Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100


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Flyboy6
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Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:43 pm



I've spent a couple of hours reading through prior threads on this topic, so hopefully my data here will be relevant and someone can help me assess a problem.

Issue : voltmeter on bike panel reads 9v at idle, 11 to 11.5v max at highway speed, new battery, tested by shop that installed it. After a few days of brief rides, not enough juice to turn it over.

Data : stator yellow wires - soldered not too long ago by PO, (when new stator put in) so can't disconnect, but probing wire to wire in pairs I get no resistance on meter (means three circuits are continuous, and this is good?) and each yellow wire to ground shows about 100 k-ohms (presumably meaning infinite, therefore no short to ground?). Using Klein meter.

At idle, my hand held meter shows 12.4 v across batt posts, moves up to 13.5 at 3500. (Panel meter always reading several volts below this)

Rec-Reg recently replaced, and again, PO ditched connector for soldered wires - hard to get at leads to check anything, so haven't disconnected (cut) black input line to test for unregulated voltage.

- the other test I have not done (not eager to cut wires and have to re-solder) is to test for vac from each yellow to other yellow with engine running.

Any advice based on the above? Any diagnostics I can be doing before I start snipping wires? Not eager to pull engine if it may not in fact be a stator problem.

Glad to hear any ideas! Meanwhile I'll keep looking at the old threads, as some of you have been down this road before.

Thanks


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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:20 pm

Don't rely on the bike voltmeter - it is an indication only.

Measure across the battery like you have done - and those figures look OK at idle and at higher rpm.

How long have the rides been? A short or series of short rides might not give the charging system enough time to charge the battery correctly. When you turn the bike off what is the resting voltage of the battery - basically take it for a run - measure volts at idle- then turn the bike off and check the voltage again in two hours. This will show the true charge of the battery - and even if it is a new battery - it may not be fully charged - or even a good one.

Run a meter across after two hours- and if it is still dropping down then you have a voltage drain somewhere on the bike. :)

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:43 pm

Thanks - mostly short rides, and it occurs to me that the new battery may not been fully set up by the shop a couple weeks ago. I'll do the checks you've suggested. Still cold here in southern Ontario, probably chewing up some voltage with starting.

Any point in checking the yellow to yellow VAC while still hooked up to regulator, to confirm stator performance?
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:53 pm

I would think that the charging voltage is showing that the stator is healthy.

If you have already checked the resistance between each pair of yellow wires 1-2, 2-3 and 3-1 and they all show continuity with minimal resistance, and NONE of the wires shows individual continuity with ground - then I wouldn't bother with the AC Voltage check - but you could if you really want to - really not necessary at this time.

Check the voltage across the battery when starting the bike - it should not drop below 10 volts. Less than 10 or below 9 could mean a defective battery or cell.

cheers
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:35 am

I'm not much of an electrician, but I believe that in order to troubleshoot the stator it needs to be separated from the R/R. It may be an inconvenience to cut and splice the wires, but you can get inaccurate readings through the R/R if it isn't isolated from the stator before you do testing.

My own method, flawed as it probably is, requires that individual components are tested for how they're supposed to perform. I would remove the battery, and put it on the work bench and give it a good soaking charge. While the battery is out, clean every electrical connection you can find (grounds to frame, battery terminal wires, everything you can see that can effect charging or starting)... after a good cleaning, put the battery back in and start the engine, check the charging voltage as you have done and see what it is with a meter.

"12 volt" DC batteries are actually 2.2 volts per cell. If you check a fully charged battery, it should be pretty darn close to 13.2 volts DC. In order to "add" charge to the battery, your charging voltage has to be above the normal no-load voltage for the battery... or at least that is my understanding of how the DC works. If you have less than 13-14 volts at 2500 RPMs or so, I'd say you have a problem. One of the more electrically inclined folks will surely correct me where I've made errors...

If your charging circuit is truly not performing, I would shut the bike off, and snip the wire between the R/R and stator... secure them so they can't contact each other or the frame, and check phase to phase and phase to ground ENGINE OFF. (#1 to #2, #1 to #3, #2 to #3 and then each wire to a GOOD ground). There should be ZERO continuity between phases and ZERO continuity between phases and ground. Each wire should read "infinity" on a digital scale... If you have phase to phase or phase to ground conductivity, there's a bad problem in the stator. If they all read "open" then it's time to start the engine (again, with the wires secure so they can touch each other or ground) and check for voltage. I need to write down the correct voltage, as I can't remember it, but each "leg" of the stator should produce close to the same voltage... DO NOT bare hand these wires while the engine is running... it's 3-phase AC and it can produce a SERIOUS SHOCK... which can ELECTROCUTE a person... Check at idle and with the engine revved up to 1500-2500 RPMs to see if there's an appropriate increase in voltage with increase in RPM. Write everything down, so you don't have to remember it... like I'm failing to do right now...

No one wants to find out their stator is bad, but knowing is always better than not knowing. If the stator checks out, and all your grounds and "hot" wires are clean and making good contact, I can't think of anything other than the regulator/rectifier that can be bad.

