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Thread: Bad battery and blown fuse

  1. #1
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    Default Bad battery and blown fuse

    Got a new battery about a year or year and a half ago. Everything seemed fine and then last year, towards the end of the season, I had the flat on the way to Denver. Took it down to the dealer there to have a new tire put on and ,when I went to get it, the battery barely turned the bike over reset the trip meter when it cranks slow. Since then I've experienced slow cranking a couple times. I took the battery to the Interstate place and had it tested and they said "the batter tests fine". However, before taking it in I had it on the trickle charger and, since I'd taken it out of the bike I had it in the warm building before taking it over.

    I kept it on the trickle charger all winter. First time I tried to start it about 4 weeks ago it cranked slow and reset the trip meter. Put it back on the charger and 2 weeks ago it started well, no trip meter reset. Road about 60 miles. Left it off the charger just to see what would happen.

    Fast forward to today. Went to ride this morning and started the bike before putting anything on. Bike cranked slow. Nothing on the speedo, fuel, trip meter. I've blown the fuse for that before so I'm thinking it's the fuse but would the battery and slow cranking blow that fuse? I'm still thinking I got a dud battery and that, when cold, it doesn't act like it does when warm.

    I know, in another post someone mentioned something about a power connection behind the battery box so I'm going to check that out as well.
    Last edited by gibvel; 04-12-2010 at 09:05 AM.

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    Default Dragging Starter?

    Hey Mark,
    You might want to have a look at your starter motor. It could be drawing so many amps that it is blowing the fuse. Also have a look at the ground wire from the battery to the engine. I have seen these installed over a painted surface and the ground is in fact, not a ground at all.
    Here is a link to a new Top Quality, Maint. Free, Sealed battery for you Second Gen:

    http://www.venturerider.org/classifi...-battery&cat=7

    Hope this helps,
    Earl


    I WOULD RATHER RIDE MY BIKE TO THE LIMIT, THAN HAVE MY BIKE LIMIT MY RIDING. BUT THAT'S JUST ME.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skydoc_17 View Post
    Hey Mark,
    You might want to have a look at your starter motor. It could be drawing so many amps that it is blowing the fuse. Also have a look at the ground wire from the battery to the engine. I have seen these installed over a painted surface and the ground is in fact, not a ground at all.
    Here is a link to a new Top Quality, Maint. Free, Sealed battery for you Second Gen:

    http://www.venturerider.org/classifi...-battery&cat=7

    Hope this helps,
    Earl
    Somehow I knew, when I saw who posted, I'd get a link to the Deka battery classified. I was looking at that the other day though so we'll see.

    Yeah, I thought about the ground wire. Right now I've got the horn bracket installed with that connection and I'm wondering if that's vibrating things loose. I'm going to check that and all the connections.

    When on just off of the trickle charger it starts things pretty well lately so I'm not convinced it would be the starter motor.

    Thanks for the help
    Mark

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    Mark,

    I know many here will not like what I am about to say, but Interstate batteries are junk! I have used them in the past and had 2 of them puke out within a couple of years. The Deka batteries have been around a long time and I have heard very good things about them. I will be buying 2 of them 1 for the Shovelhead and 1 for the '99. I would replace the battery and see what happens, doesn't sound like yours in worth a crap
    Gunboat....I eagerly await the day we can ride together again, Godspeed my brother

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squidley View Post
    Mark,

    I know many here will not like what I am about to say, but Interstate batteries are junk! I have used them in the past and had 2 of them puke out within a couple of years. The Deka batteries have been around a long time and I have heard very good things about them. I will be buying 2 of them 1 for the Shovelhead and 1 for the '99. I would replace the battery and see what happens, doesn't sound like yours in worth a crap
    Yeah, after seeing some of the comments about them on here I am starting to wonder myself. I'm definitely going to take it out and take it into the Interstate battery place here in town and have them check it in it's present condition. If I can get some of my money back on it, so be it. If not I'll give them the battery back and a piece of my mind as well (although I have little of the latter to spare ).

    Thanks Brad!

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    I'm here for you Brudder!

    I have a Deka battery in my '92 Chevy Wagon, probably about 4 or 5 years old right now. That battery doesn't hesitate a second to spin right over, and spin fast. Like mentioned thats what I'll be putting in my bikes from now on
    Gunboat....I eagerly await the day we can ride together again, Godspeed my brother

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    While replacing the battery sounds like it may be in order, and as earl said - check the grounds to make sure they are clean and definitely check that starter area since that could be directly related to your problem.

    The next things that I would do would be to go ahead and do a check of the electrical system on the bike by doing a few things:
    1) Start the bike and while running check the voltage at either the battery (or some other source you can get leads on - like the accessory plug that hangs out right by the battery).
    If memory serves me correctly (the manual is on my home pooter, so forgive me if my value is slightly off - but order of magnitude is the important thing here) the service manual says that it should read ~ 13.4 V at a moderately revved engine speed. If it is dramatically under or over you have a problem. If it is over, then you likely have a regulator/rectifier problem and/or an issue with a ground somewhere. If it is under (say ~12 or below) then the next thing I would do would be check the resistance on the stator. This procedure is outlined in the service manual and can be done in two accessible places.

