Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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dnt13
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Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by dnt13 »



I’m installing a DB Eectric 90 amp alternator after the stock alt failed on my 2000 SE. No installation instructions came with the new alt but it looks fairly straight forward and I’ve watched a couple YouTube vids of the process. Question: Is it necessary to add another 55 amp link to the dogbone fuse beside the battery? Apparently Compufire instructions include this because the new alt is 90 amps; however, I’ve also read that the dogbone fuse is there to protect the bike’s wiring and electrical systems from excessive current >55 amps so to boost that up to 110 amps by adding another fuse link might NOT be a good thing. I’m handy but not a mechanic nor vehicle electrical expert. Comments?


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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by bellboy40 »

I wouldn't put another fuse in there. It will be fine with just the stock fuse setup. You don't want any burned up wiring.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by dnt13 »

This looks like a resistor or capacitor of some sort - do I need to reinstall it with the new 90 amp alternator?

GL1500 alternator resistor?
GL1500 alternator resistor?

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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by CrystalPistol »

dnt13 wrote: Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:26 pm This looks like a resistor or capacitor of some sort - do I need to reinstall it with the new 90 amp alternator?CAFF0746-A827-4EF4-A021-C86298A1DADC.jpeg
Not with the Comp-u-Fire, but I have no idea with the DB Electrical unit. Is it a modded stock alternator or ???

As to a extra 55 amp fuse parallel but spaced away from current one (use washers), mine is like that. All the bike's circuits are protected with their own fuses. I have considered a 70 amp circuit breaker. If you aren't in need of the extra juice, it'll work fine with just the one 55 amp fuse but if you add extra accessories (lights, heated gear, trailer with lots of lights, etc) and total draw exceeds 55 amp, it'll blow.

Here is a link
https://www.dbelectrical.com/products/a ... 0-amp.html
Send them an Email, maybe they'll reply? Or call them?
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How else may I contact you?

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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by AZgl1800 »

Lots of misconceptions about fusing.

That fuse is to protect the bike's wiring, not the Alternator.

Alternators will only output as much current as is needed to raise the charging system voltage to ~14.3ish

if that takes 10 amps, that is all it will put out, no matter that DB Electrical's alternator can source up to 90 amps.....

I seriously doubt, that there is any motorcycle that needs a full 90 amps of charging current available.... the exception will be those bikes that are so gawdy with extra lights for parades, etc.
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ct1500
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by ct1500 »

dnt13 wrote: Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:57 pm I’m installing a DB Eectric 90 amp alternator after the stock alt failed on my 2000 SE. No installation instructions came with the new alt but it looks fairly straight forward and I’ve watched a couple YouTube vids of the process. Question: Is it necessary to add another 55 amp link to the dogbone fuse beside the battery? Apparently Compufire instructions include this because the new alt is 90 amps; however, I’ve also read that the dogbone fuse is there to protect the bike’s wiring and electrical systems from excessive current >55 amps so to boost that up to 110 amps by adding another fuse link might NOT be a good thing. I’m handy but not a mechanic nor vehicle electrical expert. Comments?
Compufire is the only alternator that advertises 60A of current available at idle RPM. All current generated by the alternator on its way to the battery will pass through this 55A fuse. There are only a couple real world instances where the amperage provided by the alternator could breech the dogbone fuse long enough to fry it, no concern whatsoever using the OEM 40A alternator. This would be to jump start another machine or the extended use of reverse gear more so with increased RPM. The dogbone fuse will allow short duration current draws well in excess of the 55A rating. Compufire did their homework to cover most scenarios except for the wire gauge size from alternator to battery. :geek:
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by WingAdmin »

That capacitor is likely a noise filter. If you have a CB, you should transplant the noise filter from the old alternator to the new one, or else you'll find your CB is no longer usable due to noise.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by agingchef »

I know this is an older forum but I have a new question for all you techs out there. I had a compu fire alternator installed on my 99 gl1500. I am beyond frustrated with burning up alternators. I have put in 3 since the compufire died in the last 6 months. FF to today I am checking the plug on the old compufire and I found a resistor in line with the exciter plug for the alternator. Checking continuity on this I cannot get a reading through the resistor at all. I believe the resistor is burned up otherwise I should get continuity through the wire and resistor right?
If that is the case I should be able to cut out and replace the resistor and re install the compufire and be back in business for a running alternator?
Next question is why the resistor in the exciter wire for the alternator?
Final question I installed a LAtrical alternator and it burned up in about a month. I was told bad battery could do that. Replaced battery replaced LAtrical alternator with another and two weeks did the same thing. They will not send me another 'until I fix the problem with the bike'
I am going to start tracing wires for a short to ground but am at a loss as to what else it might be?
Battery holds a solid charge at 12.6V. At the battery charge was 13.6 at idle and 14.2 at 1500rpms. I do not have a lot of extras on the bike electric wise and I saw no swings in charging or readings at the battery. Just riding home after work on day and it just quit. I knew something was not right when the radio faded out.
I could really use some of the considerable wisdom I have seen on this site.
Thanks in advance.


