GL1500 Alternator


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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hugger-4641
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

GL1500 Alternator

Postby hugger-4641 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:20 pm



Just wanted to share a recent experience in the event it might help someone else. If you do some searching here, there are several threads about problems with alternators on 1500's so I won't bother repeating the details. If you've had the same problem I have, you've probably already done some reading about it. I'm still running the OEM hitachi on my 94 since I haven't had the extra $ to put on a compufire. My alternator just went out at a really in-opportune time, so I had to come up with a temporary fix while I waited for a new one to come in. No one within three states of me rewinds these rotors, so to make a long story short, I repaired the bad rotor by pressing it apart, uncoiling one turn of the winding to remove the broken portion, then reassembled using epoxy to replace the pieces of insulating disc that broke while disassembling. It's been running for over a week now and my new alternator just came in, so I'm tempted to leave it in and just see how long it will run. If anyone finds themselves in the same predicament and wants to know the dirty details of exactly how I repaired mine, feel free to message me.

A last word of advice, if you are still running an OEM alternator on your 1500, get a spare alternator and have it waiting. You will need it, because when the rotor goes bad, new brushes and regulator ain't gonna help it. :roll:



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virgilmobile
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:52 pm

hugger-4641 wrote: the dirty details of exactly how I repaired mine


Didja take pictures for everybody????
I like DIY,in a bind, get it going methods....Please tell us..

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hugger-4641
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby hugger-4641 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:11 pm

Ok, since you asked, I did take pics, but can't download them at the moment. I'll come back and post step by step what I did with pics. Maybe it will help somebody.

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hugger-4641
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby hugger-4641 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:27 pm

Ok, here’s the play by play, I’ll try to get pics added as soon as I can
1. Disassemble both housings and stator windings.
2. Test with multi-meter to verify open rotor winding.
3. Remove rotor assembly from front housing
4. Use bearing separator or puller to remove bearing.
5. Un-solder slip ring jumpers from windings.
6. Remove slip ring assembly.
7. Press shaft out of rotor cages.
8. Remove windings from rotor fan channels (may have to pry the channels open a little).
9. Separate rotor cages from coil.
10. Unwrap winding from plastic posts on insulating discs, this is most likely where the winding is broken.
11. Carefully separate insulating disc from coil.
12. Take broken winding end and unwind one turn of wire from coil.
13. Verify with multi-meter that there are no other breaks in the coil.
14. Re-assemble everything in reverse order. Apply RTV between insulating discs and rotor cages for extra insurance against a short. Apply epoxy to plastic posts of insulating discs to encase the winding leads and prevent movement later. Allow epoxy to cure for a couple hours before final assembly.

Hope this helps someone, it worked for me!
I’ll come back and add pics as soon as I can. :)

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virgilmobile
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:53 am

I'm very interested in why it failed.Did the winding corrode,burn,physically damaged.??

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hugger-4641
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby hugger-4641 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:00 am

It failed due to poor quality in manufacturing. Any alternator winding can fail after years of heat and vibration at 3-4k rpm causes fatigue in the wires and insulation, but Hitachi moved manufacturing of these alternators from Japan to China in the early 90's and the quality of the wire and manufacturing suffered. If you have an early model alternator that has the round capacitor on the case, it will probably last a long time, but the later models are prone to having a problem with the rotor winding sooner or later. I've talked to four different alternator shops that have told me the same thing, when they get these alternators in for repair, it's usually either a simple brush replacement, or bad rotor. I personally noticed that the wire was very soft compared to other electric motors and alternators I've worked on. The point where the windings leave the rotor coil and wrap around the plastic posts of the insulating disc is a stress point and obvious place to expect failure from fatigue. The ultimate solution,aside from switching to a compufire, is to have the rotor rewound with better quality wire. There's a guy here in the forum from Wisconsin that will sell you a rewound rotor for about $100 plus shipping with core exchange, or you can send him yours to be rebuilt. You can also buy an OEM replacement rotor for about $150, but you'd probably be buying the same problem over again. I didn't have time to wait for either option, so I had to experiment.

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virgilmobile
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83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:37 am

hugger-4641 wrote: The point where the windings leave the rotor coil and wrap around the plastic posts of the insulating disc is a stress point and obvious place to expect failure from fatigue.


That's what I was looking for....The problem area and possible cause...
Good diagnosis and fix too...Great job and thanks for the details and heads up....

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minimac
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby minimac » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:34 am

Thanks for sharing. When pics get posted, maybe this can be added to the How-To section. :D

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redial
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby redial » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:37 pm

Thanks for your patience in posting these photos and explanation. I think I could even do the same by following your lead. Good effort.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

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hugger-4641
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby hugger-4641 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:22 pm

redial wrote:Thanks for your patience in posting these photos and explanation. I think I could even do the same by following your lead. Good effort.


Thanks for the encouragement. I hope you don't have to do what I did, but it's nice to know there is an option. I happen to have picked up another alternator that also has a bad rotor. I'm sure I'll find the same thing when I tear this one down, but I'm tempted to try to rewind this one completely from scratch. I have a source for the wire, I would just have to determine how many turns of wire are needed and come up with a rig for keeping track of the turns. I'll come back and post what I find, and if I rewind it, I'll post what I did.

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hugger-4641
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby hugger-4641 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:06 am

Well, the repaired alternator is still on the bike, over 3k miles on it now. I ride 90 miles one way to work, so if I get to ride to work every day, plus me & misses riding in evenings and on the weekend, 1000 -1500 miles a week is normal for me.

I got the second alternator apart and, as expected, the rotor winding on the "parts" alternator is broken in exactly the same place as the one I repaired above. The brand new alternator is in the saddle bag now, so I'm in no hurry to fix this one at the moment. Thus, I think I am going to totally rewind this rotor. I'll post pics when I get it finished.

batta
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby batta » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:56 am

virgilmobile wrote:
hugger-4641 wrote: the dirty details of exactly how I repaired mine


Didja take pictures for everybody????
I like DIY,in a bind, get it going methods....Please tell us..

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c47antonio
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:46 am
Location: Rieti, Italy
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE

Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby c47antonio » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:03 am

thanks for your work, compliments you're really good :D

Antonio

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WingAdmin
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:53 pm

If anyone is wondering where the fantastic instructions and pictures that hugger-4641 posted have disappeared to, I moved them off into their own topic in the DIY section, so others can find it easily: How to rewind a GL1500 Alternator

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hugger-4641
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Re: GL1500 Alternator

Postby hugger-4641 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:43 am

Thank you kind sir! I hope it helps someone. It is really more of a "repair" than an actual "rewind", but soon I hope to document the actual "rewind" of my other alternator's rotor. When I do, I will list my source for the wire and any other needed components as well as the most simple process I can devise. BTW, the alternator repaired above is still in the bike with over 5k miles on it now. :)




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