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Can a overheating cause a stator to burn out on a motorcycle and would the damaged stator then kill the regulator?

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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To test your regulator, first charge your battery to full charge. You'll need a DVOM (digital volt ohm meter). Connect the DVOM "across" the battery by connecting the red meter lead to the positive post of the battery and the black meter lead to the negative post of the battery. Put the meter's function selector switch in DC VOLTS, 50 VOLT RANGE. Start the engine and bring it to a high idle. After about a minute or so, you're meter should read between 14.5 and 15.0 volts. If not, proceed to the next step.

If you are not getting the correct voltage to keep your battery charged, you need to check the output of the stator. Look on the front of the engine near the end of the oil filter and you'll see the plug from your voltage regulator plugged up there. Unplug the plug and look down into the engine side of the plug and you'll see two metal contacts. This is where we are going to test the output of you alternator. First, put your meter's function switch to AC VOLTAGE, 50 VOLT RANGE. Notice that we are testing for AC voltage as opposed to DC like we did last in the last test. This means it doesn't make any difference which meter lead goes to which contacts. Start the engine and put one of the meter's probes on each of the metal contacts. Make sure you do not touch the meter probe to each other or to the engine case. Bring the engine to a high idle and your meter should read at least 30 volts AC voltage.

If you do not have the 30 volts AC at the engine, your stator is bad. If you do have at least thirty volts at the alternator but less than 13.0 volts at the battery, your regulator is bad. Make sure your regulator is properly grounded where it bolts to the frame. I usually put one of those "star lockwashers" between the regulator and the frame on both bolts to make sure I've got a good ground. If the regulator is not grounded properly, it won't work.

Good Luck

Posted on Mar 03, 2011

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1 Answer

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Hi, Rudy and the usual suspects are:
1. Excessive electrical "HEAT" aka "AMPERAGE" melts the varnish
insulation causing the coils to short out.
2. Overheating due to a faulty voltage regulator.
3. Voltage regulator not properly grounded.
4. Loose rotor magnets or stator bolts.
5. Faulty starter relay.
6. Old battery dead cell loose or corroded cables.
7. Faulty wiring in the charging circuit.
8. Excessive wattage in a batteryless system.
9. Aftermarket parts are usually substandard.
10. Headlight not designed for a motorcycle system.
Some bikes have charging systems that get the job done but just barely and will have the most failures, you can upgrade the system with quality parts and a higher output. Relocating the voltage regulator to a spot more conducive to air flow will help immensely. Regular wiring system checks for corrosion chaffed wires, rerouting harnesses that run too close to heat sources ie. cylinders-exhaust etc. is great preventive maintenance to avoid those breakdowns in the middle of nowhere at 2 in the morning.
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Hi Jesse, if your battery is being drained that quick you either have a hard short or bad stator, rotor, and or voltage regulator. Good luck and have a nice day.

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The stator/generator kicks out a various power supply usually above 12 volts, a regulator keeps the power to approx. 12 volts so your bulbs & other electrical components to not receive too much power that can blow the bulbs and burn out other expensive electrical parts or even cause batteries to explode, and in the worst case cause the motorcycle to catch fire, I hope that helps you out !?

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Nothing lasts forever, but most EVO voltage regulator problems start when the regulator comes partially unplugged from the stator at the engine case. When partially unplugged, the AC voltage from the stator will arc to the pins at the regulator connection, causing the pins to burn away. This can fry the regulator and cause the battery not to charge. Just regularly make sure the regulator stays plugged to the stator and you should have miles of troublefree riding.
I own a '91 bagger I bought new. I've only replaced 2 regulators on this bike, and both were because they came partially unplugged from the stator.

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1986 flhtc not charging. which of the stator holes is positive and negative for testing?

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Problem with Voltage Regulator. The original regulator went bad and fried a few batteries. I replaced the regulator and now 5 months down the road it's overcharging and frying batteris again. I went on...

ofcourse sir , this all happens when regulater get shorted and gives over charging may harms battery thing more when you continue your ride on short regulator its starts buring ur inner down stator better replace both things ..i mean rectifier regulator and stator coil...

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My 2001 triumph eats voltage regulators.Why? I have had the alternator rebuilt.

Stator needs to be replaced, never heard of any being rebuilt . i'm not saying you can't . Just don't
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Hi and welcome to FixYa,

No charge to the battery could be caused by:
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  • faulty rectifier / regulator combo (likely);
  • faulty stator (least likely).

To determine which, initially visually inspect the wiring and its connectors from the stator to the rectifier/regulator combo. Thereafter, a DVM/VOM is required to measure the AC voltage output of the stator (~30VAC), the DC voltage output of the regulator (~14.5VDC @ 4000RPM) and engine off battery voltage of ~12.5VDC. It maybe to your advantage to have the battery load tested as well.

Good luck and thank you for asking FixYa.

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