melted wire harness connector

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by DeannaLee, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. DeannaLee

    DeannaLee New Member

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    It has been a while since I've posted and I have to come back like this. Coming back from a great ride the other day, when I climbed off I noticed a smell of melting plastic. Pulled off the rear cowling today and found the stator connection where the r/r plugs into the wire harness was melted and, bad. I feel pretty luck that I did not have fire and lose the hole thing. I should have taken a pic before starting to work on it but didn't.

    Anyone had this before??? Seems to me that it would be either the r/r or the stator. Not sure if there is enough good connection left to run any tests but may try; thought I would post here first and collect my thoughts.

    The bike: '99' with just under 40k on it. When I bought it several years ago I check the r/r and parts numbers show that it is the beefed up model.

    Any help would be great.
     
  2. donald branscom

    donald branscom New Member

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    Yes I discovered the exact same problem.
    I put on new connectors on the three yellow wires.
    Then I read on this forum that the best fix was to just solder the wires together with no connectors.

    my connection plug even had a hole burned through the side and was arcing from the plug to the frame through the side of the connector as well as from connection to connection inside the plug.
     
  3. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    The rr and stator could be just fine. Poor connections in the plastic connector cause amp draw and heat to raise unt it melts. Repair the melted connections and test the components.
     
  4. DeannaLee

    DeannaLee New Member

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    I saw a $12 stator repair kit from wire my bike may go ahead a get it to see. I did not match wire for wire before I took off the melted plastic connector, does it matter which wire matches up?

    Still confusing to me how it happened. Ever heard or diaelectric grease causing anything like this. I bring it up only because last winter I spent a bit of time taking all the connectors off cleaning them, then putting the grease on.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  5. donald branscom

    donald branscom New Member

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    I started out working in a Honda dealership when i was 16.
    I have never seen this kind of electrical problem until I got the VF1000R.

    None of the older Honda motorcycles have this problem.
     
  6. Lgn001

    Lgn001 Member

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    The three wires that go from the stator to the R/R can be interchanged with no problems. Do not use dielectric grease on the connections; a "dielectric" is an insulator, not a conductor. Dielectric grease is meant to seal the electrical connection(s) from external elements such as dust and moisture, so it should be applied only to insulating surfaces (connector housings where they meet, where the wires enter the housing, etc.).

    It could be that the grease you added caused the problem, unfortunately. All electrical connectors are interference (or friction) fit, and just occasionally taking them apart and rejoining them will remove some of the surface corrosion that accumulates. It's better to clean them, of course. but the "quick connect" styles require tiny little brushes that are either too abrasive or wear out quickly.

    It sounds like you added dielectric grease to a lot of connectors. It's possible they will be OK, with the exception of high current circuits. High currents cause heat, especially where the connector surfaces meet. Those areas could get hot enough to cause the grease to flow between the mating surfaces, especially as the connector cools off and contracts.
     
  7. karazy

    karazy New Member

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    IMHO (as an avionics tech for 20+ years), dielectric grease will not cause this problem. In a properly working connector, the grease will not change the continuity level in any way. You can test this yourself, with an ohmmeter, if you don't believe me. The dieletric principles are to prevent shorting of multi-pin connectors. Most of these products are actually recommended for use in high temp situations, such as spark plug connectors. DC 4 (Dow Corning), the brand I use, is good up to 400 degrees. Much warmer than that and solder will start to melt.

    The problem with our charging systems, as has been stated many times, is that it is designed to maintain a good, charged battery. If the battery is weak, or low on charge, the system overheats while trying to recharge the battery and run the bike at the same time. Even with the use of grease, living in the PNW, means that you have to constantly battle corrosion and connectors are the weakest link in the circuit. That is why so many of us use some sort of battery tender, for when the bike will be sitting for any extended time.

    I would repair the connections, ensure the battery is good (have it load tested) and fully charged, and then test the system out. It is probably going to be fine.

