Altenators


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Dayta
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Altenators

Postby Dayta » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:37 pm



Hello,
I was wondering, by adding extra lighting and other accessories that uses the bikes power, is it best to upgrade the alternator to a higher amperage or is the factory one sufficient ?? I have a GL1500

Dayta



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trike lady
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Re: Altenators

Postby trike lady » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:46 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum.
Yes, it pays to upgrade to a Compufire package. The OEM unit is underpowered to run extra accessories/lights.
I.M.B.B.A. Technician II Certified

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Dayta
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Re: Altenators

Postby Dayta » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:52 pm

Thanks Trike Lady for your response. I figured as much but wanted to get some clarification. Thanks again.

Dayta
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WingAdmin
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Re: Altenators

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:22 pm

You won't go wrong with a Compufire, and you'll never worry about not having enough power ever again.

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redial
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Re: Altenators

Postby redial » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:51 am

Just so that there are no surprises, you will probably have to get another battery. The output from a Compufire gets a bit high for old and unsuitable batteries.

Also, have a look at this site for a different solution that may save some dollars:
[urlhttp://myplace.frontier.com/~hemi-roid/][/url]

There are a number of very satisfied customers according to other boards.
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regwal
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Re: Altenators

Postby regwal » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:14 am

I have OE still and have many lights. For me the secret is LEDs. I have 110,000 miles on my alternator.

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tmilam
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Re: Altenators

Postby tmilam » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:15 am

The compufire is a good alternator. Little pricey for me, $430. I went with a "Ricks Motorsport Electrics Hot Shot Alternator" from http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com, Part #36834, for $360. As with the compufire, you will need to get rid or the acid style battery. Picked up one of those at my local Batteries Plus for $100.

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Re: Altenators

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:14 pm

The Compufire states that you should run an AGM battery with it - it will boil off the electrolyte on a lead-acid battery. One of the nice things is that it is a standard automotive alternator with a custom flange on it, so any automotive alternator shop should be familiar with it to fix/rebuild it.

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bjatwood
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Re: Altenators

Postby bjatwood » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:21 pm

I too use the LED's on my 98SE.. no issues with my alternator either.

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2manywings
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Re: Altenators

Postby 2manywings » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:53 pm

The stock alt. that came on your 1500 from the factory was inadequate from the word go! I used Compu-Fire for several years back when they were the only kids on the block, but always felt they were overpriced, and I had a fair number of failures which they rarely stood behind. So a few years back when others started popping up, I started looking for alternatives. I've installed several 95amp. alternators from Electric Motor Service in WV. I buy them through their ebay store. They are listed as EMS Global. I just checked, and they are currently selling them for $197 w/ free shipping. They have proven to be reliable so far and are easier to install. And according to EMS, you can run with a standard lead cell battery (which I do) with no problems. If the voltage regulator is working properly, it won't be putting out much over 14.5 volts anyway. That's what the stock one should do at highway speed. These that I'm using from EMS will do 14.5 volts at idle speed. That's my two cents worth. Good Luck!

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robb
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Re: Altenators

Postby robb » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:04 pm

i"m also running a EMS Global 95 amp with a lead acid battery and three years has not damaged battery.

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2manywings
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Re: Altenators

Postby 2manywings » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:14 pm

I'm glad to hear from someone else that uses their products with good results. I think that the other brand is just trying to add to their sales by selling batteries too. I used to buy most of my starters and alternators from Stockers Starters in CA. until they sold their business to EMS. They are closer to me so I started dealing with them. They've never done me wrong... That's important today! Good product, good prices, and easy to do business with... What more could you want.

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RoadRogue
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Re: Altenators

Postby RoadRogue » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:10 pm

Does anybody know the country these Alternators (EMS Global) are made in? Are they quality units or more Chinese made junk? 8-)
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Dayta
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Re: Altenators

Postby Dayta » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:15 am

4 weeks ago I found that EMS Global Alternator on ebay for $197 and immediately jumped on it. 4 days later it arrived and I quickly had it installed, (since I'm not that good at mechanics). I also replaced my acid battery with an AGM sealed one just for piece of mind. I'm glad to hear from those who have had success with this alternator. I also agree that the Compu-Fire one is waaayyy to pricey.

