Suzuki ATV Forum banner
1 - 20 of 61 Posts

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys

I have just successfully completed a test, as explained in my other thread, but sadly it failed the test, with the readings falling outside of the values specified in my manual. The test was to check the charging circuit, which I performed because I had some doubts with regard to its health.

Some background, and long story long, as is my way, sorry about this, my ATV is used when I go fishing. I go only once per week during the fishing season, about mid March through to the end of October. We travel over fields, towing a little trailer, with all our gear in it, for about 3/4 of a mile, each way.

This doesn't give much run time for charging, to recover the starting loss, so the charging circuit needs to be top notch to keep up, and it has been doing for the last five years.

Five years ago I got this quad back to working order, after having found it in the farmyard, where we'd left it, having been seized up by the farmer who had been borrowing it and where it had been sitting during a ten year hiatus from fishing, also covered in another thread. At this time it obviously required a new battery, which I got and fitted, amongst many other things.

Last year the starts became unreliable, towards the back end of the season, having little energy in the battery, on our weekly fishing trip, such that sometimes we couldn't start it. Of course, by this time of year, it was often quite cold, which didn't help. We managed with a hand start, but that was often fairly troublesome, and we took to taking a set of jump leads with us, and a spare battery.

My logical brain said, five year old battery, pretty much mistreated by being over (self) discharged during the period of being abandoned for the winter months, little use, even when used, and poorly charged, due to short journeys, therefore the battery will be stuffed. Five years sounded about right to me, for battery life, especially for one that was not well treated, so I simply bought another, thinking the issue must be resolved.

Having had a whole heap of trouble getting it going, even with the new, fully charged battery, on my return this year, not having run it since the end of October, I over drained the new battery, in getting it started this first time for the season. Consequently I left it running for a while, whilst doing some jobs on my fishing cabin. Difficulty starting can perhaps be explained by a bunch of factors, like low fuel, fuel drained away from the carb, using E10, which I believe doesn't sit well, but I had success when I put another gallon of fuel in. In my mind, to help with a little gravity assist, due the the higher fuel level in the tank, but not sure? It could equally well have been that the fuel was just about to get there anyway. Not unexpected, it's always hard to start that first time, and why would that be surprising after several months of just sitting there, but the consequence was that I almost drained the battery, even though new.

Anyway, what was unexpected, was that when I went again, around a week later, I still had almost nothing in the battery, despite having left it running, for a good while during my trip, and including our 3/4 mile trip back. I barely got it started, but did, thankfully. Again I left it running, and then on our return I removed the battery it to bring it home, charge it properly, and ponder what might be the cause.

Today I went again, but specifically to perform two tests. The first being, the manual advised, parasitic draw test, which it passed well, at 0.3mA. Spec says it should be no higher than 1mA, so I should be good there, at less than one third of the specified allowed figure. Not sure where it goes, but I imagine, damp air, damp connectors and switches, etc, all add up to this very small draw. I bet in dry summer months it would be much lower? The second test was the charging circuit test, which went as follows, according to the manual:

Healthy (new), fully charged, battery, check.
Start engine, check.
Turn on headlights to high beam, check.
Rev engine to 5000 rpm, check.
Read battery voltage, at battery, check.
Confirm value falls in the range 13.5V - 15V, fail.

So, the reading I got, with a healthy, fully charged battery, with the lights on, and revving to 5000 rpm, as per the manual, was 12.89V. On turning the lights off, it rose slowly, and was climbing all the time, and got to over 13V again, before I stopped watching, but it was still creeping up.

What I don't know is, how much of that was recovery, and how much was charging, if any. Either way, it's well below spec, and hardly surprising we are not getting sufficient charge back into the battery, with our short runs. I've been reading the manual from this point on, but I got a little hazy as to how I'm to check further. It all seems to get a little complicated, but maybe not if someone could break it down for me?

Some guidance on what to check next, would be much appreciated. Please bear in mind that I can't easily return the quad to home, for extensive work, significant disassembly, etc, as I have no trailer, or tow bar now, so I have to enlist the help of someone that has, if I'm to do that. I'm basically working on it under a lean to, with soil for the floor, and partially open to the elements, so I need to go armed with everything I need, and try to test/fix as many things as I can in a single trip, because it's also some distance away.

Hopefully it's possible that it's just a connector that's corroded, but at over 20 years old, having been stood 'almost' in the open, for most of its life, I suppose it could be any of a whole heap of things.

Sorry for the long read, but if you've got this far, at least you know exactly where I'm at, and thanks for taking the time.

