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Charging System Problem
Just when I thought everything had been taken care of and it was time to ride another problem cropped up. Sad The charging system isn't charging, but had been. Here's what's happening.

While doing mouse damage repairs I would start the bike every couple of days to charge the battery. Haven't bought a battery tender yet. The on-board voltage meter would show an output of 14(+) volts for a few minutes with an increased rpm, then would drop to somewhere around 13.5 volts and the rpms would drop to around 1,000.

Turned the key on, without starting the bike, to do one last check of my lighting. Thought it was turned off while I went to lunch, it wasn't. When I returned the battery was too weak to start the bike so I put my low amperage battery charger on it. While re-installing the false tank I somehow hit the positive clip of the charger and pushed it against the frame causing a spark. Quickly corrected the situation and finished with the flase tank. About an hour later I started the bike, took a short (about 1 mile) test ride. Noticed the on-board voltage meter indicated about 11.5 volts. Never increased. Recharged the battery with the charger, started the bike again. The on-board voltage meter showed about 13.5 volts, then steadily dropped to a little over 10 volts. Turned off the bike, charged the battery. Took the charger off the bike overnight. The next morning the battery had drained back down to around 10 volts and of course the bike wouldn't start. Charged it again, started the bike and the voltage started dropping, settling at around 11.5 volts and doesn't vary regardless of the rpms. This time the starter sort of hummed, not whirled, when the ignition key was turned, but worked fine when I hit the start button.

Can't find any more bare wires or connectors that were left loose. Did notice the voltage regulator was getting hot, along with a couple of wires near it (from the heat of the voltage reg????) but have read that the voltage regulator normally gets hot, so I'm assuming that's not the problem. Don't have any meters to check anything other than voltage. Any ideas regarding the cause of this problem? :?: Oh, this is regarding a 1985 GL1200 LTD. Yes, I've checked the dogbone fuse. I have paperwork showing the PO replaced the stator about 6 months before the bike was put into "storage".
"It ain't about the miles, it's all about the smiles".
My (non-commercial) motorcycle blog - http://www.dixieriders.com/purpose
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#1 07-11-2012, 08:48 PM,
Have the same bike and had the same problem a couple of times before the last time it was actually the stator.
First see if youve left the little light in the tour pack on. Its supposed to shut off when you shut the lid but doenst always. Had that drive me nuts for a while till i checked :YMSIGH:
Next same thing happened on a trip to texas from ky. Volts dropped like you described. Turned out to be the wires at the regulator were cooked from the heat. Not melted just hard. cut those sections out and soldered in new wire and problem solved for about a year.
Check the red white stripe wires going into the solenoid plug. They can get cooked as well and you wont get a charge. If they are cut out the plug spade the two small wires and reconnect them. Put the two red white wires together with a ring connector soldered and shrink wrapped with a inline 30 amp fuse and connect direct to the hot post of the battery. Probably should do that anyway.

Not to be the bearer of bad news but when my stator went it acted a lot like your describing except it didnt run the battery down sitting. The voltmeter reading dropped off to between 11.5 and 13 volts and rpm didnt seem to matter. I rode it like that for a while though not far from home till the stator died completely and poorboyed it. Replacement stators arent a guarantee that it wont go out in short order again.
The regulator does run hot, very hot. That part is normal. If it was cool Id suspect it was bad.

Oh one last thing. When riding the bike and the voltmeter seems to just hang in one spot try flicking the emergency flasher switch on and off one time. Bet you see the voltmeter drop then come up about .5 to 1 volt higher than it was before you hit the switch. Mine does it everytime even with the poorboy :lol:
Ghost.President: G.M.M.C.C.
Member:Patriot Guard Riders
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#2 07-12-2012, 12:21 AM,
Don’t forget to check the condition of your battery.
The older they get, the weaker they get.
Your battery may just be getting old.
Also, if your battery is wet, check the level of the fluid and fill to the proper level.

I know times are tough and $ is tight, but analog (and some digital) multi-meters can be found dirt cheap.
Even a cheap multi-meter could test your stator and you could eliminate that from the list of suspects.

A dirt cheap multi-meter, and/or a new battery is far simpler to deal with than a defective stator.

