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Go Back   FZ1OA Message Board > FZ1 & Fazer Owners Association > FZ1 Problems & Issues > Gen 1 Problems & Issues

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Old 08-16-2016, 04:02 PM   #1
Yamarocket630
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Curing the 1st Gen FZ1 of undesirable voltage drops:

Curing the 1st Gen FZ1 of undesirable voltage drops:

What is a voltage drop?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage_drop

Voltage drops are present in every electrical circuit. There are desirable voltage drops (voltage dropping across a load or across a resistor that limits current for example) and undesirable voltage drops i.e. voltage dropping across a wire that should be delivering current to a load or back to the battery negative.

Think of the wires on your bike like water pipes. If a pipe is too small it won’t work right. You can hook up one sprinkler for your garden on a 1/2” garden hose and the sprinkler will work fine, but what if you want to hook up 9 sprinklers? You’re going to need a bigger water hose! And what if even after you used a larger garden hose, you connected several of them together with tiny little hose couplers? You still aren’t going to get enough water for your sprinklers to work right.

In our example, the water is electricity, the water pressure is voltage and the water flow is current.
The hose is our wiring, and the hose couplers are the wiring connectors.
The sprinklers are our electrical loads. Every time you increase electrical load, you need to increase the current capacity of the wires and connectors.

Standard disclaimer:

This write up is an overview of some of the changes I have made to my motorcycle. This write up has some differences compared to what I have done to my motorcycle, namely for the sake of simplicity. I don’t recommend you attempt to perform any of this work yourself unless you know what you are doing. There is considerable risk of personal injury or property damage if you screw up. I assume no liability for any injury or damage to yourself or your property if you attempt any of the work outlined in this overview. Any attempts to follow or duplicate any of these procedures are done so completely at your own risk. By reading the information on this site, you agree to assume complete responsibility for any and all actual or consequential damages that may arise from any information presented herein.







This is not a step-by-step tutorial. I am not available to answer your questions 24-7-365. If you have a question please feel free to post it up. I may or may not answer you and my answer may or may not be useful or understandable based on my schedule, mood and BAC at the time. If you still want to ask questions, post them up for all to see, read and learn. I will ignore any PM on the subject.

My statements of how much voltage drop I was seeing in these various circuits are based on my bike and my memory from 2 years ago when I did most of this work. I didn't write any of this down at that time. Your bike may vary and may not benefit from all of these operations.

You should perform a loaded voltage drop test to check these circuits on your own bike first.

To perform a voltage drop test you will need a digital high impedance multi-meter (the cheep harbor freight unit will work good enough) and a little bit of knowledge. I'll try to give you that knowledge here.

• The circuit you are testing must be "live". In other words, if you are testing voltage drop on a headlamp ground, the headlamps must be plugged in and turned on.
• Always test positive to positive or ground to ground.
• A good reading will be 0.1v or less. If you see 0.000v you aren’t making a good connection with your meter as there is always SOME voltage drop. It’s like a golf score, lower = better.
• You will need a way to probe into the backside of a connector. T-pins available from any craft or hobby store work great. NEVER pierce the wire insulation, it invites corrosion and may damage the conductor inside.
NEVER attempt to probe anything into the terminals in the front of the connector where it plugs into the load. Push the wrong thing in there and you will damage the terminal and CREATE a new voltage drop.
• Example of headlight ground testing: With the ignition on and engine running or a battery charger connected, lightly push a t-pin into the back side of the ground terminal in the headlamp connector. Connect the red lead of your meter to the t-pin. Connect the black wire of your meter to the battery negative and read the voltage.
• Power circuit testing is the same, you just connect to the battery positive instead of ground.


Happy Riding!






Problem: For various reasons i.e. cost, simplicity, bulb life etc Yamaha chose to build the harness of this bike in such a way that some electrical components do not get full charging system voltage. For the most part Yamaha did a good job with the wiring on this bike, but there are areas where we can make improvements.

Solution:
• Add redundant grounds to the front lighting and gauge cluster.
• Add a redundant ground to frame.
• Bypass the ignition switch using a 70A relay.
• Replace the fuse block.
• Replace circuits from voltage regulator to the battery.
• Run a dedicated power wire to the meter – really only needed if you have a multigauge and want the voltage reading to be more accurate.

Benefits:
• All of your lights will be brighter (at the expense of slightly reduced bulb life).
• An installed multigauge will read much closer to the actual battery voltage.
• Your battery will be charged better.

You will need:
• Several feet of 14g automotive wire.
• Several feet of 10g automotive wire.

