electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989


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barnaclebill
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electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby barnaclebill » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:55 am



In my intro (Newcomer from Thailand) I explained what happened when I lost all electrics in the darkest part of Thailand NPs! I took the Wing to bike repairer, who gave it a thorough going over and declared the dynamo was the problem. Did quite a few other things to it and I collected it last night around 21.30. Almost home, around 23.30, and it powered out again, this time in front of a truck travelling far to close to my back bumper! It shunted me! I still had my spare battery on board, so scrounging around for spanners, 'drivers and anything else, at around 01.30 this morning, to exchange batteries, we were ready to return to the road! It will have to be checked out - again - but I am inclined to think that somewhere between the dynamo and the battery something isn't playing the game! I surmise that I was driving home on just the battery, and when that ran out of power, I stopped. Now, what could be wrong? It's apparent that the battery is not charging, One is brand new, the other reputed to be new(!), by the dealer who sold me the bike! So I dont suspect them. The dynamo has been replaced and that eliminates that as the culprit. Is there a diode somewhere between dynamo and battery? Could that be the problem? I dont have any handbooks, and would not understand an electrical diagram, anyway! Any suggestions?



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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:40 am

The only thing between the alternator and battery is a 55-amp fuse. If your bike is not charging, the first thing I would check is that fuse. If the fuse is good, check that the alternator is actually putting out power. Make sure the field circuit (black/light green wire going to alternator) has +12v when the ignition is turned on - if it doesn't, the alternator will not be enabled.

(click for enlarged version)
GL1500 charging circuit
GL1500 charging circuit

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MikeB
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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby MikeB » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:27 pm

Hi Bill and welcome to a great Wing Bulletin Board.

Your electrical problem sounds very familiar. I have a feeling it is nothing more than a bad alternator. Alternator failure is common with the GL1500's. More so with the later year models than with your '89. It is an '89 right? Anyhow, when you have a fully charged battery and you put a voltmeter on the battery when the motorcycle is running and it is indicating above 1100 RPM on your tachometer, you should read !3.2 to 13.9 volts or more. A fully charged battery will read between 12.7 and 12.9 volts before you put a load on it. If your battery is reading 12.0 volts or lower when the bike is running and you are indicating above 1100 RPM, your alternator is either not connected or not operating properly.

If you feel the need to verify that the alternator is not charging, use a voltmeter and put one of the meter leads to ground (the alternator body is a good ground), and the other meter probe to the 6 mm threaded stud protruding from the back of the alternator that has a large wire attached to it. That 6 mm stud should be covered by a rubber boot. That is where the output of the alternator is. If you have a voltage reading there, it should be the same as what you read on the positive post of the battery. If it is less than 12.0 volts then the alternator is not producing enough current to keep the bike running and definitely not putting out enough to keep the battery charged.

Good luck with your Gold Wing and I hope you enjoy touring Thailand. I lived there for 4 years and enjoyed every minute of it.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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barnaclebill
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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby barnaclebill » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:01 am

Thanks, MikeB. I will certainly look in into your recommendations. I've just had the alternator changed, because I thought it a problem, so cant really see that being it. But nevertheless, we shall look into it!

By the way, I'm not touring! I live here!

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby MikeB » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:42 am

It is always good to verify newly replaced parts serviceability. The replaced part could be defective. If it is, the installer would owe you a replacement AND free installation if they were the installers.
MikeB
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barnaclebill
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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby barnaclebill » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:22 am

Thanks Mike. Much appreciate your advice. Unfortunately this is Thailand!

Have checked the alternator - as advised - have the power, batteries holding their power, need to run out with the bike under pressure but weather situation here is not conducive! three/quarters of the country is now under water with more to come.

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby robb » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:11 am

On more than 1 instance have seen damage to wiring trying to install new starter. Even twisting into place can loosen things up to point they appear bad. Last one I looked at only had partial rubber damper installed. Does it even look like a new alternator or rebuilt at shop.

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby vtxcandyred » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:09 am

barnaclebill wrote:Thanks Mike. Much appreciate your advice. Unfortunately this is Thailand!

Have checked the alternator - as advised - have the power, batteries holding their power, need to run out with the bike under pressure but weather situation here is not conducive! three/quarters of the country is now under water with more to come.

AHHHHH, Thailand. I remember a war near there!!!!!!!! Beautiful country.

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby barnaclebill » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:05 am

Excellent advice all around me! Thanks. I have bought myself an analogue voltmeter and ammeter which I would like to insert into the system. I know how and where to place the voltmeter, but am uncertain about the ammeter. It is a "Dagaton 0-40 Amp meter with pos and neg terminals and a shunt across the terminals. Any advice would be most welcome.

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby robb » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:24 am

positive and negative of battery works best.

