Replacing the stator in Maria's motorcycle

July 16, 2005
Maria reported to me that she was having trouble starting her motorcycle.

I noticed that it was cranking a little slower than usual, so I started with the battery.

Although it's several years old, the water level was OK and it seemed to be holding a charge.

Checking the system voltage with the engine running, however, indicated a charging system problem.

Further diagnosis led me to the conclusion that one winding in the alternator's stator had shorted,
not an uncommon problem in the GL1100, especially now that the bike is nearly 25 years old.

The physical location of the stator, however, requires that the engine be removed from the frame to gain access.

So, after a few hours labor on a warm July Saturday afternoon, you can see my progress in the photos below.

The engine is out of the frame.
The engine removed from the frame.
The stator is under the round cover with the access plug in the center in the upper middle of the engine (straight up from the Craftsman® label).
Below it and to the right is the clutch housing - I'll be inspecting the clutch plates and springs while I have the covers off.

A closer view of the engine.
A closer view of the engine sitting on the bike lift.
This will be a good time to replace the thermostat and inspect the timing belts.

Here's the carbs hanging in the frame.
I left the carbs in the frame so I didn't have to mess with the throttle cables.
Gotta love bungee cords!

The empty frame from the right side.
Here's the empty frame from the right side showing the left lower rail removed.

Looking forward over the trunk.
Here's a look from over the trunk looking forward.

Left side view with the rail replaced.
I put the left frame rail back in place for this shot.

This is as far as I've progressed today. 
I'm not going to remove the rear engine cover until the replacement parts arrive but I'll add more photos as I complete the job.

August 2, 2005

The parts are all here, the weather is fair, and Maria has time to help me, so here we go!

Maria gets her hands dirty!
Taking things apart.  The pulse generators and advance mechanism are off, and the clutch cover is next.

Getting ready to take off the clutch cover.
A couple more bolts and the clutch cover is free.

Clutch cover off, draining the last of the oil.
The clutch cover is off.  Now she knows why I put the catch pan there!

Now the rear cover is off...
Maria has the rear cover off, with a little help from a block of wood and Mr. Hammer.
The stator is barely visible in the rear cover just to the right of her hands.

Rear of engine with covers off.
Here's the back of the engine.
 The alternator rotor is on the top left, the little shaft to the right drives the pulse generators, the larger shaft with the spring is the output shaft that connects to the driveshaft, and the clutch is the large round assembly in the lower center.

The old stator with the burnt winding.
Here's the old stator after removing it from the rear cover.
The burnt winding is visible at about 4 o'clock.

New stator mounted in the cover.
Rear cover with the new stator installed.  We used red Loctite® and a tap on the impact driver to secure the screws.

Rear cover ready to install.
Here's the rear cover ready to go back on with the new stator and new output shaft seal installed.

Rear cover on and ready for the clutch cover.
The rear cover is on.  The clutch cover is next.

Ready to adjust the clutch.
The clutch cover is on, and we are ready to set the initial clutch adjustment.
Much easier here than under the bike!

All back together without any extra parts left!
Maria is happy to see the engine back together and is anxious to see it back in the frame!

This is the stopping point for today.  
The next step is to move the rest of the bike out and lift the engine back into place.

August 4, 2005

With cooler weather back for a few days, it was time to get to work.

Here's where we are starting today...
The starting point.

An hour or so later, the engine is in the frame.
After about an hour of work, the engine is back in place and we're starting to fasten things down.

Things progress well, with the carbs and intakes in place.
We lost our shade so we moved back into the carport.
Here the carbs and intakes are in place.
The yellow wires above the carbs go to the regulator-rectifier.  
We are going to direct wire them to the stator pigtail (by the battery), bypassing both OE connectors.

Right side showing fan switch wiring
Here on the right side you can see the manual fan switch and wiring.
We parallelled the manual switch across the thermoswitch and wired the SPDT (center off) manual switch so that either ON would energize the fan.
You can also see the remains of the right fairing lower - what's left of the part that came off outside Oklahoma City on the trip home from ABQ.

The air box and cooling system are all back together.
Getting to the end of the job.  The radiator, cooling fan, and air box are all in place.

Today's stopping point.
Here's where we are stopping for today.  
We still have to finish the stator wiring, install the exhaust, fill the cooling system and crankcase, and install all the bodywork.

August 5, 2005

Today we got a late start on things but it went well.  So well, in fact, I forgot to take pictures until after we had a lot done.

Exhaust, side covers and tank shelter in place
The exhaust is on, the stator wiring is done, the cooling system and crankcase are filled, the engine has been run and now we're putting on the tank shelter.

Right side view
At the same point as the previous photo, from the other side.

Seat installed, getting ready to put on the left lower fairing.
The tank shelter is done, the seat is installed, getting ready to install the left lower fairing.

Oops...can't put the right lower on - it's missing!
Of course, I can't put the right lower fairing on - it disappeared outside Oklahoma City!

All done!  Getting ready for a checkride!
The engine guards are on and tightened down - it's checkride time!

All done - from the left side.
Getting ready to roll it off the center stand and take a test ride!

A familiar sight to some...
For old times' sake...

A closer look at Odie...
Hey Roundman!  Does this look familiar?

I took the bike for a short ride, then Maria and Kristine took off for a longer ride. 
I tried to get a photo of Maria's smiling face but the light was lousy and the photo didn't turn out.

We had to swap the battery out of my Wing into Maria's bike - her battery ended up being weak after all.
I'm reading 14.2 VDC at the battery now, the turn signals still work at idle and everything seems to be working well.

Ride safe!


© 2005 John Amdor III
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