• 14g-16g and 10g-12g self sealing crimp connectors.

• 14g and 10g ring terminals for 6mm / 1/4” bolt size.

• A 70Amp relay kit. (you can buy just the relay if you can source your own terminals) A 70A relay will have 2 normal sized male spade terminals and 2 LARGE male spade terminals. If all the terminals are the same size the relay likely cannot handle the load regardless of the rating. IT WILL CATCH FIRE if you use too small of a relay (don’t ask me how I know). Most auto parts stores sell these relays as fan relays for Volvo and Ford products. You can source a 70A fan relay kit from most aftermarket speed shops or online.

• A new fuse block (optional)
• Appropriate terminals to connect your new fuse block
• 30A fuse and fuse holder with 10g wires
• 40A fuse and fuse holder with 8g or 10g wires. (8g is preferable, but over a very short run 10g will work fine)


Adding redundant ground to front lighting and gauge cluster:

The ground circuit to the front headlights, turn signals, running lights and gauge cluster are undersized. If you do a voltage drop test between any of these grounds and the battery, you will measure 1-2v. Voltage drop along a circuit really should be less than 0.1v. This is likely somewhat intentional by Yamaha to (slightly) increase bulb life but it makes the bulbs dim. I would rather see (and be seen by other drivers). As a point of fact, not one single bulb has burned out on my bike since all of these improvements were done 2 years ago.

• Remove the front upper fairing and identify the ground wires to the headlights and gauge cluster.
• Cut the ground wires about 3” back from each connector and strip about ¼” of insulation from each end of the cut wire.
• Using 14g wire, route a new wire to each connector following the original harness routing. You can either tape the original ground wire back into the harness or connect it along with the new wire.
• Using a self sealing crimp connector, connect the new ground wires to the ground wire going into each connector. If you reconnect the original ground wires, be sure to use a crimp connect large enough to accept 2 wires on 1 side. (blue 14g-16g connectors should work fine)
• Use a heat gun to the seal the connectors, and tape the wires to the original harness.
• Route the 3 new wires to near the left turn signal area and connect them together on 1 side of a yellow (10g-12g) self sealing crimp connector. Put a single 14g wire in the other side and route it to the ignition coil area under the tank. Crimp a ring terminal to the end of the wire and ground the wire to the coil mounting bolt.
• Use a heat gun to seal the crimp connectors. Tape the wires to the original harness.



Adding a redundant ground to the frame:
Since we are now grounding directly to the frame, we need to be sure the frame has a good ground connection to the battery.

• Use a 10g wire with an appropriately sized ring terminal on 1 end to connect to the battery negative.
• Drill a ¼” hole in the frame cross member next to the seat latch.
• Use a small piece of sand paper to sand the paint off of the frame about 1/8” around the hole you drilled.
• Route the new wire to this area and attach another ring terminal.
• Use a ¼” bolt, nut, and washers to attach the ground wire to the frame.
• This is also a great place to ground all of your electrical farkles.



Bypass the ignition switch with a relay:

Another large source of voltage drop is the circuit that runs from the battery to the ignition switch and back to the fuse block. I measured about 0.7v across this circuit. This is a significant voltage drop, but the repair is quite involved.
First off, decide if you are going to keep the original fuse block or replace it. The fuse block IS NOT a significant source of voltage drop, but replacing it may be easier than keeping it and it makes adding additional electrical circuits for your electrical farkles easier in the future.

Terminology: Source side means the side of the fuse block that always has power even if the fuse is removed or blown. Load side means the side of the fuse block that loses power if the fuse is removed or blown.

These instructions will cover REPLACING the fuse block.

• Locate the 2 brown with blue stripe wires going into the source side of the fuse block and cut them off flush with the fuse block. Tape one of the wires back to the harness so that it cannot short out.
• Leave the other wire exposed and in place. This wire will be attached to the 70A relay.
• Locate where you want your relay. Mine is zip-tied to the original fuse block bracket.
• Locate and install your fuse block.
• Locate the constant battery (labeled backup) source wire. With the ignition switch off and all the fuses removed it will be the only wire that has continuity to the battery positive cable.
• Cut this wire flush with the fuse block and label it.
• Cut all of the remaining wires on the load side of the fuse block and label them for what fuse they were connected to.
• Connect the backup source wire to a terminal in your new fuse block. This is the constant battery circuit that keeps the clock set and the trip meter set.
• Connect the backup load wire to the opposing terminal for this fuse and install the correct size fuse.
• Connect all of the other load side wires to terminals on the load side of the fuse block and install correct sized fuses.


