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 Sudden electrical failure

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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:11 pm

Hi,

I've owned a 2001 Silverwing for a few weeks now, bought it on a whim and been enjoying it but twice now it has displayed a discomforting issue.

Riding along merrily and without any warning all electrical power is lost: instruments die, lights off, no horn or indicators etc but the engine keeps running. On both occasions I made it to a service station and obtained assistance. First time was my rescue service took me home, second time I got a jump start from a motorist.

I suspect the battery, personally and from my experience over 30 years but want to check with owners more familiar with this type of motorcycle. After the failure the first time the battery read 11.5V, second time (much shorter journey too) it was 10.5V. These are unhealthy voltage levels but the battery recharges back to 13.5V. Battery looks new BUT the previous owner had barely used the Wing in the past year (literally couple hundred miles) and I know that isn't good for a battery.

Anyone any other thoughts before I purchase a new battery?

Cheers

Martyn
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DennisB
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:41 pm

Do you happen to know how old the battery is that's in your scooter now?

Right now I would check to see if your battery cables are tight on the terminals. Basketball
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:47 am

Battery reported new a year ago by previous owner but he hardly used the machine in a year. All cables secure. No signs of corrosion. It seems to have held a 13v charge overnight.
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tarmacburner2
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:53 am

suggest you trace the battery leads and see if all are tight.

One thing that would be easier to do is put the scooter on the main stand. turn the ignition on and check the voltage at the battery. Then start the engine and recheck the voltage. Also check the voltage from the power socket in the left cubby-hole. Should be same as battery voltage.

Cheers,
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:40 am

Your battery may be fine but your charging system could be at fault. You need to meter the voltage before you start it and after you start it. Then let it run awhile and check it again. Voltage should hold at around 13.5v. If it drops to 12v or below something is up with the charging system. I do not like the lack of a volt meter or idiot light for the charging system on my wing and am trying to come up with something but that which doesn't look hokey.
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:30 pm

Yeah, never appreciated the volt meter on my old airhead Beemer so much until now! It really was a great health indicator.

That was to be my next step. If the charging system is at fault, how the hell do I get into the alternator?! Changed one on my old beemer and it was relatively easy. Jeez I wish I had a workshop manual. Always swore by Haynes but I can't find one for a SWing.
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:50 pm

Did a quick check. Battery read 13V ignition off. Started her up and it went to 12.3 steady, dropping when systems were turned on, like lights etc. Engine running it sat steady around 12.3v.

Switched off and it went to 12.7, same output at the aux power socket and 12.5 when switched on but not started.

Have it on trickle charge again and will repeat tests when fully charged. Still suspect the battery, its the usual culprit in my experience.

Thanks guys.
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kbcmdba
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:22 pm

Look for Honda FSC600 (replace with your model number) Service Manual on a local auction site. I found mine on eBay.
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eddy
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:44 am

You said...
Battery keeps 12.7 Volt over night.
Engine running ...it sat steady around 12.3 Volt.
--------------

The charge system is the culprit.
No doubt.

When a Silverwing is running idle, you must read 13.5 Volt or more.

( mine 14.6 Volt , lights off )
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:38 am

Thanks Eddy, that's a bummer! Can anyone advise me on next steps? How do I check which component of the charging system is at fault?

Thanks
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Microtouch
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:08 pm

Me thinks you will need a service manual to go further. I wouldn't go near it without step-by-step instructions.
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DennisB
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:15 pm

Just seating here reading. You might try the handlebar emergence rocker switch wires or the switch it's self.

Just a thought. scratch
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micbusathens
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:49 pm

Usual suspect is..... the regulator (expesive)or... stator (real expensive).I hope none of them is your issue.
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rollsroyce250
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:25 pm

Dramhunter wrote:
Thanks Eddy, that's a bummer! Can anyone advise me on next steps? How do I check which component of the charging system is at fault?

