Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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PedroTQ
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1988 GL-1500

Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?

Postby PedroTQ » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:39 am



G'day to Everyone,

I recently had to buy a new battery as my old one died, then only to find my new one died too. ................... Hmmm, obviously not the battery but the Alternator.

I removed the alternator this past weekend, checked it out and found the exciter windings O.C.

Now looking on e-bay I find several new alternators, but most are marked for 90 onwards, but I have an 88.

Did they change the design, bolt holes or whatever after the 89's ?

I do not want to buy a new one only to find that it does not fit.

Many thanks in advance, Peter.


#1 - 1975 GL-1000 - showroom
#2 - 1976 GL-1000 - sidecar
#3 - 1978 GL-1000 - parts
#4 - 1975 GL-1000 - parts, but had the sidecar
#5 - 1978 GL-1000 - project with grandson (secret parts source)
#6 - 1988 GL-1500 - Flagship!
#7 - 1998 GL-1500C - Valkyrie

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:35 am

1988 and 1989 used shoulder bolts that don't exist on 1990 and later, which instead use standard bolts and locating dowels. The larger bolts on the 88/89 are the top and bottom holes.

To use an alternator meant for 1990 or later on a 1988-1989 GL1500, you can drill out those two holes and it will fit with the larger bolts. You might want to look at: viewtopic.php?t=23605

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Mh434
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Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?

Postby Mh434 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:55 pm

You might wish to consider an upgrade from the OEM alternator. The stock ones are pretty weak, and many of the brand-new, aftermarket alternators put out waaay more power, for a fraction of the cost. LActrical is one example (mine puts out more at idle than the Honda one did at max output, and it cost 1/3 what an OEM one did). They list on Amazon, and there are others as well. I expect the same mods WingAdmin was mentioning would be necessary.

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PedroTQ
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:30 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Motorcycle: Motorcycles on the road;
1988 GL-1500

Re: Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?

Postby PedroTQ » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:07 pm

Many thanks for the info guys.

I have a couple on e-Bay for about $175 plus $110 postage and will snap one up in the next few days.

I will upload any modification photos for future queries.

Best regards, Peter.
#1 - 1975 GL-1000 - showroom
#2 - 1976 GL-1000 - sidecar
#3 - 1978 GL-1000 - parts
#4 - 1975 GL-1000 - parts, but had the sidecar
#5 - 1978 GL-1000 - project with grandson (secret parts source)
#6 - 1988 GL-1500 - Flagship!
#7 - 1998 GL-1500C - Valkyrie

User avatar
PedroTQ
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:30 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Motorcycle: Motorcycles on the road;
1988 GL-1500

Re: Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?

Postby PedroTQ » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:53 pm

G'day to Everyone,

Well my new alternator turned up yesterday, drilled out the mounting bolt holes and fitted her. :D

Went for a ride and after about 10km I had to stop for a red light, smoke came bellowing out from underneath.

Hmmm! ....... this cant be good? ....... :o

Chuck "U" turn and take it easy going back home keeping an eagle eye on the oil light.

Up on the main stand and the oil didn't register on the dip stick, oh well it is nearly time for an oil change anyway.

Best regards, Peter.
Attachments
#1 - 1975 GL-1000 - showroom
#2 - 1976 GL-1000 - sidecar
#3 - 1978 GL-1000 - parts
#4 - 1975 GL-1000 - parts, but had the sidecar
#5 - 1978 GL-1000 - project with grandson (secret parts source)
#6 - 1988 GL-1500 - Flagship!
#7 - 1998 GL-1500C - Valkyrie

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:48 pm

Looks like you didn't lubricate the O-ring before installing the alternator, and it rolled on you when you pushed it into place.

Always check for leaks after servicing! :)

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Mh434
Posts: 941
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?

Postby Mh434 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:10 pm

By the way - I've read the odd report that the O rings that come with aftermarket (North American) alternators may tend to leak oil, as the Japanese ones are metric in material diameter (hard to find in North America). As a result, when I installed my LActrical unit, I re-used my original, orange-coloured Honda O ring. Doesn't leak.

User avatar
PedroTQ
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:30 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Motorcycle: Motorcycles on the road;
1988 GL-1500

Re: Are all GL-1500 Alternators the same?

Postby PedroTQ » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:20 pm

I lubricated the "O" ring well, but the output terminal was just a little longer than the old one, not allowing me to insert the alternator squarely as it interfered with the frame.

I couldn't find a metric "O" ring here neither, so I installed the old "O" ring after removing the output terminal, she went straight in without any complaints.

Took her for a good test run this morning and she is sealing well, but I will still order a new one to have on hand next time she goes in for a once-over.

Again I thank you all for the advice.

Best regards, Peter.


#1 - 1975 GL-1000 - showroom
#2 - 1976 GL-1000 - sidecar
#3 - 1978 GL-1000 - parts
#4 - 1975 GL-1000 - parts, but had the sidecar
#5 - 1978 GL-1000 - project with grandson (secret parts source)
#6 - 1988 GL-1500 - Flagship!
#7 - 1998 GL-1500C - Valkyrie


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