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RossR

A dirty fuel filter is a common cause for a voltage regulator to fail on a fuel-injected bike ?????

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" A dirty fuel filter is a common cause for a voltage regulator to fail on a fuel-injected bike. "

 

I found this quoted on the Powerlet website and thought that it would be interesting to hear people's opinions on it given that the R/R is the the main area of sudden failure on the otherwise indestructible VFR's.

 

Scroll down to 

Table 4

" What if I don't have enough power?"  #3

 

http://www.powerlet.com/learningCenter/excessCapacity

 

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If the RRs purpose is to take the excess voltage and turn it into heat, wouldn't the extra draw be more taxing on the stator than the RR? Or is that an over simplified description of what the RR does? My understanding is that the more you draw from the stator, the less the RR has to work but I don't know where the crossover point is. Meaning, at 'x' volts or amps, the RR will n longer be shunting power and the stator will be passing it all to the draw on the system. Of course, if needs to draw more than the RR is meant to shunt, maybe that's where the failure comes into play?

 

All that being said, it is also my understanding that it is not so much the RR itself but a combination of RR type and the wiring/connectors that were used that creates the problem we are plagued with. i.e. A perfect storm.

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I am an absolute neophyte when it comes to these issues so I can't make any useful comment.

 

Powerlet's rationale is that: " A dirty fuel filter can cause the fuel pump to use 120 watts, 60 more than normal. A dirty fuel filter is a common cause for a voltage regulator to fail on a fuel-injected bike."

As they do make very high quality accessory wiring products I presume that they know what they talking about, and found it interesting that they would say this as I have never seen it mentioned before.

 

Also, I very rarely hear of fuel filters needing to be changed nowadays on bikes and cars, so presumably our gasoline is pretty clean, and only a contaminated fuel tank would clog a filter.

 

Duc2V4, I think that you are absolutely right about it being a combination of events, and I would cautiously add that overheating of the R/R may also be a factor on bikes with side radiators and the R/R placed behind a radiator. 

 

The intriguing thing is that not every R/R burns out early in the life of the bike. My bike (99) which I just bought last Fall has about 67,000 kilometres on it and has had no R/R problems to the best of my knowledge. It has absolutely no accessories on it.  It would be interesting to know how many of the bikes with R/R's that have failed were heavily accessorized, especially with Heating apparel.

 

Also, I have read about cases of R/R failure even after upgrading to Ricks R/R and an upgraded wire harness, so what caused the failure here.  I think that the appropriate Shingden R/R is what most people end up being happy with.

 

Perhaps Tightwad could give us his opinion on this?

 

 

 

 

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i don't believe it !

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My first fifth gen's R/R and stator burned up at approximately 75,000 miles.

 

No accessories installed.

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This is my kind of discussion. 

 

When you starve a pump of fluid e.g. by restricting the inlet or the outlet, you reduce the power consumption. Put simply, a pump is converting rotation into flow, if there is no liquid in the pump, or it is full but can't escape, less energy is consumed. On that basis I think this argument falls over at the first hurdle.

 

RR's fail when the diodes in them die as a result of the heat that they endure in normal operation. I think that can happen all on it's own (irrespective of the load), or as a result of the stator or the connector failing and shorting. We've all seen/experienced the heating/melting of the connector, to me that is the more probable Achilles' heel of the VFR charging system, although a cheap and nasty RR is probably a close second.

 

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11 hours ago, squirrelman said:

i don't believe it !

 

Me to. Never heard of an R/R fail that could be directly attributed to a dirty fuel filter! Suspect the small windings within the fuel pump would burn out long before it could effect the load capability of the R/R, might be a different in a short situation, however apart from the bike stopping instantly the Fuel Pump fuse would be taken out very quickly. Agree with Terry, generally reducing flow through a pump lowers current draw as the work load on the pump is lowered.

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13 hours ago, Terry said:

This is my kind of discussion. 

 

When you starve a pump of fluid e.g. by restricting the inlet or the outlet, you reduce the power consumption. Put simply, a pump is converting rotation into flow, if there is no liquid in the pump, or it is full but can't escape, less energy is consumed. On that basis I think this argument falls over at the first hurdle.

 

RR's fail when the diodes in them die as a result of the heat that they endure in normal operation. I think that can happen all on it's own (irrespective of the load), or as a result of the stator or the connector failing and shorting. We've all seen/experienced the heating/melting of the connector, to me that is the more probable Achilles' heel of the VFR charging system, although a cheap and nasty RR is probably a close second.

