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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my story in case this ever happens to you. My Boulevard just turned 60,000 miles of flawless riding and WHAM... dead! ALL electrical failed, speedo froze at 60 mph etc. Coasted to safe pull over spot and heavy "burned electrical" smell was in the air. Pulled the seat off and found main 30 amp fuse blown. A spare fuse is in a holder right next to it (thank you Suzuki) but first to find out what dead short would cause it to blow. Found voltage regulator / rectifier unit still smoking and burned a quarter sized hole in the back of the "black epoxy" stuff along with 2 wires melted in the harness. No warning at all...:eek:utcold: I'm replacing it with an aftermarket MOSFET type vice OEM.
 

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Glad to here you are ok.

It's possible the short problem is not limited to the regulator. But with some luck it might be. Sometimes vibration will rub thru a wire and cause a short. But regulators can overheat with time weaken and fail without a wiring or other short.

This guy claims his is better than OEM and comes with a one year guarantee (one year is ok for electrical parts) but with 60,000 miles the OEM if original seems to have lasted fairly well. If it is better you may well get 100,000 miles before it fails. With Electrical parts replacement parts often use improved technology.:wayhappy: My guess is the MOSFET part You will be using is such an improvement.

Buy New Regulator/Rectifier Suzuki VL800 C50 (03-ON)
 
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Is that oil in there or just burn marks? I guess Red could be right and it could just be that the rectifier was old, but I'd suspect a chafed wire somewhere. I hate electrical issues, their a serious pain to find the root cause. :blackeye:

Do update us on what you find.
 

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The old LC (forerunner to the C90) had a history of poor connections between the regulator and the stator...when they failed the same thing happened to them as to you, the fix was to replace the reg, check the 3 legs on the stator, and HARDWIRED the connections...

You were probably having voltage discharge problems long before the bike shut down,

I installed a inexpensive led voltage on this bike to give me a little warning..

There is more on the stator and reg histories over at the Delphi C90 forum.

Delphi Forums LoginÂ*-Â*Welcome! Please log in.

http://www.crowitis.com/images/VL1500_Charging_System_Wiring_Upgrades.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Findings, opinions and making up stuff

If this would have happened on a dark rainy night in the Northwest it could have been VERY bad. :scream: Luckily it was a fairly nice day with room to pull over. I can't imagine having all electrical go out at night, in the rain, doing 60 mph! To answer some questions, etc.

I've gone over every inch of the wire harness with no spots of chaffing. Suzuki appears to have put the anti-chaff sleeves or extra protection in all the right places as any potential wear areas are very well protected and show no signs of damage. :applause:

The location of this regulator/rectifier box however is terrible... it is behind the left side cover and then behind the fuse area where there is "dead air". There is no way this thing can be cooled by wind flow. My wife's Honda Shadow has the regulator/rectifier in plain sight on the left side in direct air flow, not buried inside near the shock absorber. Hopefully the new type I'm getting (that doesn't get hot) will last as it doesn't need cooling air flow.

The oil looking stuff is the goop from the melted black epoxy stuff and the two wires that melted the insulation off of them. :electrocute: Make note that this failure had the obvious electrical wire melt smell but also a very odd, almost like chemical weed killer smell too... I couldn't place the smell like anything I've smelled before. The white smoke gave it away though! Metric smoke too... letting the smoke out, that's always an expensive fix. :flame:

Further inspection shows the internals of the regulator/rectifier failed and shorted, which caused the power wires feeding it to melt, which eventually pulled more than 30 amps on the main fuse and blew it.

I've already designed an emergency lighting system using a standard off-the-shelf LED white fog light/driving light that mounts on the top right of the highway bar. It's the size of a golf ball and puts out enormous amounts of light. Wired directly off the battery (+) terminal with its own in-line fuse it bypasses ALL the other electrical system protected by the main 30 amp fuse this way. A small “electronic” relay type switch that gets power from “downstream” from the 30 amp main fuse keeps the emergency lighting circuit in the “open” position as long as there is power going across the 30 amp fuse, thus keeping the LED off. If the main fuse blows, the relay also loses power and automatically moves to the “closed” position (completing the electrical circuit to the LED light) and presto! LIGHT! If for some reason the main fuse blows on one of our dark and stormy nights, NOW I will have automatic emergency lighting to see to pull over.
Of course a simpler way would be to just have a matched pair of LED lights mounted on the highway bars that come off the battery directly and have a handlebar mounted switch to turn them on/off (for any use, not just emergency use)... but what fun would THAT be? :wink:
 

