Question about 2002 Harley Davidson FXD Dyna Super Glide

2 Answers

Harley Davidson battery went dead after riding 20 miles during the day. I rode my Harley Dyna Super Glide (2002) about 10 miles, made a stop and then rode 10 miles back. I stopped to get gas about 1 mile from home and when I went to start the engine the battery didn't have enough power to crank the engine. I push started it to get it to get it running to get it home. When I got home the battery was just a little over 11v. I hooked a trickle charger to it for a day and the battery is at 13.4 volts now. The connections to the battery are all tight and clean. I didn't get any red battery light on when riding, even after push starting so this makes me think the electrical system is putting out enough power but then why would the battery not charge when I was riding but would charge the battery off the trickle charger? Thanks for any replys. Philip

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  • moffett8 Jul 13, 2009

    This is a 2002 Dyna Super Glide. It has a separate voltage regulator. I replaced that last year when I bought it. The guy I got it from aparently changed the oil and let the oil run into the power connector for the voltage regulator and it must have shorted it out.
    I have a multimeter where should I take a reading from to see what the volts are when the bike is running. I haven't as yet got a red light when running so it makes me think the voltage regulator and alternator are ok. Last year when I replaced the voltage regulator the like came on.

  • moffett8 Jul 13, 2009

    I don't have a load tester or a hydrometer, Battery is sealed so probably wouldn't help to have a hydrometer. Shouldn't the voltage be able to tell the same as the hydrometer. I'll try to check the voltage with the bike running. If the alternator was bad wouldn't the bikes red lite be on when it was running?

  • moffett8 Jul 13, 2009

    It's been over a year since I replaced the voltage regulator. The bad one wouldn't allow the alternator to put out any power. As soon as the battery ran out of juice the bike quit. The past year since I replace the voltage regulator the bike has ran good. Followup question. Could it be possible there is a problem with a ground some where. Under the seat the ground wire looks good and tight. Maybe some where else the ground is loose. Where could I look for a look ground? Harleys vibrate allot as you probably know.

  • moffett8 Jul 14, 2009

    WOW, I think I found the problem. Seems there is a service bulletin on other model Harleys but not on the 2002 Dyna Super Glide as far as I know but the problem is the same. Oil from the gear box follows the wire from the stator into the external connector to the voltage regulator. Once the connector fills with oil the voltage regulator shorts out and the battery stops being charged. You would think Harley would have it's dealers tell customers about this when they bring the motorcycle in for service. It's a simple fix. Just relocate to connector to a higher and vertical orientation before it destroys the voltage regulator.

  • moffett8 Jul 17, 2009

    Well I thought that replacing the voltage regulator would fix the problem since the same thing created the problem as last time. Oil in the connector for the voltage regulator. The bike stars easy. The battery was about 12.74v, when I start the bike the voltage drops to to around 12.39 when running. If I rev the engine a little it goes up about .04 more volts but still below the voltage before starting the engine. Someone said to unhook the ground from the battery when the engine was running to see if the voltage went up....I tried this and the motor died right away. Don't know if this works on a Harley. At this point I don't know if I have a bad voltage regulator or if the one I ordered is bad or if I need to look at getting a stator for it.

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  • Master
  • 5,660 Answers

1.What?

2.What?
You charged the battery off of the battery charger with a trickle charge. The battery wouldn't charge while you're riding, because your alternator took a cr@p.
(Sorry if I seem gruff, but I'm an old biker, and Harleys are all I ride. I'm also a Harley mechanic.
Shhhh! I don't want that to get around! lol!)

3.Battery is at 13.4 volts now? What is the specific gravity of the acid in each cell? Don't have a hydrometer? Do you have a load tester? No? Since you measured the voltage, do you have a multimeter?

Test the voltage with the bike running. It should be around 14.6 volts when charging, less with the battery fully charged.
Don't get the correct reading, then you better look at alternator replacement. (Regulator is built in)

Posted on Jul 13, 2009

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Jul 13, 2009

    The specific gravity test of a battery cell, is the most exact measurement
    of a batteries condition. A load test is second best, and a voltage test is
    basic.

    Battery is sealed? Yeah, time for me to come up to snuff here! I pop open sealed batteries that just have the large square covers, but you can't with
    the newer sealed batteries. Take it to an auto parts store, and have them do a load test. Shouldn't charge you for it, or it shouldn't be much.

    Separate regulator? Was defunct from oil spillage? Did this in turn put a load on the alternator? Without a voltage regulator running correctly in the
    system, the alternator can put out as much as 100 volts, or more. This
    will heat up the copper windings of the stator. Could melt through the coating of those windings, where ->Eventually two windings can rub against each other, and short out. That sounds like I'm 'reaching' here, but I've seen weirder things happen!

    Where to connect the voltmeter? Black probe to a non-painted surface of the frame, Red probe to the Positive lug of the battery.

    Make sure the battery cables are in good condition. In the past I have pulled my hair overlooking this simple thing. It's the simple things that will get you!
    lol! (Bike won't start. Hmmm, no fuel. Must be a problem with the carburetor, or fuel injection system. Hours later, IT WAS NO GAS! lol!)


  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Jul 13, 2009

    The frame is the main ground source. All ground connections are connected to it. The engine needs to be grounded. What is the voltage output of the alternator?
    Start here.




