Alternator troubles...

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Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5963
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia

Alternator troubles...

Post by Prof » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:23 am

Parked at Mitre 10 a week back and the starter wouldn't turn the motor over. Checked Volt Meter 6V so not lecky start but bike will still run- a benefit of points. No worries kick her over and ride home. Put it on the charger and check alternator which seems to be charging albeit a bit low. Battery connections pretty dirty and cleaned. Maybe the problem.

Shortly after decide to ride part way back with Jett when he is about to leave the workshop. Fire up the shovel and off we go. Two classic choppers cruising side by side... what can one say!!!! I peel off and Reynella and drop by Henry's to see how he is getting on with his recently purchased 80's KZ750/4. He's turning it into a cafe racer and it looks pretty good, though not my cup of tea. Leave Henry on dark and decide to head through the hills to Clarendon and call on Dylan. The narrow twisty roads are not lit and the headlight doesn't seem to be doing a very good job so slow down and squint. Rode through rain and a muddy road the other day. Is it mud on the headlight or battery going flat... bit confusing cos the bike will take throttle without faltering. Find out for sure as I drop back through the gears and the chopper cuts out... dead as a door nail. Pull into a farm driveway, get off and check voltmeter. Bugger! 3.3V.

Call up home but everyone is out. A whole lot of phone calls. Paul is down at Myponga with a mate in his 4x4. They say they'll bring a batter up to me, but it will be an hour. I've been freezing my butt off for half an hour and decide to push the shovel down hill to the Clarendon pub. Should be a bit warmer in there. Check the volt meter again. Battery now showing 6.5V. How did that happen? I am running a three year old Lithium Iron battery... new technology I don' know much about. Oh well give her a kick and see what happens. She fires up first kick. Let the revs drop and she almost dies. Ok. Get my gear on and see if battery will last the three hundred yards to the pub.

Still going strong as I pass the place, so I'll see just how far I can get. I am running with out lights and use my LED torch for a headlight as I thunder out of the town. Bike keeps running, so I keep pushing her along at the speed limit, the torch being more like a spot light and giving me a good light ahead. What will pass out first, chopper battery or torch battery. Bit of a comedy as I have the torch in one hand and having to push my helmet down on my head every thirty seconds with the other hand. In my initial rush to keep the chopper going, I forgot to do up the strap.

It's too cold for the roos and I am soon back in my workshop after 10 or so miles rather interesting riding.

Stop the bike and check the volt meter. 11.5V. Man this is crazy! But definitely need to run some checks.

Next day I get out the multimeter and check all wiring. Fine. Run the motor. Not charging. Clean battery terminals again. That checks out. Next check stator wires. Aha both earthing out. Pull off the primary cover, clutch, front sprocket and chain, inner primary, extract rotor. Unbolt stator and there we have it... insulation has cracked off both wires. When I recently swapped the motors I did not inspect the stator although I did check it for ground and it came up fine. I have another second hand stator which is in good nick and throw everything back together. Do a couple of other little jobs that will make future disassembly easier.

All back together yesterday arvo, and take off on a test ride running headlight during the daylight, something I don't normally do. Will have another go visiting Dylan. Have a fantastic ride through interesting back roads. The new motor is very sweet and makes for relaxed enjoyable cruising. Check alternator at Dylan's and charge is right up where it should be. Half hour chat and time to take off. Light drizzle, but will put water proofs on if it gets any worse... which is does after five minutes of twisting down a really cool little back road. Pull up in Clarendon main street with heavy rain and sit on a shop's step to put on my rainies (which are a bit tight) much to the amusement of a few customers rushing through the rain. Back on the shovel and en enjoyable cruise home which includes a couple of diversions down some dirt side tracks I've not been on before. One turns into a very slushy two wheel track. I err on the side of caution and rock the chopper back and forth to turn it around without getting bogged in the mud and wet grass. Call me mad... but you won't convince me not to do it!

Back on the bitumen. Rain stops as I come into McLaren Vale I decide to drop by the supermarket and see if wifey needs anything. Yes she does. I have a neat little fold up bag in my front pack for occasions such as this. Do the shopping and come out to the chopper.

What a sweet sight. Just looks right to me under the lights in the misty night...

Fire up 'my lovely', mount up, roll back out of the park, snick into first and rumble off. Man. Great. Just writing this at midnight tonight makes me want to go out and fire her up and head into the night!

Roll into the workshop. Caught rain just out of the 'Vale and the bike drips pools of water on the floor.

Check the battery. Still fully charged. Problemo solvered.

Next ride on Sunday morning. Leaving for Gawler swap meet at 4.30am. Can't hardly wait.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:48 pm
Location: North-Eastern suburbs- Adelaide

Re: Alternator troubles...

Post by Youngblood » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:01 pm

8) 8) 8)

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