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I recently installed new turn signals on my 2000 vt600c. I left the front running light wires disconnected because the new blinkers were a two-wire setup. I also chopped off the light that illuminates my license plate. I was planning to rig a 3 wire set up and replace the plate light, but wasn't in a rush to do so.

After about two full days of riding, my battery began to buzz and spew out clouds of toxic smelling smoke. I figure the voltage drop from these disconnected lights made the battery overcharge.

I guess my regulator/rectifier is broken? Should I just replace it and hope this doesn't happen again?
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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If it is the original liquid acid type it may have gotten very low on water and overheated.
The charging voltage should be tested.
None of the smaller lights will do it .They might just blow a fuse or burn a wire if shorted, etc.
They will do nothing if disconnected. Get a new battery and check the voltages=


Put your meter across the battery and see if at rest it is at least 12.5 volts. May need a charge first.
Then watch it while you crank it for 10 seconds and it should be above 9.5 to 10 volts.
Then while running see if it can stay up to 13.5 to 14.5 volts as you rev it above 3000 RPM.
That will tell the basic health of the battery and charging system.
 
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06' VT1100C99' GL1500C Valkyrie
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This is right type of battery for your ride. Yuasa is usually stock from factory. Yuasa or Napa is my go to battery when needed but I've only replaced 1 battery due to age not failure in 13 yrs./65,000 mi. and it was 14 yr. old Napa. Be sure it's a USA made Yuasa.

 
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