92 Alternator. PM or Replace?

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92 Alternator. PM or Replace?

Post by Blinky » Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:01 pm

There is a wealth of commentary on GL1500 alternators and I am a bit confused. I have a new to me 1992 GL1500 with slightly less than 50,000 miles. There are no issues with the electrics and, from what I have read, the alternators made for this year do not exhibit the frequency of failures present in later model years. I do not plan adding any additional accessories other than upgrading the headlights to Silverstar (60W) and adding a USB charger.

With that in mind, I don't think I need to add a high output alternator. But, as preventive maintenance, may want to replace the brushes and rear bearing on the existing alternator.

Comments from the electrical gurus out there will be appreciated.

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: 92 Alternator. PM or Replace?

Post by Fatwing Chris » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:21 pm

As far as wear the brushes will be fine,but they do get dirty and hang up at some point.If you're concerned I would take it to your local auto-electric rebuilder and have him go through it.Mine stuck at around 100 k on my 89.It was pulled apart,cleaned and a new rear bearing for about $80.Would have done it myself but I was on a trip and didn't have enough tools with me.Personally I think you'd be fine with it for a long while yet before it needs attention.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Re: 92 Alternator. PM or Replace?

Post by ct1500 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:30 pm

Do not rush to replace parts which might be perfectly OK.

The best preventive medicine is a cleaning particularly around the brush holder so the brushes slide in and out freely. And an inspection of the internals i.e. brush lengths wearing equally? And a polishing of slip rings.
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Re: 92 Alternator. PM or Replace?

Post by Bluewaterhooker0 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:04 am

At 45,000 miles my 97 SE started exhibiting low voltage issues. I took it apart following instructions from one of the websites, cleaned the brushes, brush holders, the rotor contacts and generally cleaned out the entire assembly. It was easily determined that the brushes were sticking and not making good contact on the rotor when I took it apart. After cleaning, it was as good as new. The brushes were worn, but still good. I have since ordered a new set of brushes for installation when it becomes an issue again. If yours is not showing any problems, order the brushes in advance, so you can take care of the whole thing at one time.
This man seems to be universally recognized as a great rebuilder of GL alternators. I talked to Ken on the phone when I had my issue. He thought it was just stuck brushes, and sure enough, he was right. I'll be keeping him in mind for any future repairs that are more complicated. If you want to purchase a spare, or want him to do the work for you, I would not hesitate to use his services.

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Re: 92 Alternator. PM or Replace?

Post by Wingsconsin » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:21 pm


Ken can do a clean and refurbish for you in a matter of a few days.
Then your alt will produce at peak efficiency for years to come.
Do it during the winter non-riding months

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