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Thread: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

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    Default dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    I decided to make a new post for dead battery as I think I should start with increasing the idle if that is possible on a 1st gen bike.
    When the bike is idling the RPM is only 500 RPM showing on the dash and when I come to a light my battery gauge drops to 8-10 volts when braking. If I am on level ground I can increase the gas and bring the RPM to 1000-1100 and the gauge shows 12+ volts. When I go to start the bike if it starts in 1 second then all is good but if it takes 3-4 seconds then I may need a boast.
    Last summer I replaced my battery because of this issue and made it thru the summer. When I stored it over the winter I disconnected my battery up until 3 weeks before riding. I gave it a 2A charge overnight and hooked up the battery.
    I am making a journal to figure out is it a parasite drain during the night, short/bad ground during the day, or just low RPM when idling. I really hope to increase idling and then go from there:

    3 June battery almost died again
    After 2 hours of sitting 12.39V (8:30PM)
    Quick start and running check 13.64V

    4 June
    After lasts night start (load)
    12.23v (7:30AM)
    Having a few almost no starts
    12.45v (10AM)

    Will add voltage checks as I followup on posts but does anyone know how to increase my idle on a 1st gen venture? I think years ago it use to be around 1100 RPM but it shows around 500 RPM now on the dash.
    Thanks
    Chris

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    A full battery should read 12.6 volts or better, 12.4 is not so good.
    Your charging system should hold things at normal at a stop, so no lower than 12.6 unless there are loads other than OEM.
    Your idle can easily be increased by turning the thumb screw located between carbs 1 and 2 behind/underneath the carb joining bar. Hard to see and once you find it it's easiest to turn with your 2 forefingers. Idle should be at 900rpm.
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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    On my 89, which starts very nicely with a new gel battery this year, will drop below 12V on the dash gauge at a stop idling at 800 rpm.

    If you are holding the front brake you can expect significant current being drawn from the batt/charging system.
    The anti-dive is pulling current I believe and the filaments on those brake lights draw their fair share of current.

    That is how my bike acts anyhu.

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Yep. The anti-dive on the front forks takes a lot of current. Reminder, if your brakes are still linked, the rear pedal is still controlling the left front brake. So anti-dive is drawing current.

    I show low voltage when sitting at light with brakes on. Not an issue... Even with idle at around 1000rpm. I run a tad high idle anyway.
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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    I decided to make a new post for dead battery as I think I should start with increasing the idle if that is possible on a 1st gen bike.
    When the bike is idling the RPM is only 500 RPM showing on the dash and when I come to a light my battery gauge drops to 8-10 volts when braking. If I am on level ground I can increase the gas and bring the RPM to 1000-1100 and the gauge shows 12+ volts. When I go to start the bike if it starts in 1 second then all is good but if it takes 3-4 seconds then I may need a boast.
    Last summer I replaced my battery because of this issue and made it thru the summer. When I stored it over the winter I disconnected my battery up until 3 weeks before riding. I gave it a 2A charge overnight and hooked up the battery.
    I am making a journal to figure out is it a parasite drain during the night, short/bad ground during the day, or just low RPM when idling. I really hope to increase idling and then go from there:

    3 June battery almost died again
    After 2 hours of sitting 12.39V (8:30PM)
    Quick start and running check 13.64V

    4 June
    After lasts night start (load)
    12.23v (7:30AM)
    Having a few almost no starts
    12.45v (10AM)

    Will add voltage checks as I followup on posts but does anyone know how to increase my idle on a 1st gen venture? I think years ago it use to be around 1100 RPM but it shows around 500 RPM now on the dash.
    Thanks
    Chris

    Ok good post.

    the low voltage readings may be a symptom not the problem.
    If you did not turn the idle down your self then the low idle is a symptom of partially clogged pilot jets! Or you may have cylinders not firing?

    1st thing you should report back to us and enter into your log is ignition coil voltage key on only - then compare that to the battery voltage for all 4 as this measurement takes a couple of minutes to complete and the battery is being drained by the acc and lights! You may want to pull the head light fuse.
    Hard starting can be directly linked to low voltage readings at the coils when engine is cold!

