How can I diagnose a rectifier problem?
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dave Nafziger's Avatar
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    I have an '89 TW and am suspicious the rectifier - regulator is gone. So I read up and found quite a few others

    have replaced theirs--- but it may or may not have been the issue. I replaced the battery, but it 'may or may not

    have been the issue' because the new one went dead also and refuses to stay charged. I have not found a way of testing

    this with a voltmeter or jumping around it for fear of shorting. Stator reads good and wiring harness and contacts have

    checked. I found a teeny drain in the side-stand switch and eliminated it-- my it is nice to not have it! Battery cables

    have no continuity between each other. It starts well with kick starter. Where do we go?

    Greybeard

  2. #2
    Senior Member demarko69's Avatar
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    1. make sure you turn the ke off after a ride, the kill switch dosnt cut the bike power

    2. look for a short, with the key off disconnect the + battery, put a ampmeter (10A) inline and let use know the result

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dave Nafziger's Avatar
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    Thanks for responding, demarko69

    I did 1) as I almost never use the kill switch except by mistake.

    Since I wrote the first report, I rechecked the battery leads. I don't have an ampmeter,

    but I do have a VOM. Key in locked, I am reading 4 ohms draw, key off- more than 4,

    and key on--.6, which probably varies in the position of the crank. But I can't imagine

    why locked and off should not read the same! Also,12 volts divided by 4 0hms= 3amps, and

    I think that is a lot. Looks to me like I need to get into the main switch. What do you

    think? It also likely trashed my battery, because it dropped 2 volts overnight disconnected.

    Its down to 8 volts. Can these shorts fry my CDI?

    Dave

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  5. #4
    Senior Member demarko69's Avatar
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    with the key off and the kill swirch off 3A is huge, its only a 7ahr battery

    it is best if you get a ammeter. no the game begin. its called find the circut that has the current draw.

    key off kill switch off

    there are 2 ways to get the same result. unplug every connector. verify you are starting at 0 amps. plug in one circuit measure, if 0 plug in thr next and so on. Or measure 3 amp, remove a circut, measure- if 3 amp continue until you get a 0 reaading.



    keep it simple at first. start with all the wires unde the seat and side panel. worry about the headlight pod latter.

    I have found short to the frame under the seat where wires rub back and forth until the insulation is done. Also a handle bar short withe ther right break lever switch



    lrt me know if you need more help

  6. #5
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Interrupt the red wire coming from the battery (the one with the fuse) at the connector.



    Find a way to connect your VOM across the connection. You should read voltage there if you have a short with the key off. Key "OFF". manipulate the wiring harness and plug and unplug the connectors until something makes the voltage go away and Bob's yer uncle.



    You can do this even with a less than optimal charge in the battery if need be, as long as you use the meter. A test light would ne easier but it will only add additional draw while you're futzing with the wiring, pulling your battery down quickly.



    Get serious about this right from the git. Remove your tank, fairing and sidecovers and it will save you a bunch of time in the end.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  7. #6
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    DO NOT PUT A VOM ACROSS THE FUSE!!! You'll fry your VOM. VOMs measure milliamps, not amps./ 1/1000 or 0.0001 amp. Puff od smoke. Instead, use a test light. Any old 12-volt light will do. Old taillight, turn light, headlight, etc. Start unplugging things until the light goes off. That's the circuit with problems.



    12V/4ohm does not = 3 amp. 4 ohm is pretty much a direct short and will melt things in short order.




  8. #7
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    I told the man to read voltage, not amps. Pay attention, compadre



    I do this stuff for a living, and I've found more shorts than Paris Hilton. Dead shorts blow fuses, by definition.



    The red wire is the Source of All Things Which Go Zap.



    If you interupt it with a meter and find voltage present, you've got a short.



    Using a test light will only deplete your battery at a faster rate while you're working. Use the meter.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  9. #8
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Do you think a beginner knows the difference between dial in the function, then connect, and connect, then dial in the function? You, the provider of pithy work-arounds, must be more careful with the "liability labels".



    "DO NOT WRAP VOM LEADS AROUND THE NECK. Respiratory difficulties leading to death may result."




  10. #9
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    I figger anyone who can extrapolate amps via ohms can operate the knob.



    Just sayin'.



    Since we're on the subject, you can use the knob as a switch to eliminate the battery drain while doing visuals, disconnecting terminals, etc. simply by turning the meter off. Unless of course the first click after "off" is amps.



    You can also do it by continuity, but shorts like that often won't arc without current.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member demarko69's Avatar
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    DISCLAIMER- do not attempt to test you spark coil output with your tongue...



    I like the current meter best.

    1. my fluke is rated 10 amps rms an is fuse protected. I if pop a fuse I know we really got our chor cut out for us

    2. lets say you have more than 1 short, broken / cracked wire insulation, a stuck power relay and ????. you find and fix the first one, and you meter goes from 3 amp draw to a 1.75 amp draw. that means you did a good job but keep going there more to this game of hid and seek.



    I check with ALL my friends and they absolutely agree I am right.

    My freids ME Myself and I are the smartest people I know and trust.

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