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#883940 06/26/22 9:58 pm
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Fresh off the "I left the petcocks open over night" caper, now I think I have a bad rectifier on my 67 Lightning. This is what happened. In the middle of a short ride bike seemed to be running fine. Stop sign ahead. Decelerated. But before I came to a full stop, the bike shut down. No motor, no lights or horn. Couldn't restart. Got her home. battery several months old. Charged it up. No problem. Did some on-line research on rectifier testing. Found one that made sense and this is what I did. Started the bike. Took out my trusty Klein Multi-meter. Checked the battery. At idle it measured a constant 12.75 volts DC. Revved it up to 5000 rpm, it never got above 12.75 volts DC. From what I understand, the high rpm measure should have been around 13.50 to 14.50 volts DC to show there is enough excess current to power all the essentials as well as charge the battery. Since the rectifier regulates current and charges the battery, and since it appears that my battery is not being recharged, and according to the results of my test, it appears I need a new one. BTW, the rectifier (Lucas) on there now is original to the bike.

Several issues. First, did I do a proper test, and if the results are correct, do I have a bad rectifier, or is there something more sinister going on? Stator?
Second, if I do need a new rectifier, what kind should I get? Stay with Lucas at around $125-150.00 a pop or go with a Japanese repo for around $60-75.00? Or other? Third, should I ditch the rectifier route altogether and install a solid state device instead, and if so, what model works best for my bike? And where do you put such a thing?

I am a local rider, no long trips. I am no motorcycle mechanic but I do know some things. I can probably swap out a bad rectifier for a new one no problem. But the installation of a solid state regulator might be above my skill level. If I have to take it to the experts will it hurt the bike to drive it 5-6 miles to the shop, or should I have it towed? Think I can make it on a full battery charge, during the day, no lights. Just don't want to make things worse like frying my entire electrical system. Thanks folks.

BSA on eBay
Stasch #883956 06/27/22 12:24 am
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Your bike is not charging ...so
1.the rectifier may be bad
3.The stator may be bad
2. The wiring between the two ... may be bad
( find the problem before spending money .)

the original Lucas finned thing is a rectifier ... not a regulator .
the original Lucas zener does all the over voltage regulation
The rectifier Works in concert with the zener .

You can check the output of the stator using the multimeter on AC volts
pull both stator wires ... run the bike off battery only ... test stator output for ac voltage .
This isn't a definitive load test , but it will tell you if the stator is bad ...
You can also hook the stator directly to a spare 12 volt headlight ( resistance loads like headlights work AC and DC )
and do a more " shade-tree load-test ."
They light will grow brighter as rpm increase and depending on headlight wattage ....blow if you push the RPMs too high .


If you have a bad rectifier
You can replace it with an original looking finned rectifier , for more money , but keep the original look .
or
Upgrade to a more modern "cubed" rectifier ... for as little as five bucks .
These Cubed rectifiers are used on millions of things so you don't need
To pay extra for a motorcycle specific part .

3 members like this: Allan G, Bustednukel, NickL
Stasch #883973 06/27/22 6:50 am
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Stasch, I've used one of the $5 square full-wave rectifiers for years on my Bonneville with no problems. The original ones seem to be prone to failure due to vibration. The square ones are a direct replacement. I'm looking at one now. They are encapsulated in resin and vibration-proof. I get mine at any electronics store - 35amp full wave (or bridge) rectifier. These are what Quinten refers to above as a "cubed rectifier".

The base is metal and 1" square, with a 5mm mounting hole in the middle. There are four male spade connectors sticking up out of the resin that fills the square. One connector at each corner. There is a printed marking on one side of the square base. Adjacent to the left hand connector is the mark "+", and adjacent to the right hand connector is "AC".
"+" is obviously the positive connection (earth connection to the frame or the battery on your '67 BSA). Assuming that your '67 BSA is positive earth like my '69 Triumph.

Unmarked, and diagonally opposite on the rectifier, is the "-" or negative terminal, which goes to the battery.The other two diagonally opposed terminals, one of which is already marked "AC", are connected to the alternator. It doesn't matter which way around they go.

