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1983 GL1100I - I bought my bike a few years ago and it was equipped with an AGM battery. So fart it has not given me any problems.

This particular model is known to have problem with the connector comming out of the alternator. I fixed it when I bought it and completely replaced all connector a couple days ago when I noticed they started to overheat.

Before I fix the terminals, I was getting dimmed headlights and blinckers as well as low horn due to low voltage. I replaced the connector on one of the wires only, the other 2 looked OK. When I tested, I was getting 13-14 V at the battery but the other 2 wires were getting hot. I treplaced them also, now I have to crank it up above 4 rpm to get above 12.5. If the brake lights come on, I can get only 12V, if the cooling fan comes on, 11.9V tops regarless of RPM

None of the wires are overheating but I still have low voltage sysmptoms.

I have no experience with AGM battery. Coult this darn thing be keeping my voltage low?

Ideas anyone... before I spend $100 on a new battery?:sleepy:



Thanks
 

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start with a stator test, then charge the battery to full charge and verify that it is charged. If the battery is at full charge and the stator test checks out it could be the regulator rectifier. Don't jump on anything until you have done the tests.
 

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From your description, sounds like you repaired the charging system problem with the first repair and after you repaired the last two connections, something did not make a good connection.
 

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If you've got all the connections at the battery and also up at the voltage regulator straight soldered then issue could be stator or voltage regulator or even the connections on the red 12v DC wire. In other words your voltage regulator can be receiving good voltage from the stator, rectifying to the correct DC voltage and putting it out but a faulty connection could prevent it from getting the charge the battery. Also, don't discount the fact that batteries can go bad and give the "appearance" of poor charging. You should always start your testing with a charged battery. I agree with Jwhitmore-I'd start over on the stator end and test it then resolder straight to the regulator with NO connectors in between. Also have a look down at the main and secondary fuses near the solenoid.
 

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fcesar wrote:
So fart it has not given me any problems.
OK, I gotta say it. Got gas on the mind? :ROFL: any ways, I echo the previous posts. Don't throw money at it hoping that it gets fixed, but then again that's why your here asking the questions. I would start with the connections that you just fixed and make sure that they have good connections. A good testing/troubleshooting light can be very helpful in this case. A multimeter would work alright as well. Then I would probably test the battery followed by the stator.
 

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Beg, borrow or steal (though I wouldn't advocate the later) a Fluke AC/DC clamp ampmeter, seperate all the wires to get it around all the individual wires if all 3 wires on the stator side of the recifier read the same (ac) between 1000 and 4000 rpm, increasing yet the same, then the stator is good, if all the wires on the battery side of the rectifier (dc) all do the same thing the stator and the rectifier is good and you'll have to look elsewhere for your problem but you'll know that all the major stuff is OK. that's how I narrowed it down.
 

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I agree with Riding A Relic. You had it working correctly and then went on to replace the 2 wires that were getting hot. That's when your problem started, that's where you need to go to fix it.
 

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All of you gave me enough information that I can keep going. This is my project for this weekend.
Thank you all
 

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I have a few quetions
Does anyone know what voltage I should have at the stator output at idle or what the resistance should be between each coil or coil terminal/ground.
Based on the schematic and a little common sense (Alternator generates on AC), I imagine the 3 wires from the stator are interchangeable, It doesn't matter which one goes where on the rectifier. Is this a correct assumption?

Thanks
 

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I don't recall what the voltage should be on the 1100 but seems like it was around 40 to 50 vac. You should have close to no resistance between the yellow wires (maybe around 3 ohms?) and from any yellow wire to ground it should test as an open. You are correct, it doesn't mater which way around the 3 wires go as long as they are kept separate.
 

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I figured the resistance would be very low.
You gave me what I need. I'll probably bite the bullet and work on it tonight (after 14 hours at my job). I don't want to miss the current awesome weather any more then I have to.

