ALTERNATOR


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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gford
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ALTERNATOR

Post by gford »



Took the bike out for a quick ride today as it was up to 8 C. Time I got back I noticed the alternator wasn't charging. Checked the 55 amp fuse and the exciter wire and both were good. Swapped out with my spare alternator and everything is good again. I got 14000 miles out of this brand new aftermarket alternator, the one before that I got 25000 miles. Bike is stock with no after market power drawing accessories. Last fall I pick up an alternator from the local bike shop who was scrapping a 2000 goldwing SE with 60K on it. I bought it with no plans to use it for a few years however that didn't work out very well.
Anyone know where to get a dependable aftermarket alternator


FM-USA
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by FM-USA »

Couple quick things to try.
With motor running, compress air into the rear of the Alt. thru the openings.
Small hammer tap on the casing's rear. Brushes might be stuck from brush powder.
Brushes AND rear bearing are easily changeable but CARE! must be taken separating the case. There's a thin hard plastic that's easily cracked. Soldering skill also needed.
Never understood why a brush pack wasn't designed to not disassemble the case. :?
When I do one thing, I'll sidestep a little & learn many things.
gford
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by gford »

Thanks, I already tried the tapping the case with the motor running but no joy. I actually think it is caused by junk alternators, anyway I never leave home without a spare on board.
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Charlie1Horse
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by Charlie1Horse »

Check with a local Alternator/Starter rebuilder. They may be able to save your existing alternator.
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gford
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by gford »

Nobody around here will work on alternators anymore, its replacement only. We have become a throw away society.
FM-USA
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by FM-USA »

gford wrote: Thu Apr 07, 2022 7:59 am Nobody around here will work on alternators anymore, its replacement only. We have become a throw away society.
( SAD :( )
They're really not that difficult to work on. Just a few easily breakable pieces to watch out for. The worst part are the coils but there's videos on the Net that show you unwinding a field coil that became "Open" and it's repair. Next worst item is the front bearing, best to take it to a shop with a press. That aluminum can't take much of a beating and survive.
There's bike junk yards across the USA, look one up.
When I do one thing, I'll sidestep a little & learn many things.
samwing1500
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by samwing1500 »

I just want to join in here and watch for the answers. I too want to know where and what is
an alternator that is worth having. I have an original Hitachi, Made in Japan, (only has about about 15000 miles on it) on my trike now and I want to carry a spare. I want one that will last longer than 900 miles.
Sam
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2000 GL1500 SE
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gford
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by gford »

Sam, from my research it looks like the two best options are an original alternator from Honda or a compufire, both are around the same price. I do see some problems people are having with the compufire but, not everybody. It seems the original OEM alternators are good for around 150K before they start acting up. I have gone through 5 of the cheap aftermarket china alternators and would have been better off if I had initially put out the big bucks for one of these two. One thing for sure, always carry a spare alternator and know how to change it out. Its a 20 min job on the side of the road.
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WingAdmin
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by WingAdmin »

I've had the same Compufire on my 1500 for over ten years and it still runs as well today as when it was brand new.
gford
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by gford »

wing admin, good to hear, its hard to know what to do, OEM or compufire. I don't have a lot of extras, heated jacket liner mostly, The OEM lasted a long time and If I got one that performed as good it would last me until the end of my riding days, however, if I get an OEM and it fails after 20-30K i will be saying I should have bought the compufire and the same if I go with compufire and it fails.

One thing I know is I am done with the cheap Chinese alternators.
philipmueller
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by philipmueller »

I'm planning on taking some long trips with my 93 1500 SE, so when the alternator failed I purchased a 90Amp replacement as I plan to add some accessories. Long story short... the best I can tell is that we have to splice the green/black wire into the single loose wire on the new alternator. Am I correct?

Also, since I am planning to power heated gear I was thinking that a whole new circuit from the battery would be a better option that trying to piggyback the current wiring. Looking for good suggestions here as well.

