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97 CBR600F3 - Charging/Battery Problem

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by Fleb, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. HI Everyone,

    Have just purchased an F3 and am now having problems with the bike not starting. Once the bike is push started it is fine but as soon as you turn it off you get almost zero action out of the battery.

    I was wondering if anyone knew where the alternator is located on the bike and how hard it is to change?

    Only had the bike for 6 days so a little annoyed with the guy i got it from.


  2. First make sure your battery is not pooped, and that it is maintaining the correct voltage across the terminals when the bike is off (around 12v), and when the bike is running( around 14v).

    If your battery needed charging, charge it.
    If the bike then dies after some use then the Rectifier and Stator should probably be checked.

    Go and buy a new battery in any case if it's old.
  3. Reg/Rec. Guaranteed.
  4. Is the Reg/Rec something you can just buy a new one for or something i will have to find second hand.

    Organising a new battery now.

    Has anyone ever had to replace the alternator?

    Thanks again,

  5. I'll bet your next week's salary that it's the regulator/rectifier. It's probably cooked the battery in the process so you will need a new one, but reg/recs can be purchased fairly easily, though you should avoid the cheap ones that regularly crop up on fleabay.

    Expect to pay about $200 for a good one, either OEM or after-market. You can fit and replace yourself, it's easy. Buy a new one.

    When you do replace, however, make sure that you mount the unit in the original position but get a plate of alloy about 1cm thick and drill holes in it to match the existing holes. Then mount the reg/rec ON the plate (you may need to get longer bolts)

    The alloy plate acts as a heat sink and conducts excessive heat away from the unit and will help to make it last a lot longer.

    It is unlikely that it is your alternator at fault.
  6. More than likely. Though on my old F3 I had to replace the battery a couple of times, but the reg/rect tested fine. You can change the reg rec for one out of a '99 R1.
  7. +1 the regulator it is a common Honda fault caused by overheating. RC36's point about an alloy extra cooling plate is a good one. I would also add some Heat Sink Compound to improve heat bonding between the alloy and frame and the regulator and alloy.

    Once you have your new battery you can check, to see if the regulator is charging correctly by measuring the battery voltage with the engine running at revs. Should be 14.4 Much higher or lower and you have a problem.
  8. Thanks everyone for such quick replies. Taking bike down to have it tested tomorrow and new battery installed.

    Normally do it myself but no time. Will post how it all goes.

    Thanks again
  9.  Top
  10. I have heard resonably good things about the people you suggest Fleb. I have no direct experience with them though. They say all the right things in their technical docs.

    Just for my own interest do you use the bikes electrical system to run any additional equipment, e.g. MP3 players, Phones, Cough Radar dectors Cough :) Camera charges, extra lights, etc

    I have been trying to work out for a while why Hondas seem to have these regulator problems.
  11. YAY for our online troubleshooting skills. =D>=D>

    The answer is simple, mate. Honda just made about 4 million of the things and put them in every bike that needed one. Hopefully they have now run the stock of crap reg/recs out and are fitting ones that will last for more than about 20000kms without frying.
  12. Maybe it is that simple RC36 but I am not fully convinced for a few reasons. Japanese manufacturing philosophy is one of Kaizen or continuous incremental improvement. This coupled with Just in Time manufacturing means that large stock levels should not occur. I grant you that even with JIT manufacturing a design may persist over multiple manufacturing runs but Kaizen should see that designs will improve if faults are common.

    You know yourself that the Honda regulator problem is one that has persisted over multiple models and year releases. This should mean a redesign is triggered.

    On the other hand Australia has higher average temperatures, if the problem is more common in our area and Southern California for instance maybe their design has not taken into account ambient temperatures.

    The second thing is Motorcycle Electrical loads are increasing, the Electronic goodies discussed in my previous post means a higher average load for an bike electrical system.
  13. I also live on a US forum and, trust me, the septics have just as much trouble with the reg/recs as we do.

    JIT is a valid point, but you will probably find that the unit is supplied by an outside supplier anyway. If you check, I think you'll find that the CBR/VFR unit is the same, giving weight to my theory that Honda simply has a boatload of them in the mid-90's and fitted them to everything that had two wheels.

    I AM prepared to be be proven wrong, though.
  14. Going to place order for one in the morning. The bike doesn't have anything else plugged into the electrical system at all.

    Going to pull the bike down a bit in the next few weeks to give her some TLC as there is 51000km on the clock and not sure of service history.

    Was going to do timing chain and was wondering how much of a crappy job is it to do?

    Anything else i should be doing besides the normal stuff?
  15. Replace all the fluids, Oil, Brake fluid, Clutch Fluid, Radiator fluid, Filters Air and Oil. 42k is the last major service on a Honda schedule, 48k is a minor, and then a minor at 54k. As you don't know its history a full inspection etc. Spark plugs replace I guess. Not sure what kind of job the timing chain is. Good Luck, :)
  16. I wouldn't touch the timing chain unless it's making a horrible noise.
  17. Same think happened to mine at around 70,000... dead reg. Stay away from the ebay ones, I made that mistake. Failed in a week. Genuine honda is around $220 and is a revised part (it looks different -smaller - and has more of a heatsink). Bikes dont have an alternator as such, it is called a stator. The wire windings stay still and are in the side engine case (these are the bits that can burn out). The magnets spin. Same job as an alternator but different in design and name. Timing chains can get noisy but not usually until 60,000 plus. Mine has an occasional rattle but nothing bad. I actually bought a manual cam chain tensioner for it in case but didnt end up fitting it as it wasnt too serious. These engines will do 150,000+ if you maintain them well, with the chain rattle and reg being the 2 common failures.

    EDIT - By the way, the regulators get very hot even when they are working properly. When mine failed I was stuck in traffic on a 35 deg day so heat is definitely a contributing factor. when I put the new one in I used heatsink paste but didnt have any extra cooling. Some people have even gone to the trouble of mounting 12v cooling fans on them.
  18. Hey guys,

    The new reg/rec turned up from the US today and has been installed. It has a pretty chunky heatsink on it compared to the heatsink being nonexistent on the original it should hopefully last quite a while.

    The site listed above was really good; ordered and delivered in a week. Will let you know if it fails in one :p On a serious note have heard good things about the site so should be fine.

    Thanks again,

  19. Now thinking i have carbie issue/air leak. Have a bouncing idle pretty badly and was going to kit the carbie anyway.

    Anyone know where i can get a carbie rebuild kit from and is it worth doing one of the dyno jet kits?

    Much benefit?
  20. My advice, before you spend any money, do your homework first. Don't go buying reg/recs just because everyone says so... Do the checks first.
    Charge the battery fully first, then use a meter to check voltage at the battery withe the bike running (lights on). It must be between 13.8vdc and 14.8.... It only 12v, then you will need to do further testing. If you don't know how to do it, then ride it to a shop, can be quite complicated if you don't know how. But simple things first. It may be something as simple as a loose wire, but don't just go spending your hard earned before checking things out....