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Eldorado Voltage

Discussion in 'Cal 1400 8V' started by Moto-Uno, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Moto-Uno

    Moto-Uno Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    I have a 2018 Eldorado that only reads 13.8 Volts max at highway speed , When plugging in mine and my wife's heated vests ( 24 watts each) the voltmeter drops to 13.6 . I want to install heated grips ( I'm Canadian) but really don't want to see this charge voltage drop any lower . It says it's got a 550W charging system , so this is kinda suspect to me . If any other users could tell me what they see on theirs it'd be much appreciated . It matches the reading at the battery with my Fluke multi-meter . Peter
     
  2. Paul Ash

    Paul Ash Tuned and Synch'ed

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    This answer’s probably no use at all, but that all sounds perfectly normal to me. Also with no measurement of charging current or drain current, the voltmeter readings aren’t much use I don’t think. Also a 0.2 volt drop (from 13.8) is 1.4%, and your 50W vests are 9% of the rated capacity of the alternator so it’s a good result. Add to this the fact that alternator output power varies with revs and I think probably no-one has ever measured these things. I’m pretty sure you’d know if the alternator were failing, there’d be some numbers to worry about then. It’ll be fine !!

    One last thought... with two heated vests and some heated grips... have you thought of buying a car ? :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
    James Chance likes this.
  3. Moto-Uno

    Moto-Uno Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    :) We're tougher here in Canada :) . And thanks for the hasty reply .As for the low voltage , these models have a voltmeter function on the dash . Plus (as mentioned)
    these readings were at highway speeds . I've worked at quite a few motorcycle shops over the years and 14+ volts is pretty much the norm . My Le Mans 2 with only a 280w charging system runs those exact same accessories and at road speed reads 14V. So I'm not so
    sure these voltage drops ( that sound small ) are that insignificant , especially with the 550w system on these 1400. Also the California model comes with 2 35w aux. spot lamps. Hope to hear from more users ! Peter
     
  4. north2south

    north2south Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    Hi Peter
    Keep an eye on the leads to you two main fuses and the fuses themselves. I had an volt drop after installing OEM fog lights. The leads to the 40 amp fuse were worn to bare wire on the frame, the fuse case had melted a bit. I was getting readings of under 12 volts and my service light came on. I installed a mega 40 amp fuse and case, a new case for the 30 amp. Soldered the new leads to the existing. I am now 14 volts while running.
     
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  5. Moto-Uno

    Moto-Uno Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks for the reply , I'll look into that tomorrow . It however has only 11,000 km on it and was new to me this March
    from the dealership ,( with no miles). But who knows , it's certainly an easy check . Peter
     
  6. Paul Ash

    Paul Ash Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Yes. My 1400 Custom has the exact same voltmeter function.

    My point is that you’d have to know the internal resistance of the battery and the charge/discharge current before you could even start to decide there might be an issue. And the battery temperature would have to be in the equation somewhere.

    However most importantly... the minimum charge voltage for a lead acid battery is 2.15 volts per cell. This equates to 12.9 volts. So you have a way to go before you have issues. The maximum is 2.35 volts per cell (14.1V) so 12.9V is the lower figure you should worry about. These figures are widely available on the web.

    My 1976 Triumph Stag has a voltmeter in the dash. It’s analogue and works on the hot wire principle. You couldn’t tell 13.8 volts from 13.2 as its scale is course. No one does, or has ever used it, because voltage indication is no indication of whether it’s charging or discharging. It’s just filling a hole in the dash. The issue with digital is that it leads us to be over concerned about things, rather than the ‘about right’ of yester-year :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  7. Moto-Uno

    Moto-Uno Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks Paul for your reply , but I fear your missing my point . Battery descriptions etc aside . I should mention that I 'm a recently retired motorcycle mechanic with 4 decades in the trade ( on numerous brands ) . The motorcycle is a 2018 that got a new Yuasa battery upon delivery to me . Another 1 year old same battery from Le Mans 2 has the same readings when substituted . The volt reading on the dash has been verified with a Fluke multi-meter ( pretty much the industry standard here). Any of the other larger displacement bikes over these years ( typically with only 300w systems) have had no trouble maintaining 14 -14.4V at 3000-4000 rpm and running accessory lights and heated gear ( Canada ). So I'm still curious what your meter reads at road speeds ? For the last decade at least AGM batteries have been charged by motorcycle manufacturers at the previously mentioned voltage ,I'm wondering why does mine never comes to the typical minimum and drops with such a light load on what should be a very robust and capable charging system ? Others have told me there 1400's read in the low 14's on the road (with a stock bike) . Peter
     
  8. Motorcop

    Motorcop Just got it firing!