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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by Rambozo »

Usually a resistor on the excitation wire is to compensate for not having an alternator light in that line. It limits the current like the light bulb would. I bet that will take care of your Compufire. You might want to upsize that resistor to a 1/2 watt or better to keep that from happening again. (looks like what you have is a 1/4 watt unit)
Can't say about your other alternators. You should check the current, not just the voltage to see if something is stressing the alt.
Might want to add an alt light and or a voltmeter, so you get more of a heads up before things go south.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by WingAdmin »

I agree - swap the resistor with an equivalent (same resistance, larger power rating) one. I can't quite make out the color bands in your photo so I can't tell you the value of resistor you've got there.

If it were my bike, I would be putting a shunt ammeter across the output of the alternator. It's a special kind of ammeter used to measure high current loads. You should see a high initial current load after startup as the alternator replaces the energy in the battery used to start the bike, but it should taper off. If you've got something drawing a lot of power, continuously, it could cause alternator failure - but that's got to be an awful lot of current.

Here's a cheap shunt ammeter/voltmeter that can handle 100 amps, which should be enough capacity for you:

https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Multimet ... ref=sr_1_8
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by MikeB »

agingchef wrote: Wed Aug 18, 2021 8:55 pm I know this is an older forum but I have a new question for all you techs out there. I had a compu fire alternator installed on my 99 gl1500. I am beyond frustrated with burning up alternators. I have put in 3 since the compufire died in the last 6 months. FF to today I am checking the plug on the old compufire and I found a resistor in line with the exciter plug for the alternator. Checking continuity on this I cannot get a reading through the resistor at all. I believe the resistor is burned up otherwise I should get continuity through the wire and resistor right?
If that is the case I should be able to cut out and replace the resistor and re install the compufire and be back in business for a running alternator?
Next question is why the resistor in the exciter wire for the alternator?
Final question I installed a LAtrical alternator and it burned up in about a month. I was told bad battery could do that. Replaced battery replaced LAtrical alternator with another and two weeks did the same thing. They will not send me another 'until I fix the problem with the bike'
I am going to start tracing wires for a short to ground but am at a loss as to what else it might be?
Battery holds a solid charge at 12.6V. At the battery charge was 13.6 at idle and 14.2 at 1500rpms. I do not have a lot of extras on the bike electric wise and I saw no swings in charging or readings at the battery. Just riding home after work on day and it just quit. I knew something was not right when the radio faded out.
I could really use some of the considerable wisdom I have seen on this site.
Thanks in advance.
compu fire plug.jpg
While it is possible that the resistor in the picture is not conducting, it is very unlikely that it is burnt out. Normally a wire wound or bad carbon resistor presents as burnt or broken in half if bad. It is more likely that the connections of the resistor are faulty at the wire swages. Check the continuity of only the resistor with an OHM meter. Then, check the continuity of the wires and resistor. What are the color bands on the resistor? It looks like it may be Brown, Black, Red with Gold on the end. That would make it a 1000 Ohm resistor at 5% tolerance. At any rate, if you used this same pigtail with both Compufire alternators, then this may be your issue.

I have a couple of those pigtails. I measured mine and they both measure 1000 ohms.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by agingchef »

Gentleman, Thanks for the advice.
Wingadmin, the color code is brown, black, red and gold so as Mike pointed out it is a 1000 ohm resistor. I have not done anything with resistors in over 30 years. Way back when I went to DeVry school in Atlanta for Computer Tech. So I am VERY rusty at this kind of thing. I will get another resistor and replace it. I will also purchase a shunt Ammeter to put on the bike just so I can know. I ordered a power probe short/open circuit finder to try to trace wires down and see if I can find the issue of what might be drawing so much power.
Mike when I just tested the resistor with my OHM meter is reads .993 Kohms on the meter all the way through the circuit. From one end of the pigtail to the other and across the resistor. I still have no continuity from one end of the pigtail to the other so will replace resistor and see what the outcome is. Each leg of the pigtail by itself up to the actual resistor shows continuity which leads me to believe resistor is not working.
I will let you know when I get this stuff done but it might be a while yet. I am working 12-14 hours daily and at least for the last month every weekend too with just a couple shorter days instead of a day off. We are so short staff at the nursing home right now I do not have enough people to cover so have to fill in. The joys of being the manager.
I come home and spend about 30 minutes to an hour checking grounds and trying to figure out what is burning up alternators.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by bellboy40 »

