Alternator bench testing


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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hugger-4641
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:07 pm
Location: McKenzie, TN
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

Alternator bench testing

Postby hugger-4641 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:24 pm



Has anyone here ever tried to bench test an alternator?
I had to pull mine off this week, turns out only thing wrong was my brushes were stuck, but in the process of finding this out, I found out that none of the alternator repair shops in my area had any way to drive the alternator for bench testing due to the design of the drive gear.

I am in the process of machining my own adapter from aluminum stock that will fit over the drive gear and allow me to bench drive these alternators without removing the lock nut and drive gear. If anyone else here is interested,let me know. After I've tested mine, I'll be glad to make you one for a small fee plus shipping. I will also post the drawing I made for mine so you can make your own if you want. I am not trying to make money and do not wish to start another job as a full time machinist, but I do have the equipment and a temporary supply of aluminum stock. I am willing to help a few people out by making a few extras for those who don't have the ability or the access to the shop equipment to make their own. When my stock is used up, that will probably be the end of the deal for me.

From the looks of it so far, it's about a four hour job to make one. Which, around here, equates to about a $300 item if you hire a machine shop to make one for you. I will probably be able to make about a dozen of them from the stock I have for about $80 each. I should have mine finished this week, if anyone's interested, respond to this post and I'll download some pics and post the drawing when I get it done and tested. Again, I'm only offering this to help someone out. If no one's interested, no harm and no worry, I'll be happy with mine and won't waste my time trying to make extras or download pics and drawings. :)



hemi-roid
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:23 pm
Location: merrillville, Indiana
Motorcycle: 1988 goldwing

Re: Alternator bench testing

Postby hemi-roid » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:08 pm

I've already made several, I use them to drive the alternator on my test bench. Go to my website http://mysite.ncnetwork.net/resp3jbj/

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hugger-4641
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:07 pm
Location: McKenzie, TN
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

Re: Alternator bench testing

Postby hugger-4641 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:26 am

That's good to know, at least the folks in your area have someone they can turn to. The alternator shop I usually use is going to buy one of my adapters when I get it done. I asked him why he hadn't already had one made and his reply was that he just didn't get enough requests to work on these alternators to make it worth having a machine shop make one for him. He said the typical repair on these alternators is brushes, regulators, and bearings, all of which can be replaced on his bench within 30min. What he was getting at was that he didn't make enough labor charge per customer to justify buying special tools unless it was a really common item. When I told him how much I would charge him for one of my adapters, he said he would have bought one a long time ago at my price. Of course, I'm not in business as a machine shop owner trying to make a living with my shop equipment either.
Just out of curiosity, how long did it take you to make one?

hemi-roid
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:23 pm
Location: merrillville, Indiana
Motorcycle: 1988 goldwing

Re: Alternator bench testing

Postby hemi-roid » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:14 am

I took a stock impeller and machined the vanes off, them reamed out a pulley and welded it to the inpeller. Maybe an hour at the most.

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hugger-4641
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:07 pm
Location: McKenzie, TN
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

Re: Alternator bench testing

Postby hugger-4641 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:42 am

That makes sense if you have the spare parts. Since I had some 4" round aluminum stock, I took a 1 1/4" slice and machined the profile of the impeller into it. I turned the OD into a flat sheave so I can drive it with a serpentine belt. The alternator shop wanted a V-belt sheave on theirs, which was no problem. It is secured to the hub of the impeller on the alternator by four set screws placed between each fin. I'm waiting on a 3/16" end mill to arrive so I can finish the profile of the fins, I figure that will take me about another 30min and it will be done.

hemi-roid
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:23 pm
Location: merrillville, Indiana
Motorcycle: 1988 goldwing

Re: Alternator bench testing

Postby hemi-roid » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:54 pm

If you ever need any parts, I stock everything for the 1500 alternator.

User avatar
hugger-4641
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:07 pm
Location: McKenzie, TN
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

Re: Alternator bench testing

Postby hugger-4641 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:31 pm

I'll keep that in mind. I have a "needs rebuilding" alternator on the way that I picked up on e-bay. I'm going to rebuild it and have it on standby for when mine goes out again. It will probably need brushes at the very least and I'll probably just go ahead and put bearings and a regulator in it while I'm at it. What would it cost me for you to ship me those parts?

hemi-roid
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:23 pm
Location: merrillville, Indiana
Motorcycle: 1988 goldwing

Re: Alternator bench testing

Postby hemi-roid » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:46 pm

Brushes $5. regulator $75, ft bearing $35, r bearing $10
Where do you live?
Watch out using set screws to hold the drive, I have scars to prove they don't hold.




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