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    My Touring runs at 14 to 14.2 on the road with the aux lights on. I see 13.8 with the factory heated grips and aux lights on.
     
  9. Wildthing

    Wildthing Just got it firing!

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    my trickle charger never goes green..battery at 11.9 at rest. turn engine on goes to 12.5...after running hits 14.1. Is this normal to be at 11. 9 at rest?
     
  10. Moto-Uno

    Moto-Uno Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Not completely sure about your post . If you have the trickle charger on , does it still read only 11.9 V ?
    How long is your trickle charger on for ? How old is the battery ? Appears your charging system is working
    well . Peter
     
  11. Wildthing

    Wildthing Just got it firing!

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    Never gets above 11.9V on the charger even after 7 days. always flashing red. Works fine...checked out the charger on another bike...immediately goes green. Battery is less than 6 most old.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  12. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Replace it before it strands you. Search on new battery life on this site. Surprised you got 6 months out of it. STORE link above, or happy to be of help at my shop in Orange. Click on the SERVICE link above (p.s. we don't stock batteries, as they are typically one day away (on paid order).
     
    Moto-Uno likes this.
  13. Michael N

    Michael N Just got it firing!

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    I’ve had some of the same concerns. I’ve been riding BMWs for 30 years, and most of them showed approx 14.4V when driving on the highway.


    My 2014 California 1400 shows 13.9-14V at hey speeds with no accessories on, and with just the daytime LED lamps.

    if I switched to headlamps it’s 13.8V. OEM driving (fog?) lamps brings it down to 13.6. Heated grips 13.4V…

    The point of my response is that this week the charging system died when I pressed the horn for awhile…. So obviously the low voltage was not a good sign.

    FWIW I looked under the tank, and the alternator recall wiring had not been performed. I don’t know if it would
    have helped
     
  14. Moto-Uno

    Moto-Uno Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    As it turns out , later last summer the service manager at International Motorsports in Langley succeeded in getting
    me a new alternator under warranty . I installed it ( now that's a task , actually have to drop the motor ! ) and lo and
    behold , it now reads 14V and 13.8V with heated vest and hot grips (Koso Apollo) on . The wiring and fuses etc. were
    all fine . Even at this new 14V charge it's still marginal for a 550 Watt system , 14.4 V would bring a smile to my face , but
    it's better and everything works well and it always starts quickly . Peter
     
  15. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Somewhere back in the remaining brain cell I still posses, I seem to remember that there was a factory update to reduce the capacity of the charging system as it was overcharging the battery. It was a simple mod by removing a connection in the alternator.

    If you are lacking charging capacity with a lot of extra loads, perhaps you could reinstate this connection. If I find the reference, I'll post it here if nobody beats me to it.

    Edit: Now linked below.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  16. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Was it this one? https://www.guzzitech.com/forums/threads/cali-14-alt-wiring-recall-mod.15153/

    If so, reinstating that wire comes with it's own problems
     
  17. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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  18. Moto-Uno

    Moto-Uno Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    ^^ Just curious , what problems does this possibly cause , or is it simply a pain in the butt to reattach ? Appears I wasn't typing fast enough :) . Peter
     
  19. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    If you read some of the comments a bit further into the post, it seems that it can lead to the alternator burning out if the ignition is left on for a long'ish period of time but without the engine running. Don't know any further details, but given the cost of the alternator and the labour required to replace one, it wqs one of the first things I checked on my Audace (it had been done already)
     
  20. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Isn't the alternator (an alternating current generator) isolated from the battery by an array of diodes (that turn the AC into DC)?

    If this is the case, how can the DC voltage get into the alternator, even if the key is left on?
     

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