Electrical Gremlin of the Strangest Order. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Electrical Gremlin of the Strangest Order.

I have already done the stator swap + polaris rectifier swap just before this ride. The bike has done about 500 miles after the rectifier swap. It was all working perfectly until tonight.
So I've not been keeping well for the past week so today took the bike out for a short ride all went well but during return I took a stop for food. The bike wouldn't start after that.

Here is the video I uploaded after reaching home. The symptoms are the same as I experienced during the ride.


This is what I can infer from last 20 miles of bringing it home.

- The starter button when pressed makes the bike go into limbo like you see in the video. Absolutely dead. It then starts to 'resume' slooowly and you can see the voltage rising.

- If I leave the bike alone for a while it again resumes the normal 'boot up' procedure and the voltmeter reads 12.7-12.8V (but if I use the starter again it's dead) The next point is in sequence.

- If I push start without attempting the starter the bike it starts up, runs normally. The charging voltage is 14.1V constant across all rpm range. The headlights are strong, there is no hesitation in running. Absolutely normal.

-Then it randomly dies irrespective of the distance travelled. When it dies the dash and everything goes off like in the video. Once the bike died because I flashed the high beam (coincidental ??)

- The battery is alright. Since the horn works at full power. I also came home and tested a 12V bulb across the terminal, its at full brightness.

- In the ignition 'parking position' the hazards and pilot lamps , taillamps light up normally
EVEN when in the ignition on position all of these don't light up or flicker due to low voltage showed on the voltmeter.

- Removing both headlight sockets makes no difference on using the starter. Bike dies.

- In the video you can hear a relay clicking.

- Starter Relay has intact fuse.

- Battery connections I unscrewed and retightened.

This is an indicator of something shorting out within the system somewhere. Could a bad ground do this? I want to go about this systematically to trace the fault and then fix it.

This is really confusing but my prime suspects are the headlight relay and the rectifier itself. could the rectifier cause this ?

Even when I push start the bike there is absolutely no loss of power or headlights dimming across a whole rpm range but it dies suddenly. Sometimes within a mile or sometimes about 10 miles. But once it dies I have to wait for a bit for it to return to 'normal'. This duration is not the same everytime.

Ah all these electrical gremlins are annoying. I just hope I haven't contributed to this mess.


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Last edited by XenMoto; 01-22-2018 at 03:04 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 03:11 PM
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Keyswitch Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by XenMoto View Post
I have already done the stator swap + polaris rectifier swap just before this ride. The bike has done about 500 miles after the rectifier swap. It was all working perfectly until tonight.
So I've not been keeping well for the past week so today took the bike out for a short ride all went well but during return I took a stop for food. The bike wouldn't start after that.

Here is the video I uploaded after reaching home. The symptoms are the same as I experienced during the ride.

https://youtu.be/zxij6D_wfuA

This is what I can infer from last 20 miles of bringing it home.

- The starter button when pressed makes the bike go into limbo like you see in the video. Absolutely dead. It then starts to 'resume' slooowly and you can see the voltage rising.

- If I leave the bike alone for a while it again resumes the normal 'boot up' procedure and the voltmeter reads 12.7-12.8V (but if I use the starter again it's dead) The next point is in sequence.

- If I push start without attempting the starter the bike it starts up, runs normally. The charging voltage is 14.1V constant across all rpm range. The headlights are strong, there is no hesitation in running. Absolutely normal.

-Then it randomly dies irrespective of the distance travelled. When it dies the dash and everything goes off like in the video. Once the bike died because I flashed the high beam (coincidental ??)

- The battery is alright. Since the horn works at full power. I also came home and tested a 12V bulb across the terminal, its at full brightness.

- In the ignition 'parking position' the hazards and pilot lamps , taillamps light up normally
EVEN when in the ignition on position all of these don't light up or flicker due to low voltage showed on the voltmeter.

- Removing both headlight sockets makes no difference on using the starter. Bike dies.

- In the video you can hear a relay clicking.

- Starter Relay has intact fuse.

- Battery connections I unscrewed and retightened.

This is an indicator of something shorting out within the system somewhere. Could a bad ground do this? I want to go about this systematically to trace the fault and then fix it.

This is really confusing but my prime suspects are the headlight relay and the rectifier itself. could the rectifier cause this ?

