Charging system or short


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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jskeys
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Charging system or short

Postby jskeys » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:30 pm



I am new to this and not real good with the electrical side of things. My 84 wing seems to have a problem with the electrical system. Some prior owner has made modifications to the electrical system adding fog lights and some other repairs/modifications so the wiring is not completely original. When left sitting for more that about 7 hours the battery is drained. Purchased a jel battery from Advanced Auto (local parts store) and that has not corrected the problem (battery tests OK). The turn signal relay is bad and I have one on order so that will be replaced (but don't think a bad relay will drain a battery).
The meter on the lower left faring indicate 12.5 to 12.8 when riding. I was able to check the stator and it is putting out 50 V on each of its 3 phases, so I believe that is good. The volt reg/rectifier was not putting out so I replaced it. Bike runs fine when riding. I am open to suggestions. With my limited knowledge I make the following assumption and ask these questions:
1. Don't think the charging system will drain a battery when it is not running.
2. What does the gauge on lower left of faring measure? Is it charge going into battery or what the battery level is at the time?
3. Logic (mine) would indicate there is a short somewhere that is draining the battery when the bike is sitting (aside from the bad signal relay).
4. What should the charging system be putting out? If what I read on the gauge (lower left faring) is what is being put in by the charging system is that too low and am I looking at a bad alternator?

I am open to any suggestions you guys with experience have. Thanks for all the help you guys give to those of us are lost little lambs.



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virgilmobile
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby virgilmobile » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:59 pm

7 hours sitting and a dead battery?That's a bad drain.And not charging to boot?First is to locate the drain.Easiest test method...remove the main fuse and substitute a test light in it's place.If you have a draw more than 1/2 amp,the test light will just light up.Start unplugging anything you can till the light goes out.This will narrow down the area that's drawing the battery down.It may be related to the rectifier/regulator module,so I'd start with that.Locating the short may also fix the charging problem too .Keep us posted about what you find and take pictures if necessary .

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seabee_
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby seabee_ » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:49 am

I agree with virgilmobile. Use a test light or amp meter in series to the battery or at the dog bone. I would pull fuses 1 at a time until the light goes out or the amps reading drops. Find the fuse that does this and then check everything associated with that fuse. Do you have a manual with the schematics?
Paul
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jskeys
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby jskeys » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:55 am

Thanks a million. I will start the process you outline when I get off work. I will keep you guys advised. Thanks to your suggestions I feel less at a loss for what to do and look forward to isolating the problem.

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Re: Charging system or short

Postby thrasherg » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:44 am

The suggestion of the bulb is great, I would start by looking for any prior-owner additions to the wiring loom as that is the most likely cause of the current drain.

Gary

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Re: Charging system or short

Postby seabee_ » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:58 pm

thrasherg wrote:The suggestion of the bulb is great, I would start by looking for any prior-owner additions to the wiring loom as that is the most likely cause of the current drain.

Gary

Yepper, You can always thank that PO. My son's car had the same problem and I traced it to the multiple cd player the PO installed. Always less aggravating to eliminate the cause than to try to fix it. Best of luck to you.
Paul
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jskeys
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby jskeys » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:41 pm

Well guys, here is an update and more questions. I replaced the Voltage regulator/rectifier and now with the bike sitting (ign off) battery at 12.30 volts I start the bike and with engine running I get 13.37 volt reading, so I assume it is now charging. Not sure if that is normal for the 84.
Tracking the wiring I have a question for you guys. Please understand I am not a wire/electric kind of guy very novice. The false tank and seat removed. On the left side (as you would view it sitting on the bike) along the frame there is a box marked "Panasonic RD 1212" (assume it is a power mod to the radio/cassette), next going forward on the frame is mounted the voltage regulator, then going forward is a plug (8 wires connection). This plug has the following wires from rear going forward:

Wires are: red/white-----yellow----yellow----green
red/white-----yellow----black------green

There is obvious internal damage (I believe heat or arching marks) in the plug between all three yellow wires. With the ign off the two red/white (red wires with white stripes) have current running through them. Should these two wires be hot with the ignition off? I intend to replace the connection because of the obvious damage. Just wondering if this might be my battery drain problem? Am charging the battery now and will leave this plug disconnected overnight to see if the battery holds a charge over night. I'm open to any suggestions and thank you all for your help thus far (would not have found these hot wires without your help).

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virgilmobile
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:55 pm

Without looking(post a few pictures please) the color wires you describe go to the rectifier/regulator module.
Reds are battery hot...green is ground...black is ignition switched and the 3 yellow wires come from the stator coil.

Any contamination along with almost 30 years will tend to cook the connector around this area,so cutting it free and soldering them togeather is OK.Use some heat shrink if possible.Also solder the 3 yellow wires that are on the left side of the battery.

And no..Bad connections at this plug should not discharge the battery,but will cause a charging problem.

Expect the battery volts to climb to near 14.5 at 3000 rpm or so.At a idle,it may drop to 12.5 volts.

And the panasonic part is a noise filter for the radio.

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Re: Charging system or short

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:16 pm

virgilmobile wrote:Without looking(post a few pictures please) the color wires you describe go to the rectifier/regulator module.
Reds are battery hot...green is ground...black is ignition switched and the 3 yellow wires come from the stator coil.

Any contamination along with almost 30 years will tend to cook the connector around this area,so cutting it free and soldering them togeather is OK.Use some heat shrink if possible.Also solder the 3 yellow wires that are on the left side of the battery.

