alternator output 2.63


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rogerg55
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alternator output 2.63

Postby rogerg55 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:35 pm



Brushes regulator or new alternator



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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby MikeB » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:14 pm

Insufficient information to formulate an opinion.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby rogerg55 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:44 pm

Sorry. I have a 1988 gl1500 alternator output at 2500 rpm is 2.63 volts.
my question is since it shows some voltage could it be just brushs regulator or both. Sorry for not explaining better. Just frustrated

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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby MikeB » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:59 pm

With the bike running, I really don't think it is possible to have that low a voltage reading. Maybe your voltmeter is malfunctioning.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby rogerg55 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:21 pm

Voltmeter is good. battery disconnected.
Checking from ground on alternator to hot Post on alternator

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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:58 pm

If the battery is disconnected, the alternator will not have a sense voltage to adjust its output, and can default to putting out no voltage - which is why you might be measuring 2 volts.

With the battery connected, what voltage are you reading?

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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby rogerg55 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:55 am

I'm sorry. My battery is connected. My large alternator wire is disconnected
I thought the black/LT green wire excited the Alternator. I have a new battry? Maybe this explains better. Very much a laymen here

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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:33 am

rogerg55 wrote:I'm sorry. My battery is connected. My large alternator wire is disconnected
I thought the black/LT green wire excited the Alternator. I have a new battry? Maybe this explains better. Very much a laymen here


You are correct, the black/light green wire is the exciter.

I assume when you do have the large black wire connected that you are seeing only battery voltage (12.7 volts or less) when the bike is running?

Going forward with the assumption then that the alternator is malfunctioning, you could try pulling the brushes, cleaning/reorienting, and putting them back in. If that fixes it (or changes the voltage being produced) there's a fair chance that is the problem. If not, it could be any number of things - an open winding, failed regulator, etc. Without a little more complex diagnostic equipment, it will be tough to tell which.

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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby rogerg55 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:26 pm

OK thanks a million Wingadmin and mikeb
P.S. this in one great forum. Someone somewhere has answers.

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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby wiredgeorge » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:15 pm

I am not really too familiar with alternators but shouldn't there be 3 wires w/AC coming off the alternator and if you pull the connector with these wires off with the bike turned off, do a continuity check on each leg; that is A to B then A to C then B to C and if you see any continuity, the plastic that coats the windings may be melted and the wires are shorting? If you have a multimeter that is a logical thing to do. If you can test the output of the reg/rec by probing the wire going to the battery I suspect 12VDC at idle is about right and 14 VDC at 3500 rpm would be about right... not exactly sure on a GL1500 but that would be about right on most bikes. If you get 12VDC with a fresh battery, the reg/rec isn't working as it should (I understand it is integrated into the alternator?) and the unit (alternator) will likely need to be changed. You could also probe the sense wire... you called it the excited I think and this thing should be 12VDC at idle an 14 VDC at 3.5K rpm.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby MikeB » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:46 pm

Read the post dated Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:01 am in this thread. It is the second to the last entry. http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=23421
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:09 pm

wiredgeorge wrote:I am not really too familiar with alternators but shouldn't there be 3 wires w/AC coming off the alternator and if you pull the connector with these wires off with the bike turned off, do a continuity check on each leg; that is A to B then A to C then B to C and if you see any continuity, the plastic that coats the windings may be melted and the wires are shorting? If you have a multimeter that is a logical thing to do. If you can test the output of the reg/rec by probing the wire going to the battery I suspect 12VDC at idle is about right and 14 VDC at 3500 rpm would be about right... not exactly sure on a GL1500 but that would be about right on most bikes. If you get 12VDC with a fresh battery, the reg/rec isn't working as it should (I understand it is integrated into the alternator?) and the unit (alternator) will likely need to be changed. You could also probe the sense wire... you called it the excited I think and this thing should be 12VDC at idle an 14 VDC at 3.5K rpm.


That's correct for four-cylinder wings, but the GL1500 and GL1800, with their integrated alternators, do not have the three wires (at least external) for checking.

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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby bstig60 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:21 pm

The best way to check alternator output is with the battery connected and the alternator connect as it was meant to be. Check the voltage across the negative and positive battery posts at 2000 RPM, you should see close to 14 volts. If you are only getting 12 volts the alternator is failing.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby ct1500 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:00 am

bstig60 wrote:The best way to check alternator output is with the battery connected and the alternator connect as it was meant to be. Check the voltage across the negative and positive battery posts at 2000 RPM, you should see close to 14 volts. If you are only getting 12 volts the alternator is failing.


