Voltage regulator problems?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by ffr2370, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. ffr2370

    ffr2370 Been here awhile

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    I have a 2008 950 SE I bought new, in 8000 miles it has been reliable as a swiss watch. Last weekend I decided to ride the Mojave Road from Barstow to the Colorado river solo, when I get to my destination at the river the bike wont restart, dead battery. Oh well, I figure the battery is toast, damn lucky I didn't get stranded in the middle of the Mojave desert! I get a jump from AAA and ride the slab 150 miles back to my truck, at about 148 miles the bike slows then sputters to a stop. Now here is where things get strange.... I hear this high pitched scream coming from under the seat, kind of like a tea kettle. Its the battery, its steaming...like a tea kettle. I take it out and through it on the ground so it doesnt spew any shit inside my bike while I walk back to get my rig.

    Still just asuming the battery is bad I ordered one of those bitchen new Shorai batterys and put it in. Bike fires up with authority, I do a few donuts in my pasture and put the bike in the garage and shut it off. I hear the tea kettle again, the shorai is having a meltdown....shit, that fucker was expensive and worse everyone is out of stock!

    Realizing now that my problems are elsewhere I jump start the bike with the charging lead removed, I measure the regulator output and it is 25v at idle and it climbs to 60+ when the revs increase. So I'm guessing the voltage regulator is bad and caused all this mess. Does this sound like a reasonable assumption, anything else I need to check?

    Another side effect is my headlight is not working, assuming that the high voltage burned out the bulb. Can a faulty voltage regulator casue any other damage or otherwise shorten the lifespan of any other critical electrical components, like the ignition or alternator?

    I would love to get the opinions from those who are knowledgeble of this topic or have expereinced someting simular.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    #1
  2. Flueger

    Flueger Wandering

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    My 2008 showed the same symptoms in around 10K early last year. I luckily checked the output of the regulator before I put a new battery in. The regulator was the culprit, with a new battery and regulator all is good.

    A link to my battery singing in a SS bowl on the driveway, I too was lucky to get it out of the bike without incident.
    http://<IFRAME height=293 src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/11459405" frameBorder=0 width=400></IFRAME>950 SE Battery Venting Gas from Flueger on Vimeo.
    </A" target="_blank"></A< a></P" target="_blank"></P< a>
    #2
  3. cpmodem

    cpmodem Orange Caveman

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    ECU might still be OK since it was running when you shut it off. I'd just replace the VRR and battery, make sure of the correct voltage, and ride it to see if anything else is fried. Oh yeah, you might want to install a voltmeter on your bike somewhere where you can see it while riding. Very handy item.
    #3
  4. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated

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    My SE had a bad VR from the factory. The battery was boiling after the first ride, VR replaced at 35 miles. The replacement is still good at 22k. Mine is an '07, bought new in November of '06.
    #4
  5. KTMSER

    KTMSER Big bike friendly

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    I am at this point again.. 44,000 miles and going to put the fifth voltage regulator on when it arrives...

    Only had one not over charge the battery, the other three boiled and ruined the batteries..

    It has to be the heat from where it is located..

    I have over a grand in batteries and voltage regulators this is complete bullshit...

    The last two times (once being towed)I have been able to get to an auto parts store and buy a truck battery and put it on my rear rack then wire it in and disconnect the voltage regulator to get home..

    The 07 and up 990's have a different VR on them, anybody know why?

    Stator is good, grounds are fine..

    I am at a loss here as to what is causing it, it has to be the heat from the exhuast...
    #5
  6. cpmodem

    cpmodem Orange Caveman

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    Heat from the exhaust?
    What bike did you say this was?
    #6
  7. KTMSER

    KTMSER Big bike friendly

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    950se
    #7
  8. goatdog

    goatdog PTO

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    You mean this set up?
    [​IMG]

