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Thread: Battery/charging problems

  1. #1
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    Battery/charging problems

    May fixed the charging problem. Looks like it`s too long or thin wires between the rectifier and the battery.
    The rectifier has 2 red/black wires and 2 blue. The red/black is +, and the blue is -. Connected the 2 red/black to one of the connectors. Both is connected anyway inside the rectifier, and in the bike cables. Then put a new 6 qmm from the other connector directly to the fuse before the battery. Disconnected the existing red/black between rectifier and fuse. And like magic, charging voltage is now 14,2V at 4000 rpm with full light, fan runnig and and the heated grips on. Just finished the job, more testing tomorrow. Can see the difference on the headlights.
    May not need to replace my battery...
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    Hans

  2. #2
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    More pix..
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  3. #3
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    Never seen this before on this bike..
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  4. #4
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    Now that's a find........

    I have been looking at replacing the reg/rec with an after market one (even tho I don't have a problem as such) as I was convinced that the reg charge level was too low.
    This coupled with JB's fault finding chart should nail this issue for good.
    What was your reading before the mod, hansb?
    and what made you go down this route?
    lastly, you said to put the 2 red/blk into one terminal ........ then later you said disconnect it at the battery

    Surely this leaves a +12v lead connected to the reg/rec doing nothing??

    looks like the issue tho......... nice find!!

    Rab

  5. #5
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    Just to add to hansb's find....... off to the wiring diagram, and


    twats

    One of those wee red/blk cables to carry 40 amps
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    apriliaforum expert bikpaintr's Avatar
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    Hansb - Good work!! I went through the Electrex fault finding chart on my bike this afternoon & the test shows a bad connection in the positive lead between the rectifier and the battery. Exactly what you found! I have been talking with Ritzo at Electrex USA & will be sending him my info as well as your findings to see what he has to say. Electrex also recommends running a ground from the rectifier directly to the battery. Could you do me a favor & check the harness from the stator to see if it stays cooler now or still gets too hot to hold after idling for a minute or two.

    John B.

  7. #7
    apriliaforum Member KenpoKev's Avatar
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    Yet another example of why I love this

    This thread is yet another in a long line of outstanding pieces of information that I have found here.

    You guys are all really terrific, thanks for the excellent info!

    Hope to see many of you at Laguna!

    Cheers,

    Kev

  8. #8
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    lastly, you said to put the 2 red/blk into one terminal ........ then later you said disconnect it at the battery
    There are 2 red/blk wires from the rectifier. 1 supplies the front fuse box, and the other suplies the battery. Disconnected the one at the battery because because its replaced with a new 6qmm.

    Could you do me a favor & check the harness from the stator to see if it stays cooler now or still gets too hot to hold after idling for a minute or two.
    It was idling for about 15-20 minutes last night, and the rectifier was not hot. no problem holding a hand hard on the ribs as long as you wanted.

    What was your reading before the mod, hansb?
    My readings before was around 13V, sometimes under when the bike was hot after 2 hours riding.

    and what made you go down this route?
    2 new batteries in 2 years, and a third on its way. Make my lokal bike pusher happy... And the fact that 13V charging voltage on the battery is far too low.


    It may look like the stator and rectifier is quality parts, but the wiring on the bike is not. oth wires from the rectifier goes to the front fuse box, then 1 new returnes to the battery. Long way in a thin cable for 40 Amps.
    BTW, it also pass through a connector under the seat. Bye passed it now.

    About why voltage drops on higher rpm. Showed a frend of mine an internale drawing of a bike rectifier. He is working a lot with electronic parts on cars and boats. He says when the rectifier no longer has a "receiver" for the current, it starts connecting the + earth. Typical sign for tiny wires.
    Hans

  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert Befbever's Avatar
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    Hans my man, this is priceless info. Countless Futuristi will benefit from this fix. Excellent work! Time to check my spaghetti methinks.

    Thank you very much!


    "Bike pusher".....LOL!
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    apriliaforum expert RPB's Avatar
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    Excellent, Hansb!

    I feel stupid, because this is exactly what I have done a few years ago to my Guzzi. Now you would think Aprilia is a bit more modern. Bloody Italians never learn electrics

    BTW, the advice from Electrex to run a separate earth lead from the regulator to the battery is very good info too (on the Guzzi I replaced the stock Ducati regulator with an Electrex one, and did the same...no more charging problems).

    Well, yesterday night I removed the brown connector (better safe than sorry). Looks like I will open it up again this weekend
    Rob - '01 Rosso Flame

    "Riders Create More Problems Than Motorcycles Are Designed To Handle" - Keith Code

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert bikpaintr's Avatar
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    Hansb - I was asking about heat in the wiring harness coming from the stator(3 yellow wires) & the brown connector. I noticed mine got too hot to hold after only a minute of idling. Could you please check yours to see if it still builds up heat after your mod.

