Wire mod instructions for Falcos
Standard disclaimer---This could void your warranty. I am not responsible if you muck up something. Take your time and do it right. Start your bike and take voltage reading from a meter at the battery for idle and at 4K rpm's for reference after you do the mod.
13.4V at idle 12.7V at 4K rpm
14.56V at idle 14.47V at 4-5K rpm
All voltages checked from a real Voltmeter. In my testing, my voltmeter readout on my dash is ~.5 of a volt lower than the reading taken at the battery with a real voltmeter. Carlos' dash readout was about ~.6 of a volt different than the voltmeter.
Summary. You are going to add 4 wires to the white plug off the rectifier. 2 of the wires you add will connect to the negative battery terminal via a ring connector when completed and the other 2 will connect to a fuse block (30 amp fuse) which will then be connected to the positive terminal of the battery via the ring connector you add. You will be adding the wires to the male side of the white connector or the side that has the “spades”. I used 14ga wire. After the white plug has been modified, you then will do a quick and easy mod to your “Brown” plug to remove excessive resistance/heat from that connector. As a quick test, remove your tail section fairing. Start the bike. Let it idle for 3-4 minutes, then touch the yellow wires form the brown plug on the non-rectifier side of that plug. HOT YEAH? Crimp connectors are shit without solder as the resistance is amazing and resistance turns into heat which could melt the plug or worse, cause a fire one day. When we inspected Carlo's brown plug, the yellow wires had gotten really hard and the yellow insulation had turned brown color from the excessive heat……
Okay, so now time to get into the mods.
Remove your seat, then remove the 8 bolts that hold the tail fairing on and remove the tail fairing exposing the plugs, wires and rectifier. You will have to remove the lock cable from the tail fairing so you can sit it aside.
Dis-connect the negative terminal on the battery (black) and put it aside before you touch anything! Don't put the new 30Amp fuse into the new fuse block until you have finished the work and are ready to connect everything up.
You will need:
A single fuse block w/30amp fuse
A volt meter
A pair of electrical crimping/wire stripping plyers
1 blue crimp-ring connector (12-14 ga size)
1 yellow crimp-ring connector (10-12 ga size)
Solder and solder torch or iron. (Torch is easiest to use)
Shrink wrap and electrical tape
Small bladed screw driver and a pointy tool like a ice pick
Pair of sissors and a sharp knife
A pair of needle nose plyers
A alligator clip. Comes in handy to hold the wire to the spade when soldering
1 dremel tool with a sanding cone/stone tip
I bought some red wire for the positive ones I added (2) and black wire for the negative wires I added (2). Any color of 14ga. Is fine, but I wanted it color coded to make it easy to remember which battery terminal to connect to when complete and it just makes good sense to use a standard color scheme. Cut 2 pieces of red wire and 2 pieces of black wire about a foot and a half long. This is longer than you need, but you can trim them to size later. I routed all four wires up through the existing rubber sleeve/loom where the stock wires go and this will have them come out right behind the battery area! So you will have one end of the four wires hanging out by the plug and the other end hanging out over the battery area.
Take the two black wire ends you just put through the wire loom on the battery side and twist them together (obviously having stripped some insulator off the ends of the wires so the actual wire is exposed). Then slip them into blue ring connector. Crimp that connector, then add some solder to that ring connector. This will connect to the negative terminal when you have completed the mod and are ready to hook everything back up.
Then take the two red wires you just put through the loom on the battery side and twist them together and solder them to one end of the new fuse block you are adding. Don't forget to slip some shrink wrap over the wires before you solder them. After you solder the 2 ends of the red wires to the new fuse block, slip the shrink wrap over the solder joint and shrink it down to cover up your solder joint. I used a blade style fuse block so I would only have to have blade style fuses as that is what the stock system uses. You put a 30 Amp fuse in this fuse block when completed. You could use a glass or barrel style fuse block, but then you would need two kinds of spares to carry around and the blade style are not as vunerable as the glass barrel fuses. Make sure what ever you use, the fuse block you add is a water tight one.
