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Old 01-21-2013, 04:38 AM   #1
roger 04 rt OP
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2004 R1150 Alternator Problem

Started up this yesterday, rode to get a newspaper. Stopped, went to start, wouldn't turn over. The battery was only charged enough to move the engine a quarter turn. I put it in 6th and rolled it down hill and it started, phew.

Rode home. Shut off. Tried restarting, and it turned over and started.

I noticed the other day that the Batt/Alt light bulb didn't turn on with the key but thought I'd look into it later. I was able to duplicate that symptom. When I measure the D+ wire at the alternator it's at 12 volts, which is coming from the indicator lamp, so it seems that the rotor, slip rings or voltage regulator isn't providing a ground. I the grounded D+ lead to make sure the bulb and wire were good and the bulb lit so everything is good up to the alternator. To me it appears that either the slip ring connection to the rotor is intermittent, or a wire is loose at the regulator or the voltage regulator has a problem.

The bike is an '04 R1150 with just under 30K miles. How likely is it that the slip rings aren't making a good connection?

roger 04 rt screwed with this post 01-21-2013 at 11:58 AM
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
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The starting failure sounds more like a starter motor problem.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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Check your battery cables on both ends, especially the ground .
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
roger 04 rt OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
The starting failure sounds more like a starter motor problem.
Success.

There were two separate problems:

1. The D+ spade terminal at the alternator was loose. Tightened up and reinstalled and the alternator starts first time, every time.

2. The starter motor was binding sometimes, drawing lots of current and causing the battery voltage to drop during cranking. This also means the injectors don't fire enough fuel, causing it to crank longer before starting.

Took the starter out and broke it down, in pieces. The model is D6RA75 which I believe is the "good" one.

What I've found is that the inside cover to the planetary gear system had somehow fallen out from it's location covering the gears. It then ended up attracted to the permanent magnets and found its way to the top of the armature. The piece I'm referring to is the cover you can see in the (copied photo from another post) picture below. It has been rotating with the armature, part of the inner hole has worn off and there are signs of arcing (including some holes in the cover!) but otherwise it looks fine. The armature wiring that made contact with the cover had some wear but is okay.

I reinstalled the planetary gear cover as in the photo below, put the starter back together after a bit of lubrication and cleaning. The motor now spins faster, is quieter and the battery voltage stays higher during cranking. The bike starts more quickly too.

Thanks everyone for the help.


roger 04 rt screwed with this post 01-31-2013 at 08:35 PM
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I won't be able to open it up for a couple days but I now think I have two problems. One is that the alternator D+ circuit has a problem which I have to step my way through.

The second issue is that either the starter is drawing a lot of current sometimes or the battery, a less than one year old PC680, is defective and loses charge.

I'll post again when I know more.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #6
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Oh boy, this is gonna be educational.

I believe Roger knows Ohm, Kirchoff, Volta, Schottky and Tesla personally...maybe even Plank, Joule and Coulomb.

I'm stayin' tuned.

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:10 AM   #7
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Oh boy, this is gonna be educational.

I believe Roger knows Ohm, Kirchoff, Volta, Schottky and Tesla personally...maybe even Plank, Joule and Coulomb.

I'm stayin' tuned.

Lets hope he knows that the metal dirt guard in the starter motor has a habit of coming loose and shorting.
And that the combined bare earths in the instrument loom have a common habit of corroding due to water ingress in the outer sheath and causing instrument light problems .
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:46 AM   #8
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Lets hope he knows that the metal dirt guard in the starter motor has a habit of coming loose and shorting.
And that the combined bare earths in the instrument loom have a common habit of corroding due to water ingress in the outer sheath and causing instrument light problems .
I didn't know any of those things, thank you. Could you tell me what the normal range of starter currents is?

The battery took a long time to recharge so I'm thinking starter motor load is depleting the battery. I've had the starter motor out about a year ago and it didn't seem to need much more than cleaning to get the post-start squealing to disappear. But not knowing about the magnets and not realizing what a meal I would make out of getting the circlip and retainer back on the shaft I ran out of time and never opened the motor—so I get to do it a second time.

It could be a wiring problem with that light but given the there is +12V on the D+ at the diag connector, no Batt/Alt light and no alternator start. It seems like either there is no +12V at the D+ post on the alternator or a problem inside it.

But I won't know much more till I open it up which won't happen until I shovel some snow. Hear that Def?
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:40 AM   #9
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first thing I would start off with is the easy stuff... alternator B+ should have battery voltage at all times. that voltage should rise when the engine is running, and it should stabilize somewhere around 14v. if it does that the next thing I would do is load test the battery.

the initial inrush current to the starter could be as high as a couple hundred amps for half a second or so... most meters can not respond in time to read that. without some specs it's hard to evaluate the starter motor unless it is really screwed. I can make an educated guess at the no load run current but thats all it would be. also, some series motors don't like to be run no load... not enough current to let the CEMF limit RPM resulting in the motor flinging out it's windings.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger 04 rt View Post
I didn't know any of those things, thank you. Could you tell me what the normal range of starter currents is?

The battery took a long time to recharge so I'm thinking starter motor load is depleting the battery. I've had the starter motor out about a year ago and it didn't seem to need much more than cleaning to get the post-start squealing to disappear. But not knowing about the magnets and not realizing what a meal I would make out of getting the circlip and retainer back on the shaft I ran out of time and never opened the motor—so I get to do it a second time.

It could be a wiring problem with that light but given the there is +12V on the D+ at the diag connector, no Batt/Alt light and no alternator start. It seems like either there is no +12V at the D+ post on the alternator or a problem inside it.

But I won't know much more till I open it up which won't happen until I shovel some snow. Hear that Def?
Oh quit whinin' about a little snow and take trip to Legal Seafood or Jimmy's Harborside Inn and eat a lobster.

OK, wait a minute...Jimmy's is closed...try Anthony's Pier 4....

def screwed with this post 01-23-2013 at 11:11 AM
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:43 PM   #11
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Back to business ...

I pulled all the plastic and the fuel tank. The Blue D+ wire connects to a spade terminal on the alternator with a press-on female spade. Wiggling that connection restored continuity to the circuit and the Batt/Alt light now comes on at Key On. My garage is below freezing today and that press-on connection is in a knuckle-busting location. As soon as it warms up I'll check for corrosion and/or a loose fit. It looks like I won't have to pull the alternator.

Further investigation of the starter will have to wait for a warmer day.

RB
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