$5 Doran sensor DIY battery replacement - GL1800Riders
 2Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Seasoned Member
 
BGBLK06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,693
$5 Doran sensor DIY battery replacement

My Dad, Touringon2, and I have been using the Doran TPMS on our bikes for a handful of years now and are very happy with the system. I had to replace the sensors a few years ago due to dead batteries, and at that time they were $25 each. Well this year I had to replace the sensors, and they were $35 each (they've been delivered already), and I was told that in the near future, the sensors were going to be $45 each. With shipping, that would come out to about $100 every few years to replace the sensors, and that started to bug me a little bit. I knew there had to be a way of replacing the battery in the sensor. It was just a matter of how to get it out. Well, over the last few weeks I set out to do just that, and I'm happy to say that I've done it !
I wanted to start this thread to help anybody else who likes working on their own things and also uses a Doran system as it will save quite a bit of money in the upcoming years by being able to change the batteries in your sensors for around $5.
Changing the batteries is not hard, but there are certain steps you have to take the first time in order to prevent damaging the sensor inside, so each step of the way I snapped a picture to illustrate how to remove the battery without damaging anything.
My first step was to preheat the oven to 325. What fun would a job like this be unless somehow you could incorporate your wife's oven to get it done! Once the oven was heated, I set the sensor on a block of wood in the oven and left it there for 10 minutes. Next I took the sensor out, put it on the workbench, and carefully wedged a razor blade into the sensor right along the seam where the top was molded on to the rest of the sensor body. When doing this, try to follow the seam as closely as possible because you want the two surfaces to be able to mate up later when you glue them back together. I would even suggest taking a magic marker and drawing a line at the edge of the top and then down the side of the sensor so you can glue them back together in the same orientation they came apart. Once you get the top cut off, here is what you are looking at.



Yup...there's the battery looking right back at you. Nothing special, and not encapsulated with a mystical gel or epoxy.
The next step is to pry that metal strip off the top of the battery. They manufacture these batteries with the strips tac welded or something right from the factory, and those two little spot welds really hold on well!



I put the razor blade under the front edge of the strip first and bent it up just a little bit. Then using a knife or in my case an old continuity tester with a good point on it, get under the strip and pry it off the battery. It will take a decent amount of prying, because like I said, those little tack welds really hold. Once you get the first tac weld off then work your way to the second. Just hold the battery down in the center with your thumb. You don't want to lift the battery up before the spot weld is broken, or you could pull the strip off of the sensor's circuit board. It is just soldered to the circuit board sitting under the battery.



Once you get both spot welds separated from the battery, bend that metal strip straight up. This next step is very important in not damaging anything in the sensor!!!! You now have to do the same procedure on the bottom side of the battery. There is a second strip tac welded to the bottom to make contact with the negative side of the battery. When lifting the battery up, it is very important to lift it right where it touches the strip that you just bent up!!! The strip under the battery is soldered to the circuit board directly opposite the side you just pried up. If you try lifting from that side of the battery, you will break the solder from the lower strip off of the circuit board. Lift the battery up just enough so you can see underneath of it. You will see a thin plastic film on the bottom side of the battery. Suppliers send the batteries with this film on them. The metal strip you are going to remove under the battery is between that blue plastic and the battery itself. So using a razor just scrape that blue plastic off of the battery. I'm not sure if the plastic is supposed to be an isolator between the battery and the circuit board, so I did save it for later installation.



Once you scrape the plastic off of the battery, use the same procedure to break the small welds from the bottom of the battery, starting with the weld in the center of the battery, then the one closer to the edge of the sensor.





When the lower strip has been removed from the battery, the hard part is over, and you will never have to do that again! The batteries we will be installing don't have those small welds on them. With the battery removed, here is what you are looking at.



Looking at this next picture, you can see why it is important to lift the battery the way we did in order to avoid breaking the solder. The metal strip is attached very well, and will take some force, but if you tear the strip from the circuit board, I would think the sensor is scrapped unless you can re solder it.


Now it is time to simply put your new battery in and glue the top back on (don't forget to slide that piece of blue plastic back under that lower tab so it sits on to of the circuit board just in case). The battery that is used is a very common 2032 battery which is available at most stores. I did just a little research online and even though all of the 2032 batteries were 3V, the Energizer had the highest rated mah, so that's what I decided to use. I bought mine from autozone for around $6 for both of them. I know you can get them much cheaper from Amazon or elsewhere, but I wanted mine right now.
The hardest part of this whole process for me was finding an adhesive that would seal the top back on and hold under pressure. I first tried black silicone, and it leaked immediately when I screw the sensor on. Next I tried a gel made by Loctite, and it lasted for about 15 seconds after I screwed the sensor on the tire. I then spoke to friends of mine at a machine shop and they handed me a bottle of glue and said, "Here, take this. I guarantee this will work."



