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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was troubleshooting an electrical problem (turn signals grounding out and my main fuse melting) and realized that the p.o. has removed the regulator altogether. I'm guessing that the connector shown to the right of where it would be is the wiring that would go to it? Possibly a p.o. installed a dual purpose regulator/rectifier. With a multimeter where would I check to see if this is the case? What other reason could there be for removing the regulator and if there has been some mod done and I install a replacement regulator what possible problems could I run into? Thanks
 

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Did the p.o. install an aftermarket automobile alternator on the bike?
If those are the three yellow wires from the stator they should be connected.
You can check to see if the battery is charging at the battery terminals.
There has got to be a battery charge lead (usually red) leading to the battery and then it can be followed to where it terminates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice Trike Lady. Electrically, I'm a newbie. If someone did the alternator mod, where is a good place to look? common spots that it would fit? I was going to do the 3 yellow wire fix but I can't find it. It's possible that that is one side of the connector but i can't follow it without making a bigger mess of what I'd call the Frankensteins Nightmare that is the electrical setup on this bike.
 

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The automobile alternator conversion comes off the front of the engine with a pulley mounted on the crankshaft and a belt leading to the alternator which is bracketed to the frame of the bike.

The three yellow wires lead from the back of the engine. The connector in the photo, do the wires lead to the back of the engine? Those would be the stator wires.
 

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Troubleshooting Assistance -

Hey Lonewulf, Sounds like the previous owner may have had an assortment of electrical issues. A failed stator and or regulator is often the starting point for many dead in the water early Goldwings. Please realize that even with the bike in front of you, it can be difficult to come in behind someone who has previously started pulling wires while troubleshooting. Accurate advice without a few photos may be difficult to provide. What makes you think there may be a dual purpose regulator/rectifier added ?

:)You might take a look at the "Stator Failed 1200 Goldwing" topic on the next page or so.

Stator Testing -
The stator is actually a simple AC generator with three (yellow) output leads. It can be thought of as a 3 legged stool with each leg given a number. You want to disconnect the stator connector, start the engine and check the AC voltage output between leg 1 and 2, then between leg 2 and 3. Each test should read about 45 - 50 volts AC (depending on engine RPM - 3,000 RPM suggested). What you are looking for is a similar voltage for each pair of legs checked. A low voltage reading on either test means a defective stator (usually overheated/shorted windings). Also check the stator output connector for signs of heat damaged because sometimes a melted spade connector is your problem - not the stator itself.

If the stator does check out - many owners have cut the stator output plug completely out of the harness and soldered the stator wires directly into the Voltage Regulator side of the wiring harness. The Voltage regulator does not care about the input sequence from the stator. The worse case scenario is if the initial voltage test shows a defect in one of the output legs. This means that the engine must come out on the 4 cylinder bikes for stator replacement.

Good Luck, Michael
 

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The stator wires plug into the regulator/rectifier.
You can test the stator wires with the bike running for the presence of alternating current.
If the stator went bad it would be disconnected, but someone would have to substitute another AC source.
With the bike running you bring the rpms to 1500-2000 and with the meter test leads on the battery terminals depending upon the system 13 to 14 volts DC are returned to the battery.
What year Wing do you have?
 

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It's a 1978 GL1000, TrikeLady. :)
 

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Okay, I don't see any external alternator conversion. The wires definitely go to the stator. Are they supposed to connect from the stator to the regulator? If the stator was dead would someone remove the regulator? Is there a way to make this work without an external alternator? Will the battery charge lead come off the negative side and how do I use that to see if the battery is charging?
Are they supposed to connect from the stator to the regulator?

The answer is YES, the stator connects to the regulator/rectifier, the rectifier converts the 45-60V AC produced by the stator to 14V DC. The regulator controls the current to the battery, to prevent overcharging the battery and adjusting the current load supplied to the electronics.

If the stator was dead would someone remove the regulator?

Yes, this depends on who was the culprit in causing the problem, a bad stator can damage a regulator and a bad regulator can damage a stator.

Is there a way to make this work without an external alternator?

YES, you'll have to have a stator, the stator does the same thing an external alternator does.

Will the battery charge lead come off the negative side and how do I use that to see if the battery is charging?

The charging lead should go to the positive side of the battery, you can disconnect this lead and use an amp meter (rated for at least 40 amps) to see it your charging. However, without a regulator/rectifier or an external alternator, there is no way for the bike to charge the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, when I had my multimeter hooked up like it's shown in the picture, with the black lead going to the negative terminal on the battery and the red to the positive, and I revved the engine up to 1500 rpm I was getting a dc measurement of about 13.5. When the bike was off it was reading about 12. When I tried with the red plugged into the 10ADC slot on the multimeter it read nothing. Does this mean that somehow this Frankenstein setup is actually working? Thank you all for your help. Electrical is my next thing to learn about but I think it's the hardest to dive right into.
 

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Sounds like it is working. The stator must be hooked up to charge at all.
 

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Amp Meter Selection -

Hey Lonewulf, The photo you attached shows the meter set to correctly measure volts. Although most 4 cylinder Goldwings typically operate on about 14.0 - 14.5 volts, with 13.5 showing with the engine running (headlight on - I assume) it looks like the stator/regulator is trying to charge the battery. I have seen where some stators can temporarily produce 12 - 13 volts with only two of the stator legs working. So for safety you should make sure the stator is good.

Just a word of caution - The "Multi-Meter" internals allow for the measurement of 1. Resistance, 2. Voltage 2. Current. Each of the meter's associated rotary switch contacts will only safely read the correct (1, 2 or 3 above) type of electrical potential. If your rotary select switch is set to the wrong range the meter will be damaged.

The added 10ADC (10 Amps Direct Current) connection point on your meter is used to measure in-line current. Normally one of the main battery wires would be disconnected and then your meter is added in series (in between) the battery post and the battery lead you disconnected.

One word of caution - the 10ADC is only a token amount of current allowed to be measured by very small hand held meters. If you actually try to check the current drawn from the battery while operating the starter - the meter would burn up. Your meter can be used to measure larger starting currents (over 10 Amps) but you must add an external shunt bar.

Like I mentioned, with 13.5 Volts showing, I think at this point that your bike is trying to charge the battery. Just keep a close eye on this voltage to stay preferably a couple of volts above the battery. Many owners add one of those small digital voltmeter readouts that can be permanently attached near the speedometer so you can visually monitor the operating voltage while riding.

Good Luck, Michael :)
 
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