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Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:26 am
by Pilotgoldwing
I am going to do the Poorboy alternator conversion on my '84 Goldwing Aspencade GL1200 MYSELF. That being the case I thought I would start a running progress report on how it is going, any issues and the time it is taking. As the home DYI shows like to point out, I consider this a medium to slightly difficult project for a beginner motorcycle owner/mechanic. I am pretty mechanically inclined but have never got to involved in working on my motorcycles so this will be a first. As to the kit, Poorboy now offers the full kit that includes alternator, belt and wiring along with all the mounting parts or the mounting kit only. I bit the bullet and opted for the full kit so there would be no question as to what alternator to get. So on with the report:
Day 1: I don't have much time to work so today I just removed the aftermarket cruise control that didn't work when I got the bike in the first place. It won't be going back on. Next I removed the lower fairings and trim including the radiator grill. I intend on cleaning and painting all the parts that are normally black to get them back to looking good. Finally I loosened the lower radiator hose to start it draining. Time spent today - :48 minutes.
More later.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:19 am
by WingAdmin
Make sure to take pictures - we love pictures!

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:31 am
by Pilotgoldwing
Ok, I'll do that as I go.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:45 pm
by Pilotgoldwing
Today's events took place in the span of 1 hour and 31 minutes. For the most part is was removing the radiator and organizing the wiring. The actuator for the cruise control was mounted right where the alternator needs to be and since it didn't work anyway I removed it and all its wiring. I have the manual throttle lock if I really need to give by wrist a break. The intercom was also a mess of wires and the helmets that came with the bike that had the headsets were to dirty to even clean so I opted to just pull out the intercom as well. I am going to get blue tooth enabled headsets for a self gift at Christmas so I took advantage of having the bike stripped down to remove stuff I didn't need. As you can see I took pictures of everything. I am painting the brackets and parts while I have them off so it looks a little cleaner when it is back together. It all came apart without any real headaches and minimal swearing so I would say it is going pretty well so far. Tomorrow I cut the brace off and trim the radiator fan shield to get it ready for repositioning. The kit should be here Monday so hopefully I'll be back out on the road the following weekend.
Stay tuned for my next report.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:18 pm
by Pilotgoldwing
In today's installment of the conversion diaries, I had 60 minutes to devote to working on the bike. That time was spent cutting the brace from the area where the upper mounting bracket is to go. The operation went pretty smoothly and precautions were made to protect the two studs that will secure the bracket as well as covering the engine to protect against metal dust from the grinding. Once I was done with the removal and smoothing I painted the area and went ahead and removed the cam belt covers. Seeing the belts and noticing how they are a little loose and not looking like they have been changed recently if ever I immediately called to get a couple new belts on the way. I did run into a slight snag in that I refuse to buy an entire gasket package just to get the timing belt cover gaskets. While the gaskets I have definitely could stand to be changed, I will make do with refreshing these. Obviously since you are about to cut a hole in the covers they aren't airtight so provided I make the gasket durable enough to stay in place and protect against normal engine and road grime I should be good to go. Tomorrow I plan on polishing the timing belt covers and working on the gasket. The kit should arrive early next week. I feel like it is the week before Christmas.
More later.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:14 pm
by HALBUDD
Sounds like you have a good start on your conversation hope it all turns out ok and you get her going.--------------------Hal

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:40 pm
by Pilotgoldwing
Well today I managed to get a little work done to the Wing amongst Church, cutting the grass, and football games. Since I am replacing the timing belts along with the conversion I got everything prepped for that. I got the T1 mark lined up with the cam pulleys going the correct way then I paint marked all the pulleys so I would know if anything moved and sure enough, just as in Dr. Sanders video, the right cam pulley sprung about a belt tooth off the mark. I'm so glad the hint for marking the pulleys was put in the video. The rest of the work session was devoted to bringing the timing belt covers back to their original glory. Let me tell you, 30 years of oxidation doesn't go away without some elbow grease. A little over 3 hours later, they shine like a new penny. I forgot about trimming the fan shroud today so that will occur tomorrow morning while I await the delivery of parts. I'll try to get more pics in tomorrows installment.
Ride safe!

