How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires


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DaveDanger
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How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby DaveDanger » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:37 pm



1983 GL1100A
To begin with, I’ll describe a tiny bit of what I’m seeing… When I first crank the bike on a regular day, I let it high idle on the choke for a few minutes till it runs smoothly without the choke. If I watch my voltmeter (and checking it with an externally connected digital voltmeter, at the battery posts), I see 13 to 14 volts at anywhere above 2800 rpm which is high idle on the choke. As the engine warms up and I begin to ease the choke off, the voltage comes down until at zero choke, it’s idling between 1000 & 1200 rpm, producing something near 12 volts. As I begin to ride at normal city street speeds and watch the voltmeter, I see that the needle very rarely rises above the 12 volt mark, at Interstate speeds it will barely climb above 12 volts. Cruising around town or stop and go traffic, I see something closer to 11 volts, and after about 4 or 5 shut-downs for various errands, the battery will no longer crank the engine over. I can jump it off easily enough, or roll it off if I have a tiny bit of a slope, but my best bet is to get it back to the shop before that 5th or 6th crank and get the charger re-connected.
All of that, to preface my following remarks:

I'm not so much asking questions here with my post as much as offering some clarifying photos of the famous "three yellow wires" and corroded connectors.
I, like many others have had similar problems with voltage drop, battery discharge and the occasional slow start for a while, and I have dealt with it on a temporary basis by keeping a battery maintainer trickle charger connected any time I'm not riding. This has sufficed for my typical two to three hour Sunday afternoon rides
However, I'm planning a 12 hour round trip Thanksgiving weekend to visit a College roommate and would like to make the trip without having to push the bike:)
I have as well, read through the excellent articles here on this problem and decided that I'd finally check out my yellow wires and connectors. Lots of folks have asked where these wires and the connector is located (It's forward of the battery in this photo, circled in RED

Imagine my lack of surprise when I found the exact problem that has been variously described by others here:) Mine had overheated one pair of the wires badly enough on both sides of the Molex connector that the two halves of the connector had melted together. Took quite a bit of persuasion to separate them.

I cut the wires from the spade connectors inside the plug (one paired set at a time) and spliced them back together with a butt splice crimp connector, then soldered the wires inside the butt splice, then sealed them with heat shrink.

Once I had spliced all three pairs of wires,
I cranked and rechecked my voltage at the battery... 14.02 vdc at the posts, at 2500 rpm.
I do plan on replacing the "Dogbone" main fuse with the 30 amp blade fuse, but wanted to repair and test one item at a time and see what happens with each step of the process.
Will take it out for a road test shortly and will post back on those results.


A successful leader is someone who may be chased down the street by an angry mob but will make it look like he is leading a triumphal parade.

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:46 pm

Definitely needed that little bit of assistance to keep charging correctly.
That is a good fix - fingers crossed it will now charge a lot better for you.

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DaveDanger
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby DaveDanger » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:24 pm

I rode a few miles up the Interstate after work today and never saw it come below 13 volts the whole ride... highway speed and idle. It mostly stayed up near 14.
I'm tickled with it:)
That Speedo is about 5 mph's too fast, but you can see the 13+ volts at Interstate speed. Never been that high since I've owned it.
That Speedo is about 5 mph's too fast, but you can see the 13+ volts at Interstate speed. Never been that high since I've owned it.
A successful leader is someone who may be chased down the street by an angry mob but will make it look like he is leading a triumphal parade.

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Aussie81Interstate
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1988 GL1500

Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:34 pm

Your battery will love you :)

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Wilcoy02
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1983 GL1100I frame with an 80 engine. poor boy installed with C-5 ignition--DIED in Grande Prairie Alberta Canada 8/15


98 valkyrie sold 8/16

Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby Wilcoy02 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:42 pm

Very good pics.

Glad you found your gremlin.

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roadwanderer2
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby roadwanderer2 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:52 pm

i did the same thing to my 1100 stator wires. before i changed the wires my external volt meter showed only 10v at an idle and 12.5 at 2500 rpm. after i got rid of the plastic connector and soldered the 3 wires together, my volt meter jumped from 10v at idle to 13v, and at 2,500 rpm's the volt meter showed 14.5 and sometimes 15 volts over 3,000 rpm. definitely a good idea to remove the 3 wire connector. i would recommend anyone that has an 1100 and even a 1200 to do this. your electrical system will work better and your battery will last longer.

stuart.

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WingAdmin
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:42 am

This is a great example of why this needs to be done - preferably before you have a problem! I'm going to move this one up to the DIY How To section so others can see your procedure and results.

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littlebeaver
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby littlebeaver » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:56 am

Yellow wires and timing belts are two of the most important repairs when you first get a 1100..

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roadwanderer2
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby roadwanderer2 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:05 pm

littlebeaver wrote:Yellow wires and timing belts are two of the most important repairs when you first get a 1100..


i would also suggest doing on a 1200 also.

stuart.

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SlowTyper
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby SlowTyper » Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:21 am

I concur that the three Yellow wires should be checked on every GL1200 also, and then the wires soldered if that hasn't been done already.

I see a number of posts on this forum about the three Yellow wires, but I did not see any that indicate that the likely reason they corrode is their proximity to the battery and the gas vapors. Thus, soldering the wires is the only way to obtain a reliable connection.

