Dead VFR

Discussion in '6th Generation 2002-2013' started by bayrider, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. bayrider

    bayrider New Member

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    Hey Guys!

    Hell of a first post to make. Need some help here to see if my issue is just a dead battery or something much worse. Any advice is appreciated.

    The bike: New to me 6th gen ABS. 62k miles. I just put Michelin Road 5's on and had the brakes redone. Laser Exhaust, Power Commander 3.

    Background: With new tires, I was excited to scrub them in and ride the bejeesus out of the machine. Cue a 400 mile weekend. On my trip back, things started slowly going awry. The left lowbeam bulb went out on the 20 mile trip back. Then disaster struck about 10 miles later. While stopped at a light in first gear with the engine running, I heard a pop and the engine cut out.

    After pulling over and trying to restart (including checking the killswitch) here is what I noticed:
    1. I made several attempts to restart the bike, cycling the main key, kill switch, kick stand, gear, and clutch configuration
    2. The bike was at around 220 degrees, cycling the ignition on and off did NOT turn on the fans which should've been there.
    3. The fuel pump WAS priming when the killswitch was set on
    4. The starter motor did not turn over at all when the switch was pressed.
    5. I was unsuccessful in bump starting the bike.
    6. When pressing the starter switch over the 5 minutes spent, the dashboard began to dim severely, eventually to the point of shutting off. Eventually, depressing the starter button would cause the LCD display on the dashboard to flash and reset.
    7. The FI light was not on for an extended period of time.


    So the question is, do I just start with a new battery? Or do I get the R/R and stator too?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Sounds like the battery, in my experience these do fail when hot even though they worked perfectly when cold. Getting a jump off a car battery should put that to rest but if the battery has an internal short you may need to disconnect that from the circuit. However once you get things running you need to check over the charging system especially voltage across the battery when running, maybe you've got a failed RR that has cooked your battery?
     
  3. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Hello Bayrider and welcome to the MadHouse:Welcome:

    When you get a chance please post up in the "Introductions" part of the forum to say hi to the rest of the folks on here and tell us a bit about yourself and your VFR - photos are of course welcome. You may want to update your forum profile to include a city/state area (bay area San Francisco?) as you may find other forum members live nearby and may be able to offer more than online advice.

    Moving on - I think your posts marks the official start to the annual outbreak of VFR owners reporting charging system issues.

    Whilst I hope for your pockets sake it is just a battery issue - my gut feeling is you are just the latest in a long, long, long, line of VFR owners let down by the carp electrics fitted to these bikes.

    I feel it will not be long before you need to consult the following thread..

    https://vfrworld.com/threads/how-to-fix-common-regulator-stator-failures.39277/

    As you will see, this problem started with 5th Gen VFRs but exactly the same issues afflict 6th Gens too.

    Post #9 sets out the tests people need to carry out to work out what is wrong with their charging system. Indeed it has been quickly entitled "the drill" as it is so common that most VFR owners (and many other Honda model owners) are familiar with them. Please take note:

    The tests results are only valid if you start with a healthy fully charged battery, and you need to do them TWICE - once with the bike cold, and again straight after taking it for a 20 minute plus ride, as things may test OK when cold but diodes in the RR or insulation in the stator windings may only fail when they get hot.

    Good luck - Let us know how you get on.



    SkiMad
     
  4. bayrider

    bayrider New Member

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    Checked the RR and Stator wiring. some of it was exposed but didn't look to be in too bad of a shape. No melted connectors, etc.

    Put a new battery in and tried to fire her up.

    Engine cranked once but would NOT start.

    Lo and behold the main green fuse box started smoking. The 30A fuse was fine. The red connector started smoking up.

    I saw on a forum that this could be related the connector itself, but how do I fix the underlying issue beneath it?
     
  5. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Sorry more questions than answers at this stage but you clearly have an electrical issue - the cabling on these bikes is designed to carry the normal electrical loads without any smoking or overheating.

    Whilst the started circuit carries a lot of power - it should only do that briefly as it kicks the engine up to speed - it should not result in fuses getting hot.

    So the questions -
    What year is your 6th Gen?
    If applicable(pre 2006 models)Has it had the wiring recall done? Call a Honda dealer and ask them to check their records.
    When you fitted the new battery and attempted to start the bike - did you hear the fuel pump prime?
    Was the FI light constant or was it flashing - indicating a stored MIL code?

    It seems the starter and relay are operating correctly as you said it cranked over with a fresh battery.

    That points strongly to one or more element of the charging system has shorted out (Battery, RR, Stator, loom) and now results in a huge electrical drain passing through that fuse box as soon as the ignition on position is selected. My suspicion is the RR and Stator will need replacement - however to know for sure you really need to do the tests "the drill" which I referred to upthread.

    If you are not confident with a multi-meter - you can of course take the direct approach and check the stator by removing the cover and looking - if you encounter the acrid smell of burnt electrical windings or see blackened crispy sections on the stator then it will need replacing and quite probably the RR too as that seems to be the culprit which lets go first, and then causes collateral damage to other elements of the charging system. You will need a new stator cover gasket from Honda if you remove the stator cover. If you need a replacement stator - then fit OEM, if you need a replacement RR get a Shindengen (Roadstercycle.com) the Honda one is a liability

    Keep at it - just like many, many VFR owners before - you can resolve this.



    SkiMad
    Enjoying another fine spring day in the Alps - :Smow::Smow::Smow::Smow::Smow::Smow::Smow:
     
  6. bayrider

    bayrider New Member

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    Ding ding ding!! we have a winner. Massive current leakage with the battery plugged into the rectifier. Without, the current leakage is in spec according to the service manual.

    Stator is fine- resistance is reading around .5 to .6 ohms between pins and no continuity to ground.

    I'll check the rest of the harness by the headlight bulbs when I go replace them in tandem with the rectifier.

    Time to go get a Shindengen super kit! :D
     
  7. bayrider

    bayrider New Member

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    IT RUNS!!!!

    New R/R from Jack installed- had to route harness under the tank. Bike wouldn't turn over.

    Then i replaced the starter relay/fuse box with a spare one that I had..

    and she turned over!!! Never been happier to hear that sweet V4 sound.

    Good lord what an adventure. Out for a test ride-- going to do the drill with the stator tomorrow.
     
    PawnBoy and Thumbs like this.
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