    :crazy:
     
  8. BereaVFR

    BereaVFR New Member

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    The first three generations of Goldwings (1975-1987) are pretty well known for having this exact same problem. Quite a few folks have had to replace stators and/or RRs due to the connector melting. The prescribed fix is to remove the connector and solder the wires.
     
  9. creaky

    creaky New Member

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    karazy is correct....the use of a good dielectric grease will not result in additional impedence in the circuit.
     
  10. GreyVF750F

    GreyVF750F Member

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    It's fine to put new connectors. Though it only delays the problem again. To do away with the problem soldering the wires together solves that for good.

    It has worked on my gen1 for over twenty years. I run a 100w high beam and have an electric socket plug in for my extras when I travel. Not a hint of problem after soldering compared to before.
     
  11. DeannaLee

    DeannaLee New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice and help. LGN001, you are correct, I put dielectric grease (fat fingered the first time) on nearly every connector I could take apart. Did this on the advice of several mechanics. Not sure the brand I used it was recommended for spark plug use. When I pulled the melted connector apart I could see some of the grease that had hardened a bit but did not look burnt. I hope that is not the case, I will have a lot of cleaning to do otherwise.

    So taking all three ends on both the wiring harness and, the r/r end and solder them into one connector is a prescribed fix to the problem? I will try and get a good enough connection with existing wires and test all the components first, then try soldering them together. Might nay of you know is a pic of this mod is anywhere on the site? I'm unfortunately a visual kinda learner.

    Will post back with the updates. Please keep the ideas coming if you have anything new. Thanks again all.
     
  12. Lgn001

    Lgn001 Member

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    FWIW, where and when to use dielectric grease is obviously debated. Any research that one undertakes will lead to a variety of opinions and experiences that they are based on, and I've already added my two cents (no disrespect intended to anyone). Google it if you're truly bored and want to muddy the waters completely... :smile:

    The soldered fix referred to is essentially bypassing/removing the connectors, and soldering the wires directly together instead of mating them through a connector. There are several threads about it, and there must be pictures on a few. Perhaps another member with a high speed internet connection can point you in the right direction.
     
  13. BluRoad

    BluRoad New Member

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    Uh, am I reading this right? "Into one connector" doesn't sound right to my ear. Each stator yellow wire is soldered separately to any other R/R yellow wire, then insulated from one another. Just to clarify.........

    You may want to take the time before soldering to check the resistance, output and possible grounding of the stator leads (look around for a thread on this procedure) -- this exact thing happened to my '03 and the stator was fried, R/R was good.

    Joe in Wi
     
  14. donald branscom

    donald branscom New Member

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    Why do you think none of the older Hondas did not have this problem?
     
  15. Cyborg

    Cyborg New Member

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    My VFR fried it's stator and RR, a new stator (aftermarket) and had a go at the third stator before the Honda shop solved the problem by getting rid of the stator/RR connector and using the soldered wire to wire fix...
     
  16. DeannaLee

    DeannaLee New Member

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    Cyborg, your stator wires are soldered wire to wire and not all three bunched into one? I am hearing differing opinions, does it make a difference? I have not had the time yet to test the components yet but hope to this weekend.
     
  17. Lgn001

    Lgn001 Member

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    Yes; ALL of the wires need to be isolated from each other. The 3 wires that come from the stator are each "one phase" of a 3 phase output, and having any of them electrically touch each other while the engine is running will quickly destroy the stator. The whole point of soldering them directly to the R/R is to eliminate the connectors, but they must be individually attached and insulated.

    I would look for an existing thread with pictures if it weren't for my dial-up connection; pictures take forever to download.
     
  18. karazy

    karazy New Member

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    Nice save Blu/001. It's funny how things like this can slip through the cracks. Definitely saved DL's butt on that one.
     
  19. DeannaLee

    DeannaLee New Member

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    Sure did!!!!
     
  20. Cyborg

    Cyborg New Member

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    YES, wire to wire twisted, soldered and insulated. The Honda shop has since told me Individual heavy duty bullet connectors may also be used but I haven't tried that yet. In any case, NO BUNCHING THE WIRES, EVER

    USMC Explaination.jpg .
     
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