That's about all I can think of that might help.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:38 am

Thanks for the notes Hawkeye. All advice welcome. A couple of follow up questions.

Battery, well charged on 2a trickle, shows 12.4 static (ignition off). Tho not removed from bike. I will remove it and check again, as this would seem to be one cell low. Will check/clean all the various grounds.

Door number two, I'll follow your advice and unsolder the three yellows leading to RR, but the many warnings on this site about dangerous current have me a bit spooked. What does 'safe' look like? Using the probes on my meter? They look like plastic, may not be insulated. Wear rubber gloves and not stand in a puddle? Or is it simply a matter of not barehanding a wire end?

What will an infinity reading look like on my multimeter? At the moment it is showing 900 k-ohms. Which seems like a Very Big Number. (Probing wires through insulation, which may be skewing the reading).

Still cold enough here that it's not too annoying not being on the road, but if an engine-pull is in order (road trip in June) I want to get at it.
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:09 am

The voltage isn't high on the stator windings... the insulation on the probes with the meter should be fine. I just wanted to add the disclaimer that a decent shock is possible from the windings, and it isn't voltage that kills... it's in the amperage potential of the circuit.

When you "test" or zero the meter for continuity, you touch both probes together (on an analog meter) to zero the hand on the meter face. A shorted circuit will show the same as touching both ends of the same wire. So, you can touch the probes together, and see what your meter reads as an example of a "short" or "ground" and then look at the same meter with the probes touching nothing at all.. and the reading not touching anything at all is what the meter should look like if there's no ground or shorting of phases... an open circuit is what you hope for when you take all the readings. The higher the number (resistance) the more open the circuit is... for stator windings check, LOW numbers, indicating current is passing between phases or from a phase to ground is BAD..
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:35 pm

I may have found the culprit, while cleaning the connectors. At the solenoid/fuse block beside the battery, the red lead bringing current back into the battery from RR was pretty much loose in the plug, having escaped it's crimp fitting. As was the other red, which I believe heads up to ignition switch.

Probably in there enough to move current, but loose enough to degrade the voltage?

Battery charged up to 13.3 pretty quickly off the bike.

Will fix the wires and see how it all rolls.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:49 pm

That beats the snot out of replacing the stator doesn't it? :-)

It isn't uncommon for folks to remove that connector and splice the wires, same as the stator wires.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby tom84std » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:55 pm

Those 1/4" push-on connectors are perfectly capable of handling the current placed on them, until you expose them to weather and dirt, then unplug/plug them in a couple of times over a period of years. I was very disappointed to see that Honda is still using them when I got my 2002 VTX. They should be removed and solder/insulate the wires direct. They're a likely source for an insidious failure down the road.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:18 pm

Pull the connectors out and hard solder the wiring - looks like a problem has now been solved.

Give the whole connector a liberal dosing of contact cleaner - and make sure the connections are in tight.

My main red wire in exactly the same position had come loose and was not making a good connection - maybe a build up of heat had made the area a bit loose and the connections came apart - but now resolved by making sure there is a good connection.

Clean up the pins if required with some emery paper.. :)

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:20 pm

Looks like the prevailing opinion is to do some soldering and get the weak connections out of the way. Not sure my charging problem is completely solved - voltmeter on bike now reading about a volt higher at idle and at speed (4000rpm), but after a 20 minute ride, static voltage across terminals down from 13.3 to 12.7. I will keep working at cleaning the connections, but I will take Hawkeye's advice and measure VAC on the cut yellows as well.

More to follow.
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:41 pm

The fact that your voltage drops may be indicative of effective charging of the battery... starting current pulls the battery down some, and the initial charge necessary to recharge the battery could account for the "higher" voltage initially... with the voltage "settling down" after a few minutes of riding.

It's speculation on my part. Testing the stator is not a bad idea now, but it may be unnecessary if the battery, lights and other electrical demand are being met by the charging system. As it has already been written, the volt meter on the bike may not be real accurate.

There's always the possibility that I'm completely full of crap too.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:28 am

I am definitely in the same category as you HawkeyeGL1200

There's always the possibility that I'm completely full of crap too


my wife has been telling me the same thing for years :D

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby dingdong » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:14 am

Deleted. Sorry! .........
Tom

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby f1xrupr » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:58 am

Forgive my intrusion please. There is some incorrect info on the web about stator testing. Some illustrations show the gl 1100 stator as star or "Y" wound-that stator is delta wound, and there "should" be continuity between phases on a unhook stator, but not to ground. If your wing has lots of tungston lights, with high beam, and or, cooling fan on, your charging system may be in a discharge state unless on open highway with rpm up continuously. A battery can be new, and test good, and still not be able to turn that wing engine over. Also, it's a possibility your starter needs serviced. Taking a voltage reading at the battery during cranking (a popular shade tree battery test), can show low voltage readings if starter needs serviced (just thought I would stick that in there).
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:08 am

thanks for this - I figure the more opinions I gather, the better I'll know all of the various angles. I'll do the 'shade-tree' test - love the phrase! No extra glow-goodies at all on my wing (in fact I took off about 20lbs of chrome and lights the PO had bolted on). Just the basic current draws at the moment.