Well, they were right! This stuff is like super glue on steroids! I put a small bead along the base of the sensor and then pressed the cap down. It held immediately, but not wanting to take any chances, I clamped the sensor in the vise and left it there for 24 hours just to make sure it set up. Even though it sets up in a few seconds, it does say on the bottle it is fully cured in 24 hours.
There is one option in gluing the top on that worked both ways for me. You can either glue it on in the same orientation you cut it off, or, put a piece of sandpaper on a flat surface and sand both the top and the sensor body so they are both flat. Ultimately that is what I did. Just use caution when sanding the body so you don't break the upper tab which will be sticking out a little.
Here's a side note to the story. When I did the first sensor, it worked perfectly. The next day I changed batteries in the second sensor and glued the top on. When I put that sensor on my bike, it was not working. I was afraid I damaged one of the strips while disassembling it even though I was careful when taking it apart. The good part about this story is I got to see how strong the glue was and if I would ever be able to take the top off when needing to replace these batteries. I put the sensor in the oven and took the top off the same way I did originally. The glue held about as well as the original bond was, but you are able to take the top off in the future if needed. Once the top was off, I removed the battery and made sure there was continuity between the two contacts, and there was. At that point I knew I did not break either of the soldering points. The only other thing I could think of at that point would be a dead battery, but I just purchased the batteries a few days ago and it said on the package they were good until 2022. I then put the leads from my multi meter on each side the of battery and it showed 1.5 volts. It was brand new and dead right out of the package. Moral of the story.....check the batteries before installing them even if they are brand new ! So back up to Autozone I went, and picked up another battery. When I got home, I checked this one and it showed 3.2 volts. Perfect! I glued the sensor back together clamped it in the vise over night, and today......It worked !
Next I will be sending my brand new sensors back to Doran since I never used them, and in the future, I'll just be changing my own batteries (and my Dad's).

Also, I did ride the bike about 100 miles with the first sensor just too make sure there were no issues with the glue. That stuff is awesome and it held with no problem. The tire has maintained pressure for the past several days, so there are no leaks.

I did a Google search for the glue, and you can buy it for $20 a bottle.
I found it at this website.
Skygeek.com
Hopefully you can just click on this link and go directly there.
http://www.skygeek.com/permabond-240...i-class-3.html

Please add a link if you find it cheaper somewhere.
That bottle will do a lifetime of sensors....It doesn't take much glue to put the top back on.

Here are a couple of close up pictures of the stock battery. You can see how well the tiny spot welds (or whatever they are) held.





I hope this helps some of you with the Doran system. It's really quite easy, and I'm happy now that my Dad and I are done buying (what I believeto be) over priced sensors !

Kurt

Edit : I added post #9 below after posting this. Please be sure and read that post before installing your battery !


The greatest father-son motorcycle trip ever !
Alaska '14 (click to read)
Alaska '12 (click to read)
Coast to Coast Non-Stop CERTIFIED !
Jacksonville to San Diego

2367 miles..31hours 52min
1860 miles..24 hours
1025 miles..15 hours

IBA #57815
Double Darksider #333
Michelin Alpin/
Battlax BT45
BGBLK06 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 10:57 PM
Seasoned Member
 
TouringOn2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Northern Ohio and winters in Florida
Posts: 2,572
Doran Sensor

Great post son. It should help all Doran owners. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Alaska '14 (click to read)
Alaska '12 (click to read)

IBA #57814
SaddleSore
1075 Miles in 24 hours (certified)
BunBurner
1632 Miles in 36 hours (certified)

Prowler #81
Double Darksider # 792

GoodYear Tripletred 205/55
Michelin Alpin 195/55

Battlax BT-45

No trailers / No rentals
TouringOn2 is offline  
post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 11:52 PM
Seasoned Member
 
ssncob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Crossville TN
Posts: 6,378
Ecellent write up - both the text and the pictures.

Double Darksider #847
IBA #54767 BB1500+
Patriot Guard
Who I was yesterday is but a past memory, who I will be tomorrow is in the future. Who I am now and the type of person I am to others, that is what is important now.
ssncob is offline  
 
post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-17-2015, 01:31 AM
Seasoned Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 1,750
Excellent write-up!! Kudos

Hate when companies sucker you in with an initial low-ball price. No reason to charge $45 for each sensor other than the fact that they can.

Do you mount the sensors inside or outside the tire? I have a set that will probably be reaching the end of their service life and are currently mounted outside. But when I fit new tires I intend to go internal. Do you see any problem with internal mounting?

2007 Comfort/Nav/ABS

Prior:
1993 ST1100
1983 CX650

I'll go totally green and give up my GoldWing when Al Gore gives up his charter jet.
ChgoD is offline  
post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-17-2015, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
Seasoned Member
 
BGBLK06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,693
I mounted my first set of sensors internally for a cleaner look.
The second set of sensors were mounted on the outside of the rim because the lady at Doran told me the sensors would not drain the battery unless they were screwed on and there was air pressure. Since my bike is not ridden for almost five months a year due to the winter, I unscrewed them. To be honest with you, though, I did not see a difference in the battery life.
There are no issues with mounting the sensors internally. Just be very careful when taking old tires off and putting new tires on the rim. The sensor sticks down a little below the rim, so the bead of the tire will snap it right off if you are not careful.

