1985 LTD Electrical System DC requirements

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Rednaxs60

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I have mentioned in some of my posts that the electrical system ampere requirements are more important than the electrical system voltage requirement. I mention this because it is an accepted fact that the output from the alternator unit is expected to be maintained at ~14.0 VDC regardless of the electrical system load. It is the electrical system load in amperes that fluctuates and causes the RR to allow more or less current into the electrical system to maintain the voltage at ~14.0 VDC.

In this regard I purchased a clamp meter that measures direct current. Had one that I thought did but found out it only measured AC. The readings are an indication only and I do understand that the accuracy of my meter may not be up to that required by NASA, but I now have an appreciation for the ampere requirements of the system, and roughly how the load distribution is.

Measured the DC in the electrical system on my '85 LTD here in Victoria this afternoon. The key here is the voltage indicated on the dash voltmeter staying constant at ~14.0 VDC.

On start and with fast idle (1150ish RPMs) and 14.0 VDC display on the dash voltmeter: 17 amps
At fast idle and 14.0 VDC on dash voltmeter: fluctuate between 15.5 amps and 17 amps - indicates battery has been topped up
At fast idle and 14.0 VDC on dash voltmeter with both sets of driving lights on: 20.5 amps
At fast idle and 14.0 VDC on dash voltmeter with both sets of driving lights on and rad fan as well: 23.5 amps (have a manual switch for rad fan)
At fast idle and 14.0 VDC on dash voltmeter with both sets of driving lights, rad fan, and heated clothing: 29.0 amps

Considering the alternator units on these bikes is capable of a max ampere output of approximately 35 amps, these readings indicate to me that there is more than enough power for the bike operation as designed and intended by the OEM without any additional loads added by the owner such as driving lights, and heated clothing.

The '85 LTD FI and '86 SEi FI bikes have a 30 amp circuit connected to the battery terminal of the starter solenoid. Took a reading from the wire to the starter solenoid and it displayed ~10.5 amps. Took a reading on the wire/cable from the starter solenoid to the battery it registered ~3.0 amps. This indicates to me that the battery is taking 3.0 amps and 7.5 amps are going back into the electrical system for bike operation, and that 7 amps are going into the electrical system through the ignition switch. I did another check of the amperage from the alternator and it was still at ~17 amps.

I think this reading to the starter solenoid is quite important from an understanding perspective. I have mentioned that I do not subscribe to the philosophy of connecting additional loads to the battery positive terminal. If the amperage going from the power junction to the starter solenoid at ~10.5 amps was connected to the positive terminal of the battery, the battery would be continually in an overcharging state even though there are other loads needing some of this power. It would be nice to think that the power would be discriminating and go to where it is needed and not affect any other component, but since there is no control over this the battery would be seeing more power than is intended.

I also connected my heated clothing into the electrical system. The heated liner increased the electrical system load by 5 to 6 amps – considerable actually.

Turned on the signal lights, and the electrical system current fluctuated approximately 1 amp - bounced around actually. Not to concerned because the signals are short duration use.

I have a 3 wire external alternator installed (55 amps) and it is more effective in reacting to the varying load demand than the OEM 3 piece alternator unit. You can see the current fluctuate ever so slightly 0.2 - 0.3 amps at idle and even when the engine RPM was increased to 2000 RPM.

I annotated a schematic with some arrows for current flow and letters for current at various locations. This schematic is when the engine is started and at idle.

Here is the schematic:
gl1200 charge system schematic.JPG


Point A is the one connection where the total electrical system load is represented. In the case of my bike at idle it is approximately 17 amps - good number to use.

Point D is approximately 10 amps of which this is split such that point C uses approximately 7 amps and point B (battery) uses approximately 3 amps. Point C is a 30 amp circuit that is connected to the starter solenoid battery terminal and is apparently only on the '85 and '86 FI models. This further indicates a best practice of not connecting directly to the battery positive terminal as there would be 10 amps at the battery instead of 3 amps - the short battery cable connection to the starter solenoid does do a specific design service. For those who do not want to do a lot of wiring change, a best practice of connecting extra circuit(s) at the the battery terminal of the starter solenoid should be preferred instead of at the battery positive terminal.