Now take the other end of the new fuse block you are adding and put that wire into the yellow connector and crimp it down and solder that crimp like you did for the ring connector on the two black wires. The fuse block I bought was 12 gauge wire size. If yours is smaller or bigger, use the correct ring connector size.
Bottom line, you need to solder all connections for the best results
DON'T CONNECT ANYTHING TO THE BATTERY YET!
Okay, now time to mod the white plug-----You will not use shrink wrap here. Shrink wrap takes up too much space when trying to re-insert the spades back into the plug after to have added the wires. So I used electrical tape and wrapped each modded wire set (existing wire plus the one new one I just sdded to it), one at a time AFTER I HAD THEM PROPERLY RE-INSERTED AND SEATED TO THE CORRECT DEPTH IN THE PLUG.
You now will take the other ends of the 4 wires you added to the loom and connect them one at a time to the existing wires in the white plug on the spade side or male side of the plug. I added one wire each to the red/blk(+) and red/blue(-) wires coming from the white connector on the male or spade side of the connector. I took them out one at a time and did the soldering.
Look in the plug and you will see a small tounge or lever on the blade of each spade. This is a retainer clip. You can use a small flat blade screw driver or ice pick to push it down so the wire can easily be pulled out of the connector. Remember, you add each of the 2 new red wires to the 2 existing red/blk(+) wires in the plug and the 2 new black wires to the red/blu(-) existing wires in the plug.
After you pull one out, take the corresponding new wire and lay it on the top of the crimp. It helps if there are two people, one to hold the spade and new wire while the other solders. Needle nose are handy for this. I did it by myself so I used the alligator clip to hold the wire in place on the spade while I soldered. You want to make sure you get solder all over the wire to the crimp for good connectivity/conductivity, but not excessive. It is a tight fit to get it back into the plug, so if you have too much solder, use the dremel to trim it down. As I said it is a tight fit since you are adding wire but they will fit good it you don't over do the solder.
When you put the spade back in, it will be tight. Use the needle nose plyers to reach in the plug and pull the spade back into place in the plug. Make sure you pull it in far enough so that it makes a proper connection when re-attached to the female side. This is why I did them one at a time so that I could have the un-mod'd spades to use as a gauge to make sure I was putting the mod'd spade back into the plug far enough for a good connection when done. It will take some pulling force to get it back in. It is important to get it in to the proper depth for a good connection.
Now repeat that process for the remaining 3 wires left. Again, take your time and make sure you are adding the new red wires to the red/blk (+) existing wires and the new black wires to the existing red/blu (-) wires.
After you add the new wires to each existing wires and have them re-inserted it into the plug, and have got them in to the proper depth, then wrap the wires with electrical tape to clean up/finish the plug mod.
After you have added all four wires, have wrapped them with some tape and everything looks good, connect the white plug to make sure it fits correctly. Now you can put the 30 Amp fuse into the new fuse block you added.
Now to fully provide integrity to the system, you should remove the female side of the white plug (4 female spades) and add some solder to each of them. So unplug the white connector/plug again and do them one at a time, again using the others for a gauge to make sure you are re-inserting them to the proper depth when you put them back in. You just are adding solder to the crimps. Shoud take just a couple of minutes as you are done adding wires and such, now just finishing the job the factory should have done.
DO NOT CONNECT THE BATTERY TERMINALS UP YET, WE NEED TO GO MOD THE BROWN PLUG NOW. This mod is not related to the voltage gain, rather since you have the tail fairing off and the battery dis-connected, this is another good thing to do.
The brown plug off the rectifier also uses “crimp” connectors and they have massive resistance which results in major heat. On a lot of Futura's and other 00-03 Aprilia's, it gets so hot that the plugs had started to melt or mis-form. NOT GOOD! Mine looked okay but the wires had gotten really stiff at the connector from the excess heat. Inspect your brown plug from the rectifier. All this mod is, is adding some solder to the crimp connectors on the male side, or spade side of the connector. I am not kidding that fucker gets incredibly HOT.
