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Thread: Alternator can't keep up with fans in hot weather traffic

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Alternator can't keep up with fans in hot weather traffic

    I have twice now had the problem that when trapped in gridlock traffic on hot days, the continuously running cooling fan current exceeds charging capacity, and the battery becomes discharged.

    Last summer, I had to be towed for this, and today the engine quit due to lack of electron potential after about 20 minutes stuck in traffic, fans running..

    It is not the battery's fault, but the failure of the charging system to keep up with the fans on high speed.

    I have the Motocross brand (Yuasa) battery, which I can highly recommend now.

    I adapted to the YTZ14S battery long ago.

    My battery is 6 years old, and though probably due for replacement, has been starting strong and just fine, except for in this situation which is not the fault of the battery. A new battery will still become discharged in this situation, maybe giving a few more minutes time until failure.

    I am still running the stock regulator/rectifier and stator.

    I have taken care of the reg/rec terminals and use heat sink paste on the back. It has not fried yet.

    Also, the Futura is known for charge voltage being even lower at high RPMs, than at idle, so I am not sure raising the RPM's would do anything other than heat up the engine even more.

    I suspect this is a fault by (poor) design, and has been so since birth. I just did not encounter the conditions to expose the problem until recently.

    I do wonder if anything in the charging system has degraded over time.

    I am interested to hear others' experiences and solutions.

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert deefred's Avatar
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    Step in to the 21st century and get a mosfet R/R.
    2001 RST Futura in stream Silver.
    Mods: Modified Öhlins fork from mille R, EBC 320mm brake discs, HEL front brakelines, Carbon RS 250 front fender, Wiring mod for charging. Engine related:05 map, Iridium plugs, tuneboy, derestriced intake, old mille airboot, staintunes exhaust. Lambda bung hardbrazed in the "breadbox". Öhlins mille R rear shock with 110N/mm spring and the integrated hydraulic preload adjuster. LED Voltmeter installed inside the dash for monitoring charging. Duc 999 radial m/c for brake and clutch.
    NWS hugger. Equipment: Famsa tankbag,
    CBR 600 -07 MOSFET R&R FH008EE providing stable 14.4 - 14.5 V (with my wiring mod). Daytona heated grips with mccoi pwm controller and automatic chain oiler

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert RAS's Avatar
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    and don't ride blind. Install a voltmeter of your liking. I like these https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...SABEgLfTPD_BwE

  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Yes, both true. I had looked around for the proper MOSFET RR, but never was certain which. Shindengen something or other... Any hints appreciated here.

    I actually was half-finished a very nice voltmeter ammeter install. Still have all the bits. I installed a nice aux fusebox and 2 ammeter shunts. That is done.

    Was going to install a mini blue LCD meter into the instruments, or nearby. Life got in the way...

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert RAS's Avatar
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    I've been running the the OE replacement reg from Ricks for years now w/o any problems. If it's any consolation, the charge system on my FZ07 uses a mosfet R/R and there's a noticeable voltage drop (have the same volt monitor on both bikes) at idle in traffic with the fan on - worse with heated gear of course. But as soon as the revs are back up, the voltage goes back to normal - extra load or not.

    You can get a plug/play mosfet from Ricks as well, but at a price. Lots of guys are adapting used ones from Honda 600s or whatever - just have to be creative with the plugs. Personally, i like to be able to unplug the thing to get it out of the way.

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert deefred's Avatar
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    I use the FH008EE from a CBR600 which fits perfectly at the old location
    FH020 are much larger and doesn´t have flying leads.
    I bought new 6.3 mm terminals and soldered them to the cables after cutting out the Honda connectors and reused the brown connector. As the Honda R/R only had two DC wires instead of the OEM four wires I added some short jump wires to simulate the four wire OEM R/R.