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I've already designed an emergency lighting system using a standard off-the-shelf LED white fog light/driving light that mounts on the top right of the highway bar. It's the size of a golf ball and puts out enormous amounts of light. Wired directly off the battery (+) terminal with its own in-line fuse it bypasses ALL the other electrical system protected by the main 30 amp fuse this way. A small “electronic” relay type switch that gets power from “downstream” from the 30 amp main fuse keeps the emergency lighting circuit in the “open” position as long as there is power going across the 30 amp fuse, thus keeping the LED off. If the main fuse blows, the relay also loses power and automatically moves to the “closed” position (completing the electrical circuit to the LED light) and presto! LIGHT! If for some reason the main fuse blows on one of our dark and stormy nights, NOW I will have automatic emergency lighting to see to pull over.
Of course a simpler way would be to just have a matched pair of LED lights mounted on the highway bars that come off the battery directly and have a handlebar mounted switch to turn them on/off (for any use, not just emergency use)... but what fun would THAT be? :wink:
I think that this is a great idea. If you had two mounted on the highway bars with the switch you would probably leave it on and kill the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update!

The new Rick's Motorsport voltage regulator/rectifier came in yesterday and was installed. Fired right up, 14.2 vdc charging... appears everything is back to normal. As "down time" goes without waste around here... while waiting for the part to come in I:

- Installed a new six fused fuse block assembly in the area of the tool pouch under the left side cover for adding accessories in the future (and for my emergency light system).

- Installed the emergency running light.

- Installed a combination "cigarette lighter" power type outlet/USB outlet on the handlebars (for GPS unit and MP3 player/charger port).

- Installed the same type combo outlet unit and SAE power plug just in front of the left side cover for my electric vest to plug into and charge intercom units while riding if needed.

- Installed the totally overkill Ear Cannon a.k.a. world's loudest air-horn (WOW!).

- Ran 2 wires under the tank/seat to the front neck cover and 2 wires to the rear trunk area for future power accessories.

- Installed a Speedo-DRO Speedometer Calibrator because mine has always been about 6-7 mph off (to do 60 mph by GPS speedo indicated 66-67 mph).

- Installed a bike mounted DVR HD video unit with front and rear cameras to record all the crazy stuff I see around here while riding. Already wear a Drift HD helmet cam.

- Detailed out places I haven't seen since 2006.



Back on the dark wet Pacific Northwest roads... hopefully this will be the last electrical issue.
 

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The new Rick's Motorsport voltage regulator/rectifier came in yesterday and was installed. Fired right up, 14.2 vdc charging... appears everything is back to normal. As "down time" goes without waste around here... while waiting for the part to come in I:

- Installed a new six fused fuse block assembly in the area of the tool pouch under the left side cover for adding accessories in the future (and for my emergency light system).

- Installed the emergency running light.

- Installed a combination "cigarette lighter" power type outlet/USB outlet on the handlebars (for GPS unit and MP3 player/charger port).

- Installed the same type combo outlet unit and SAE power plug just in front of the left side cover for my electric vest to plug into and charge intercom units while riding if needed.

- Installed the totally overkill Ear Cannon a.k.a. world's loudest air-horn (WOW!).

- Ran 2 wires under the tank/seat to the front neck cover and 2 wires to the rear trunk area for future power accessories.

- Installed a Speedo-DRO Speedometer Calibrator because mine has always been about 6-7 mph off (to do 60 mph by GPS speedo indicated 66-67 mph).

- Installed a bike mounted DVR HD video unit with front and rear cameras to record all the crazy stuff I see around here while riding. Already wear a Drift HD helmet cam.

- Detailed out places I haven't seen since 2006.



Back on the dark wet Pacific Northwest roads... hopefully this will be the last electrical issue.
Hope the charging system handles all those new gadgets while riding...
 
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