Connecting the relay:
• Connect terminal 87 of the relay to the source side of the fuse block using an appropriate terminal. Depending on the type of fuse block you chose, you may need only 1 connection or you may need to daisy chain them together: Example picture:


Ugly? Yes, but it’s functional and you can’t see it while riding or with the seat on.

• Connect terminal 85 of the relay to the brown/blue wire you cut off of the fuse block.
• Connect terminal 86 of the relay to the new ground point you created using a ring terminal.
• Connect terminal 30 of the relay to the battery positive terminal using a ring terminal. Be sure to include a 30A or 40A fuse as close to the battery as possible.


If you decided not to replace the fuse block:

• Cut both brown/blue wires 2-3” from fuse block.
• Tape one wire on the harness side back into the harness so it cannot short out.
• Connect the harness side of the remaining wire to terminal 85 of the relay.
• Connect terminal 87 of the relay to BOTH of the brown/blue wires at the fuse block.
• The remaining relay connections will be the same as above.


Replacing circuits from the voltage regulator to the battery:
There has been much discussion on the forums about the “white connector” under the fuel tank and I will not go into that again. In addition to cutting out the white connector, I also replaced the charging wires between the connector and the battery due to a measured voltage drop of about 0.3v to 0.4v per wire, for a total drop if just under 1v. (I swear, the harness really sucked on this bike) So when the voltage regulator was putting out 14v, the battery was only receiving just over 13v. This will cause your battery to be undercharged, especially in cool weather.

I recommend cutting the white connector out and not replacing it. Really, how often will you need to disconnect it? Rarely if ever. If you want to still have a connector look at ESKORT’s write up here: http://yamahafz1oa.com/eskortsdefect...lacement.shtml

• Cut each wire off flush with the white connector.
• Connect the 3 stator wires together with self sealing crimp connectors. You will be making 3 separate connections, one wire from each side of the old white connector in each crimp. Don’t just connect them all together in one big lump! Don’t worry if they are not connected to the same wire as it was previously, it won’t matter.

• Tape back the 2 large charging wires on the harness side so that they cannot short out.
• Connect the positive charging wire from the voltage regulator to the battery using 10g wire. Use a 10g-12g self sealing connector on the voltage regulator side and a ring terminal at the battery. BE SURE YOU ARE CONNECTING THE CORRECT WIRE!
• Install a 30A fuse in this circuit as close to the battery as possible.
• Connect the negative charging wire from the voltage regulator to the negative terminal of the battery. Use a self sealing 10g-12g crimp connector on the regulator side and a ring terminal at the battery. . BE SURE YOU ARE CONNECTING THE CORRECT WIRE!
• I routed this new harness along the left frame spar with the original harness and behind the left side cover to the battery.
• Use a heat gun the seal the connectors.


Last, there is one more thing you might want to do if you have a multigauge and want the voltage to read correctly. There is still going to be a small voltage drop 0.3v or so between the fuse block and the power wire to the gauge cluster that is shared with the rest of the bike. Forum member ESKORT did write up of an alternate method here: http://yamahafz1oa.com/eskortsbatteryvoltagefix.shtml I think my method is easier, especially if you have replaced the fuse block.



• Cut the switched power wire (brown) to the meter 2-3” back from the meter connector. Tape back the harness side into the harness so that it cannot short out.
• Run a new wire from the gauge cluster connector to an unused location on your fuse block (you did replace it, right?) and install a new 10A fuse.

Last edited by Yamarocket630; 08-19-2016 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:57 PM   #2
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May give some of this a try. I noticed a 2v difference from multigauge to battery and wouldn't mind brighter lights.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:27 PM   #3
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Good stuff.
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankcase View Post
That looks very involved but thorough. I may just start with the additional ground connections and then work on it stage by stage.

Do you think that's a feasible approach, or does it need to be done all at once?
Definitely start with the grounding up front and to the frame. It's the least involved and the greatest bang for the buck.

Other than the white connector elimination, I tried to write it up in order of easiest/best ROI to most involved / lowest ROI. If the white connector shows any signs of heat damage just fix it now. Other bikes may be different but mine wasn't charging the battery properly even after cutting out the connector until I replaced the charging wires.

Like eskort wrote in his tutorial, you should get about 13.8 to 14v at the battery terminals at 3000 rpm. If you do the charging wires are fine and leave them alone.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the write-up. I'm a new owner of an old FZ1 and I have been contemplating some of these measures. Now i have a better idea of how to go about it.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:44 AM   #6
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Updated with a brief overview of voltage drop testing. Every bike is different, test your own first!
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamarocket630 View Post
Like eskort wrote in his tutorial, you should get about 13.8 to 14v at the battery terminals at 3000 rpm. If you do the charging wires are fine and leave them alone.
Is that supposed to be with both headlights turned on?

