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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, my bike is now a battery murderer. What happens is, it will shut off while riding, sometimes, the gauges will go apeshit first or during, then, it wont start for a few mins, and then starts, and the next day, the battery will be toast- and by toast, I mean it will charge to 12 volts on a tender charger, but has no ass to start the bike and a load test reveals a smoked battery. I have done all the proper checks of the stator and the regulator.
Stator- none of the three coils are grounded to body, and resistance between coils is around .2 OHM, so that checks out, and it puts out 23 volts AC at idle ( I didnt rev it to check further)
I also did the checks of the reg, and it outputs 14.3 volts at any RPM, and with the positive meter lead on each AC output wire, and the negative lead on each battery charge wire, the meter reads .5 volts and an infinite reading with the leads reversed.
What Im guessing, and hoping, is that the regulator is intermittently overloading the battery to 16 volts, causing the shutoff and burning up the battery?
The battery isnt smoking or exploding of course.
What should I do? Reg and stator checked out. Replace reg and see if problem goes away?
 

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You have problems in another area... a constant, low voltage, amp draw, on 1 circuit, with everything turned off.. not enough draw to start smoking or a fire, but enough to draw a battery down overnight...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Well, what I mean is that when the shut off event happens, its smoking the battery. After the event, battery will fully charge in terms of voltage, but a load test reveals no amperage anymore, so it is garbage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, what I mean is that when the shut of event happens, its smoking the battery. The battery will fully charge, but a load test reveals no amperage anymore.
I can hook my meter on it to check milliamp drain and look at that though. Whats an acceptable draw on the meter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, do I need to replace stator and reg? Or maybe just reg?
Is it possible for these to check out fine with the specified tests, but for the stator to have a coil momentarily ground out, or for the reg to momentarily overload the system as I suspect? Weighing my options.
I actually rode around with a multimeter hooked up to my tender plug and in a magnetic tank bag to see if I could catch what the voltage was doing during the malfunction, but it did not malfunction during the time I had the meter hooked up, unfortunately. If it did spike to 16 volts dc, how long does that take to frag the battery? Would it basically shut the bike off and make the gauges and lights go apeshit right away or?
 

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How stock is your bike? Meaning, are you getting any codes, or do you know how to check for codes? Stock ecm or aftermarket? Those gauges going AS could be your ECM setting a code.

I was getting voltage spikes on mine, up to the 17v range. Luckily, I had access to a dyno to operate until I could verify it. Mine was because of some battery cable issues. I did replace all the 20 yo heavy battery and ground cables (with those 1000 strand Terry cables) and the regulator and have had no problems since. Two, or maybe 3 years and counting.

I'm not betting my life, but the problem seems to have been using aftermarket batteries with the little brass stand offs. Even with loctite, they would eventually vibrate loose and do bad things to my regulator. I'm back on Harley AGMs with the cable attached directly to the battery posts. They are staying good and tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The its a carb bike, but the ignition module WAS stock at the time the gauges were going apeshit and the shutting down and killing the first battery happened. I forgot that I had put in a Dynatek TC88 3 in, and that THIS time, the gauges did not go apeshit, so the Dynatek does things differently haha. The last code I pulled was with the stock ignition module and it said "low voltage to ecm", but of course it said that cause the bat was toast.
The lights still went off and the bike shut down though. It happened a total of three times heading home night before last, and last night, the bike started once, then I shut it off and when I went to start it later, the battery was toast. A charger will charge to 12 volts and charger says its good, but the battery has no CCA anymore, so toast. Like I said, I literally rode around with a multimeter hooked to my tender plug with the meter in a magnetic tank bag to see if I could catch a spike, but it never happened.
Going to borrow a reg from a guy tonight, test the reg before putting it on of course. Hoping its the reg but if its something else, Im just trying to figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How stock is your bike? Meaning, are you getting any codes, or do you know how to check for codes? Stock ecm or aftermarket? Those gauges going AS could be your ECM setting a code.

I was getting voltage spikes on mine, up to the 17v range. Luckily, I had access to a dyno to operate until I could verify it. Mine was because of some battery cable issues. I did replace all the 20 yo heavy battery and ground cables (with those 1000 strand Terry cables) and the regulator and have had no problems since. Two, or maybe 3 years and counting.

I'm not betting my life, but the problem seems to have been using aftermarket batteries with the little brass stand offs. Even with loctite, they would eventually vibrate loose and do bad things to my regulator. I'm back on Harley AGMs with the cable attached directly to the battery posts. They are staying good and tight.
Oh, and what happened to your bike when you had those voltage spikes? Does the main breaker try and shut it all down to protect stuff? How did it behave, if you dont mind my asking.
 

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I have a Crane Hi4-TC in mine. It never shut down. What it would do is kill the signal to the speedo while it was throwing the code for high voltage. Speedo would go to zero and display would go blank, I'm not sure about any other lights. The engine light would blink out the code. It would then come back on like nothing had happened. It was doing this for more than a few times (over months) before I figured out it was trying to tell me something. When I ran the bike on the dyno, it only took about 5-10 minutes of simulated riding to see the spike. I didn't have to see it again.

I never read that part of the Crane instructions until this came up. That ignition was in the bike for 7 years before I got it and I had no problems for years until I started using aftermarket batteries.

It never did drain the battery. What my battery problem was came out as battery posts melting from the loose connections that caused arcing. The first time, it was somewhat repairable. I ground out the post and used some larger hardware to attach the cables. The second time, I had had enough and dumped the YxxxA battery and went back to oem. This went on for over a year, before I gave up on the second battery.