Thanks

Check your Private Messages (the PM button just below the main Silverwing picture at the top of any page). I sent you one.
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NWSSC
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:58 pm

Just food for thought.I checked my 06 Wing today and found the battery voltage to be 13.5 (two years old) before start up.Alternator was putting 14.5 volts at normal idle. The Honda alternator is a little different than those found on automobiles. There is a Stator but no Rotor or Brush holder that I can see.It looks like it operates almost like a magneto and uses a Regulator/Rectifier to change ac to dc and regulate current. Although they charge around 14.5 volts they do not put out that many amps(a car can charge 100+ amps) and that is probably how they get away with it.
Any way If you took it to Honda,after checking for loose connections etc. they would replace the easiest part,the Regulator/Rectifier. I'm sure some one has a spare unite for checking the system. After that it would be the Stator.
Good luck and let us know. Howard
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kbcmdba
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:03 pm

@NWSSC: Welcome to the forum and great post! Not too many SWing riders in our area but nice to see another... :-)

KB
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:17 am

Thanks guys. In my experience, the regulator is the next most likely suspect but I'm certainly no expert and electrical problems always caused me confusion!

I'll do my checks again and maybe visit Honda in Belfast on Saturday.

Cheers
Martyn
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:19 am



After talking to Honda I installed the known good battery from my son's new bike and measured the charging voltage. No different to when I did it with my own battery, would not go above 12.45 volts at 5000rpm.

Removed the right passenger footrest and disconnected the alternator. I measured the resistance between the yellow wires on the alternator side of the connector. Between the middle one and one side I got a reading of 0.6 ohms and the rest of the readings were 1. Meter set on lowest scale of 200 ohms. Couldn't find continuity to earth either.

Did the same for the regulator side of the connector and did not get readings anywhere near the spec's. My meter, set on it's lowest scale of 200 ohms, read 1 between them all. So, stator and regulator appear to be buggered so I'm looking at an expensive repair. I'm sure you understand how I feel having just bought this machine.

If anyone can help me with a UK/European model manual Id be grateful. My bike is a 2001 non-ABS model.
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Silverwing28681
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:19 am

I seen stator and other charging parts for the silver wing on ebay.com .
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:31 am

Thanks, so did I but the postage charges from outside the UK are high and I haven't found any relevant parts on ebay.co.uk yet but I have found a UK based dealer who specialises in warrantied second-hand electrical parts and they may have what I need. Much cheaper than new too. When I owned my Beemers I always looked for warrantied used parts, kept costs well down.

cheers
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NWSSC
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:45 am

The older Honda's did not have a very good alternator out put at low rpm but your S/W should charge 14.5 at idle. Some Honda mechanic is going to have a spare Regulator/Rectifier for checking purposes.Trying to get it is going to be the problem.At this point I think you have limited choices.You could try and find another S/W owner who would let you try the regulator/rectifier or take it to Honda dealer.To make maters more complicated some times a regulator can go bad causing the alternator to charge its maximum before it also goes bad. Good luck.
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confuse
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:24 am

Hi Folks, the failure of Silverwing's alternator is it a common issue?
Care to share what was the estimated mileage you guys have it replaced?
Or anyone has not even experience failure on the alternator yet?
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:34 pm

Just to keep everyone updated on my disaster, I did measurements again. When I measure volts output from the alternator with the bike running it only reads about 14 volts AC between the middle pin and one outside pin and nothing between the middle pin and the other outside one or between both outside ones. A very helpful Honda technician said I should get 70-90 volts and another source said around 14-16 volts per 1000rpm, and that doesn't happen either! Voltage across the pins of the regulator side of the cable is 0.001v DC across all pins (forgot to measure that last time) so I'm wondering if the regulator is ok and the alternator shot? One other advisor thinks so.

I'm going to remove the alternator for inspection. An English company can do a repair for a reasonable price so I'll try that first. If it still don't work with a refurbished alternator then it must be the regulator.

Yours in HOPE!!!
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:39 am

Well, I'm stymied. I can't get the three torx bolts on the right hand engine casing to budge at all, they are stuck fast. Been working at them but am now concerned I will destroy the grips on them if I keep trying. Anyone any ideas for loosening stuck torx bolts???? If they don't get shifted I can't replace the stator and that means a useless bike. Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:33 am

I believe you are referring to what Honda calls the right side swing arm attaching bolts. These should be only torqued to
25 ft lbs. Usually they can be removed with a 3/8 breaker bar. A air or electric impact wrench would be the best.
You do not want to round out the head of the bolt. If this starts to happen you can strike the head of the bolt with a large punch and hammer to close up the head of the torx bolt. I have had to do this on occasion and it works. But before this happens you may be better off taking it to a dealer.
Good luck,Howard
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:17 pm

I replaced my stator several years ago. IIRC I used a 3/8" drive hand impact tool (the type that you hit with a hammer) along with the proper size Torx socket to remove those right side swing arm bolts.

Once those torx bolts were removed it took a bit of careful coaxing (prying) to actually remove the swing arm from the bearing hub.

And even though the Service Manual doesn't make a point of this, you've got to drop the exhaust pipe off the cylinder head so that you can have room enough to remove one or two of those lower stator cover screws. Having the exhaust pipe out of the way will make reinstalling the stator cover (with stator) back on to the engine block much easier. It's a tedious job at beat though because the flywheel magnet wants to pull everything the wrong way.

Don't forget to fastidiously clean the mating surfaces of the cover, block and that PITA rubber wire harness grommet. I don't recall what brand of sealing goop I used on those surfaces, but make sure that you use only the top quality stuff. Otherwise you just might have to do the job all over again if you find oil drips coming from the cover or grommet.

Hope this helps

Tim
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:15 am

Thanks Howard & Tim, leaving it to someone else is exactly what I plan now. I have worked at them for quite a while, soaking in penetrating oil etc, using constant sustained pressure rather than jabbing at them but no dice. I think the heads are a bit worn from previous operations, my T50 torx driver can't get as snug a fit as I would like and now they are starting to get chewed.

I've borrowed a set of professional torx drives and impact driver and will have one last try at loosening them. Even if I can, though, I may just leave it to my local independent for the rest of the work. I don't have another entirely free weekend for about a month. I had planned on getting it out yesterday then a replacement installed and the bike reassembled by degrees over a few evenings.

Cheers
Martyn
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:26 am

Martyn, Best of luck getting your bike fixed. Have you ordered new bolts to replace the ones that are damaged? Even if you have some one else fix it, no need to wait on backordered bolts.
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:15 pm

What are the probable parts necessary for this repair and an estimated parts (total) cost? And labor? Just wondering how expensive this issue is should I ever face it.
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:41 pm

Gasket stator labor....cost me round 600 USD here in Greece
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:44 pm

Dimond wrote:
What are the probable parts necessary for this repair and an estimated parts (total) cost? And labor? Just wondering how expensive this issue is should I ever face it.

Approx. parts (online prices, dealer retail add 25%)

$183 (stator)
$154 (regulator, if required)
$10 (RTV sealant)

Approx. labor:

$250 ( 3hrs. @ $80/hr)
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:55 pm

Oh...yes.There's no gasket.Just sealant.Count oil too.
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:48 pm

Well, I got my local independent on the job. he had to drill the swing arm bolts out, they couldn't be budged! he confirms the stator is burnt out but is confident the regulator is ok. I'm gonna order a reconditioned stator and some new bolts for him to finish the job. I'll let you know the final cost!

Cheers

Martyn
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:16 am

here's an update folks. My local independent mechanic had to use tungsten drills to get those swing arm bolts off but extracted the stator which showed signs of burning. I've been in touch with a company in England that will repair it so it's getting packaged up and sent off. Hopefully on the road again soon!

cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:30 pm

This has been a real learing experience for you. I my self have not heard of having a stator rebuilt.They are usually replacet with a new factory unite or a after market unite.Be carefull,I would check out and see what kind of warrenty you have.There is a joke (I'm not sure you are ready for this)the warrenty is 30 days or 30 feet what ever comes first. The stator is the part of the alternator that is responsible for the amperage (or watts if you prefere)and can self distruct by charging maxium out put for a long period of time. A clue to this condition is an alternator wine for a extened period of time when it is charging the maxium. Good luck,let us know. Howard


Last edited by NWSSC on Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:07 pm

Care to name that English company, it may help others?
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:21 pm

Here in Greece is very common to recoil stators.Nevertheless I changed stator with OEM one for second time in three years(!)Recoiling costs round 85 £ while oem stator round 300
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:33 pm

The company is called Westcountry Windings, based in Hounslow, Essex. They were recommended to me by my local Honda main dealer as a good alternative to an OEM part for the age of my bike. With tax added an OEM unit would cost me about 30% of what I paid for the bike. To me, not economically viable. Don't know about the USA but here, rewinding and refurbishing such parts is common. I did the same with an alternator outta one of my old Beemers years ago. This way it costs a third of a new one and I get a 12 month warranty, same as a new one!
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:35 pm

Hounslow is not in Essex, its in Middlesex !!
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:36 pm

Is this them?

http://www.westcountrywindings.co.uk/
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:26 pm

Yes that's them. I sent it Monday lunchtime and it was returned this morning, Wednesday, all shiny and repaired looking like brand new and with a 1 year warranty £126. They recommended a new reg/rectifier too so I've ordered one. Gonna make the repair more expensive than I anticipated but at least two major electrical components will be totally renewed. They said the burn damage was indicative of a regulator giving trouble.
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:00 pm

Fantastic, thats a good service applause

I guess replacing the rectifier is just in case it caused the damage or has got damaged by the burnt out regulator. Maybe you could test the rectifier?
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:56 pm

Yep, testing rectifier was strongly recommended but they mentioned that their experience indicated the damage was caused by a reg/rectifier on it's way out and that often the best course is to change both, expensive though it is. Let me tell ya, I don't want to have to replace an alternator again!
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:32 pm

IT'S SORTED!!! Yea!!! bounce

Rewound stator installed, regulator checked & passed, reassembly complete and after much anguish and delays, back on the road at 5pm tonight! Great, and runnin well. Thanks to everyone for help and advice, it's very much appreciated and has been a very useful learning experience. learned more about an FJS in a few weeks than I did about my Beemers in 6 months!

Cheers all

Martyn
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RArch
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:35 pm

Nice one Smile

Did you take any photos?
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:43 pm

Dramhunter wrote:
IT'S SORTED!!! Yea!!! bounce

Rewound stator installed, regulator checked & passed, reassembly complete and after much anguish and delays, back on the road at 5pm tonight! Great, and runnin well. Thanks to everyone for help and advice, it's very much appreciated and has been a very useful learning experience. learned more about an FJS in a few weeks than I did about my Beemers in 6 months!

Cheers all

Martyn

Good result - well done Martyn.
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:23 pm

I didn't take photo's because I didn't do the work. The swing arm bolts had to be drilled out. The stator had one small segment well burnt; the rewinding company sent it back shining like new, they even offered to rebuild the regulator if it didn't charge correctly because I had so much difficulty finding a correct 2001 component; mechanic only charged me 2 hours labour at £30 per hour and the regulator checked out ok so I'm on the road again. Oh and got a free oil & filter change too! I think letting the mechanic have a blast o got some discount 'cause he couldn't believe how good it was!
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DaveR
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:25 pm

My 2005 just up and died as well. It is in the shop now doing testing. It was just on idle and I was going to shut it off but before I could get that done it died. Everything a black out!
Disgusting but it does happen. It is just as though a main wire dropped off. . . What's next. Don't know yet will have to see what they find.
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model28a
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden electrical failure   Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:58 pm

Dave it sounds like it could be the main fuse at the solenoid or one of the wires at the battery is loose.  I would first check the battery wires and if they are tight and the battery reads at least 12½ volts. If that checks out good then I'd move on and check the main fuse at the solenoid. Here is a link to get to that fuse. Access to the main fuse at the solenoid.
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