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Buell Forum » Knowledge Vault (tech, parts, apparel, & accessories topics) » Electrical - Battery, Charg Sys, Lights, Switches, Sensors & Guages » 97 Thunderbolt S3 Charging/Starting Problems « Previous Next »

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Jfogal1986
Posted on Wednesday, April 08, 2015 - 06:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ok - praying someone can help me! Some background info: ignition relay was replaced about 5 months or so ago - was melted inside. Replaced starter recently. Replaced voltage regulator today. Battery reads 14+ volts when running with stator plugged in - disconnect stator, battery starts around 12.7 and slowly drops while running with disconnected stator. Connections are clean at voltage regulator. Bike will be on charger, come off and fires right up. I turn it off, and even just 30 seconds later will go to crank it again and just a loud clicking/chattering from starter. If I wait another 30 seconds, it will click and then after a few seconds, it starts up. Doesn't die when running. Unsure if its related or not, but running light will not work and when I put my high beams on, the light on gauge does not show lit up. At this point, what can I do to narrow down whats wrong? Stator? Or is it just some type of wiring fray or dirty connection? It's so odd that sometimes it starts and sometimes nothing.
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Mighty_mouse
Posted on Thursday, April 09, 2015 - 01:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Check around the ground contact points. Clean all areas. Make sure there's no corrosion.

MM
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Jim2
Posted on Thursday, April 09, 2015 - 08:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Disconnect the stator. Put a Volt/Ohm meter set to Ohm's (low setting) between the two pins on the stator side of the disconnected connector. You should read a low resistance (I forget the values but it's low and not super high). Then remove one lead from one pin and put it to a known good ground. It should be infinite. Not low, infinitely high. Then switch from the one connector pin to the other and test that pin with the other lead on the same ground. It should also be infinitely high. If the test between the two pins fails you have an open stator (I seriously doubt you will in this case). If the test between each individual pin an ground fails then you have a stator that is grounding out and it needs to be replaced.

Take an inspection mirror and flash light and look closely at the point where the stator wires exit the primary side. Sometimes the insulation will get brittle and flake off. It will ground to the engine case allowing A/C voltage to run rampant throughout the system. There is also a hold down strap inside the primary that sometimes rubs through the wires.

If yours was grounding out and it took our your VR, there is a good possibility your battery is toast under a load. Also could have burned out running lights, instrument lights and relay.

I will be writing up my experience soon. I had a total electrical melt-down as a result of stator grounding. Lost many things at the same time.
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Jfogal1986
Posted on Thursday, April 09, 2015 - 09:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ok - ground contact points have been checked and cleaned multiple times.

I have disconnected the stator at tested ohms with both pins in stator as well as ground/stator. I know this sounds stupid, but when I turn it on ohms reading it starts @ 1. It does not change or it drops to 0? I am going to try a new meter tomorrow to test again. I also tested A/C voltage and it tested fine @ 1000 and 2000 rpm. I also visually inspected my relays and even swapped them to see if anything changed. It did not. I also eliminated the key switch to test that as well and no difference. Battery fresh off the charger reads 13.76. While stator is plugged in, it reads up to high 14's. Stator unplugged it runs in the 12's. I will be testing the battery tomorrow as well as attempting to test starter switch. It also has a new voltage regulator and starter. Could it be battery cables? I am trying to leave stator as a last resort repair but really just want to know whats causing this. I keep coming back to the fact that it starts right up when it is fresh off the starter but after that initial start, the starting is intermittent and after a few tries, just does not have what it takes to turn the motor over. I appreciate all help and info!
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Daddio
Posted on Friday, April 10, 2015 - 12:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

It starts easily when the battery has a fresh-off-the-charger charge, and the battery appears to be getting good voltage when running, leads me to believe your battery has a bad cell, and can't handle the load. Get the battery load-tested. Sometimes you can 'bring back' a bad battery using a battery maintainer, and having it go through several charge cycles over a week or so. Check your fuses, too. My son's S3T was giving me fits, I ran all the diagnostics like you, and was getting some weird random electric stuff*, put in a brand-new, fully charged battery, and all the weird stuff went away.
*I don't remember what exactly, been a year or so, but light malfunctions, etc.
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