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#559168 - 08/20/14 2:54 pm Blown fuse *UPDATE*  
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Hi all -

Went for a ride the other day and got about 2 miles down the road when my fuse blew. Put another in and pfffft. (fuse is wired on (-) side, (+)ground system)

Got a tow back home and put lightbulb in place of the fuse and began disconnecting things. Jiggled some wires around under the seat and the light bulb went out (or so I thought, I think I just nudged the alligator clip on the bulb). I was leaving town that night, so I put the fuse back in and left town for three or four days. When I got home battery was down to 2 - 3VDC.

Re-charged the battery, turned on the parking lamp: pfft, fuse blows. Put the light bulb back in the fuse holder and started disconnecting things...found when I disconnected the black wire (-) on the single-phase Sparx regulator the light bulb went out. Checked the wiring on the regulator, no chafing, etc....

I have tested the alternator with the 1ohm 100W resistor wired to MM. Got 10.0VAC at around 3000RPM.

I connected the main and dip contacts of my headlight together (45W + 35W = 80W) and wired the bulb to the black and red wires on the regulator . Light at idle, gets brighter with revs.

Hook the regulator (black and red) back into the harness and start the bike, MM shows 14VDC on the battery at 3000 rpm.

Turn off bike, pull the fuse and I still have 12+ volts at the fuse terminal with everything turned off. confused

Based on the data from my tests, the alternator and regulator seem to be working OK, but my battery is draining (current across the fuse terminals) unless I remove the black wire (-) of the regulator OR both yellow wires from the alternator leads.

One other thing: with the red and black wires plugged into the harness, I can turn off the bulb in the fuse holder if I disconnect the two yellow wires from the alternator leads. Regardless of which alternator lead I use (two: single-phase), if I leave one of the yellow leads plugged in, one yellow wire registers ~9.6VDC across the fuse terminals, the other yellow wire registers a lower voltage (~2.3VDC) and then that number begins to CLIMB in 10ths of a volt! I stopped watching it after it got to around 4VDC....

I now have the regulator wired back into the bike, and able to start bike, turn on lights and no blown fuse, BUT I'm still showing voltage across the fuse terminals with everything turned off.

Did I miss anything? Anyone have any ideas? I HATE intermittent electrical problems mad

Thanks in advance,

Steve

Last edited by JubeePrince; 09/09/14 7:25 pm.

'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
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#559191 - 08/20/14 5:26 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Data update:

Put ammeter across fuse terminals:

everything off: 0A

Parking Lamp (includes LED tailight): 1.7A

Dip Beam (incl. PL and TL): 4.6A

Main Beam (as above) 5.15A

Ign (BB MKIII): .15A

with everything off, I'm getting 0 Amps, but I record 10.25VDC across the same fuse terminal?

Have everything hooked up, everything turned off, fuse in place and monitoring the battery every hour or so and see if the voltage starts to drop again.....

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559200 - 08/20/14 6:13 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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I'd suspect a bad rectifier as a first thought.

#559288 - 08/21/14 8:50 am Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Thanks, thought that too, but if that was the case, wouldn't the light bulb test not work?

I'm beginning to wonder if I have a bad coil(s) in the stator resulting in an occasional surge of amps across the system. Is that possible? All my tests appear to show the alternator and regulator are working properly, unless I'm not interpreting the numbers correctly?

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559390 - 08/21/14 7:30 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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I had one similar last year that drove me nuts. All the tests I knew came out fine but I kept blowing fuses. I only cured it when I replaced the stator and the regulator.


Bob


73 Triumph T140 Main Ride
70 Bonnie
67 BSA West Coast Hornet

56 Chevy

Who are the brain police?



#559396 - 08/21/14 8:03 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Intermittent electrical gremlins can be a major pain as you say. In review of the previous posts, it still appears to point to the rectifier. Is the zener built in on your Sparx box?
Sometimes the only way to sort issues is to swap in known good parts. This is awkward because unless the fault can be reproduced at will, it can take time.
Either which way I look at it, a rectifier should not draw current from the battery, neither should the zener.

