Bad Ground


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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BENJEE2112
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Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »



Hey all. So I'm changing out my LAterical 95 amp Alternator AGAIN. I have a message out to LAterical to send me ANOTHER ONE. The first one lasted 3 years So it was out of warrantee. This one only lasted 9 months. So that being within the 1 year warrantee. Hopefully they won't give me a run around getting it replaced. It will be my 3rd one in 4 years. This last one ran much hotter than the other one. actually melted part on the lower side cover. Some people has talked about changing to 4amp wiring. Do you think they are talking about the EXCITER WIRE? I'm thinking that is the wire that got cooked. I took my 11 month old AGM DURALAST GOLD BATTERY. Back to Auto zone. They got it to take a charge back to full. said it's fine. Got it home last night. Checked it with my cheap multi meter. showed 12.3 on the shelf. Let it sit overnight. Checked it in the morning. It held at 12.3. So I Put it back on the bike. Fired it up. choked it to hold at 2000+ rpms. Not only did it NOT show 13.8 charging. (as it did before it failed) it was sucking it down. While it was still running, I started clickin the lights-signals-brakes. No obvious Hard draw. But the battery was gettin to the low 11's. so I shut it down. Put the meter on it. It started climbing back into the 12's. This morning Holding at 12.2. I'm going to dig a little deeper to get a visual on that (actuator?) EXCITER wire. But I'm pretty sure the alternator is cooked. ANY THOUGHTS??? UPDATE. The guy at LAtrical said to send it back to them and they will fix it. I just got done removing it. All the wiring looks good. Except my Battery Ground cable CLAMP plate thing on the end has a void in the circle. got ate through. Do you think that is why the alternator was running EXTRA HOT? I traced the wire back to the frame ground. Of Course it goes to a 3 way clamp. I imagine I can just cut the wire at the 3 way and establish a separate frame ground for the new wire. Thinking about replacing the hot wire too, It's looking old and dirty. The rubber nut cover is barely hangin on. The dampers all look good. only 9 months old. Do you thing I should change them again?









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thebruce
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by thebruce »

Grounds are important, especially the one with the piece missing.

It's hard to say exactly what the bad ground would do for the alternator, but it definitely wasn't doing it any favours. Tidying it up and any other bad connections or rotted wiring can only help you in the long run.

If I recall correctly a fully charged AGM should be 12.6-12.8v

If the alternator was still on the bike, I would say jump the field winding (exciter) straight to battery voltage and see what, if any output there is. I'm not sure if these alts are internal or external regulated, but a quick test shouldn't hurt anything.
It doesn't matter what you ride, as long as you have your knees to the breeze.

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Charlie1Horse
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by Charlie1Horse »

Before sending the alternator back, I would take it to AutoZone for a quick test. They can test most alternators. If they can't test that one, then send it back. But if they can, you will know if it is bad before sending it off and maybe finding that you have a different problem, (time wasted).
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BENJEE2112
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »

Thanks thebruce and charkiehorse. I think I might have tried Auto zone last time. They won't test it because it has no pully. I was thinking about making a rubber attachment to put on a screw gun before taking it to anyone.. Bruce It is easy to put back on and try to jump It to the Positive battery side. Never thought of that. It has a regulator mounted on the exterior casing of the alternator. Could I just jump it to the battery + - on my bench and spin it.

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thebruce
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by thebruce »

You would probably want the alternator in a vise, connected to a battery +12 on the big terminal, -12 on the alternator case, and then the field could be jumped with gator clips or some such to the +12.

Spin it with a fast, powerful drill and it should work. It won't matter which way you spin it. If you connect it to a mostly dead battery it should bog the drill down, which would be a good indication that it is working.
It doesn't matter what you ride, as long as you have your knees to the breeze.

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BENJEE2112
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »

Thanks Bruce. you must be reading my mind. I just fired up the computer to ask about how to do a bench test, and what direction I should spin it, once I fabricate something to spin it with my drill. LOL. I did put it back on the bike today and jumped the exciter to my extra accessory posts hot side above the fuse box. No change. Voltage dropped when it was running. Flicked all the switches One at a time. No hard grabs. I then pulled 3 non-essential grounds off. So all I had on the battery was the main hot and main ground. Fired it up. Same thing. Pulled it down slowly to the 10's. flicked everything. All the same reactions. Shut it down, Left the meter on it. Watched it climb back up to 11.8 Just (after 2 hours) checked the battery. Holding at 11.8 I'm pretty sure it's the alternator. But tomorrow I'm going to do the bench test. Then it's off to L.A. The LAtrical rep said go ahead and send it back and we will fix it. As long as it still has OUR ORIGINAL "LAtrical sticker on it" IT DOES. Thanks again. I'll let you know how the bench test goes.

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MikeB
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by MikeB »

It is really a shame that you do not know someone in your local area that may have a spare alternator that you can install and perform some tests. It would be pretty simple to install a known good one and check things out. You are really consuming a lot of time testing a defective unit. Being a member of a local gold wing motorcycle association would be a big benefit I think.

As to the bad ground lug that goes to the battery, if you wanted to keep using it, it would be a simple fix to solder a piece of flat stock to one side of it, drill a hole in the flat stock and then just bolt it back on the battery. That defect you have on the ground strap was most likely caused by a few years of acid corrosion caused by a lack of battery maintenance.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 18 Years / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 6 Years. Retired.
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 22 years.
Retired in Tacoma, WA

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BENJEE2112
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »

Thanks for your input Mike. When I quit drinking I had to distance myself from the crowd I was running with. So I'm on my own at least for now. I like the Idea of marrying flat stock to the ground lug. Straps are pretty cheap I'll be replacing it While I'm waiting on the new Alternator. When I got the bike it "had" a wet acid battery in it and I have laid it sideways a few times. Fast learning how heavy that bike is. Yikes. It now has and will always have an AGM on board.