Now, in the case of Carlos' plug, in addition to the dis-coloration of the yellow insulator and stiffening of the wires, the little brown plastic wire keeper in the plug had melted to the spade, making it almost impossible to remove the wires to add solder. IF THIS IS THE CASE, BUY 3 NEW BARREL CONNECOTRS, CUT THE BROWN PLUG OFF AND CONNECT THE WIRES ONE BY ONE VIA THE NEW CONNECTORS. This way you can remove the rectifier in the future if you needed to. Or you could simply solder the wires together one set at a time as a way to remove the heat/resistance from the stock connector.
I was able to remove my spades in my brown plug, so I did the “add solder to the crimp method”.
So I removed one yellow wire at a time from the male side of the plug and added a small amount of solder to the spade and wire. There is a white piece you pry out of the plug first, then you have to use a small flat screw driver or an ice pick works good to pry open the little keeper inside the plug that holds the spade in.
Once you get one wire out, I Held it up/vertical so the solder would run down into the crimp. Make sure you get all three soldered, put back in the plug and put the white keeper piece back in. IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH SOLDER TO DO THIS. JUST ENOUGH TO MAKE GOOD CONNECTION BETWEEN THE WIRE AND THE CRIMP.
Once you finish the male side, do the same thing to each of the yellow wires on the rectifier side of the brown plug. Same deal, just add some solder to the crimp and put them back into the plug.
After completing the brown plug mod. Confirm you have added the 30Amp fuse to the new fuse block. Make sure all connectors are connected, then attach the new red wires via the ring connector you added from the new fuse block to the positve or red terminal of the battery.
Then connect the new black wires you added to the negative or black terminal of the battery. You will have to reset all fo your dash functions. Technically, you could connect these two black or negative wires you added to any good ground connecting point like a bolt in the frame etc. I just chose to add them to the negative terminal for simplicity.
Now you are ready to start and check your voltages. Again, take a reading at the battery with a meter at idle and at 4K rpm's. Compare that to your pre-mod readings. You should have a nice gain. Remeber, AGM's batteries like ~14.5 voltage nominally and that is what you should now be getting at idle and a 4k rpm's.
After 3-4 minutes of idling, grab those yellow wires now, NO HEAT ON THOSE WIRES THAT BEFORE WOULD BURN MY HAND! Amazing how much that little bit of solder on those spades cured that CRAPPY JOB FROM ITALY. The wires used on the one side (side that gets hot) are definitely too small of a gauge and add in a crimp only connector, you get HEAT and resistance.
So now I have good voltage in the charging system and have taken the excess heat outta that connector. One thing about the brown plug. Both sides have yellow wire. One side, the reccy side is traditional bright yellow and it is the female side connectors, you add the solder to the other side of the plug, or the male side with the spades and those wires are more of a washed out yellow or faded looking yellow color.
Tricks and tips.
For the white plug mods, Unless you are a ace solderer (I am not), I took my dremel and cleaned off the excess solder so I could get the wires back into the connectors after I added wire. It is a tight fit when you go to put the spade back into the connector with the new wire added, so try to keep your soldering clean and small as possible, BUT COMPLETE!!!! As I stuck the spades back into the connector, I used needle nose to pull the spades in to original depth rather than trying to push them in. Make sure you have all spades in proper depth and aligned properly so you mate correctly when you re-attach the plug. Also do the rectifier side fo the plug by adding some solder to the crimps so that you now will have wires added on the male or harness side of the plug and good soldered female crimp connectors on the rectifier side of the plug.
For the Brown plug mod, you only need add a small amount of solder to the area where the wire is coming out of the crimp on the SPADE side of the crimp. I held the wire up so the solder would run down into the crimp connection. Again, you don't need much. These spades should go right back in with no hassles as the solder is within the crimp.
Do it, you will gain voltage and reduce heat to the system. Long term reliability and increased battery life without needing a trickle charger except for maybe long term storage and winter months.