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Discussion Starter #1
Hi ,I am having a few problems with my 01 fxdl.
It doesent seem to be charging the battery.I put a Harley chrome voltage regulator on it about 4 months ago ,with the battery disconected ,and never had a problem till a few weeks ago.Now it acts like the battery isn't charging.I started the bike but the battery sounded weak, later that night when I went to go home it didnt have enough juice to crank the engine over fast enough to start it ,had to push start it ,man was that a lot of work.A short ride and I was home , the battery was discharged ,around 11 volts if I remember correctly.I checked and cleaned the ground and battery connections ,they were fine and then charged it to 13 volts, put a load test on it and it was fine.It now started fine. But after a few short rides by the end of the week it would act like the battery was about dead and barely start.I then charged it up to 13 volts again and it started fine.With the engine at 2,000 rpm i checked the voltage across the battery it was about 12.5 volts so it looks like it isnt charging to me.
I have the factory service manual but it doesent tell how to check the stator or voltage regulator or anything electrical.
I heard that the v.r. can get smoked quite easily and that it can make the stator go bad too.
I have just been charging the battery so I could still ride but I don't want to cause any more harm .
I need to know how to check the stator and voltage regulator step by step to see what is wrong with the charging system.
I have heard that you should check the stator and battery first and if there ok then the v.r. by replacing it with one that you know is good.
I have the stock v.r. that I could put back on for now to see if that is the problem but I hear that if the stator is bad it will smoke the new v.r.
I am hoping somone on here can tell me how to test the charging system so i can determine exactly what is wrong.
I would greatly appreciate any help anyone could give me ,thanks.
 

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Well, 12.5V at 2K rpm it isn't charging.

The first suspect is always the battery.
If the regulator is not properly grounded it will not charge, real critical on 3 wire regulators but you should have a 4 wire.

Check all battery cables including for internal breaks, especially the positive near the bolt on top of the solenoid, the negative where it grounds on the starter bolt, and the wire from the big bolt on the solenoid to the main breaker.

To check the regulator unplug it from the stator. Take a test lite and clip it to the negative of the battery and then touch first one pin and then the other on the plug that goes to the regulator. If you get even the slightest amount of lite from the test lite the regulator is toast.

Take a Voltmeter that can read in AC Volts and connect it across the two pins that go to the stator. With the bike running at say 3K rpm you should have close to 50V AC. Don't have the Dyna spec in my head but it's in the ballpark. If the AC voltage is much lower the stator is toast.

These tests do not totally guarantee the parts are good if they pass but they are bad for sure if they don't.

Did I mention the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Hippo,Thanks a lot for all the good info.
Since I had previously checked and cleaned all the battery cables and connections on the starter and they were tight ,and I load tested the battery with a hand held load tester and it checked out ok I started with the v.r.
I took the plug apart and there was a little oil in there ,not much and I dont think it got on the terminals so cleaned it up and proceded.
I checked it with the test light ,one prong nothing ,then the other , lights up bright as could be. So my brand new , barely used at all , $100 chrome voltage regulator is toast. I wish I knew why , it was properly installed,all wire connections secured properly
with the battery disconected and worked fine for a while.
So now I checked the stator with the test light,jumping from the + battery terminal to the prongs , it checks out ok ,no light, its not grounded ,then with the ohm meter and shows no resistence .
The H.D. spec is : alternator stator coil resistence 0.1-0.2 ohms and I get 0.
I then checked the stator output with the bike running.
Idle @1100 rpm is putting out 17.5 vac, 2k rpm is 33.5-34 vac and 3k rpm is 52-53 vac so it should be fine.
The H.D. spec is :alternator ac voltage output 16-20 vac per 1000 rpm.
Here are a couple other H.D. specs in case anybody may need them.
Battery 19 amp hour /270 CCA.
Regulator voltage output @ 3600 rpm 14.3 -14.7 @ 75 degrees F.
Regulator amperes @ 3600 rpm - 32 amps.
Well after thanking GOD that my stator was ok I decided to check a 01 wide glide that was over just to see what it read.
Unpluged plug ,no oil,v.r. no light,stator vac readings very similar. At least as far as we could tell as the wide glide doesent have a tach but should idle about 2k rpm with the enrichener all the way out and 1100 rpm with it off and warmed up.
So now I am wondering just what killed the v.r.?
I don't feel that I have solved the problem if I just replace it without knowing why it went bad and if there is somthing wrong that will cause the next one to go bad.
I didnt pull off all the cables and wiggle them around while testing them for an open because I thought it very unlikely that these heavy duty cables that look fine on a bike with only 3k miles on it were bad.
I know they can look fine but still possibly have an intermittent open but I just decided to look in the most likely areas first,If you think I should go back and pull them all now to check them I will.
I have the stock v.r. and I am going to put it back on but I would like to know if you have any other suggestions as to what I should check before or after I do this that may help me find the cause of this problem.

