Alternator?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Mgfever
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:48 pm
Location: Wyoming,MN
Motorcycle: 1983 goldwing interstate, 1986 Goldwing interstate, 1991 Goldwing Interstae

Alternator?

Post by Mgfever »



Just started my 91 Interstate this morning. The voltage was at 11.8 before starting but after letting it run for a few minutes, went back to check it out and my voltmeter was reading 8.0 volts. Thinking it was a problem with my meter but then I noticed my headlight wasn’t on. Shut it down and just dead. Is this a classic alternator failure or should I be looking for something else?


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DenverWinger
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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?

Post by DenverWinger »

Thinking maybe the starter button got stuck, this would cause the headlight to be off and starter likely drained the battery.... With engine idling the starter motor would just be free-wheeling.
♫ 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
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4given
Posts: 305
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Location: Danville, PA
Motorcycle: 1996 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Alternator?

Post by 4given »

DenverWinger wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 11:49 am Thinking maybe the starter button got stuck, this would cause the headlight to be off and starter likely drained the battery.... With engine idling the starter motor would just be free-wheeling.
Hard to believe you wouldn’t hear that.
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
Mgfever
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:48 pm
Location: Wyoming,MN
Motorcycle: 1983 goldwing interstate, 1986 Goldwing interstate, 1991 Goldwing Interstae

Re: Alternator?

Post by Mgfever »

Well, not thinking it was a starter or an alternator issue. I got it on a charger for awhile and then started it again. At first it went up to 13.4 volts but then bounced down around 11.8 While messing with the wires on the starter solenoid I noticed that sometimes it would then go up or down so it may just be a wiring issue. I’ll explore a little more and then let you know what I find out.
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DenverWinger
Posts: 2011
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?

Post by DenverWinger »

Maybe a hairline crack in the 55 amp Dogbone fuse. Charging current has to pass thru that fuse.
♫ 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
Mgfever
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:48 pm
Location: Wyoming,MN
Motorcycle: 1983 goldwing interstate, 1986 Goldwing interstate, 1991 Goldwing Interstae

Re: Alternator?

Post by Mgfever »

Thanks. I’ll need to checkup on that.
Checked the fuse and it was OK but I noticed there was some corrosion around a couple of the connections. Pulled them all and cleaned up the contacts, made sure all were tight and everything now seems to be fine. Par for the course for a thirty year old bike!
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Swagonmaster
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: Alternator?

Post by Swagonmaster »

Also possible to have very worn brushes in the alternator that are right on the verge of no contact. It will charge as long as they touch and then just quit. If you can catch it when it fails to charge and rap on the rear of the alternator it might rattle the brushes and restore contact temporarily, would prove the cause of the problem.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!
Mgfever
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:48 pm
Location: Wyoming,MN
Motorcycle: 1983 goldwing interstate, 1986 Goldwing interstate, 1991 Goldwing Interstae

Re: Alternator?

Post by Mgfever »

Well, fixing the corroded wires didn’t help so decided to pull the alternator and check it out. Sure enough the brushes are worn all the way to the holes. Haven’t ordered the brushes yet. I’ll need to check the archives for sources and I suppose I should also get the rubber isolators. :roll:
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MikeB
Posts: 3548
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
186K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
20K Miles
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Re: Alternator?

Post by MikeB »

You could most likely go to any Alternator repair shop and find brushes that will fit perfectly.
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
Earl43P
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:15 pm
Location: Stafford, VA
Motorcycle: 04 ST1300 DD
99 Valkyrie IS
93 GL1500I SOLD 3/29/20
82 GL1100 SOLD 3/3/17

Re: Alternator?

Post by Earl43P »

https://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/gl1500 ... 4102/46303 Part number 31101-MN5-005

I replaced mine (on my Valkyrie IS) with little difficulty. Be careful moving the windings out of the slots when rotating/pulling the isolator plate, but it's a pretty straightforward job otherwise.
Might want to leave just a little bit longer pigtail on the new brushes. I found that mine had worn through one brush's hole and its travel was limited by the pigtail length.
The spring would have let it wear further with a longer pigtail. Keep that in mind when soldering the new ones in. Add ~1/4" of pigtail.

Mine was done at 96,xxx miles on an Original Installation and the alternator had not failed yet (last year's preventive maintenance).
When all else fails, RTFM!

04 ST1300 Bought 3/4/17, Daily Driver sort of
99 Valkyrie Interstate, “Favorite”
82 GL1100 Sold 3/3/17 (miss that ticket getter)
93 GL1500I SOLD 3/29/20
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Wildwilly018
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:26 am
Location: Woodstock, Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 1988 Honda Goldwing GL1500

Re: Alternator?

Post by Wildwilly018 »

When my alternator went a a couple or so yrs ago, I couldn't find anyone who would or could fix it or find parts here in Ontario Canada. So not to waste riding time, I ordered another one and put old one in box on shelf to add to my collection of broken bike parts lol. Have had no issues with this one and added a volts gage to my 88 so I would be stuck stranded again not knowing something was out of sorts in my charging system.


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