Which alternator for HIGH Amps?


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Wing--Man
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Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Wing--Man » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:58 pm



I am planning on more lights and heated gear this year. I have read some forums about going to a higher output alternator but none have showed real information.

There are several choices, Lactrical, DB electrical, Hemmings, on Ebay there are 90 amp units for $130. The one that is out of my budget is the Compu-fire.

Which one is the best and the one to stay away from?

Does more amps require an AGM battery or is that just pertain to Compu-Fire?

Thank you


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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by CrystalPistol » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:30 pm

Can't speak for any of those but the Comp-u-Fire. It's a Delco Remy or Delphi CS130 (car alternator) with a new end frame and drive adaptor and it has internal temperature compensating regulator.

My trike's Comp-u-fire was put on by the original owner whom Triked it, close friend of mine .... in about 2000 / 2001 and by 2004 (when we bought it), the battery that shipped with the CuF "kit", a Gen III was already toasted when I bought the Trike. I picked the new Odyssey PC680 AGM up at Batteries Plus on the way to load the Trike up to bring it home, he paid the tab as he had already ordered it .... was $104 and change with tax in 2004 and he had a regular account there ...... and it's not a whole lot more today.

In August 2006 .... I lead a group ride for a several day's trip down the BRP and on that Friday we encountered heavy rain and fog down towards Mabry Mill area and still 90+ miles from Park Vista Motel at 268mm. As we pulled into Orchard Gap at 195mm to take a break from the weather and to gas, I noticed my digital voltmeter was in the low 12s .... very unusual.

That evening after we unpacked, a buddy in the group brought me a a spare OEM alt from the bottom of his trailer (between all, we had two spare alts and a spare batt stashed in trailers) and next AM when rain was gone, I slipped it in in a few minutes and figured I'ld need to charge the Odyssey PC680 AGM battery .... but I said "why not" and tried to start it anyway .... it fired right up .... and I was amazed. That battery was "dead" when I pulled in the night before .... and my coffee and breakfast was really good.

Following week after returning home, a new rotor at local rebuilder fixed Comp-u-fire which had suffered an open winding, (possibly a fractured solder joint ..... maybe even a result of some big water splashing when hot as we had run through some deep water). Cost me just $100 and now I carry a spare oem (smaller) alt in my Trike's trunk though there have been no more glitches in many miles and rides. I even found a used Comp-u-fire off a wreck on ebay with higher serial number for $120 that I bid on simply because it was so cheap .... and it tests perfect so it's now my second backup (OEM is smaller / lighter and takes up less space).

Yeah, it's big and you have to hold your tongue just right when installing it. But other than that one issue, I been pleased. Even then, easy local fix.
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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Mh434 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:41 pm

I bought an LActrical one a couple of years ago, as the CompuFire ones were way outside my budget, too. The LActrical alternator (a 95 amp one) has more juice than I'll ever need...at idle!!...and seems to work perfectly. I've since added several electrical farkles, and the alternator simply scoffs at the extra load.

BTW, it's important to replace your battery with an AGM-style battery as well when you install a high-output alternator on the 'Wing. They put out enough juice to boil a standard battery dry in no time.

In retrospect, it was probably one of the easiest, cheapest, most worthwhile upgrades I've ever made on a bike....

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Wing--Man » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:15 pm

AGM battery huh. I was hoping not be forced to buy.
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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by MikeB » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:20 pm

You are not forced to buy an AGM if you do not want to but it is so much easier. With a higher output alternator and a flooded cell battery, you will have to check and replenish the water in the battery very frequently. With an AGM, it is an install and forget. Your choice.
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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by curtm » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:18 pm

a year ago i installed a Lactrical which ran for a few months and it died, i returned it and was sent a DB electrical, the Lactrical alternators are hard to find now for some reason, DB seems the common one now , and the price is right, i have a friend that has Compu fires but seems to replace them every couple of years, So who knows, except the compu fires are way expensive for me, My Db one is good, have not had any problems, and again the price is right

Curt

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by MikeB » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:02 pm

I've had a Compufire since August of 2001.
My first one needed to be replaced under warranty at 22,285 miles for a noisy rear bearing.
The replacement was good for the next 48,141 miles when it was removed and installed in a replacement '98 GL1500.
It was in this '98 for 170,830 miles before it developed an oil leak. The input shaft seal went bad.
All total, that alternator lasted 218,971 miles before that oil leak developed.
I replaced the alternator but I also replaced the seal, bearings and brushes and put it on the shelf as a spare.