The original rectifiers are finned for cooling, but I have never found overheating to be a problem with the square one. If it bothers you, you could put a big aluminium washer of any shape behind the rectifier as a heatsink when you mount it to the frame using a bolt through the central 5mm hole.

I hope the above is of use. Replacing the rectifier is a quick, easy, and reversible way to approach your problem. If it doesn't provide a solution you may have to consider looking at your Zener Diode. This is the device that regulates the generated voltage by shorting to earth when the voltage is over a given value (13.7 from memory).
Harder to test and not cheap to replace, the Zener is the electronic device in the middle of the deeply finned cast aluminium plate mounted at the top of your front frame tubes. In the airflow to help dissipate the heat generated when it is subjected to excess voltage. You can never tell, but I would not expect a Zener to fail in the way that you have described. I think it would be more likely to open-circuit and cause excessive voltage in the system.

[img]https://www.alliedelec.com/product/hvca/kbpc3504/70015998/[/img]

$4.50

This is what's inside it:
https://hackaday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/bridge-rectifier-shunt-before.png

The triangle thing with a line across the point is a diode, which allows electrons (i.e. current) to travel through it in one direction only.

.

Last edited by sammysnail; 06/27/22 11:44 am.

1954 Norton Dominator 88 cafe - Yamaha wheels, Lyta tank ( project in progress)
1969 Triumph Bonneville
Currently 6 other non-Brit machines.
Past history includes 11 Brit and 13 non-Brit machines.
Some impressive and some just silly.
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Stasch #884048 06/28/22 1:24 am
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You can test the rectifier with your multimeter. Disconnect the wires and put your meter in Ohms at the lowest scale. Touch the black lead to the top center tab on your rectifier and touch each other tabs with the red lead. The outer two should read about 400, while the center should read double that. Now do the same with the meter leads reversed. All tabs should read open circuit.
Granted, this will not tell you how the rectifier behaves with high current going through it, but it will tell you if it's bad.
Testing the Zener is a bit more complicated, but my money is on a bad rectifier. In many years with my first Brit bike I replaced many rectifiers, never a Zener.
As mentioned, you can replace the rectifier with a modern unit mounted in the same location.


It's not a bug, it's 'character.'

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
Stasch #884067 06/28/22 9:28 am
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3 years ago my (A65) zener went open circuit, so I fitted a 12v universal regulator (abut £25) under the saddle in place of the old rectifier. I purchased it off ebay from a British supplier, however the first one was faulty but he replaced it straight away and I've had no trouble since.


a
Stasch #884454 07/01/22 1:46 pm
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Gents, thanks for the great input. Think starting with the bridge/cube rectifier is the smart way to go. Have ordered a couple that should arrive shortly. May need some additional help in hooking it up.

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The "cube" with the hole in the middle needs a heat sink. Mount it on a piece of aluminum so the whole back sits flat on it. Thermal compound is a good idea also.

2 members like this: BSA_WM20, Allan G
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OK. I have a bridge rectifier. From Allied Electronics (Dean Technology), part number: KBPC3504; 400V; 400A; 280V; 35A. Four spade connectors, one on each corner. There is a printed marking on one side of the square base. Adjacent to the left hand connector is the mark "+", and adjacent to the right hand connector is the symbol for AC.

My current configuration with my original Lucas rectifier goes something like this. I have a 4-wire cluster attached to the Lucas. Three of the wires, green/white, brown/yellow and green/yellow are connected to the spade connectors on the Lucas. A red wire with a ring connector is fitted over the bolt that holds the rectifier to the frame. One end of a second red wire (not part of the cluster), which includes the fuse, is attached to the positive terminal on the battery. The other end is fitted over the same Lucas bolt mentioned above with both red wires (this one and the one in the cluster mentioned above) secured and grounded to the frame using a nut and washer. A separate brown/blue wire is attached to the negative terminal on the battery. This appears consistent with the wiring diagram found in my Haynes A65 Twin Owners Workshop manual for 12 volt system.

