ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Old's Cool > Airheads
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-17-2010, 08:12 PM   #1
StephenB OP
G(/)S ... what else!
 
StephenB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Ontario
Oddometer: 2,046
Airhead Charging System Secrets

It has been said often before, but it is important enough to be stressed over and over again:

There are no secrets when it comes to the BMW OEM charging system.

I would argue that the system isn't even error prone when maintained properly.

The BOSCH components used have decades of heritage and are proven. That is true for the stator, the rotor, the voltage regulator (mech or elec) as well as the rectifier (diodeboard) none of which is complicated nor do they contain advanced technology.

So why are there reported issues at least once a week?

Because the implementation BMW choose and because people amongst other things use heated gear and aux lights and are practically wringing the system. Hence, if not perfectly working, it'll not sustain those loads over an extended period of time and exhibit the know problems.

What can we do preventively:
  • proper grounding (especially of the diodeboard) is absolut key
  • keep contact resistances at a minimum (clean electrical contacts on stator, diodeboard and voltage regulator regularly and use dielectric grease)
  • watch out for oxydation on connectors
  • check alternator brushes and the copper surface of the two sliprings on the rotor regularly
  • (carry know good spares on longer travel)
It isn't rocket science, just proper maintenance like everything else. It works for me.

FWIW:
The one time I helped a fellow rider it was ... the diodeboard.
The one time my own system failed, it was ... the diodeboard.
__________________

Some of the above is fact, some is fiction, some is my personal imagination and some is just simple truth. [me]

... i'm not touring around the world, but neither are most of the guys i see running overloaded spam cans ... [bmwblake]

Stephen Bottcher
Ontario, Canada

'72 R75/5 The Blues

www.stephenbottcher.net
StephenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 08:17 PM   #2
Steverino
Arrogant Horse's Ass #1
 
Joined: Nov 2001
Oddometer: 36,667
sitting in a hotel room in Palestine, TX 1200 miles from home and your words are little help. But ironic...since my R100GS is not charging.
__________________

Steverino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 08:19 PM   #3
StephenB OP
G(/)S ... what else!
 
StephenB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Ontario
Oddometer: 2,046
I know ... and you don't carry spares!
__________________

Some of the above is fact, some is fiction, some is my personal imagination and some is just simple truth. [me]

... i'm not touring around the world, but neither are most of the guys i see running overloaded spam cans ... [bmwblake]

Stephen Bottcher
Ontario, Canada

'72 R75/5 The Blues

www.stephenbottcher.net
StephenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 08:33 PM   #4
Wirespokes
Beemerholics Anonymous
 
Wirespokes's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Jackson's Bottom Oregon
Oddometer: 7,936
EXACTLY! I agree completely.

Electrical systems and components last the longest when used well under their maximum capacity. Batteries, for instance. The less it's drained, the better; let it get mostly discharged and its useful life his been shortened dramatically, even though recharged right afterwards.

The one part I will disagree about is the rotor. On bikes that have been ridden in a very 'sporting' way the rotors will fail. The windings will shift and eventually short out, but replacements from Motorrad Elektric are much more rugged having been beefed up and modified until they don't come back on warranty.

In the twenty years I've been riding airheads, it's been connections and wear items like brushes I've had to deal with on my bikes. I've carried the smaller replacement items (diode board, rotor, regulator, brush pack) on trips, but only used the rotor for a friend once.

Just yesterday I helped a friend with a charging problem and it turned out to be the regulator - something I almost never see. We called around to the auto parts houses in the area and no one had one in stock. But they could order one, generally $45 or more. Seems like a lot to me, and for an item that was used on just about every 70s import, surprising there's none in stock. The parts fiche says the bmw item is $55, I think, but the dealer quoted me $80 and $140 (said there were two different ones). I don't think the parts guy knew what he was talking about! I'm going to check the discount import auto (VW guys) and if they can't help me then I'll order one from Rick at Motorrad.
__________________
Wanted: Dead, smashed, crashed or trashed gauges
BMW GAUGE REPAIRS - TACH*SPEEDO*CLOCK*VOLT METER *PODs & LIGHT BOARD*
Wirespokes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 06:20 AM   #5
dduelin
Oh boy that was close
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Shaft City
Oddometer: 1,306
I carry a spare rotor & puller bolt and diode board when traveling. The Bosch system is easy to maintain and cheap to repair compared to newer bikes. They fail from age, of course, but mostly from neglect.
__________________
Honda ST1300
Honda NC700X
Honda CH80

Dave
dduelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 06:23 AM   #6
Steverino
Arrogant Horse's Ass #1
 
Joined: Nov 2001
Oddometer: 36,667
If riding 3000 miles in 6 days is neglect then guilty
__________________