-just saying
~O)
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
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#3 07-12-2012, 08:09 AM,
Thanks ghostrider. I'll check most of these items this afternoon, but have some questions regarding the following:

ghostrider52005 Wrote:Check the red white stripe wires going into the solenoid plug. They can get cooked as well and you wont get a charge. If they are cut out the plug spade the two small wires and reconnect them. Put the two red white wires together with a ring connector soldered and shrink wrapped with a inline 30 amp fuse and connect direct to the hot post of the battery. Probably should do that anyway.

I assume you're referring to the solenoid below the positive cable next to the battery, right? Also, what's a "ring connector", a type of crimp connector that should be soldered?

Finally, I hate to sound dense, but I learn better from seeing and doing than from reading, so I'll restate what you said (as I understand it), and see if I'm correct. As I understand this - I should cut out the red-white striped wires going to the solenoid, replace them and add a spade so they can be re-attached to the solenoid, then put the two solid red wires coming from the solenoid together, connect an inline fuse at the far end (near what?), solder and shrink wrap, then connect this assembly directly to the battery. - - Don't suppose you have any pics or drawings of this process, do you?

--------
bs175dths - - The battery is only about a month old and the fluid level is correct. The automatic charger (and the bikes on-board voltage meter) shows it has a full charge (13 point something volts) until connected to the bike, then it drains rapidly when running, slowly if not running. It has to either be a short, or some component that's malfunctioned and draining. Oh.... did check the trunk light switch. It's operating correctly when manipulated, but turned it to "off" to be on the safe side. I'm going now to get a digital multi-meter. Can see this is one item I really need if I'm going to continue doing my own electrical repairs.
"It ain't about the miles, it's all about the smiles".
My (non-commercial) motorcycle blog - http://www.dixieriders.com/purpose
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#4 07-12-2012, 08:22 AM,
Just wondering... I know there's feedback from the tail lights to a dash light that tells you if they're not working. While the bike is down, again, I've pulled everything under the trunk (not the trunk) so I can remove the trailer hitch because the connecting rods are badly rusted. I know the problem is not related to the trailer wiring because that was all removed when I first got the bike due to a mangled connector I planned to replace "sometime". Everything worked fine immediately after that. Is there any type of feedback from the lower tail lights/side marker light area (other than to the dash light mentioned above) that could be contributing to this problem?
"It ain't about the miles, it's all about the smiles".
My (non-commercial) motorcycle blog - http://www.dixieriders.com/purpose
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#5 07-12-2012, 11:52 AM,
This is a Solenoid Modification for the GL1200 as written by our very own Tricky : <!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="http://gl1200goldwings.com/techcenter/article1004.htm">techcenter/article1004.htm</a><!-- l -->

This is the hard-wiring of the three stator wires, also Tricky: <!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="http://gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2630">viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2630</a><!-- l -->

This is what to do with the wires at the regulator, thanks to admin and neoracer: <!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="http://gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=8956">viewtopic.php?f=52&t=8956</a><!-- l -->

To me it sounds like you have a drain on the battery (short or device drain) when the bike is sitting. Any electrical mishap is difficult to locate.

Hope these help with the short comings of your GL.

BTW – the side markers do not feed back to the dash, only the brake light.

~O)
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
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#6 07-12-2012, 02:04 PM,
The links Bs provided are what i was trying to describe just didnt know the links :oops: If you look at those youll see what I was talking about.
Agree you have some sort of drain on the battery going on. Did you check the light inside the tourpack ??? I left mine on and the tab that was supposed to turn it off was bent as they will do sometimes. Result was dead battery overnight and once running my volts wouldnt run up where they normally did because the stupid light back there was burning inside the tourpack all the time.

Dont get discouraged, this charge thing especially on the LTD seems more complicated than it really is to fix.
Simply put the three yellow stator wires go from stator to regulator under the false tank with no connections to anything else. They just carry juice from stator to regulator.
The red/white stripe go from regulator back and terminate at the solenoid in a plug with a large cable going up to the hot post on the batteryto charge the battery,
The two green wires coming out of the regulator are grounds for the regulator to shunt of excess voltage to ground.
Once youve figured out which wires are doing what if your stator is good it isnt that hard to get it charging again.

