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Be thankful you don't own a four cylinder goldwing, they fail so often people started putting car altenators attached to the main shaft on the front of the bike because, like our VN's, lit's a engine pull to replace the stock stator.
o_O Whoa that's some serious modding! Good to know that Hondas, including the esteemed Goldwing, have their weaknesses too. Now I don't feel so bad.
 

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Thanks for responding. I appreciate your advice and suggestions, and I don't mind working on my own bike - chipping away at mods like these that promise to improve performance and reliability.

Now here's a question that may seem silly but one I've had since joining this forum:
What's the best way to actually FIND the mods you're referenced here. I mean, I know how to do a search. If I search for "mofset" for instance, I get dozens of posts and threads to choose from. But naturally what I really want is to find the post/thread that outlines the procedure itself.

Same with the Verses. People here refer to them often so I've tried to find them. I think I did and was reading through them but at one point, someone referred to yet another document called Verses in the form of a PDF (which I could not find).

Ideally, I'd like to find a post or thread to walk me through the process of, say, installing a MOFSET, including what to buy, where to buy it, and what's involved in installing it. I don't mind wading through a thread to hear everyone's input (as was the case with the lengthy thread on MCCTs), but what's the best way to find the most relevant one, outlining each mod?
Not sure anyone has done a step by step on the MOSFET, it's pretty straightforward, all you really need is the wiring diagram which is quite simple, then decide where you want to put it. The MOSFET kits make wiring pretty easy, and the diagram can be found at roadstercycle.com, or here. Just start a thread and you can get questions answered. Otherwise, it's digging through the search.

The Blue and Two Wire mods are pinned in the electrical section. And there may be one thread for the fan relay, although buried. The fan relay is fairly simple, once you understand the schematics for the relay.

As with most things, if you can't find it in the search, just ask.

Got my MOSFET kit from roadstercycle. MOSFET wiring is positive and ground to the battery and three yellow stator wires.

Don't believe I've seen a pdf for the Verses, but I'll have to check where the post is located. Good info there, except the recommendation for Dexcool, since then the problems with it are known.
 

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Yeah, the engine pull on the Goldwing is a real weenie shrinker. One or two people here have done the car alternator on the VN, there's a thread somewhere. They put a seal in the stator cover, extension on the crank, pulley, v-belt, and voila.
 

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Thanks for responding. I appreciate your advice and suggestions, and I don't mind working on my own bike - chipping away at mods like these that promise to improve performance and reliability.

Now here's a question that may seem silly but one I've had since joining this forum:
What's the best way to actually FIND the mods you're referenced here. I mean, I know how to do a search. If I search for "mofset" for instance, I get dozens of posts and threads to choose from. But naturally what I really want is to find the post/thread that outlines the procedure itself.

Same with the Verses. People here refer to them often so I've tried to find them. I think I did and was reading through them but at one point, someone referred to yet another document called Verses in the form of a PDF (which I could not find).

Ideally, I'd like to find a post or thread to walk me through the process of, say, installing a MOFSET, including what to buy, where to buy it, and what's involved in installing it. I don't mind wading through a thread to hear everyone's input (as was the case with the lengthy thread on MCCTs), but what's the best way to find the most relevant one, outlining each mod?
I don’t think this is a silly question, I have often found this to be a challenge as well. I have done a boatload of mods to my bike, I paid for the stator job (ouch!) because I live in the city and I don’t want to tear my bike down on the sidewalk. The work I have done has been the product of multiple threads to cover all the details plus the manual. I always do my homework, I’ve been a tech/engineer for almost 25yrs so it’s just how my brain is wired. Unfortunately I haven’t come across many “how to’s” on here, just a ton of good info but you just have to piece it all together
 

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Not sure anyone has done a step by step on the MOSFET, it's pretty straightforward, all you really need is the wiring diagram which is quite simple, then decide where you want to put it. The MOSFET kits make wiring pretty easy, and the diagram can be found at roadstercycle.com, or here. Just start a thread and you can get questions answered. Otherwise, it's digging through the search.
First let me ask: What is the benefit for each of these mods? I mean, I know you recommended them to help the stator survive as long as possible but, practically speaking, how does eliminating each of the relays serve that purpose? And how about swapping out the OEM R/R for a MOFSET?

As for the existing wiring and connections, I can see how that would help. Had to cut out the melted R/R harness on my girlfriend's Shadow and solder the wires together. Thought I might be in it for a new R/R too but fixing the wires did the trick.
 