    I didn't think about the exhaust heat but that may be. It get pretty hot there.
    #8
  9. scapegoat

    scapegoat Pushin forward back

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    If I understood you, you unhooked the battery and ran it after it started and checked the voltage output which was 25+ Volts. If thats the case I can tell you from what Ive seen and read a bikes system changes AC to DC and if it dosent see reference point like a 12V battery it goes all over the place, This was the case on my old kick/electric XL 500. I ran it with no battery for a while and just kick started it, I checked across the leads while running once an saw similar spikes to 50+ volts. I check the grounds and positive leads on my bikes pretty regularly and find them just barely snug sometimes from th heat cycles of crankin. Might keep an eye on this as well as all the ground points on the frame etc.
    #9
  10. cpmodem

    cpmodem Orange Caveman

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    I originally saw the different part number for the SE VRR (62511034100) vs the VRRs for the rest of the LC8 fleet (60011034100) and thought it was just the longer cable that was different. Now I'm thinking it is a totally diff VRR altogether. Maybe even a diff vendor. Could be a bad bunch of VRRs and/or the extra heat of its location on the SER (yours being in AZ just exacerbates the problem) is bringing that out. I wonder if it could be relocated to a cooler location or shielded somehow. Preferably mounted to a large piece of metal using heatsink paste.

    BTW, I've had good results using VRR's from this place (he has a rep for making sturdy stuff):
    http://www.oregonmotorcycleparts.com/VRRPM.html
    They aren't specific for KTMs, but I see a couple of units that should work.
    #10
  11. KTMSER

    KTMSER Big bike friendly

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    Dam I have not checked back on this thread in a few days.......

    Thanks for that link on the VR's cp, waiting on a reply from him...
    #11
  12. MAXVERT

    MAXVERT OG on da OC

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    I emailed Tony at Oregon Motorcycle Parts about a VR for the 990 A.
    He said he would like some specs on the stock regulator and a
    wiring diagram.
    If anyone has any of these and could send it to him it would help
    get the ball rolling on what looks like a nice upgrade.

    sales@oregonmotorcycleparts.com

    Max
    #12
  13. KTMSER

    KTMSER Big bike friendly

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    I can send him one of my old ones..
    #13
  14. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    A fully charged, healthy battery MUST be in circuit as it presents a ballast/load/resistance to the flow of current.
    Uber-high voltage is the order of the day w/o a proper battery present.

    As an imbittered old mechanic i fully expect bad news about these light weight Shorai batteries.

    Turn the clock back several years...
    Remember the cell phone batteries that were blowing-up in ppls pockets?
    Yep. There were metal fines in the gel causing cells to dead short = BANG!

    The Shorai accepts charge very fast and that generates heat. i think it does not offer the proper ballast for M/C or car use. These types of batteries are TITS for RC aeroplanes however.
    Just my $0.02
    #14
  15. KTMSER

    KTMSER Big bike friendly

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    Well shit.. Here is the email.

    No go.

    The amp rating I gave him was just the rule when converting watts to amps..

    On 3/16/2011 4:59 PM,
    I have a KTM 950 Super Enduro that keeps blowing VR's the stator is
    450watts = 37.5 amps.

    Will your VRRPM3 handle the above watts @ amps?

    KTM located this VR behind the rear cylinder above the rear exhaust and
    I think the heat is damaging it. I will be relocating when replaced.

    If you would like pictures let me know..

    I have done some checking and there are alot of them failing KTM has
    changed the part numbers once with an update.
    If this works out it will be an optoin for all of the 950/990 KTM's
    Please let me know..

    Thanks,


    Reply,

    Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 17:53:12 -0700
    From: sales@oregonmotorcycleparts.com
    Subject: Re: VRRPM3

    I don't have anything that will handle that load. I do agree with you
    on relocating the unit up front into the air stream. Heat kills and the
    cooler it runs the better.

    Tony


    My reply,

    On 3/16/2011 5:57 PM, >

    Thanks for the quick reply. There is a market for them if you can build
    them..
    What is the one for the goldwing rated at?
    I could even send you one of my old ones to take a look at.
    3 wires from stator, two outputs and a ground wire.