P.S. As a side note I have another question, both of the wide glides self canceling turn signals never self cancel,this condition happened to my low rider quite a while ago, allthough somtimes it was just one turn signal, but it mysteriously fixed itself, any ideas what to check for?
Thanks for all your help.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the resistance readings as long as they show infinity to ground, probably just a meter with not enough resolution. As long as the AC voltage jibes it should work. The resistance values are not conclusive anyway, if they read bad the stator is bad, but they can read good carrying the load of the meter and then break down under working load. Just have to wait and see.
As long as the wiring between the stator and regulator and the wire to the main breaker are not chafing against the frame and the regulator is properly grounded it probably just was a defective regulator, the chrome ones tend to overheat anyway.
The oil in the plug just wicks from the primary, no big deal.

If you have to use star washers to ground the regulator use them, either at the regulator or the ground pigtail or both.


Depending on the year most of the time when the TS don't cancel the TSM either doesn't get a signal from the speedo or the TSM is defective. You would have to have the wiring diagram for the bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Hippo for all your help,this is really a great site , next time im in Phoenix im buying at the steel horse saloon, I will have to look you up ,I usually get there once a year .
Hey by the way did you get to Az. bike week ?
When I was there in january I was talking to the guys at scratchbuilt cycles and they hooked me up with this website info : www.cyclerides.com , Just thought I would pass it allong , good info for any rider going to Phoenix.

I will put the stock v.r.back on and keep my figers crossed , THANKS AGAIN.
 

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Let me know, we'll have a couple at the Hideaway in Cave Creek.
Hardly ever go to the Steel Horse as it's clear on the other side of town, maybe once or twice a year.

Always do most of bikeweek, but not into big group rides, other then the Steel Horse Memorial. We know where they are going and our little group shows up when we feel like it.
 

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Reviving this old thread (checking regulator)

HIPPO said:
To check the regulator unplug it from the stator. Take a test lite and clip it to the negative of the battery and then touch first one pin and then the other on the plug that goes to the regulator. If you get even the slightest amount of lite from the test lite the regulator is toast.


These tests do not totally guarantee the parts are good if they pass but they are bad for sure if they don't.

Found this thread on a search for this exact answer but was curious if this test worked on a 3 pin plug connector? (this is on a '01 softail FLSTFI)

With my test light clipped to the negative of the battery, every pin that I touch results in no light or no short thinking the regulator is good - but... before this test...

I tested the stator output AC voltage and it was to spec, around 30v to 40v AC. at first... Suspecting the regulator to be bad I put on a new one and watched the voltage at the battery go to 14.5v @ 2800rpm and then for a split second jump to 17.2v then back to 13.2v. thinking nothing of it, I rode the bike for a day then the battery went dead.

I know my stator is totaly gone (doing the continuity test, every pin is shorted to each other and ground) but wanted to also see if it took the regulator with it. I was told if the voltage exceeds 14.7v, the regulator is toast but with my test light results, how can I be sure? any help appreciated!
 
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