Cheers

Sutty
 

Registered
Joined
226 Posts
Hi Guys

I have just successfully completed a test, as explained in my other thread, but sadly it failed the test, with the readings falling outside of the values specified in my manual. The test was to check the charging circuit, which I performed because I had some doubts with regard to its health.

Some background, and long story long, as is my way, sorry about this, my ATV is used when I go fishing. I go only once per week during the fishing season, about mid March through to the end of October. We travel over fields, towing a little trailer, with all our gear in it, for about 3/4 of a mile, each way.

This doesn't give much run time for charging, to recover the starting loss, so the charging circuit needs to be top notch to keep up, and it has been doing for the last five years.

Five years ago I got this quad back to working order, after having found it in the farmyard, where we'd left it, having been seized up by the farmer who had been borrowing it and where it had been sitting during a ten year hiatus from fishing, also covered in another thread. At this time it obviously required a new battery, which I got and fitted, amongst many other things.

Last year the starts became unreliable, towards the back end of the season, having little energy in the battery, on our weekly fishing trip, such that sometimes we couldn't start it. Of course, by this time of year, it was often quite cold, which didn't help. We managed with a hand start, but that was often fairly troublesome, and we took to taking a set of jump leads with us, and a spare battery.

My logical brain said, five year old battery, pretty much mistreated by being over (self) discharged during the period of being abandoned for the winter months, little use, even when used, and poorly charged, due to short journeys, therefore the battery will be stuffed. Five years sounded about right to me, for battery life, especially for one that was not well treated, so I simply bought another, thinking the issue must be resolved.

Having had a whole heap of trouble getting it going, even with the new, fully charged battery, on my return this year, not having run it since the end of October, I over drained the new battery, in getting it started this first time for the season. Consequently I left it running for a while, whilst doing some jobs on my fishing cabin. Difficulty starting can perhaps be explained by a bunch of factors, like low fuel, fuel drained away from the carb, using E10, which I believe doesn't sit well, but I had success when I put another gallon of fuel in. In my mind, to help with a little gravity assist, due the the higher fuel level in the tank, but not sure? It could equally well have been that the fuel was just about to get there anyway. Not unexpected, it's always hard to start that first time, and why would that be surprising after several months of just sitting there, but the consequence was that I almost drained the battery, even though new.

Anyway, what was unexpected, was that when I went again, around a week later, I still had almost nothing in the battery, despite having left it running, for a good while during my trip, and including our 3/4 mile trip back. I barely got it started, but did, thankfully. Again I left it running, and then on our return I removed the battery it to bring it home, charge it properly, and ponder what might be the cause.

Today I went again, but specifically to perform two tests. The first being, the manual advised, parasitic draw test, which it passed well, at 0.3mA. Spec says it should be no higher than 1mA, so I should be good there, at less than one third of the specified allowed figure. Not sure where it goes, but I imagine, damp air, damp connectors and switches, etc, all add up to this very small draw. I bet in dry summer months it would be much lower? The second test was the charging circuit test, which went as follows, according to the manual:

Healthy (new), fully charged, battery, check.
Start engine, check.
Turn on headlights to high beam, check.
Rev engine to 5000 rpm, check.
Read battery voltage, at battery, check.
Confirm value falls in the range 13.5V - 15V, fail.

So, the reading I got, with a healthy, fully charged battery, with the lights on, and revving to 5000 rpm, as per the manual, was 12.89V. On turning the lights off, it rose slowly, and was climbing all the time, and got to over 13V again, before I stopped watching, but it was still creeping up.

What I don't know is, how much of that was recovery, and how much was charging, if any. Either way, it's well below spec, and hardly surprising we are not getting sufficient charge back into the battery, with our short runs. I've been reading the manual from this point on, but I got a little hazy as to how I'm to check further. It all seems to get a little complicated, but maybe not if someone could break it down for me?

Some guidance on what to check next, would be much appreciated. Please bear in mind that I can't easily return the quad to home, for extensive work, significant disassembly, etc, as I have no trailer, or tow bar now, so I have to enlist the help of someone that has, if I'm to do that. I'm basically working on it under a lean to, with soil for the floor, and partially open to the elements, so I need to go armed with everything I need, and try to test/fix as many things as I can in a single trip, because it's also some distance away.

Hopefully it's possible that it's just a connector that's corroded, but at over 20 years old, having been stood 'almost' in the open, for most of its life, I suppose it could be any of a whole heap of things.

Sorry for the long read, but if you've got this far, at least you know exactly where I'm at, and thanks for taking the time.

