Voltage drop at idle? - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Voltage drop at idle? More help needed!

For months I've had strange problems, I first had my battery light come on while riding, headlights dim, gauges go haywire, but I jiggle the ignition or turn it off/on it will return to normal. I've also noticed my voltage is good while riding 14 on the dummy gauge, but at a long light its starts to drop to as low as 7. Both problems seem to have the bike running off of the battery only.

Last night I put a battery tender on for a full charge of 12.8 this morning, I started the bike it dropped to 10.8 so the battery seems in good order. I also checked the stator for continuity and all was well, then I fired the bike and got 20.5 volts out of each phase at a cold idle or about 1100 rpms. I check battery to frame grounds, all good.

I think it's the voltage regulator, how do you feel about this and did I miss anything?

Sincerely, Tim
2007 FLTR

Last edited by Biggy; 07-30-2014 at 08:44 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 01:06 PM
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Voltage regulator and or stator. Had the same issue but it would drop to around 10 at a long light and the battery light would come on. The connector between the voltage regulator and stator has a burned pin. The dealer replaced both under warranty and it is fixed the problem so far. Probably been about 3000 miles since then. +

We'll see how long it lasts.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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I did check the pins on both plugs and the all seem to be clean with no damage, I did spray them out with electrical cleaner.

Sincerely, Tim
2007 FLTR
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggy View Post
I did check the pins on both plugs and the all seem to be clean with no damage, I did spray them out with electrical cleaner.
When the regulator goes bad, the pins don't really matter, you wont see the problem. Reading your post, I'd highly suspect the regulator, it can be intermittent for a while before it goes, problem with waiting to long is that it can take the stator and battery with it.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'm going to pick one up tonight, $217 fidy.

I did check the stator voltage at 2000 rpm, and got 32 volts from each pair. My daughter showed up for a free lunch so I got her to hold the throttle for me.

Sincerely, Tim
2007 FLTR
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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The voltage regulator did the trick, the bike charges at 13.89 via the Thundermax software gauges.

Sincerely, Tim
2007 FLTR
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well guess what, the voltage regulator helped but didn't fix the problem. The bike was fine last night on a 5 mile ride, but to today after 45 miles and a nice hot motor the voltage started dropping on the dummy gauge when the bike idles. The latest Thundermax map has a somewhat low idle of 896 rpm and the voltage drops to 12 volts but stays around 13.5 at 1100 rpm which is near the cold start rpm. The engine speed shouldn't matter too much and the bike should charge at constant 13.85 from what I've been told.

I hate to install a stator then find out I needed a battery, my budget doesn't allow for trial and error and with all the testing I did I thought I had it figured out when I bought the voltage regulator.


Any thoughts or comments are welcomed.

Sincerely, Tim
2007 FLTR

Last edited by Biggy; 07-30-2014 at 08:46 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 09:02 PM
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I'd ride it a couple days and see if it stabilizes, with the sour regulator your battery was undercharged. My PowerVision read the battery voltage at 14.1 pretty much any time the engine is above 12-1500 rpm, and will often drop a fair amount below 1000 rpm.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Well I don't want to trash my new VR, plus today I noticed it's fine a cold idle or a hot idle, the voltage doesn't drop until I put a load on the system, like braking etc. I'm always slow to figure out all the details. Also I have charged the battery to full several times so I'm worried I'll trash my battery or new VR if I wait to long.

B4 the new the voltage dropped to 7v, new VR drops to 12v, so something is still wrong. I'll let you know if a new stator is the fix.

Sincerely, Tim
2007 FLTR
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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I pulled the primary today and the first thing I noticed was the smell of the oil and how dirty it was, it was only in there for 1,700 miles but it had a ton of sediment. I put in a new stator and a new primary chain tensioner and this time it looks like I'm good to ride. I'll need to keep an eye on the battery but after a long test drive there are no more voltage problems and the bike charges at a perfect 13.85.

I hope all my mistakes help someone down the road.


Update: I did replace the battery the next day, after seeing the specs from HD it needed a new one. After a week or so of riding I can say all is well and each item I replaced had failed and needed to be replaced. My advise would be to stick with HD AGM batteries because this charging system is somewhat sensitive and requires higher voltage from the battery and in my opinion the competition I used just failed to meet the mark.

Stator specs: 16 to 20 ACv at 1,000 rpm, this number should double every 1,000 rpm. Stinky primary oil with sediment might show the need for a new stator.

Voltage regulator: there is no good way to test this item but cracks, holes, or burns on the underside could be signs of a bad VR.

HD Battery specs:
12.7v = 100% charge
12.6v = 75%
12.3v = 50%
12.0v = 25%
11.8v = 0

Link to HD battery guide

Sincerely, Tim
2007 FLTR

Last edited by Biggy; 08-12-2014 at 03:52 PM.
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