alternator


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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chopper1
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:40 pm
Location: newport,mn
Motorcycle: 1988 GL 1500

alternator

Postby chopper1 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:29 pm



please bear with me,ill learn. first timer and computer challenged. awesome site !! my alternator quit putting out. where should I buy one or have it repaired/rebuilt ?? I live in Minnesota..if it matters?? it has a sticker on from MARS. (motorcycle alternator repair service ) wich im sure you know about. any wisdom would be great...of course tight budget..you know. thanks ,chopper1



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Uncle Fester
Posts: 1003
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: alternator

Postby Uncle Fester » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:37 pm

I personally have not had a issue with my alternator yet, but I would look into a local rebuilder. Worst they can do is say "No can do." My understanding is our alternators are just modified GM 45 amp Alternators. There are a few good upgrades in the 90-95 amp range out there if your bike has a big stereo system, lots of lights, or lots of add on electronics like CB,GPS,Digital Camera and other such toys.
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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: alternator

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:49 pm

I went through quite a few alternator places before finding one that was 'relatively' local, and would work on the GL1500 alternator. The OEM is a Hitachi unit, and not related to the GM alternators. An aftermarket unit called 'Compufire' is based on a GM Saturn alternator. I wound up replacing mine with a "brand" call Lactrical, which is readily available on Amazon. I later had my OEM rebuilt by a shop in St. Pete, Fl., to be used as a spare.
If you're sure yours is actually bad, I'd replace it with one of the new high output 80-95A alternators.
What checks have you performed to verify a bad alternator ?

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Uncle Fester
Posts: 1003
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: alternator

Postby Uncle Fester » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:48 am

Thanks for that info, I guess I was right and wrong on the GM comment huh ? LOL Learn something every day, and you will never have a wasted day. . .
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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NVSB4
Posts: 1130
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:39 pm
Location: Arlington, Texas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE
1992 GL1500I (sold)
1986 GL1200A (sold)
2002 HD FXDL Low Rider (sold)
1993 Yamaha Virago XV1000 (sold)
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Re: alternator

Postby NVSB4 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:19 am

First, welcome to the forum.
I replaced mine with the Lactrical 85 amp off Amazon last year (buy it directly from Lactrical for the warranty).
The price with shipping was right at $150 and I love the extra juice provided.
I have heard stories of rebuilt alternators failing again quickly.
I would suggest going ahead and getting a new, higher amp model the first time and saving the potential grief down the road.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

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chopper1
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:40 pm
Location: newport,mn
Motorcycle: 1988 GL 1500

Re: alternator

Postby chopper1 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:46 pm

thanks very much for the replies. I did find a local company will look at it. as far as what tests I did Im fairly confident my alt is bad. battery gradually went low and the symtoms were like my older cars used to do. it sart to run bad, low radio power,lights ect.. happen to make it home..barely ! I put my fluke on the battery and was very low like 11.5 ish or so. I charged the battery for a few hours and tested it was like 12.5 then started it and tested at battery was dropping slowly and tested at big red red wire on alt. and got the same reading as on the batt... does anybody know what the little black box on the alternator is ? has wire from alt . going in & out of it. REALLY appreciate the wisom, thanks !!

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Fiberthree
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:06 pm
Location: Behind the windshield
Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: alternator

Postby Fiberthree » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:25 pm

Welcome to the best Goldwing forum on the internet!
My stock alternator gave up after six years. At the time Compufire was the only alternative. I have had zero problems with it since I installed it in 2005.
The little black box is probably the radio noise suppressor. It eliminates the buzzing noise you would hear from the stereo with the engine running.
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

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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: alternator

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:28 pm

The black box is a capacitor, used to reduce audio noise in the radio systems. I know the 85A Lactrical alternator mentioned above comes with the capacitor, or at least mine did. I have the 85A unit as well.
There are generally 2 things that commonly happen to the OEM alternator. The brushes either wear out, or just become sticky due to all the carbon dust that is worn off the brushes during normal use, causing them to loose contact with the rotor slip rings. Many times, just cleaning the alternator, with particular attention to the brushes and holders, using electrical contact cleaner and compressed air, can restore functionality to the alternator.
The second, and more troublesome issue is a broken winding in the rotor, or outer winding. More commonly, the rotor. That is easy to check once disassembled, by measuring for continuity through the 2 slip rings on the rotor. If no continuity, the rotor is toast.
However, you also want to be sure you have battery voltage making its way TO the alternator via the small gauge wire that plugs into the unit. Without that voltage, the alternator will produce nothing. You also want to be sure there is solid continuity from the heavy cable attached to the alternator, back to the battery, which is the actual charging voltage that charges the battery. These last 2 items should actually be first on the list of things to check. All you've determined so far, is that your battery is not charging. There are other possible reasons, than a bad alternator. If these 2 things check good, then move on to the alternator, itself.

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Mh434
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
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1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: alternator

Postby Mh434 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:58 pm

You'll want to check on the price of a rebuild vs. the price of an aftermarket, higher-output unit. After checking, I found that the cost of rebuilding my low-output OEM alternator was more than the cost of a brand-new, 95-amp Lactrical unit. Decision was easy - and I have lots & lots of reserve current now.

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hugger-4641
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:07 pm
Location: McKenzie, TN
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

Re: alternator

Postby hugger-4641 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:07 am

My advice would be to find a good alternator shop to test your alternator. If all it needs is brushes or a regulator it can be repaired for $50 or less. If it has a bad rotor winding, which is common on some of the OEM Hitachi alternators, you would probably be better off to just upgrade to an 85 or 90 amp replacement. I went with one from DB electrical which I believe is the same as the LAlectrical. If you go with an 85 or 90 amp upgrade, make sure your battery is an AGM type and not one of the old style wet cells.

If you are really on a tight budget and have plenty of time and mechanical ability, or if you are just a glutton for tinkering like me, there is a "how to" article here that I wrote which covers how to test and repair a bad rotor. You can just click on this link. http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=18463
Brushes are pretty easy to inspect and not too hard to replace to replace if you have any soldering skill. Regulators are hard to diagnose and require a little more soldering skill to replace. If you rule out a bad rotor, stator, and brushes, pretty much just leaves the regulator as the culprit.

chopper1
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:40 pm
Location: newport,mn
Motorcycle: 1988 GL 1500

Re: alternator

Postby chopper1 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:44 pm

awesome !! thank you all for the info, this is the best site because of the people, of course. I took it to a local shop ( in Hudson Wisconsin ) and it has an open/broken winding or rotor?? any how they got me one coming tomorrow for $150 so i consider that great !! hakkunah mattadah & ill be back soon !




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