Starter or Battery 2004 R1150

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by roger 04 rt, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,729
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I've been working my way through trying to figure out why my '04RT has gotten progressively slower starting over the past year--on the first cold start of the day. I've tested every aspect of the fuel system from the strainer to the injectors and verified the HES. The battery seems fine and the starter turns over quickly (I think since I've got no comparison). Throttle bodies are balanced and it idles well.

    With two new stick coils (and the replacement of all four plugs), my '04RT is running like great. And it starts fine ... other than that first start of the day, which takes 4-5 seconds.

    Yesterday I decided to take some data on the first start with the GS-911 via bluetooth to my phone. With it connected to the 911, the samples are logged every half second (400 mS) versus every second (800 mS) to the PC i usually use, nearly twice as fast.

    Looking at the battery voltage in the log, here's what I saw:

    12.19 V, 0 rpm
    12.11, 0
    12.11, 0
    6.82, 0
    10.24, 350 rpm
    10.89, 350
    10.73, 200 rpm
    11.05, 1400
    13.73, 1500

    My battery appears to be in good health (a one year old PC680, it will crank the bike for a long time with a bright headlight) and the starter seems to turn over fine. But looking at the voltage dip I decided to try jumping from my car with its motor running.

    This morning I pulled the left-side panel, got good jumper connections all around--ground to the bike's battery and +12V to the starter lug. Set up logging and pressed the starter button ... er, er, vroom. According to the log (and my ears) the bike started in 1 second.

    Here was the voltage log:
    13.98 V, 0 rpm
    9.99, 0
    11.46, 300
    11.95, 1350
    13.9, 1400
    14.06, 1450

    Last winter, I pulled my starter because of a high drain on the battery and very hard starting every so often. The planetary gear cover had fallen onto the armature. Based on the test today, I'm leaning toward replacing the starter. My reasoning is the cables and connections look good, and even with the jumper cable to the starter lug the voltage dipped from 14V to 10V.

    I'm thinking that without the jumper cable connected, the dip to 7-9 volts when the starter is pressed is upsetting the Motronic, or coils, or injectors.

    Starter or battery, which do you think?
    RB
    #1
  2. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,220
    Location:
    Walland,TN
    Don't know, but my '04 1150 GS had a starter magnet loosen up and produced very intermittent low voltage when starting. It worked fine for 2-3 weeks then wouldn't turn over until the 2nd or 3rd push on the starter button. The low voltage zeroed out my clock. Apparently the 2004 starters have a problem with magnets letting go.
    #2
  3. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22,448
    Location:
    N.W. Arkansas
    Mine fragmented a magnet too, stopped the started cold, and I was stranded.
    If you have never been through the starter, its pretty easy to remove, take apart and clean.

    On a GS at least, not sure about the tupperware on your prettier bike.

    Oh wait, you know this already.
    :D
    #3
  4. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,737
    Location:
    The woods and mountains of Alabama
    Roger, I would start by reconditioning the starter. No actually I would start by measuring resistances of the starter's windings and commutator then recondition based on what you found with the VOM.
    #4
  5. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,737
    Location:
    The woods and mountains of Alabama
    I wonder if the high current solenoid contacts need some service?
    #5
  6. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,729
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Thanks everyone. I've gotten some good Feedback here and from a couple guys on the battery voltage data. I'm going to make some more checks and report back.

    I've had the starter apart for cleaning, solenoid hang--and for planetary gear cover after it dropped onto the armature. Depending on the battery tests I may go for a new starter.
    RB
    #6
  7. BluByU

    BluByU Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    666
    Location:
    Lost in America
    I had almost the same readings, replaced the starter, all cool now.

    Yes, do tare down the starter, would like to hear what you find (got a starter in a box and would love to make it worth keeping)
    #7
  8. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,729
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    A PM pointed me to pc680 technical data. Apparently the odyssey batteries are supposed to be charged at a MINIMUM of 6/7 amps at 14.2-15.0 volts.

    I've looked through all my logs and the regulator never gets to 14.2 volts and is usually between 13.7 and 14.1. My charger, a battery tender jr., for trickle charge doesn't put out much current.

    After a day and a half of rest, the voltage is 12.9v that seems okay.

    With the headlight low beam on the voltage drops to and stays at 12.1 volts for 15 minutes.

    Could my continual charging of the battery for a year and a half at lower than spec have affected the battery such that it drops to 7v during starting?
    RB
    #8
  9. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,737
    Location:
    The woods and mountains of Alabama
    Suggestions;

    1- You might want to measure the internal battery resistance.
    2- A call to the battery manufacturer might reveal some interesting details.
    3- Might a subsitution of the PC680 with the car battery (I would use jumper cables instead of removing the battery from the donor vehicle, engine off and the automobile neg terminal disconnected) reveal some interesting data at cold start.
    #9
  10. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17,294
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    I had one of those PC batteries in my Buell, it just never started with authority like stock or the Deka I replaced the Odyssey with.

