Alternator?? Not again!!!


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
User avatar
offcenter
Posts: 823
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Motorcycle: 99 Gl-1500 SE
76 GL-1000
77 Honda Trail 90

Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by offcenter »



Two years ago I replaced the alternator in my '99 Wing with a high output unit from Lactrical.
On my vacation trip this week, with less than 20,000 miles on it, the damned alternator
went dead. There is oil around and in the alternator suggesting that the oil made it's way
past the shaft bearing seal.
Damn! That alternator should have lasted longer than than that...a LOT longer?
Can anyone suggest a different manufacturer for my next one?
Any other thoughts on the subject?


George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"
User avatar
CrystalPistol
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE/'98 Lehman Trike

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by CrystalPistol »

Take it to a generator/motor repair shop & let them clean it good & put brushes & new shaft seal in. Likely OK.

I had a Comp-U-Fire suffer a leaking seal there, but oil never got to the brushes so it never hickupped, I just "found it".

If you replace it, I like the Comp-U-Fire, even had a spare sourced out of a wreck on Ebay that I slid into place, was gonna put a seal in my first one, bought seals, but sold the trike and just last week or two, sold the spare.
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)
User avatar
XJSRider
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:45 pm
Location: New Britain, CT
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by XJSRider »

Trying to get access to another part, I removed my alternator... the main fat wire and the three bolts holding it in... pulled it away, noticed a large O ring around the circumference. When I pulled it out there was some juice in there, appeared to be motor oil. Do I have a problem?
User avatar
AZgl1800
Posts: 2719
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by AZgl1800 »

XJSRider wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:55 am Trying to get access to another part, I removed my alternator... the main fat wire and the three bolts holding it in... pulled it away, noticed a large O ring around the circumference. When I pulled it out there was some juice in there, appeared to be motor oil. Do I have a problem?
no,
there is nearly always a bit of oil seepage behind the alternator.
don't worry about it.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
User avatar
offcenter
Posts: 823
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Motorcycle: 99 Gl-1500 SE
76 GL-1000
77 Honda Trail 90

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by offcenter »

CrystalPistol wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:25 pm Take it to a generator/motor repair shop & let them clean it good & put brushes & new shaft seal in. Likely OK.
I had a Comp-U-Fire suffer a leaking seal there, but oil never got to the brushes so it never hickupped, I just "found it".
If you replace it, I like the Comp-U-Fire, even had a spare sourced out of a wreck on Ebay that I slid into place, was gonna put a seal in my first one, bought seals, but sold the trike and just last week or two, sold the spare.
I have a good alternator repair place near here. I guess that will be my next stop.
But this is the third alternator in that bike.
The original owner installed a Compufire when he had it. I replaced the Compufire
with the Lactrical two years ago. That's three alternators in 100,000 miles.
I had several Toyota pickups where the original alternator was still in the truck when
I sold it with 200,000 miles on it.
Something ain't right here.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"
User avatar
CrystalPistol
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE/'98 Lehman Trike

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by CrystalPistol »

offcenter wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:47 am I have a good alternator repair place near here. I guess that will be my next stop.
But this is the third alternator in that bike.
The original owner installed a Compufire when he had it. I replaced the Compufire
with the Lactrical two years ago. That's three alternators in 100,000 miles.
I had several Toyota pickups where the original alternator was still in the truck when
I sold it with 200,000 miles on it.
Something ain't right here.
Well, them Toyota Pickup truck don't have a front seal because they don't bolt up to a oil bath cavity, they hang by mounts with cooling air only to contend with. That GL1500 has the alternator in a closed in space hooked directly to a running 1500cc engine and a cavity with drive connection vanes with oil swirling around.

I'm thinking the seal on the shaft, not the big O-ring, has let some oil seep into the alternator and it's migrated back to the commutator & brushes is all, but there could be a component failure.

