Instant Battery Failure


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Instant Battery Failure

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:46 am



Well,

As the title suggests, bike has started every time since I have owned it - albeit a short amount of time. When purchased the seller advised me - new battery installed - so I visually checked it and it did indeed look nice and new. I even pulled the battery out and topped up the water level as it was fractionally low in a few cells. The bike has been used every day - and on a few short trips up to 60 miles or so - but a lot of local riding of 4-5 miles. It has been winter here as well - and the battery has always shown a lot of life.

Tuesday morning - late start -went to start the bike - got a funny clicking noise when I hit the starter button, but tried again and away it went as normal. Off to work, got on the bike in the afternoon - hit the button -click click click - rapid fire - damn is the starter motor stuck, rocked the bike in gear a few times - slipped it back to neutral - hit the button, same result, checked the kill switch - it was good.

Got my son to come and jump the bike from his car, all started fine - maybe just a flat battery. Went to jump start this morning - bike would not start - constant clicking. Measured the battery voltage - it dropped to under 8 volts when "clicking". Bought a NEW battery today - just installed it. Nearly threw the motor out of the bike. Now happy.

Apart from the wet weather all is good :)



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joeincalif
Posts: 405
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:39 am
Location: San Jacinto, Calif
Motorcycle: 1997 Gold Wing SE

Re: Instant Battery Failure

Postby joeincalif » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:01 am

New batteries, just like anything else you buy you can get a bad one.
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IF YOUR BORN TWICE YOU WILL DIE ONCE

harvey01
Posts: 630
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:14 pm
Location: Henrico, Virginia
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800

Re: Instant Battery Failure

Postby harvey01 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:33 pm

Old batteries can clean up really well also. Did you check the date on the old battery before disposal?
harvey
Ride Safe and Ride Often

User avatar
Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Instant Battery Failure

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:29 pm

I put the new battery in last night - a big difference.

The replaced battery - I 'll have a good look at it over the weekend - and do some tests on it.
fluid levels are good - will check for sulphation on the plates - then load test it after a slow charge overnight.

If it is salvageable I will keep it - otherwise off to the recyclers.

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Bluewaterhooker0
Posts: 557
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE

Re: Instant Battery Failure

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:52 pm

Two suggestions on your new battery.
Did you check the charging voltage of the alternator when it is running ? A permanently installed voltmeter is really handy for monitoring the voltage/charge rate, all the time. Anyway, make sure you actually have a battery problem, and not an alternator issue. You should read close to 14V at 1500-2000 rpms, or above. Also, can you tell if the alternator is stock, or an aftermarket ? The stock units that I've seen have a green center section, and almost always have a sticker on the alternator identifying it as a "Hitachi" brand. If aftermarket, and it is a high output unit, it could be causing battery problems (boiling the electrolyte) if you are using a standard 'wet cell' battery.

Which brings me to the second point. Whether stock alternator or not, I have read, and have experienced the wonders of an AGM type battery. That's Absorbed Glass Mat. These are usually easy to identify, since they have no fill caps for checking or filling the 'water' in the battery. They are known to be far superior to the standard wet cell batteries. The GL1500 is a power hungry momma, and the AGM's are better suited to the heavy duty usage, as well as the higher output alternator amperage of an aftermarket alternator.
I've had my AGM in the bike for 4 years now, and still going strong. They have acid and plates in them, but are sealed to limit evaporation, and use glass matting to suspend the acid, providing more power, and longer life. If you got a wet cell battery, I would suggest seeing if you can return it, and get an AGM for your bike. There are lots of brands making them, but I would stay away from Walmart's version, only because I saw that it is made in China, and the Chinese have loads of quality control issues across the spectrum of many things they make. Most of the ones I've researched are made right here in the USA.

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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Instant Battery Failure

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:49 am

Thanks for your response -all good information.

My bike has a standard issue alternator with the green band. The charging voltage before the failure was 14 . something volts a few weeks ago and it hasn't changed since installing the new battery, when I measured it this morning.

As for AGM - I'm well aware of their capabilities for long life I have two in my shed, and in my small tow behind trailer.

I used to sell mobility scooters for a few years - and dealing with battery issues was a daily work problem for me. I had all the great diagnostic tools and chargers etc etc for testing all sorts of batteries.

Thanks

The old battery was showing 12.53 volts on measure this afternoon - plates have definitely not sulphated - no rubbish in the bottom of the battery that can be seen. So I have put it on a battery charger - and it is currently charging at 3.1 amps - a little bit high but it will drop back soon - then I will put it on a smaller constant amp charge of 2.5amps overnight - let it settle and load test it friday night.

Then probably toss it out if it's no good.

:)

User avatar
Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Instant Battery Failure

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:41 pm

Took the battery to my local store (where I bought the new one) and had them load test it.

I charged the battery and let it settle- it was showing 12.8 volts - so it was pretty good - this was after sitting for 12 hours.

When they load tested it - and it was supposed to hold at say 10volts and the battery should have produced 27CCA - it was holding the 10 volts - but could only supply about 55CCA - so it was an el cheapo battery and it had not performed.

Simple rule- buy a decent battery.




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