    John B.

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert bikpaintr's Avatar
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    Hansb - Please clear something up for me. You said you tied both feed wires from the rectifier together into one connector which is now supplying juice to your new wire running directly to the main fuse box under the seat. What is supplying juice to the front fuse box now that you no longer feed that wire at the rectifier plug?

  13. #13
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    Hi John,
    I am in progress with the mod right now, like you I am curious as to why hans disconnected the red/blk at the fuses next to the battery and left it connected at the rectifier. I haven't done it that way.
    I have joined the two R/B's at the rec with another heavy brown (4mm) wire making a joint of 3
    I have connected the brown to the R/B under the fuses next to the battery
    I have joined the two blues with a third blue (4mm) making a joint of 3 the other end of which I am connecting to the battery negative.
    I have soldered the 3 yellows to remove the connector.

    I haven't had a chance to check if the yellows get warm yet, I will make it my first test

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert bikpaintr's Avatar
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    I'm just wondering how the front fuse box gets feed if both red/blk wires coming out of the rectifier are feeding the one new wire going to the battery/main fuse box. This would seem to leave nothing feeding the original wire.
    John B.

  15. #15
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    I think you have mis-understood hans, john. he did not disconnect the existing r/b's at the rectifier..... he moved them onto one terminal, they are both still there. I **THINK** he disconnected the r/b at the fuses to replace it with his new cable, but I cannot see why!

    Anyway, I'm done ....... job's a goodun
    Not pretty, but it works, solves the issue, unquestionably, and should negate the need for startng/battery/solenoid issues to ever arise again.

    The yellows do still get warm, even on tickover, but I would reckon not as hot as they used to get. Hard to tell. I did not have the 0.2v drop on the live, my readings were
    0.14 drop from the red/blk at the rectifier to the +ve of the battery
    0.08v difference from blue at the rectifier to the -ve of the battery
    Total 0.22v therefor I did both
    The voltage at my battery, bike running, was 13.1
    When revved it fell to 12.9

    It now shows 14.22 at tickover
    13.96 at appx 4k rpm
    a couple of pics to follow.....
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  16. #16
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    at the fuses, next to the starter solenoid
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    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    I was asking about heat in the wiring harness coming from the stator(3 yellow wires) & the brown connector.
    sorry, misunderstood. Will check it tonight and reply.

    You said you tied both feed wires from the rectifier together into one connector which is now supplying juice to your new wire running directly to the main fuse box under the seat.
    They are NOT supplying my new wire to the battery. These 2 are supplying the front fuses. Somewhere inside a hose they are connected to each other. look at the pix.

    The new wire to the fuse under the seat is connected to the second connector on the rectifier.
    The existing red/blk on the fuse under the seat is now a end connected nowhere. Just isolated it.

    Doing my best, my english could be better....
    Hans

  18. #18
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    The existing red/blk on the fuse under the seat is now a end connected nowhere. Just isolated it.
    OK ..... I thought that is what you had done, but could not understand why.
    If you had left it in place and added the new 6mm you would have increased the cable size to the front fuses, see my picture above. It is after all the same cable just having done a lap of the frame
    Stoooopid!!

    Great find BTW I have been wracking my brains for ages and was certain the fault was in the charging but would not have come up with wires too small.
    A very fine piece of diagnostics if I might say so

    Doing my best, my english could be better....
    It's just bloody marvelous ...... we understood

    I also liked the "bike pusher" translation ...... does that make us junkies?

    I think you are definitely due some


  19. #19
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    I have joined the two R/B's at the rec with another heavy brown (4mm) wire making a joint of 3
    bossbob you did not disconnect or cut the wires? Only making a bigger wire to the fuse, and kept the original wiring?
    Hans

  20. #20
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    Only making a bigger wire to the fuse, and kept the original wiring?
    Absolutely correct .......
    If the issue was too little cable...... why take some out

  21. #21
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    If you had left it in place and added the new 6mm you would have increased the cable size to the front fuses, see my picture above.
    You are absolutely right. I see it now. More work to do...
    Hans

  22. #22
    apriliaforum expert ib12's Avatar
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    So let me get this straight. Very difficult when trying to understand 2 foreigners (Scot & Dutch). Disconnect the R/B wire from the battery end & isolate. Replace it with a thicker wire that runs to the rectifier and solder onto the R/B wires. Yes???

    My brown connector at the rectifier melted so I hard wired straight to the loom. The yellow wires still get warm but I shall try this mod and see if it makes a difference.

    Rab how come you have a white connector end floating around with lovely coloured wires and tape? Is it not supposed to be connect to anything?
    Brian

    [ZZR1400 190bhp, Baglux tank cover, 14.4v charging,ABS,TomTom GPS, double bubble, hugger, crash bungs, heated grips, permanant grin, fluffy dice ]

  23. #23
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    Disconnect the R/B wire from the battery end & isolate
    NO
    I disconnected nothing .....