    Then check to make certain that all 4 exhaust pipes heat equally, you could use something like spray bottle contain water, should boil off on impact say within 3 minutes.

    Next thing is to run some carb cleaner thru the system, how you choose to do that is your choice. The reason it may help is cause, perhaps the jets are only partially clogged, if they are solid then only a tear down works.

    Lets us know if you need any step by step instructions
    Patch

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven G. View Post
    Ok good post.

    the low voltage readings may be a symptom not the problem.
    If you did not turn the idle down your self then the low idle is a symptom of partially clogged pilot jets! Or you may have cylinders not firing?

    1st thing you should report back to us and enter into your log is ignition coil voltage key on only - then compare that to the battery voltage for all 4 as this measurement takes a couple of minutes to complete and the battery is being drained by the acc and lights! You may want to pull the head light fuse.
    Hard starting can be directly linked to low voltage readings at the coils when engine is cold!

    Then check to make certain that all 4 exhaust pipes heat equally, you could use something like spray bottle contain water, should boil off on impact say within 3 minutes.

    Next thing is to run some carb cleaner thru the system, how you choose to do that is your choice. The reason it may help is cause, perhaps the jets are only partially clogged, if they are solid then only a tear down works.

    Lets us know if you need any step by step instructions
    Patch
    I want to thank you for your reply. I concur that the battery voltage is probably a symptom and not the problem. I like the idea of running carb cleaner thru the system to see if it makes a difference. Do they make a fuel additive carb cleaner or do I have to actually spray the carb down? I understand the best would be a rebuild kit but I just want to see if the jets are partially blocked to start with. Once the carb is sounding okay then move on to other checks. I have noticed that the neutral light flickers lightly even when the I increase the RPM at the red lights but I digres.

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    I like ,Berrymans cleaner. Get it at Walmart for $3-4 a can. Pour 1/2 can in and run it, let it set overnight and run it again. See if that helps at all.
    Faded Blue is the fastest.

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    First thing is to see where you are starting from.
    These bikes run amazingly well on 3 cylinders, we have had members that went for years not knowing that they were only hitting on 3 and still thought the bike was running great.
    With the bike cold, start the engine and keep checking all of the exhaust pipes to see if they all heat up at the same rate, the slow to heat one is the cyl with the problem. Don't burn your fingers.

    Check for spark on any dead cylinders.

    If you have spark then it is mot likely a carb problem.
    Seafoam is also very popular for these bikes, dump in a full can to a half tank of gas, and ride it like ya stole it, let it idle for 10 minutes and shut it off till tomorrow to let the cleaners do there work. Do this every day for a few days. You can also look up vids on YouTube for "shotgunning" the carbs. It is often associated with the V-Max that basically the same engine. The shot gunning is a more aggressive method of cleaning the carbs with out tking them apart. If these 2 approaches do not work then the only option is to do a rebuild.

    With the proper idle RPM the voltage situation should be better. I always liked mine at 1,000 RPM. I do NOT want to be trying to sound like a hardly.
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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcarl View Post
    A full battery should read 12.6 volts or better, 12.4 is not so good.
    Your charging system should hold things at normal at a stop, so no lower than 12.6 unless there are loads other than OEM.
    Your idle can easily be increased by turning the thumb screw located between carbs 1 and 2 behind/underneath the carb joining bar. Hard to see and once you find it it's easiest to turn with your 2 forefingers. Idle should be at 900rpm.
    Thank you
    I didn't know the 1st generation had a thumb screw

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Sometimes I get the feeling like I'm the only member that doesn't know what all the gifted members know; really hurts my feelens!
    Flynfool you miss spelt Harley!

    OP which Gen I are you riding? The older little sister with the big attitude or the younger heavier set one with the refined manners?
    Patch

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven G. View Post
    Sometimes I get the feeling like I'm the only member that doesn't know what all the gifted members know; really hurts my feelens!
    Flynfool you miss spelt Harley!

