Ducati John

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Alternator wiring

Most people know that the early regulator/rectifier units were unreliable and most of those have been replaced now.

However most people don't realise that there is another problem in the same area. This problem occurs mainly on the early 748/916 models, the ones with the "2 wire" alternator. The wiring and connectors are only just man enough to cope with full load.

What usually happens is that the connectors get very hot and melt, ultimately causing the wiring/connector fail resulting in no charging. I would recommend checking and cleaning the wiring and connectors regularly. The wires are yellow (sheathed in black) and go from the front of the alternator, across the front cylinder to the back of the battery holder. There are then 2 connectors onto the reg/rect unit. It is these connectors where most of the problems occur. Look for discolouration of the wiring and connectors.

Typically I cut back the wiring towards the alternator and replace it with higher capacity wire. I then cut out the connectors replacing them with new ones of a suitable size. As mentioned above, this problem is common on certain bikes. However it is worth checking all bikes. I serviced a very clean ST4 recently that had a three way connector in the alternator wiring that had just about completely melted. The connector in question is mounted behind the fairing just to the right of the headlamp unit. The bike was running fine and charging OK, showing no signs of a problem.

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