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BENJEE2112
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »

I fabricated a thing to spin the alternator for the bench test. I got a 2 x 3. a Hole saw. a Hurricane shutter anchor stud and my small bench grinder to grind the extra point of the screw that stuck out and then to grind the slug down to fit the inside the alternator to spin with the screw gun.
When I did spin it. The battery never showed higher than 11.6
I charged the battery to FULL STATUS. 12.8. Took it off the charger. It dropped to 12.3.4 has held there for 3 days..
I went ahead and sent the alternator back to LActrical. It was $48 with insurance on $200.
Anyway.... I thought you guys would want to see the spinner that I came up with.












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BENJEE2112
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »






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CrystalPistol
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by CrystalPistol »

I'd look for a replacement connector at the battery negative, but if that one is clean, it's making good contact. In the meantime, I might would sandwich the one with the "gap" in it between two stainless steel flat washers.

Nice "spinner adapter" idea, but it wouldn't work on our tester at our store. I have tested them at Advance on the tester just pulling the V belt over the 4 vanes after securely mounting the alternator to the cradle.
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BENJEE2112
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »

So. If the battery holds at 12.3.4 Not 12.6 Is it bad? (also)
I think it's a combination of bad ground-battery and alternator.
I got the new ground and hot wire. I will be gettin another AWM battery. and rebuilt LAtrical Alternator when it gets back from California.
YES... I just noticed the ground is 6 gauge and the hot is 4 gauge



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BENJEE2112
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »

Hey CrystalPistol. Why wouldn't it work on your tester. Not enough rpms? My Rigid drill says 2100 rpms on it. I thought That might be too fast. (over revving)But we run our tacs 2000 to get a good reading. So I figured it is fine.

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MikeB
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by MikeB »

BENJEE2112 wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:41 am
So. If the battery holds at 12.3.4 Not 12.6 Is it bad? (also)
I think it's a combination of bad ground-battery and alternator.
I got the new ground and hot wire. I will be gettin another AWM battery. and rebuilt LAtrical Alternator when it gets back from California.
YES... I just noticed the ground is 6 gauge and the hot is 4 gauge

WIRES.jpg
How will you splice those cables into the GL1500 electrical system? The stock cables are constructed differently than what you have there.
The stock parts are still available.
Here is a picture of the stock setup.


Also, here are the part numbers and prices of the stock cables.
Part # 32601-MT8-000
$33.13 from Partzilla.com

Part # 32401-MN5-000
$45.13 from Partzilla.com

Now, some information I have accumulated over the years on the GL1500 Alternator operation.
The alternator runs 1.8 times faster than the engine so the maximum alternator output is at 2777.777 engine rpm. I just call it 2800 to make life simple.

The 1500 needs 200 watts to operate in stock condition. The alternator can deliver 0.2 watts per _engine_ rpm. At 1000 engine rpm the alternator is delivering all the requirements the bike needs, if it is in stock condition, and the battery is neither charging or discharging.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 18 Years / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 6 Years. Retired.
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 22 years.
Retired in Tacoma, WA

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MikeB
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by MikeB »

Earlier I said that if you wanted to keep using it, it would be a simple fix to solder a piece of flat stock to one side of it, drill a hole in the flat stock and then just bolt it back on the battery.

After giving it a little more thought, I'd suggest using some copper as the repair material. Flat copper stock should not be too difficult to locate and I believe the metal used on the cable is tin coated copper.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 18 Years / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 6 Years. Retired.
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 22 years.
Retired in Tacoma, WA

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BENJEE2112
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by BENJEE2112 »

Thanks Mike. I was also thinking about going this route. Wondering if I need to solder the connection after it is crimped. It is a (stock) crimped connection rite now. Thinking... if I go this route I'll need to heat it up to get the original off. Or use it as the flat stock to sister (marry) the 2 metal pieces together. Should I run a small text screw into both of them?. Or (THE 2 METALS) FLUX-CLAMP-HEAT-SOLDER? P>S> can you DUMB DOWN the alternator explanation for MY DUMB-ASS? Are you sayin The 95 amp is too much? The first one I got was a 80 amp lasted 3 years. Sorry... I'm pretty sure that I'm OVERTHINKING ALL OF THIS. Winter is coming. Best riding weather, down here in SouthWest Florida. Plus my favorite BACKHOE is coming down from Illinois in a couple weeks. She REALLY likes to ride. I have her trained just rite. I barely know she's back there, until I hit the breaks. lol. I appreciate all this great advice you and others here are helping me with. Ben


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MikeB
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Re: Bad Ground

Post by MikeB »

I really can't advise you on what you should do, I just know what I would do. I would fix what is there by soldering some copper flat stock to the existing battery connection on the end of that cable.

If I elected to replace the cable, I'd replace it with stock, not aftermarket "kinda similar, may work" parts.

As to the size of the alternator, 55 amp or 155 amp makes no difference for any normal operation. A larger amperage than stock capacity alternator will work just fine. The extra amperage is like extra money in the checking account, it is there if you need it but is not going to be forced out becaue there is more there to draw on. By the sawme token, not enough money in the checking account and you are going to be overdrawn and able to fullfill your needs.


MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 18 Years / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 6 Years. Retired.
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 22 years.
Retired in Tacoma, WA

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