 

Terry, I think that you hit the nail on the head. Heat, low quality wiring and ground connections and a poor quality R/R all in combination or on their own lead to failure.

I have a 1996 Mazda MX-6 V-6which regularly burns out the ignition module that is contained in the distributor. (about $1000 for a new Mazda distributor as Mazda will not sell you the ignition module on it's own, and has made it really difficult to remove the module from the distributor). Most MX-6 enthusiasts attribute this failure to excessive heat in the engine compartment burning out the module.

 

It would be nice if companies like Powerlet actually provided us with evidence when they make such bold statements.

 

Just another example of the need to be cautious about what one reads when there is no solid evidence to back up the statement.

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On 6/9/2018 at 4:23 AM, RossR said:

Terry, I think that you hit the nail on the head. Heat, low quality wiring and ground connections and a poor quality R/R all in combination or on their own lead to failure.

I have a 1996 Mazda MX-6 V-6which regularly burns out the ignition module that is contained in the distributor. (about $1000 for a new Mazda distributor as Mazda will not sell you the ignition module on it's own, and has made it really difficult to remove the module from the distributor). Most MX-6 enthusiasts attribute this failure to excessive heat in the engine compartment burning out the module.

 

It would be nice if companies like Powerlet actually provided us with evidence when they make such bold statements.

 

Just another example of the need to be cautious about what one reads when there is no solid evidence to back up the statement.

I thought the Powerlet comments looked to be written by the sales/marketing department, rather than the technical group...

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I read through the link in the 1st post just because I was curious what their solution might be since they don't sell regulators. Skimming through it, the only mention of the regulator is in that sentence. 

Quote
  1. Replace standard lights with low power LED lighting (where possible).
  2. Add a circuit that automatically turns the low beam off when the high beam is activated.
  3. A dirty fuel filter can cause the fuel pump to use 120 watts, 60 more than normal. A dirty fuel filter is a common cause for a voltage regulator to fail on a fuel-injected bike

So that's basically backwards to what we've been discussing elsewhere on Reg/Rec failures for years now. Makes sense for batteries (What they are selling) but the R/R does less "work" the more power is required by the electrical system. 

Bottom line is that they are Selling Batteries! I got nothing wrong with that, people seem to like their batteries and chargers, but they don't seem qualified to speak on rectifiers. The main point of the page on their site is to pick the right size battery, and they are talking about having too many accessories on and leaving the charging system in discharge. That would leave the R/R "wide open" and not trying to loose any excess power.

I think it was mentioned earlier in the thread, but the pump just pumps. There is a fuel pressure regulator at the other end and a return line for any excess. It's already over-pressurizing the system to ensure a steady pressure at the rail for the injectors. Back in the carb'ed days, I believe the tank was gravity feeding the inline pump, which did in fact alter the pump pressure to the carb float bowls based on fueling requirements. (Is that a thing, or did I make it up???...LOL I think that's how they worked.)

P.S. To the OP, a RIck's R/R is most assuredly NOT an upgrade. And I continue to believe that adding more connectors to the charging system is similarly not an upgrade. The OE Honda style connectors fail at a much higher rate than the actual electronics. 

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Ken, I don't think that they sell batteries. Powerlet is simply a made up name for a DIN ISO 4165 Plug, (sometimes called a Hella or Bosch plug) which I am told is quite common in certain heavy farm machinery and RV's and boats as it is very water resistant.   Powerlet seems to have built their business on selling this connector under the Powerlet name, and they sell a huge range of cables and connectors that connect to the Powerlet connector for accessorizing. They also used to sell heated clothing which they is now on closeout. Hence the page that I linked to, which is on Calculating Excess Capacity when using a lot of accessories.

 

I was suspicious about the validity of their statement on the fuel pump, but knowing little to nothing about electrics I thought that comments from the Forum would be interesting. I think, at this point we can safely say that it is inaccurate unless proven otherwise by an auto/motorcycle electrician.

 

I personally plan to open, check and clean every connector on my wiring harness just to be on the safe side. Based on all the R/R failure posts on this forum grounding and poor connections seem like the first place to start for prevention.

 

Regarding Ricks' R/R, yes, I did surmise from posters experiences that it is definitely not as reliable as the Shindengen MOSFET FH020AA R/R.

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