And no..Bad connections at this plug should not discharge the battery,but will cause a charging problem.

Expect the battery volts to climb to near 14.5 at 3000 rpm or so.At a idle,it may drop to 12.5 volts.

And the panasonic part is a noise filter for the radio.



Disconnect the battery before working the wires in that plug - as you know, the red ones are hot, direct to the battery!

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virgilmobile
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:34 pm

Sorry,I sometimes forget specific steps with general instructions.

Yes Yes Yes ....always disconnect the battery before doing any electrical repairs or mods.NO SPARKY.

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seabee_
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby seabee_ » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:03 pm

virgilmobile wrote:Any contamination along with almost 30 years will tend to cook the connector around this area,so cutting it free and soldering them togeather is OK.Use some heat shrink if possible.Also solder the 3 yellow wires that are on the left side of the battery.


Here are some pics for the visually challenged ones. It should help with the repair. :idea:
http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum1/112088.html
Paul
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jskeys
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby jskeys » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:14 pm

You have dashed my hopes (LOL) I had faint hopes I had found the problem (LOL). OK, so the 2 red wires are suppose to be hot all the time, even when the ignition is off. I will keep looking for the short and put the charger back on the battery. Tested battery voltage at 7:30 PM and it was 12.35 volts, at 9:30 PM it was 11:78 volts. I will check it again to see if it still goes down. The 8-wire connector I referred to in last post is disconnected, I will still replace it. I also pulled the 7 amp fuse for the clock so that was not a drain (I know that does not pull enough to drain the battery in 5-7 hrs) but pulled it any way. I checked the main fuse panel but no drain there.
There are some add-ons (I assume add-ons) to the + and - connections/terminals (screws) on the end of the fuse block. Can anyone tell me if Honda used those terminals for anything OEM. If Honda did not use them then they must be stuff a previous owner put on and hopefully if I disconnect them it will not impact the OEM stuff and I can eliminate those as possible sources of the problem.
Are there any other circuits that are hot all the time?

Hey guys, thanks, I look forward to getting the wing on the road again with your help.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:22 pm

I'll tell ya what...I went to Harbor Freight and paid about $15 for a digital in line amp meter.It it put in place of the 30 amp main fuse.Assuming that you replaced the " dogbone" fuse with a waterproof fuseholder.http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive ... tml...Zero the meter by holding the power button for a few seconds before pluggin it in.
With the key off,it shows '000'amp.
when I turn on the key,the bike draws 10.3 amp.
when I start the bike and hold 3000 rpm,it shows 15.4 amp and then,over 3-4 minutes it drops to around 3.5 amp.A normal charge sequence.
After your mods,you really need to find the drain on the battery.If hooking up a meter shows '00.1'amp or more,that's enough to drain the battery.
Normal acceptable drain is less than '0.030' amp.So small it wont even show on the 30 amp meter.
Factory electrical system should not drain the battery that quick.By the voltages indicated,it's at least a couple of amps.
Maybe a aftermarket radio?

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Re: Charging system or short

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:07 pm

jskeys wrote:Are there any other circuits that are hot all the time?


Generally these wire colors are universal on the bike:

Green - Ground
Red - +12V at all times
Black - Switched +12V

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jskeys
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby jskeys » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:44 pm

Thanks guys, I will keep tracking things. Part of my problem with electrical systems is that I am color blind and have trouble with wires (you say no sh--, lol) I am going to cut the connectors and redo those connection (thank for the link to the how to pics). I will continue with your suggestions. I was wondering if putting the amp meter (via alligator clips) in one circuit at a time might work, since I know that the battery is draining over the course of 5-7 hours the drain must be significant.
One more question/thought. Has anyone tried to use one of those hand held, laser aimed, IR thermometers to track a short. It would seem (when the ignition is off) that the hot wire (short) running a current would be warmer than wires around it not powered? I ask this because of my color vision problem and wonder if anyone has ever tried it as it might be an option if there is enough of a temp differential.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Charging system or short

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:32 pm

Rather than testing each individual circuit with the ampmeter,hook the ampmeter inline with the battery and pull one fuse or wire at a time till the draw dropps off or the meter shows 00.0 amp.Then explore what that fuse or wire runs.

If you don't have the "dog bone" fuse replaced,you could unhook it and attach the ampmeter in place of it.Do not start the bike...A set off clip leads won't carry that much current.
If you use the Harbor Freight meter,you must put a fuse in it's holder(30 amp).

A IR meter....hmmmm...a current draw of just 2 amp at 12 volts is 24 watts.That might just make something warmer than the surrounding area.The problem would be pinpointing the area and the bike would have to be stone cold ,even temperature to be able to show a heated area.
Maybe overnight with the battery unhooked,then first thing,hook it back up,wait 20 minuts and test.

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Re: Charging system or short

Postby jskeys » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:18 pm

I know this will sound stupid, but I am a newbie. What is the "dogbone"? It sounds like it is located near the battery. Is it on the neg or pos side? Some type of fused link?

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virgilmobile
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83 GL1100 I
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84 GL 1200 I

Re: Charging system or short

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:39 pm

On the starter relay,pull the 4wire plug,pop open the little cover and you'll find it attached by 2 screws.It's recommended to replace it with a auto type fuseholder as they tend to crack.
It is a 30 amp fuse link.Connects to the battery and the red leads.Other than the starter,all the current the bike uses or generates flow through this link.




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