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Discussion Starter #1
I am working on a sportsman that is giving me electrical issues. The battery was 11.4VDC upon initial measurement and took a few days to charge on my trickle charger (this in itself seem like an issue). The story I got was that it'll start (when semi-charged) but then the lights die, a dash light comes on, then the display drops out, then a check engine light comes on, however power steering was never lost. I will start and measure the battery once running tonight to see if it the voltage is higher when running but after that I am a little unsure where to go next as far as a diagnostic procedure. If the voltage does not go up when running, is it best to look at the stator or voltage regulator? I have been reading forums and a lot of guys having the power steering go out so do I have a different issue?

One thing to note, the owner does zero maintenance and does not keep the battery on a tender so he juiced the battery enough to get it running but the the above issues would start almost immediately. Tonight I plan to run it around (now that the battery is charged) and see if I can replicate the issue now that the battery is charged. Oh, I will load test it before riding as well.

Any info is greatly appreciated.
 

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IT's possible the battery is damaged from sitting discharged - it might still need a new battery even if the charging system is working
 

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have to start with a fully functioning battery!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Battery is good and load test was 11.6 min. Left the fluke connected and it never went above 12.4 so it’s not charging it appears. Idled it and revved it for a bit and still no change in voltage. Turned hand warmers and high beams on and let it run for 10 min. Beat it around the house for 20 more min. Left it running and measured 12.5. Turned it off and battery was 12.6.

Any advice? Going to watch you tube later.
 

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Battery voltage increased - that indicates it is charging, but perhaps not charging well - start by checking the no load output AC voltage of the stator (3 wires of the same color at the rec/reg) - unplug the stator from the rec/reg and check between any pair of the wires - should get 30 to 95 volts or more between 2500 and 5000 RPM

Next, test under load - connect the stator to the rec/reg and measure the AC output - let know what you measure at approx. 2500 and 5000
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Stator measures below 1 ohm between all phases and OL to ground. Measured about 31 volts at idle and jumped to 60s and up when throttled. The regulator measures 8.96 at idle and revved so that's the culprit I assume.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How would I measure that? It looks like the 3 stator wires go from the plug to the rectifier/regulator "block" and then out to charge the battery. It doesn't look like I can get a meter in there to measure anything? I have not removed it so maybe there is something underneath I didn't look for?
 

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You have to pierce the insulation to get to the wires (I have meter leads with needle probes) or back probe the connector where the wires enter
 

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I can do that. Say nothing changes, is that it then, the regulator? What if voltages changes however, it would seem that it would be the plug or the regulator still wouldn't it? The plug was real clean and had the dielectric grease still in it so it appeared ok... Sorry buddy, just trying to understand vs just doing things blindly...
 

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The stator windings can short between the individual wraps of wire - with no load the output voltage is near normal, but when current starts to flow, the current takes the shortest path bypassing the entire length of wire wrapped around each pole. Also and less common, the wire of the winding can crack (break). When the winding shorts, it will generate voltage (potential), but when the current starts to flow, it takes the shortest path which decreases the amount of current generated and the voltage drops. I've see stators that tested good unhooked (no load), but when connected the voltage drops to 5 volts. Can't charge a 12 volt battery with 5 volts. One phase might be 30 volts, one 9 and the other 2. It will charge, but that's all, turn on the lights or anything else and the battery discharges faster than it charges. In the case of a cracked wire in the pole windings, it may touch when no current is flowing and generate voltage, but as soon as current starts to flow, the crack stops current flow and the voltage can drop to zero or other very low voltage. That's why I always test both open and closed circuit. If any winding is shorted to ground, then no further testing is necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I should have figured the above out, this is the same process for testing current or voltage transformers I just didn't make the connection. That being said, I was able to get my probes into the back side of the plug and all my measurements remained the same (30VAC phase to phase and revving was upper 80sVAC phase to phase) as when it was unplugged so it appears that the stator is still good. So, is there anything left to check out now?

And thank you for the repeated help, it does not go unnoticed and is very appreciated latebird.
 
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