Even when I push start the bike there is absolutely no loss of power or headlights dimming across a whole rpm range but it dies suddenly. Sometimes within a mile or sometimes about 10 miles. But once it dies I have to wait for a bit for it to return to 'normal'. This duration is not the same everytime.

Ah all these electrical gremlins are annoying. I just hope I haven't contributed to this mess.
I would put my money on the key switch, which powers the ECU relay. I need to do some digging and then post some testing pointers. In the mean time you need to check the frame ground near the foot brake side close to the seat cross member, possibly under the cross member. I would alos check the engine ground, that is remove it and clean the aluminum with a scotch brite pad ( red one) then use a extremely light coating of dielectric grease. Once I have more info I will edit this post.

Edit;

Looking at the drawing, from the key switch there is a waterproof joint C , this is a brown wire from the key switch , 4 wires come off that jointne brown goes to : #1 fuse ; #2 fuse ; #6&7&8 fuses and the remaining brown goes directly to the ECU relay.

I suspect a corroded ground, possibly a frame ground, the second suspicion is a bad key switch as this supplies the current for fuses 1,2,6,7,8, a voltage drop across the switch could cause the ECU relay to drop out.

The ECU relay #3 and the fuel pump circuit relay #4 are the same source of power. One quick test if you can get this to occur : pull fuse #2 which is the headlight circuit, using a voltmeter measure the line side, ( not sure if it is left pin or right pin) and measure this to negative or frame ground***this will eliminate the key switch which is my suspicion , you should be getting close to battery voltage. If possible you can also go through sevral key on key off to see if the key switch is making each time, next try starting with the meter connected to fuse 2 line side ( I refer to line side as source). A trick you can do is to use a telephone 28 gauge wire and stick it in along with the fuse, being careful that you don't touch ground, this then can be used to connect a alligator clip from your meter.

Beyond what I just said it gets more difficult. Next would be to check the relays #3,4,5 which are under the tank, 3 is ECU, 4 fuel pump and 5 the headlight relay. If you followed my advice on triggering the headlight using Polaris option #2 , no way it is the headlight relay unless you made a wiring mistake.
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Last edited by onewizard; 01-22-2018 at 04:05 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 08:48 PM
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id also join the it might be your ignition group(try putting some graphite in it), could also be a bad ground. also have you had your battery load tested? i had a battery that would charge up to 13.5-14 V start the bike once with alot of struggle if lucky then fail to restart and reset my trip-meters or just made the starter not turning relay clicks of shame. then show low volts on the meter that would slowly go back up over time and do this
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XenMoto View Post
I have already done the stator swap + polaris rectifier swap just before this ride.

Since you've already investigated loose battery connection, etc., I would have a look at the work that was just done. A bit much for coincidence.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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The problem has been solved sort of in a weird outcome. I referred to onewizard's post for testing it all came weirdly consistent. I ended up pretty much checking everything.

Okay so the problem turned out to be really strange. Nothing like this I've seen in my entire life.

So today morning the bike did start but it immediately went off once I wanted to take out for a test spin.

So I opened up the entire thing and checked connections across all points, cleaned up the grounding points. Even the battery would show 12.8V at rest. It even started once like I mentioned.


Checked for continuity across the wires from ignition key, rectifier and what not.


Cleaned up the kill switch as there was dust all over inside and slightly grimy. Used a degreaser and rust remover water soluble. Washed with distilled water and used a blower to dry the switch and then sprayed a little bit of anti rust hydrophobic spray.


This seems to be the main chassis ground and there was plenty of rust around this point. Cleaned and refitted.


BUT TO NO AVAIL. IT WOULDN'T START.

SO what turned out to be the problem ? The battery itself. I took the battery to a battery shop for load testing. The first test cycle it passed as normal. Then when the guy picked the battery to check on another bench it failed. He then took it back to the first bench and it failed again ! I leave the battery with them for further tests as it's oddly defective.

Few hours later I get a call after they opened the battery since it was deemed failed and since it was under warranty an inspection report needs to be made. Turns out the battery has an internal short due to a part broken inside. When the part did not contact anything its not supposed to, the battery would work normally but when it moved due to jerk or vibration it would short out and cause an instant drop causing a total shutdown. Since this battery is an AGM Sealed Battery there is no visual cue from outside like with older batteries in which you need to add electrolyte time to time.

