Question for those who have installed LActrical alternators


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Mh434
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Question for those who have installed LActrical alternators

Postby Mh434 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:45 pm



Hi folks!

I purchased on of the LActrical 95A alternators, which just arrived. Looks good so far. I've also ordered a set of the rubber bumpers, but they haven't arrived yet so I won't do the instal until they do.

The instructions that come with the alternator are woeful at best. They consist of a single page, badly photocopied, wrapped around (and largely destroyed by) the alternator itself for shipping. The instructions are incredibly generic, mentioning how to instal pulleys for auto use, instructions as to which terminals are intended for which output (but the terminals are not labelled, and there's no diagram of any kind on the instruction sheet).

Since I'm no kind of electrical guru, and I know others here have used the LActrical alts successfully, I'm wondering if any of you who've done this can offer kind assistance? I have watched the Youtube video of the Aussie fellow doing his Compufire instal (a very well done video it is, too!), but I'm not sure how much of the wiring stuff on the Compufire is the same as the LActrical. At one point, he shows a 2-wire harness (from the bike) being connected to a 1-wire connector on the alternator, by means of cutting one of the wires from the OEM alternator. Assuming my OEM alternator wiring is the same, that doesn't look like a problem.

One thing I don't understand (not having any fitting instructions whatsoever) is his reference to fitting the rubbers & the instructions to put the bike in gear and move the alternator drive to some specific orientation. I have NO clue what that's all about!

Of course, there's no mention about fusing, battery to use, etc. I've just put in a brand new AGM battery, so I don't think that's an issue. My inclination is to run the original main fuse temporarily, while I make sure everything is properly set up. I have read several threads about the 70-amp PAL fuse mod, and it makes sense to me.

I did read another thread a short time ago (not sure which GW forum it was on) about someone having trouble with the new alternator repeatedly blowing some other fuse on the bike, requiring the inclusion of a relay, somewhere, somehow. That raises some concerns, as I don't know which fuse it was, where it's located, or how a relay might be included to prevent this!

Anyway, I'm looking for sage advice here before I dive in & get my hands dirty.

As I've said before, THIS FORUM ROCKS!!



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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby knklehd1 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:33 pm

When I installed mine a few weeks ago i disconnected the battery then I followed the wire from the alt to the connector and unplugged same. I then removed the old alt and installed the new alt. I already had a agm battery so that was easy. I didn't install a extra 55 amp fuse like some do ( each to there own ) double checked all my work and then started my bike and went for a ride and all was well.

To install the alternator dampers you take a damper you will see a fin inside the alt housing it gets placed between the dampers so the little crossover is on top of the fin then what you do is take a pencil and mark the side of the rear cover ( where the alt slides into ) the opening between the two dampers and you take the fin from the alt line it up with the line you made and slide the new alt in.
I have done so much with so little, I can do anything.

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby Uncle Fester » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:54 pm

This is for a Compufire, but all the same installation.



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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby cbx4evr » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:05 pm

Did you buy that alternator in Canada?
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby Mh434 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:43 pm

No, I couldn't find a single supplier in Canada. I got it from California (via EBay), and I specified USPS for shipping, to avoid being raped by UPS.

It looks great, and the company's reputation seems solid...it's just that their instal instructions, well, totally suck.

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby svorn » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:17 pm

I installed one last fall, and it works great. Hardest part was removing all the left side plastic to plug in the one connector. The starter slid right in with new Honda rubber bumpers. I've developed an oil leak from around the alternator o-ring. I contacted them, and they told me to use my stock one or buy a new stock o-ring. I wasn't happy about that. The O-ring that comes on it is too small of a cross section to seal properly. They should send me a new O-ring in my opinion. If you have time to wait on a new O-ring, save yourself the hassle and do it once. The LActrical alternator is huge compared to the stock Honda one, but for some reason it slid in easier than the Honda unit I tried to repair. Always at 13.5-14.2 volts, even at idle.

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby Mh434 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:41 am

Awesome, thanks! I've heard of the O-ring issue (the one in my new alternator is orange, and is proud of its groove by about 1/3 of its diameter. I may just order a new OEM one, to be on the safe side.

Just waiting on the new drive rubbers at this point. That's the problem with living in Canada - just about everything has to be ordered, and involves large shipping costs, a host of taxes, duties, etc...and lots & lots of time.

By the way, Svorn - did you increase the amperage rating of the main (dog bone) fuse when you installed the new alternator?

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby svorn » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:58 am

No, I didn't add any additional wiring or fuse. My bike is fairly stock when it comes to lighting, so I don't draw any more amps than the stock 40.

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby Mh434 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:55 pm

Thanks! I'll update the thread when I get the job done (still waiting on the dampers at this point).

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby Mh434 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:31 pm

Okay, folks - I just finished installing my LActrical 95-amp alternator. Here's the skinny...