With that being said after owning two wings, working on a host of others for friends and out of my son in laws shop from time to time its a whole bunch easier to just poorboy the thing and forget it. You can spend hours soldering cutting plugs out, replacing wires doing mods to this and that and in the end 90 percent of the time youll wind up doing the conversion to the external once your tired of pulling the engine to replace stators, re fixing scorched wires at the regulator etc etc etc and then waiting for another wire to scorch regulator to fry or stator to blow :-W :YMPRAY:

I dont sell the kits, I dont know Don, got no dog in the fight except that simply doing the conversion solves a host of problems on these bikes.
Ghost.President: G.M.M.C.C.
Member:Patriot Guard Riders
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#7 07-12-2012, 08:21 PM,
I was just re reading your first post for the umpteenth time and noticed something i hadnt before that you said.

You state that at one point you turned on the ignition and the starter hummed???? Then you hit the starter button and it worked fine. The starter shouldnt be making any sound or doing anything when you turn on the key until you hit the button. Are you sure it isnt the fuel pump your hearing?

If it really is a humm from the starter when the key is turned on then that could well be your battery drain right there. It shouldnt do diddly until the starter button is actually pushed. :-\
Ghost.President: G.M.M.C.C.
Member:Patriot Guard Riders
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#8 07-12-2012, 08:32 PM,
really sounds like your battery may be on the way out,you said it was weak to start and one more deep discharge probably effectively killed it,it'll recharge back up but really is probably only 50% at best,
sounds like you need the upgrade not only the stator connector but also hardwire the regulator connector and solenoid out of the circuit,i had trouble at the reg conn when i first bought my sei,but after the mods i run driving/foglights fulltime

also check that the light in the travel trunk is turning off when the lid is closed(common problem) as ghost related

sounds daunting but make all the wiring mods,replace the battery with a high quality agm and you'll be troublefree for years,and when the stator does die just make the "poorboy" mod and be good forever

got 30K plus on my aspy poorboy upgrade w/o any probs,20K+ on my SEI after wiring upgrade w/o a problem
1987 Aspencade 129K
1986 SEI 93K
2014 Tri-Glide HD 17K

Hancock,MD
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#9 07-13-2012, 05:33 AM,
Wow! I'm really impressed by all the assistance. Smile :YMAPPLAUSE: After reading about all the problems with the dogbone fuses I re-checked mine (had checked all fuses at the start of this problem) and noticed the second time around it was bent. When I touched it the thing fell apart, but..... it's not the one in question. It's another one further up-line. Since to me a picture is worth a thousand words, please see the attached pic(s). Can this be wired around the same as the solenoid plug??? Anybody know what purpose this fuse has? Also, there's a little (approx. 2.5" x 4") plastic box tucked away behind all of this assembly with what looks like 5 wires going in/out of the back of it. So... what's this? Again, please see the attached pic.

ghostrider52005 Wrote:I was just re reading your first post for the umpteenth time and noticed something i hadnt before that you said.

You state that at one point you turned on the ignition and the starter hummed???? Then you hit the starter button and it worked fine. The starter shouldnt be making any sound or doing anything when you turn on the key until you hit the button. Are you sure it isnt the fuel pump your hearing?

If it really is a humm from the starter when the key is turned on then that could well be your battery drain right there. It shouldnt do diddly until the starter button is actually pushed. :-\

Ummm, I mispoke on this one. The hum seems to be coming from the right side of the bike (not the left) near the footpeg, behind a chrome shield. I hadn't noticed this hum before. There's always been the brief "pressurization" sound, but no hum. Once more, please see the attached pic.

I know I've asked a lot here so please bear with me. It's the only way I have to learn these things. None of my previous bikes had all of these "contraptions". :oops: While I'm at it I want to take care of all the soldering so (hopefully) it will be a while before I have to do any of this agan, so.... the PO made the wire block mod(s) pictured below. Said it was done while replacing the Stator. In any case, I want to hard wire both of these. I know the one by the battery can (should) be done, but how about the one next to the voltage regulator???? BTW, I repaired the worn/broken wires in the pic with crimps. Going to go back and solder them.