So, the question is what wire connects to what connector on the bridge rectifier. One option might be to connect the green/white, brown/yellow and green/yellow wires to three of the connectors on the bridge rectifier leaving the "+" connector uncovered. Retain my two red wire configuration the way it is (both grounded to the frame) using a new 5 mm bolt holding the bridge rectifier to the frame. The brown/blue wire remains connected to the negative terminal on the battery. I can use a large aluminum washer or a cut-to-fit piece of aluminum to serve as a heat sink if you think that is needed.

Does this sound reasonable?

Stasch #884539 07/02/22 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Stasch
.Does this sound reasonable?

part good , wiring plan bad .
brown/ yellow is not a standard color , where does it come from and where does it go ?
1. is this a 3rd stator wire ? ( replacement stator wires need checking as they are often the cause of charging faults )
Your original rectifier might not be bad , might just be wired incorrectly ... but the cube is still a small upgrade in hardiness .
AC input for 3 wire stator are like this
[Linked Image from jrcengineering.com]
( a 2 wire , 6 pole stator has the 3rd wire connected internally , simplifying the AC inputs )

the 4 spades on the new cube rectifier are fairly standard . ( for the cube shape )
2 spades are for AC input ( one is maked AC and the other AC is always the diagonal-parallel Spade ) ( these will connect to from the Lucas stator )
2 spades are for DC output ..., the plus DC spade is cocked 90°... and is DC ground on most brit-bikes
( the cube-cover is insulated/isolated so no ground- polarity is conveyed through the cubes cover when mounting ... only through this one terminal )
... and the diagonal Spade is the DC minus ... connects to brown/blue brown/white
[Linked Image from ae01.alicdn.com]
The original finned rectifier looks something like the image below ... though it might not be as clearly marked with paint colors
Outside bottom spades are the AC inputs
Top Center is positive ground , made through mounting and also through the terminal .
DC minus is the center blue terminal .
[Linked Image from trojanclassics.com]

Last edited by quinten; 07/03/22 4:43 am.
Stasch #884566 07/03/22 12:10 am
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Quinten, only 2 wires are from the stator, green/white and green/yellow. The brown/white wire is coming from the ammeter according to the wire diagram. From your explanation, the stator wire connections to the bridge rectifier are fairly straight forward. Got it. However, not sure how to configure the "+" and "-" connectors on the bridge rectifier, the battery and the blue/brown and red wires. If I connect the brown/blue wire currently connected to the negative terminal on the battery to the bridge rectifier "-" spade, what connects to the negative terminal on the battery? My bike is positive ground. Does the "-" connector on the bridge rectifier really have a purpose? Same with the red wire in the cluster. If that wire is now connected to the "+" spade on the bridge rectifier, what connects to the positive terminal on the battery? The second red wire that is currently grounded to the frame? Also, what do I do with the brown/white wire that has been displaced?

Stasch #884571 07/03/22 12:58 am
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sorry ,
i should have realized the brown/yellow wire is a faded brown/white ... and brown /white was a stock bsa wire color

the negative DC output from the rectifier goes to the brown /white wire ...
Which goes to the ammeter ...
the other side of the ammeter uses a the brown/ blue wire that goes to the negative battery terminal .
( horn is wired on the battery side )... to avoid pegging the needle when the horn is used

if a P.O. has moved the brown blue to the rectifier they bypassed the ammeter
and there may or may not have been a reason for this .

all the lighting and ignition loads also attached to the brown / white side of the ammeter ( discharge from battery )
( the purpose of the ammeter is to allow the monitoring of current flow going into , or out of the battery )


the original rectifier used it's attachment to the frame as a frame ground point .
so the positive DC output from a cube- rectifier can use this same point ( with a shot length of wire added )
and this same wire is then looped to the battery .
If the fuse is on the positive side ... use only one connection to the battery terminal through the fuse .
( all grounds must run through the fuse if ground is fused )
( if the fuse is on the negative side the same rule applies ) ... all loads need to run through the fuse .
( with the horn being an exception ) because of its high load and intermittent use , it is often wired unfused