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  • Harley Davidson Master
  • 3,506 Answers

You probably have an AGM battery which is the best available at this time. If the battery is going dead while you are riding you are using more current than is being replaced by the charging system so while your charging system may be providing the specified current, still you are using more than it will replace. If you replaced the regulator it is likely good but who knows, in 2013 HD had a recall because regulators were defective from the date of manufacture. You can get information from an HD dealer to see if the serial number and model number you have is in the bad range or not. Check the charging voltage by placing a voltmeter's leads on the most positive and the most negative parts of the system which will be the battery posts. DO not use the battery cable ends because you want to know how much voltage is reaching the battery and even slightly corroded/loose connections will reduce the event at the battery itself. So, while putting the battery leads on the positive and the ground (frame etc.) will give you a good indication of charging system and connection condition if you have a reading of about 14 VDC to 15 VDC (maximum allowable in the system), it won't tell you what the battery is getting. This because the wire from the regulator to the battery hits the battery post connection before the battery post itself and reading the frame etc ground will also be bypassing the actual battery post so you could be producing adequate voltage but the battery is not getting it. A very common charging system problem is a poor regulator ground so make very sure that this ground connection is good and clean and tight. Add a new or extra one if need be. Check by using an ohmmeter with one lead on a known good ground, such as the battery ground cable, and the other on the regulator base. Your battery may be weak/poor also and although you will get a full surface charge it may not be able to accept enough of a charge from the charging system while it is running and quick charging at a charge from the charging system if the battery is somewhat sulphated.

So, if you are not getting the proper charging rates the one possibility is that the connection where the alternator stator wires plug into the regulator could be corroded/dirty and need to be cleaned and sprayed with electrical contact cleaner and protected with dielectric grease because corroded wires going to the battery or alternator from the stator or the regulator will affect the ability of the charging system to properly charge a battery. If you leaked oil into the connections, it would tend to insulate and protect the contacts/connections and would not short them out or corrode them like water would, therefore the use of (dialectic) grease on any connectors that need to be protected from moisture. Of course motorcycle oil that has been used for an extended period or number of times without getting up to operating temperature may have a high level of absorbed water vapor but while this will damage/corrode internal engine parts it is unlikely that it would short out electrical contacts.

If you need to check your charging system there are two tests you can do, number one is stator integrity and is done as follows:

To check the STATOR. Turn ignition key switch OFF, then disconnect the voltage regulator connector from alternator stator wiring. THEN connect an ohmmeter set on the RX1 scale with one lead into either of the stator sockets and the other lead to a good ground. And test for continuity - a good stator will show no continuity (0 ohms) across either stator socket - any other reading indicates a grounded stator which must be replaced. THEN remove the ground lead and insert lead it into the other stator socket - the resistance (with ohmmeter still set on the RX1 scale) should be 0.1-0.2 ohms - if the resistance is lower a stator short is indicated. Which means that the stator is damaged and must be replaced. - if the resistance is higher (OL on meter), an open is indicated and again, the stator is damaged and must be replaced. You should check socket 1 to 2 then 1 to 3 then 2 to 3. (If you only had a two wire stator you would check between wires/sockets 1 and 2).


Before testing short out the ohmmeter leads against each other and if they do not produce a reading of 0 ohms subtract the reading you do get from any readings you get doing the stator checks in order to get accurate stator circuit readings, otherwise you may have out of range reading due to the internal and/or lead resistance of the ohmmeter.
The second is an AC output test which must be done VERY CAREFULLY as the AC voltage that is produced is quite enough to kill you. All alternators ONLY produce AC current which must be rectified to DC by the dual purpose voltage regulator/rectifier.

AC Output Check

Disconnect the voltage regulator connector from the alternator stator wiring and then connect an AC voltmeter across both stator sockets of a two wire stator, or if a three wire stator across two of the three for example 1 & 3 and then later you will repeat the test between 2 & 3 and later between 1 & 2. THEN run he engine at as close as possible in the circumstances to 2000 RPM. The AC output should be approximately 32-40 volts AC, approximately 16-20 VAC per 1000 RPM. If you have done a stator static test and the stator has proven to be in good mechanical condition and the AC output is below specifications, the charging problem is going to be a faulty rotor. If you have not done a static stator check yet and the AC output is less than as set out above it may be that the stator is defective and the static stator check will need to be done. While the regulator has nothing whatsoever to do with the alternator output, if the alternator output is good the regulator might be defective in either rectification or in limiting the output to the battery to under 15 volts. If AV output is low and the stator has passed the static stator check then it is likely that the permanent magnets in the alternator rotor are weak. A permanent magnet can lose its magnetic strength if it is dropped or shocked such as letting it snap into place when being installed or possibly by use of an impact wrench to remove the compensator fastener etc.

Current and Voltage Output Test

This test requires a load tester. As it appears that many shops/techs do not understand electricity and as they are relatively expensive testers many shops do not even have one. If you have one connect the negative and positive leads to the battery terminals, place the load tester induction pickup over the positive regulator cable and run the engine at 3000 RPM, increasing the load until a constant voltage reading of 13.0 VDC is obtained. At this point the current output should be 26 to 32 AMPS. Make a note of this reading as it will be used if a TOTAL CURRENT DRAW TEST will also be done. (A rider's riding habits, i.e. rpm of the engine while usual riding is being done which could be significantly lower than 3000 RPM.)

CAUTION

Do not under any circumstances leave any load switch turned on for more than 20 seconds or overheating and tester damage are quite likely to occur.


Posted on Sep 08, 2014

  • jfhinton45 Sep 08, 2014

    Where it says AV it should say AC and the part about rider's habits should also have indicated that the actaul AC output while riding maybe lower if the rider is riding cosnstantly at and RPM range lower than 3000 RPM, so if there is a charging problem it could also be related to a rider riding with the bike in too hoig a gear for the speed of the bike i.e. too low and rpm for the alternator to function properly.

  • jfhinton45 Sep 09, 2014

    Of course all of these speling mistakes must be gotten over (and blamed on the computer, keyboard etc) lol and hopefully everyone will know that for e.g. hoig = high and = an double lol

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