What the actual hell!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silviefox View Post
id also join the it might be your ignition group(try putting some graphite in it), could also be a bad ground. also have you had your battery load tested? i had a battery that would charge up to 13.5-14 V start the bike once with alot of struggle if lucky then fail to restart and reset my trip-meters or just made the starter not turning relay clicks of shame. then show low volts on the meter that would slowly go back up over time and do this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og2c-F5Z3FU
So it did turn out to a battery issue with a quirk !

All that effort in opening up the bike and now putting it back now I have to wait for a 5 days until the new battery is in.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 10:55 AM
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Excellent Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by XenMoto View Post
The problem has been solved sort of in a weird outcome. I referred to onewizard's post for testing it all came weirdly consistent. I ended up pretty much checking everything.

Okay so the problem turned out to be really strange. Nothing like this I've seen in my entire life.

So today morning the bike did start but it immediately went off once I wanted to take out for a test spin.

So I opened up the entire thing and checked connections across all points, cleaned up the grounding points. Even the battery would show 12.8V at rest. It even started once like I mentioned.


Checked for continuity across the wires from ignition key, rectifier and what not.


Cleaned up the kill switch as there was dust all over inside and slightly grimy. Used a degreaser and rust remover water soluble. Washed with distilled water and used a blower to dry the switch and then sprayed a little bit of anti rust hydrophobic spray.


This seems to be the main chassis ground and there was plenty of rust around this point. Cleaned and refitted.


BUT TO NO AVAIL. IT WOULDN'T START.

SO what turned out to be the problem ? The battery itself. I took the battery to a battery shop for load testing. The first test cycle it passed as normal. Then when the guy picked the battery to check on another bench it failed. He then took it back to the first bench and it failed again ! I leave the battery with them for further tests as it's oddly defective.

Few hours later I get a call after they opened the battery since it was deemed failed and since it was under warranty an inspection report needs to be made. Turns out the battery has an internal short due to a part broken inside. When the part did not contact anything its not supposed to, the battery would work normally but when it moved due to jerk or vibration it would short out and cause an instant drop causing a total shutdown. Since this battery is an AGM Sealed Battery there is no visual cue from outside like with older batteries in which you need to add electrolyte time to time.

What the actual hell!



So it did turn out to a battery issue with a quirk !

All that effort in opening up the bike and now putting it back now I have to wait for a 5 days until the new battery is in.
The battery came to mind but because of previous information from you I knew it had been changed. Good thing you have someone with a proper battery load tester .I intend to stick this thread until I figure out where I want to put it. It has become obvious that my Polaris threads are too numerous, and I need to stream line them. Also inline photos. Right now that is time I don't have to spare.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 10:57 AM
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As I read your post my thoughts were that it sounds like a battery, and I was going to recommend you have it "load-tested" as Sylviefox suggested.

Glad you found the problem...!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 01:17 PM
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A bad ground can be the source of all kinds of gremlins.

It's always a good place to look first and perhaps save you hours of diagnostic hair pulling. If you are like me there is not much hair to pull these days.

Glad you got her fixed.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewizard View Post
The battery came to mind but because of previous information from you I knew it had been changed. Good thing you have someone with a proper battery load tester .I intend to stick this thread until I figure out where I want to put it. It has become obvious that my Polaris threads are too numerous, and I need to stream line them. Also inline photos. Right now that is time I don't have to spare.
Since the new battery is due in a few days anyhow, I'll do the diode mod. Also since the bike is still opened up I'll take photos and possibly a video to sum it all up and put it up in a post. I'll post in this thread itself so that it can be later added somewhere else ?

i should have suspected the battery but the resting voltage of 12.8V was some false indicator. The load tester at the shop also gave a pass on the first try but then they had another more advanced tester with some variable cyclic tests which it failed immediately. After this it again failed on the first tester which was basic (basically it emulates cranking of starter motor as per their info)

Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
As I read your post my thoughts were that it sounds like a battery, and I was going to recommend you have it "load-tested" as Sylviefox suggested.
Glad you found the problem...!
So am I ! Electrical issues are almost like witchcraft but the more you know the better you diagnose ! I did not suspect the battery at first since its barely an year and some months old and comes with a warranty of 2+2 years. Battery to be replaced FOC!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
A bad ground can be the source of all kinds of gremlins.
It's always a good place to look first and perhaps save you hours of diagnostic hair pulling. If you are like me there is not much hair to pull these days.
Glad you got her fixed.
Yes even though the culprit turned out to be the battery, I certainly did not like the rust around the main grounding to the chassis. Was a good measure to open and clean up to avoid any future problems!