Last edited by quinten; 07/03/22 1:14 am.
Stasch #884602 07/03/22 3:30 pm
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Quinten, this really clears up a lot of things and I appreciate you sticking with me on this. I think I'm set on the negative side. But still a bit unclear regarding the positive DC output connection. Of the 4-wire cluster I mentioned above in my current Lucas configuration, there is a red wire with a ring connector grounded to the frame, fitted over the rectifier bolt and secured by a nut and washer. Is this the wire that I need to connect directly to the positive DC on the cube rectifier? The picture of the Lucas rectifier you sent earlier has 4 spade connectors, one of which is marked with a red line. Is this for the red wire in the cluster? My current Lucas rectifier has only 3 connections and no red wire is connected to the rectifier. Also, I have a separate red wire that includes the fuse with a ring connector on either end. Now, one end is grounded to the bike at the Lucas rectifier bolt location and the other is connected to the positive terminal of the battery. Does this serve to properly complete the circuit?

Stasch #884611 07/03/22 5:49 pm
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sounds like you have it , maybe just don't trust your gut .
There is a small fundamental difference in the old finned rectifier and the newer Cube Style .
And here is my rather long-winded explanation .

when mounted by the center stud
the Lucas finned rectifier automatically grounds , positive to frame , by nature of its internal construction
( 2 internal diode positives are soldered to 2 of the fins... which are in connection to the stud )
so when the red "fused" jumper is wired to the stud , it makes 2 connections
1 to the rectifiers DC positve ... and 1 to the frame .

( extra grounds would be stacked here , if you had them )... thats why it has a spade-T on top
this part is a ... dedicated postive ground rectifier ( ring terminals can also be stacked here , where the stud )

the cube style rectifiers "case" isnt connected to any DC polarity , it's a more modern Universal part
( its neutral , isolated , or double insulated ... or whatever you call it )

it's not positive ground . you have to wire it positive ,
to convey a frame ground polarity through additional wiring

stud mounting a cube- rectifier to the same location it isnt positive ground
until you add a short jumper from the
Rectifier DC positive spade ... to frame ground ... and then also ... to a fused connection to add the battery .

Remember , if the positive is fused ... any extra grounds must be added after the fuse .

These can all be stacked on ring terminals at the original rectifiers stud Mount location .
The old rectifier stud Mount location is , or can be retained as a convenient ground point
when the finned rectifier is removed .

The cubed rectifier does not need to be hard mounted like the old rectifier
, it can be , but you have some options .
You can also mount a cubed rectifier with a few nylon ties
( in the same area that the harness provides )
and then use the old stud location to gather all grounds , just off the fused battery connecttion .

Last edited by quinten; 07/03/22 5:51 pm.
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It's all hooked up but no current anywhere. No spark at the plug, no lights, etc. Not properly grounded. You wrote about this in your last post. How do I physically attach a jumper wire to the positive DC terminal on the cube when there is already a female spade connection fitted to the positive DC terminal? Is there a kind of dual connector I am not aware? Thanks.

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https://www.motorcyclezombies.com/r...systems-wiring/simple-motorcycle-wiring/


REMEMBER.... YOU HAVE POSITIVE GROUND ON YOUR BIKE so reverse the rectifier/battery connections.

Last edited by NickL; 07/06/22 12:51 am.
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1.there are dual connectors called piggybacks .
[Linked Image from ae01.alicdn.com]
or splitters
[Linked Image from m.media-amazon.com]


2. or you can crimp two wires into one connector ,
run 1 to ground , the other to fused battery positive .
[Linked Image from cdn.sparkfun.com]
[Linked Image from accessnorton.com]

3. or you can run a single wire from rectifier Plus ... to a ground point , with a ring terminal ,
... stack a second ring terminal on top of the first ... and run the other end to ... fused battery connection
( image shows black , implying that this is negative ground )
[Linked Image from farm2.staticflickr.com]

Last edited by quinten; 07/06/22 1:16 am.
Stasch #884843 07/06/22 4:27 am
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Originally Posted by Stasch
It's all hooked up but no current anywhere. No spark at the plug, no lights, etc. Not properly grounded. You wrote about this in your last post. How do I physically attach a jumper wire to the positive DC terminal on the cube when there is already a female spade connection fitted to the positive DC terminal? Is there a kind of dual connector I am not aware? Thanks.
You connect the original red spade with two wires which was connected to the top of the original rectifier to the + terminal of the new rectifier. You connect the original red ring connector to the mounting screw, ONLY to connect the frame. The mounting hole of the new rectifier is NOT ground.