    Reply,

    Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 18:06:42 -0700
    > From: sales@oregonmotorcycleparts.com
    > To: > Subject: Re: VRRPM3
    >
    > The 1200 Goldwing unit is only rated at 25 amps. You're not alone with
    > this problem. Almost all bikes with a 30+ amp permanent magnet
    > alternators eats stators and reg/rec units. Personally I think it's bad
    > design.
    >
    > When I get relocated to bigger quarters, I plan to tackle the problem.
    > However I'm not going to just build a bigger reg/rec unit but work on
    > transplanting in an electromagnet unit of about 40 to 55 amps. At our
    > current location space is so tight, I can't dig into a project without
    > halting other work...
    >
    > Tony


    Does anyone now the actual amps the stator is putting out?
    #15
  16. cpmodem

    cpmodem Orange Caveman

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    The industry uses 14 volts DC as the standard for alternator output. So Ohm says 26.7 amps. Which is about right for an oil cooled permenant magnet AC generator. That's the same type my ST1100 used in 1994. Everyone toasted those eventually and upgraded to the 1996 aircooled unit that was rated at 560 watts.
    #16
  17. Atreyou

    Atreyou Having Fun

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    Nairobi, Kenya
    I had the EXACT same problem last year with my 2004 950s and it was the Voltage Regulator. Headlight would turn off when I accelerated, then once after a short ride around town an insane amount of heat was emanating from the engine area, despite the thermostat marking 4 bars only, there was the high pitched alarm (overheating sensor alarm, I think), and my bike smelled mildly of burning potato salad.

    Could not figure it out. Things eventually went back to normal.

    Then I set off for a 4.5 week tour with my girlfriend to Botswana and back (from Arusha, Tanzania, where I live) and on day 1 the bike backfired and shut off from fuel starvation on the road. Same symptoms - whine, smell, but this time it didn't start back up.

    Devastated, I put it on a truck, took it back and we realized it was the voltage regulator. The battery was cooked but miraculously, the rest of the electronics were not fried. The fuel pump had shut down because of the voltage overload so that is why the bike died on the road. We fitted on a voltage regulator and battery from a Yamaha 660R (same bolt pattern), took a spare dry cell battery and cables in case we needed to boost the little Yamaha battery in the mornings, and set off.

    9,000 kilometers, 5 weeks, and 7 countries later, we returned to Arusha on that same Yamaha voltage regulator and battery. Never had to boost it with the dry cell.

    Have an OEM voltage regulator on the way and have the right battery in there now. We'll see how they work!
    #17
  18. thugdog

    thugdog Druid Revisionist

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    #18
  19. geometrician

    geometrician let's keep going...

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    there are several components in the VR's that are getting incredibly hot for their small size, in a waterproof resin jacket in the aluminum heat sink.

    VR800 owners all move their VR's into a better airstream

    Try Rick's Electrics (NOT Ricky Stator). He makes the stuff himself and knows more about this than anyone I've ever talked to. If he doesn't have one that will work & if there's is a market, he'll make some or rewind yours. He knows how to balance the windings/flywheel & VR to suit each application, and talk at length on the phone, something the guys importing "upgraded" stators/VRs from China can't do.

    I have an ElectroSport 400 watt stator in my KLR650 running a stock VR moved into an airflow pocket under my sidecover- much better cooling then under the seat where Kawasaki put it. I bought a higher rated VR but never have put it in, and those are dual PIAA Intense White H4's running on that bike- it always starts, bulbs don't blow. both bulbs usually on highbeam... and I like to ride in tight woods at night, not the day & the lower RPMs & battery recovery is good- if you're crawling and the fan comes on the battery starts making up the difference. I don't have to add water to the cells either. Balance.

    airflow... cooling... make your own extension lines if need be
    #19
  20. ffr2370

    ffr2370 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Replaced the VR and Battery. Did a full service, valve adjust and such while I had the tank off.. Bike wont start, looks like the fuel pump isn;t working. Opened the fuel pump cover up and the whole area with the points are covered in a deep layer of black soot. New fuel pump fixes it.

    Besides the battery, fuel pump and light bulbs I wonder what else can be firied or had it's life sortened on this bike??? Not feeling really confident that I want to take this thing out alone in the desert on a ride again>

    Mark
    #20