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Thread: Starter or Battery 2004 R1150RT

  1. #1
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Starter or Battery 2004 R1150RT

    I've been working my way through trying to figure out why my '04RT has gotten progressively slower starting over the past year--on the first cold start of the day. I've tested every aspect of the fuel system from the strainer to the injectors and verified the HES. The battery seems fine and the starter turns over quickly (I think since I've got no comparison). Throttle bodies are balanced and it idles well.

    With two new stick coils (and the replacement of all four plugs), my '04RT is running like great. And it starts fine ... other than that first start of the day, which takes 4-5 seconds.

    Yesterday I decided to take some data on the first start with the GS-911 via bluetooth to my phone. With it connected to the 911, the samples are logged every half second (400 mS) versus every second (800 mS) to the PC i usually use, nearly twice as fast.

    Looking at the battery voltage in the log, here's what I saw:

    12.19 V, 0 rpm
    12.11, 0
    12.11, 0
    6.82, 0
    10.24, 350 rpm
    10.89, 350
    10.73, 200 rpm
    11.05, 1400
    13.73, 1500

    My battery appears to be in good health (a one year old PC680, it will crank the bike for a long time with a bright headlight) and the starter seems to turn over fine. But looking at the voltage dip I decided to try jumping from my car with its motor running.

    This morning I pulled the left-side panel, got good jumper connections all around--ground to the bike's battery and +12V to the starter lug. Set up logging and pressed the starter button ... er, er, vroom. According to the log (and my ears) the bike started in 1 second.

    Here was the voltage log:
    13.98 V, 0 rpm
    9.99, 0
    11.46, 300
    11.95, 1350
    13.9, 1400
    14.06, 1450

    Last winter, I pulled my starter because of a high drain on the battery and very hard starting every so often. The planetary gear cover had fallen onto the armature. Based on the test today, I'm leaning toward replacing the starter. My reasoning is the cables and connections look good, and even with the jumper cable to the starter lug the voltage dipped from 14V to 10V.

    I'm thinking that without the jumper cable connected, the dip to 7-9 volts when the starter is pressed is upsetting the Motronic, or coils, or injectors.

    Starter or battery, which do you think?
    RB

  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Hi Roger, I think you will find that a dip to 9.2 volts won't let the bike start- or at least that is what I have found. I went looking for one of my fav-o-rite get me out of a jam the easy way tools to measure problems and here it is....and apparently a thing of the past.



    it's (or was) a great way to check these kind of problems, you just rest it on the wire in question and the draw was measured.
    In your case, if you did have one, you could compare to another bike and help you with amperage draw info.
    Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  3. #3
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Hi Gary, That's a blast from the past. I don't have one which leaves me stuck trying to deduce what's wrong.

    Since my starter is original and had the planetary gear cover arcing on the armature I'm tempted to replace it, and then my relatively new battery if needed. RB

  4. #4
    ONE LESS HARLEY 04R1150RS's Avatar
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    I can't say for sure about the battery or starter, but a one year old battery "should" be good. I had an 04 R1150RS starter fail, seemed like bad battery symptoms and wasn't. Two known weak points on the vaelo starter. the magnets which is a well documented problem. There is another problem that isn't talked about much. The bendix has a small gears inclosed with a thin metal plate. This plate comes loose and intermittently shorts out the armature.











    if it's the magnets that are loose I may still have the old housing w/ magnets still in place.
    Richard
    2004 R1150RS
    1984 R80 G/S
    2003 Suzuki DRZ 400S

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    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    I've been working my way through trying to figure out why my '04RT has gotten progressively slower starting over the past year--on the first cold start of the day. I've tested every aspect of the fuel system from the strainer to the injectors and verified the HES. The battery seems fine and the starter turns over quickly (I think since I've got no comparison). Throttle bodies are balanced and it idles well.

    With two new stick coils (and the replacement of all four plugs), my '04RT is running like great. And it starts fine ... other than that first start of the day, which takes 4-5 seconds.

    Yesterday I decided to take some data on the first start with the GS-911 via bluetooth to my phone. With it connected to the 911, the samples are logged every half second (400 mS) versus every second (800 mS) to the PC i usually use, nearly twice as fast.