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The stock R/R is a shunt so to keep it simple it converts unused power to heat and since the stock location is basically in an oven it can lead to early failure. The MOSFET is more efficient in how it regulates power output.
if I’m not mistaken and I’m sure someone will chime in if I’m wrong, the relays being bypassed are in the junction box which when it fails can cause havoc. I haven’t changed my R/R yet so I haven’t done “my homework” as I mentioned earlier in the thread.
 

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Thanks for responding. I appreciate your advice and suggestions, and I don't mind working on my own bike - chipping away at mods like these that promise to improve performance and reliability.

Now here's a question that may seem silly but one I've had since joining this forum:
What's the best way to actually FIND the mods you're referenced here. I mean, I know how to do a search. If I search for "mofset" for instance, I get dozens of posts and threads to choose from. But naturally what I really want is to find the post/thread that outlines the procedure itself.

Same with the Verses. People here refer to them often so I've tried to find them. I think I did and was reading through them but at one point, someone referred to yet another document called Verses in the form of a PDF (which I could not find).

Ideally, I'd like to find a post or thread to walk me through the process of, say, installing a MOFSET, including what to buy, where to buy it, and what's involved in installing it. I don't mind wading through a thread to hear everyone's input (as was the case with the lengthy thread on MCCTs), but what's the best way to find the most relevant one, outlining each mod?
Hey, sorry if I spooked you regarding this bike's reliability. I'm all kinds of happy with this bike despite spending $800 on the stator and regultor. Plus, it could totally be done DIY using this forum as a guide, but I decided to not take that route. I've ridden 4,000 miles this year since the regulator and stator work. The valve timing is robust and the final drive is all but bullet proof (I lubed it last December).

Regarding your question about an all-encompassing guide, I can't remember where exactly I found this PDF on this forum, but check this out! It's helped me A LOT (blue wire mod, two wire mod, volt meter, pickup coil mod, RLU mod, heck...even oil change notes and best practices!)
 

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First let me ask: What is the benefit for each of these mods? I mean, I know you recommended them to help the stator survive as long as possible but, practically speaking, how does eliminating each of the relays serve that purpose? And how about swapping out the OEM R/R for a MOFSET?

As for the existing wiring and connections, I can see how that would help. Had to cut out the melted R/R harness on my girlfriend's Shadow and solder the wires together. Thought I might be in it for a new R/R too but fixing the wires did the trick.
mmart summed it up pretty well.

The junction box, it's solid state relays, and the harness are known failure points.

Plug n play is easy, but you're still gambling that the junction box and harness won't fail. The MOSFET kit uses much larger gauge wire, another benefit.

The Blue Wire mod, if you cut the stator feed, will remove AC volts from the junction box. Many failed JBs are found with pretty severe burns on the circuit board. The solid state relays also fail fairly often. The headlight relay is bypassed with this mod.

Two Wire mod bypasses the solid state relay in the junction box which triggers the starter relay. Over engineering at it's finest, a relay to trigger a relay. The solid state start relay failed on mine.

Thtanner had a new stator, new MOSFET, and his bike still had the charging volts dropping off during rides, the Two Wire mod fixed it.

Same with the fan relay, it does away with the relay in the junction box. Haven't confirmed it yet, but I'm fairly certain my bike needs this mod, charging volts randomly dropping off during rides, along with the low voltage backfire whenever a brownout is occurring.

The dash mount voltmeter let's you keep tabs on the voltage, so you can see if there's a problem developing. Should've had one from the factory. If I see 12.8v, I know to take the direct route home, not the 80 mile loop.
 

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Regarding your question about an all-encompassing guide, I can't remember where exactly I found this PDF on this forum, but check this out! It's helped me A LOT (blue wire mod, two wire mod, volt meter, pickup coil mod, RLU mod, heck...even oil change notes and best practices!)
Holy smokes, what an incredible, helpful resource! Thank you so much(y)

(I'm still learning my way around in this forum so I'm obviously in no position to instruct anyone, but if this document isn't already pinned somewhere, preferably where it's easy to find, please allow me to suggest it.)
 

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mmart summed it up pretty well.

The dash mount voltmeter let's you keep tabs on the voltage, so you can see if there's a problem developing. Should've had one from the factory. If I see 12.8v, I know to take the direct route home, not the 80 mile loop.
Thank you both for responding to my questions about the mods and how they work.