    I added two wires .......
    One from the red/blk at the fuses (next to the solenoid) which went to the red/blk at the reg/rec
    And One from the negative of the battery to the blue at the reg/rec
    I also joined the two blues together, as one
    and soldered the two red/blk's together as one.


    that was it.........


    p.s. the connector has just not been plugged together again, the other half is the red & green wire in the background......

  24. #24
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    (Scot & Dutch).
    Wrong... Scot and Norwegian...

    An English spoken should make a description step by step how to do this mod. It will probably fix most starting problem, battery problem an charging problem. We might test it for a few days before we advise other to do it? Going for a ride now, reply later this evening.

    bossbob, a job for you to make the description?
    Hans

  25. #25
    apriliaforum Junkie
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    charging

    yer a star - of to check bike now

    Ta ta

  26. #26
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    Been out riding for 2 hours. Started with fully charged battery(optimate on for a hour). Charging voltage 14,1V when the bike warmed up. Checked the yellow stator cables after 3 minutes idling. No heat at all. First went just around the corner for refuelling. From day one the fuel gauge had gone to "F" after 3 to 5 km riding after refuelling. Today it went to "F" after 10 seconds..... Higher voltage???
    Had a short break after an hour. When I started the bike again it was possible to hear it on the starter that it was more power.
    Tested the charging voltage direct on the battery when I returned. Did`nt stop the bike. 14,1 V on idle, lo beam and heated grips on. Turned on hi beam (reconnected on my bike, all 3 bulbs on) and voltage dropped to 12,9V. Still on idle. Turned the trottle to 3000 rpm and the voltage went back to 14, 1V with hi beam on. Checked the yellow stator cables and brown connector again. No heat. Checked the themperature on the rec. Warm but not hot. No problem holding my fingers hard to the ribs.
    Right now I can`t see any problem with this mod??
    Hans

  27. #27
    apriliaforum expert Befbever's Avatar
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    bossbob, a job for you to make the description?
    I thought you wanted someone who spoke English?

    Gee I don't know Hans....dunno if Rab has any experience with 'lectrics.
    If he did, he'd have come up with this mod long ago.
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  28. #28
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    dunno if Rab has any experience with 'lectrics. If he did, he'd have come up with this mod long ago.
    If only I was always convinced it was a charging issue but don't think I'd of come round to "wiring" for a long time. I was on the verge of an after market reg/rec to prove the point. It remains a very fine piece of diagnostics
    Right now I can`t see any problem with this mod??
    Likewise. I went a run and checked the voltages when I got back ..... they are virtually identical to hansb's.
    It isn't really a mod, as such, all I have done is put a bigger cable alongside the smaller original one, if it didn't need it, it wouldn't use it.

    There is a small chance it was running better, as I churned things over in my mind on the ride, higher voltage probably means a better spark, a more stable supply for the electronics, specifically the fuel injectors, their timing and the accuracy of their duration.

    It may be that the large discrepancy in MPG could be down to the different voltages. Time will tell.

    More importantly, should we have to do this mod ??
    I really didn't enjoy doing that to the bike, it isn't pretty and nor should it be neccessary. Having identified the cause and solution, surely there is a route to have the matter addressed officially, put it right back on the doorstep of Aprilia and get corrective action, be that a recall or a fix arranged some other way. They can't deny they are aware, IB12 had his stator wires soldered by the dealer because they knew of connectors melting, truth is, they couldn't be bothered to find the cause and sort it


    enough for now.......

  29. #29
    apriliaforum expert bikpaintr's Avatar
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    I ran all this info by Ritzo at Electrexusa today to see what he had to say about the mod. His suggestion was to leave the two rectifier + wires separate & disconnect / tape off the two factory red/black wires from the connector replacing them with 2 wires which would run directly to the red/black terminal in the main fuse box. These would be soldered onto the red/black spade from the factory feed at the f/b. The front fuse box would take it's feed from here instead of at the rectifier. He also suggested running 2 ground wires from the rectifier plug directly to the battery ground soldering them on to a single connector at the battery. Pretty much what you guys have done but he felt the two wires were better then one large one. I'm going to give this a try in the next few days & I'll let you know what kind of numbers I see. On another note Electrex will be assigning a part number for the Futura to one of their existing rectifiers which they've matched from pics and specs I sent in so we will have an aftermarket rectifier option thats readily available.

    John B.

  30. #30
    apriliaforum expert Dan's Avatar
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    You guys rock!
    If I just gave you mechanical, personal, legal or medical advice, it's up to you to get a proper diagnosis from a qualified expert.

