Compu fire alternator


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Gary Neppell
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:07 pm
Location: Mastic Beach, New York
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Compu fire alternator

Post by Gary Neppell »



Has anyone sent out there Compu fire alternator to have rebuilt with good results if so could you please post that information here thank you in advance


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Dusty Boots
Posts: 735
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
2013 Victory Cross Country Tour

Re: Compu fire alternator

Post by Dusty Boots »

Just take it to a reputable local car alternator/starter service shop, instead of incurring the shipping costs of sending it back to Compufire.
They are based on a Saturn alternator and any competent shop can fix it
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Happytrails
Posts: 1065
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: PA USA
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE
2018 Ural Gearup

Re: Compu fire alternator

Post by Happytrails »

What happens to the Compufire that it needs repaired?
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset
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CrystalPistol
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE/'98 Lehman Trike

Re: Compu fire alternator

Post by CrystalPistol »

About 10 years ago .... I lead a group ride for a several day's trip down the BRP and on that Friday we encountered heavy rain and fog down towards Mabry Mill area and still 90+ miles from Park Vista Motel at 268mm. As we pulled into Orchard Gap at 195mm to take a break from the weather and to gas, I noticed my digital voltmeter was in the low 12s .... very unusual.

Checked connections, etc ..... in the rain .... sent most of the group on ahead to motel in NC and one other trike stayed with me along with one couple who drove a Toyota car because the "Rider" had a leg in a cast still (sorry he had a cast, but I was happy to have the car along!).... but they had a CB and we used jumper cables and he gave me a quick charge and so we made it about an hour behind the others by stopping a few times when my volt meter dropped under 10 volts asap and they'd charge me fast for next leg. I ran the Odyssey down several times that evening and when I pulled into the motel lot off the BRP, the volt meter was down at 8 volts and the engine died.

That evening after we unpacked, a buddy in the group brought me a a spare OEM alt from the bottom of his trailer (between all, we had two spare alts and a spare battery stashed in trailers) and next AM when rain was gone, I slipped it in in a few minutes and figured I'ld need to charge the Odyssey .... but I said "why not" and tried to start it anyway .... it fired right up .... and I was amazed. That battery was "dead" when I pulled in the night before .... and my coffee and breakfast was really good.

Following week after returning home, a new rotor at local rebuilder fixed Comp-u-fire which had suffered an open winding, (possibly a fractured solder joint ..... maybe even a result of some big water splashing when hot as we had run through some deep water). He recognized it once I told him the end frame was different, he had the rotor in stock. Cost me just $100 or so for the repair, cleanup, testing ..... and for a while after, I carried a spare alternator in my Trike's trunk ..... but there have been no more glitches in many miles and rides. I even found a used Comp-u-fire off a wreck on ebay with higher serial number for $120 that I bid on simply because it was so cheap .... and it tests perfect so it's now my second backup (OEM is smaller / lighter and takes up less space). They are Delphi (or Delco Remey) CS121 car alternators fitted with a special end frame and drive adapter, any kit to rebuild a CS130 will also work. There is a Chicago Rawhide # 9878 oil seal in that Compufire frame, it crosses to National # 471224.

That Odyssey PC680 was put in the Trike new in August 2004, I just replaced it with a new Odyssey in Spring 2016 due strictly to getting a good deal on two (got one for the 1200 too).
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)
Gary Neppell
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:07 pm
Location: Mastic Beach, New York
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Compu fire alternator

Post by Gary Neppell »

Happytrails wrote:What happens to the Compufire that it needs repaired?
I won't know until I take it apart
Gary Neppell
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:07 pm
Location: Mastic Beach, New York
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Compu fire alternator

Post by Gary Neppell »

Thank you everyone for the replies
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2manywings
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Location: Saginaw, MI.
Motorcycle: '76s,'78,'83s,'84s,'85s,'88s,'89,'01,'04s (the list is ever changing...2manywings)

Re: Compu fire alternator

Post by 2manywings »

I quit using them several years ago after numerous cases of failure, all on different bikes. From bearings to seals to rotor problems. All were just out of warranty (just over a year). In Michigan that equates to 7-8 months of use. For what they cost, that did not set well with my customers. I had been doing business with "Electric Motor Service" (EMS) in West Virginia for years, so I started using a 90 amp that they offer and have not had one fail yet. That's been several years ago now. They are a fraction of the price of that well advertised brand (just bought one from their e-bay store, EMS Global,for 179.) For me, reliability is more important than pretty pictures in a magazine. And when reliability come at a lesser cost, that's better yet. Don't forget to change the dampers too! Good Luck
Gary Neppell
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:07 pm
Location: Mastic Beach, New York
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Compu fire alternator

Post by Gary Neppell »

Yes I understand the Delco always had problems I ended up purchasing the hitachi 90 amp alternator
$190.00.


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