The other thing I would suggest doing when checking this connection, is to check for continuity to ground. When the stator fails, most of the time the insulation fails internally and it shorts to ground. Thus, by testing this, you will learn whether or not you have more work to do than merely eliminating the connector and soldering the wires.

It is possible to perform this continuity check with the rectifier/regulator still connected, as long as the engine is not running. However, be advised that the rectifier will conduct any negative voltage to ground, and any positive voltage greater than the battery voltage (12VDC) into the battery. So, when checking continuity with the stator wired to the bike electrical system, make sure to connect the negative lead of the continuity tester to the bike chassis, and the positive lead to any of the three Yellow wires. This should give an open circuit reading, if the stator has not shorted out. (If you swap the meter leads, you should see a path to ground because the rectifier will conduct negative voltage to ground. So make sure you connect your meter correctly, or simply test it both ways - if the stator is shorted, you will have continuity to ground no matter which way you connect the meter rather than only in one direction.)

With the bike running, you also could measure current using a clamp-on ammeter. The current should be the same on each of the three yellow wires. However, since the current can vary at any time (due to RPM change, for example), don't be too quick to jump to conclusions if you measure more or less current after moving the meter to a different Yellow wire. It may be that the charging current changed at the same time you moved your meter to a different wire. So, if the current appears to be different on one of the Yellow wires, go back and double check that your previous reading hasn't also changed.

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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:03 am

SlowTyper wrote:I see a number of posts on this forum about the three Yellow wires, but I did not see any that indicate that the likely reason they corrode is their proximity to the battery and the gas vapors. Thus, soldering the wires is the only way to obtain a reliable connection.


That is correct, and I know it's been mentioned here before (somewhere).

Evidence of this can usually be seen by the fact that when the connectors are cut off and the insulation on the yellow wires is stripped back, the copper strands inside the stripped wire are black. The cause of this is off-gassing of the lead-acid battery. It emits hydrogen sulfide, which gets inside the wire, corrodes the copper and turns it black. This corroded copper wire is non-conductive and can not be soldered, so you have to either continue to strip the wire back until you get to fresh, shiny copper, or use an abrasive to manually scrape all of the corrosion off of the copper wires.

rogmerrill
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby rogmerrill » Sun May 01, 2016 9:12 am

I had this same problem on my 1983 GL1100A. I finally found Dave Campbell's kit and used that and it works fine. See: http://gl1200harness.tripod.com/harness.html.

On my Aspencade I couldn't use the blue wires supplied in the kit or my digital tach didn't work, and I replaced the supplied fuse holder with two 30 amp ATC automobile fuses. Dave's kit has you solder all connections and eliminate the original Honda connector which corrode and burn out.

My bike now consistently generates 14 volts when running.

I think the current contact for Campbell Electronics is:


To order the Harness, send check or Postal Money order for $45 USD payable to
David Campbell to PO Box 6125, Oak Ridge TN 37831.
Postage in continental US is included.
For orders shipped to other locations, consult the US Postal website for rates.
Email - gl1200harness@inbox.com

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lmaxfield
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby lmaxfield » Fri May 20, 2016 1:00 pm

I have an 83 GL1100 Aspencade that I recently inherited. My volt meter is reading around 9.8 at idle and never higher than 11.5 when riding around town. As I suspected, the oem stator wire connector is still in place and I suspect it is causing my issue. I am going to try to the fix outlined here, but I don't have a soldering gun (nor have I ever soldered anything...). Have any of you ever used a self-soldering butt connector like these? http://www.amazon.com/Connector-Sopoby- ... ingdocs-20

Lynn

rogmerrill
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby rogmerrill » Fri May 20, 2016 4:15 pm

I tried a number of fancy connectors that are supposed to work great. None did, and after talking to Dave Campbell, ended up soldering them. It's fairly easy with a pencil type electric soldering iron carried at places like the Micro Center. There are many videos on Utube showing how to solder wires together. I'd practice a bit before soldering the wires on the motorcycle. Good luck!

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SlowTyper
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Re: How to fix stator wires on GL1100 - Three Yellow Wires

Postby SlowTyper » Sat May 21, 2016 12:53 am

I have a couple suggestions for your first attempt at soldering...

1. Be sure to cut the wires back far enough to get to good copper wire. As was pointed out earlier, near the burnt connector the copper wire will appear black (or at least discolored) due to corrosion from the battery acid. Solder will not stick to corroded wire!
2. Be sure to apply enough heat to the wire to make the solder flow well through all of the strands. These wires are relatively heavy, and a low power soldering pencil will not be able to produce sufficient heat to do the job satisfactorily.
3. Your goal should not be to melt the solder onto the wire with the soldering iron. Rather, you want to heat the wire with the soldering iron so that the wire itself will melt the solder, causing the solder to wick through the wire. (Solder is not paint, where you cover only the surface.)
4. Use rosin core solder; not acid core solder (which will corrode the copper wire).
5. You would do well to "tin" each wire first. By that I mean you first work with each individual wire to get the solder to flow through the wire end completely. Then, after you have all the ends "tinned", then you actually solder the wires together to make the connections. The benefit of doing it this way is that you will likely get better solder flow when starting out with just one wire rather than starting with two wire ends.




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