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Author Topic: Bad Stator?  (Read 567 times)

azcatfan

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Bad Stator?
« on: April 24, 2014, 12:07:35 AM »
Okay gang, I find myself up against the first repair on my bike that isn't just me tinkering.

I'm thinking the stator is bad, here's why:

1. Battery is new as of October (when I bought the bike I was told the battery was weak from storage so I replaced it at that time).  I have used the bike as a daily rider for my commute nearly every day since with no issues. Not until the last few days did I notice it was not charging.

2. V meter on the battery while the bike is running shows12v and dropping as the bike continues to run, regardless of revs.  I do however still have a headlight when bike is running as is normal.

3. Unplugged the regulator just to see if the charging volts would jump, and no, no effect.  If I understand it right, if the regulator is bad then unplugging it would send unmetered charging to the battery (the 'get me home fix').  So since that didn't happen it leads me to believe that the regulator was not blocking charging.

4. Going to the leads from the alternator I ran the meter on the violet wires while running ( I have an '02 4 speed ES with 4 wire alt) .  At idle it fluctuated between 6v-11v, when rev'd up to about 3500rpm it would climb to about 25v.  My understanding is that the V/AC should be double that, am I not correct?

So I'm going with the idea that several coils on the stator are bad, given that the headlight circuit still works and I have reduced AC performance prior to the Rec/Reg.

As a side note, I checked the grounds behind the battery, realizing that the cable can break inside the coating, this doesn't seem to be a culprit.

What say you oh Grand Gearheads of the Royal Enfield world?
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High On Octane

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 02:41:11 AM »
OK.  When testing the stator you need to check between all the different variations of the wires.  It is possible you were testing the idle circuit that was only 25 volts.  Also, to test the rectifier put your volt meter on the ohms setting or continuity setting.  Test between the stator inputs and also the negative and positive wires to make sure you have continuity throughout the rectifier.  If there is continuity throughout the rectifier is good, if there is a fault in between any of the wires you have a bad rectifier.  It's not too common to have a bad stator unless the rotor is rubbing like my stupid bike keeps doing, but that's another thread.

Scottie J
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Arizoni

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 05:19:19 AM »
It might not help but this pdf file link could have something that will help.
Your computer will need Adobe to open the file.

http://www.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/pictures/content4/bullet_electrics_charging_1999_on.pdf
Jim
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azcatfan

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 01:36:56 PM »
Thanks Jim,  that's more or less what I did.  In the Hitchcock's guide there it says when checking the AC current across the two violet wires that it should rise quickly to over 30v at half revs.  Some of the other threads I've researched on here seemed to indicate that I should be getting around 12-13v at idle, and over 40v when rev'd up.  This is why I started thinking the alternator may be the issue because I was getting single digits at idle and a bouncy 25v at around 3500 rpm.

Scotty, I didn't check the rectifier for resistance.  I'll give that a go when I get home from work.  Am I missing something on checking those alternator leads?

Thanks for the help, guys.
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ace.cafe

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 01:45:16 PM »
I have always heard it should be 44v on the alternator output wires, when revved.
And don't discount the possibility of a weak magnet in the rotor. Heat and vibration are magnet killers, and our bikes have plenty of both.

If you aren't getting at least 13.2v at the battery, then the battery will never get fully charged.
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azcatfan

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 03:47:56 PM »
I have always heard it should be 44v on the alternator output wires, when revved.
And don't discount the possibility of a weak magnet in the rotor. Heat and vibration are magnet killers, and our bikes have plenty of both.

If you aren't getting at least 13.2v at the battery, then the battery will never get fully charged.

Yes, that's what I understood as well for the Alternator wires.  The Headlamp circuit seems to be functioning which would mean some of the coils are bad?  :-\  I'll run more tests when I get home today, pull the primary cover off and examine and clean the Alternator, check clearance, magnet for debris and whatnot.