#559421 - 08/21/14 10:19 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Is it a solid reading across the fuse terminals or does the digital multi meter wander a bit? I don't know why, but digital meters make up numbers unless they have a real connection on their leads.


Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#559422 - 08/21/14 10:22 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Bob - in the thread I reference below from three years ago, I replaced the regulator first (thanks again, John H!) but it turned out to be the stator.

I sent the old regulator to John and he was going to bench test it, but not sure what the results were. Hard to believe that a damaged stator like the one I had was still able to put out 8.7VAC at 3000RPM, but the damaged stator must have done something to blow the fuse....excess voltage? Amps?

Excal: It's a solid-state, Sparx single-phase regulator, so yes, it rectifies and the excess voltage is released as heat like a zener.

Here's my post from almost three years ago. Eerily similar.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthread...true#Post388555

EXACT same issue!

In my defense, I have not touched the primary or the stator I replaced in that three year span....my alternator test from three years ago was 8.7VAC @ 3000RPM. My current test gave me 10.0VAC at 3000RPM.

I think I'm going to have a look in the primary tomorrow and see if anything is amiss. If stator looks good, perhaps I'll try and replace the regulator...

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559423 - 08/21/14 10:28 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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The staor may have gone to earth, that would cause the problem.



#559424 - 08/21/14 10:32 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: NickL]  
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Originally Posted By: NickL
The stator may have gone to earth, that would cause the problem.


I'm with you Nick....see the previous thread I referenced in my last post....my old stator bit the dust on the coil in the 4 o'clock position causing that exact problem.

Is there a quick and dirty test with a MM to see if the stator has gone 'to earth'?

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559427 - 08/21/14 10:46 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Dis-connect the stator wires at the regulator and measure either one to ground/earth.
if you get a reading of less than 5meg ohms you have a faulty stator.

OR one of the cables has chafed through to earth.

Last edited by NickL; 08/21/14 10:48 pm.


#559432 - 08/21/14 11:17 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Hi Nick -

Excuse my electrical ignorance, but are you saying one probe on the/a stator wire and the other probe to a known ground point on the bike?

Thanks,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559435 - 08/21/14 11:29 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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The stator itself should be isolated from ground/bike chassis.

The measured resistance of the stator winding end to end will be very small <1 ohm.

So any reading between a stator wire and chassis means there is a fault.

The test carried out with the 1 ohm resistor proves the stator/rotor assembly functions as a generator but it may have gone to ground at some point, this will only be relevant when the regulator/rectifier is connected.



#559440 - 08/22/14 12:20 am Re: Blown fuse [Re: NickL]  
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Originally Posted By: NickL
The measured resistance of the stator winding end to end will be very small <1 ohm.


I get .2 ohm

Originally Posted By: NickL

So any reading between a stator wire and chassis means there is a fault.


At first I was getting lots of different readings with probe on (+) battery terminal, ground point under the seat and (+) terminal on a coil. Nothing over 5 meg ohms though.

Using the better of the two multimeters, I was able to get .4 ohms

Not sure if the variable readings were from my fingers holding the probe to the stator lead, so I used an alligator clip on that lead and could get no reading, not even a fraction of an ohm from the three ground points using two different meters.

Thanks for sticking with this!

Steve

Last edited by JubeePrince; 08/22/14 12:29 am. Reason: using the better...

'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559441 - 08/22/14 12:30 am Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Just re-read your post re: < 5 meg ohms....

Looks like I have a faulty stator!

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559443 - 08/22/14 12:46 am Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Have you disconnected the 2 stator leads?

If you have and you get a reading of <5megs between either/both of them to ground,,,YES you have a faulty stator or you are touching the leads and measuring YOURSELF.

There should be no connection at all between the stator and chassis with the stator disconnected from the regulator.

Damn digital meters are a pain.....a good old AVO 8 or 9 is still my preference.

Nick



#559447 - 08/22/14 1:30 am Re: Blown fuse [Re: NickL]  
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Originally Posted By: NickL
Have you disconnected the 2 stator leads?


Yes

Originally Posted By: NickL
If you have and you get a reading of <5megs between either/both of them to ground,,,YES you have a faulty stator or you are touching the leads and measuring YOURSELF.


