Welp I think I'm joining the failed RR club

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by vikingGoalie, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. vikingGoalie

    vikingGoalie New Member

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    So my 98 VFR only has 15K miles on it, and I put the last 2.5K on it this year. The battery is less then a year old, I noticed something odd today where I started the bike up and while it fired right up, my trip meter that I set every time I fill up, and my clock had reset. Immediately I was uh-oh. I had to run a few errands and took my bike out and did so, the last stop the battery barely started the bike. :( got home fine, and have the battery on a tender.

    Guess I'm doing the drill to check the RR this weekend and probably ordering up some parts from roadster cycle. I'll look around here for people who installed it, but generally did peeps get extra wire on a 5th gen or was the 3' that comes with the FH020AA kit enough?

    I admit I was kinda hoping that since I have the VFR'ness installed that I might be spared from this, at least for a time. That and who knows maybe the RR isn't the issue but that's where my money would go if I had to place a bet...
     
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  2. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    check the AC voltage output from the stator first. book has testing details.
     
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  3. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    Your doing the right thing by charging the batt and doing the drill!

    I did the roadstercycle direct-wire to the battery 4 yerars ago when I installed an FHO20AA R/R and have had no issues since. A cheap ebay voltmeter installed indicates that I have a consistant 13.9-14.3 Volts while the engine is running, and (knock on wood) the Chrome brand battery installed 4/28/2017 has continued to serve me well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
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  4. raYzerman

    raYzerman Member

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    I did the extra wire length, but it is not needed on Gen5.
     
  5. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Don't over-think this. Get a voltmeter and put it across the battery with the bike running. If you are seeing 13.5 to 15.5 volts, you most likely just need a new battery. Failing to turn the bike over well when hot is a typical sign of internal cell breakdown.
     
  6. vikingGoalie

    vikingGoalie New Member

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    Tests done so far.

    I did a diode test of the rectifier I get current one direction and not the other on each set of wires (good).
    I tested the stator for continuity to ground (i.e. it's grounded out) I tested all 3 phases, it's not grounded.
    At rest the battery is putting out 13V, when I fire the bike up at idle it's just over 14V, reving the engine up it caps out at 14.5V it doesn't dip down if I load by putting high beams noticeably.

    So now I need to read a little more. I thought 14ish volts and not dipping (I turned high beams on and it didn't dip noticeably like maybe .1 of a Volt but still held when rev'd up at 14.5V. Terry your comment seems contra to what I read which is that if the battery is below 12.5V it's most likely the battery and if above that you are probably good. But the facts are my battery did drain down to a not good state just riding around on a short ride with a couple off/on cycles.
     
  7. vfrgiving

    vfrgiving New Member

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    Usually batteries have a slow death where it's obvious as cranking gets slower and slower. It's not incredibly common, but batteries can suddenly die. This just happened to my 2000 last week. I was running errands with a couple stops. Bike fired at each location but the last stop. Onboard voltmeter showed nothing out of the ordinary riding around. I was only inside for 5 minutes. Came back out to start it, "click". Not even enough juice to turn the starter once. Clock and tripmeter reset. I checked terminal connections and they were tight. I grabbed some jumper cables and the bike fired right up, charging voltage was fine. I was able to ride the bike home. There were two instances earlier in the week where the bike seemed a little hesitant to start, but only like an extra second or two.

    It would be a good thing to get that original rectifier out of there anyway. That's a ticking timebomb waiting to go off. I installed upgraded rectifiers from Ricks Motorsports Electric on both my VFRs last year to preempt any failure of the originals. I've ridden 20K miles on each since then. No problems, and they have been wired directly to the stator. Plugs are gone as one was showing signs of overheating.
     
  8. vikingGoalie

    vikingGoalie New Member

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    ok i went and did a video/2nd test. I hooked the volt meter up to the battery, at first is idle then I rev it up to roughly 4K rpm's.
     
  9. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Don't confuse volts and amps; just because your battery shows 13v when charged, does not mean it has enough current carrying capacity to spin the engine well. If you can, get the battery load-tested at an autoparts store. If it were me, I would throw a new battery in there and see what happens. The reported charging voltage seems pretty spot-on which means the alternator and RR are healthy; 14V at idle and 14.5 with revs up are great numbers.
     
  10. vikingGoalie

    vikingGoalie New Member

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    I took the battery to a battery place and they load tested it and it's fine, CCA is above what it's rated, volts are good too.
    Now one thing that was mentioned on that other vfr site ;) was to check the stator when the bike is hot. So i need to do that next. I checked the voltage today 13V, went for a 25 mile ride with a stop in the middle (didn't want to get stranded to far away) and came home. Checked voltage of the battery once more, same, 13v. so The battery didn't get drained at all while riding. So I am a bit puzzled but will check the stator after the bike is hot. I will say that just for the record. The battery was 100% drained when I first posted, my battery tender had the battery at 12.0v and I noticed that it cranked over a bit slower then when the battery is 100%. anyhoo investigation continues....
     
  11. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    OK, Late to the party but thought I would mention my current issue.

    Battery was on a tender a week before & 100% charged up.

    Bike started fine, drove 30miles at high speed (just over 20mins) - lol... Everything working great.
    I was doing a low speed manoeuvre u-turn, full lock, 1 mph, feet on pegs, 1st gear. The bike just died & locked up, due to the timing I had to lay it down. It had R&G Crash pegs so got away with just 1 tiny mark on the lower belly pan.
    Ca la vie..