Thanks bunch
 

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With the battery in the system the battery must be good, check it out.A good battery when charged and after a sit period should be 12.7V. You must verify full battery voltage at 12.7 when fuly charged. Another way is to measure the voltage with a terminal and dipping into the liquid your meter probe going from end to end. That is from the + terminal to the cell next to it, leave the + probe on the + terminal and do each subsequent cell by dipping into the liquid.



Be sure to rinse the probe off with lots of clear water when done.



The voltage readings are 2 volts additive, that is from the first cell 2 volts then 4...all the way up to 12. Actual voltage varies as to actual state of charge, but minimally 12.7 /6 = 2.116 V. The higher the voltage the better at rest about 2.166 per cell. If a cell is beyond the others either up or down that battery has a problem.



Do a battery voltage test with a known good, charged battery. After it is installed:

At all off battery should read 12.7 V as a minimum

While trying to start the bike--no less than 10 V

At idle 12.7 and this part is very dependant on the electrical system.

At 3000 RPM at max 15 volts



With this preliminary quick test the results will give you an insight to the depth of the charging system.



All testing must be done with a known good battery, I said this before and it is worth repeating All testing must be done with a known good battery. Why?



These older bikes use a PM (permanent Magnet alternator that is always on. They will deliver all of their amp load all the time they are spinning. The only way they change their delivery is by RPM. The slower they revolve the less current, the faster the more current. Voltage changes a little but the voltage is controlled by 2 things.





The 3 phase winding, non grouded delivers both voltage and current according to RPM, the 50-70 VAC from the winding is reduced by the rectifier group of diodes to give about 15-20 V ripple type DC that get further controlled to a regulated voltage from 10-15 V. Maximum is 15, 15.1,15.2, 15.xx but around 15 volts.



This is why I suggest taking a quick test on the attached battery to the system, if the voltage as per RPM makes sense then te charger and its systems are OK.



But if the voltage is too low something is off and that something could be: stator, DC coil, spacing of coil, too much crud sqelching the magnetic field, the drive system, or there is a short within the battery or elsewhere on the bike.



The 3 phase wiinding is a balanced system and as such must remain in balance. Current is the same on all 3 lines, if it isn't then voltage becomes unbalanced. When voltage and current are unbalanced the 3 wires instead of delivering the power evenly deliver the power over 2 wires at a greater amount and the third wire deliver nothing or very little. In time a wire burns out from too big a load.



The resistance value of each wire leg is small because of the magnetic effect and the resistance should be the same on each wire set. Because we have a 3 ph balanced system the 3 phases are A,B,and C, the resistance is measured as a set of 2 wires, that is with a meter set on low values measure the resistance of, A to B, A to C and B to C. Because resistance does not change in a wire from beginning to end nor in end to beginning only 3 reading are needed. THESE 3 READING ARE THE SAME.



Remember not to touch the probes with your finger because a good meter will read you as part of the resistance.



A more effective way to see if the 3 ph winding is good is to measure the voltage at a constant rpm and constant is the critical part of the test. The voltage from an AC winding that is 3 phase is equal on all 2 wire sets of the 3 phases. These alternators are not grounded so the readings from phase to ground is meaningless unless there is a voltage and if there is the winding has a fault.



All the AC test are done with the 3 yellow wires isolated and apart from each other.



If you get a wrong reading or out of range reading then retest, still bad the AC part is gone, but if all is good on the AC side the quick way to test the rectifier and regulator is with everything hooked up and measuring DC output at the battery with the battery in circuit.



Any reading with the alternator running should be al least 12 V because you started with a known good battery. REV it up and the voltage should go up to a max of 15 volts, any higher the regulator could be going or gone. The regulator is 3 phase and should dump all phases to ground. Even when dumping to ground the alternator is under load.



The rectifier can be a bear to diagnose by resistance alone because it contains diodes tied to each other. But voltage can help decide whether good or bad. Diodes are a device that work in degrees to their max, because they are doped entities that like more or less positive or negative areas of charge with a dead zone in the middle. If you get a DC output then likely they areOK. But in some cases the DC is riddled with elements of AC and this AC can wreck havoc with the SCR called a regulator.