    Not a charging problem since 2011 when I installed the mosfet.
    2001 RST Futura in stream Silver.
    Mods: Modified Öhlins fork from mille R, EBC 320mm brake discs, HEL front brakelines, Carbon RS 250 front fender, Wiring mod for charging. Engine related:05 map, Iridium plugs, tuneboy, derestriced intake, old mille airboot, staintunes exhaust. Lambda bung hardbrazed in the "breadbox". Öhlins mille R rear shock with 110N/mm spring and the integrated hydraulic preload adjuster. LED Voltmeter installed inside the dash for monitoring charging. Duc 999 radial m/c for brake and clutch.
    NWS hugger. Equipment: Famsa tankbag,
    CBR 600 -07 MOSFET R&R FH008EE providing stable 14.4 - 14.5 V (with my wiring mod). Daytona heated grips with mccoi pwm controller and automatic chain oiler

  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futura View Post
    I do wonder if anything in the charging system has degraded over time.
    I throw in 2cents worth on that channel of thought. The first is the 2 earths on the engine, the reg/rec earth travel across the bike and connects to the engine on the right hand side under a 6mm allen bolt. The heavy negative lead off the battery connects to the left hand side of the engine, and only there, under an identical bolt. Therefore, unless you have run a additional negative tapped in at the reg/rec and going straight to the battery terminal, the only path for the negative side of the charging voltage is across the bike (wired) , onto engine block terminal right hand side, through the engine block, out via left terminal, and up to battery post.

    So, did you run an extra neg? If not, the fan negative also comes off the right side crimp and therefore the "path" from the reg/rec to the fans is intact as it does not depend on a good clean surface to the block, which the charging does. It may be that the fans are using so much juice there isn't enough oomph left to get enough through to the battery.

    Secondly, but far less likely, is the condition of the injection relay. The Futura got a 20 Amp as standard, which were later upgraded on the Mille to 30 amp and is now the only one available. Frankly the 20 amp is too light for the job, it runs 4 coils, 2 injectors & the 2 fans and is hard stretched (hence Aprilia went to 30) and over time the surface of the points in the relay deteriorate, the 30 amp are currently $9 from AF1 (your bike has 2 ) http://www.af1racing.com/store/Scrip...idProduct=4345 I would consider them an investment, even if they are not todays problem (and they're probably not) you at least know they're perfect and have eliminated the risk for tomorrow. You might even get better MPG.

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob,

    I took care of the charging wiring long ago, but I never tried sitting for hours at a stop in full heat. That did me in two times now.

    I will try some tests and measurements, but I am considering the Shindengen SH847 series SCR reg/rec.

    It is used on at least the 2015 DL1000 V-Strom. Part number 32800-31J00.

    Does anyone have a good source for this part? Discount Suzuki parts place?

  9. #9
    apriliaforum Junkie bkmo's Avatar
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    Get the complete kit with wiring to go directly to battery at www.roadstercycle.com
    2002 Capo Wilbers rear shock, Wilbers front progressive springs, Metal fuel connectors, polaris sh775 series regulator direct wired, silicone vacuum lines, catfish map, CNC clutch slave, autoelectrics coils (2)sides, Triumph Denso 3990's centers, k&n air filter, all LED lighting, SS brake and clutch lines, Givi tall screen, Triumph tiger 955i mirrors, dual horns. Pure copper 4 gauge battery cables. Rox risers.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert Motech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futura View Post
    Also, the Futura is known for charge voltage being even lower at high RPMs, than at idle, so I am not sure raising the RPM's would do anything other than heat up the engine even more.
    Correction:
    Futura rectifier is known for charge voltage being even lower at high RPMs...

    Gospel, every time. Teeny stator input wires can't deliver enough increased AC volts to rectify, especially with common resistance at all regulator output terminals up to and including the underseat fuse connections.

    What's your regulated voltage at battery, idle and 4K?

    Then record same at regulator output terminals, regulator side.

    Bet you'll get 1/2 to one full volt difference.

    New RR unit--any quality RR unit with fat input leads--and upstream resistance elimination will ramp that battery charge voltage up to a steady 14 idle, 14.2 high revs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Futura View Post
    My battery is 6 years old, and though probably due for replacement, has been starting strong and just fine, except for in this situation which is not the fault of the battery.


    I am REAL surprised to read that from a veteran of your durability bro.
    No Matter Where You Are, There You Go!