My Trike came to me with a Comp-U-Fire, it too died on a ride in 2005, took it to a shop, was a failed solder joint in the rotor windings
, likely after I hit a water puddle that day that splashed really big on that ride, (I figure water "shocked" the solder joint on the then hot rotor). An "off the shelf" new rotor from Delphi was in stock, I just had him put that in. Have you still got the Comp-U-Fire, if so, I'd have it checked & see where that lead me, it is a better unit IMHO. Parts (brushes, bearings, internal regulator, rotor, etc) are same as Delphi CS121 … & even CS130 … alternators. It is just a CS121 with a different end frame, the seal, and drive vane adapter. You can get one at a parts store and swap just those parts even, fit a '99 Saturn among others. Front shaft seal is a Chicago Rawhide # 9878 … crosses to National # 47122. The o'ring would be the same as a stock Honda alternator. Good luck.
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)
User avatar
offcenter
Posts: 823
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Motorcycle: 99 Gl-1500 SE
76 GL-1000
77 Honda Trail 90

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by offcenter »

Excellent info, Crystal!
Thanks!!
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"
User avatar
waynedudes
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:14 am
Location: Richmond, KY
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 with CSC Trike conversion

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by waynedudes »

I replaced my stock alternator with a Lactric alternator. I did this before my stock alternator went bad. I had already replaced the stock alternator once. I keep my good stock alternator as a spare. It stays with the bike. Don't want to be broke down again!
cycledoc2016
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:15 pm
Location: Rogersville,Tn
Motorcycle: 1989 Gl1500,1982 Yamaha Maxim 750,1986 Kaw ZL600,1988 VTR250,1983 Suzuki GS1100ES

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by cycledoc2016 »

my 89 gl1500 had 43k on it when purchased 5yr ago now it has 192k on it and compu-fire alternator still working great guess mine was made on wed... :D
samwing1500
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:18 pm
Location: Georgia
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
2000 GL1500 Aspencade w/Hannigan Trike

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by samwing1500 »

Posts seem favorable toward CompuFire. I had a Compufire on my other 2000 SE and put
80,000 miles on it and still working perfect. The place where I bought that alternator is now
closed. I now have a 2000 Trike and would like to put one on it. Anyone want to suggest a
good place to get a new one and a good price, warranty.
Thanks
Sam
2000 GL1500 SE
2000 GL 1500 Trike
User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1861
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by DenverWinger »

Here's another alternator option, funny I never hear of them mentioned on the GW sites....

When I bought my '93 in 2017, it came with a CD changer, 400 watt amp, 7 speakers including subwoofer. To power that PO also added a 90Amp alternator. Documentation that came with the bike shows the stereo installed in 1995, presumably the alternator was installed at the same time. I haven't had a lick of trouble with it. :)

It is a Hitachi 90 amp model, same manufacturer as OEM. You can "google" the part number LR140-708C and find several sellers, they even come up in Walmart.com, new, listing for $127.




♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 3463
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
Contact:

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by MikeB »

Pertronix Performance Brands
Irwindale, California
909-599-5955

Compu-Fire 58500 - 90 Amp Alternator for 89 and Up Honda GL1500

https://pertronixbrands.com/products/co ... 7063516196
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
User avatar
marks146
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:10 pm
Location: Northeast Pa.
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade
2013 Suzuki C50T
2003 GL1800 (sold 2012)
1999 K1200LT (sold 2007)
1997 Kawasaki 1500 (sold 2004)
1978 CB750K (sold 1985)
1975 CB500T (sold 1978)

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by marks146 »

DenverWinger wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:50 am Here's another alternator option, funny I never hear of them mentioned on the GW sites....

