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Discussion Starter #1
Well the 99 RMK had a flaky voltage regulator, where it would cut in and out. I got a new aftermarket replacement here:

http://www.psep.biz/store/polaris_snowmobi...e_regulator.htm

After one ride, the headlight and *all* the tail lights are burned out, and they were definitely working when I started out. I know it is still putting out voltage because the brights work. The brake indicator light still works but seems very bright, maybe too bright. I don't see how it could be putting out too much voltage but that's what it seems like.

I'm worried everything that runs on the voltage regulator is going to get burned out soon. This just can't be right. What do you guys think?
 

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This is the same voltage regulator that all the online shops sell and reccommend for my model, hiperf.com, sledparts.com, psep.biz all sell the exact same one that I bought and no other choices. Hard to believe it's the wrong part. What else could it be? Three tail light bulbs and a headlight blowing out in one four hour ride??? The bulbs are definitely burned out, I pulled them just to be sure. What is going on here?

Only thing I can think of is to check the ground strap (from my car repair experience), and I don't know where that is or if sleds even have such a thing.
 

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Maybe u just got a bad one,or its not grounded.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe u just got a bad one,or its not grounded.[/b]
Can you elaborate? How would I check if it's grounded? I hooked it up the same as the old one, but yeah the old one could have been hooked up wrong. It was weird how the old one seemed to work fine sometimes, but it would often flicker between normal and very dim (did not completely go out). I suspected a bad ground but I don't know where or how the system is grounded.

If there is an engine ground like on a car, I can't find it. Hmm...

Sometimes when a car has a ground problem mechanics simply add a ground strap. Sounds like a good idea but I'd like someone to agree with me first, and then where would I attach it?

My friend has a 2000 RMK 600 that has a weird (very similar) intermittent voltage regulator problem that he could never figure out, and he is a professional sled mechanic. Makes me wonder. Are these things cursed? I mean it runs great but no lights isn't exactly safe even in the daytime...
 

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That voltage regulater works by dumping excess voltage to ground. Sounds like you have one of three issues or a combination of any of them.... In order of frequency that I've found.

1. Regulater not grounded properly.
2. Broken/bad connection 12v to regulater.
3. Bad regulater.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That voltage regulater works by dumping excess voltage to ground. Sounds like you have one of three issues or a combination of any of them.... In order of frequency that I've found.

1. Regulater not grounded properly.
2. Broken/bad connection 12v to regulater.
3. Bad regulater.[/b]
Okay...so, how do I test or check the ground? What is it supposed to be grounded to? I think this is defintely the most likely problem but I have no idea how to proceed.

Here is a pic that I took five minutes ago and I think it's clear that something is wrong. None of that black stuff was there when I installed it. I thought I smelled something plastic burning at one point during the ride...

I cleaned all the connections before installing. Don't know what else to do...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay I put my ohmmeter between the metal part of the regulator and the engine and it says the connection is good, no resistance. So maybe it's not the ground? It could still be intermittent I suppose, a flaky connnection affected by vibration. I have looked and looked for where the regulator ground connects to the engine with no success...I guess I'll have to look harder.

I also found this on the web, it's from the Boondocker Nitrous installation guide. Anyone heard of this?:

Important Note: A known problem exists on Polaris snowmobiles when the lighting system has been disconnected (often when the hood has been removed). The voltage will be fine at an idle, but when revved up, the voltage regulator will become overloaded and the voltage will drop to a very low voltage, causing the nitrous solenoid to no longer work.
Either reconnect the headlight so there is enough load on it, or remove the old voltage regulator an replace it with two new regulators wired in parallel (connect both yellow wires together). Both regulators must in good working order and be the exact same type so they both regulate to the same voltage.
---

Hmm. The only draw on my system was the single headlight and tiny taillights. Warmers were off because it was so hot out. I wouldn't be surprised if this cheap little aftermarket regulator was overloaded...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think what I'm going to try next is:

1. Throw out the new, melted regulator.
2. Reinstall the OEM regulator that may be just fine after all. I have reason to believe so.
3. Leave all the current connections intact but add an additional ground strap between the metal part of the regulator and the engine, somewhere that there is no question it's grounded.
4. See if my brights work (the only bulbs not burned out). And if my brake indicator seems to be back to the brightness it should be, and doesn't get incredibly bright as the RPMs go up, then I think we're good.

I think the ground is connected but flaky. The way the headlights would flicker between normal and very dim (with the OEM regulator) seemed to be connected to vibrations and bumps. My first guess was the regulator, but now the ground seems most likely.

If not, I may have to get a new regulator, but after that I think we can safely eliminate the bad ground theory. Based on what I've googled and your guys' input, I'm pretty confident the ground is the problem. I'll get on it tomorrow morning.

Based on my tests I think it will be perfectly safe to add a ground wire between the metal part of the voltage regulator and the engine...but really I don't know enough to be sure. If anyone sees a big problem with this let me know and feel free to PM me.
 

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Heres what I would do, start the sled up - leave it at slow idle (do NOT rev the sled up) look at the back lights, is it still bright? Leave the sled running at idle still, disconnect the ground on the regulator - what happens now? Did the back lights go brighter or still the same? If the light is still the same, sounds like the regulator may have went bad and you have too much voltage going into the lights. WL.
 
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