Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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patbrandon1
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Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by patbrandon1 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:39 pm



I limped my 87 Interstate through the last half of the 2019 riding season without a working stator.

I added an extra small battery to the system and had it hooked up with the main battery, (I put it in the left pannier) and it worked well to increase some time for ride without charging. Didn't go on any long rides, and I also had a battery jump pack with me so I wouldn't get stranded. All of my lights and blinkers are LED, so the draw was minimal.

My question is this...
Would you put on a poor boy conversion or replace the stator?

In doing some research, it seems that the 1200s do have a problem with stator failure. And the output is less than adequate if one wanted to add anything such as heated grips etc. So with the possibility of another stator failure, and low output, I have been thinking of doing the poor boy.

Any of your experiences with this might prove useful before I make a final choice. I will probably start this project at the beginning of February.



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CrystalPistol
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by CrystalPistol » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:49 pm

Took a week of spare time after work a few hours, etc until supper. Took a piece of plywood cut to same size as engine bottom, added a smaller piece in center with round cut out to locate jack pad of my small floor jack dead center, a couple strips on other side to engage ribs, roll jack with one hand, balance engine with other. Set engine on wood blocks to work. Did a lot of cleaning, wax, etc too. I used Honda part, warrantied for life. I remember taking carbs loose as a unit, I tink I took them and left sitting on a freezer top, but some tie them up high. Put a new plug on too, but I soldered the connectors at the crimps, packed with dielectric grease. Was 1998, sold bike in 2019 … never another hiccup.
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patbrandon1
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by patbrandon1 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:45 pm

CrystalPistol wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:49 pm
Took a week of spare time after work a few hours, etc until supper. Took a piece of plywood cut to same size as engine bottom, added a smaller piece in center with round cut out to locate jack pad of my small floor jack dead center, a couple strips on other side to engage ribs, roll jack with one hand, balance engine with other. Set engine on wood blocks to work. Did a lot of cleaning, wax, etc too. I used Honda part, warrantied for life. I remember taking carbs loose as a unit, I tink I took them and left sitting on a freezer top, but some tie them up high. Put a new plug on too, but I soldered the connectors at the crimps, packed with dielectric grease. Was 1998, sold bike in 2019 … never another hiccup.
I am thinking that this might be the way to go. Do you remember where you got the new stator? And did you also replace your regulator/rectifier? I hear that even though they might pass the multi meter tests, they could still be bad, and perhaps attributed to the demise of the stator.

And what did you mean by "Put on a new plug too"? What plug?

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Rednaxs60
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by Rednaxs60 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:10 pm

Have done the external alt mod on my '85 Limited Edition instead of a stator replacement. Either is good.

If you replace the stator, and have the back end off, do a clean of the sprague clutch while you are in there. The parts are inexpensive as well so a change out of the old parts is good.

A newer regulator such as a series type will also be beneficial. The newer shunt regulators with the Mosfet internal components is another option, and less expensive.

Good luck.
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CrystalPistol
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by CrystalPistol » Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:46 pm

patbrandon1 wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:45 pm
I am thinking that this might be the way to go. Do you remember where you got the new stator? And did you also replace your regulator/rectifier? I hear that even though they might pass the multi meter tests, they could still be bad, and perhaps attributed to the demise of the stator.

And what did you mean by "Put on a new plug too"? What plug?
I bought my stator from Schroeder's Honda in Hendersonville, NC. I think poorboy was in diapers then. It was 1998.
I never changed the reg/rec unit, but I did bypass it's plug there under the faux tank cover with three multi strand 12 ga yellow wires and spliced / soldered / and crimped a brass sleeve on each, then shrink wrapped them, then tape, and then a zip tie too. Just those three, the other several wires I left in plug. The new plug (Honda # 31105-ML8-305) I put on was down in front of battery, just three yellow wires. Mine was melted but Honda sold replacement kits. I know heat from high resistance melted it, but terminals had a tight grip so I soldered the crimps. I pulled each wire and soldered it at crimp to terminal and reassembled, packed with di-electric grease. I did that in 1998, the pic below was after I had put a new battery in years later as can be seen. Notice the terminals look great, no burning, no melting. I inspected the plug a few times, then re-wrapped it. Sold bike this past June.
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Ohara
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by Ohara » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:11 am

If your poor boy alternator dies, it can be fixed anywhere. If your stator dies anywhere you will have a problem. That being said, it is a tough choice. I agree pulling the motor yourself will be a great opportunity to clean check and fix many things. Good luck.