Regardless which mods I choose to perform, this voltmeter suggestion seems a reasonable place to begin. Like you said, that way I can at least keep an eye on the performance of the charging system and head off problems as they arise.

What do you have for a meter and where exactly did you mount it? Also, what wire(s) did you tap into to get the reading?

So far (fingers crossed) everything seems to be working fine on my bike, charging-wise. I do occasionally notice a flicker in the headlight at night. It usually happens a few minutes after starting. The light flickers and gets brighter. Could that be when the regulator reduces the charging rate to the battery?

Another thing I've noticed is that the yellow wires near the junction box (both where they connect at the bullets and also where they plug into the R/R get pretty toasty after the bike's first been started. The PO must've cut the plug where it connects to the R/R because those ends are all female spades wrapped in black tape. No sign of corrosion in the bullets or melting on the wires tho - just really warm to the touch. Is that normal?

I also just noticed today that there is red sealant squeezed out around the bottom edge of the stator cover, so, unless that's stock, I'm guessing the stator's been replaced at some point since '86 (if not multiple times).
 

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Thank you both for responding to my questions about the mods and how they work.

Regardless which mods I choose to perform, this voltmeter suggestion seems a reasonable place to begin. Like you said, that way I can at least keep an eye on the performance of the charging system and head off problems as they arise.

What do you have for a meter and where exactly did you mount it? Also, what wire(s) did you tap into to get the reading?

So far (fingers crossed) everything seems to be working fine on my bike, charging-wise. I do occasionally notice a flicker in the headlight at night. It usually happens a few minutes after starting. The light flickers and gets brighter. Could that be when the regulator reduces the charging rate to the battery?

Another thing I've noticed is that the yellow wires near the junction box (both where they connect at the bullets and also where they plug into the R/R get pretty toasty after the bike's first been started. The PO must've cut the plug where it connects to the R/R because those ends are all female spades wrapped in black tape. No sign of corrosion in the bullets or melting on the wires tho - just really warm to the touch. Is that normal?

I also just noticed today that there is red sealant squeezed out around the bottom edge of the stator cover, so, unless that's stock, I'm guessing the stator's been replaced at some point since '86 (if not multiple times).
The voltmeter I have is an led bar, double stick tape mounted onto the handlebar cover, wired to the battery and a toggle switch on the ground side. There's all sorts on eBay under ten dollars, LED, digital, analog, some even have a USB charging port and/or a cigarette lighter socket. Some get mounted up beside the speedo/tach.

The red sealer does sound like it has been repaired in some way.

Lights getting brighter probably means the system volts rose, such as the RR opening up.

The wiring does get warm but shouldn't be hot.
 

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My voltmeter is mounted right here, I hooked it up with a set of LED driving lights coming off the accessory lead in the headlight bucket. I see minor inconsistencies with the voltage there vs directly on the battery because I’m reading the output after it travels through the wiring (about a .2 to .4v difference). This pic really reads 13.5 but the camera caught the flicker so the 3 is invisible lol


Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Light Automotive design
 

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Here's my shiny new voltmeter. I liked the idea of tapping into an accessory wire inside the bucket so that's what I did. I knew if I didn't, I would forget to turn off the switch.

The one mmart shows above looks like a great fit, but hearing Spockster mention some that had USB ports, I got this one. I flipped back the little silicone cap to reveal the ports in this pic. It fits nicely in that particular spot on my bars. Plus I like the blue display (which unfortunately looks kinda white here).

Speedometer Motor vehicle Light Vehicle Automotive design
 

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Here's my shiny new voltmeter. I liked the idea of tapping into an accessory wire inside the bucket so that's what I did. I knew if I didn't, I would forget to turn off the switch.

The one mmart shows above looks like a great fit, but hearing Spockster mention some that had USB ports, I got this one. I flipped back the little silicone cap to reveal the ports in this pic. It fits nicely in that particular spot on my bars. Plus I like the blue display (which unfortunately looks kinda white here).

View attachment 53864
Good one, two charging ports also. Like the clock too.

Looks like a button for something?
 

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Good one, two charging ports also. Like the clock too.

Looks like a button for something?
Thanks!

Yes, that's actually an integrated on/off switch in the event you hook it up direct to the battery. Once you know it's there, you can actually roll the switch with the cap closed. But because I've got mine wired to go on with the key, the switch just stays on.
 
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