stator woes and a moral dilemma - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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stator woes and a moral dilemma

Hi all... it's been a while. Please don't mind the long winded post. I'm in a bit of a dilemma.

Recently found the paperwork for the '86 I rode around on before I got my BMW. With that in hand I serviced the bike (all fluids, splines, carb clean and sync, cleaning, new agm battery, aside from some other longer term stuff I've done over the last few years) and sold it last night...

then 60 miles later the stator failed... I think. I met the buyer on the side of the road today a few miles out of town. 12v at 4-5k rpm. Went back to the city where the other two bikes are in boxes, and brought 2 other R/R's to the side of the road. Both of these also rendered 12v at 4-5k rpm.

I didn't check the regulator. Had a test lamp with me... but the link to the diagram in the verses was bad so I was kind of at a loss there. I find it hard to believe all 3 could be bad. I didn't test the stator. Haven't ever had to do it, wasn't entirely sure on what to check, and as I was kind of rushed to go help the guy out...

Jumped it again and told him to keep the revs up and followed him home. So here's where I'm at:

1) I checked the voltage at the battery when I was bringing the bike back up to snuff, after I put in the new AGM battery. Voltage was correct. Could it be that the 100 degree heat killed it today? Coolant needle would swing up to about 3/4 at a standstill before the fan would bring it back down. Didn't overheat though. Coolant was done about 1-1/2 years ago. Stator is sitting in a fresh bath of Rotella T, and I was good about changing the oil.

2) Also, since it's a permanent magnet rotor, could it be that when he zinged it up to 8k on the test ride that loaded up the windings with more juice than they could take? Not that it shouldn't be able to take it... but these are a weak link on the Vulcans and I'm thinking along the lines of "the straw that broke the camel's back" What is the proper procedure to check the condition of the stator?

3) I did move the R/R back to the clutch side helmet lock mounting hole a couple years ago for the obvious reasons. Never had charging problems. I replaced the battery recently because I had let the old one die while the bike was sitting. The old one was a flooded battery, but I was good about keeping the levels proper. What is the proper procedure to check the R/R? I'm thinking more along the lines of the test lamp procedure. I know the multimeter one is pretty useless.

I had offered to buy the bike back from him for the selling price (1450, 150 less than asking). He's into it for $200 in registration and taxes, so I don't think he wants to. Thing is, I know that the bike was charging the last time I had it running, which was to sync the carbs a couple weeks ago. I don't wan't to screw this guy, but it just seems like bad luck. I have a used stator off my last 86 I would give him for nothing... but why spend all that time to put in a used, failure-prone part?

I suggested that if the stator is bad to replace it with an aftermarket one, and probably do the balancer gear bushings while the stator is out for good measure (26k on the clock). I'd kinda eat it at $350 for parts and labor, but that's what I'm thinking of offering if he wants me to do it. I've thought about kicking him back a few bucks, but I checked that bike inside and out before I put it up for sale... and I gave up $150 on the phone before he came to buy it.

So... thoughts, advice, vindication? I'd welcome it all.
Thanks for staying tuned,
-Luca

If it ain't broke... well I'm sure I can find something that is
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 12:52 AM
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charging system troubleshooting guide... do every thing in order, both engine hot and engine cold. post back findings here and i will see what i can do to help
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 06:24 AM
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If the stator is replace with a cheap aftermarket it want last long. Tim Parrot rewire would be the best way to go. Does this guy know how to do the replacement? A shop will hit him $750+ in labor alone. He probably ain't gonna be a happy camper either way. 27 year old bike, something is gonna let go.

Last edited by Chuck A.; 07-19-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 09:26 AM
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You offered to buy it back. That's all you can be expected to do. Chance we all take buying older bikes. JMHO

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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I agree... either buy it back from him at the price you sold it... or its on him. If you feel bad enough... and can change out the stator... change it... but make him pay for parts.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the procedure, Slim

provided it is the stator (Sure does seem like it) I could do the tuxedo mod and give him a used stator one from one of my other bikes. Or he could do the tuxedo mod or have one of his friends do it. I know there is some controversy about cutting the cover on the engine... his call.

At least with the tuxedo/used stator he could do another replacement easily.

If it ain't broke... well I'm sure I can find something that is
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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and thanks for the kind words guys. I feel bad, but it just seems like bad luck. I helped him out the other day... I can help him out a little more... but it is his bike now unless he wants to sell it back.

If it ain't broke... well I'm sure I can find something that is
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 12:02 PM
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Yeah, bad timing is a bitch. But you did everything except force the money into his hands.
I'm sure he'd be up for help changing it out.
I know I'd appreciate a previous owner who knows the machine
Helping me out.

Besides, a bad stator isn't really something you could hide.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 12:29 PM
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It would have been an as-is sale unless you specifically guaranteed something. But since you are dealing in good faith, if it were me I would let him have the other stator to send to TPE for a rewind. That's the best way to try and make sure the stator works well and is reliable.

I'm not sure I would offer to do the Tuxedo mod for him, you may be putting yourself on the hook for any problems that could arise from that, oil leaks, misalignment, etc. I am not a lawyer, just giving you another way to look at it.

You're going the extra miles for the buyer, many would shout caveat emptor and end the phone call. I'd give ya a plus 10 seller rating if it were me.

The stator tests aren't really complicated, they just look that way on paper. Really, you are looking for a consistent ohm reading between each lead (withing the given range), consistent AC voltage on each (within the given range), and absolutely no continuity from each stator lead to ground. All done with the stator leads disconnected from the R/R and/or harness. I only know this because I tested mine so many times.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the simplified explanation. Makes perfect sense. For the AC current on the stator leads I just ground the other multimeter probe?

yes, the sale was as-is. I did offer to buy the bike back in good faith, and I've got myself up on CL for maintenance work (obviously I need some brushing up on ignition and charging) so I'd like to make a good reputation for myself and see the new owner go off happy.

But you're right, now it's a liability to go cutting apart the engine on a bike I don't own.

I think I'll toss him a spare stator no matter what. That way he could stick it in, have a running bike, and send the other one out to get rebuilt.

If I can recoup the $150 I lost on the sale price, I'll do the tuxedo mod and he will have an improved motorcycle and a spare stator. Seems fair and reasonable to me... especially given the usual alternative (click)

If it ain't broke... well I'm sure I can find something that is
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