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by AZgl1800 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:46 am

IF,
I owned a 4 cylinder and the stator went bye bye, that would be the end of stators for me, period.

I would just cut the 3 yellow wires, throw out all of the charging system wiring, and install the alternator on the front and be done with it forever.

as said, if the alternator fails somewhere, it can be fixed "right here" at the closest auto store.

if the stator fails anywhere, you are screwed until you figure out how to get back home, and go thru the song and dance to replace a bad system.... I have never, ever, felt like a system that imposes an Overload on the generator to keep it from overcharging the battery was ever a good idea.

my '51 Plymouth, at least, had a vibrating reed voltage regulator. Not a shunt.

.
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CrystalPistol
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by CrystalPistol » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:45 pm

Well, you've already learned one means to ride on with a failed stator. I always figured if I was far from home, I'd maybe get a U-haul home if need be … or buy a car battery at Walmart, etc, stick it in a saddle bag or cooler rack or even trunk and run some wire, 12 or 14 gauge would run the bike, jumper cables would let me start if I ever shut it off. The decision would be largely dependent on how far from home I was.

As it turned out, I just avoided stop lights and left my fog lights off (They were a pair of 37.5 watt sealed beam Unity fog lights, running them used 75 watts the reg/rec didn't have to ground).

When mine went out, it was not a total failure, I was on a ride I noticed that going through a town with multiple stop lights, it took a bit longer to get system voltage back up around 14 volts. When I bought the bike, one of my first mods was adding a Sun-Pro analog volt meter. I saw that It just stayed in the 12s for longer periods at highway speeds where as it had been building back up quickly. That was my clue, tests later at home confirmed it, one leg of the three was dead. I did finish the ride that day keeping a close eye on the meter. It would slowly build voltage back up as long as I kept RPMs up and stayed off brakes (lights). I didn't pull any fuses or headlight bulb, but I could have.

Stators …. even alternators have them. In the 1200 it's just inside a case at rear of motor. The bike spins a permanent magnet in a rotor past the windings (current output depends on how fast the magnet passes the windings, so a way to handle excess current is incorporated via shunt). Regular alternators pass a electro magnet rotor past their stator windings (current output is adjusted by varying current to the rotor). I think a large part of why the 1200 gets such bad press on the issue is the access to it. My older British bikes had stators, excess voltage or current went to ground through a Zener diode in a heat sink.

Was a time I collected stuff to do a poor-boy mod, got pulleys for three rib serpentine belt, got alternator too, but I never did it. Was gonna run it & rely on OEM as back up, but then it would have added more mass to speed up and would have added a pull to one side of front main bearing in engine.

If I were faced with the decision today, not sure which way I'd go. Don't know if Honda still has their stator, not sure of quality of aftermarket stators either? If I could feel I could get a good one, I'd probably replace the stator as I'm not likely to ride a 30+ year old MC across country … but in 1998 I had thoughts of riding a then 10+ year old MC virtually anywhere … While I did not then know of the "Poor Boy Mod" by name, I knew it was an option.
patbrandon1 wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:39 pm
I limped my 87 Interstate through the last half of the 2019 riding season without a working stator.
… etc …
My question is this...
Would you put on a poor boy conversion or replace the stator?
… etc …
I know, not much help ….. Good luck.
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)

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oldishwinger
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by oldishwinger » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:02 pm

After blowing the first stator, and another with an unknown fault in the rectifier, I went the route of a poor boy installation. That was 3 years ago, and the bike has never looked back since. in my humble opinion, best thing I did.

good luck

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Ohara
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by Ohara » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:22 am

Also with the Poor Boy you do not have to worry about running things like heated clothing or grips.

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by ejohnw » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:32 am

I replaced my stator about 3 years ago, It may not be fun pulling the motor but when you are done your bike is as original. My biggest problem with the poor boy, is leaving a unsealed hole in the front of the engine where moisture and road dirt are not meant to go. This has to have a negative effect on timing belt life and I wouldn't want to loose one of those bad boys.