I'm getting no charging at the battery, while running with the meter on the battery you can watch the voltage slowly drop as the bike runs.
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azcatfan

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 12:30:32 AM »
OK.  When testing the stator you need to check between all the different variations of the wires.  It is possible you were testing the idle circuit that was only 25 volts.  Also, to test the rectifier put your volt meter on the ohms setting or continuity setting.  Test between the stator inputs and also the negative and positive wires to make sure you have continuity throughout the rectifier.  If there is continuity throughout the rectifier is good, if there is a fault in between any of the wires you have a bad rectifier.  It's not too common to have a bad stator unless the rotor is rubbing like my stupid bike keeps doing, but that's another thread.

Scottie J

Hey Scottie, I'm not catching what you're saying by checking the V/AC on the idle circuit.  I ran the V/AC test similar to that Hitchcock's write-up which is similar to how Kevin has described in other threads on this forum.  When monitoring the two violet wires I get single digits at idle, when I bump the throttle up to around 3500 RPM, I'm only getting around 25 V/AC.

I did check for continuity through the rectifier, and everything seems to be good there.  Used the continuity tester on the grounds as well and all checked out.

In a bit I'm going to pull the primary cover off, I'm hoping I just have some slag coating the magnet and everything will be good after a cleaning.  I had the primary cover off during regular maintenance not long ago, I can't imagine something would have fouled it up this bad in less than a couple of months, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.  I really don't want to have to wait a month for back ordered parts and time to install  :(
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Arizoni

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2014, 01:01:17 AM »
I know next to nothing about these charging systems but your saying you had been in there does make me ask, is it possible one or more of the wires leading out could have been broken or grounded?

It's usually best to look at anything that had been recently messed with.
Jim
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azcatfan

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2014, 01:19:57 AM »
I know next to nothing about these charging systems but your saying you had been in there does make me ask, is it possible one or more of the wires leading out could have been broken or grounded?

It's usually best to look at anything that had been recently messed with.

I hear ya, and yes, I checked all of the bullet connectors that go to the harness wiring prior to the rectifier.  My having been in the primary case was just to change the oil and check the primary chain, at that time I wiped everything clean, but didn't pull the stator from the rotor or anything like that.  Just a fluid change.

I have pulled the primary cover and pulled the stator.  Before removing the stator I did notice the the clearance for the magnets on the bottom half were allot closer than the top half.  I rotated everything via the kicker to see if the rotor was not true and that doesn't appear to be the case, no determinable wobble. I've cleaned everything very well, surprisingly there was some scummy buildup but nothing I think would inhibit charging.  I'm looking for a milk jug to cut up for the spacing when I put it all back together for testing again.
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baird4444

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2014, 01:33:49 AM »
OK.  When testing the stator you need to check between all the different variations of the wires.  It is possible you were testing the idle circuit that was only 25 volts.  Also, to test the rectifier put your volt meter on the ohms setting or continuity setting.  Test between the stator inputs and also the negative and positive wires to make sure you have continuity throughout the rectifier.  If there is continuity throughout the rectifier is good, if there is a fault in between any of the wires you have a bad rectifier.  It's not too common to have a bad stator unless the rotor is rubbing like my stupid bike keeps doing, but that's another thread.
Scottie J

Hey Scotty, I had issues with mine so I had it turned down about
20 thou on a lathe...   much easier to center and did not affect
the charging...
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azcatfan

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 02:17:29 AM »
Well, cleaned and recentered the stator, refilled the primary and went back to testing:

At the alternator wires I still get single digits during idle, on throttle it did go as high as 35 V/AC, which still isn't enough once it hits the rectifier.

At the battery was the same story, no charge, only the status of the battery, slowly moving down when left running.   :(

I think I'm in for a new alternator.  This is strange to me because every other alternator I've ever replaced just quit working altogether.  Here I still have low voltage on the phased wires, and enough V/AC to run the headlamp.

Since the rectifier tested good, and so did the regulator (by omitting it), the wires, grounds and connections are in good shape, and the alternator putting out low voltage, that is where I'm putting my money.

Any other guesses, or tests I could run?