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:35 am
by redial
Sounds like you are enjoying your journey of exploration. A good write up, thanks for doing the extra yards.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:50 pm
by Pilotgoldwing
Sorry guys, no Christmas today. The parts didn't arrive so all I could do is go look at her. I did pick up the new radiator hose that will be cut to work as both the bottom and top hose along with new hose clamps so the day wasn't a complete waste. I also took a closer look at the radiator and fan. I understand the need to put the spacer bolts on the fan to make it closer to the radiator core but I confess I'm not sure where, or why I will need to trim the fan shroud as it seems to me that the fan motor would still be in the way. If anyone could enlighten me I would be grateful. Maybe Santa will come tomorrow! Here's hoping.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:25 pm
by Pilotgoldwing
Well at least my timing belts came in today so I got those installed, and even correctly I think. My conversion kit on the other hand decided to take the scenic route and went to an entirely different part of Indiana for no apparent reason. The local post office while helpful in tracking the package and verifying that it indeed was addressed correctly could offer no explanation of the detour. Hopefully tomorrow it will finally arrive. I should also get the new spark plugs in so I can take care of that detail as well. My only unknown now is the condition of the carburetor. She ran a little rough unless you had the choke partially on. I'm hoping that sitting up on the center stand, the jets soaking in a SeaFoam and gas mixture will have dissolved most of the varnish gunk that I'm sure has developed over the last few years of sitting. I will find out soon enough. Oh well, move along, nothing to see here......

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:06 pm
by Pilotgoldwing
After some unforeseen shipping delays, thank you very much USPS, the Poor Boy kit arrived today. I was tempted to pull an all nighter on the project, but since I have a long drive ahead of me tomorrow I decided about 4 hours was all I had to spare. To begin with I unwrapped the package to find all the parts but no instructions or pictures. I had seen comments about this on different forums and I had hoped it was just an oversight and that I would have nice step by step directions, not so. Therefore I dutifully printed off the directions I found on line along with any picture I felt was important to the cause. I already had all the disassembly items done so all I needed to do was put it back together right???? Not so fast there mister! The first step of reassembly was the adjustment bracket for the alternator. Didn't fit. After more grinding than I would like, I got it to fit in the channel nicely. OK I had my one snag for the day, or so I thought. The assembly of the other bracket went fine, along with installing the new pulley and getting it spaced to where it looks almost perfect. Grinding the timing covers went easier than I expected so following the instructions I secured the pulley with locktite, and proceeded to put the covers back on. Left cover when fine, as did the right cover but that is where the wheels fell off the apple cart. What do you know about that, the inner bolt hole on the right cover is blocked halfway by the new crank pulley! What were my options? Pull the pulley back off, no the spacer would fall down in the timing belt area. Pull the timing belt cover back off, no that would accomplish nothing. It was at that point I had my epiphany! This is a CONVERSION right, so all bets are actually off on what it takes to make this work. Once I discovered that it seemed to get my creative juices flowing. My answer to the bolt issue was rather unique. I cut half the bolt head off, and about 1/4 inch of the threads off and reground the remaining bolt to a point as it was previously. NOTE: if you are going to try this make sure you have a nut on the good side of the bolt to be cut so you can chase the treads so it will start in the casting treads. To my surprise, this actually worked. I will put silicone on the bolt head to further seal the area of the missing bolt head material to prevent crap from getting in the timing belt area. With that done I was off the get the radiator shroud trimmed and the fan lowered. That is proving to be more of a challenge than I had expected. I may have found an interesting solution to that problem as well, but that will be in tomorrows edition.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:47 pm
by Pilotgoldwing
Good Evening All,
This will be my last entry in the Conversion Journal. The task is complete. You might however want to bookmark this page is you are considering doing this conversion as I am about to point out all of the things that either were unexpected or just went wrong and what I had to do to overcome the obstacles. For the most part this wasn't to difficult of a project. If however you are not creative and able to figure out solutions and fabricate those solutions to problems you will come across you may want to have this done by someone else. As for how long it took, I quit keeping track. I started working on the project a week ago, got the parts two days ago and finished today. It wouldn't have taken so long if I didn't change the timing belts or polished the timing belt covers, but those tasks would be impossible without the bike apart so you are silly for not taking advantage of the opportunity. Fist the results: At idle I get 13Volts tested at the battery. At 3000 RPM I get 14.5 volts steady. I'd say this was a success.
Now for a recap of my mis-adventures and things you should plan on doing:
1. Take lots of before, during, and after pictures.
2. The kit should but does NOT come with instructions so print off a good set from a Goldwing forum page along with as many pics as you can find.
3. Stay organized. I found myself needing to occasionally stop and just pick up. That keeps you from losing parts, and fasteners.
4. Paint whatever you can while the bike is stripped down.
5. There are two plugs in the bracket by the battery. One is the stator plug with yellow wires. That plug can be unplugged and secured out of the way. The second plug has different colored wires and will need plugged back in when you are done or the bike won't start
6. When trimming the fan shroud don't remove one of the fan legs. Just break the weld that holds the shroud to the leg so you can slip the belt through that opening when you put things back together.
7. If your stator is indeed bad remove the voltage regulator and plug from the bike and use the switched terminal for your exciter terminal.
8. Don't screw the lower radiator extenders all the way in as you will need more clearance that what the extenders can provide.
9. When you are re-installing the radiator, remove the adjustment bolt from the alternator and let the alternator pivot all the way out, without the belt, so you have room to work on the alternator. I didn't do this the first time and had major radiator leaks from putting the hose on crooked.
10. Carry an extra belt and a tool kit in one of your saddlebags just in case.
11. The lower center radiator fairing will need refabricated due to the new position of the lower fairing.
12. You may have to adjust the lower radiator attach nuts to stop rubbing.
13. Most importantly though is to take your time. Plan on having to do the hard things twice and you won't get frustrated.