    Got bike back onto 2 wheels, but it wouldn't start - voltmeter was showing 10v! - It was 14.5v on the route.... as normal..
    Now that is annoying !!

    I was riding with another person so we tried to push start - not a chance - didn't want to know - think the voltage was too low to fire the injectors...

    Managed to borrow a battery booster from some guys doing a classic car show literally 50 yards along the road & the bike started normally. We then completed the ride-out (200ish miles) & the bike was flawless. On return we put the bike back on a tender, - didn't need much as was at 95% & showed perfect condition.
    Bike has been driven a few times since and worked as normal.

    I'll put money on the battery is dying. Its a reality that bike batteries have a hard life, and mine is 5 years old. Just thought you may want another version of what happens.
     
  12. vikingGoalie

    vikingGoalie New Member

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    My only thing with that is I tested the battery at the battery plus store, it's kinda all they do is batteries. That and I bought the battery 11/20/20, it's less then a year old and I always use a tender if the bike is gonna sit for any length of time (which only happens in the very heart of winter).
     
  13. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Firstly "clocks resetting" is a fairly frequent precursor to charging system gremlins which tends to be down to faults with the stator or RR (or both) although melted connectors on the loom are another known issue for 5th Gen bikes so inspecting the charging system wiring for signs of shorts/melting could be worthwhile.

    Batteries are pretty simple things and if recent testing shows it is OK, this implies that your drained battery was collateral damage due to an issue elsewhere in the charging system. Basically all 4 elements of the charging system - battery, RR, Stator and loom all need to be in good order and a fault in any one can potentially damage some or all of the others.

    Too often people forget that the Drill needs to be done twice - once with the bike cold and then again after taking the bike for a hard ride on a hot day as that is when any heat related issues in the charging system are revealed.

    There have been plenty of examples of VFRs stranded after connectors in the loom have melted or insulation on the stator windings starts to breakdown so instead of charging the battery it can suddenly start to drain the battery once the windings get really hot and if this will allows current to pass between legs on the stator.

    Likewise diodes in the OEM RR just do not like heat and especially if they have to dissapate a lot of energy on a really hot day, sadly diodes can begin playing up when they get too hot. Depending on the faulty RR diode, an overheating RR could suddenly see the voltage fed into the battery rise or fall alarmingly and worse still, you could even see AC volts fed into a system designed for a nominal 12 DC which is definitely not good.

    Hence the value of fitting a volt-meter. OK It won't prevent problems, but it allows you to monitor the charging system whilst out riding. Then if you see the volts suddenly rise or drop alarmingly it may give you a fair chance to reach a safe place before the energy left in the battery is drained away the clocks reset and you are left stranded at the roadside.

    I have no idea where in the States you are based but if you are in the West Coast then what you experienced recently is not entirely surprising given the recent temperatures and massive wild fires.
     
  14. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    I also 5 years ago had the reset of the clock when I started - not every time but enough that it would happen at least once per tankful and sometimes once a day. The bike always started fine however it gets annoying putting the clock to the correct time on a daily basis. I changed the battery - no more issues. Still on the same Stator & Rec. I am also getting another battery, but that's for another thread as tempted to go lithium..
     
  15. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    My initial conclusion was that although I had the volts, on a cold start it couldn't maintain the amps to enable it to start up. - suspect short in the battery. I know you have had the battery tested but here's an idea.. Put it back in the bike. On a COLD START, measure the voltage across the plus / minus whilst cranking. See what happens. For the injection to fire think it needs 10.6v min
     
  16. vikingGoalie

    vikingGoalie New Member

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    sorry to disappear on this thread like a ghost...
    so I've tested the volts from the stator when the bike is hot, I've tried loading things up while it's running by turning on the high beams and putting my heated grips on high.
    I've tested the voltage output when it's cold an cranking up.

    Everything seems fine... So this all started after it was in the shop and I had gotten the front rotors replaced. I know how the heck can this even be remotely related right? I'm wondering if they some how disturbed something, somehow connection wise. That when I was doing my troubleshooting I basically made sure all the connection points were good, nothing lose, melted, etc.

    But here I am months later and 1K miles of driving and battery is still healthy, clock has not reset. Bike fires right up. So for now I'm chalking it all up to a big I dunno what the hell happened....
     
  17. raYzerman

    raYzerman Member

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    As has been discussed, it's not a matter of IF it will fail, but WHEN. BTW, ensure the harness connection is good at the starter relay, I wouldn't overlook that. Install a voltmeter, if it occasionally reads really low or really high, your R/R is likely flaky.
    What you don't want is a flaky R/R to ruin your stator and all the money and work it takes to replace it. I personally would skip right to the end and install a regulator from RoadsterCycle, along with his harness that bypasses all the OEM wire harness. I'd solder the stator wires rather than using crimp connectors, but that's just me.
    I've been reading a bit on R/R's, no expert, but a series R/R is alledgedly better... SH type, not FH. Experts can likely give a better opinion. I'd say the SH775 is plenty good, perhaps not necessary to go the larger SH847. FH type is OK too, really. The harness is a real advantage. Once done, you can pretty much put your mind at rest IMHO. It's worth spending $150-ish as insurance money.
     
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