Thanks guys.
Dayta
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2manywings
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Re: Altenators

Postby 2manywings » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:36 am

I hope your EMS alternator experience is as positive for you as it has been for me. I'm not promoting anybodies product here, just stating my personal experiences. RELIABILITY is always my #1 priority when deciding which products to use. If it happens to cost 1/2 the price of some of the competition, then that's a bonus. There's nothing I hate worse than telling someone that the $400 alternator that they bought 12 to 24 months ago,with only average miles driven (with no warranty coverage) , needs to be repaired (bearings gone, rotor failures). After having 3 such issues in a short period of time I felt it was time to look at my options, and at this point I feel that I've found a unit that has proved to be as reliable or more than the heavily advertised brand (I've had no failures with the EMS units out of many over the past few years). As for where they are made, I do not know. But after looking around this morning, I don't see anyone stating where theirs made, leading me to believe it's not here. So do your homework and buy what your comfortable with.... And back to the original post... my answer would be #1-Yes #2-No

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robb
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Re: Altenators

Postby robb » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:48 pm

When I purchased my EMS alternator they sent a flyer by email with a list of mew products. They were making starters foe Yamaha Vstar 1100 and mine was just about to go out. For $305 they shipped both at same time, about a hundred dollar savings. Two happy bikes now.

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Fiberthree
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Re: Altenators

Postby Fiberthree » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:35 pm

The factory alternator left me stranded on the freeway one morning. I've had my Compufire since November of 2005 and not a single problem. At the time I bought it, it was the only game in town. It installed with no problems but it is tight getting it in there, and don't forget to change the rubber couplers at the same time.
Ed

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lappir
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Re: Altenators

Postby lappir » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:38 am

I replaced my alternator a few weeks ago. Last weekend on a long ride away from home the bike died and would do nothing with a push of the start button. Hooked up some jumper cables and it fired right up. Headlight as bright as normal and no dimming noted with stepping on the
break or using the turn signals. (Both I had when my OE alternator was giving up the ghost.) I thought maybe a one in a million dead spot in the starter. Nope, a few miles down the road with the revs at 1800 to 2000 the bike went dead again. Thanks to my friends with the South Florida Riders Club I was able to charge the battery a little from a members bike and then go to the home of that same members friend who charged my battery for a couple hour in exchange for lunch and then the Husband Wife combo put me in the rocking chair and lead me home. I was finally able to put a gauge to the battery that showed 10.26 volts while the bike was still running and 11.48 volts when I turned it off. I have tried several places in South Florida to have some work done on my 1995 1500 and have had little luck. There is one guy, but he isn't real schooled in the 1500 (took him 2 hours at $65.00 per hour ) to change a rear tire and that is about it. I replaced the first without too much difficulty but it's not working right now. I don't want to take it off and find that I messed up one of the wires and the alternator works on the bench when I take it back to where I got it. Unfortunately, I used the non dimming lights as my test and not an actual meter. Won't do that mistake again. (I hope). The good thing is the bike is in my garage and it only cost me lunch to get back across the state. It could have been much more expensive.

Before I take the alternator off, are there any other tests I can do while it's still on. I do not have an amp meter, just Volts. All the connections look good but they are difficult to see. Thank you in advance. I'm going to get grocery's and will check back in a little while.

Rod

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2manywings
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Re: Altenators

Postby 2manywings » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:36 pm

The very first thing you should do is be 100% sure that the battery is good. Any auto parts store should be able to help you if you don't have the equip. I'd get two opinions if you have the ability to do so(some stores will do whatever they can to sell you a battery). If the battery is good, be sure it's fully charged, start the bike and with it running at @2500-3000 rpm, attach your volt meter to the pos. and neg. posts on your battery. At this speed you should be looking for 14.0-14.5 volts output from the alt. to the battery. I normally turn on the high beams. This forces the system to work a little harder. If you don't see these kind of voltage numbers, chances are you have an alt. issue. If the alt. is only a few old, I'd be in touch with the vendor you purchased it from. Being only a few weeks old, it must be under warranty. Keep us posted on your progress and good luck!

