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Blackbird charging problem - Updated 26/08

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by fozzy, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Hi Guys,

    Working on a mate's Blackbird and thought that someone with some history and experience on this bike might have more of an idea of what fails on these typically.

    It's not charging at all according to the multimeter, so I'm think either reg /rec or stator. I haven't had a chance yet to meter out the stator and the reg /rec is a bit harder to check with a meter obviously.

    Do Blackbirds have a tendancy to have one or the other crap out? I know reg/recs are a problem on VFRs...

  2. Seems to be common in Hondas. These guys would probably be of some help to you. :)
  3. I'd be safe in saying, call your local Honda dealer and order in a regulator/rectifier unit.

    The earlier models have a high failure rate. I think that from about 01 or 02 onwards they had beefed up unit. Mine, a '00 model, died a year or so ago. Cost me $220 and they had to order it in. Took a coupla weeks. Wreckers might have one if you're looky..
  4. If it's not charging at all it's not the reg/rec. Check the alternator output.

    Reg/Recs control the current going into the battery. When they fail batteries get the full current from the alternator. You will see a voltage of around 16 or more Volts at the battery with the engine running at 3,000 rpm. Plus the electrolyte boils dry etc.
  5. I've never seen one that's failed that exhibits those symptoms.

    In any case, when my Blackbird's R/R failed symptoms were flat battery, and prior to it failing, voltage surges causing headlight globes to blow. At least, I think that is what caused it to occur.
  6. I took the OP's "not charging at all" to mean no power is going to the battery. That current comes from the alternator.

    If he just means the battery keeps going flat then....

    When a reg/rec fails the usual symptoms are:
    1. the voltage at the battery goes up to 16 Volts or more (measure with engine running at 3,000rpm)
    2. the electrolyte boils dry (spot by visual check)
    3. The lights get very bright and/or blow (ditto)
    4. all of the above

    With a healthy charging system you'd expect a battery voltage around 14.5V with the engine running. If the reg/rec fails, the battery will receive the full output of the alternator and you'd see 16v+ at the battery. This extra current can boil the electrolyte and may cause other problems as above.

    As electrolyte boils off there's no acid in the cells so no charge can flow - the battery feels like it's "flat".

    Overcharging the battery can also overheat and warp the plates and causes an internal short circuit i.e. it goes flat and won't hold a charge.

    All of these symptoms can easily be tested or observed.
  7. No it doesn't. It can have no output. It depends on what has happened to the unit. With mine (the same bike as the OP) it simply stopped charging. A new rec/reg with a heftier heat sink fixed it.

    Again, I'd be betting the sheep station that it's the R/R unit. It's a known problem with Blackbirds. Failed alternators isn't.
  8. new developements...

    Looks like it's 99% the stator - contrary to popular belief. Correct me if I'm wrong...

    I measured the AC voltage across the 3 stator wires

    At idle they read 15-15-3

    At 5000RPM they read 50-50-3

    Also one of the wires in the stator plug looks a bit toasted and the insulation on a couple of the stator coils looks a bit stuffed.

    The reg/rec connectors look good - no signs of heat. It also looks fairly new, not that it's easy to tell. Can someone post up the model number of the later model R/R - this will give me a clue as to if it's been replaced.

    Also would be interested to know if it's likely that a stuffed stator might take out the R/R with it (my logic says it's unlikely).

    I also assume the bit of oil under the stator cover is normal (coming from the crankcase - doesn't look like it's sealed off).

    Last question is does anyone know of somewhere in Sydney that will rewind or exchange the stator? Would save a lot of dough I expect.

    Thanks for all your help guys.
  9. Hmm. doesn't sound good. What model BB do you have?

    And how did you measure the voltage? From phase to phase, I would assume. I don't think that it has a neutral earth (delta connected possibly). I'd have to check the wiring diagram.

    I don't know if the RR would fail and take out the stator. Certainly it sounds like one phase may have been subjected to a short circuit. To be safe, and I know it's more expense but I'd replace the R/R at the same time. If it did develop a fault and it took out the alternator in sympathy, then it may well damage the replacement parts.

    And consider replacing the scorched plugs/sockets too if they don't come with the replacement parts.

    Good luck.
  10. it's a 99 EFI model.

    Measured the voltage phase to phase
  11. We'll have to agree to disagree. I've had enough 80's Suzukis to know how dead reg/recs and blown alternators behave and my advice was based on that experience. Take it or leave it.

    There are plenty of examples of 'Bird alternator failures out there. See the following links.

    Fozzo - you might be able to find some useful info on these sites.







  12. Just for the record, I've had 2 rec/regs shit the tin, one refused to charge at all (bike sputtered to a stop completely dead) & the other boiled the battery to death :) F#cking Honda electrics