Also, Nfield Gear website doesn't show an alternator for my bike online.  I'll give them a call tomorrow, but another reputable vendor would be nice.  I don't trust the ebay stores unless I know someone that's used them.
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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2014, 12:16:31 PM »
Hey Scottie, I'm not catching what you're saying by checking the V/AC on the idle circuit.  I ran the V/AC test similar to that Hitchcock's write-up which is similar to how Kevin has described in other threads on this forum.  When monitoring the two violet wires I get single digits at idle, when I bump the throttle up to around 3500 RPM, I'm only getting around 25 V/AC.

I did check for continuity through the rectifier, and everything seems to be good there.  Used the continuity tester on the grounds as well and all checked out.

In a bit I'm going to pull the primary cover off, I'm hoping I just have some slag coating the magnet and everything will be good after a cleaning.  I had the primary cover off during regular maintenance not long ago, I can't imagine something would have fouled it up this bad in less than a couple of months, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.  I really don't want to have to wait a month for back ordered parts and time to install  :(

Bike stator/alternators are built in phases.  If you have 2 wires, it's a 2 phase alternator, 3 wires equals 3 phase.  Typically, they have different size coils and put out different amounts of voltage depending on the RPM the motor is turning.  While 30 volts isn't crazy high for a stator that should be more than enough to work.  If you are getting voltage at the the stator but NOT the battery your rectifier is going to be the culprit, not the alternator.  Did you test the rectifier for continuity?

Scottie J
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Specializing In Kustom Paint

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azcatfan

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2014, 01:41:08 PM »
Bike stator/alternators are built in phases.  If you have 2 wires, it's a 2 phase alternator, 3 wires equals 3 phase.  Typically, they have different size coils and put out different amounts of voltage depending on the RPM the motor is turning.  While 30 volts isn't crazy high for a stator that should be more than enough to work.  If you are getting voltage at the the stator but NOT the battery your rectifier is going to be the culprit, not the alternator.  Did you test the rectifier for continuity?

Scottie J

Okay, I got what you're saying now.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the 2 violet wires are each phased V/AC that goes to the Rectifier then to the Regulator then to the battery fro charging and accessories.  The violet wires are the ones I checked for voltage going out fo the alternator to the Rectifier. The Yellow/Orange is another phase that goes to a small regualtor then to the headlight circuit, which is working.

I did check for continuity through the rectifier, and everything seems to be good there.  Used the continuity tester on the grounds as well and all checked out.

Yep, I did check the rectifier for continuity, got a solid tone on each lead in and out of the rectifier.

From what I can tell, after cleaning the alternator and putting it back together, the V/AC only went up marginally under throttle (35 V/AC at 3500rpm) but unless I was revving the motor it was all the way down a 4-8 V/AC.

I even went back and double checked the work I did on the turn signals a couple of weeks ago and found nothing.  They were a clean install.  I checked all wires in trouble spots at that time (around the nacelle and rear light assembly) and did again last night.

I am open to ideas for testing things.

Probably looking at 2 weeks before an alternator can make it to my garage so I have time to check other things.
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Blltrdr

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2014, 02:48:44 PM »
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azcatfan

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Re: Bad Stator?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2014, 03:02:54 PM »
Check this out.

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,490.msg4366.html#msg4366

Thanks Blltrdr!  I had read this but could not find it again in my searches.  Looks like Kevin said it needs to be at LEAST 50V/AC coming off of the two violet wires, and that even as low as 47 V/AC may not be enough to charge the bike.  Thats good to know because the highest I have seen was 35 V/AC with the motor revved up.

One thing I did not do was check resistance of the violet wires.  I'll do that when I get home from work. 

I am now sure that the Alternator is bad, but I'd sure like to know why.  I know vibration and all, but there's always been good fluid in there, and even though the bike is 12 years old, it has less than 5k miles.  During the interum waiting for an alternator, I'm going over the harness with my multimeter as a fine toothed comb.  Check any work I've done, patchup and secure any potential abrasion areas for the wires, dielectric grease on all connectors, make sure they're tight and all that good stuff.  :o
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