It's not a bug, it's 'character.'

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
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Quinten and all, thanks for all the great information and superb guidance. The Lightning is back on the road. Charging issue fixed. Old Lucas rectifier replaced with a cube/bridge rectifier seems to have done the trick. Once wired correctly (see note below) bike started with no problem and ran with no issue. Saved me a bundle. Thanks again.

Note. For those with a similar issue (battery not charging) and similar bike (1967 Lightning) this is what I did. Forum folks recommended I go with a cube/bridge rectifier as an inexpensive ($4.50 for the cube versus $125+ for a Lucas) and hardier (no vibration issue) fix to my failure-to-charge issue. Ordered from Allied Electronics. Mounted in same location on the frame as the old Lucas using a 5mm bolt. Two stator wires (green/white and green/yellow) connected to the two AC spade connectors on the cube. Single brown/white wire from ammeter connected to the negative spade connector on the cube. Red wire with fuse connected to the positive spade connector on the cube with other end connected to the positive terminal on the battery. Using a piggyback connector, ran a jumper wire from the same positive spade connector on the cube to ground on the bike frame where the cube was secured to the frame. As before, the blue/green wire connects to the negative terminal on the battery. Also, picked up a package of aluminum jewelry-making parts shaped like small dog tags from a local crafting store. A couple of these placed on the back of the cube served as a heat sink.

Stasch #885460 07/14/22 7:42 am
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Stasch, congratulations on your followup and your well written description of the steps that you took.

It is too common to see requests for help with no subsequent feedback.

You, on the other hand, get top marks for Forum Etiquette.

.


1954 Norton Dominator 88 cafe - Yamaha wheels, Lyta tank ( project in progress)
1969 Triumph Bonneville
Currently 6 other non-Brit machines.
Past history includes 11 Brit and 13 non-Brit machines.
Some impressive and some just silly.
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I have just lifted the seat of my Triumph to look at the replacement rectifier and I saw something that reminded me of another handy addition that I had made.

It may be of use to someone.

A few years ago I was experiencing a reluctance to start easily. For some reason I thought of the 2MC capacitor that was an optional extra in the '60s. If it was fitted then the battery could be removed. I saw one once on a Norton Mercury, and it is mentioned in the workshop manual. A web search today will show plenty of references to fitting substitute capacitors, but I didn't know that then.

I somehow found out a capacitance value for the 2MC. It was probably about 5,000 microfarads (named after the electrical pioneer Michael Faraday). I got myself a capacitor rated at 63 volts 4,700 microfarads and installed it. One lead to earth (+) and the other lead (-) to the wire between the rectifier and the ammeter. In this wire I also installed a small fuse to protect the wiring in the case of catastrophic failure of the capacitor. Probably unnecessary. The cap. is quite small, just a little bigger than half of my thumb. Although the capacitor was fitted I retained the battery. Ignition is via points and coils.

Starting is much improved, and is first kick about 90% of the time. That area has been so satisfactory for years that I had entirely forgotten about the capacitor.

.


1954 Norton Dominator 88 cafe - Yamaha wheels, Lyta tank ( project in progress)
1969 Triumph Bonneville
Currently 6 other non-Brit machines.
Past history includes 11 Brit and 13 non-Brit machines.
Some impressive and some just silly.
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I’ve found the bike to run a little more like a Swiss watch with a cap fitted a 25Vdc 22,000 cap. Fits the original spring setup perfectly.

The MOSFET reg rec from Trispark has been a great addition though. The ammeter now only ever dances to the negative side when the engine isn’t running. It remains fairly steady and in the +. I thought (and still do think) my POD was a great unit but it never did that.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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I’ve found the bike to run a little more like a Swiss watch with a cap fitted a 25Vdc 22,000 cap. Fits the original spring setup perfectly.


That's a very sweeping statement Allan, given that there are about 400 capacitor manufacturers out there..................lol.
Personally i would suggest anything from around 4700uf upwards with a voltage rating of 50vdc upwards
and a ripple current capacity of greater than 3 amps.


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