I've got separate switches on both headlights, and only ever turn on one at a time. And now that's got an LED bulb so the draw is even less than stock. Not quite sure what charging voltage I should expect (or what I should be satisfied with).
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankcase View Post
Is that supposed to be with both headlights turned on?

I've got separate switches on both headlights, and only ever turn on one at a time. And now that's got an LED bulb so the draw is even less than stock. Not quite sure what charging voltage I should expect (or what I should be satisfied with).
Sorry i missed your post. Yes, voltage drop testing should be performed with the load (headlights in this case) turned on. If you have LED headlights the load will be much smaller and the voltage drop may not be significant.
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:34 PM   #9
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Hello! Thank you very much for this post.

I measured the headlight neutral to the negative post and recorded 0.4. When I measured the low beam positive, I recorded 10.4.

I also have a total newb question regarding general continuity on these bikes. When I disconnect the 3 contacts to a front turn signal and measure continuity, I get a solid short to ground on all 3 sockets.

The same with each of the contacts to the headlight bulbs.

I was expecting to measure a solid short to ground on 1 wire and an open on the running and flashing wire. Am I losing my mind?
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:24 AM   #10
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No, you are not losing your mind. If you have the other turn signals still plugged in, your meter finds ground through those bulbs because they are connected as parallel circuits.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:11 PM   #11
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I was rushing to get out the door for work when I replied this morning, but now that I have more time I want to clarify something.

When you measured 0.4v from the headlight ground to the battery ground, was that with all the lights plugged in and on?

Same thing when you measured the power side, was it with the all the lights plugged in and on?

Assuming the answer to the these question is YES, you are only getting 10v to the headlights (10.4 on power side - 0.4 loss on ground side). I get over 13v to my lights after the rewiring efforts. Think about how much brighter your headlights could be without replacing the bulbs. And if you are tempted to replace the bulbs to get brighter lights, dont. It wont help unless you get rid of those nasty voltage drops.

You didnt say if the engine was running or not, so I cant really say if your power side voltage drop is excessive. To get an accurate voltage drop reading, test the voltage between the headlamp + wire (again, with everything plugged in and the ignition on) and the battery positive terminal.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:46 PM   #12
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Those numbers were with the headlight plugged in and motor running. Your latest explanation helped clear up my understanding a bit! Thank you for that breakdown.

The motor that I installed came with a mosfet rectifier. The 3 white wires coming out from the stator are wired into 1 plug. And the rectifier outputs a red and black wire that tie directly to the battery.

From another post, I read that the AC voltage across any 2 of the 3 wires should be approx 75 volts? I am only reading 60-65 on 2 legs, and 50-55 on 1 leg. I am wondering if this could be contributing to low output to the battery.

Sorry if that bit is misplaced here. I am digging in to re-wire a couple grounds.

James

Last edited by buck10racing; 09-15-2016 at 06:23 PM. Reason: spelling, updated #'s
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:23 AM   #13
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Stator voltage is AC and will increase with engine speed. The last time I checked one (not on an FZ but they are all basically the same) I had about 35v per leg at idle and about 75v at 3000-3500 rpm. You could have one leg going down, but be sure it was checked at the same RPM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:13 PM   #14
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I just got done doing these mods and thougt Id report my results. Prior to these mods the only thing Id ever done is to ditch the famous white connector for the charging wires.

First, I did a hybrid between YamaRocket's and Eskorts plan. I used Eskort's method using a micro-relay to power the instrument cluster because I didnt want to do YamaRocket's fuse block replacement. Otherwise I did the mods as described herein.

Here's some before and after:

Voltage Drop Tests_______ Before________After
Headlight Low Ground______ .66vdc ______ .16vdc
Headlight High Ground______.73vdc _______.18vdc
Instrument Cluster ground___.55vdc_______.11vdc

The charging circuit is the largest improvement. Really happy with that. Pre-mod, the Multigage of the Gods would read at least 1.6 - 1.8 vdc lower than actual battery voltage. Now its within .2 vdc. Excellent.
As for actual charging voltage pre-mods Id never see over 13.2. Todays ride I had 13.7 indicated which means 13.9 actual. Thats WITH lights on high and wearing a heated vest on high. Fabulous.

Many thanks to our electrical gurus for posting their work.
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