Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners


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gford
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Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby gford » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:28 am



Not sure if I have a problem or not, but my new lactrical 95 amp alternator was consistently charging at 13.8- 13.9 volts at the battery and 14.25 at the alternator for the last 5000km. On my last ride the voltage went to 15v at the battery and 15.4 at the alternator. Nothing changed as far as load, the charge voltage just increased.

I swapped alternators with my spare and the charging voltage is consistent at 13.8-13.9 as I assume is normal.

I contacted Lactrial and their reply was that 15.5 is the perfect voltage for my bike (99 SE) and overcharging is not a concern until 16-17 volts. From research on the internet it seems most consider anything over 14.6 could cause overcharging.

My question is: should I be concerned with a charge rate of 15 volts at the battery and what voltage are other getting who have installed this alternator.



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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby MikeB » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:44 am

What are you using to monitor the voltage? Your on board voltmeter may be causing a faulty indication. That being said, 15 volt output for a short time is not too terribly objectionable. If it continues to produce 15.0 volts and higher, send it back and get another one. The regulator should maintain the voltage below 15 volts I would think.

I have had similar problems but with a low reading and not a high reading. I have read where others have had erroneous high readings using aftermarket voltmeters that indicate voltage, temperature and time.

Add-On makes a nice little voltmeter that works quite well. I have had no problems out of the ones I have used.
http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/mini_led_digital_voltmeter/120/4231
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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:06 pm

The ideal voltage for charging a flooded lead-acid battery is 13.8 volts, or 2.3 volts per cell. Above 2.4 volts per cell (14.4 volts) you'll get gassing and boiling off of the electrolyte. 2.45 volts (14.7 volts) should be considered the absolute upper limit for charge voltage. You will be shortening the life of your battery charging it at these voltages.

15.5 volts is WAY too high to be charging a lead acid battery. Your battery will not last long at those voltages, especially at elevated temperatures.

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby gford » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:52 pm

MikeB

I used a multimeter at the battery and at the alternator, also my remote digital voltmeter is connected through a relay and it very accurate when compared with the multimeter readings.

Everybody has the same opinion that above 14.7 is not good for the battery except the people who sell this alternator. They claim there is no problem until 16 or 17 volts and 15.5 falls within the factory specs.

Guess I will get it checked out at a electrical shop, from everything I read 15 volts is to high.

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby MikeB » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:08 pm

Since the manufacturer/retailer thinks its okay, returning it for repair would be a waste of time. I would return the alternator for a refund if I were you.
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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby ct1500 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:58 pm

The problem is and for whatever reason the Honda manual states charging voltage is good anywhere from 13.5-15.5V which is contrary to Industry standards for any alternator based system with the 15.5V ridiculous high.

13.6-14.4V is OK with 13.8-14.2V being ideal IMO. You got a regulator problem which should hopefully be fairly easy to replace without a bunch of solder work in that alternator.

Check your small sense wire to alternator for good connections and volt reading very close to battery voltage minus any wiring resistance.

BTW You are loosing almost a .5V from the short run of heavy gauge wire from alternator to battery cables which should not be happening unless resistance is high somewhere along the way.
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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby redial » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:22 pm

If this is a flooded/wet cell type of battery, then I would think that this is consistently too high. It may be different if it is an AGM or LiFePo battery, which seem to take a higher voltage.
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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby gford » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:32 pm

the bike is fitted with an AGM battery

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby ct1500 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:59 pm

I have yet to see a charging voltage change on a bike when putting an AGM battery in place of a wet cell.
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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby gford » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:17 am

The AGM battery was always there. I was answering redials question.

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:26 am

Actually AGM batteries are MORE sensitive to overcharging than standard wet-cell batteries.