When I bought my '93 in 2017, it came with a CD changer, 400 watt amp, 7 speakers including subwoofer. To power that PO also added a 90Amp alternator. Documentation that came with the bike shows the stereo installed in 1995, presumably the alternator was installed at the same time. I haven't had a lick of trouble with it. :)

It is a Hitachi 90 amp model, same manufacturer as OEM. You can "google" the part number LR140-708C and find several sellers, they even come up in Walmart.com, new, listing for $127.
100_1222.JPG
Capture3.JPG
Well, I'm taking your word on this one. I just ordered it and should be here next Monday. I have the bike torn apart so I figured it was a good time to do the swap. I'll keep the old 40 amp unit as a spare just in case. I hope I won't boil my battery out as it's a lead acid battery and fairly new. Not quite a year old. Do you need to change the fuses or anything to put in a 90 amp alternator?
-- Mark

1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 2013 Suzuki C50T
User avatar
AZgl1800
Posts: 2719
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by AZgl1800 »

alternators will not boil your battery dry, they have internal Voltage regulators to prevent that.

it does not make any difference if the Alternator can supply 1 amp, or 1000 amps, the Voltage Regulator controls how much charging current is supplied to the system.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1861
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by DenverWinger »

I'm running standard fuses....
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
User avatar
marks146
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:10 pm
Location: Northeast Pa.
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade
2013 Suzuki C50T
2003 GL1800 (sold 2012)
1999 K1200LT (sold 2007)
1997 Kawasaki 1500 (sold 2004)
1978 CB750K (sold 1985)
1975 CB500T (sold 1978)

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by marks146 »

AZgl1800 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:35 am alternators will not boil your battery dry, they have internal Voltage regulators to prevent that.

it does not make any difference if the Alternator can supply 1 amp, or 1000 amps, the Voltage Regulator controls how much charging current is supplied to the system.
Many posts saying they boil out the acid if you ride for a long time I was concerned. 10-4 on the regulator. It should only put out as much as necessary.
-- Mark

1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 2013 Suzuki C50T
User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1861
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by DenverWinger »

Mt digital voltmeter runs around 13.6-13.8 v going down the road. That won't boil anything.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
User avatar
marks146
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:10 pm
Location: Northeast Pa.
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade
2013 Suzuki C50T
2003 GL1800 (sold 2012)
1999 K1200LT (sold 2007)
1997 Kawasaki 1500 (sold 2004)
1978 CB750K (sold 1985)
1975 CB500T (sold 1978)

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by marks146 »

:)
DenverWinger wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:58 am Mt digital voltmeter runs around 13.6-13.8 v going down the road. That won't boil anything.
Thanks again. I'm good with that. :)
-- Mark

1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 2013 Suzuki C50T
User avatar
AZgl1800
Posts: 2719
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by AZgl1800 »

I just recalled that the 1100 is a stator type bike, not one that uses an Alternator.

So, if the Regulator/Rectifier is good, the same holds as long as the voltage does not go above about 14.1 it will be fine.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 3463
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
Contact:

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by MikeB »

marks146 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:20 am
DenverWinger wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:50 am Here's another alternator option, funny I never hear of them mentioned on the GW sites....

When I bought my '93 in 2017, it came with a CD changer, 400 watt amp, 7 speakers including subwoofer. To power that PO also added a 90Amp alternator. Documentation that came with the bike shows the stereo installed in 1995, presumably the alternator was installed at the same time. I haven't had a lick of trouble with it. :)

It is a Hitachi 90 amp model, same manufacturer as OEM. You can "google" the part number LR140-708C and find several sellers, they even come up in Walmart.com, new, listing for $127.
100_1222.JPG
Capture3.JPG
Well, I'm taking your word on this one. I just ordered it and should be here next Monday. I have the bike torn apart so I figured it was a good time to do the swap. I'll keep the old 40 amp unit as a spare just in case. I hope I won't boil my battery out as it's a lead acid battery and fairly new. Not quite a year old. Do you need to change the fuses or anything to put in a 90 amp alternator?
An AGM battery is recommended by the manufactureres of the Compu-Fire alternators. The reason for that is their alternators will consistently supply 14 volts or greater.

