if you don't know how, ask and I'll post the proceedure.

2- Another site you might want to check out is http://www.gl1200goldwings.com . A great site like this one but specific to the GL1200.

Good Luck with her!!


Edit: I almost forgot. If everything checks out, and you put a new regulator in her, solder ALL the wires at the regulator. I did and have had no headaches since!!
 

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WOW GUYS, I'M IMPRESSED AND VERY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR FAST AND THROUGH RESPONSES! Can I use solderless crimped copper connectors instead of solder or will these also cause too much resistence? I'll buy a Honda rectifier if needed, but I'd hate to purchase a non-returnable item and have the same problem. I did contact poorboy about a conversion but it sounds like the conversion is more involved on an SEi. Also the price seems high for what you get. At least it sounds like the stator is good eliminating the need for a conversion or majir tear down at this point. I'll keep you posted when I have time to do more trouble shooting. Thanks again and happy motoring, Gary.
 

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1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
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For info on the Poor Boy conversion concerning an SEi, read this thread:

http://www.gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=413

Crimp connectors?? Good for a 10 minute test to see if the system is charging, but not good for regular use as they WILL burn!! The best connection there is a soldered connection on account of the wattage they are handling.

I understand about being reluctant about dumping money in a regulator and not being sure about that being the problem as the stock regulator is about $230.00!! Been there, Done that with mine!!! As I said in my earlier post, Check the voltage output from the stator. @ 2500-3000rpm's it should put out 50-70vac per leg, plus or minus about 5vac. Mine checked out at 70vac per leg when I did the test.

You've already checked for shorts and grounds, the last thing to check is the voltage output. If that's good, your problem is most likely the regulator. If you need info about how to test the output, just ask or PM me and I'll be happy to tell you how!!

Good luck!!
 

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If you cut the plastic jacket off the crimps, insert the wires and crimp them, solder the splice after crimping, then cover with shrink, that should work.
We buy the bare type of butt splice crimps and do this for mobile equipment wiring harness's and they don't give us any trouble for years after.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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I took a quick look at the bike yesterday and remembered that I used a larger gauge wire that Honda used to eliminate the three plug connector. I'm wondering if these three inch long heavier wires would have an impact.
 

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Hello again guys. Well my ’86 SEi is still out of commission. Here’s what I’ve done since my last post. I checked and re-soldered the connections on the three yellow wires from the stator after I put a meter on the stator and determined that the output between all 3 wires was within specs. I then purchased the correct rectifier and installed it. At initial start up, the voltage level is 13.1 or there abouts while at idle. When the bike is revved and held at about 2000 rpm, the dash lights dim within a second or two, like some switch has been thrown and the voltage drops into the 11’s. The rectifier gets extremely hot to the touch, to the point of not being able to touch it, regardless of the rpm. I never tried to touch my original rectifier before it went bad, but I can’t believe this temp is normal. What would cause the rectifier to get so hot? What system on the bike would kick in after a second or two of higher rpm? Is some other malfunction related to that system causing a short or other malfunction? I’m getting close to going back to a panhead. Thanks for all of your input!
 

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I have been reading through this thread and I may have missed something. Did you ever eleminate the small plug on the rectifier? I had the same problem with my '86 SEi and replaced the rectifier twice before I realized the smaller of the twoplugs was melting and causing a poor connection. I cut the small plug out and soldered the wires together a year ago and haven't had any problem since. I always get 14.4 volts while running, dropping to 12.5 - 13.0 volts while idling.
 

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Hi Gary, this is Dave aka Lieutenant. I presently am going thru the same problems. Cut out plugs and connected ends, new regulator and stator checked. Next week it will be going into a different shop specializing in electrical. I will post the solution asap. Many other members are watching this issue. Good luck Gary, keep everyone posted.
 

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Thanks again to all for taking the time to try to help. I did solder the two wires at the first replacement rectifier with no effect. I did not solder the wires on the second as I didin't want to cut the wires until I was sure it was the correct one. My thought now is that maybe there is a short or some other issue causing the rectifier to cook. Maybe this fried the first one and I don't want to fry the second. I have considered installing an auto alt, but if there's a problem elsewhere, all will be for naught. Another wingless summer is quickly approaching :( I am very curious to see what the electrical specialist find on yours, Dave. When it comes to electrical things, I just enough to be dangerous!
 

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...I know just enough to be dangerous! Now I can't even type. I'm going to bed.
 

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Hey Gary, mine is in the shop now. I:ll post the solution asap.
 

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Solder all the connections and check the wiring from the regulator to the battery as well. If there is a poor connection to the battery it will cause the regulator/rectifier to get hotter than normal since the excess charge is shunted to ground and is given off as heat. The more of the available power you use elsewhere the less heat the reg/rec will put out. The best thing to do is connect the red/white wire from the reg directly to the battery + with an inline 30 amp fuse.
Also check the ground cable from the battery to the frame.
 
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