Finally testing my stator and RR - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2018, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Some of you may recall that I recently had two AGM batteries go bad on me, so any reasonable person would suspect the bike's charging system at this point. I've been busy with other things recently, so I didn't get around to this test until today.

First Test: Continuity between each stator wire and ground, to ensure that the stator is not grounded.

This one was a little confusing to me, and I got inconsistent results, while I tried to decide WHAT I should be touching with the other lead. The crank case, the engine block, etc. Also, I eventually figured out that my finger was touching a little part of the bullet connector during the tests that were showing resistance. I finally convinced myself that I was seeing NO resistance on any wire, so I moved on.

Note: in the later continuity test, I used the battery negative terminal, since that is ground. And by this time, I was using clamps to ensure the connection between the wires and the leads. So I'm more confident at this point that I'm seeing no resistance in any of the wires, but I sure didn't expect to be so unsure of myself on that part of the test.

Second Test: Running voltage at 3,000 RPM, between wires A-B, B-C, and C-A

By comparison, testing the running voltage was easier. Getting the wires clamped with the leads was a little bit of a pain, and I have oil that leaks along the stator wire, so that was dripping and making things a little more difficult. Yeah, I realize leaking oil isn't ideal. Let me know if you have thoughts about this. In the meantime, I just monitor my oil levels and add it when I need it. I'll figure out how to stop my oil leak and some point (Oh, I have since realized that there is supposed to be a grommet around the wires at that opening. Since I do not have one, there is nothing to prevent oil from escaping the crank case. I’ll have to figure something out there.)

But anyway, the voltage I got for all combinations was between 44 and 46 volts. Not as high as I would like to see, but I understand that is within the acceptable range (40-70). Is that correct?

Third test: Again testing continuity between all stator wires and ground

At this point I'm using the battery negative terminal as ground, and I'm reasonably satisfied that there is no continuity between them (OL on the meter). The reason I won't say anything more than "reasonably satisfied" is because I tested this in a few different ways, and kept getting readings, but those readings are consistent with what I see when my finger is on a lead, so I'm pretty sure I was just being a goofball.

So, it appears my stator is not failing (yet).

Now I'm moving on to the R/R. I suspect I'll find a problem with it, in which case I'll order a new one and relocate it from the bottom of the battery case. But, first things first... to the test!

1986 Vulcan 750
Purchased June 2018, as a first bike.
Put 1,300 miles on it so far.
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

AGM Battery, Iridium Plugs
SeaFoam does wonders, and I'm protected by Ride-On
Back tire: Dunlop Challenger.
Front tire: Dunlop Challenger, but about to replace it with a Kenda Cruiser.

Last edited by readparse; 09-15-2018 at 06:20 PM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2018, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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It took me a while to get back to testing the R/R. I needed to get some new bullet connectors, and I did an unrelated exchange at Harbor Freight, etc.

Anyway, I finally got those wires back together, started up the bike, and tested the battery at the terminals. I'm getting about 13.5 volts at 3,000 RPM.

From what I understand, both the stator and the R/R are behaving as if they're good, and yet I'm going through AGM batteries at a fairly rapid clip.

Here's one thing I have never fully understood, though: My resting voltage was never suspicious. It was always over 13 volts. When my batteries had to be replaced, it was the cranking voltage that was low. I have two questions about this:

First of all, what could be causing this, other than my stator not cranking out enough AC volts (it's doing 45 or so), or my RR not providing enough DC volts (it's doing 13.5 or so)?

Second, I'm curious about what to do about a battery that gets in this situation. Is it truly done for, or can I get it back into peak form, by charging it in a certain way? I do have a trickle charger, which I was told by the previous owner to use, and which I did use pretty regularly. That was with the conventional battery, and was obviously to compensate for a problem getting it charged up enough to start the bike. I don't mind going back to that, if that will help. It was no big deal to plug in the battery every night, though the little adapter that I have sticking out from under the seat.

I'm glad I finally got this testing done, but it sounds like I don't need to continue testing the R/R. I went ahead and ordered a new one from Amazon earlier today, and perhaps it wouldn't hurt to replace it -- and certainly relocating it is a good idea.

So I'm... unsure of how to proceed. For now, I got my bike back together, so I think I'll go ride it (and, oh yeah, I really ought to change that front tire tonight also. I've REALLY been putting that off).

1986 Vulcan 750
Purchased June 2018, as a first bike.
Put 1,300 miles on it so far.
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

AGM Battery, Iridium Plugs
SeaFoam does wonders, and I'm protected by Ride-On
Back tire: Dunlop Challenger.
Front tire: Dunlop Challenger, but about to replace it with a Kenda Cruiser.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 12:15 PM
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Make sure you look for AC voltage at the battery, my R/R partially died and was letting AC volts through to the battery, my dash mounted Chinese DC voltmeter only showed a slight rise in DC volts.......

Most low cost Multimeters on the DC range will not typically be able to correctly interpret AC voltages and may even filter them out altogether.

'99 Vulcan "Victoria"
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyO View Post
Make sure you look for AC voltage at the battery, my R/R partially died and was letting AC volts through to the battery, my dash mounted Chinese DC voltmeter only showed a slight rise in DC volts.......

Most low cost Multimeters on the DC range will not typically be able to correctly interpret AC voltages and may even filter them out altogether.
Hmmm, that's interesting. I'll check it out. One good thing about my multimeter is that it's definitely not cheap. It's a Fluke 114. It's about $130 new from Amazon, and I got a gently-used one for $80. So you're saying that I might actually see AC voltage at the battery, huh? That never occurred to me.

And I assume that would... uh... be a bad thing. I guess

1986 Vulcan 750
Purchased June 2018, as a first bike.
Put 1,300 miles on it so far.
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

AGM Battery, Iridium Plugs
SeaFoam does wonders, and I'm protected by Ride-On
Back tire: Dunlop Challenger.
Front tire: Dunlop Challenger, but about to replace it with a Kenda Cruiser.
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