  11. #11
    apriliaforum prov-nov ChrisCrash's Avatar
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    Agree with all the above and can recommend DeeFred's solution as the FH008 fits easy. However, what about the fans and their wiring? Might be worth a check that the fan wiring is not finding another path to earth (-ve). Might also be worth checking the fan turning resistance (free spinning) as they may be taking more power than they should, thus draining the battery at a faster rate than the charge. Not the most likely issue, as the R&R with its convoluted underwhelming wiring is most likely, but still worth checking out the fans.
    Mods: 2001 UK bike, metal fuel QD, FH008 R/R, replaced vac tubes, FPR mod, K&N air filter, air boot restrictor removed, two Hootax horns, digital voltmeter above tacho, replaced solenoid and feed/return wiring to battery and starter, NWS hugger.

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Hi Motech,

    My experience with my bike, IIRC, was that the voltage did not increase with RPM, as in about every other vehicle on earth. Chalked it up to the regulator.

    While my battery is not the root source of the problem, I did order a new one today, as the days were numbered anyway. Always best to start there. I don't fool with clones, and now only use Motocross (Yuasa). $110. Uggh.

    I will give the charging system a good diagnostic on a warmer day and report my findings.

    Cheers,

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert spesnaz's Avatar
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    There's no substitute for a decent battery and regulator / rectifier. Glad you're getting that dinosaur battery replaced, the lead plates in them degrade quite predictably under normal conditions. So predictably, in fact, that manufacturers sell various models with their age built in to the designations. Ever notice some batteries have a "48" or "60" nestled in their decals?

    Five years on a normal lead acid battery is excellent, and getting six years is indicative of plenty of operation in the "green zone" of good charging voltage.

    That said, the original SCR regulator does have a normal service life. Those semiconductors will live at considerably higher average temperatures when compared against a MOSFET type. My regulator would always perform happily until it got hot, at idle, with the fans operating, when it would drop charging voltage to 12.8v. Sound like a familiar issue?

    I went with a Rick's MOSFET, the thing runs very cool. Be sure to tackle the ground and power circuits with an overlay, as the factory harness is painfully light. DO NOT install an additional lead without protecting the circuit with a 30 ampere fuse, the original design is correct with one fuse for the regulator feed and one for the connection to the rest of the machine. The ground leads are hidden on the sides of the rear cylinder head. Resist the temptation to over-torque those wee screws, that could get ugly.

    There's a nice single-LED voltage monitor out there, one that I really should install. You can hide the LED in one of the "vents" above the instrument cluster, that would be pretty clean. I always carry tools by force of habit, there's always a Fluke near me no matter where I go, be it in the car or on the Futura, so I've been lazy regarding the monitor.

    Bob

    p.s. Almost forgot, Motech is absolutely right regarding voltage drop. This is the insidious gremlin that plagues motorcycle and auto electronics, and catches technicians off guard regularly. Yes, the voltage might appear "ok", but those drops become significant depending upon the amount of current flowing in the circuit. if you can, Reflow the solder in your battery terminals! I must have fed a half-spool of Kester into those beasties! From the factory, they're simply crimped. With a solder-tinned terminal. Tinning the surface of the terminals prevents dissimilar metals corrosion when bolted to the lead terminals of the battery. Uh, lead-free solder? Bollocks. You'll need to be using the good stuff here for obvious reasons.
    Last edited by spesnaz; 04-15-2018 at 12:21 PM.

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert Futura's Avatar
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    Hi Spesnaz,

    Thanks for the thorough reply. All agreed. It was time for a new battery, and now I have it replaced.

    I have a bunch of testing lined up when I find the time.

    For sure, the charging voltage at higher rpm is much LOWER than at idle. Has always been so as far as I recall.

    I will test voltage drop, hot charging voltage, and with fans on max.

    Can't remember exactly what I did on beefing the wiring. Maybe not the overlay, but I soldered all the lugs and took care of loose grounds an that pissy regulator connector.

  15. #15
    apriliaforum expert spesnaz's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Mine was doing like yours, the charging voltage would drop at higher revolutions as well. The biggest difference I noted was expected, the new regulator was much cooler. The original was hot as hell in no time.

    Bob

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