Steverino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 06:36 AM   #7
Joerg
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joerg's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Oddometer: 1,356
Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes
Electrical systems and components last the longest when used well under their maximum capacity. Batteries, for instance. The less it's drained, the better
That reminds me of some, uhmmm, human beings ... they only feel good while they are ... filled up to the edge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes
The one part I will disagree about is the rotor.
Yup. Of the three electrical failures that I recall on my airheads, two were due to defective rotors. The third was a worn-out insulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes
I'm going to check the discount import auto (VW guys) and if they can't help me then I'll order one from Rick at Motorrad.
Just for the record, you can use any "B-Type" regulator with nominal 14 Volt. Or build one yourself: http://jhau.maliwi.de/mot/voltreg.html
__________________
- Joerg

--
1990 BMW R80GS and K100LT * Lausanne, Switzerland
My Motorcycle WebPages - LED voltage monitor (aka charge light)
Joerg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 06:53 AM   #8
StephenB OP
G(/)S ... what else!
 
StephenB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Ontario
Oddometer: 2,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
If riding 3000 miles in 6 days is neglect then guilty
Naa, the neglect happened before ... you're just at the receiving end now!
__________________

Some of the above is fact, some is fiction, some is my personal imagination and some is just simple truth. [me]

... i'm not touring around the world, but neither are most of the guys i see running overloaded spam cans ... [bmwblake]

Stephen Bottcher
Ontario, Canada

'72 R75/5 The Blues

www.stephenbottcher.net
StephenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 06:57 AM   #9
StephenB OP
G(/)S ... what else!
 
StephenB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Ontario
Oddometer: 2,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes
The one part I will disagree about is the rotor. On bikes that have been ridden in a very 'sporting' way the rotors will fail. The windings will shift and eventually short out, but replacements from Motorrad Elektric are much more rugged having been beefed up and modified until they don't come back on warranty.

You're probably right ... and I have two of Ricks rotors.
__________________

Some of the above is fact, some is fiction, some is my personal imagination and some is just simple truth. [me]

... i'm not touring around the world, but neither are most of the guys i see running overloaded spam cans ... [bmwblake]

Stephen Bottcher
Ontario, Canada

'72 R75/5 The Blues

www.stephenbottcher.net
StephenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 07:19 AM   #10
stubmw
some what aloof
 
stubmw's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Texas
Oddometer: 2,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
sitting in a hotel room in Palestine, TX 1200 miles from home and your words are little help. But ironic...since my R100GS is not charging.
If you are stranded, and lack repair parts, I would not hesitate to get a cheapo car battery and charger and use it as a total loss system for extraction to home. IIRC this was a Snowbum approved method from my airlist days.
stubmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 07:22 AM   #11
Steverino
Arrogant Horse's Ass #1
 
Joined: Nov 2001
Oddometer: 36,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by stubmw
If you are stranded, and lack repair parts, I would not hesitate to get a cheapo car battery and charger and use it as a total loss system for extraction to home. IIRC this was a Snowbum approved method from my airlist days.
That is option two and already in place. Locals here in Palestine, TX are marshalling to get it fixed...
__________________

Steverino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 07:25 AM   #12
stubmw
some what aloof
 
stubmw's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Texas
Oddometer: 2,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
That is option two and already in place. Locals here in Palestine, TX are marshalling to get it fixed...
Good luck!!!!! Hope you and the bike are back on the road soon.
stubmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 07:41 AM   #13
Steverino
Arrogant Horse's Ass #1
 
Joined: Nov 2001
Oddometer: 36,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by stubmw
Good luck!!!!! Hope you and the bike are back on the road soon.
Me too
__________________

Steverino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 07:51 AM   #14
StephenB OP
G(/)S ... what else!
 
StephenB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Ontario
Oddometer: 2,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by stubmw
If you are stranded, and lack repair parts, I would not hesitate to get a cheapo car battery and charger and use it as a total loss system for extraction to home. IIRC this was a Snowbum approved method from my airlist days.
Yep, did that too at one point! Still a great method to carry on as if nothing had happened:

http://www.stephenbottcher.net/BMW/misc/P5210073.JPG
__________________

Some of the above is fact, some is fiction, some is my personal imagination and some is just simple truth. [me]

... i'm not touring around the world, but neither are most of the guys i see running overloaded spam cans ... [bmwblake]

Stephen Bottcher
Ontario, Canada

'72 R75/5 The Blues

www.stephenbottcher.net
StephenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2010, 07:54 AM   #15
Boon Booni
Red Clay Halo
 
Boon Booni's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Richmond, Va
Oddometer: 13,223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dduelin
I carry a spare rotor & puller bolt and diode board when traveling. The Bosch system is easy to maintain and cheap to repair compared to newer bikes. They fail from age, of course, but mostly from neglect.

How do you neglect a rotor? When a winding opens up what could have been done to prevent it?
__________________
Where the fuck...
Where the fuck is the bike?
You gotta be shitting me.
Where the fuck is the road?
Boon Booni is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 05:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014