    Looking at the battery voltage in the log, here's what I saw:

    12.19 V, 0 rpm
    12.11, 0
    12.11, 0
    6.82, 0
    10.24, 350 rpm
    10.89, 350
    10.73, 200 rpm
    11.05, 1400
    13.73, 1500

    My battery appears to be in good health (a one year old PC680, it will crank the bike for a long time with a bright headlight) and the starter seems to turn over fine. But looking at the voltage dip I decided to try jumping from my car with its motor running.

    This morning I pulled the left-side panel, got good jumper connections all around--ground to the bike's battery and +12V to the starter lug. Set up logging and pressed the starter button ... er, er, vroom. According to the log (and my ears) the bike started in 1 second.

    Here was the voltage log:
    13.98 V, 0 rpm
    9.99, 0
    11.46, 300
    11.95, 1350
    13.9, 1400
    14.06, 1450

    Last winter, I pulled my starter because of a high drain on the battery and very hard starting every so often. The planetary gear cover had fallen onto the armature. Based on the test today, I'm leaning toward replacing the starter. My reasoning is the cables and connections look good, and even with the jumper cable to the starter lug the voltage dipped from 14V to 10V.

    I'm thinking that without the jumper cable connected, the dip to 7-9 volts when the starter is pressed is upsetting the Motronic, or coils, or injectors.

    Starter or battery, which do you think?
    RB
    Do an equalize charge on the Odyssey of 14.9v - 15v for at least 8-10 hours.
    Then test again. You will be surprised.
    I am betting that your "new" battery is not fully charged.
    The Motronic does not operate well below 9.5v
    The problem with AGM's is they want (and need) a higher charge voltage than 14.0v which is what Oilhead alternators typically put out.
    I have seen this problem on a few bikes now.
    My solution on my own machine is I modified the voltage regulator to charge @ 14.7v years ago and never had any further issues.
    I love Odyssey batteries and recommend them. The catch is they must be periodically equalized (with a 5-10A charger) to maintain peak capacity in our application.
    This was all confirmed by one of the engineers at Odyssey when I had this problem myself. Their site has a lot of engineering data confirming the requirements.
    My machine (1150GS) always starts within 2 seconds.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  6. #6
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    If you jump inside your starter, this Best of Forum http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...e-your-starter
    had some great info.
    OM
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  7. #7
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04R1150RS View Post
    I can't say for sure about the battery or starter, but a one year old battery "should" be good. I had an 04 R1150RS starter fail, seemed like bad battery symptoms and wasn't. Two known weak points on the vaelo starter. the magnets which is a well documented problem. There is another problem that isn't talked about much. The bendix has a small gears inclosed with a thin metal plate. This plate comes loose and intermittently shorts out the armature.

    if it's the magnets that are loose I may still have the old housing w/ magnets still in place.

    Thank you. This is just how my starter looked in February when I opened it. Almost exactly. I put things back where they belonged, magnets were good.

    At the moment, it seems like the starter spins fine but it may be drawing a lot of current, not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    Do an equalize charge on the Odyssey of 14.9v - 15v for at least 8-10 hours.
    Then test again. You will be surprised.
    I am betting that your "new" battery is not fully charged.
    The Motronic does not operate well below 9.5v
    The problem with AGM's is they want (and need) a higher charge voltage than 14.0v which is what Oilhead alternators typically put out.
    I have seen this problem on a few bikes now.
    My solution on my own machine is I modified the voltage regulator to charge @ 14.7v years ago and never had any further issues.
    I love Odyssey batteries and recommend them. The catch is they must be periodically equalized (with a 5-10A charger) to maintain peak capacity in our application.
    This was all confirmed by one of the engineers at Odyssey when I had this problem myself. Their site has a lot of engineering data confirming the requirements.
    My machine (1150GS) always starts within 2 seconds.
    GS, Thanks. It seems like the condition came on slowly, not positive. After 16 hours my voltage is 12.93. So is this a situation where the internal resistance of the battery increases?

    I'm going to look into this. As good as the PC680 is if it takes this kind of coddling, I'm not sure it is worth it. RB

  8. #8
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    Starter or battery, which do you think?

    RB
    I'd get a 500A carbon pile load tester from Harbor Freight and do a load test on a fully charged battery. They're are on sale now and then (like right now) for $55. You won't have to guess the next time you have a battery or starting issue.

    The load test is a test of a battery's internal resistance.

