New owner - scary question.. (Code 36)

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Western New York
#1
Hello all. Thanks for the add.

This past spring I had a chance to ride a Redshift MXR and tole the owner that if I ever came across one of those that I would have to buy it. Well, it happened!

I have recently purchased a 2018 Redshift MXR and it really is quite amazing, but.. it has an potential issue that I'd like some experienced feedback on - if some of you all would be so kind to help me with.

First off, I bought this as a demo from a past dealer (17 hrs). It came with the factory required laptop and Alta provided software that allows me to look "inside".

It came to me with a 100% charge in the battery. When I got it home and rode it for awhile I shut it down with the kill switch. when I turned it back on I got the check light and code 35 and 36. After researching I see that states a possible bad battery pack and/or module.

Well I thought that maybe I did something goofy as I shut it down while I was still rolling (I am a lifelong MC industry guy but new at this electric stuff!) so I tried to reset the codes using the software but they would just come back on (persistent little devils that they are).

The battery was at about 80% charge so I decided to try out the fast charger that came with the unit but had to use 110 as my connector was not a match (I have since made several adapters to resolve any future issues thanks to the provided schematics found on this forum). No problem charging the battery, and after I got a full charge back in I tried again to reset the codes and wala! They were gone.

But... after another ride (and three more after) and "killing the motor and turning it back on the codes reappear. I charge again and they go away (after I reset using the factory software).

The codes will not come on until I shut the machine down and then restart the machine (they do not come on while riding). I have spoken to the seller and he said that the machine had set over winter and after he charged that battery he did not get any codes but did not ride it either. He did however offer me a return of my money if I wanted to give the bike back to him which I am extremely impressed with and shows that he has a lot of class and integrity.

So my question... Is this a real issue that should make me take him up on the offer?

I really (no, really!) like the bike and will keep it if I don't think it will just crap out on me one day in the not so distant future. I'll just keep resetting the codes after a charge and will run the critter down every time I ride it!

I appreciate any experienced input that may be offered.

Regards,
Ed Abdo
 

Philip

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Ann Arbor, MI
#2
It could be that the dealer updated the firmware right before the sale. Not sure if they can still update the firmware though. Can the dealer laptops store the latest firmware and upload it to bikes without connecting to the Alta server?

It could also be that they have cleared the codes and sold the bike to you before they re-appeared. Not very nice.

Either way, I think you may be able to get some money from the dealer or return this bike and get another.

The alternative is a battery repair. Maybe it can be done quickly and cheaply, but it could also be several thousand dollars in expenses if the cells got damaged.
 

datadog

Well-known member
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Location
USA
#3
Hello Ed, I know the name, our paths may have crossed at some point - didn't you used to road race? Worked for Honda?Anyway, your issue is very likely a wire bond issue in one of the modules, which unfortunately rather prevalent on a certain VIN range. At full charge , there is not enough of a voltage difference to latch the code, but as SOC goes down, the difference is enough. There are several other vehicles that have this issue, and owners continue to ride them without much trouble. The ultimate fix is to replace the battery, but Alta doesn't make them anymore, obviously. There isn't a safety issue, but you may find range slightly reduced. There are individuals on here that are working on fixes involving disassembly and ultrasonic welding of the bad bonds between the cells. Hopefully they can make that practical for owners soon.

Philip - Whatever firmware was downloaded on the last Alta server connection is stored on the laptop.
 

Philip

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#4
Do not drain the battery fully. This would over-drain and possibly damage the cells that are in the same group as the disconnected cell.

Take the battery apart and solder that broken wire bond with a soldering iron. Use a copper wire instead of aluminum. There is no need to have fuse wires on both ends of each sell. If caught early enough, this could be all that it would take to fix it.
 

Philip

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Ann Arbor, MI
#6
Philip - Ban me and delete this post as you do in your world if you wish.
Sorry, Rick. It takes a lot of concentrated effort to achieve this! You do not have what it takes to get banned here. Seriously though... nobody gets banned here unless they are really trying and ignoring multiple warnings.

It's very foolish and irresponsible to tell inexperienced owners to take their battery apart. 350v can kill you. Stop doing that. Please.
You are right. @Edabdo -- Read the Forum, take all the safety precautions, and do not get zapped! And lay off the beer while working with high voltage because it may make your too brave. Yes, it has that effect.
 

Rashid510

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#7
+1 to @datadog. I understand everyone may have a background in electronics/engineering/computers and feels confident to tear apart the pack to fix an issue. But its no joke and its not fun to get zapped/hurt.

Code 35/36 bikes will end up having more issues with the pack in the long term.
 