  31. #31
    apriliaforum Junkie Hansb's Avatar
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    Having identified the cause and solution, surely there is a route to have the matter addressed officially, put it right back on the doorstep of Aprilia and get corrective action, be that a recall or a fix arranged some other way.
    Waiting for a recall from Aprilia will take time, propably never hear anything.
    Look at Honda. Rec problems on the VFR for years, no recall as far as I know.
    Hans

  32. #32
    apriliaforum Junkie Gotta Futura's Avatar
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    You clever, clever people.



    It may be that the large discrepancy in MPG could be down to the different voltages. Time will tell.
    I so hope so!



    bossbob, a job for you to make the description?
    Yes please!




    Bob Davies 12-04-2003:
    It should be noted that when mine caught fire I was in stop and go traffic comming out of the F1 race here in Indy. I think forward motion might have prevented it, however, I don't think any of us wants to think our bike might ignite if we got stopped in traffic too long.
    If bikes are actually catching fire as a result, do Aprilia have much of an option about a recall?

  33. #33
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    Wow, excellent. Absolutly excellent.

  34. #34
    apriliaforum expert RPB's Avatar
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    John, if I understand you correctly Electrex advises eliminating the connector at the regulator altogether and run wires directly to the main fuse box and battery minus?

    I did the voltage reading today when travelling to work:

    idle: 13.8 - 14.2 V
    4000 rpm: 12.9 - 13.0 V

    Typical. I guess one of the reasons the voltage drops off is that the required current increases when the revs increase (coils, injectors), so the voltage loss increases on the regulator-battery path due to the small cable and resistance within the connector contacts.

    Another thing: the 30A main fuse may develop contact resistance too overtime, so it pays to clean these contacts once in a while.
    Rob - '01 Rosso Flame

    "Riders Create More Problems Than Motorcycles Are Designed To Handle" - Keith Code

  35. #35
    apriliaforum expert rdbandkab's Avatar
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    Excellent work guys!
    Sounds like something we'll all be looking into correcting....

    Let it be noted that I don't know anything about electrics, except......."Don't touch that!!!"


  36. #36
    apriliaforum expert RobC's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bossbob

    There is a small chance it was running better, as I churned things over in my mind on the ride, higher voltage probably means a better spark, a more stable supply for the electronics, specifically the fuel injectors, their timing and the accuracy of their duration.

    It may be that the large discrepancy in MPG could be down to the different voltages. Time will tell.

    a higher voltage should stabilize the supply for the fi, but I think the mpg differences are more likely down to the variation between bikes in fuel pressure supplied to the injectors. Evoluzione produce a regulator for Milles, Falcos and Tuanos, but for some reason it is not listed for the Futura. But then with a tuneboy/pc111 and a dyno session we can get our mapping right anyway.

    If the wiring can cause a fire, then surely as a safety issue, shouldn't it legaly be Aprilia's responsibility to fix it? Anyone clued up on that side of things ?
    My connectors are ok at present, but they may just get solderd up before the bike goes back together anyway.

    Good work all.

  37. #37
    apriliaforum expert bikpaintr's Avatar
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    John, if I understand you correctly Electrex advises eliminating the connector at the regulator altogether and run wires directly to the main fuse box and battery minus?

    NO, that isn't what I was saying nor would I recommend it. I intend to replace the two blk/red wires in the connector with the two wires going to the main fuse box by cutting them off outside the connector & splicing/soldering onto the remaining lead with spade section. I will leave the 2 ground wires and add two more by tieing into the existing connector terminals. These will go directly to the battery - terminal. If you look at the wiring diagram it shows one of the rectifier grounds goes to the engine/frame area but the other goes up into the headlights so you wouldn't want to eliminate this. Personally I would wait to hear how I make out before jumping into the mod as we don't know yet how it will compare to what Hansb & Bossbob have done.

    John B.

  38. #38
    apriliaforum expert RAS's Avatar
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    John B, Is there a need to cut the + wires going into the harness? Why not just run a new set(1 big, 2 smaller, whichever) up to the 30A fuse and a similar set from the ground side of the reg. to the battery neg. The negative lead to my battery kept coming loose, not enough to affect running, but starter speed was slowed. A lock washer fixed that. Does anyone know where the other end of the battery ground cable bolts on? I'd like to make sure it's tight as well. thanks, rick

  39. #39
    apriliaforum Member Alredygone's Avatar
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    You guys are great, but to tell you the truth after reading eveyones description of what they did I am a bit confused. Any chance of someone puttting a Step By Step description together for the less fortunates. Electricity was never my strong suite but I would be willing to try this mod with good instructions. Thanks again.
    Steve McKinley
    '03 Ash Futura
    '04 BMW R 1150 RT Black
    IBA

  40. #40
    apriliaforum expert rdbandkab's Avatar
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    what he said!

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