Cheers

Sutty
1st thing I would do is to disconnect all plugs , one at a time give em a squirt of wd40 or similar and then reconnect /disconnect a couple of times , the idea being to have the metal plug contacts scrape together and dislodge any dirt or corrosion . Test the alt for continuity on all 3 phases at the alt plug while you have it disconnected . All 3 should read pretty much the same .
Sounds to me like it wants to work just not quite enough.馃檪
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, sounds good, thanks. I have some deoxit, so I can use that, and do the multiple re-insertion trick, but which plugs exactly might be involved, and where are they? Are they accessible without removing too much bodywork? I simply can't do that there, if it's main body work, plus I can't easily keep going backwards and forwards, so I could do with knowing what to do next, if that fails. About the only bodywork I could deal with is the battery cover, the seat, and the two side panels below the tank. Way too difficult to remove the main body parts, unless it comes home, like I did when I fixed it all up, five years ago.

Having a good look at the manual, and having been guided by your comments, my guess is I could remove, what they call, headlamp cover, front fender centre cover, and front fender side covers. Beyond that it looks like it's getting tricky. I mean, I know how to remove the front and rear main fenders, as I've done it previously, but I recall that one of them was super difficult to get back, even at home, because some bolts were hard to get back in, due to, even relatively minor, misalignment, and needing very strong hands, but the size of a child, lol.

Anyway, with what you've said, and looking at the manual, it looks like I can do three things at that coupler, whilst it's apart, if I find it, lol. I think I'm looking for three yellow wires.

1) Clean and do some repeated connect/disconnect cycles.
2) Measure the coil's resistance, which should be low, 0.1 - 1 Ohm, and all the same, across any two wires. Three measurements in total. Also, any contact to ground, which I imagine should be open circuit, or it would be grounded out. It seems likely, but they only show to measure it and not what the value should be, or not that I can find.
3) Run the engine and measure the unloaded alternator AC voltage, which should be more than 60V. Again across any two wires of the three. Three measurements in total.

Trouble is, I can't easily see where it is, because the picture isn't too clear, but it looks like it's under the seat, and accessible by only removing the left front fender side cover, which would be good.

Rectifier looks like the front fender has to come off, so I'm not doing that there.

Maybe that's enough for one trip anyway.

On the bright side, I don't need mess with my RPM meter again, because I now know what 5000 rpm sounds like, having just done it today.

Sod's law that it will be the rectifier, because I can't get to that without bringing it home.

I shall report back, next time I go.

Cheers

Sutty
 

Administrator
Joined
10,072 Posts
Short runs even in vehicle batteries aren鈥檛 a good thing. Your not giving the charging circuit enough time to properly charge things. This will be the same when it comes to atvs. When I don鈥檛 utilize either of my KQ I always put them in the battery charger/maintainers. Even more so if they see unfrequent use or short trips. Of course you could also have other contributing factors, so it鈥檚 best to make sure everything is working as intended. Though using a charger/maintainer in your circumstance would most likely still be a good practise to use.
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, yes, I get that, I described as much in my long and rambling first post, but I also get why you might not have spotted that, lol. I know I go on, sorry again. Anyway, I'm aware of why it will always be a struggle. However, that having been said, struggle or not, historically it managed for 5 years after the last new battery, and now, with a brand new one, it isn't managing at all. Exact same battery, by the way, because I thought 5 years is pretty good for the way I treated it, so I'll stick with them.

Hell, it might not have even needed a new battery, judging by how the old one performs at home, and how the new one performs in the quad, lol. Well, I mean 5 years old, it needed a new one anyway, but sadly, even with the new one, it's not keeping up, now.

As for a maintenance/conditioner, I've thought of that too, but it's not possible. Might as well be stored in the middle of a field, it practically is, and it's completely off grid. Furnish it with a solar powered conditioner, and the solar power and the conditioner would be stolen within weeks. The only reason the quad doesn't get stolen is because it so very very old and unattractive, it's of no interest to anyone. Means the world to me though, for more than one reason, but to anyone else, I doubt it very much.

The only thing I can do, and will do in future, just for additional battery longevity, is bring the battery home for winter, and keep it conditioned here. Still, that wasn't done with the old one, and it still managed for 5 years. Something has changed/failed. Wrongly I assumed it was the battery, now I know different.

Remains to be seen what it actually is. I will update the thread periodically with my findings, and, most likely, seek more help.