I hope this helped. Email me if you have any questions..

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:44 pm
by WingAdmin
Great! I'm going to move this into the GL1200 DIY section for others to find and refer to.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 9:27 am
by 1985 goldwing
where did you buy the kit. and dos any body no any thing about the kit that bolts on the front of timing cover on a 1985 Goldwing 1200 aspen

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 11:05 am
by Pilotgoldwing
Google "Poorboy alternator conversion". The guy I bought my kit from is in one of the first hits. I forget his last name but I think his first name is Don. You won't get any instructions with the kit but there are plenty of instructions on the web and You Tube. I spent around $600 for the full kit that I would suggest. Before you start read my posts for helpful tips to keep you from getting overwhelmed. Good luck.
LJ.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 9:50 pm
by WingAdmin
This is the page here, written by the original designer: http://lloyddotson.com/poorboyalt/

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:49 pm
by Viking
WingAdmin, that link don't work no more. Do you know where there might be another complete DIY instruction set for the Poorboy Alternator setup? Thanks.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:58 pm
by WingAdmin
themainviking wrote:WingAdmin, that link don't work no more. Do you know where there might be another complete DIY instruction set for the Poorboy Alternator setup? Thanks.
Here, I archived that page just in case:

Instructions for installing GM alternator on GL1200
by Donald (Poorboy)Pigott

Start by removing both fairing lowers, left horn, radiator, fan assembly & air duct on left side.

You will have to cut the brace out that the horn bracket is welded to. Grind the upper end flush with the flat part of the bracket, as there is a reinforcement plate to go there.


I used a piece of ¼ X 1 ¼ flat stock to make the reinforcement plate. It has to be tapered to fit. Drill 2 holes to match up with the bolts that hold the fairing to the bracket. Install plate and just snug bolts, as you will be taking it back off shortly.

Remove the left engine to frame bolt that is just above the timing belt cover, inboard of the intake manifold. This is where the lower alternator bracket will fasten. I used a piece of 1/8 X 1X1 angle iron for this. It will be about 3 ¼ inches long. Drill a 13/32 hole 7/16 from one end & 5/8 from the bottom then drill a 3/8 hole 2 5/8 from that one, in same side. Install the bracket using the engine to frame bolt. Trial fit the alternator (you will have to trim the alt. some) using a 3/8 X 3 bolt using flat washers to space it out to just clears the intake & so the belt will clear the timing belt cover. You will have to put the left cover back on for this.