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Re: Altenators

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:54 pm

The GL1500 charging circuit is fairly simple, and fairly simple to test. Start by beginning with a freshly charged battery.

First, you will want to check that the field voltage is in place - this is what "turns the alternator on." At the alternator, that is a Black/Light Green wire. When the ignition is switched to ON, you should have +12 volts there. If this is not the case, then you've got a problem other than your alternator.

If the Black/Light Green wire has 12 volts on it, then start up the bike. With the bike running, you should see ~14 volts on the B terminal on the alternator. As shown in the circuit, you can pick this up on either the black or the white wire. If while the engine is running, you have ~12 volts on your black/light green wire, but only battery voltage (i.e. 11 volts with engine running), then your alternator has failed. If you've got ~14 volts on the black or white wires, then the alternator is good, and you've got a different problem.

GL1500 Charging Circuit
GL1500 Charging Circuit

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Fiberthree
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Re: Altenators

Postby Fiberthree » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:22 pm

When it came time to replace my gel-cell battery I let the sales person talk me into a local firm that produced the proper type. It worked fine until one morning when I went to start up to go to work. Just as I touched the start button I heard a loud "SNAP" and nothing on the bike worked. The voltage looked a little low, ~11 volts, so I hooked up a charger for an hour. When I next tried to start the engine everything would shut down and/or get dim. Just like something was shorting out. Fast forward to the end of the day... After seeing parts I should never ever see I put the old battery back in and to my amazement it started. Turns out I had a shorted cell in the battery. The manager at the parts store told me the battery I had bought from him 32 days ago was out of warranty. WTF??!! I stood my ground and after he called the manufacturer, reluctantly gave me a new battery. He tested it for me and with a condescending tone told me "see... it tests good." I told him the first on did the same thing, too. His next comment was "if this one fails, there is something wrong with your bike!" My response to that was that if this one fails I would shop elsewhere for my parts. My point was, you should start with the simple stuff. It could be a problem with the battery.
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

lappir
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Re: Altenators

Postby lappir » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:58 am

Finally got the time to pull the alternator again. It's not all that bad a job but procrastination and thinking it will be more difficult than it is sure extends the time of not riding. Beautiful day in South Florida for being on the bike and it's stuck in the Garage. Now I just have to get off early enough next week to get it to the alternator place. I'm sure they won't have a replacement to give me right away either. I did call a couple weeks ago when i discovered the no charge situation and their only response was. "Bring the alternator in and we will check it out."

Rod

lappir
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Re: Alternators

Postby lappir » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:49 am

New alternator in and working. Keep checking with the multi tester every time I start it up. Looked at the LED monitor but imagine everyone would ship via USPS and I can't get the mail to deliver things to me. May try later today to call one of the sellers and arrange a UPS or FedEx delivery.

Rod

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Dusty Boots
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Re: Altenators

Postby Dusty Boots » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:33 am

tmilam wrote:The compufire is a good alternator. Little pricey for me, $430. I went with a "Ricks Motorsport Electrics Hot Shot Alternator" from http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com, Part #36834, for $360. As with the compufire, you will need to get rid or the acid style battery. Picked up one of those at my local Batteries Plus for $100.


You can get the Compu-Fire Package (which includes the C-F alternator and their C-F AGM battery with 350 CCA) for $449 with free shipping, ending up getting a quality item, instead of an 'Off Brand ' one. :ugeek:


Dusty

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Fiberthree
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Re: Alternators

Postby Fiberthree » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:34 pm

lappir wrote:New alternator in and working. Keep checking with the multi tester every time I start it up. Looked at the LED monitor but imagine everyone would ship via USPS and I can't get the mail to deliver things to me. May try later today to call one of the sellers and arrange a UPS or FedEx delivery.

Rod



How did your failed alt check out? Did they tell you what was wrong or just exchange it for another?


Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.


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