DC flow is reversed at point D when the electrical system voltage drops below battery voltage, but this expected to be for short period of time, not the norm. The DC flow will primarily be to the starter solenoid, not from it.

The remainder of the 17 amps at point A goes through the ignition switch at point E and is approximately 7 amps.

Thought I'd share some of my findings.

Cheers
 

slabghost

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I've read every one of your posts. And still feel I need to read them a few more times to get real handle on this.
 

joedrum

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yep im in vs shoes also ...i have wired complete factory of electrical stuff of 1000 horsepower and more with many different voltages and phases and had less trouble than a oldwing
 
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Rednaxs60

Rednaxs60

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Have had less issues and troubles understanding electrical systems on naval destroyers than on this; however, a lot more space and better documentation.

"I've read every one of your posts. And still feel I need to read them a few more times to get real handle on this."
We've got to find you a new project to occupy your time. :doh: I feel I have a handle on everything except the stator failures, but will keep digging.

Also looking for information on exactly how a series RR affects the system. Seems the newer bikes have an RR that has the updated MOSFET technology and uses the RR output wire to sense the electrical system voltage just like a one wire car alternator.

Cheers
 

mcgovern61

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If I learned anything from re-building the wire harness for my '82 1100 with the '86 SEi fuse/relay panel, it is that Honda was trying to upgrade the Goldwing as fast as possible to keep up with the "luxury" demands without changing some of the original components.

I am still under the opinion that the stators that crap out are because of Honda pushing them to their load limit and still using inferior wiring connectors that are not waterproof. I am not just talking about the 3 wire plug that fails all the time. I am also talking about the RR connectors.
 
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Rednaxs60

Rednaxs60

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[url=https://www.classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=200859#p200859:yylv9g0o said:
mcgovern61 » Today, 7:58 am[/url]":yylv9g0o]
If I learned anything from re-building the wire harness for my '82 1100 with the '86 SEi fuse/relay panel, it is that Honda was trying to upgrade the Goldwing as fast as possible to keep up with the "luxury" demands without changing some of the original components.

I am still under the opinion that the stators that crap out are because of Honda pushing them to their load limit and still using inferior wiring connectors that are not waterproof. I am not just talking about the 3 wire plug that fails all the time. I am also talking about the RR connectors.

Agree with your premise. The wiring is also suspect as well considering that Honda used the minimum size and amount of wire necessary to get the job done. The wires coming from the OEM RR are 14 gauge at best, I would suspect that a minimum of 12 gauge would have been better into the electrical system and to join into the stator wiring. The connectors are not designed for the current flow that the stator can put out. Most connectors are good for 15 to 20 amps max, but the current out of the rotor/stator assembly is considerably more.

When I started doing electrical system changes on my bike here in Victoria, I bought regular and high temp crimp terminals. The regular crimp terminals are easy to crimp and solder. The high temp crimp terminal was extremely difficult to solder so I gave upon that practice with them. The high temp crimp connectors are also a different finish - very high chrome type finish compared to the normal crimp terminals.

I received the Metripack 630 connectors from Eastern Beaver that are rated up to 46 amps and these are huge and waterproof, easily use up to 10 gauge wire. I will be installing one of these when I install the series RR SH847 on the bike in Ontario. A similar size of connector could be used at the RR for reliability as well.

The output wire(s) from the RR should also be upgraded to at least a 12 gauge if not 10 gauge to where the initial connection in the wiring harness is. From here it should be a 12 gauge wire to the starter solenoid (more than sufficient), and the remainder of the wiring can remain the same. To do this, remove the red and red/white wires going to the starter solenoid from this junction and install a single 12/10 gauge wire to the starter solenoid, and connect the RR sense wire here as well.

The sense wire should be connected at this junction as well as this is where all DC loads are represented as a total. With a shunt type RR there is still current going to ground but the RR would only be compensating for an electrical system voltage of ~14.0 VDC not for voltage drops because of the electrical system wiring. This should help to alleviate the alternator unit from being used to the load limit of the rotor/stator assembly.

These changes would be my preference for a start to ensure the electrical system on these older GWs is more reliable.

Cheers
 

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