It is not the amperage that will cause your battery electrolyte to evaporate in a conventional lead acid battery, it is the voltage. If your high output alternator supplies 14 volts or more, you should have an AGM battery. Unlike an AGM battery, you will have to monitor the battery electrolyte level in your conventional lead acid battery.

As long as you maintain the level between the upper and lower marks on the battery it will be fine. Make sure you check it monthly but that is pretty standrd preventive maintenance if you use the conventional battery.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 22056
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by WingAdmin »

The Compufire alternator on my GL1500 puts out a rock-solid 13.8V, never wavers.
User avatar
marks146
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:10 pm
Location: Northeast Pa.
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade
2013 Suzuki C50T
2003 GL1800 (sold 2012)
1999 K1200LT (sold 2007)
1997 Kawasaki 1500 (sold 2004)
1978 CB750K (sold 1985)
1975 CB500T (sold 1978)

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by marks146 »

WingAdmin wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:05 pm The Compufire alternator on my GL1500 puts out a rock-solid 13.8V, never wavers.
I have a lead/acid battery in my bike presently. I ordered a gel battery to go along with the new alternator change. I should be good now either way.
-- Mark

1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 2013 Suzuki C50T
User avatar
marks146
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:10 pm
Location: Northeast Pa.
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade
2013 Suzuki C50T
2003 GL1800 (sold 2012)
1999 K1200LT (sold 2007)
1997 Kawasaki 1500 (sold 2004)
1978 CB750K (sold 1985)
1975 CB500T (sold 1978)

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by marks146 »

I put in the Hitachi 90 amp alternator as we discussed. I find it a little noisier than the stock 40 amp. It makes a whirring sound that is present at any RPM. I hear that whine someone else mentioned, but it's not that loud. I don't think anyone else would notice the whine because I'm in critical mode. It puts out power at idle according to my amp meter so I got what I was looking for. I'm keeping the old unit close by just in case this one craps out.

It was a tight fit and I wish I put new shims in. The old ones are hard, so I'll likely put new ones in soon. The bike is 27 years old, so nothing comes as a surprise. The only things I haven't replaced so far are engine internals. I did do the timing belts and brakes the first week of ownership.
-- Mark

1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 2013 Suzuki C50T
User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1861
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by DenverWinger »

My best guess is the PO put the Hitachi on my '93 shortly after he bought the bike, the stereo with the big amp was installed in '94 (have documents). 52K on the bike now, and the Hitachi is still happy. Same MFR as the stock alternator, no reason to believe it won't last every bit as long as the stock model.

My '93 has a distinct whine to it, alternator, but for that matter my 1100 has a noticeable whine, too. Can't say it is any louder or quieter than stock, as none of my riding buddies have a GL1500 to compare it to.....
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
User avatar
4given
Posts: 259
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:19 pm
Location: Danville, PA
Motorcycle: 1996 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Alternator?? Not again!!!

Post by 4given »

DenverWinger wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:50 am Here's another alternator option, funny I never hear of them mentioned on the GW sites....

When I bought my '93 in 2017, it came with a CD changer, 400 watt amp, 7 speakers including subwoofer. To power that PO also added a 90Amp alternator. Documentation that came with the bike shows the stereo installed in 1995, presumably the alternator was installed at the same time. I haven't had a lick of trouble with it. :)

It is a Hitachi 90 amp model, same manufacturer as OEM. You can "google" the part number LR140-708C and find several sellers, they even come up in Walmart.com, new, listing for $127.
100_1222.JPG
Capture3.JPG
That is the same alternator that is in my 96 Aspencade. Works flawlessly. Hope I didn’t jinx it with this comment. Delivers 14.1v consistently if my volt meter is accurate. I was looking online and can’t seem to find one listed Denver. Sorry for being late to the conversation.


“Fight the fight and do what is right“
Post Reply