agingchef wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:48 pm Gentleman, Thanks for the advice.
Wingadmin, the color code is brown, black, red and gold so as Mike pointed out it is a 1000 ohm resistor. I have not done anything with resistors in over 30 years. Way back when I went to DeVry school in Atlanta for Computer Tech. So I am VERY rusty at this kind of thing. I will get another resistor and replace it. I will also purchase a shunt Ammeter to put on the bike just so I can know. I ordered a power probe short/open circuit finder to try to trace wires down and see if I can find the issue of what might be drawing so much power.
Mike when I just tested the resistor with my OHM meter is reads .993 Kohms on the meter all the way through the circuit. From one end of the pigtail to the other and across the resistor. I still have no continuity from one end of the pigtail to the other so will replace resistor and see what the outcome is. snip
Your description of what you tested sounds to me like there is nothing wrong with the resistor or the pigtail. You said the resistor measures .993 kohms which would be the correct measurement for the 1000 ohm resistor. If I understand what you were saying about your tests, it reads continuity all the way through the pigtail from one end to the other. Why are you getting another resistor? Am I missing something?
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by MikeB »

Perhaps he is saying he checked from the crimp connections across the resistor but when he checks from pin to pin on the pigtail it's not reading. It is possible that maybe the crimps are not making a good connection Or the wire at the connector pins is broken open.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by bellboy40 »

Yes Mike, that could be what he means. Maybe he didn't mean to put a period after the word "resistor". That changes the whole meaning of what he is trying to say.
Anyway, if the resistor reads .993 kohms, he still doesn't need to replace it. Just needs to find where the bad connection is.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by MikeB »

bellboy40 wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 6:14 pm Yes Mike, that could be what he means. Maybe he didn't mean to put a period after the word "resistor". That changes the whole meaning of what he is trying to say.
Anyway, if the resistor reads .993 kohms, he still doesn't need to replace it. Just needs to find where the bad connection is.
Very true. I was think the same thing as I read his post yesterday too.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by agingchef »

MikeB and bellboy40 I did the test exactly as I stated. Across the resistor and across the pigtail from pin to pin I get the resistance reading of .993Kohms. But why will it not allow continuity to ready across the pigtail?
I get continuity from each end of the pigtail to each respective side of the resistor but not across the actual resistor. Like I said it has been 30+ years since I did any kind of electronics work and I have fuzzy brain over this kind of work.
So what you are both telling me is that this resistor is fine and it is not the pigtail that is damaged?
Am I just being dense on this?
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by MikeB »

Not being there, I can not begin to guess where you are placing your meter leads or what it is exactly that you are reading.

If you read approximately 1000 ohms across the resistor, it is good. If you measure from the single pin in one connector to the single pin in the other connector, and it reads approximately 1000 ohms, then you do have continuity.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by agingchef »

That is what I get so pigtail is okay then?
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by MikeB »

agingchef wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 7:44 pm That is what I get so pigtail is okay then?
Yes.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by agingchef »

okay just to be sure here are pictures of me testing the leads. Hope I got it right!






From each side of the resistor, from each connection and from pin to pin.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by agingchef »

Thanks MikeB. I appreciate the help.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by MikeB »

That is exactly correct.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by Rambozo »

I think I understand what you are talking about. With your meter set in ohms you get the .993k reading end to end. But when set in continuity mode it doesn't beep.
That is not a problem as your continuity mode needs a lower resistance to trigger, by design. If you were measuring something like a fuse or a wire, and it had 1000 ohms, that would not be right and your continuity meter would be correct in indicating that is a problem.
A quick check of a Fluke meter shows the continuity trigger is somewhere between 100 and 200 ohms.
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Re: Upgrade alternator/dogbone fuse

Post by agingchef »

Okay so moving forward with this same issue. I got a new alternator and installed it. Started the bike and it is charging at 13.99 volts at 1200 and 2000 rpm. At idle it is charging at 14.01 volts.
I have not had time to do much else since then but purchased the ammeter/volt meter per Wingadmin suggestion.
I am uncertain as to how exactly to attach between the alternator and battery to be able to check current draw.
The schematic is simple enough but how to set up the shunt and place it on the bike without having it ground out?? I am disconnecting the alternator wire at the base of the dogbone fuse and will connect it there for the load. I was thinking of taking a piece of rubber hose and splitting it long wise to insert the shunt (so it will not ground out on anything) and just running the wires to in through the ends. I will take pictures as soon as I do this just to share what I am trying.
like I said before wiring is not a strong suit for me. I am handy and capable but just not real experienced with wiring.
I am open to suggestions on how to proceed. I do not want to replace another alternator any time soon.




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