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BigDogDaddeeoh
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 85 GL1200 Interstate - no fancy accessories - even took out the radio. Two years ago and about 12K miles ago, I replaced the stator as part of a winter rebuild since the bike had been garaged for the previous 8 years due to bad stator. I replaced the harness with one recommended here on the forum and thought I'd be good for a long long time. BUT! I stopped during a recent ride and upon attempting a restart, there was insufficient charge to turn the starter. Fortunately there was a hill sufficient for a push start. So of course I ordered a battery - thinking maybe two years was all I could expect to get out of those little batteries. While waiting for the new battery, I gave the old one a good charge and even though its starting umph seemed to wane after a couple days, it's performance made me second guess my $150 purchase of a gel battery. This morning I installed the gel battery and it tested at 13Volts. Then I rode the bike about 90 miles and tested it again - now it's 12Volts and the restart seems to be weak. Is there any other explanation for that other than stator? How can I test the stator? I can recharge the battery between short rides, but I was hoping for a long tour this summer. Any insight?
 

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Premium Member
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560 Posts
I did the Poorboy conversion on my GL1200 Interstate, but here is how to test your stator.

Here's a quote from the GL1200goldwings.com site:

This is the continuity/resistance test:

Put the meter on the lowest setting and touch the leads together, that is the reading you want to see if your testing for continuity...... from any one of the yellow leads to any one of the other two if you have continuity this means the coils in the stator are not open, this is good.


This is the test to see if stator is shorted to ground:

Now test from each of the yellow wires to ground, ideally you dont want to see the meter move at all, this means that the coils in the stator are not shorted to ground.
If any of the tests prove negative your stator needs changing.

This is the AC voltage test:

If they test OK then change the meter to AC volts,
Put the probes on each of the yellow wires, to make it easy label them A,B and C. connect the meter to each pair of wires. A+B, B+C and C+A. run the engine to 3000RPM you want to see 50Volts AC. If it is less then your looking for a new stator or an external alternator.
If all check out good then look to the regulator.
 

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BigDogDaddeeoh
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I ran the tests and I have no voltage generated between any legs. Only conclusion is that the stator is dead. I'm starting the Poor boy research now. Big question is how long it will take - have lots of outdoor summer projects and am thinking about just parking the bike til winter.
 

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Premium Member
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722 Posts
I don't mean to step on your toes but I don't know your skill level with these bikes and with test equipment. I may go in to more detail than you feel is needed and for that I apologize. Certainly no offense is intended or implied.

It is highly unlikely that all three windings of the stator have failed unless there was some catastrophic failure in the stator or rotor. That would mean more than replacing the stator. Most often one of the three windings fails for some reason in which case you would have noticed a decline in battery performance.

The test must be conducted with the engine running at about 3000RPM. The voltage to be read is AC or alternating current. It is NOT DC or direct current as one test procedure implies. The readings are to be taken from the leads coming out of the stator. These are the three yellow wires which cause a lot of grief when their connector burns up.

The readings will be inaccurate if you leave the yellow wire connector connected.

Use test leads with alligator clips so you don't need three or four hands and to avoid a nasty shock. Set your multimeter to AC. Connect the test leads and start the engine. Note the voltage on one pair of the yellow wires coming from the stator. Select another pair and do the same. You should get reading of from 50 to 65 volts across each pair. There are three wires so there are three pairs and tree voltage readings.

The second test is for shorts to ground from any of the three leads. Set your multimeter for ohms sometimes indicated by Ω on the meter. Take a resistance reading from one yellow wire to the chassis of the bike. Repeat for each of the three wires. The reading should be zero or very close. A reading of infinity or open is good. A reading of less than one ohm, Ω is bad, very bad.

These tests are not totally conclusive but if the stator passes these tests it is time to move on to other possibilities such as the regulator or a bad battery. One thing that seems to be overlooked is that any circuit is circular. For it to work properly there must be a return path for the current, as in grounds. These must be checked and cleaned.
 

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Cyclebusters.com
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908 Posts
poor mans test... bare the 3 wires, and hook a 110v desk lamp to them a-b, b-c, c-a. the 110 volt light bulb should come on bright about 3500 rpm
 

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Junior Grue
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8,153 Posts
I've only seen the AC voltage test recommended by Honda one time, which was for the extended warranty on the early GL1200 stator and it was only a verification after the stator passed the continuity tests.

It was never recommened as a primary test and in fact a stator that passes the AC voltage test can fail to produce current which is what you need.
 

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Cyclebusters.com
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908 Posts
the light bulb is an absolute test. seriously, its a big load. try it.
 

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Premium Member
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2,790 Posts
i'd just do the poorboy conversion,and probably never have a problem again,takes about 8 hrs and simple tools,that most have around the garage
 

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Premium Member
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74 Posts
I highly recommend the Poor Boy, and all electrical issues will go away. I have about 12K on my 84 conversion and have not had one electrical issue since, best $300.00 spent on the bike. It's really nice to fire it up and ride and not worry if it's going to start, 30 years old and going strong.

Goodoni
 

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BigDogDaddeeoh
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lyle,
I did disconnect the yellow wires and used a large wire nut to hold them to my Fluke meter probes. I did select the AC voltage setting on the meter and got no reading on any of the loops. I hear what you're saying about the improbability of all three being out of commission. It makes me want to test again with a different meter. I'll let you know what I find.
M
 

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Village Whack Job...
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7,908 Posts
If you have no voltage at all on any pair of wires,your rotor is not turning.