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by tire joe » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:16 pm

Installed alternator 2007 no problems,heated grips, 80 amp head lamp,2 55 amp driving lamps ,6 extra lights in trunk and bags. Brake light across the trunk, last a heated throw for the seat.

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by OldCrow » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:22 am

I'd go for replacing the stator, but then I love working on bikes about as much as riding. :) Also pulling the motor would give me chance to check out parts that can't be checked installed. On June 1st 2019 I bought my new to me 1987 GL1200A with the plan to ride it around the USA on 4 corners tour with my wife. I worried over the stator due to the 20plus extra lights the prior owner installed, lots of watts. I replaced a bunch of old incandescent lights(1157s, 194s) and the halogen headlights(H4) with LEDs and saved IIRC over 100watts when running with stock and all the Christmas lights on. But then added my heated vest 30-35watts I believe. I ran with all lights most of the time and the vest many mornings during the norther tier. 10k miles later the stator connector under the left side cover still looks new.
Here is the ride if your curious, https://www.classicgoldwings.com/forum/ ... =7&t=13775

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SlowTyper
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by SlowTyper » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:50 am

I have owned two GL1200s and the stator failed on them both. The stator also failed on my neighbors GL1200.

I had eliminated the stator plug next to the battery and soldered those yellow leads, so did not expect the stator to fail again. But it did. In my case, and in the case of my neighbor's second stator failure, it was due to manufacturing defects in the replacement stator. In one case, the windings inside the stator were not epoxied tight and vibration broke a wire. In my neighbor's case, it was poor insulation in the wiring and a wire shorted to the case where it exits the engine.

Thus, I strongly considered a poor boy conversion -- I have a lot of extras added to the bike, and do not enjoy pulling the engine to replace a stator. However, in the end, I decided to not go the poor boy route. I wanted my bike to look original, and I was able to reduce power consumption (to offset added stuff) by going with LED bulbs rather than incandescent. I also added dimmers to my LED driving lights for in town (lower engine RPM) [daytime] riding. I also change the oil in the fall so the stator is not bathed in dirty oil all winter. So far, knock on wood, I am happy with my decision to stick with a factory type stator.

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by RS23V0G » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:53 am

When I bought my 87 Aspy in 2006, it already had the Poorboy installed. Other than losing the lower left vent, I have absolutely no issues with it. Plenty of juice for anything. I had to correct a few shortcuts the PO made such as incorrect wire size, twist & tape connections & no circuit protection,(nothing serious, eh?).

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by bb1040 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:59 am

I have a 1986 GL1200i I bought it new in 1986, over 100,000 miles on it and still going, I heard that the stator was a problem, and bought a new one to have on the shelf, just in case....it is still sitting on the shelf, never had a problem with the stator, but I did have to replace the pulse generators up front behind the timing belts, and the fork seals and brake pads, of course a few sets of tires,other than that it is still cruising right along....

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by detdrbuzzard » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:14 am

when I had my 1200 aspy I knew that when the stator went it would be replaced with a poorboy kit. I had help from my friend junkyard john, we did the install at his shop and he dropped the motor ( I wasn't there at the time ) and checked everything cause I told him that I was giving the 1200 wing to my niece and didn't want her to have any problems. I rode the bike a couple times but most of the miles that summer were put on by my niece. the following year I gave it to her for her birthday. sometimes I think about getting another 1200 wing but it would need a poorboy kit installed from day one
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by CWN » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:28 pm

I lost my 84A stator at 45k and the 85 ltd 24k. The lifetime Honda Stator is indicated by a white band near the plug per the ad below.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-HONDA-1984 ... Sw321eDg09

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Honda-Alternat ... 3365943106

http://www.genebitsystems.com/david/Cus ... /index.htm

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SlowTyper
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by SlowTyper » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:22 am

The image of the stator in your first link on eBay looks very much like the replacement stator in my neighbor's 87' GL1200A that failed in less then a year. In his case, the insulation on the yellow wires inside the stator housing cracked, as if they could not hold up to the heat and oil. After the insulation cracked, one of the wires then intermittently shorted to the case because they make a tight bend as soon as they enter the stator housing. In his case, we simply replaced those wires with ones designed to withstand high temperatures and dirty oil -- and also made sure during reassembly the wires didn't bend up against the housing entry hole on the inside.