    Also get a 200A shunt off eBay. Along with some cables and a multimeter with Max or Peak Hold, you can take a current draw measurement of your starter in action.

    Of course another way would be to use another battery on loan to you and not a car battery that has gobs more CCA which might overshadow a starter issue.

    Your alternator should be putting out 14.0 to 14.2V off idle.

  9. #9
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Valeo...

    Given the choice, I'd far prefer to be sitting in a Boeing than in an Airbus.

  10. #10
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Gsaddict pointed me to pc680 technical data. Apparently the odyssey batteries are supposed to be charged at a MINIMUM of 6/7 amps at 14.2-15.0 volts.

    I've looked through all my logs and the regulator never gets to 14.2 volts and is usually between 13.7 and 14.1. My charger, a battery tender jr., for trickle charge doesn't put out much current.

    After a day and a half of rest, the voltage is 12.9v that seems okay.

    With the headlight low beam on the voltage drops to and stays at 12.1 volts for 15 minutes.

    Could my continual charging of the battery for a year and a half at lower than spec have affected the battery such that it drops to 7v during starting?
    RB

  11. #11
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    Gsaddict pointed me to pc680 technical data. Apparently the odyssey batteries are supposed to be charged at a MINIMUM of 6/7 amps at 14.2-15.0 volts.

    I've looked through all my logs and the regulator never gets to 14.2 volts and is usually between 13.7 and 14.1. My charger, a battery tender jr., for trickle charge doesn't put out much current.

    After a day and a half of rest, the voltage is 12.9v that seems okay.

    With the headlight low beam on the voltage drops to and stays at 12.1 volts for 15 minutes.

    Could my continual charging of the battery for a year and a half at lower than spec have affected the battery such that it drops to 7v during starting?
    RB

    Yes, it can. Look up "recovery charge"
    Charge with a power supply that can supply 17.5v current limited to .05C (950 ma) for 24hrs.
    Discharge the battery
    Repeat recovery charge.
    Battery will be back to normal capacity.
    I have brought back a few that way now.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  12. #12
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    I've been looking at battery chargers. Where would I get the PS that would do the recovery charge?

    How did you alter your vreg to boost your alternators output?

  13. #13
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Here is a heartwarming thought from Odyssey:

    ODYSSEY batteries that have been operated over a prolonged period of time and have not routinely been charged back to near or full charge will have developed sulfated oxide and can be more difficult to recover. In some cases, if the sulfation condition is well developed especially over time, it may not be possible to achieve full capacity. This condition is not a warrantable claim as it is not the result of a factory manufacturing defect but abuse or neglect in the application.

    Sounds like mine ...

  14. #14
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    I've been looking at battery chargers. Where would I get the PS that would do the recovery charge?

    How did you alter your vreg to boost your alternators output?
    1) Any variable DC power supply that can be set to 17+ volts will do the job. Then use a LM 317 v regulator configured in current limit mode to .950A
    I originally went thru this process with a PC680 @ 52% capacity. I managed to get it back to over 85% by recovery charging and then discharging at capacity.
    3 of those did it.
    2) You will need to pull the alternator and remove the regulator.
    http://s583.photobucket.com/user/GSA...art=all&page=1

    Note: if you use a trickle charger that is not set for AGM batteries there is a good chance that you will cause sulfation by floating at too low a voltage.
    The engineer at Odyssey informed me of this originally. He said that disconnecting the battery over long periods of non use (per instructions that come with the battery) is far better that leaving on a trickle charger especially if the float voltage is too low. His recommendation for a correct float voltage is 13.85v

    You are welcome to phone me to discuss further if you wish.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  15. #15
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    GSA, I don't have an account with them so I haven't looked at the picture yet. Will do soon. Will give you a call this week.

    Today
    Since I couldn't do much today I ran a quick test to see what was being effected by the low battery voltage during cranking (maybe everything), leading to the slow lean first start of the day.

    I powered the Motronic and circuits from a second battery, but not the pump and injectors. Same slow, lean first start.

    Since I previously measured the fuel pressure during starting, I think I've narrowed it down to the injectors and fuel pump which are being affected by voltage. I will power separately tomorrow. My money is on the injectors ... now ... low voltage will make the open slower and squirt less fuel.

    As to battery or starter as the voltage dip culprit, I didn't make much progress today but got many good inputs on the PC680 charging requirements.
    RB

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