Also, if you replaced the stator with an aftermarket stator it's output may be greater than that of the OEM stator. Which will in time burn out the voltage regulator. Ask me how I know.
 

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Junior Grue
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8,153 Posts
Also, if you replaced the stator with an aftermarket stator it's output may be greater than that of the OEM stator. Which will in time burn out the voltage regulator. Ask me how I know.
The so called higher out put stators are the same out put as the stock GL1200 stator.
They're only higher out put when installed on GL1000's and GL1100"s.

mobiewan: Did the stator pass the continuity tests?
 

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BigDogDaddeeoh
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I ordered the kit from Don and have the bracket and Alt'r mounted.
Next the crank pulley as soon as I borrow an impact wrench
I have 8 ga. and 14 ga wires from Alt'r installed - properly fused
Question:
I have an EC harness installed from the last stator replacement I did. Can you tell me how much of that stays and how much should be removed? There is a wire that goes to the coil I believe near the front of the forks. Seems that would be necessary to stay.
Thanks for any direction you can give.
I may make Laconia Bike week this weekend afterall.
 

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Premium Member
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85 Posts
hello. first off the kitt is the way to go, :claps:second you only have to disconnect the three wire connector. I made my own kitt three yrs ago and other than an adjustment of v-belt i've never had a problem. just make sure to space radiator out enough to change belt if needed ( on the side of road), but hopefully that never happens. it's a lot of work tweeking for fit but it is really worth it. :)
 

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Registered
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158 Posts
Mobiewan, on your meter, if it is a Fluke, they are top quality. Test the meter in ohm mode by touching the leads together...should read 0.00 to 0.1 ohms or something small. If it doesn't, your batter in the meter is shot. You can use a 9-volt battery, they just don't last so long. If your resistance is okay, simply put it on VAC mode, the V with the squiggle over it, and test your house 110 receptacle. That will read 115 to 120 VAC. Just don't touch the metal part of the probes! If you get that reading, your meter is good and the stator test are also.

I like Cycle...'s Light bulb idea. That would work perfect.

I also don't think it likely all 3 phases of the alternator have failed, you'll normally get some voltage out of each leg, and most typically, two legs will test normal and the third has reduced VAC output. If you have eliminated the connector alongside the battery, you can test the three yellow wires at the Rectifier/Regulator connector. Just disconnect the plug and the three yellow wires are on the bottom half of the connector going straight to the stator.

Good luck.
 

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BigDogDaddeeoh
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm beginning to believe that I may have had a regulator problem. But I was so eager to get it back on the road, that I went for the conversion. Everyone was so enthusiastic for it. So I did it and it wasn't that hard. Just finished a 1500 mile holiday weekend test drive. Everything seemed to be normal except for two things: I have a crackling sound - sort of like a "spark knock" when starting up cold - after a couple miles it goes away and is gone when starting it warm. Doesn't seem to affect performance at all. Second (not sure if this is related but I have my suspicions) On the long test drive, I was able to "cruise" between 75-90MPH because of wide and empty highways in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I noticed that I was losing power on even gradual inclines. I would be cruising at 85 and pretty soon I noticed I'd opened the throttle the whole way and still was down to about 75 mph. I also noticed the gas mileage dropped by about 10MPG. Around my home, I'd probably never notice it in my commuting or cruising - but on this trip at those RPM's, I'm thinking I might have an ignition issue. A buddy with experience on an older wing told me to regap the points - but I didn't find instructions for that in the book. Someone else told me to install an electronic ignition kit from Dyna. Even though I don't often take such long trips or cruise at that speed, I'd like to address it if there's a problem - otherwise, I'm just going to covet my neighbors' 1800 or wish I had the money to buy a co-workers GL1500. Seems like 6 cylinders would be better than 4. Any ideas?
 

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Junior Grue
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8,153 Posts
Your 1985 GL1200 doesn't have points so forget that.
If the engine seems to run well but fuel mileage has dropped I'd be checking for brake drag.
 

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Premium Member
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1,902 Posts
I know this sounds stupid but, are your sure the battery connects are clean and tight. I have had times when I ride it, then stop, and it won't start again. I unscrew, clean and tighten back up the connection and it runs.

Also, when I am not riding, my Gold Wing is on a battery tender 100% of the time. One or two weeks with no charge may mean it will not start.
 

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Registered
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158 Posts
Mobiewan, did you resolve this problem?

On your original problem: If your stator was/is at all good, you can use it as a back up. Assuming the R/R is also good. Both the stator and the R/R are easy to test. With my PoorBoy conversion I simply left the old stuff in place - it would get me home if needed.

On the crackling at startup: I'd look to the ignition module, especially if the engine runs strong when cold/cool and then loses power when fully up to temp. There are no points to set as was pointed out. Nothing wrong with a Dyna if they make one for the GW, but I'd prefer to fix the factory setup as they are pretty reliable. Beg or borrow one, or buy one on ebay, and see if that doesn't cure the loss of power. The other thing comes to mind is fuel flow at temp and road speeds - if the pump is failing or if the filter is dirty, your power issue would be similar.

Let us know the end of the story!
 
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