EDIT
So after googling around for a bit found this which pretty much explains the scenario better:

I guess the battery on mine deteriorated and had a loose connection inside which would cut the current abruptly. Sometimes it would work and cut off at random. But it completely died when it went though proper load tests at the battery shop. Nail in the coffin.

Quote:
A healthy 12 volt motorcycle battery should maintain a range from 9.5 - 10.5 volts under the load for a good 30 seconds straight. If the battery begins to hold and then steadily drops in voltage, there is a problem. If the voltage instantly drops to 0 volts, that is also a problem. We call this the open cell. On a new battery, this can be a result of manufacturing flaws, but it also may be caused by sulfate crystal buildup.

Under the intense heat of the load, one or more of the weld pieces connecting the cells is coming loose and separating. This will cut the current, and voltage will drop. When the battery cools off, the pieces will touch, barely giving a complete connection. This gives you a false voltage reading. Batteries with open cells may read fully charged in idle, but they fail under a load test every time. Once a battery reaches this point, there is no going back. The best thing to do is recycle the thing.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Rectifier Upgrade to fix Stator Coil Issue :

All credit goes to onewizard and others who have successfully retrofitted the Polaris SH775 Series Regulator. There are plenty of texts and posts to read about the matter which can be daunting at first. Piece it all together and the upgrade is clearly beneficial. This post is however working with a Ninja 650 (2012-2016) and the location of the regulator is different. The sockets and wiring are the same however.

A little info
Quote:
Stator coil seems to be the Achilles Heel in the 650 platform. The OEM Regulator is a shunt type regulator which only works in a rather inefficient way. To put it in simple words the shunt regulator keeps the stator loaded at near maximum at all times during operation. The excess current not needed by the motorcycle after subtracting electrical loads is grounded. This eventually leads to the stator shorting or burning a few poles due to aging of the insulation material due to the heat generated. Its like a dam reservoir is open 100% but only a bucketful of water is taken from the outflow and the rest is wasted downstream.

In retrospect the series regulator varies the output current by referencing the voltage across the load. The series regulator will not draw current if there is no load. If load increases it will react to the change to let in more current until the desired voltage is maintained. Therefore the series regulator is much more efficient and the benefit of this is that it does not unnecessarily load the stator coil to provide current. This results in a much more prolonged life of the stator

This is what the burned out stator will look like, a few poles blackened out.


Brand new coil from a 2016 N650, note that the coil is slightly different and there is no epoxy coat over the poles to dissipate heat better.



Before you begin

- Disconnect and remove the battery from the motorcycle and put it on a battery tender to keep it charged up.

- Tools and misc stuff needed for a neat job :

Air blower (to blow the dust away before you start taking apart the gas tank, airbox)
Sellotape (to cover the exposed throttle body, pcv tube, secondary air valve intake at top of the cylinder head cap, fuel line from dust)

Wire Strippers,
Soldering iron (solder wire, flux paste, de soldering wire etc )
Insulation tape
Heat Shrink tubing
Electrical Insulation spray

Multimeter / Voltmeter (ac/dc)

Components needed to be bought

Polaris SH775BA Series Regulator
IMPORTANT NOTE : Buying used will greatly save cost like I did buying from ebay.com, but make sure that in the product image you can see the SH775BA stamped on the rectifier itself. There are plenty of cheap chinese unbranded regualtors that look the same but will not have this part no stamped on them. Stay away from these as their construction and reliability is completely unknown. Brand new polaris rectifier is around $160 [ part no : REGULATOR-3PH,35A,SERIES,105C (4012941)]



New Stator Coil for the 650 OEM recommended.
The OEM stator is a delta wound stator with much more copper against the aftermarket replacements which use a Y winding pattern to save on copper costs.