    However, on my 1150 the starting was getting slower and screechy, replaced the starter and the tiny Lithium Ion is back to cranking it with authority.

    I'd replace both the starter and battery on your bike.
    #10
  11. Ravenslair

    Ravenslair Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    Placer County, California
    This thread reminds me that I should pull my 04's starter and clean it up and take a look to make sure is all well in there.
    #11
  12. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,737
    Location:
    The woods and mountains of Alabama
    My electrical system on my '01 GS seems to be rather gentle regarding voltage and charging current. I say this based upon little scientific evidence and the fact that all the fuses are OE and I have burned out only one bulb on the bike in its lifetime, the low beam H1 OE bulb. As such, I would say that the PC680 would likely benefit from some rather high discharges and charge cycles such as you suggest, 6-7 amps at 15.0 VDC. But, the manufacturer would be a better source for such a discussion rather than my unscientific and lay knowledge of the PC680 AGM battery which I too have used on my GS for the last 5 years.
    #12
  13. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22,448
    Location:
    N.W. Arkansas
    Like I had previously mentioned Roger, I used those batteries ( pc625 actually) for years in \watercraft, they didnt bring htem up to 14.2+ volts either.

    i think the 680 is simply not enough battery for the oilheads based on LarryBoys feedback.

    I put one of those pc625 batteries in my gs when I bought it in 2009, originally purchased the battery in 2005.

    removed it from service earlier this year , was still cranking fine, but starting to roll over slow on cold ( under 50F) mornings.

    the 625 has more cca than the 680 I think.
    #13
  14. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,737
    Location:
    The woods and mountains of Alabama
    The PC680 is rated at 170 CCAs
    The PC625 is rated at 200 CCAs.

    That difference may or may not be significant. I think starter motor maintenance may be more of a factor in long cranks for cold starts.

    There are dimensional differences that may preclude the 625 from being used in some BMW R models.

    Interestingly, I reviewed the battery charger recommended by Odyssey for both the PC680 and the PC625. The charger looks suspiciously like the Schumacher 600A charger I use routinely for all my battery charging.
    #14
  15. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22,448
    Location:
    N.W. Arkansas
    yes, the charger looks similar, but apparently is not, given the different charging abilitis.

    I can tell you the look alike charger can not get a pc625 above 14.2 volts in any of its normal charge modes.

    you may be right about the slight difference in the CCA though, but that slight difference with some slight degradation of the chemical process might have put Roger where he is now, who knows.

    and yes, I had to modify my battery tray to fit the 625

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9936409&postcount=31
    #15
  16. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,737
    Location:
    The woods and mountains of Alabama
    I'm goin' with a starter with high current draw.

    However, a goosed up charge of his PC680 wouldn't hurt.

    I doubt that Odssey makes their own chargers...unless proven otherwise, their charger is a Schumacher SC600-A with Odssey decals.
    #16
  17. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22,448
    Location:
    N.W. Arkansas
    I figure it has different guts inside it, and it obviously does since its only a 6amp 3 step charger.

    the sc600 has 6,4, and 2 amp settings, obvious differences.

    But yes, it could just as easily be his EDIT - starter.
    #17
  18. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,729
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I've been looking at chargers and thinking about adding a diode in the reference leg of the alternator. I'm still not convinced about which it is.

    Since I couldn't do much today I ran a quick test to see what was being effected by the low battery voltage during cranking (maybe everything), leading to the slow lean first start of the day.

    I powered the Motronic and circuits from a second battery, but not the pump and injectors. Same slow, lean first start.

    Since I previously measured the fuel pressure during starting, I think I've narrowed it down to the injectors and fuel pump which are being affected by voltage. I will power separately tomorrow. My money is on the injectors ... now ... low voltage will make them open slower and squirt less fuel.

    As to battery or starter as the voltage dip culprit, I didn't make much progress today but got many good inputs on the PC680 charging requirements.
    RB
    #18
  19. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22,448
    Location:
    N.W. Arkansas
    I thought I read a while back that the motronic would increase cycle time on the injectors under low voltage conditions?
    or is it not enough to compensate?
    #19
  20. Full Power

    Full Power Long timer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,674
    Location:
    Homer, Alaska
    If the headlamp alone pulls the battery immediately down to 12.1 volts, then you have a very weak battery.
    Try a fully charged and known GOOD battery before beginning a starter tear-down.
    My favorite ( for the money ) is the grey case DEKA, made in USA by EastPenn and usually available for around 80 to 90 dollars.
    #20