A weak/failing alternator will not output correct voltage at idle and lower RPM's so only checking output at 2000RPM is not correct.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby MikeB » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:28 am

ct1500 wrote:
bstig60 wrote:The best way to check alternator output is with the battery connected and the alternator connect as it was meant to be. Check the voltage across the negative and positive battery posts at 2000 RPM, you should see close to 14 volts. If you are only getting 12 volts the alternator is failing.


A weak/failing alternator will not output correct voltage at idle and lower RPM's so only checking output at 2000RPM is not correct.


It may not be "correct" but the output of an OEM alternator at idle is not going to give a much higher reading than actual battery voltage. So, testing at an RPM well above idle is needed.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby ct1500 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:38 am

MikeB wrote:
ct1500 wrote:
bstig60 wrote:The best way to check alternator output is with the battery connected and the alternator connect as it was meant to be. Check the voltage across the negative and positive battery posts at 2000 RPM, you should see close to 14 volts. If you are only getting 12 volts the alternator is failing.


A weak/failing alternator will not output correct voltage at idle and lower RPM's so only checking output at 2000RPM is not correct.


It may not be "correct" but the output of an OEM alternator at idle is not going to give a much higher reading than actual battery voltage. So, testing at an RPM well above idle is needed.


An OEM alternator on a stock 1500 electrical system at idle of 800RPM with no fans running and brake lights off is capable of charging and should be around 14V and certainly no less than 13.6V with fully charged healthy battery.

Where most owner's go wrong is adding non LED lighting which draws voltage down at idle incl the addition of higher wattage bulbs to lower cowl for driving lights. The OEM set-up of brake bulbs which draw 6 Amps are the easiest thing you can do by changing to LED to help the just barely enough charging system output at idle. Going to HID headlights are another way.
Last edited by ct1500 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby bstig60 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:06 am

ct1500 wrote:
bstig60 wrote:The best way to check alternator output is with the battery connected and the alternator connect as it was meant to be. Check the voltage across the negative and positive battery posts at 2000 RPM, you should see close to 14 volts. If you are only getting 12 volts the alternator is failing.


A weak/failing alternator will not output correct voltage at idle and lower RPM's so only checking output at 2000RPM is not correct.


I beg to differ! The specs for the charging system is 13.5 to 15.5 VDC at 1850 RPM. There is a long drawn out procedure in the service manual, but basically it requires checking with a VM across the positive and negative posts of the battery and looking for charging to begin between 800 and 1250 RPM.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby ct1500 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:58 am

bstig60 wrote:I beg to differ! The specs for the charging system is 13.5 to 15.5 VDC at 1850 RPM. There is a long drawn out procedure in the service manual, but basically it requires checking with a VM across the positive and negative posts of the battery and looking for charging to begin between 800 and 1250 RPM.


Don't believe everything in the service manual as there are known mistakes throughout. I will bet you a steak dinner no one on this Forum is running around with 15.5V on their little MC batteries.

WingAdmin just did a write up regarding voltages on a battery a little while ago that bare my point out so if you don't believe me that's OK.

My numbers come from extensive testing of current draws/voltage tests on numerous 1500's incl alternator rebuilds. The addition of only a couple Amps at idle is enough to drop voltages below your 13.5V threshold which is Industry standard.

Whenever an alternator is spinning it is producing current, the OEM is low RPM marginal though unlike the Comp U Fire which produces 60A at idle. The OEM alternator only produces about 24A at idle up to it's maximum 40A at about 1800 RPM. OEM electrical system draws about 34A with fans and brake lights going and does show very low charging system voltage in the 12's when at idle meaning battery discharge is occurring. An increase in idle RPM up to 1000RPM or so can get voltage back up to your low 13.5V threshold.
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Re: alternator output 2.63

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:33 pm

ct1500 wrote:Whenever an alternator is spinning it is producing current, the OEM is low RPM marginal though unlike the Comp U Fire which produces 60A at idle. The OEM alternator only produces about 24A at idle up to it's maximum 40A at about 1800 RPM. OEM electrical system draws about 34A with fans and brake lights going and does show very low charging system voltage in the 12's when at idle meaning battery discharge is occurring. An increase in idle RPM up to 1000RPM or so can get voltage back up to your low 13.5V threshold.


A slight correction: When an alternator is spinning and the field coil is energized, the alternator is CAPABLE of producing current. An alternator only produces as much current as the bike draws. If nothing is connected to the alternator, you can spin it as fast as you want, and it will not produce any power. Current is drawn by the load, and supplied by the power source as required.

See: Electricity 101 Part 1: Voltage and Amperage




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