Local Honda Dealer NO longer will work on 1500's

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Earlsboro, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 97 GL1500 SE

Local Honda Dealer NO longer will work on 1500's

Post by vv0350 »

A Story:
Much to my dismay, last month, my 1998 GL1500se had the alternator go bad..AND I found out that my local Honda
Dealer NO LONGER would work on the 1500 series Goldwing...They stated that the likely hood of something additional going wrong, while in the process of doing a repair on an old 1500 wing, was just too likely. So, here I am, alternator almost dead, and no one to change it out. PS The dealer put the alternator in that had just gone bad a number of years back. So, faced with this problem, I bought just a decent replacement off the Internet..but NOT the $700. replacement that the Dealership suggested. Then, I set about trying to follow the (simple) manual instructions on changing an alternator. (and a few youtube videos) I also read that it could be done in less than an hour..WRONG....They state that you can just disconnect the battery wire and unplug and disconnect the other little alternator wire (at the back of the alternator) and pull the three mounting bolts....then just wiggle it out. Bunk....YOU CANNOT EVEN SEE WHERE THE LITTLE WIRE PLUGS IN AND UNBOLTS..So how the heck can you disconnect it? I pulled the seat, side panels, dash surround off and finally found the other end plug of the little wire up behind the reverse lever area. I wiggled it free from the wedged in spot it was in and disconnected it there. NOW, to get the three bolts out. Two came out no problem..but the TOP one was "galled" in place...it took me two hours to slowly work it out and a lot of back and forth with penetrating oil, with a ¼" rachet and socket....This had to have happened when the alternator was replaced by the DEALER some years back. I wire brushed most of the galling material off the bolt and chased the threads clean. Now, after 10 minutes of wiggling, I have the alternator out.......Now, to begin getting the new one in place and hooked up...again, wiggling it around for a half hour, trying to get the "O" ring to sort of slip in and all the wires squished in at the back. I greased the "o" ring prior to install, and greased the area that it had to slip into....I think I finely got the four impeller to slide into place and slowly tightened down on the three bolts, hoping it would pull the "o" ring into place..that seemed to work and it appears the "o" ring is in place inside the housing..Now to put it back together and test the new cheaper alternator... That's another day when it is not 99 degrees outside...THe End...for now.

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John K
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Re: Local Honda Dealer NO longer will work on 1500's

Post by John K »

Sounds like it was a pain for you.
I replaced my Wing's alternator with a Compu-Fire unit 15 years ago, I don’t remember having all those problems. It was tight but feasible.

Wonder if an alternator assembly from Rick' Motosport Electrics is larger than stock ? Over $400
A unit from DB Electrical would be the answer for fitting? About $150
Not sure about the quality of either.
I have them bookmarked if replacement is needed again.

Having an historical vehicle to maintain can lead to cuts, bruises, and thoughts of why the engineers designed it that way.

Best of luck. Take Care
John K
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Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200A Aspencade
1992 GL1500I Interstate

Re: Local Honda Dealer NO longer will work on 1500's

Post by Charlie1Horse »

Not so bad for Honda dealers. Our local dealers won't work on any Goldwing that is over ten years old. They won't even change tires on my 2002 GL1800. Lucky for myself that I usually do all my own maintenance. Never had to change an alternator. My 1996 GL1200 has the stator internal in the back of the engine and always worked for me. My 1992 GL1500 has always worked well with no problems. I bought this one with about 75,000 miles and rode it for another 100.000 miles with almost no troubles at all. Now the 2002 GL1800 I bought with 48,000 miles is still running well and seems to be the best one of all my bikes. BTW, one of the first things I have done with all of them is to change all of the lights to LED so there is less drag on the charging system and battery.
Those who say it cannot be done should try not to interrupt those who are doing it.
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