    Places to checking the resistance of the stator (all done with the bike off): -- The resistance is listed in the service manual and do not recall exactly what the values are (I think they are on the order of .2-.3 ohms -- BUT look it up, because my memory on this is quite faint)
    - The white plug that is located dead center below the battery (probably covered in road grime and crap, but there - I promise)
    - The plug where the stator plugs into. There are 5 pins, a row of 2 and a row of 3. The row of 3 have the leads that come in from the stator and can be checked there.

    Another thing to check would be the harness where the regulator/rectifier unit pluggs in (the thing that gets in the way when you are trying to get your hand on the Oil filter to change it). Loosen the R/R unit (2 bolts on either side) then disconnect the plug (on top of the unit) and look for any signs of burned/scorched marks on either the harness or the R/R unit itself.

    There are 3 grounding locations (that I can think of) that you could check. The main one is on the neck of the bike, under the plastic cover on the right hand side of the bike, below the ignition and in front of the fuel tank. 2nd is where you have your horn grounded at. 3rd, there is a ground on the radio unit under the fairing (I highly doubt this one has anything to do with your problem, but for completeness I'll include that here).

    Oh yea, something else to check is corrosion/muck around and in the fuse box - especially the main 30A fuse located behind the cover plate that is adjacent to where the passenger's left ankle would be.

    HOPEFULLY your problem is a simple battery issue, but this ought to give you some other things to check.

    Hopefully you got something useful out of this post.

    Keep asking if you need help.

    Drive as if everyone is out to kill you... Because they are!
    - Provinces/States "Ventured" (or winged through)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilBeaver View Post
    While replacing the battery sounds like it may be in order, and as earl said - check the grounds to make sure they are clean and definitely check that starter area since that could be directly related to your problem.

    The next things that I would do would be to go ahead and do a check of the electrical system on the bike by doing a few things:
    1) Start the bike and while running check the voltage at either the battery (or some other source you can get leads on - like the accessory plug that hangs out right by the battery).
    If memory serves me correctly (the manual is on my home pooter, so forgive me if my value is slightly off - but order of magnitude is the important thing here) the service manual says that it should read ~ 13.4 V at a moderately revved engine speed. If it is dramatically under or over you have a problem. If it is over, then you likely have a regulator/rectifier problem and/or an issue with a ground somewhere. If it is under (say ~12 or below) then the next thing I would do would be check the resistance on the stator. This procedure is outlined in the service manual and can be done in two accessible places.

    Places to checking the resistance of the stator (all done with the bike off): -- The resistance is listed in the service manual and do not recall exactly what the values are (I think they are on the order of .2-.3 ohms -- BUT look it up, because my memory on this is quite faint)
    - The white plug that is located dead center below the battery (probably covered in road grime and crap, but there - I promise)
    - The plug where the stator plugs into. There are 5 pins, a row of 2 and a row of 3. The row of 3 have the leads that come in from the stator and can be checked there.

    Another thing to check would be the harness where the regulator/rectifier unit pluggs in (the thing that gets in the way when you are trying to get your hand on the Oil filter to change it). Loosen the R/R unit (2 bolts on either side) then disconnect the plug (on top of the unit) and look for any signs of burned/scorched marks on either the harness or the R/R unit itself.

    There are 3 grounding locations (that I can think of) that you could check. The main one is on the neck of the bike, under the plastic cover on the right hand side of the bike, below the ignition and in front of the fuel tank. 2nd is where you have your horn grounded at. 3rd, there is a ground on the radio unit under the fairing (I highly doubt this one has anything to do with your problem, but for completeness I'll include that here).

    Oh yea, something else to check is corrosion/muck around and in the fuse box - especially the main 30A fuse located behind the cover plate that is adjacent to where the passenger's left ankle would be.

    HOPEFULLY your problem is a simple battery issue, but this ought to give you some other things to check.

    Hopefully you got something useful out of this post.

    Keep asking if you need help.

    Thanks,

    I'll check those things. I doubt it's the rectifier because I'm getting about 13.8V with the bike running. At least when I put the battery back in last fall after having Interstate check it.

    I was going to check the connectors on the Rectifier a couple weeks ago when I read the other "battery issue" post. Unfortunately other things came up and I totally forgot that. Thanks for the reminder.

    I'm going to check all the connections I can find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibvel View Post
    Thanks,

    I'll check those things. I doubt it's the rectifier because I'm getting about 13.8V with the bike running. At least when I put the battery back in last fall after having Interstate check it.
    ...

    I'm going to check all the connections I can find.
    So long as you still get that voltage, you are right on target - and with that you can be relatively safe in ruling out the stator as well.

    With the R/R connection, if it actually has an intermittent connection due to a bad connection via the pin, you ought to see some discoloration on the connector but if you have a steady voltage and you simply aren't charging - sounds like a battery issue is more likely (and possibly the starter deal that Earl had mentioned).

