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Old 09-17-2012, 05:53 PM
79specialdude's Avatar
79specialdude 79specialdude is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tampa, Fla.
Posts: 9
help guys sanity is vanishing

So here we go about a month ago I started up my bike no headlight... within a couple of days I noticed my left flashers were staying solid... then I started getting weak cranks having to actually run and jump on the bike to get it going. So I decided time for a battery... got the new battery and a week later noticed weak cranks and delay on the headlight. Sometimes it will come on after a couple of seconds sometimes took megog down the road awhile to kick on. Ordered another regulator red on rectifier put it on hooked up a jump box got it started as soon as I closed choke bike quit. Please help don't know where to go next. Please help as this is my mode of daily transportation.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:03 PM
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bikerphil bikerphil is offline
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Location: Broward County, S. Flori-DUH
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Sounds like the alternator isn't fully charging your battery. Try cleaning the connector from the alternator that is located behind the fuse panel. It should have 3 white wires and a yellow wire. A bad connection here can also cause the headlight relay not to latch sometimes, as it is triggered by the alternator signal. This connector is a common problem area, it can corrode and even melt.

79F - owned since '89 - FJ fork mod, solo seat mod, Dyna 3Ω's, 14MM M/C (160K miles)
79SF - every day rider, solo seat mod, Brembo 16MM M/C, Accel 3Ω's, Supertrapp (122K miles)

"If it ain't broke, modify it"

30 year XS11 owner

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:06 PM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
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Location: Portsmouth, Va.
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Hey there "Dude",

Okay, the headlight turns ON when the relay gets a power signal from the ALT that it's charging, and if it's NOT charging, or charging weakly, then it may not have enough power to latch the RELAY and turn on the light.

You replaced the Reg/RECT, but sounds like you may not have done some of the necessary diagnostics first?

We don't know what you've done to this bike? Does it have the OEM glass fuse block or the replacement solid ATCO style fuses? Secondly, pull the fuse block PLATE, look behind it, you'll find a few large white plugs that come from the ALT, they often CORRODE and can then even MELT due to resistance! Inspect, clean, and even replace the plug if you have to, you don't HAVE to use OEM plugs, you can get and use almost any automotive style plug/socket combo as long as it's rated for 20 amps or more.

There are 2 main ground connections, the one on the battery to the frame, take it off the frame, clean, derust, reapply and then cover with dielectric grease. Second is below/behind carbs..the starter motor case to frame strap, same for that one.

Get a multi-meter if you don't have one, Harbor Freight sells one for a few bucks!! Then check your charging voltage at the battery at idle, will probably be close to 12 volts or even a little less, but then should go up to ~14.5 volts at 2500+ rpms. IF it stays at 12, then further diagnostics are needed.

Hopefully you also have a proper car trickle charger....set on 2 amps and charge your battery every night until you find out why your bike isn't charging.

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:12 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Tulsa, Ok
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Is the Tachometer working? If the alternator isn't charging the tach won't work.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:51 PM
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79specialdude 79specialdude is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tampa, Fla.
Posts: 9
ok soooo

Unsure of the fuses do not have trickle charger will get voltage meter and check alt wires tomorrow. Any more advice or suggestions would be great!
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:54 PM
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DGXSER DGXSER is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 9,769
Best advice I can give you is follow the advice oyu have been given. Seriously, that connector behind the fuse box is a known suspect of such shinanigans. Of course, the fuse box itself is pretty suspect if it is the original stock.

So, yeah, what they said!
Life is what happens while your planning everything else!

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.

81 XS1100 Special - Humpty Dumpty
80 XS1100 Special - Project Resurrection

Previously owned
93 GSX600F
80 XS1100 Special - Ruby
81 XS1100 Special
81 CB750 C
80 CB750 C
78 XS750
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:26 AM
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MPittma100 MPittma100 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA.
Posts: 2,337

In the multi-conductor connector for the regulator/rectifier located under the seat, there is a larger red wire. Disconnect the two halves of the connector and check the spade/pin terminals for corrosion, etc. Especially those for the larger red wire. The pin connectors for this wire have a tendency to fail as they are carrying a lot of amperage.

If toasted, the simply fix is to go around the connector and use a crimp/butt connector to tie the red wires back together outside of the OE connector.

1981 XS1100H Venturer
K&N Air Filter
Custom Paint by Deitz
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:09 PM
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Yard Dogg Yard Dogg is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tri-Cities, Wa
Posts: 884
Whenever I find the electrical system going hay wire on anything old, I start cleaning and checking everything. Even if you fix the issue at hand, more will pop up. I would start cleaning switches, connectors etc... Just saying.

It's good to know what you've got.
"The Hooligan" XJ1100, Virago Gauge Pods, Screaming Eagle Mufflers, K&N Filter, hand made rear fender, side covers, and solo seat, round bar conversion, small headlight, tail light, and cat eye turn signals, chip fuses, rewired the right way.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:46 PM
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James England James England is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North of England
Posts: 3,039
Buy an aerosol spray tin of De-Oxit and treat every single block connector on the bike, especially the altearnator ones already mentioned. It's not cheap stuff but it's fantastic. I did my XS1100 harness and the GL1000 one too. It removes all the crud and oxidised metal from the brass terminals, leaving them clean and shiny.

There are blocks in the headlight, under the laft and right frame tubes under the tank (from the switches), all the obvious ones and the ones lurking behind the battery cover.

Spend the money, buy a tin and do everything, including the insides of the handlebar switches......
XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.
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