Another alternator question...


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Mh434
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Another alternator question...

Postby Mh434 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:55 am



The alternator in my '97 GL1500SE is still working (charges verrrry slightly at idle, not bad at 1000 RPM even with lots of lights on, etc., and 13.9-14 V @ 2000+ RPM.), but I'm thinking of adding heated grips (I have a heated vest, but haven't used it yet) and I suspect it may be too much load with all the brake lights, etc. I already have.

Anyway, I've looked at the Compufire, but the cost is simply beyond my reach right now (I'm in Canada, so prices can soar coming across the border - if it comes via UPS, for example, the price would reach $1000 -$1500 or even more). BTW, I have just installed a new AGM battery, to replace the failing Odyssey.

I see lots of GL1500 85 and 90 amp aftermarket high-output alternators on EBay for less than 1/3 of the cost of a Compufire. Several sellers offer a 1-year replacement warranty, for what that's worth.

Has anyone here given one of these a try? Any particular EBay sellers for these that you can recommend? At this point, It might make sense to order an alt before I actually need one, so I can change it out at my convenience.

Your thoughts?



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curley
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Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800 Level 3

Re: Another alternator question...

Postby curley » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:07 am

...purchased an Ebay unit last year ...left on a 6000 mile ride (two up) ...no issues...worked great and continues to do so...like you have a AGM battery installed...strongly suggest replacing the drive "rubbers" (cushions) ...available from Cycle Max in Ohio.
1) New Alt comes with a new Oring
2) a clamp on the wiring must be removed and discarded
3) the New Amp comes with a "Noise(electrical noise)Suppressor ( basically a capacitor)in it's wire harness...no radio issues ( I use Blue tooth for intercom)
4) There is a Utube post on the install of a CompuFire into a GL1500


5) it's a tight fit - make damn sure you disconnect the battery before you start - and have some patience, good lighting, a small retrieval magnet might be handy as well as a 1/4" drive metric socket set
6) have NOT replaced or doubled up any "dog bone" ( fusible links) ...left everything "stock" under those plastic covers near the battery/starter solenoid
7) I would purchase one again ( the supplier was in the Carolinas, if my puny memory is working)

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Mh434
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1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Another alternator question...

Postby Mh434 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:12 am

Thanks, Curley!!

I have watched that video, a few times, and it doesn't look too difficult. Is your alternator larger than the OEM one, like the Compufire is?

All in all, it looks like a worthwhile upgrade. Time to start shopping...

- Mike

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curley
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Re: Another alternator question...

Postby curley » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:54 pm

Yes Mike, the Ebay 90 amp alternator is larger than "stock"...it is similar in size to the Compfire unit

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Mh434
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1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Another alternator question...

Postby Mh434 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:11 pm

Excellent, thanks! Here's one I'm looking at...http://www.ebay.com/itm/300778145720?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT . It purports to be a 95 amp, made by LActrical (I couldn't find any selling from the Carolinas - this one is apparently from California).

I can't help but wonder if these originate as car alternators, with specially made face plates? It would seem to be a LOT of work for a small manufacturer to build entire alternators from scratch. Possibly based on one of the GM alts...

But, hey, I don't care! If it works, I'm good with it. It sure would be nice to eliminate worries about alt output & electrical "budget" when choosing accessories for the bike. I recently put on an LED voltmeter. It works fine but, when compared to readings from my digital volt-ohmmeter (believed to be quite accurate), it reads .2 to .3 V lower than actual battery voltage. It says I'm down to 12.2 volts with engine at idle (750 rpm, on my bike), lights on (just changed from the original 45-watt bulbs to 55/60 watt H4's), and brakes on (I've lost count of how many bulbs & LED's I have when my brakes are on - it lights up like a Christmas tree!). So, the voltage is probably more like 12.5V, but that's not charging at all. Easing the idle to 800-900 RPM bumps the voltmeter reading up to around 13.2V (in reality, probably 13.5V), so I don't think the alt is failing (yet). It just doesn't have ANY margin left for electrical accessories. 95 amps would do that for sure, though!

This company's alts are also available on Amazon - useful for checking reviews. Unfortunately, there aren't many. Most are very good, although there are 2 or 3 instances where the alts had to be returned/replaced. On the plus side, the company was apparently very good to deal with, and replaced faulty units quickly, and without question. For me, it's not the hassle of returning items etc., but rather the downtime associated with waiting for stuff to come & go in the mail (and huge shipping costs in & out of Canada! :shock: )

It's a crap shoot, I guess, but the company does seem to have a good reputation.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Another alternator question...

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:30 pm

Mh434 wrote:I can't help but wonder if these originate as car alternators, with specially made face plates? It would seem to be a LOT of work for a small manufacturer to build entire alternators from scratch. Possibly based on one of the GM alts...


That's exactly what they are. The Compufire is a Delco Remy CS-121, originally from a 2000 Saturn.

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robb
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Re: Another alternator question...

Postby robb » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:24 pm

The ebay units work great, at least mine has for 4 years now. Take a video while removing the old unit and take notice of how it comes out. New one will be a little bit larger but the turns are the same to reinstall.

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Mh434
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Re: Another alternator question...

Postby Mh434 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:36 pm

Sounds like sage advice to me! Glad to hear others have had success with these alts. Now, I have to get busy & order one when I get home from work!

Thanks again, folks - this forum ROCKS!!!

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Mh434
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1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Another alternator question...

Postby Mh434 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:48 am

Well, pulled the trigger & ordered one of these 95-amp alts. Also ordered a set of OEM drive rubbers.

I can't believe it...I'm all excited about an alternator!! :D

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bellboy40
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Re: Another alternator question...

Postby bellboy40 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:06 pm

I know what you mean. I'll bet this is how you feel now.
Attachments
How I feel after ordering parts
How I feel after ordering parts




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