    Some QD electrical cleaner and some time certainly can't hurt (as long as you keep it out of your eyes).
    Drive as if everyone is out to kill you... Because they are!
    - Provinces/States "Ventured" (or winged through)

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    A bit of corrosion on the battery positive connector but most of it was clean. Cleaned the positive terminal up anyway.

    Checked the fuses. Pulled them all ohmed them and they were all good. Quite a bit of road grime in there though. Put the fuses back in and turned the key. I do have all the dash stuff now.

    Still more sluggish, turning over, than I'm used to but started. At a nice choked idle the charging system was right at 13.98 volts. Ground connector at the engine was tight.

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    Sounds like checking that starting motor (somehow) is probably the next step (since you have sort of addressed the battery issue).
    Drive as if everyone is out to kill you... Because they are!
    - Provinces/States "Ventured" (or winged through)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilBeaver View Post
    Sounds like checking that starting motor (somehow) is probably the next step (since you have sort of addressed the battery issue).
    Actually, can't say that I've addressed the battery issue. When fresh off the charger the bike cranks over like I'm used to. If it sits for a week or 2 then it cranks more slowly. Think that may point more to the battery than anything else. But I'm going to check all the other stuff anyway so I don't waste my money on a battery if it's something else.

    I think the issue with the lack of dash graphics was more an issue of the fuses not making good contact. Kind of a diversion.

    Okay, where, exactly is the starter motor and/or the electrical connections to it.


    EDIT:

    Found the starter motor in the service manual. I'm assuming there is only a positive lead and the negative is supplied by the bolts that go through the housing and into the engine?
    Last edited by gibvel; 04-13-2010 at 09:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibvel View Post
    Actually, can't say that I've addressed the battery issue. When fresh off the charger the bike cranks over like I'm used to. If it sits for a week or 2 then it cranks more slowly. Think that may point more to the battery than anything else. But I'm going to check all the other stuff anyway so I don't waste my money on a battery if it's something else.

    I think the issue with the lack of dash graphics was more an issue of the fuses not making good contact. Kind of a diversion.

    Okay, where, exactly is the starter motor and/or the electrical connections to it.


    EDIT:

    Found the starter motor in the service manual. I'm assuming there is only a positive lead and the negative is supplied by the bolts that go through the housing and into the engine?

    I have not looked carefully, but that would make sense to only have 2 leads. The service manual ought to give a description on how to test it.

    If your battery sits for 2 weeks or so and it cranks slow, that is not necessarily anything to be overly concerned about - other than replacing the battery. If it cranks normally when you jump the bike (with the battery in it of course) then your starter motor is probably fine.

    One little quirk in the electrical system is that if the battery is too low and you try to crank it you will experience what you describe in terms of the loss of the speedometer and trip meter. Not necessarily the blown fuse, but you did say you had a lot of crud in the fuse box anyway.

    I don't have the service manual on my work computer, when I get home I'll thumb through it a little bit and go check a few things on my bike to give you some more ideas on how to test that bad boy (and if I come up with anything else to check to make sure you get this problem licked).
    Drive as if everyone is out to kill you... Because they are!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilBeaver View Post
    One little quirk in the electrical system is that if the battery is too low and you try to crank it you will experience what you describe in terms of the loss of the speedometer and trip meter. Not necessarily the blown fuse, but you did say you had a lot of crud in the fuse box anyway.
    Okay, how long does the loss of the speedo needle, numbers, fuel gauge and trip meter disappearing last? The bike actually started the other day and those things were gone for about the 30 seconds to a min. that I had it running.

    I've seen the trip meter reset and had the meter go back to overall mileage but I've never had it totally disappear when the bike is finally started.

    Thanks


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    Quote Originally Posted by gibvel View Post
    Okay, how long does the loss of the speedo needle, numbers, fuel gauge and trip meter disappearing last? The bike actually started the other day and those things were gone for about the 30 seconds to a min. that I had it running.

    I've seen the trip meter reset and had the meter go back to overall mileage but I've never had it totally disappear when the bike is finally started.

    Thanks

    I'm sorry, I should have qualified my initial statement on that. I cannot speak for the bikes in general, as I have only observed that on mine (last summer when I was dealing with some electrical issues). So with that in mind, the couple times that it happened to me it flashed off and reset itself when I pushed the starter button a few times (with the battery's charge lingering). Then once I got it started it did not come back on right away. To be honest with you though, I don't remember how long it took for the display to come back because when it happened and I got my bike to start, I was more focused on getting home than I was what was going on with the speedometer (since I was about 150 miles away and in the middle of nowhere).

    So, I suppose what I am trying to say here is that I don't really know.

    Come to think of it, just the other day I was in a bit of a hurry and turned my key on and hit the starter button before the display needle went all the way to 0 mph and my display didn't come on. I started driving, looked down and saw it wasn't on so I popped it in neutral, turned the bike off and back on, let the gauge do its self test, then popped the clutch and continued driving. Sorry I cannot be more helpful with this particular aspect of your issue.
    Drive as if everyone is out to kill you... Because they are!
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