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.jpg   101_3509-Cropped_Reduced-Dogbone Fuses.jpg (Size: 230.99 KB / Downloads: 501)
.jpg   104_3370-Cropped_Reduced_Hum.jpg (Size: 221.16 KB / Downloads: 504)
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"It ain't about the miles, it's all about the smiles".
My (non-commercial) motorcycle blog - http://www.dixieriders.com/purpose
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#10 07-13-2012, 07:56 AM,
Hello fellow LTD owner. :d :d
I did some of the same mods on my LTD that you are talking about on yours and if I can help I will be happy to.
1- I hardwired all of the wires for the stator. ( I found what was killing my stators, I have a trailer wiring harness which was not fused properly
and was laying across the ridge of the fuel tank and wore through the shielding and was grounding out full-time)
2- the hum you're hearing is definitely the fuel pump, the LTD has a larger fuel pump due to it being fuel injection, I hear that on mine too
but it has never given me any trouble.
3- I replaced both of my dogbone fuses with in-line fuse holders which is very easy to do, just bought 2 fuse holders from my local hardware
store with a 30 amp fuse and added eye connectors and changed them out in place of the dogbone fuses. (I can take some pictures for you
if you need, it is a very simple job)
4- the last item with the 5 wires I don't know yet either but if I find out I'll let you know too..


please feel free to contact me anytime.. :d :d
Johan
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#11 07-13-2012, 08:59 AM,
Hey firstwing. Thanks for the offer. Are you sure you want to deal with my myriad of questions??? lol Just got back from town with 2 bags of goodies to work on this. Sorta feel like it's Christmas with the new sordering iron (had a stick-type but it's not strong enough) and all the other miscellaneous items, but I'm the Santa. :d Wish me luck! :YMPRAY: I'll post the results (with pics) when I'm finished. Perhaps someone else with the same problems can learn from this experince too. It's certainly an eye opener, and learning experience, for me. Now - - - it's time to crank up the classic tunes and get back to work on a bike that's newer than the music I listen too!!!!
"It ain't about the miles, it's all about the smiles".
My (non-commercial) motorcycle blog - http://www.dixieriders.com/purpose
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#12 07-13-2012, 11:04 AM,
Classic music and working on a classic bike sounds good to me.
good luck with your project.
that's what we are here for to help each other out whenever we can and if I can help someone else with what I have learned,
that's good enough for me.. :YMAPPLAUSE: :YMAPPLAUSE:
Johan
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#13 07-13-2012, 11:11 AM,
pics #1- looks like a repair of the stator connector with another failure prone connector, remove and totally hardwire this out of the system
pics# 2- looks like PO cut one of the ground wires in half,this connector needs to be totally cut out of the system and hardwired,including adding an additional piece of ground and adding it into the circuit,just rememeber whatever current flows thru a positive wire require exact size or better ground wire since both handle same amount of current in a circuit
pics #3-fuel pump which primes system when key is turned on,short hum is what you will hear
pics #4- solenoid and dogbone which needs to be removed and replaced bu 30 ato fuseholder mod,along with the dogbone which in the picture says dogbone broken,cant be since if it was this supply power to the cfi unit and injection system wouldn't work
pics# 5-should be the taillight sensor module
1987 Aspencade 129K
1986 SEI 93K
2014 Tri-Glide HD 17K

Hancock,MD
Reply
#14 07-13-2012, 11:24 AM,
neoracer Wrote:... pics #4- solenoid and dogbone which needs to be removed ... along with the dogbone which in the picture says dogbone broken,cant be since if it was this supply power to the cfi unit and injection system wouldn't work...

Guess I should have put pic #4 with the previous post where I said, "After reading about all the problems with the dogbone fuses I re-checked mine (had checked all fuses at the start of this problem) and noticed the second time around it was bent. When I touched it the thing fell apart..." Sorry about that.

Thanks for the feedback on the pics. Smile I'm in the process of changing out all of these connectors with the weatherproof spade type. Rather do it now instead of on the side of the road somewhere. Besides, gotta get my baby running again! Re: point 3 - What I used to hear was a short hum. Now it's a long hum that lasts as long as I dare wait to hit the start button. Once the bike starts (well, started) the hum stops. Don't understand why it now just keeps on humming until the bike is started.

After reading all the forum posts about old connectors not performing properly I'm almost in the mood, while the bike's apart, to either change out all of the connectors with new individual plug-in connectors (bundled together as if in a single plug) or hard wire them all. :-L Guess that's not such a good idea, but would sure solve headaches down the road.


Attached Files
.jpg   101_3520-Cropped_Reduced.jpg (Size: 287.01 KB / Downloads: 465)
.jpg   101_3524-Cropped_Reduced.jpg (Size: 239.8 KB / Downloads: 464)
"It ain't about the miles, it's all about the smiles".
My (non-commercial) motorcycle blog - http://www.dixieriders.com/purpose
Reply
#15 07-13-2012, 08:32 PM,


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