So, I gather from your note that I SHOULD be seeing phase to phase (yellow to yellow) continuity, if unhooked (cut loose) from RR? Presumable an infinite (or very high) reading ?

Much appreciated.
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:10 am

corection to my last post - presumable ZERO ohms resistance if phases linked ?
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby f1xrupr » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:37 am

For some reason I can't seem to edit my last comment...that continuity test is with engine NOT running. Also, I should have said, "a cheap new battery......" .
That continuity test is kinda strange-if the wire ends are not perfectly clean, the numbers go all over the place. It might show -0-, or close to it, but rather, look for consistency. A open circuit is not good. I don't think you have a problem there because you do show charge. I had that problem with my 1100, and I done something crazy. I posted it somewhere-I ended the post by calling it "poor boy conversion #2".
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:47 am

yeah - I've looked at your 'poorboy conversion' item before. trying to stay stock at the moment. Tho this solution could be tempting. i have a decent alternator from a light airplane sitting new in a box here...
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby f1xrupr » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:24 am

No no....that's the #1....mine is #2...a more shade approach....I neatly and safely ran longer battery cables, and installed a deep cycle marine battery in my trunk. I have no more battery problems. If I get in a 3 hour traffic jam, with cooling fan fog lights brake lights-whatever on, it's ok....I can even turn my engine off and do that if I want...I can run my parking lights for maybe a month (LEDs), and still start. The stators out put is the same all of the time. It's ether charging the battery, or, grounding out to the frame (if you research that, you'll find that's correct). So, I gave it a larger resivor. It's perfectly compatible, and works awesome. It might seem silly to some, but to me, it's silly to push start a goldwing. I could go on about the life span of a bike battery, but I'll spare you...but I will say this....IMHO, a battery that you must keep a tender on,...is junk.
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:04 am

If I gave bad advice I apologise.

f1xrupr wrote:Forgive my intrusion please. There is some incorrect info on the web about stator testing. Some illustrations show the gl 1100 stator as star or "Y" wound-that stator is delta wound, and there "should" be continuity between phases on a unhook stator, but not to ground. If your wing has lots of tungston lights, with high beam, and or, cooling fan on, your charging system may be in a discharge state unless on open highway with rpm up continuously. A battery can be new, and test good, and still not be able to turn that wing engine over. Also, it's a possibility your starter needs serviced. Taking a voltage reading at the battery during cranking (a popular shade tree battery test), can show low voltage readings if starter needs serviced (just thought I would stick that in there).
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby Flyboy6 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:21 am

f1xrupr wrote:No no....that's the #1....mine is #2...a more shade approach....I neatly and safely ran longer battery cables, and installed a deep cycle marine battery in my trunk. I have no more battery problems. If I get in a 3 hour traffic jam, with cooling fan fog lights brake lights-whatever on, it's ok....I can even turn my engine off and do that if I want...I can run my parking lights for maybe a month (LEDs), and still start. The stators out put is the same all of the time. It's ether charging the battery, or, grounding out to the frame (if you research that, you'll find that's correct). So, I gave it a larger resivor. It's perfectly compatible, and works awesome. It might seem silly to some, but to me, it's silly to push start a goldwing. I could go on about the life span of a bike battery, but I'll spare you...but I will say this....IMHO, a battery that you must keep a tender on,...is junk.


Hey - I like this ! Will look for link to your post. Thanks.
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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby f1xrupr » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:11 pm

Hey Hawk, after reading many of your comments, it's evident that you retain much wisdom, and effectively assist it the trouble shooting, and restoration of these old relics, and are an asset to this forum. It's also evident by the way, that you possess more wisdom than you claim to have, and that is also admirable.
I find myself wanting in the wisdom department often, and ask of Him that giving it freely to those who ask, so, if there seems to be any coming from me, it only comes through me, from a higher place.
I'm new to the wing world, but quickly became familiar with them when I bought a $400.00 1100. It was junk. It needed everything repaired from the crank bearings out. After riding for a few months, my bike seemed to have a charging problem. And don't you know, it couldn't be the battery, because I just bought me a new cheap battery a few months ago.....! Well, I ended up watching a YouTube stator test video. My charging system failed the tests! Man-I sure didn't want to pull that bike back down! I was shopping for a stator, and had a mindset to pull that bike back down! Well....I read a lot, and a higher power was looking out for me, and I studied the actual function of the charging system, and having experience in life, realized, that that YouTube is wrong! It almost caused me to waste.......!! I suppose that flick has caused a lot of people time and money! So, I try to share all I can in that area. Turns out, although my battery showed good charge, and 290 cranking amps, it wasn't enough to start my engine" and that's after new brushes etc in my starter. BTW, when I say everything, I mean everything!!!
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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Re: Help me troubleshoot charging system 83 Gl 1100

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:37 am

Flyboy6 wrote:corection to my last post - presumable ZERO ohms resistance if phases linked ?


Not zero ohms, but very low. Zero ohms would be a dead short, there are windings in there that have a slight bit of resistance.




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