With the alternator roughly in place it is time to install the crank pulley. Take the left cover back off and remove the crank bolt. You will need a longer bolt (about 1 inch longer). Put the crank pulley on using the longer bolt and flat washers as spacers, add or subtract washers so the belt is in line with the alternator and clearing the timing cover. You may have to move the alternator in or out a little. When you have the two lined up measure the thickness of the washers and make a spacer to replace them. The hole in the crank pulley I used was too big so I made a bushing and spacer together. Install the crank bolt with Locktight.

Next you will cut the timing covers to fit around the new crank pulley. Just cut it enough to fit around the pulley (go slow, might as well polish them at this time). Put covers back on.

Put the belt on and pull it tight. Pull the alternator up against the reinforcement plate you made earlier. Make the adjustment bracket and tack in place:


Remove and finish weld:


Paint & reinstall. You will have to trim the front screw bracket that holds the fairing lower.

The bottom of the radiator needs to be moved forward about 5/8 of an inch. I made 2 spacers that screwed onto the original mounting studs:




The mounting bracket for the fairing lowers now go behind the radiator. The bottom hose will reach the engine, just loosen both clamps and wiggle it around a bit. The fan mount will have to be altered some. You will have to remove the left lower leg from the fan mount.


Bend both lower leg mounts toward the radiator core.


I ground a little off of the lower fan shroud to get the fan blade as close the radiator core as possible. This is done to lessen the amount the radiator will have to be moved forward. Both fairing lowers will have to be trimmed some around the lower part of the radiator. The left lower will have to be fitted around the alternator. I used a torch to heat the backside and while still hot put it in place and mold it around the alternator.


Be careful while heating as not to get it too hot and bubble the paint or melt the plastic. A heat gun would be better. There is a heat shield that will have to be trimmed to clear the alternator also.

To wire it is very simple. Run a piece of 8 gauge wire from the output terminal of the alternator to the positive battery post. (you can also run it to the battery side of the starter relay) Run a piece of 14 gauge wire from a switched 12 volt source to the exciter terminal on the alternator. That’s it!!!!!!!

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:36 pm
by dvgdn
Poorboy has a pretty slick conversion kit but beware; The alternator in my kit was shorted internally and he wouldn't make it good. I'm out $130.00 for a new alternator and $20.00 shipping to send the defective one back.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:53 pm
by SteveB123
dvgdn wrote:Poorboy has a pretty slick conversion kit but beware; The alternator in my kit was shorted internally and he wouldn't make it good. I'm out $130.00 for a new alternator and $20.00 shipping to send the defective one back.
Why did you ship it back, if he wasn't going to refund?

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:57 pm
by dvgdn
He said he would but changed his mind.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:17 pm
by dale.stevenson
can you tell me what you did for the bottom hose on the radiator ? I just did the set up and am stuck there, I didn't buy a kit rather pieced one together . thanks

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:18 am
by Pilotgoldwing
On my lower radiator hose I turned the thermostat housing up side down and found a hose fitting a mid 70's Toyota water pump that was shaped like a J and the correct diameter. I tried a regular heater hose but it kept kinking. To find the hose I needed I had to root around in the back of a parts store until I found what I needed. Since I now had the thermostat housing hanging lower than it did before I fabricated a fiberglass fairing that hangs down slightly below the new hose and protects it from stuff thrown up by the front tire. This is where you get into trial and error. Be patient and good luck. L.J.

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:19 pm
by stepa101
I have recently purchased an 86 1200 aspy. Reading much of the post on poor boy conversion, I finally decided since I don't want to spent a fortune on a new stator and install. I went online, found goldwing docs site and built my own version of pbc. I was using spare parts from other vehicle projects and found out the hard way, don't use an alternator from a late 90s Chevy pickup. After another visit to this forum I found the correct alternator. It was for a 93 get metro...wow. big difference. On the road finally. Hope to have some pics soon since I am new to the site. Happy trails everybody. :idea: :D

Re: Poorboy alternator conversion on my GL1200A

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:31 am
by WingAdmin
Good job, glad to have you here. And yeah, the alternator from a pickup truck is likely not going to fit. :)