    OP which Gen I are you riding? The older little sister with the big attitude or the younger heavier set one with the refined manners?
    Patch
    and Patch misspelled "miss spelt"
    Flyinfool,, just remember who stood up for you when ya start tossing that White Wash around this fall!!
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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by cowpuc View Post
    and Patch misspelled "miss spelt"
    Flyinfool,, just remember who stood up for you when ya start tossing that White Wash around this fall!!

    You know of course that I am the least likely to correct anyone's spelling, just don't get it! But Tell me Puc how does one spell "spelt"? I use a gadget to help me spell or translate thoughts into this rule but not after... common folk language

    Can we only write it "spelled"? If so why does the note sound like SPELT? Take me to school Bro you'll be doin me a "favour" dat's Canadian for the American shortcut "favor"!

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven G. View Post
    You know of course that I am the least likely to correct anyone's spelling, just don't get it! But Tell me Puc how does one spell "spelt"? I use a gadget to help me spell or translate thoughts into this rule but not after... common folk language

    Can we only write it "spelled"? If so why does the note sound like SPELT? Take me to school Bro you'll be doin me a "favour" dat's Canadian for the American shortcut "favor"!
    I was just ya Teach..
    Remembering my brother and friend:
    "I'm not Yammer Dan" - Yammer Dan
    Proverbs 18:24 - "There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother"..
    Miss you bro - Puc
    Life is just one step after another..on a rocky hill side-Sly

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by cowpuc View Post
    I was just ya Teach..
    Yah I know Bro! But, makes for a nice welcome to the club table for the OP; kind of like a promotion to 4th cousin status now

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    Default Re: dead battery-low idle-1st Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    I decided to make a new post for dead battery as I think I should start with increasing the idle if that is possible on a 1st gen bike.
    When the bike is idling the RPM is only 500 RPM showing on the dash and when I come to a light my battery gauge drops to 8-10 volts when braking. If I am on level ground I can increase the gas and bring the RPM to 1000-1100 and the gauge shows 12+ volts. When I go to start the bike if it starts in 1 second then all is good but if it takes 3-4 seconds then I may need a boast.
    Last summer I replaced my battery because of this issue and made it thru the summer. When I stored it over the winter I disconnected my battery up until 3 weeks before riding. I gave it a 2A charge overnight and hooked up the battery.
    I am making a journal to figure out is it a parasite drain during the night, short/bad ground during the day, or just low RPM when idling. I really hope to increase idling and then go from there:

    3 June battery almost died again
    After 2 hours of sitting 12.39V (8:30PM)
    Quick start and running check 13.64V

    4 June
    After lasts night start (load)
    12.23v (7:30AM)
    Having a few almost no starts
    12.45v (10AM)

    Will add voltage checks as I followup on posts but does anyone know how to increase my idle on a 1st gen venture? I think years ago it use to be around 1100 RPM but it shows around 500 RPM now on the dash.
    Thanks
    Chris
    I didn't get notified of all these posts so I ahve a lot of catching up to do folks, thank you for your replies.

    4 June PM
    Didn't think I was going to make it out of CanadianTire parking lot as the engine just barely turned over. Then I got to our gate opened/closed it, opened/closed garage door while the bike sputtered at 500 RMP and a battery dash gauge showing 8-10v
    Got it in the garage and shut it down immediately and the battery was actually at 12.65v

    6 June PM
    Let the bike sit indoors while the weatherman called for rain
    Thought I would check the battery and it was 12.15v after sitting 2 days so I have it on 2Amp charge

    7 JuneAM
    will check battery voltage and pour 150ml seafoam in the bike. Have a spare battery in the side bag if I need it.
    Thought I would sneek in another voltage reading before day's end.
    After the 2Amp charge I started my day at 12.79v and dash guage showed an even 12v
    Be the 2nd start the dash guage was showing 13v and by the 3rd start it is showing signs of struggling to start. Will update voltage when I get home tonight
    Last edited by ChrisL; 06-07-2019 at 01:45 PM.

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