First, it's not much larger than the stock Japan-built Hitachi - maybe 1/4" longer, and probably about 1/8" larger in diameter. There is room, although it IS tight.

The "sense" wire connects to the Honda wiring, alright...IF you can find the bike's connector. In my case, it was to the left of the tray under the fuel cap, between the tray & the faux fuel tank tupperware. A VERY hard place to get to (I could just, barely, touch the connector with my fingertips - no way I could connect/disconnect it, though). In the end, I removed the seat, lifted the radio enclosure, moved the fuel cap vent hose, etc., and worked the connector backward to where the front of the seat connects. As that would make the wire too short to connect to the new alternator's connector, I cut the original connector off the OEM alt and used it to connect to the bike, leaving myself about 6" of wire, and added an appropriate-sized female spade connector to hook up to the LActrical's original connector. Thus, I had added about 6" of extension to the "sense" wire. Once I ran the wire down to where the alt was, connecting was easy.

I did use new dampers. The old ones looked good, but were pretty hard. Not bakelite hard, but getting there. My initial fears of having the dampers fall out while I was installing the alt were unfounded, as they seem to stay in place once inserted in the drive (engine) end of the alt placement. I also used the OEM O-ring, as I've heard of complaints of oil seepage past the aftermarket ones. So far, no oil leaks.

Inserting the alt back end first did NOT work. I could get it in there, but couldn't rotate it to the point where the bolts & flanges lined up. Put it in front first, and it pretty much went 'thunk' into place. Lining up the "+" of the alt with the drive turned out to be easy - offer the alt up into place, but far enough back so you can still rotate the alt's "+" with the end of a screwdriver, work it around while you move the alt into place, and it will line itself up and go in.

I decided to fire up the bike with all the covers etc. off, just in case. The bike started normally, and my LED digital voltmeter (which indicates about .2 volts below actual voltage) was showing 13.8 to 14 volts (14.0-14.2 actual). The battery was already pretty much at full charge, except for what was used in starting the bike. Revving to 2500 RPM showed the alt topping out at around 14.5 volts (on a real voltmeter, this time) and dropping down to an average of 14.06 volts. Spot on what it should be, as far as I know. Letting the bike drop down to a 750 RPM idle showed the actual voltage at 14-14.2 volts again.

One thing thing that did concern me is that the new alternator got quite warm, hitting 120 degrees F after just a minute or so. I was worried about that, and did a little online research. I learned that this is normal (assuming the alternator is, in fact charging, and with the engine off the battery isn't bleeding charge - which would indicate a ground short in the alternator's cable - not the case, here). Apparently, lots of new GM-type alternators run 200+ degrees in normal use, and anything under 300 degrees F is acceptable, given the caveats about charging & shorts.

Of course, it finally occurred to me that the alternator has 2 fans inside for a reason. Once I revved it up for a minute or two, it cooled off a bit (down to 104 degrees F), with all the heat being blown out by the fan. Presumably, while riding, the airflow + the fans will keep it cool enough so there aren't any problems.

I haven't measured the amps output of the unit, but with everything I can turn on turned on, it still makes 14 volts at idle. That ought to cover the heated grips, driving lights, etc. I want to add! I already have about 70 brake lights (most of 'em LED's, though!), and when I hit the brakes now my charge rate doesn't drop at all (it used to drop down to 12.0 v - not good). Nice!

Anyway, I just wanted to update those interested in upgrading their alternators. and the instal of the LActrical 95-amp units.

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby gtx » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:30 pm

Just found out by reading a few posts on this forum about the lacritical alt., Last week I ordered a compu fire 90 amp alt & batt last week which should have been here Thursday . I wish I had found out about the la critical and a 16 cell batt I briefly saw some specs on earlier,maybe I would have saved a few bucks and gained some performance !? . Can anyone shed some light on the pros and cons of the two alternators and the ballistic performance 16 cell batt, vs the compu-fire batt. Thanks in advance, I don't get a chance to get on here's often as I would like to.
Thanks again,
GTX

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby svorn » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:33 pm

Just a follow-up-- the o-ring on my LAlectrical alternator was not leaking. It was a shifter shaft seal. I wrongly blamed the alternator. Time for a shifter brace.

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby bstig60 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:38 pm

My new (to me) 99 1500 has the stock alternator. Voltage reads 13.6 at idle and doesn't change as the r's go up. I just added LED driving lights and will be adding heated grips I bought for my 88 and never installed before the weather cools off. Who. Knows what else I will add before I am done. Although the bike only has 6000 miles on it now, I suspect the stock alternator will fail on me at the most inconvient time and place, so I am thinking of replacing it before that happens with one of the LActrical high output units. ?? I have a new Bikemaster lead acid battery in the bike..... Must I replace it or will it work OK with the HO alternator? Ther was another ? But it escapes me right now..... Senior moment, don't u know....
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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby Mh434 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:54 pm

I'm sure it will work for a while (maybe even a long time), but from what I understand (and I ain't no electrickery guru!) it may tend to boil dry, so you'll have to keep a close eye on the electrolyte. I think it's due to the higher charge rate of the HO alternators (and maybe a higher top end voltage?), but I've definitely heard of batteries going dry if they're not watched carefully.