Kurt


The greatest father-son motorcycle trip ever !
Alaska '14 (click to read)
Alaska '12 (click to read)
Coast to Coast Non-Stop CERTIFIED !
Jacksonville to San Diego

2367 miles..31hours 52min
1860 miles..24 hours
1025 miles..15 hours

IBA #57815
Double Darksider #333
Michelin Alpin/
Battlax BT45
BGBLK06 is offline  
post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-17-2015, 11:59 PM
Seasoned Member
 
GRWilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Newburgh, IN
Posts: 411
Good post, Thanks.
I just replaced mine a few months back. I will try your procedure next time my sensors go bad.

Willie Wilson WD9FHA
Newburgh, IN
IBA #22660
DSI #429
Member of the All the Way Gang-2009 Ride for the Relay
http://www.ridefortherelay.org
GRWilson is offline  
post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 11:40 PM
Seasoned Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Glendale AZ
Posts: 2,707
Excellent. How the heck did you get this done without screwing up half a dozen sensors first? I'm impressed. Was the 325 degree oven just a lucky guess or experience from prior projects? Also, do you think JB Weld for plastic would work?
azjerry is offline  
post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
Seasoned Member
 
BGBLK06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,693
Quote:
Originally Posted by azjerry View Post
Excellent. How the heck did you get this done without screwing up half a dozen sensors first? I'm impressed. Was the 325 degree oven just a lucky guess or experience from prior projects? Also, do you think JB Weld for plastic would work?
I used the 325 as a ballpark just too soften things up a little bit. That's the temp I was told to use to take my headlights apart when I installed the projectors, so I figured I'd start there. It just warmed the sensor up, and I could still hold it with my hands.
I don't have any experience with the JB weld for plastic. If you've used it before on plastic with success, I'd say give it a shot and let us know how it works out. From what I've seen, if something doesn't work, it's pretty easy to completely remove and start over.
Good luck and please report back if you try this. Any report on failure or success will help the next guy !

Kurt


The greatest father-son motorcycle trip ever !
Alaska '14 (click to read)
Alaska '12 (click to read)
Coast to Coast Non-Stop CERTIFIED !
Jacksonville to San Diego

2367 miles..31hours 52min
1860 miles..24 hours
1025 miles..15 hours

IBA #57815
Double Darksider #333
Michelin Alpin/
Battlax BT45
BGBLK06 is offline  
post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
Seasoned Member
 
BGBLK06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,693
It's been a few weeks now since I changed the batteries, and I wanted to report back on some findings.
First off, this works !
My first sensor has worked flawlessly.
The second sensor..... well, that's where the learning curve comes in.
That's the one where I thought brand new battery was dead right out of the package.
That sensor, as it turns out, will give a reading when you first screw it in, but then after about five minutes, the monitor will lose the sensor almost like the battery was dead again.
Long story short, I took it apart, and this time the battery was still at 3 volts. I can't explain why, because I have no idea how those little circuit boards work, but I think something in there is fried. Looking at the big picture, I believe what happened is that when I first installed the battery into this sensor, the thin piece of plastic I mentioned to put back in as an isolator that came off of the original battery must not have been centered or something. I think this allowed the negative side of the battery to touch some part of the circuit board and short out to the positive side. That is probably why that first battery was down to 1.5 volts 24 hours after putting the battery in when I screwed the sensor on. As the battery sat there all night while the glue was drying, it was probably shorted out......frying a part of the circuit board and draining the battery.
I cut a piece of plastic a little larger than the battery and tried it again, but had the same results. The circuit board must be shot. So in addition to my first post, I would highly recommend installing a piece of plastic under the battery and on top of the circuit board. I must have just gotten lucky with the first sensor and nothing made contact with the battery.
Here is the piece of plastic I cut. It completely covers and insulates the circuit board. I just set the battery on some plastic and cut around it with a razor blade, then cut a small slit to go around the bottom contact on the board.



I'll be installing something like that in future sensors just as an added precaution. It only takes a few seconds to cut, and the sensor should work just fine like my first one.
Happy riding and be safe !

Kurt


The greatest father-son motorcycle trip ever !
Alaska '14 (click to read)
Alaska '12 (click to read)
Coast to Coast Non-Stop CERTIFIED !
Jacksonville to San Diego

2367 miles..31hours 52min
1860 miles..24 hours
1025 miles..15 hours

IBA #57815
Double Darksider #333
Michelin Alpin/
Battlax BT45
BGBLK06 is offline  
post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 02:46 AM
Seasoned Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 1,750
Sometimes with electronics if you depower them for a while they come back. try taking the battery out for 24 hours and maybe the sensor will reset.

Nothing to lose.

2007 Comfort/Nav/ABS

Prior:
1993 ST1100
1983 CX650

I'll go totally green and give up my GoldWing when Al Gore gives up his charter jet.
ChgoD is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the GL1800Riders forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome