Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Electrics kaput?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by DarkHorse, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Hi all,

    So the Zook decided to ruin my plans for a ride today by refusing to start yesterday morning. It was turning over fine just not firing, all the lights etc were coming on, and I could hear the fuel pump priming when the kill switch was on. I had filled up the night before, but got all the way home (Upper Ferntree Gully from the city – 40km) fine so discounted the bad fuel/water in tank possibility. I had had trouble starting once before, and that was after I had left the bike sitting with the headlight on for half an hour. After charging the battery it had been fine since.

    I had to run to work so didn’t get much chance to have a look until I got home, and then it was dark. I tried everything again, checking side-stand, neutral… still no joy. By now the battery was getting tired, so I decided to charge it overnight, see what I could find on the net to help investigate and check out plugs, battery etc in the morning. I should say that I am no mechanic or auto elec, but I have a reasonable brain for things teknickle and an over-active curiosity gland when it comes to the workings of my bike. I would also like to say a big thankyou to everyone who posts advice on this forum and others to help hacks like me out!

    Anyhoo, found lots of posts about starting problems and also found the electrical system section in the manual. Come thismorning I decided to run the basic checks in the manual and see if I could identify the issue. I reconnected the battery and thought I’d give it a shot, just on the off-chance. Of course it started perfectly first time! However, rather than shoot off into the hills, I decided I should run the checks anyway so I could suss out what the problem was.

    First up was metering the battery, measuring:
    Current leakage (disconnect neg wire, measure current between wire and terminal) – less than 1Amp, so fine
    Voltage when off – 13.6V
    Voltage when cranking – 11.8V
    Voltage when idling – 12.8V
    Voltage at 5000rpm – 12.5V
    All of which is fine (not surprising with a freshly charged battery) EXCEPT that the voltage should go up at 5000rpm as the charge is returned via the stator, not down as if it is working hard to fire the plugs more often… Uh oh.

    So onto the stator (generator) and off with the side fairing (simple enough, but what is with those plastic clips that hold the two side panels together where they meet under the bike – bastard little things!) Manual says to disconnect the stator coupling and measure the resistance between the three wires. Should be between 0.2 ohms and 0.5 ohms. I got 9 ohms. Ah crap! Manual’s solution: replace the stator with a new one. Great.

    Decided to have a look at the unit anyways, since I had the fairing off and had only ever seen a photo of one on the web. Got a bit of a surprise when a trickle of oil leaked out as I was loosening the bolts – electrical components and oil didn’t go together in my mind… Got more of a shock when I pulled the cover off and the stator was swimming in oil:


    Now, the bike has been going through quite a bit of oil recently, and my first thought was that this might have been where it was going – and killing the charging system in the process. I gave the stator and cover a quick clean (photo is after cleaning) and re-measured the resistance in the wires: 8 ohms. Woohoo! A whole ohm better! Now how much would I have to scrub to get rid of another 7.5? Remebering the stories online about stators and regulator/rectifiers taking each other out, I decided to check the reg/rec as well.

    Off comes the ducktail (only two Allen screws, not counting the two already removed to get the seat off – nice one Suzuki! Bit harder to get the plastic off around the rack rails, but no biggy.) Now, where is the coupler? Photo in the manual has it just near the unit, but just a mess of electrical tape here. Follow the loom down towards the tank… nothing. Oh well, two more allen bolts and up with the tank – still no coupler and loom joins others at ECU. Bugger. Back to the tail and unwind some of the tape and this is what I find:


    The yellow is heat-shrink (I removed a couple to make the measurements) – someone’s been buggerising around here before, and for some bizarre reason decided that dodgy soldering and heat-shrink was better than the factory coupling?!? To make matters worse, the wires from the reg/rec are black/white, black/red, black, black and black. The manual gives a little table for the measurements to be taken between each combination. Oh well, no chance of that! I could do the b/w and b/r and one of the blacks, only one of which matched the table values. Uh oh, looks like I’m up for a new one of these too.

    By now it’s getting dark, and I’ve done about all I can for the moment. Replace the elec tape, back on with the stator and plastics. Off to the shop tomorrow and see what we can come up with. I had a good explore, the first time I’ve had a chance since buying this bike, learnt a lot and have a few questions for the more learned on the forum:

    1) Am I right in assuming that the stator is screwed? From the photo does it look wrong? I’ve since gathered that oil is meant to circulate through the chamber (started the bike with the cover off for the sake of curiosity! Ooops! At leats now I know the oil pump is OK) and the manual has a diagram of the oil circulation which includes a jet pointed straight at the stator! Should have taken the hint from the presence of a gasket on the cover, but anyway...
    2) Probably reg/rec gone as well?
    3) How much are these likely to cost to replace?
    4) Is getting them from a wrecker an option, or do they need to be new replacements from Suzuki?
    5) Will a replacement reg/rec come with a coupler? Just the side on the unit, yeah?
    6) Does anyone have any suggestions for propping the tank up to get to airbox/motor? Is it as simple as a block of 2x4 jammed in the hinge, bit of rope to the ceiling, or should there be a prop like a car bonnet that has disappeared?
    7) Is anyone familiar with those horrible bastard clips and can suggest an easy way to get them to let go?

    Appreciate any help or advice – I’ll update this after the visit to the mechanic tomorrow. Hopefully other novice tinkerers with Gixxers can use this as a starting point to diagnose electrical faults too.
  2. Interesting post, sounds like you're learning a bit!
    Sounds like the stator is buggered, but might be worth getting it checked by someone who knows them. The question is, was it stuffed of its own accord, or did a faulty reg/rec kill it. You need to get that checked too, probably have to unsolder or cut the wires to do it. If the PO was having trouble with the factory connectors he/she may have cut the connectors off and soldered the wires. Nothing really wrong with that except its hard to replace/diagnose the reg/rec.
    Another possibility is that someone has replaced the reg/rec with a non-standard one and had to solder it in as the connectors were different.
    Good luck!
  3. You might be able to get the stator re-wound. I'd guess that would be cheaper than a new one.
  4. Much cheaper, either find someone directly to do it, or go to a bike shop (just take the stator) and get them to send it off, they will take their slice but still cheaper then a new one.
  5. I am currently in the process of having my stator rewound. Getting it done through the bike shop, as it is partly covered by my 2nd hand warranty I purchased.

    Apparently around $200 for the rewind.
  6. Thanks for the replies guys,

    Mole - I'm not really worried about the soldered reg/rec wires, the connections are solid and it was all wrapped up... just makes it impossible to meter the black, black and black wires to fault-find. Reg/rec looks identical to the one in the manual photos, so I'm guessing it's original (or at least gen Suzuki)

    Red ZX - do you have a timeframe for the rewind? How much was a new one going to cost you?

    The bike is at the shop now, I'll post progress when I hear back from them. Thanks again!
  7. I paid about $220 for my rewind (had other things done), it took about 3 days. But that was waiting for them to get around to it etc.

    The rewind of the stator can be done same day it is received. I would say 1 - 3 days if you just take the stator in.

    For my bike a new one was $360+
  8. Turns out the problem was a bad earth and a few dodgy connections (surprising, huh?)

    A tad anti-climactic, but definitely cheaper than replacing stator and/or reg/rec. Everything seems to be fine now.

    Thanks for the help!
  9. 8 Monthly update!!!

    Hey again, had charging problems again the last week or so, and got bored of removing the battery every few days to charge it, so I finally got around to checking out the stator and reg/rec. Turns out I probably should have done it sooner:


    That's the connector where the stator wires join the rest of the loom. The plastic connector crumbled in my hand. I took the stator out, and this is what it looked like:

    Eeek. That's buggered. OK, back online to find out how to deal with this. Got the details of a couple of places that will do rewinds, which seemed to be the way to go. One in Geelong that didn't get great wraps, one in Gosford that did. Quick visit to the wrecker, who confirmed that rewind was the way to go, and the guy in Gosford was the best bet.

    I called Stator Rewinds and explained the situation. An hour later it was in the mail to Gosford. He called me at 8am the next morning to tell me it had arrived, and that it was indeed buggered. Apparently it had been rewound before - badly, and was always going to burn out again. He assured me that he would do it again properly and have back to me in a week or so, at a cost of around $250.

    Dammit. Bike's off the road for a week. Better get the pushy ready to go...
  10. It's raining for the next few days.....
  11. check your fuse box. That should have blown a fuse. Make sure the right sizes are in there.
  12. Thanks Hornet, I appreciate the sentiment even if I ride every day regardless of weather!

    ibast - yeah, good idea. I'll have a look in the morning. Will go through and test the whole system when I get the stator back too.