Likes
8
Location
Western New York
#8
Hello Ed, I know the name, our paths may have crossed at some point - didn't you used to road race? Worked for Honda?Anyway, your issue is very likely a wire bond issue in one of the modules, which unfortunately rather prevalent on a certain VIN range. At full charge , there is not enough of a voltage difference to latch the code, but as SOC goes down, the difference is enough. There are several other vehicles that have this issue, and owners continue to ride them without much trouble. The ultimate fix is to replace the battery, but Alta doesn't make them anymore, obviously. There isn't a safety issue, but you may find range slightly reduced. There are individuals on here that are working on fixes involving disassembly and ultrasonic welding of the bad bonds between the cells. Hopefully they can make that practical for owners soon.

Philip - Whatever firmware was downloaded on the last Alta server connection is stored on the laptop.

Hello there, We may have crossed paths indeed as I did road race and also worked for Honda for a number of years. Thanks for the information.
I am getting a better understanding of the system. I really do like this bike and would rather keep it
Is there a way to kill the check light after it is activated or should I use the old GL1100 trick (when neutral light switches went bad) of putting electrical tape over it? Lol!
Thanks again!
 

datadog

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251
Location
USA
#9
Hello there, We may have crossed paths indeed as I did road race and also worked for Honda for a number of years. Thanks for the information.
I am getting a better understanding of the system. I really do like this bike and would rather keep it
Is there a way to kill the check light after it is activated or should I use the old GL1100 trick (when neutral light switches went bad) of putting electrical tape over it? Lol!
Thanks again!
It will always come back until the imbalance is corrected.. The only way to reset it would be to through Multitool (the laptop).
 

OneLapper

"You don't *really* need the water pump...."
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Connecticut
#10
Ah, I wondered when this bike was going to be up for sale. If it's the same "dealer demo bike" from western NY, it needed a new display because it got cracked on a demo ride, they could not sell it because the displays were not available. The owners closed the business down and one of them kept the bike "for monies owed". The guy had a laptop, charger, dongle, just no display for the bike. I almost bought that bike.

There is little doubt that one of the modules has a broken wire bond. You'll need to attempt to fix it, or replace the module. I believe there are modules around but it's not likely they will be available to buy. People had to purchase entire battery packs to replace one bad module, so to recoup their money they sold off the good modules to those with C36 packs.

Please keep us posted. With luck someone will help you out getting what you need to fix the module.
 
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8
Location
Western New York
#12
Ah, I wondered when this bike was going to be up for sale. If it's the same "dealer demo bike" from western NY, it needed a new display because it got cracked on a demo ride, they could not sell it because the displays were not available. The owners closed the business down and one of them kept the bike "for monies owed". The guy had a laptop, charger, dongle, just no display for the bike. I almost bought that bike.

There is little doubt that one of the modules has a broken wire bond. You'll need to attempt to fix it, or replace the module. I believe there are modules around but it's not likely they will be available to buy. People had to purchase entire battery packs to replace one bad module, so to recoup their money they sold off the good modules to those with C36 packs.

Please keep us posted. With luck someone will help you out getting what you need to fix the module.
Thanks for the info @OneLapper This one has a few scratches on the display but it is intact.
 

Matt

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Location
Rochester, New York
#13
I am located near you Edabdo. I think RIT has an ultrasonic battery welder they may be able to help you out also. Has anyone thought about completely re-welding all the weld points? How difficult would it be to spot weld/ solder with a small unit?
 
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8
Location
Western New York
#14
If you ship the pack to me here in SoCal I can fix the open wirebond, however, as Rashid mentioned there's probably more bonds just waiting to break as time goes by.
I may take you up on that @Mark911 I lived in Corona for a few years during my time at AHM. I plan on heading out that way in the future and may contact you when that happens. What damage will occur if left as it is (other than maybe a quicker discharge rate)?
 
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Location
Western New York
#15
I am located near you Edabdo. I think RIT has an ultrasonic battery welder they may be able to help you out also. Has anyone thought about completely re-welding all the weld points? How difficult would it be to spot weld/ solder with a small unit?
Thanks @Matt! I am not certain of the level of difficulty but I am sure that it's out of my range at this time! Lol!
 

Rashid510

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#18
I am located near you Edabdo. I think RIT has an ultrasonic battery welder they may be able to help you out also. Has anyone thought about completely re-welding all the weld points? How difficult would it be to spot weld/ solder with a small unit?
Having the correct fixture, wire and also weld point is key. If its failed a bond before, it will possibly fail again if not welded correctly. We never reused bad modules if they had been reworked too many times.
 

Matt

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Location
Rochester, New York
#19
Having the correct fixture, wire and also weld point is key. If its failed a bond before, it will possibly fail again if not welded correctly. We never reused bad modules if they had been reworked too many times.
Hypothetically could someone take all the of the wires off and re-weld/solder them back on by hand if they wanted to/ had the patience/ had a steady hand? or is this just unfeasible?
 

Rashid510

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#20
Hypothetically could someone take all the of the wires off and re-weld/solder them back on by hand if they wanted to/ had the patience/ had a steady hand? or is this just unfeasible?
Unfortunately unfeasible. Its not your traditional wire and you can just use a welder/soldering iron. Also this is being done on modules that are energized...any accidental discharge is no bueno/can occur.
 

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