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Old 05-15-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
Ron Seida OP
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Custom Airhead without a GEN lamp, blowing rotors??

I have had the pleasure of working in the local BMW shop for the last few months and have lately come accross an interesting problem. We're working on a custom /6 with custom wiring. There is no GEN lamp, it has been removed and i suspect that the wires are possibly shorted together, or the resistor mod was done. We will find out more on Tuesday when we look deeper into the issue but would like to prepare mentally before we tear into it. The question is this: lets asume that you remove the GEN light and short the wires together. What will happen, what symptoms should i expect? The bike is currently not charging, but it did before. We replaced the rotor a few weeks ago as the old one had no continuity. The replacement now shows no continuity, bad luck maybe . We replaced it with another good rotor, still not charging. End of the day so we went home, we'll continue it on Tuesday, starting with ruling out the regulator, diode board and brushes. Thing is without an actual GEN light, i smell a rat. Your thoughts?
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:01 AM   #2
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If the light's missing (assume you mean the bulb) there must be a connection if it was charging earlier. An exciter current passes through the bulb enroute to the alternator. It won't charge without it.

Two bad rotors isn't unheard of, especially if they're old rotors.

How's the rectifier?

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Old 05-16-2010, 07:36 AM   #3
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I think he said the wires from the generator light are shorted together.

I'd start by putting some kind of light back in the circuit, or at least a resistor to emulate the light.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
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Generator Light Auxillary Circuit

I too have a modded /6 with the dash removed. I'll be adding an aftermarket speedo but in the meantime will install this...on my to-do list today actually.

Product description on link explains what it does. Hope that helps.
http://www.motoelekt.com/genlightacc.htm
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
Ron Seida OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornce
If the light's missing (assume you mean the bulb) there must be a connection if it was charging earlier. An exciter current passes through the bulb enroute to the alternator. It won't charge without it.

Two bad rotors isn't unheard of, especially if they're old rotors.

How's the rectifier?

The light is indeed missing, but i have yet to discover if there is a resistor wired into the circuit to take its place. My understanding is that the circuit excites, or energises the rotor making it magnetic, but the rotor will work without it if it already has a magnetic charge?? Sorry, electronics are not my strong point , just trying to arm myself with a better understanding of the system to more efficiently diagnose the problem on Tuesday. By rectifier, you mean the diode board, visually it looks good, but we will check it out closer on Tues. along with the regulator and also make sure the brushes are making proper contact. The two bad rotors were used rotors, but a good, tested used rotor from a shop bike was installed on Friday and, much to our dismay, still no charge. Thanx for the input.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkymoto
I too have a modded /6 with the dash removed. I'll be adding an aftermarket speedo but in the meantime will install this...on my to-do list today actually.

Product description on link explains what it does. Hope that helps.
http://www.motoelekt.com/genlightacc.htm
If i may make a sugestion . The light is good to have as it helps to diagnose problems like the one that i'm having. Without it you are left in the dark, literally .
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Seida
If i may make a sugestion . The light is good to have as it helps to diagnose problems like the one that i'm having. Without it you are left in the dark, literally .
yeah, the new speedo will have the indicator light but in the meantime, I'll rely on the auxillary doo-dad to do it's job. fingers crossed that the bad stuff doesn't happen in the rotor, rectifier, board or dirty brushes dept

Good luck on Tuesday. Hope the problem presents itself.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:15 PM   #8
caponerd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Seida
The light is indeed missing, but i have yet to discover if there is a resistor wired into the circuit to take its place. My understanding is that the circuit excites, or energises the rotor making it magnetic, but the rotor will work without it if it already has a magnetic charge?? Sorry, electronics are not my strong point , just trying to arm myself with a better understanding of the system to more efficiently diagnose the problem on Tuesday. By rectifier, you mean the diode board, visually it looks good, but we will check it out closer on Tues. along with the regulator and also make sure the brushes are making proper contact. The two bad rotors were used rotors, but a good, tested used rotor from a shop bike was installed on Friday and, much to our dismay, still no charge. Thanx for the input.
I don't think those have permanet magnet rotors (which is why they need the "exciter"), so if the exciter isn't exciting, the generator won't generate.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:37 PM   #9
Ron Seida OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caponerd
I don't think those have permanet magnet rotors (which is why they need the "exciter"), so if the exciter isn't exciting, the generator won't generate.
I read in a Snobaum article last night that the rotor, if it has some residual megnetism, could start charging without the exciter. Anyways, we'll find out more on Tuesday when we dealve deeper into the issue. The owner says he has a wiring diagram, that should help. Thanx for your thoughts!
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caponerd
I don't think those have permanet magnet rotors (which is why they need the "exciter"), so if the exciter isn't exciting, the generator won't generate.
'xactly.



Hey Ron, really enjoyed your DR650ADV thread.
Great fabrication and travel skills/attitudes.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Seida
I read in a Snobaum article last night that the rotor, if it has some residual megnetism, could start charging without the exciter. Anyways, we'll find out more on Tuesday when we dealve deeper into the issue. The owner says he has a wiring diagram, that should help. Thanx for your thoughts!
Snowbum's forgotten more about electronic esoterica than most mortals will ever comprehend. Might want to e-mail him and get a clarification on that? It might have been a special case or circumstance?



snowbum@bmwmotorcycletech.info

He actually welcomes the technical discourse. He's quite a character.

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Old 05-16-2010, 01:55 PM   #12
Ron Seida OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornce
Snowbum's forgotten more about electronic esoterica than most mortals will ever comprehend. Might want to e-mail him and get a clarification on that? It might have been a special case or circumstance?



snowbum@bmwmotorcycletech.info

He actually welcomes the technical discourse. He's quite a character.

Thanx Lornce. I'll wait until i have a better diagnosis of the problem, maybe its a simple diode board or brush problem. It's not having the light and not knowing how he modded the electrical system thats throwing me off. I'll let you guy's know how it works out.
Thanx for reading my thread, glad you enjoyed it .
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #13
Ron Seida OP
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Update...

So the guy rode his bike over to the shop this afternoon and the boss continued to diagnose the problem. Rotor, good. Brushes, good. Noticable wiring, good. Diode board, swapped with a Thunderchild, good. Regulator, swapped with a new one, good. Charging...... nope! At this point he handed the bike over to me and i started tracing wires, a blue one to be exact. As i had first suspected, the light has been removed from the system, cut between the regulator and the bulb and taped up with some black electrical tape (i hate that stuff, amature!) Tomorrow i'm going to wire in a 3w. bulb and see where it gets us. The bike was charging, intermitantly, without the exciter circuit . Your thoughts?
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:01 PM   #14
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I have seen these charging systems work without a bulb. The rotor is something that can remain magnetic, but it first must have had a magnetic field generated in it. The original rotor would have, of course, a bulb connected to it originally, which would magnetize it. This worked until the rotor failed. You could do the same thing with a new rotor by installing it, starting the motor and charging the rotor via the positive brush.

You're on the right track-Install a proper charge light.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:31 PM   #15
Ron Seida OP
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Today i wired in the exciter circuit and the bike is charging like it should. This means that the bike was charging with the previous rotor until it died. Then it was charging with the second rotor until it died . When we put in the third rotor, it would not charge, meaning the two previous rotors were magnetised and the third one wasn't? Wierd, huh...
All's good now
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