I did install a new AGM battery shortly before putting in the LActrical 95-amp alternator, although in my case it was because my Odyssey AGM had failed, before the alternator replacement idea came up. With both in there, it REALLY spins over...I wouldn't be surprised if I could do 20 mph on the starter alone, if it were possible to crank it in gear!

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby bstig60 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:22 pm

Thanks for the reply. Guess I will be running this battery until it quits and then replace it with an AGM. I do a fair amount of longer trips, so I don't want something going south when I am 1000 miles from home. I learned in the service that the best maintenance is preventive maintenance. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" doesn't apply here.
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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby ratherberiding » Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:11 pm

I have a two part question concerning the stock alternators and the LActrical alternators. I've seen an 80 amp that appears to be made from the stock Honda unit (looks identical). Has anyone had any experience with those, and is there an easy way to determine how many amps the alternator in my 1500 is now? I bought it used, and it's an '88 with about 63k miles on it. It came with heated grips. I live in Colorado and will probably be wanting heated gloves, maybe boots.

BTW this site has helped me tremendously getting a lot of things done to the bike.

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby Mh434 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:00 pm

Personally, I'd be concerned about a stock alternator upgraded to that high an amperage. It reminds me of the adage that if you put a 12 V lightbulb on 120 V it will burn very bright, but not for long. The Honda alternators were never designed for this. The LActrical & Compufire units, on the other hand, were designed from the outset for much higher output.

Most of us don't have equipment to test for more than 10 A. A specialty shop would probably best for that. Most of us just test for voltage at the battery, both at Idle and at 2500 RPM. A stock Honda alternator will give approximately 12.5 13.5 V at least two rpm's, whereas the aforementioned aftermarket alternators will provide over 14 V at both speeds.

Realistically, volts at those two RPM values will tell you if you have an OEM alt or an upgrade...

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby ratherberiding » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:37 am

Thanks for the helpful info. I'll run a volt meter on it and see what it's churning out. Has anyone bought one of the converted OEM units? Any problems with it? Thanks again guys for an outstanding source of help!!!! :)

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby ct1500 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:09 pm

Normal OEM alternator output voltage is 14V +/- at specified idle of 800 RPM AND 2k RPM. Idle voltages will drop with brake lights and/or fans running due to OEM current output limited at those RPM's.

Substantially different readings will be caused by the addition of non OEM electrical loads or charging system problems. If an OEM system can't get past 13.5V as mentioned in above post it has definite problems.

High output alternators (90A) will not see the drop off in idle voltage readings with added electrical loads due to their claims of 60Amp output capability at idle whereas OEM (40A) can only muster about 25A at idle.
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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby ratherberiding » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:08 am

Thanks for the input. I'll run a test at idle and see what I get. :)

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby bstig60 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:26 am

My stock alternator never gets above 13.6 volts at RPM. I am getting ready to add heated grips, so it sounds like I had best replace it this winter.
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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby flyinrob » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:54 pm

bstig60 wrote:My stock alternator never gets above 13.6 volts at RPM. I am getting ready to add heated grips, so it sounds like I had best replace it this winter.


Hey Bstig60, looks like we are almost neighbors. I recently installed an LActircal 85 amp alternator on my 96 Aspy. So far after a few thousand miles on it working like a champ. At idle I am getting right at 14.0 volts and it stays there. I am not running any extra lights or stuff yet but I know I can add them and not worry about it. I have a spare Ken Hemings rebuilt 40 amp that I keep on the bike as a spare. We do a lot of longer distance riding around here so I like having a spare with me. If you think it might be overkill having a spare alt on the bike just have one go south on you up in the mountains a gazillion miles from anything......

Rob
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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby TAZZ » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:13 pm

That's what I say I have a new post Alternator again maybe some of you can HELP

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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby ct1500 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:57 pm

bstig60 wrote:My stock alternator never gets above 13.6 volts at RPM. I am getting ready to add heated grips, so it sounds like I had best replace it this winter.


Is this taken with a known accurate/verified/calibrated test instrument or a bargain basement Chinlee meter that can skew results? Tenths of a volt makes a difference.
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Re: Question for those who have installed LActrical alternat

Postby bstig60 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:48 pm

The reading is from my on board volt meter. I will confirm the reading tomorrow using my Fluke meter. It is accurate.


Bill


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