OMG - Another Alternator POST ??

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:15 am
Location: Sedalia, MO
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

OMG - Another Alternator POST ??

Post by bbrackett »

OMG - Another Alternator POST ??


last year, what seems to be the Original Alt died on the 1988 GL1500 @ 101K (I'm thankful and I was not far from home, I was able to remove the batt, charge and ride home)

I bought a Chinese replacement $110 from DB Elec.
went 11K and 17mos later, the replacement died
I checked and I'm getting 12V with the key on to the exciter wire

BUT in my research the past couple days, I found something Interesting and I'm wondering if this is what is plaguing these Chinese Alts in failing quickly.

The Original ( as far as I know ) alt, that I took out, had a Condenser. I did not install it on the replacement alt, it didn't come with one and there is NO Capacitor in the Alternator
in the parts diagram ( is it somewhere else? maybe )
was it part of a Honda Bulletin ? maybe

I did a little research about 30mins and it seems, supposedly the Condenser HELPS with the charging circuit and may help lower the temps of the Rectifier and Volt Regulator..
by smoothing out the noise in the current

could this be why these's alts are failing ?

When you replaced your Alt, did you install the Condenser?
Did the alt then fail 5-15k miles ?

PS: can I install a 90a/or 95a Alt on a 1988 ? I've read folks have issues squeezing it in :-)
and from the pics I've seen, looking at the mounting flange, the alt body definitely looks bigger.

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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
199K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
36K Miles

Re: OMG - Another Alternator POST ??

Post by MikeB »

The condenser is nothing more than a noise limiter for the radios. It has no effect on the proper or efficient operation of the alternator.

I've been using a Compufire alternator. Installed it at 2245 miles. After 82,000 miles it developed an oil leak at the input shaft. I replaced it with a known good one. I put new seals and brushes in the old one and it is on the shelf. I now have 193,000 miles on the GL1500 and no issues with the Compufire alternator. There is no condenser on the alternator. It is not needed.

I was lucky enough to install the Compufire long ago when they were in the middle of their production. I would go back to an OEM alternator before I would install a DB electric alternator. There have been far too many horror stories about that line of alternators.

I also have a Simpro alternator that I have not used in a long time. Here is a picture of the OEM, Simpro and Compufire to show a size comparison. They all fit but the Compufire can be a little tricky to install.

1998 - GL1500 w/195,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/32,000 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
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Location: Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Motorcycle: 99 Gl-1500 SE
76 GL-1000
77 Honda Trail 90

Re: OMG - Another Alternator POST ??

Post by offcenter »

My 99 1500 came with a 90 amp Compufire, installed by the previous owner when the bike was fairly new.
About a year and a half after I got the bike, the Compufire failed. Opened it up and the windings were actually broken. Local alternator shop said it wasn't worth fixing.
Then followed TWO chinese alternators, one of them a DBelectrical. Each of these only lasted about a year.
After that, I managed to find a Honda dealer that still had an original Honda/Hitachi in stock. It cost me an arm and a leg, but so far, this one has been working fine.
I have my fingers crossed.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:15 am
Location: Sedalia, MO
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: OMG - Another Alternator POST ??

Post by bbrackett »

Found this company provides a lifetime warranty - ... 3561.l2559
Gonna try it, if it goes over a year and they replace it.. well that will be nice
I can't afford to buy a new Honda unit
and my Honda one I removed last year needs to bearings and the retifier/reglator, which is more than this alt if I go with Honda parts.
and there is a OEM Honda Rectifier on ebay now for $125, can't grab it, well I could but I'd rather have this all new one
then I can work on repairing the chinese one and the honda one's for backups.

good luck, to you, thanks!!

12485N-90A-HO 95 AMP

SPECIFICATIONS: 95 Amp/12 Volt, CW, Impeller Type

Honda: 31100-MT2-005, 31100-MT2-015, 31100MT20150
Hitachi: LR140-708, LR140-708C, LR140-708CN
Lester: 12485
Arrowhead: AHA0001, AHA0002
J & N Automotive: 400-44065, 400-44102
Wilson: 90-25-1152
Romaine Electric: 12485N, 12485N-OEM, 12527N
Dixie Electric: A-80409
Andre Niermann: 020708
Rick's Electric: 31-101H, 31-102 (40 Amp)
J&P Cycles: 832-021 (90 Amp), 832-022 (40 Amp), 510-1131
MES: AH708-N, AH708-N-HO

Make Model Year Engine Remarks
Honda GL1500 Gold Wing 1990 1520cc Hitachi , 90 Amp upgrade
Honda GL1500A Gold Wing Aspencade 91-00 1520cc Hitachi System, 90 Amp Upgrade
Honda GL1500I Gold Wing Interstate 92-96 1520cc Hitachi , 90 Amp upgrade
Honda GL1500SE Gold Wing Special Edition 90-00 1520cc Hitachi , 90 Amp upgrade
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:59 pm
Location: Campbellville, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE

Re: OMG - Another Alternator POST ??

Post by fnickel »

I can't believe the number of "failed alternator" posts I've seen here over the years, including all the failed high output aftermarket ones. Why don't people just have the original ones rebuilt? Unless you really need to go to a higher capacity because of all the extra gadgets and lights you are running, the original ones seem to work just fine and last a long time. When I got my '92 1500 ten years ago with 80,000 miles on the odometer, a good friend told me that the first thing I need to do is change the timing belts, and rebuild the alternator to avoid getting stranded somewhere. I did both. Removed the alternator, and took it to an automotive starter/alternator rebuild shop to get it rebuilt. After going through it completely (bearings, seals, brushes, whatever) and reinstalling it, I've ridden the bike for 10 years with no issues. The cost was well under $100.
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:15 am
Location: Sedalia, MO
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: OMG - Another Alternator POST ??

Post by bbrackett »

for me, I contacted a local Starter/Alt shop, they said "Good Luck" getting parts.
I bought the Chinese one for $120, installed and was OK for a while

I kept the Honda one, and I know it's the 100k original because it has the original Capacitor installed
I took it apart last week end, needs at least a rear bearing and reg & rectifier
IF I go with Honda Rect, on Ebay it's $125

I plan to rebuild both the Chinese one I bought last year AND the OEM one to have both as backups
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:15 am
Location: Sedalia, MO
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: OMG - Another Alternator POST ??

Post by bbrackett »

Alternator working good so far, Volts hanging around 14.2-14.3

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