Can't get any reading....no movenment on the analog meter either. Not touching the leads with my hands or fingers.
Originally Posted By: NickL

There should be no connection at all between the stator and chassis with the stator disconnected from the regulator.


Correct. If there was, it would measure as resistance, right?

Two digital and one analog meter. Getting same results (approx.) with all of them. I'll be the first to admit it, I'm an electrical dunce.

Thanks,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559448 - 08/22/14 2:06 am Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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No reading = GOOD



#559491 - 08/22/14 7:53 am Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Thanks Nick!

Going to visually inspect the stator today just to confirm.....

Appreciate all the help and patience!

Cheers,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559536 - 08/22/14 11:49 am Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Think I found the source of the intermittent electrical fault:







Cracks in the potting material all the way around the stator and coils. It looks like it's burned/scorched a bit...before I removed it, I took a feeler gauge (.008") and checked all six coils while spinnning the engine/rotor. It was *tight*, but no binding or movement of the feeler gauge...

This is a Wassell brand stator (3 years old). Is a tight .008" clearance not enough? What can I do with the new stator to ensure enough clearance? Use a Dremel tool? Brake hone on a drill? Drum sander?


Thanks in advance,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559540 - 08/22/14 12:24 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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I've gone through 3 or 4 Wassel stators in 3 or 4 years. I have tried all of the above including haveing a machine shop turn the rotor. This time I have .009 all the way round.
Mine actually melt.
If someone knows a manufacturer other than Wassel please let us know.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
#559583 - 08/22/14 3:37 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: desco]  
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Sparx is another alternative - made in China. I purchased a three phase Sparx stator 3 yrs ago and it still works eek. Former (Wassell?) stator ceased charging after 4 years of service, there was a shortcut between the coil(s) and stator frame but only when the stator was in place and the nuts were tightened. When removed it seemed to be OK. Unfortunately it seems the Far East electrics are not necessarily very long living. Original Lucas RM19 and RM21 items are however still available.

#559607 - 08/22/14 5:41 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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I went to the local Triumph shop here, (Deer Park Cycle) and Jack had an Emgo-labeled stator that also had Wassell on the back of it. It was stamped 10A as opposed to my busted one that is stamped 16A. It also had a couple of spots on the potting material that looked like defects/air bubbles from the molding/encapsualtion process...I was not impressed.

I have ordered the UK version (see: more expensive than Emgo) of the RM21 (not Lucas) from BCS, should be here Monday. When I was talking to Wayne at BCS, he was reading me some literature from the Emgo 3-phase unit (mine is single-phase). In the installation instructions, they (Emgo) recommend .008" as the *barest* minimum clearance and state a well-working clearance of .013". We'll see what I get!

Have the plants that make these items started using different material? Not as tolerant of heat (either from friction or oil) than in the past?

I'd love to hear John Healy's thoughts on this....

Steve

Last edited by JubeePrince; 08/22/14 6:48 pm. Reason: 16A not 16W....

'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#559613 - 08/22/14 6:20 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Good find! I suppose if a stator were to be intermittently shorting to ground, it could create some kind of weird power spiking. AC current is somewhat of a different animal and shorting via a ground return path... crazy

Wassell used to have a most shocking reputation in the 70's and it doesn't appear to have improved. I still remember some of the derogatory names it was called! mad

#559614 - 08/22/14 6:25 pm Re: Blown fuse [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Emgo , sparxs and nos Lucas ... nos old stock does show up on fleabay , but its buyer beware ...

Dont over look used Lucas stators , obviously ohm check , but also check for rub marks on the stator's interior . rubbing comprises the integrity of the dielectric in the metal armature stack , which is there to minimize eddy currents . When working correctly , each metal slice has its own little eddy instead of the whole stack having one big eddy .
Eddy currents in practical terms is just heat that is not doing some useful work , some of the induced current from the spinning rotor ends up as heat in the coils of copper and heat in the metal armature . , so no rubbing between parts is better than some rubbing but even a compromised armature stack does not necessarily mean failure . Just less output and more heat .

... we only hear about the failures
.

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