Cheers

Sutty
 

Administrator
Joined
10,072 Posts
I wasn鈥檛 implying that there wasn鈥檛 another source to your problem, obviously sounds like there is. Was simply suggestion once you get things are sorted out that a charger/maintainer would definitely help. And I didn鈥檛 realize your parking situation. Out in a field with no power source and a solar panel sure to encourage theft, then yeah, that idea is not exactly a option either. Though bringing your battery indoors and having it on one during the winter would be a great idea. Anyway, hope you find the source of your issue.
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Of course, I really appreciate the reply, and, quite right, you couldn't have known the situation with regard to parking/off grid status from this thread. If I'd included that too, in my opening post on the subject, it really would have been a doozy, lol. I hope I didn't come off as being stroppy. If I did, it certainly wasn't my intention and I apologise for same.

Thanks again.

Sutty
 

Administrator
Joined
10,072 Posts
You didn鈥檛 come off to stroppy at all. Was just offering advice. Appreciate you clearing that up though. Hope you find a solution to your problem.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sutty

Registered
Joined
226 Posts
The 3 wire alt plug will be close to where the harness exits the motor , above alt cover left side . There will also be the 2 wire plug from that pick up coil close by .
What sort of battery did you get ? I like motobat .....I have had a good run with them 馃檪.
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the further advice regarding the location of the plug/plugs. The battery is a Varta, but I don't recall the exact type. As I mentioned, I went with it because it had done me right for the previous five years, and I thought that was pretty good, especially considering the considerable mistreatment it had received.

Assuming the cabling/connectors check out, from a little further reading of the manual, it seems to me that it can only be one of two things. It's either the generator itself or the regulator, but because it would probably have to come home to deal with either of those, I'm not going to do further research, other than checking the prices out, until I know if it is going to prove necessary. Hopefully it won't.

Thanks again.

Sutty
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh my goodness. I was just looking at prices for the two potential items, generator and rectifier. I shall not be buying OEM, lol. Hundreds of pounds for the generator, and not far behind for the regulator. Each can be had for well under 拢100 if choosing compatible/after market. If I have to, the latter will be my route of choice, lol.
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Probably, but I'll try much harder, if either proves to be required. Never as good for such things, in terms of availability, over here in the UK, but at first look it did seem like there were some reasonable options out there. The close up pictures of after market versions, as far as I am able to tell visually, look very good. The generator wiring also looks like I could rewind it myself, should that prove necessary. I have experience of having rewound several powerful electric motors, for my RC helicopter hobby, sometimes with wiring schemes entirely of my own, and those were more complex than the wiring looks on that stator. Again, that's from a first glance only, from pictures, so maybe not. I do like trying things like that though, on the basis that if I fail, so what, it was broken anyway.

Just trying to fix up some company for a trip up this week. Never hurts to have an assistant, and it certainly helps to pass the driving time.
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I read somewhere in the manual, that a special electrical testing tool was necessary. I thought it said, you might not operate the diodes, and may even damage them, or other circuitry, if not using their tool, but I'm blowed if I can find that now. (Sadly my manual lacks any search facility). It does say special tool, at the section for regulator/rectifier test, and the numbers would perhaps mean nothing using my multi-meter diode test, compared to their listed numbers, but would that stop me from doing the test with an ordinary multi-meter?

Perhaps others have succeeded with just their multi-meter and can give me the procedure? Mine has a 2.4V output in diode test mode, by the way, and reads open circuit when reverse biased, and around 500 for a typical forward biased diode. I assume that's 0.5V dropped, but not sure why my meter misses out the decimal. All three of my meters do that, so perhaps it's common?

Anyway, I can see the values that I'm meant to get, from pin to pin, but is it safe to use my meter, and can I assume if I get 1300, that's the same as their 1.3V?
 

Registered
Joined
287 Posts
I was reading that awhile ago as well. The tool is called a Suzuki pocket tester. I tried to search for it but came up with stuff a lot bigger than a pocket sized tool. What I could find were multimeter looking rigs. I'd like to know the answer as well.
 

Registered
Joined
226 Posts
Multimeter is fine , I have a Fluke 179 that has done everything I wanted. The missing decimal is probly a misprint .
Im pleased you have discovered the "aftermarket " value for money. Normally if the alt windings were custard they would look burnt ,I had to solder new tails on my LT alt as the insulation was cracking and falling off.
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, but the decimal is missing from all three of my meters, not from the manual, lol. They read 500, for what I assume is the 0.5 Volt drop across the forward biased diode. I'm guessing I will see 1300 on my meter, where it says I should see 1.3V in the manual, but I don't know for sure.

