Parts Advice and Help
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Thread: Parts Advice and Help

  1. #1
    Registered Ignorant User Array ThundaCat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    2003 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-R

    Parts Advice and Help

    Okay, first... sorry I didn't take pictures, and if I can't explain myself clearly enough I'll have to do just that… I thought of it after I popped the parts back on

    On to business..
    I drive a 2003 Kawasaki Ninja ZXR 636

    My bike had electrical problems with not charging through the alternator I assumed. Got a new battery to make sure it wasn't that. Anyways, checked a few things with an multimeter and found that my alternator was working.. if at a lower than expected output in the lower rpms. Then, I revved it and she basically gave no charge up at 9000rpm. Going back down to 3-5000rpms there was now no charge at all. So, I figure that is why my bike was dying after cruising it around, and even more so when I had my high beams on.

    Anyways, background aside. Decided to get my hands dirty.
    Pulled off the gas tank to get to the alternator cable. I decided to unplug the connector (don’t know what it’s called or if it even has a name) to see what it looked like. Turns out, there was some melted plastic inside the connector and it looked like it had overheated at one time or another. So, that is definitely one issue.

    Before I go on, just to let you know, the bike had been low-sided and the alternator cover ground down a fair amount. So this is initially why I figured the alternator or something was the problem in the first place.

    Next, I pulled off the alternator cover to take a look at the actual alternator. There was some oil in there, not sure if it is supposed to have any or not?
    Here is where my brutal description will start. So, the actual alternator is the coils sticking out in a circle with the little pads on the end. One of the pads on the end had some pretty good wear and tear on it to where it had been blackened. Also, the ring thing that spins to charge the alternator that is attached to the bike… has little black spots spaced out along the inside of it... which are obviously supposed to be there as they are uniformly spaced and sized. However, 2 or 3 of them have been worn to where they are misshapen and cover the full width of the ring.

    So, I figure when the bike was low-sided, it knocked the alternator cover (obviously) and caused it to move enough to cause some rubbing and an inconsistent connection within the alternator. I was wondering if anyone had pictures of what a new ring looks like, what a new alternator and the pads look like, and where you would recommend buying these things: Alternator cover, alternator, that ring thing in the alternator, and the alternator cable connector. Also, since it’s electrical stuff I am assuming that staying away from used parts and buying new is the ideal way to go?

    Also, price differences for the new/used items?
    A friend of mine works at a shop and can order parts in at cost for me, which will help I’m sure.
    I will be doing some digging and shopping around myself, but thought I’d ask for everyone’s input and ideas as you’ve all been super helpful in the past. So far, I talked to chopshop, they said they'd send me an alternator to my door for $150 bucks.

    Thanks again.
    The following statement is true. The previous sentence is false.

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  3. #2
    Moderator Array TeeTee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Out to pasture in the 'Wack
    04 Kawi Z1000,
    When you lowsided you not only scuffed up the cover but you bent it as well. So the rotor attached to the crankshaft now ran into contact with the stator (the ring with all the wire on it). You didn't say this in particular but I'll bet the rotor wore away at some of the windings and exposed the copper which then shorted out to the rotor and thus the bike's ground. Hence no charging.

    It's 20-20 hindsight but whenever you bash the alternator cover it's a good thing to get the insides checked. This sort of damage is not that hard to do given the consumer driven fanatical movement to ever lighter bikes which makes the bike makers ever more gram concious.

    If you can talk to a wrecker there's really no reason not to buy used in this case. Provided the bike it came from was bashed on the other side to write it off the used parts will be fine. It's rare that an alternator stator is damaged by other than an an impact to the left side. However since you're putting these parts onto your bike that was dumped hard enough to tweak the stuff in the first place you'll want to check that the rotor is not running out of true before putting on the new used parts. If the rotor is out by more than the allowed runout spec then you'll want a new rotor as well. For most folks that don't have a dial guage to check this we're talking a visit to the local motorcycle mechanic.
    A backyard mechanic without a service manual is just like a hooker without a lamp pole.... they are both in the dark.

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