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby Mh434 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:33 pm

My new LActrical 95-amp alt is putting out a consistent 14.06-14.07 volts, pretty much regardless of RPM. My onboard digital LED voltmeter (on the switched side of things) says it's putting out 13.8-14.2 volts at varying RPM, but my accurate volt-ohmmeter (reading at the battery) says otherwise. I'm thinking the variance at the onboard voltmeter is due to various items in the switched side of things going on & off. Well, that plus the fact that it consistently reads .25 volts lower than actual battery voltage.

As to going up to over 15V, I'm at a loss as to the reason for that. Assuming it's the regulator (and, bearing in mind that the alt itself is basically an off-the-shelf Delco unit), worst comes to worst, a replacement regulator couldn't cost much at all.

Actually, if it helps, I just spotted a Delco CS-121/130 regulator on Ebay, for $14.95...

**EDIT - I just had a look at the Delco alternator diagnostics page. They consider 15.5 volts & below to be normal operation of this series of alternators...found it here: http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=& ... 8758,d.aWw

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby gford » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:47 pm

I put the Lactrial alternator back in the bike today as a double check to make sure it was still charging high and the voltage at the alternator is now 15.67. I replaced the alternator with my spare and the voltage is back to a constant 13.8-13.9, so I'm confident that its the Lactrial alternator that is the problem. Going to get it tested at an auto electric in a couple of weeks. I will post the results.

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby MikeB » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:51 pm

It sure looks like the regulator is calling it quits.
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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners update

Postby gford » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:12 pm

I was using my spare alt for the last year and decided to put the lactrical back in to see if there was any change. Lactrical still charging at 15- 15.3 volts at all revs and even after it is warmed up. I suspect the voltage regulator is not working correctly and that would account for the 1 volt increase 14 volts to 15 volts I experienced after 5000 miles. Lactricial claims that 15 volts is within honda specs and there is no problem and they could not explain the increase in voltage. Multible internet searches did not show another lactrical alternator that had this increase in voltage, most are very happy with around 14 volts at idle. The bike has a new agm battery installed.
I contacted Lactrical to find out the particulars on this alternator (type, model number) before it was converted to fit the honda goldwing. I explained that I was going on a cross country trip and if I had a failure a repair shop would need the info for repairs. Their reply is as follows:

"This is a special alternator with bigger case compare to stock unit, not available in any dealer or most repair shops, to get replacement spare parts need to contact us will try to help as much as we could.
Thanks"

It sounds like if you are on the road and have a failure with this alternator, your only option is to contact lactricial and see what they can do to help you.

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby MikeB » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:32 pm

Unless you have an extended warranty on this alternator, you don't have many options left. Had you sent it back when you discovered the issue, you might have been able to get them to either replace it or refund your money. At this stage of the game, you can either use it as is or take it to a good alternator shop have them them replace the regulator. Whatever you do at this point is pretty much up to you. I doubt that Lactrical will do much for you at this late date but you can always ask them to replace the regulator or replace the entire alternator. It doesn't hurt to ask. Customer relations is important to any company. I would think that they would want to keep you happy and not have you spread discontent amongst their target demographic.
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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby gford » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:00 pm

Mike, When the problem arose last year Lactrical stated that the voltage was within specs (under 15.50) and washed their hands of it, plus it would cost a lot to ship it from the east coast of canada to a company that doesn't believe there is anything wrong with the alternator.

As far as taking it to a local shop, Lactrical said that most shops won't have parts because it a special alternator (their words not mind).

I will keep it as a spare for long trips and only use it as a last resort.

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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby MikeB » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:08 pm

You may never know if local shops have parts to work on it unless you take it to a local shop.
I would not believe the manufacturer on their assumption of parts and repair capability in North America. They have no reason to lie but they also are not all knowing.
Nothing to lose by having it looked at. More to lose by letting it set and not be in use.
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Re: Lactrical alternator 95 amp owners

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:13 pm

Very unlikely that they are manufacturing their own stators and alternators, and that they are sourcing from standard places. I'd just take it to an alternator shop and see if they can test the regulator, or, if you feel adventurous, take the regulator out yourself and bring it to an alternator shop, see if they can identify and source a replacement.




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