Another alternator hits the dust and not under warranty

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by C5!, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. C5!

    C5! Been here awhile

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    Well you can add another stator, which just died at 34,000 km., without any reason, to the statistics. No extra load, no extra lights nothing, the only occasional extra load being an iphone charger...
    the problem is that it happened while in Venezuela, and although it is a US purchased and registered bike, when you are out of the US, the BMW warranty is 2 years (unlimited km), so if I would be in the US it would still be under warranty, but as I am travelling, it is not... talked to BMW NA and they confirmed what the Venezuelan BMW importer said: It would have to be repaired by a US dealer.
    So you all know now, your 3 yrs warranty is only valid in the US.

    P.S. no way I will be purchasing a new alternator ($700 on max price list, so I guess must be about $1200-1500 here !!) I will have it rebuilt, as suggested by joel.
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  2. Camel ADV

    Camel ADV aka Oso Blanco

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    Seems odd that BMW warranty is universal. When traveling I just assumed my 3yr unlimited (Canada) would be in effect at any dealer world wide and that BMW Canada and that dealer would work out whatever they had to square things up. Apparently not.

    With 65,000km on the clock, I'm getting a bit stressed with these stators going out on higher mileage bikes:jjen
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  3. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Has anybody been able to do a failure analysis on these stators? If you are getting the stator re-wound perhaps you can ask the guys to be careful when they "UN" wind it and see if they can find out why it failed .... wire burned thru? shorted insulation? chaffing???

    If I understand correctly - the way the alternator is designed it runs "flat out" producing all the power it is able to produce all of the time. Whatever power is not needed is then dumped to the frame of the bike by the regulator. In other words there's no way to "baby" the stator.
    #3
  4. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    Where did you get that information? That would be very strange IMO.
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  5. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    It's not strange, that's just how all shunt type regulators work. By running the stator at full load at all times it is subjected to a lot of heat.

    There is one possible solution that I am looking into, a series R/R that decreased load on the stator when it's not needed. The problem is that there are no OEM options for 3 phase ones, but there are at least two aftermarket companies offering them for the Harley Davidson market. Compufire and somebody else.
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  6. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    You are absolutely correct. Thanks.
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  7. C5!

    C5! Been here awhile

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  8. C5!

    C5! Been here awhile

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  9. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Looking at the pictures of the failures that have been posted, it's pretty clear that it's not just single windings shorting out but rather the whole stator burning up. Chitown has some nice pics in his thread.
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  10. Karel

    Karel Been here awhile

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    Mine burned with 34,000miles on the clock.
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  11. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    Probably ball bearings.
    They used to make good ball bearings, until, you know.........
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  12. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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  13. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    That is NOT a series type R/R but simply a MOSFET based shunting R/R.

    It will help with problems of the R/R failing that some bikes have, e.g. if it can't handle the load of dissipating all the heat. But it will not help in our case, and might even make things worse. The MOSFET type shunting regulators run cooler than their thyristor counterparts because of their construction, which increases efficiency. But if you are not using the extra electrical power, and it's not being converted to heat in the R/R, the only way where it can go is the stator (and to a minor degree the wiring)!
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  14. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Here is a picture of Chitowns stator that matches the way of failing I have seen in other F-series bikes. Great thing about BMW is that they don't even sell it as a separate part, you also need to get the flywheel which doubles or triples the price... :huh

    That being said, if anybody has a spare flywheel let me know, I could use it. :D

    [​IMG]
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  15. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    Sorry you are incorrect. Look at the schematic on the eastern beaver site. Although I can not share it, I have the complete schematic. This is the series style, when the current is not demanded it disconnects the stator and lets the voltage on the stator rise. When regulator is overloaded and overheated it shuts off, and when cool starts again. In the abuse part of the testing, I ran 80 amps thru it and it shut down and restarted over 10 times without damage. This is one tough regulator. Built as a Hybrid and quality construction.

    We did a full evaluation for a un-named manufacturer to use this OE. Never a warranty return unless hooked up backwards. Sadly the economy killed that mfg. But no warranty on over 1000 bikes before their end. We do not sell retail or mail order.

    No I do not have samples either.

    Rod
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  16. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    I believe you that the Shindengen FH series are rock solid and don't fail, but that is not our issue. Out of the hundreds of posts/sites I have read on this topic, you are the first person to claim that it's not a shunt but a series style regulator.

    Have a look at these o-scope measurements done by an electrical engineer:

    Stator Voltage/Current comparison between FH012AA (FET based Shunt Controller) and Compu-fire SERIES based controller:
    http://www.posplayr.100megsfree3.com/FH012AA_Charging/SSR_vs_FH012AA.pdf

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  17. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    Damn the Shindengen website sucks.

    I stand corrected, it is a shunting style of regulator.

    Sorry, I don't have scope here, but this explains a lot, and I have another application I will try to sell into now that I know. Someone with the ability to wind these stators can use good high temp wire, maybe they will live better, There is stuff rated for 240C out there, ford uses it on their alternators, I have seen the lamination steel turned straw color and the windings still good

    You can increase the turns, but this lowers the output current.

    You could also sand down the poles carefully this would decrease the output some too.

    The overheating is a BMW design issue, something that in their mind can not happen.

    Rod
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  18. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    So it is harder on the alternator when there is a greater load on it?
    Heat is the problem?
    A charged battery and ample cooling (air) is the solution?
    #18
  19. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Yeah, it's not entirely clear on the Shindengen website. I have read that they also produce a series R/R, but I don't think it's used in any OEM application.

    By the way, the full spec sheet of the FH0012 is available freely on the net. :evil

    [​IMG]



    No, that's not the solution. With the current setup (permanent magnet?) the alternator is at full load any time, no matter what kind of draw you put on the system.

    The only thing I know of is the series regulator I mentioned above. This thread has a good description of what it does:

    http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/...-just-installed-a-compufire-series-regulator/
    #19
  20. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    I've seen the pictures of ChiTown's stator, and it sure looks like heat damage...
    but do we have any pictures of a working stator that has 30K+ miles on it just for the sake of comparison? :wink:


    It looks like Compu-Fire makes a 3-phase regulator that is sold as part of an upgrade kit, is something like that available separately?


    LukasM and Ragtoplvr: You ( Obviously :lol3 ) don't have to answer, but are either of you guys "in the business" :wink:


    In addition to improving reliability it would seem that a series style regulator could release a wee bit of extra horsepower as well, since it would not be running wide-open all the time?
    #20