In the case of my stator failure, the windings were not totally coated well, and one wire repeatedly flexed due to vibration and the constantly fluctuating magnetic field. That constant slight bending caused the winding wire to eventually break in two. Thus, I am glad to see the hand wound stators in the third link are very thoroughly coated.

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by basil3w » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:18 pm

I've done 3 poorboy installations on customer gl1200s over the past four years and all of them are still performing flawlessly. On all three of the bikes the stator had grounded out. In all poorboy-style cases, the worst that could happen would be a broken alternator belt, bad alternator/regulator/rectifier. That being said, the replacement cost of the above from a local auto parts store should be around $100, done in a motel parking lot with tools most long distance riders already have on board, and back on the road same day..

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CrystalPistol
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by CrystalPistol » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:58 am

I never bought into that plug being the cause of stator failure. Stators fail because they live in hot engine oil spay in the rear of a hot engine subject to vibration. Wire insulating coatings fail, solder connections shake loose, internal shorts and open win dings result. The plug melting due to heat and resistance leading to a short would affect available charge from Rec/Reg to battery … as current goes to ground or a loop before getting to Reg/Rec, thus not even getting to Reg/Rec … but I never believed it to be the cause of stator death. The stator is just a part of an internal alternator, it's out put depends on RPM, it is not controlled other wise. The Reg/Rec shunts (shorts) excess to ground, it gets hot too.

I always figured that connector was OK
… except it lives in close proximity to the battery vent which emits corrosive vapers. The terminals in the connector are just crimped to their wires. Resistance begets heat begets resistance, and etc. I put a new Honda plug in in 1997, soldered those crimps, packed with dielectric grease, wrapped & sealed in electrical tape, inspected and resealed at oil changes, it always looked fresh, new even.

I replaced my 1200's stator in 1997, it was still performing flawlessly in June 2019 when the new owner left here with it.
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
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SlowTyper
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by SlowTyper » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:39 pm

I too have wondered if that corroded connector subjected to battery gases actually causes stator failures. Obviously, it is the cause of weak or no charging. But is it the cause of stator failures that require stator replacement?

Certainly when one connector fails, all charging current must come from the other two. But is that current any harder on the stator than the regulator SCR shunting current directly to ground? I don't know, but am doubtful.

One thing I do know is that an open stator connection does result in much higher voltages being produced by the stator. That higher voltage may cause an insulation breakdown that results in a stator winding shorting to ground. However, it seems to me that in that scenario we are splitting hairs because the insulation should be adequate for the voltage the stator produces even under open circuit conditions.

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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by cjxj » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:01 pm

After a lot of research, including a discussion on this board (see link below) I did a "Poor Boy" type conversion on my 84 Aspencade eight years ago now. It's been 100% reliable and I'm very happy I did it. I haven't touched it, or even needed to adjust the belt since install. It's not detectable except you see it through the side vents. With the ND type alternator (as opposed to Mitsubishi), I was able to maintain clearance without heating and warping the plastics. Regarding the concern mentioned about penetrating the timing cover, I really don't think it's a concern. I did the trimming very tight to the pulley spacer. It's certainly much tighter than the timing belt covers in my various cars, and although the bike sees rain on occasion, it doesn't experience the grimey weather that the cars do. By the way, as of last week, (2/3/2020) Don is still making/selling the conversion kits.

From a post on the facebook "goldwing parts" group page on 2/3/2020: "Donald J Pigott: I'm the designed & builder of the original " Poorboy" kit. Basic mounting kit is $200.00, complete kit is $500.00." The complete kit appears to include the alternator, belt, wiring, etc... I tried to link the pose below, but his facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/donald.j.pigott I think email is: don_pigott@yahoo.com.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13236&p=65406#p65406
https://www.facebook.com/groups/goldwin ... SEARCH_BOX

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patbrandon1
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Re: Poor Boy vs Stator Replacement

Post by patbrandon1 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:13 pm

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and experiences.

I have ordered a conversion kit from Don Piggot and it should be here sometime this week. I'll start to install it maybe this weekend.

I will keep you posted about the install with pictures.



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