Thanks In advance for any replys.
gford
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by gford »

Well guys, I ordered a brand new honda OEM alternator 31100-MT2-015 from the dealer, they gave me a %10 discount for being ex military. Still cost me 644.00 out the door, but I have had it with cheap Chinese alternators that last anywhere between 10 and 25 thousand miles (the last two I bought). This alternator is supposed to be the same as the one that was in the bike when it was new and hopefully will last for 100k like the original.
I looked at a compufire but the shipping from cyclemax was $90.00 and If I had any problems it would cost me $90.00 to ship it back so it made the decision to go OEM easier.
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WingAdmin
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by WingAdmin »

gford wrote: Sat Apr 16, 2022 3:15 pm Well guys, I ordered a brand new honda OEM alternator 31100-MT2-015 from the dealer, they gave me a %10 discount for being ex military. Still cost me 644.00 out the door, but I have had it with cheap Chinese alternators that last anywhere between 10 and 25 thousand miles (the last two I bought). This alternator is supposed to be the same as the one that was in the bike when it was new and hopefully will last for 100k like the original.
I looked at a compufire but the shipping from cyclemax was $90.00 and If I had any problems it would cost me $90.00 to ship it back so it made the decision to go OEM easier.
Ouch, that's a crazy price for an alternator.

I have bad news for you, the alternator you bought is 99% likely a Chinese made one - the "same as when the bike was new" Japanese GL1500 alternators have not been made for a very long time. Honda switched to Chinese manufactured ones.
FM-USA
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by FM-USA »

$644.?? _ I'd say OUCH! :shock:
OH, just looked, Canada. Sorry to hear/read. :?

ALTERNATOR ASSY. (HITACHI) 31100-MT2-015
In Stock (Honda) $497.07 - (discount) $485.39 plus tax (about 8%) $525.00

.

.
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gford
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by gford »

wing admin, your properly right, everything is made in china, hopefully honda has higher specs or something to justify the higher price. I'm looking at is different now, I spend $500.00 every two years for tires so if I have to spend 600.00 every 6 or 7 years for an alternator so be it. It is still better than buying an alternator every year.
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by Rambozo »

Someone posted some internal pictures of the differences between Hitachi made in Japan vs. Hitachi made in China. You could see where they cut some corners or were just sloppy in manufacturing. I believe the change was sometime around 1997? I think the best reliability would be to just rebuild an original early OEM, and use top quality parts. Of course this means you will most likely have to do it yourself, as most of the good shops that do that have gone under.

When I was looking to repair a starter for a TowMotor forklift, probably made in the 40's or 50's, I ran across a guy that was in his 80s that used to have an electric shop. When he retired, he filled his garage with his remaining stock of parts to do the odd job here and there to keep busy. He looked at what I had and rummaged around and came up with the exact bizarre shaped brushes I needed. You could tell that box had been on the shelf since the 60's or earlier, but he saved the day, and that forklift. I'm pretty sure that was the original starter and apart from bearings and brushes, it was still good. But that world is fading fast. We live in a throw away society, with planned obsolescence and built down to a price instead of built to last. And now we have to have right to repair laws to keep companies from making things unrepairable.

I'm in the middle of rebuilding a pile of identical brushed DC motors that are between 2 years old, and 40+ years old. You can see the decline in construction and much shorter longevity. I had never seen one fail at only the two year mark before. At least now I know that when they switched from SAE to metric hardware, that was the turning point. Not even worthwhile to rebuild the metric ones. They are junk inside and out.

For sure if my GL1500 alternator goes out, I will strive to rebuild the original. Does anyone know what the common failure point is for the Japanese Hitachi units?
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Re: ALTERNATOR

Post by DenverWinger »

Rambozo wrote: Sat Apr 16, 2022 8:02 pm Does anyone know what the common failure point is for the Japanese Hitachi units?
If you've been reading posts here a long time I'd say the Japanese Hitachi eventually wear out the brushes. Common fail in Chinese is open rotor winding. Heard that can be repaired...


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