Uncle Paul The Official Website

Hey Uncle Paul what do I do about this dead battery?

By Paul Peczon

>From: WUHUI@aol.com
>Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 01:34:29 EDT
>Subject: 1992 FZR 600
>To: unclepaul@dot.com.ph
>CC: WUHUI@aol.com
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>X-DPOP: DPOP Version 2.5g
>Status: U

>Hi Paul,

>I need your help. I just bought a 1992 FZR 600, all stock with 11,000 miles.
>The battery keeps dying on me. I charge it with battery charger and it dies
>on me after couple days. Do you have any idea what is causing the battery
>die? Thank you for your help.

>Paul Wu

Hi Paul,

I just set up a new computer and I'm not sure if I already wrote you back. That is low miles for that bike and the battery might not be good anymore. I'll write you a whole chapter coz I want to post this on my site, since I get this question a lot.

From: Bermbanger125@cs.com
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 23:44:47 EDT
Subject: your reply to "dead battery"
To: unclepaul@dot.com.ph
MIME-Version: 1.0
I enjoyed your article about the battery on the 92 fzr not charging, as you covered absolutely every possible aspect of the problem. You may not have known however, that FZR's are absolutely notorious for burning up the voltage regulators. Next time you get the chance, carefully put your hand on one after the engine has been running a minute or so. I think they burn the extra voltage off in the form of heat, and Yamaha should have put a monster heat sink on it to save its patrons the $50.00 plus tax.

Unfortunately, FZR's go through regulators as frequently as every 2 years on normal use. The problem is that the regulator builds lots of heat. Yamaha even installs a heat shield behind them, but the best fix is an aluminum heat sink that mounts to the front and rear. I built my own heat sink (i am a machinist) and it worked out great. One guy I heard about bought one when his bike was 2 years old. He used a heat sink, and his replacement has lasted 8 years.
Thanks, and this info is offered constructively, and is hopefully taken so. Mark Johnson Madison, Alabama

A cheap way to revitalize an old battery is to remove all of the old acid and then replace it with fresh electrolyte. This is nasty business and the acid will make holes in your clothes so be careful. This will only work if the plates are still in good condition. A lot of batteries are see-through so you can check by looking and if any of the cells are all filled with rusty or blackish stuff, forget it, you need a new battery. Take your old electrolyte and neutralize it by carefully adding in a solution of baking soda until it stops fizzing before you dispose of it, if you care about the environment. And again, this is very dangerous so wear glasses and stuff. If you are not careful you can get burned and can't sue me because I am poor and not worth the effort.

If you buy a new battery, have the shop add the electrolyte for you. Then, the first time you charge it is very critical. It's called formatting, just like formatting a floppy, and you have to do it right to make the battery last a long time. You want to charge it with as little amperage as possible, .5 amps is ideal but 1 or even 2 amps is OK. 6 or 12 amps is not OK - it will fry the plates and put pits in them, making for a short lived battery. Make sure all of the caps for the battery are loose so gas can escape, unless it is a sealed battery.

Charging a battery is best done off the bike, on the floor (someplace where your sister won't trip over it) with plenty of ventilation so the highly flammable hydrogen (ever see that clip of the Hindenberg?) won't accumulate and explode, destroying your garage and possibly your reputation in the neighborhood. That stuff you hear about charging not working on a cement floor is bunk. Ideally, you'll have a low amperage charger like the battery tender or one of the deluxe Sears type jobbies that actually shuts down after the battery is fully charged. Do not overcharge the first time or the battery's longevity will be compromised. Read the directions that come with the charger and the battery to get an idea of how long this takes, but in general overnight is fine.

When you install your battery, make sure to clean off the place it goes first with a weak baking soda solution to neutralize the acid (that white stuff) that has accumulated and is now eating up your bike. Make sure the battery mounting area is still in good shape and that the little rubber pad the battery sits on has not been thrown way by the previous owner, fucking guy. Splurge a little and get new battery mounting straps, which are rubber like the stock ones and isolate the battery from vibration. If you are cheap you can use zip ties but by no means let the thing rattle around.

If that doesn't work and you buy a new battery and that dies all of the time too, there might be one of three problems:

1) Bad connection - Check all of the wires very carefully, especially in places where the acid might work its way in. Also check the wires of the alternator and voltage regulator, and see if the plastic junction boxes where wires connect might have overheated and are now gunked up. if this is the case you are sad because such parts are hard to find at junkyards where for some reason they like to use boltcutters and you might have to buy new stuff from the dealer. Sometimes if you are lucky you can get new connectors at an auto or electronics supply place but then you need the right colored wires if you ever want to work on the bike again. Bike wires are always just long enough and are too short if you cut parts out. Whatever you do don't splice stuff and wrap it with electrical tape or no shop will touch your bike with a 3.3 meter pole. Also check your fusebox. Actually you should have done that first.

2) Voltage regulator is dead - Check your manual and get a voltage meter. If it is screwed up, be a man, buy a new one at the dealership, since used ones are invariably a bit out of whack already.

3) Alternator is dead. See #2 but you might be able to get away with a used alternator, or fix the brushes. Nasty job, but hey if you got this far you are like me and fix stuff yourself anyway because it bonds you to your bike and makes you more self reliant and all that stuff that leads to being a cool biker dude (or babe, as the case may be). And hey, knowing how to fix your bike gives you the courage to do dumb things like ride all the way down to Cabo St. Lucas to drink Tequila and pass out in the hot midday sun without a sombrero.

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So hey I moved the site to my own server because its' better. However, I still wanted to keep the GeoCities logbook since it's easy.
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