Dead Battery / No Jump Start

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by BigAl66, May 28, 2013.

  1. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

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    Well, my Slo-Ryd left me stranded yesterday a little over an hour from home. I had been experiencing started stall lately but it always started on the second attempt. I knew the battery was a few years old from the looks of it and came with the bike when I got it in March. We stopped for a drink and scooby snacks and I got starter stall, on the next try it kicked in, disengaged and re-engaged causing that dreaded starter ring grind noise but it started. I was parked across the lot and moved over to where the rest of the group was getting geared up to leave. I shut it off and about 5 minutes later when we were ready to go, click, click, click. Took off the seat and I could hear one of the relays fore right of the battery buzzing like crazy. Rechecked the battery terminals by loosening and retightening them down and now as soon as I hit the button, zilch....I lost everything, no headlight, indicator for neutral, oil etc. Oh boy....no fuel pump prime means I can't even attempt pop starting it. I think the circuit breaker reset.

    A kind passerby in an old retired ambulance offered a jump start. Connected the cables and it fired right up, however as soon as I removed the cables it died. That relay was buzzing again. Being Memorial Day, everywhere I called was either closed or didn't have a battery in stock. Time for AAA to the rescue.

    Instead, my best friend offered to break off the ride, go back home and get his truck and another friends alum Reese ramps instead of having a flatbed hack come get my bike. 2.5 hours later he was back and we got set up to load the bike. I left one of the ramps along the side of the truck and wouldn't you know it a passing car hit an 8' long piece of bright aluminum sitting clearly in plain sight and didn't even stop. One borrowed mangled piece of scrap metal is now 20' down the road:bigsmiley19:

    We get it loaded and back home. I called my local Autozone and they were open and surprisingly had an Magna ETX30L in stock for $139. A little research came up as being made by Deka/Eastern Penn Mfg. Cool, I'll pay the price at this point. Ended up being a $350+ day with the battery, new ramps I have to go buy to replace and fuel offering to my well appreciated buddy.

    Installed the battery and it fired right up and voltmeter check at the terminals indicated 14.6v at idle. At 2000 rpm though it looks like the voltage drops down to about 13.8v and rises back to 14.6-14.7v when I let it return to idle.

    A few things....is that normal charging output? Is there a reason it would die as soon as I removed the jumper cables? Should I follow the charging system check in the self help section and read the stator output, voltage regulator etc. Bike is running perfectly fine and I can't believe it starts with liitle effort now spinning over much quicker than before. I know that old battery was on it's way out anyway.

    Hoople any suggestions or are the above tell tale signs of wonky things that'll happen when a battery is dead/damaged. I figured it should've stayed running off the stator/generator for lack of a better word other than alternator like a car does after you jump start them. Like I said, all seems normal now. Thoughts.......
     
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Al, I am going to guess you traded in that old battery? It would be good to have load tested it, I bet it was a dead short? 13.8 Volts @ idle looks good from my house, never no telling when a battery can die like this, My experiences when they drop below 10 volts during cranking they do not survive nor can the ignition system fire properly, jmo Good choice on the Deka battery:s
     
  3. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

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    Jack that's what I was thinking that somehow the old one developed a short or dead cell if that's possible in an AGM style battery. Re-read my voltage readings though.....Idle across the terminals reads 14.6 or so but when I raise the throttle to 2000 rpms voltage at the terminals drops to 13.8v. I am however trying to hold the multimeter probes on there while raising the throttle with the other hand. My aligator clips for my multimeter are hiding somewhere in the garage........and I haven't grown a third arm yet :D

    Thought it should hold steady at 14.6 when raising the idle but I could be wrong. I haven't done a load test on the new battery since it spins over extremely well so that may be pointless. Maybe the voltage regulator limits an overcharge as the rpm's raise and will drop slightly. I dunno.........
     
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    I agree with Jack that your old battery was a dead/open. That would make the bike die when the jumper cables were removed. It's very strange that the charging voltage falls that much with an increase in RPM. Even though the charging numbers are OK, that decrease really shouldn't be. Maybe a 1/10 or 2 but .80 volts is a bunch.

    I would cross check those readings using a different meter. The stator ripple may be affecting the meter in some way especially if it happens to be a low cost meter. An FL 2003 shows to be a single phase charging system so the stator is probably not the issue. The schematic also shows that it has a circuit breaker for main line protection. If it was my bike, I would get rid of the CB and install a high current fuse. At the very least, replace the CB with a new one.

    After replacing the CB with a new one, use a different meter and get some new readings.
    Since you just got the bike, check the VR and see if it is OEM or aftermarket. Who knows,,, it may be normal for a particular aftermarket VR to do that. It could be designed to do that but I doubt it.
     

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  5. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

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    Thanks a bunch for the schematic Hoople. VR looks like an oem unit. I was trying to hold both probes with one hand to throttle the idle up and with the vibration it could be a fluke reading as the probe was bouncing around on top of the terminal.

    Is it safe to start with the VR disconnected and measure across the stator leads to ground and get an amperage reading at different rpms? I realize that it would be running strictly off the battery at that point so I would make the test as quickly as possible and not prolong running it like that unnecessarily.

    I also read through the testing the charging system link on here and will check the vr for any issues with a test light and DMM.
     
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Interesting readings, I would expect the reverse, try again with another meter and check back, I would guess this battery is fully charged @ 12.7 volts?
     
  7. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    You can run the bike with the Stator disconnected, that's no problem. Stator output will be an AC voltage. The readings are not "stator to ground". The reading is to each other. Also, you will only be reading voltage output, not amperage.
    Here is some reading about stator output test.
     

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  8. wjsjr

    wjsjr Member

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    Had the identical thing happen to me. Bike just quit. As soon as I removed the jumper cables she'd die again. Had to have her towed home. Insurance freebie...anyway I was told that my battery "lost a cell" or a cell died. I'm told once that happens it can't hold a charge. Resulting in the experience we both had. BTW my battery died almost on the day I bought it 6 years later.
     
  9. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

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    Well consider yourself fortunate that you got that long out of it:s

    I performed the checks Hoople and Jack suggested and everything checks out fine now. It appears I had the same thing, a shorted or dead cell. I fully charged the old one and tried it just for giggles and as soon as any draw or load is placed on the battery, the voltage drops way down which tells me it won't hold a charge.

    Thanks for the help guys:D