Good info that a multi-meter is fine. Your Fluke is of high quality, mine not so, although my best, the one I will use, is a reasonably good one and probably good enough. For the coil resistance check, I'm pondering how I can read 0.1 Ohms - 1 Ohm, since the meter always reads something, even when the leads are shorted. I suppose, if it reads 0.2, shorted, then I will be looking for 0.3, 0.4, or whatever, up to 1.2, on all, and equal.

No issue with the unloaded, running, 5000 rpm, AC voltage check, looking for 60V, or more, at the generator, according to the manual. If cleaning the contacts does not resolve anything, and it passes the resistance check and the 60V AC test, then I'm down to the rectifier.

I've fixed up to go on Wednesday, and know I will probably grind to a halt at the rectifier, due to too much disassembly being required to get to it. Having said that, I suppose from the opposite side of the generator coupler I could do all the yellow to yellow wire diode tests. The red at the rectifier is battery +ve, so I can get to that in the battery bay, and the B/W at the rectifier is ground, so I can get to that in the battery bay too, or anywhere for that matter.

Rectangle Font Slope Parallel Pattern


Assuming this to be correct, with the battery disconnected, it should be possible to simulate being at the connector for the rectifier, and do all the diode tests, listed in the table below, from the open connector, at the left side, without ever having got to the rectifier itself. Of course if they all read wrong, then the coupler at the rectifier, or the wiring to it, could be at fault, so I'd have to dig down to it then, to test it at the unit itself, but if this does work, then I've saved myself the job of getting to it.

Hopefully, it will simply be the generator coupler that needs a good clean, and the job's sorted.

Font Rectangle Parallel Number Pattern


Cheers

Sutty
 

Registered
Joined
226 Posts
Thanks, but the decimal is missing from all three of my meters, not from the manual, lol. They read 500, for what I assume is the 0.5 Volt drop across the forward biased diode. I'm guessing I will see 1300 on my meter, where it says I should see 1.3V in the manual, but I don't know for sure.

Good info that a multi-meter is fine. Your Fluke is of high quality, mine not so, although my best, the one I will use, is a reasonably good one and probably good enough. For the coil resistance check, I'm pondering how I can read 0.1 Ohms - 1 Ohm, since the meter always reads something, even when the leads are shorted. I suppose, if it reads 0.2, shorted, then I will be looking for 0.3, 0.4, or whatever, up to 1.2, on all, and equal.

No issue with the unloaded, running, 5000 rpm, AC voltage check, looking for 60V, or more, at the generator, according to the manual. If cleaning the contacts does not resolve anything, and it passes the resistance check and the 60V AC test, then I'm down to the rectifier.

I've fixed up to go on Wednesday, and know I will probably grind to a halt at the rectifier, due to too much disassembly being required to get to it. Having said that, I suppose from the opposite side of the generator coupler I could do all the yellow to yellow wire diode tests. The red at the rectifier is battery +ve, so I can get to that in the battery bay, and the B/W at the rectifier is ground, so I can get to that in the battery bay too, or anywhere for that matter.

View attachment 23268

Assuming this to be correct, with the battery disconnected, it should be possible to simulate being at the connector for the rectifier, and do all the diode tests, listed in the table below, from the open connector, at the left side, without ever having got to the rectifier itself. Of course if they all read wrong, then the coupler at the rectifier, or the wiring to it, could be at fault, so I'd have to dig down to it then, to test it at the unit itself, but if this does work, then I've saved myself the job of getting to it.

Hopefully, it will simply be the generator coupler that needs a good clean, and the job's sorted.

View attachment 23267

Cheers

Sutty
When I start to diagnose an electrical fault I would do sorta as you say about testing the reg at the harness plug because it makes sense to start by testing the whole circuit ,if it checks out at the plug at the start of test you have just saved yourself a 5hitload of work 馃榾, where as if you dig out the reg and it tests ok you then gotta test the harness anyway.
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah, thanks for confirming. I was really only questioning it in my mind if the logic was sound, and thinking out loud as I wrote. Since then I've given it a fair amount of thought, whilst studying the circuit diagram, and I'm happy that it's so. All connections to the regulator, are available elsewhere, simply at longer range, which I don't believe will change anything, as long as the battery is disconnected.

As for if the generator is suspect, that looks to be a pig to replace, from what I've seen. So much to be removed, just to get at that, and it would definitely have to come home. Everyone who showed it, had the whole assembly on the bench. :eek:

Please just be bad connections, or the rectifier, lol.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top