Are you going top borrow another battery for when you put the new regulator in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a Crane Hi4-TC in mine. It never shut down. What it would do is kill the signal to the speedo while it was throwing the code for high voltage. Speedo would go to zero and display would go blank, I'm not sure about any other lights. The engine light would blink out the code. It would then come back on like nothing had happened. It was doing this for more than a few times (over months) before I figured out it was trying to tell me something. When I ran the bike on the dyno, it only took about 5-10 minutes of simulated riding to see the spike. I didn't have to see it again.

I never read that part of the Crane instructions until this came up. That ignition was in the bike for 7 years before I got it and I had no problems for years until I started using aftermarket batteries.

It never did drain the battery. What my battery problem was came out as battery posts melting from the loose connections that caused arcing. The first time, it was somewhat repairable. I ground out the post and used some larger hardware to attach the cables. The second time, I had had enough and dumped the YxxxA battery and went back to oem. This went on for over a year, before I gave up on the second battery.

Are you going top borrow another battery for when you put the new regulator in?
I warrantied the battery just today. I am also going to borrow a reg. This thing isnt just draining the battery, its frying it. No heat, no smoke, just a fried battery, in that it will charge to 12 volts, but no actual amperage, so to speak.
 

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Are you using a quality USA made battery ?
Factory Harley Davidson,Deka,Yuasa are a few good choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And, Like I said, I literally went through the testing of the reg and stator per the manual with my meter, and all checked out 100%. Stator puts 23 volts ac on all coils, and thats just at idle, I never revved it. The reg puts out 14.3 volts at the battery literally all day and night long when riding and at idle, per my multimeter during riding.
Let me ask you this- can a stator intermittently ground out and overrule the reg? Or is it just that the reg is intermittently spiking like hell?
This FXDX is my favorite bike, and I did a 95 inch with flats and a 37 cam and supertrapp 2:1 and its got 180psi in both holes, and I JUST ordered heads with oversize valves, 80cc chambers and comp releases that should take it from the 85hp- 95tq range to 95hp- 105tq range, so I really want this handled before the go fast comes in haha. Its why I got the TC88 3 ignition, which, by the way, feels faster on the "B" curves, which are retarded and reshaped in comparison to stock, cause the higher compression and cam timing differences make the burn faster, so totally worth it!
 

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I think you may have two or more problems. You say that after the bike shuts off, it will restart. This sounds like a circuit breaker or loose/dirty connection. If the battery was toast or low, it wouldn't start.

If you are only reading 12 volts after trying to charge, maybe your charger is bad. A battery with 12 volts won't start your bike and won't pass a load test. Try another charger. If the battery charges, leave it disconnected overnight and see if it drains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Let me clarify. Sometimes it will restart, sometimes not. Once, I had to get help to go get a battery from home. Next day, I took the battery that left me stranded to a professional battery shop- Batteries Plus, and they charged and load tested it. Found it to be fried, dead as dirt.

Also, when it shuts down, the lights will slowly come on but be dim. This second battery was the same deal, tested dead. Not by me. My charger works fine on everything but batteries that have been killed by this bike.
I'm up for suggestions. Just trying to further clarify. Whatever is in a battery that provides the actual amperage is getting toasted. They will still charge to 12 plus volts, but wont run a starter or anything else other than perhaps a light. The battery guy told me that a battery in that condition is very bad.
 

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check the starter wires that come out/ down from under it... to the solinoid....mine has done that for a while...with the start wire plugged in(at the sol) and it will short...found that the short just last week after replacing the sol contact kit set... i thought was the real problem....and some other work done..upon finishing the bike it was dead(power) and found this problem...i moved the wires around and put a rubber mat there and a good temp fix...and will fix it right very soon....i just run it w/out it plugged in and use my push button(a must have)..i got to pull the pipes and pri cover to get the starter off so i wasnt ready to do it again right away...the starter is a good one but has this short and i cant complain after years of starting good....and 1 starter clutch r/r years ago
 

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So, my bike is now a battery murderer. What happens is, it will shut off while riding, sometimes, the gauges will go apeshit first or during, then, it wont start for a few mins, and then starts, and the next day, the battery will be toast- and by toast, I mean it will charge to 12 volts on a tender charger, but has no ass to start the bike and a load test reveals a smoked battery. I have done all the proper checks of the stator and the regulator.
Stator- none of the three coils are grounded to body, and resistance between coils is around .2 OHM, so that checks out, and it puts out 23 volts AC at idle ( I didnt rev it to check further)
I also did the checks of the reg, and it outputs 14.3 volts at any RPM, and with the positive meter lead on each AC output wire, and the negative lead on each battery charge wire, the meter reads .5 volts and an infinite reading with the leads reversed.
What Im guessing, and hoping, is that the regulator is intermittently overloading the battery to 16 volts, causing the shutoff and burning up the battery?
The battery isnt smoking or exploding of course.
What should I do? Reg and stator checked out. Replace reg and see if problem goes away?
 

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I had a similar issue once. Smoked the batteries. The culprit was not the bike. It was the battery tender. Try a new battery and don't put it on the tender for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had a similar issue once. Smoked the batteries. The culprit was not the bike. It was the battery tender. Try a new battery and don't put it on the tender for a while.
My bikes dont sit on tenders. I own a tender, but I ride every day, so they dont get the chance to drain.
 
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