The multi meters we use can be good but cheap ones leave too much to wish for. A good meter can tell the difference from DC, AC and even indicate the AC with a DC reading. We are not electrical techsand assumption is made that we are using a cheap meter.



The AC side of the spinning alternator is isolated from the DC side by the rectifier. When the DC side is loaded up the AC side and all 3 phases load up. The difference is the efficiency of the 3 phase compared to DC and also the ratio of 12 V to 50-70 V.



If the charging system proves to be good, then the rest of the bikes electrical system must be verified. Wires, cables, joints, connectors and devices can only work if the voltage is proper. Many things affect proper voltage, to the lower. Dirt, carbon, frayed wires, stiff or annealed copper along with small contact areas improper use of dielectric grease. At 12 V, a low voltage almost all grease is dielectric in conductivity. Smearing on a dielectric before making a joint makes that joint a bad conductor. There are grease compounds that aide conduction such as Noalux that is used with dissimilar metals. These materials are useful and different, their use must be learned, if in doublt google it before placing onto your wiring.



The bikes wiring and cables systems must be clean, tight and fastened with no rubbing of insulation to show bare copper to ground.



A bare short delivers an infinite amount of amps only to be interrupted by a fuse or circuit breaker or magnetic breaker. A partial grounding can reduce over all voltage by its amp load, be careful when diagnosing low voltage especially when that voltage is through the battery.



When adding circuits be mindfull of the full load to the system and use protection, no wires added without fusing and if it is already fused you may have to go up in fuse size, but keep the size of wire in mind because there is a maximum flow of current with each wire size and the system being added to.
 

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What a lesson on electrical system!!!!!!!

Understood and greatly appreciated.

This lesson will be put to use many times over. My bike is in great condition (especially for an 83) and I want to keep it that way. I will check the entire system before putting it on the road.

Thank you VERY VERY much



On a side note: Dielectric grease. Great tip. I'm one that has misused it until now.
 

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fcesar wrote:
On a side note: Dielectric grease. Great tip. I'm one that has misused it until now.
Me too until I read another of ARKnapp's electrical courses :thumbsup:
 

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fcesar, It may be a better idea to wait just before bringing the bike out of its winter sleep 'cause you just never know what animal may find that bike a good rest home for the winter and while you are at bringing the electrics back to 1983 you just might be able to find and repair some varmint damage...you never know!
 

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To all of you that helped.... PROBLEM SOLVED
When I replaced the first connector, the other 2 wires started to overheat so I replaced those connectors also, after that nothing was working right.
I had cleaned the wires, coated with lead to have a better connection when crimping it to the new connector and applied dielectric grease to the connectors male and female.
This morning I checked the voltage coming out of the stator... all good 20V ac at idle and up to 58V at 4K. This was before the connector.
At the rectifier bridge I had almost nothing.... BINGO.
Cleaned the dielectric grease with brake cleaner, acetone and a few other solvents to make sure nothing was left... no luck, same symptom.
Removed the connectors and hardwired them.... BINGO... Problem solved.
Battery voltage:
Key OFF: 12.6
Key ON: 12.1 -
Cranking: 10.5
Idle fan OFF: 13.0 - 13.5
4K rpm fan OFF: 14.6
Idle fan ON: 12.3
4K fan ON: 12.9
I couldn't ask for better.
I'm still not sure if the problem was on the solder, the connector, the crimp point, the grease or a combination of all.
Note to self (and hint for everyone) - NEVER use dielectric grease on connection points. On high power connection, forget connectors... HARDWIRE them.

Thanks EVERYONE. Especially ARKNapp for the great lesson.

It's an awesome day NW of Chicago -------- I'm OUT OF HERE... RIDING


:11black::11black::11black::11black::11black::11black::11black::11black:
 

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fcesar, Thank you very much for letting us know what the solution was.

Too many get advice here and then go away until they need more advice. If they would let us all know what the problem was we could all benefit from their experience.

Thank you again,

Lyle
 
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