Triumph Link Lead
This can be ordered from T2500676 Triumph Link Lead, Regulator $10.00 - 2WheelPros , they also ship internationally partnered with a shipping service.


Stator Cover Gasket
Since Kawasaki India pretty much sucks hardcore, they did not have a single gasket in the entire country in stock. So I made my own with laser cutting done on gasket material. The stock gasket is a graphite coated reusable gasket so if you pry off the gasket carefully you will not need a new one. Mine was damaged in removal so needed a new one. This gasket material is normal and not reusable.




I am not covering the stator installation and testing as its completely shown in the workshop manual, along with the ac voltage check across the three pin socket coming from the stator itself.


POLARIS RECTIFIER UPGRADE

On the ninja 650 the rectifier is located in the middle of the chassis directly below the steering lock.
To get to this you will need to remove the gas tank, the airbox, the secondary air valve.

Before you remove the airbox use the blower to blow away any loose dust as the throttle body will be exposed to unwanted matter.
After the airbox is removed, use sellotape to cover the throttle body ports, as well as the tubes connected to the engine and also the secondary air valve intake port on the cylinder head. Also cover the fuel line. I also removed the ECU to avoid dangling it on the side, also covered the ecu socket with sellotape.



After the secondary air valve is removed, it is possible to take out the rectifier. You have two 10mm bolts to loosen to remove the rectifier. There is a clip on each bolt to keep the wiring above the rectifier tidy and in place. Do not forget to install these back during reassembly.


Now remove the stock regulator from the socket, and then cut the female socket on the wiring harness to an approximate length below. This length will allow you to go stock if you want to sell the motorcycle.


Then take the triumph link lead and cut these two connectors off. The postive and negative dc lead each split into two wires which we dont need.



CONNECTING THE NEW SOCKETS
Before joining the wire slide the heat shrink tubes over each wire and push them away as far as possible from the point of wire join as solder heat can cause the heat shrink to.. shrink.

To join the wires I joined them interwoven and soldered them (inline wire splice), then wrapped in electrical tape and then the heat shrink was moved over (shrunk later after testing), the wires from each side had about an inch and half of exposed wire so that the solder and connection is strong enough. While joining the wires please keep some sort of metal sheet below the work area to avoid dropping solder on the motorcycle components. Also make sure to wear safety eyewear and not breath in the solder fumes.

Now take the triumph lead socket with three pins and connect the three black wires to the exposed black three wires from the wiring harness, order is not important.


Then take the other two pin socket of the triumph lead and join the brown wire from the lead to the white wire from the regulator. Both the white wires from the wiring harness end up as one so its okay to join them as one. The black ground of the socket goes to the yellow black wire from the bike.


This is what the new socket setup looks like. I then wrapped all the five wires with an eletrical insulation tape to keep the wires tidy.


Spray the female sockets with an hydrophobic insulation spray like this. Then couple them to the newly installed rectifier.


Now connect the polaris rectifier and install it back. This regulator causes a bit of a problem to slide back due to size of the sockets getting obstructed in the little space in the chassis. Move the rectifier in gently and dont damage the connectors while doing so. Here's what I mean.


After putting back everything together, reinstalling the battery, voila, Success ! 14V on my onboard voltmeter !
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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So Far So Good !

I recently just came back from a trip to the Himalayas, nearly a month on the road, varied change in temperature and altitude, 4k miles, stator and rectifier working well. No issues anywhere throughout the journey.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 09:27 AM
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Thank You For posting

My experience as to the regulator, upgrading to either CompuFire or Polaris, makes the bike almost bullet proof, I am 8 years on the CompuFire and the second bike!! And to be honest, I think with the series regulator, if changed when you buy it new, I would say failure of the stator would be less than 1 in 500,000 stators.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewizard View Post
My experience as to the regulator, upgrading to either CompuFire or Polaris, makes the bike almost bullet proof, I am 8 years on the CompuFire and the second bike!! And to be honest, I think with the series regulator, if changed when you buy it new, I would say failure of the stator would be less than 1 in 500,000 stators.
Kawasaki has not changed the rectifier even in the new Ninja 650 or Z650. The socket is still the same. However the part nos has changed from 21066-0033 (2012-2016) to 21066-0750 (2017+)
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