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby MikeB » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:32 am

I have never put an ammeter on a motorcycle, mainly because it is unnecessary. A voltmeter, either analog our digital, is really all you need. A voltmeter will tell you if your alternator is keeping your battery at a good level. And when the engine is off, you can see the voltage of the battery. Battery voltage should normally be between 12.6 and 12.9 after siting idle for several hours. After a day of being idle my volt meter will still be indicating 12.7. You can't get that kind of info from an ammeter .

By the way, while operating the voltage should be between 13.0 and 14.4 and maybe a little more with a good aftermarket alternator.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby MikeB » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:34 am

Do NOT put the ammeter terminals between the positive and negative terminals of the battery. The result will be catastrophic.
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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:00 pm

Ammeters get put in series with the battery. However, you don't want to connect it right at the battery, as the first time you start your bike (which can draw an instantaneous 100+ amps) your ammeter will burn up. If you're going to put the ammeter in, insert it AFTER the master fuse (the starter does not go through that fuse). So you have the positive battery lead, to the master fuse, to the positive terminal of the ammeter, and then the negative terminal of the ammeter goes to where the master fuse used to connect.

The shunt across the ammeter does just that - it shunts the majority of the current through the ammeter. The tiny bit of current that doesn't get shunted, instead goes through the meter and shows an indication on the meter face.

Keep in mind that any wiring you use to hook up your ammeter will need to be capable of handling the maximum current allowable by the master fuse for extended periods of time. I would not use anything smaller than 14 gauge for 30 amps or 10 gauge for 90 amps. It also has to be well protected - if the insulation chafes and a short occurs, it could short a ton of current without ever blowing the fuse - and that's way more than it would take to turn your bike into a flaming torch.

A much safer way to install it would be to remove the shunt from the ammeter and install the shunt near the master fuse. Then take two wires connected to either side of the shunt, and run them to the ammeter. These will be carrying a much smaller amount of current, and can be fused as well. I've scrawled a quick diagram of how this would be done (shown with a 30 amp master fuse - GL1500 is higher)

Safely wiring a shunted ammeter
Safely wiring a shunted ammeter

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby robb » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:35 pm

Voltmeter can be connected directly to battery with no problem. I usually break it through a relay so it is dead with switch. Once switch is on it will give an accurate reading at battery and will vary with output of alternator. It is far less trouble to monitor voltage.

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barnaclebill
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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby barnaclebill » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:01 am

Thanks, robb. This is exactly what I had planned.

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby barnaclebill » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:09 am

Many thanks, Wingadmin. One or two questions. You advise "...the -ive terminal of the ammeter goes to where the master fuse USED to connect." Does this imply that the master fuse is left disconnected? In the diagram you show the "master fuse" sitting on a ''board" - or is that "board" the master fuse, and the connection of the shunt is made to the +ive and -ive terminals of the fuse?

I'm beginning to think that perhaps I dont need an Ammeter on my bike! I just wanted to see what the loading was with various applications made.

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:05 pm

barnaclebill wrote:Many thanks, Wingadmin. One or two questions. You advise "...the -ive terminal of the ammeter goes to where the master fuse USED to connect." Does this imply that the master fuse is left disconnected? In the diagram you show the "master fuse" sitting on a ''board" - or is that "board" the master fuse, and the connection of the shunt is made to the +ive and -ive terminals of the fuse?

I'm beginning to think that perhaps I dont need an Ammeter on my bike! I just wanted to see what the loading was with various applications made.


No, the master fuse stays in place - but the output (not the battery side) of the master fuse, instead of connecting to where it used to connect, connects to the positive terminal on the ammeter. The negative terminal on the ammeter connects to where the output of the master fuse originally connected. The ammeter goes in series with the master fuse, but AFTER it, not before it.

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby barnaclebill » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:04 am

Thanks for that explanation. I understand fully now. Will keep you up to date with my progress.

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GL 1500 SE charging system

Postby Reckaway » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:24 am

my generator went out and could not find another one here in Thailand to fit the bike, I took it down to a machine shop and had them cut the font spendel off the old generator, drilled it out and taped, used from portion of the goldwing generator and baught a Honda Car Alt., removed the pully form the Alt. and screwed it into the front portion of the goldwing Generator (alt.) using aluminum rod tacked 4 places to hold the new Alt. to the goldwing front part of the Alt, inserted the Alt and installed the mounting bolts, tested and works great. who says you cant put a car Alt on a Honda Goldwing

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Re: electrical Failure GW 1500SE 1989

Postby Reckaway » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:34 am

where were you able to find a Alt. for the goldwing in Thailand? mine went out and had to machine and fit a car Alt. onto the front portion of the old Alt.

in you are using a shunt on the Ampmeter, and want to know how much your Alt is putting out, put the shut after the Alt. fuse going to the battery




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