The new replacement Compufire now has 4,058 miles on it and it is doing fine. I love seeing 14.2 to 14.5 volts at idle on my voltmeter.
MikeB
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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Wing--Man » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:41 pm

That is what I was looking for, user reviews.

Lactrical life expectancy is short, and Compu-Fire price over possible early repairs not worthy.
Both are liable to have towing costs which is also expensive on their own.

I was considering the 'DB Electrical' but as I mentioned, wanted user reviews.
The vacation breakdowns I am doing my best to thwart them critters. I know they will happen just working to keep them few.

OK, LAST QUESTION.
Views on 90 amp alt charging two or three 12 volt batteries? One on bike, two in the trailer.
Will there still be battery boil-over or is there enough capacity to absorb the higher charge?
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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by detdrbuzzard » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:39 pm

I have the DB electrical 95a alternator on my '93 but I can't remember when I put it on ( 2012 I think ) I know it was on in '14 when I did my first IBA ride. it has been trouble free, like most every one else I was looking for a high output alternator that cost less than a compufire. as for the battery I was already using an odyssey pc680. I installed it in my wing back in '08 and just put a new pc680 in last spring, I still use the old pc680 in my riding mower and I take it with me when I go check out other wings
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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by CrystalPistol » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:36 pm

detdrbuzzard wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:39 pm
was already using an odyssey pc680. I installed it in my wing back in '08 and just put a new pc680 in last spring, I still use the old pc680 in my riding mower and I take it with me when I go check out other wings
Good batteries, my first PC680 was in our trike from Aug 2004 up into winter 2015-16, and I took it out and put a new PC680 in both the 1200 & the 1500 Trike, good deal on them. I used to buy a wet battery every 2 or 3 years for the 1200.

Kept that old PC680 and it's still a decent battery backup, power sorce, spare, etc. Fits my generator too.
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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by AZgl1800 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:11 pm

Wing--Man wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:41 pm


OK, LAST QUESTION.
Views on 90 amp alt charging two or three 12 volt batteries? One on bike, two in the trailer.
Will there still be battery boil-over or is there enough capacity to absorb the higher charge?
No problem there:
1: the length of the wire from the bike's 12V source to the batteries in the trailer, will negate any worries of overcharging. Why would they, the system is regulated to 13.6 running when hot, and 14.4 when cold. No need for a Diode isolator either.

2: the long wire will have a significant amount of series resistance in the charging circuit to the spare batteries: they will never be completely charged and topped off if you are only using the bike to charge them up....
( the charging TIME will be inadequate to do that )

I would suggest using #12 fine stranded copper wire for this. Make sure to include a complete Ground Wire, do NOT depend on the trailer hitch's frame connection, or the ground used for the trailer's stop lamps.

Carry a Battery Tender ( 2 because you have 2 batteries ) and put them on the battery tenders at the end of day and they will be freshly topped off by the next day. I do this all the time with my little scooter's battery. It is used for short hops of maybe 500 yards or 2 miles at 20 mph... the battery gets depleted and it won't start the scoot's engine.
( I thought it neat that Piaggio actually installed a Battery Tender plug on the scoot and leaves it under the seat easily available to plug in )
~John

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Wing--Man » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:09 pm

Another LAST question. (sorry)
Which alternator in the picture is better suited, the open air design or the OEM style?

If I go with the open air design, and for safety reasons, considering surrounding the open design with aluminum screen in case a small metal item is dropped.

Other thoughts?


Thank you again.

Oh, between the bike and trailer batteries.
I already have a spool of 1/4 inch wide flat tinned grounding strap.
Planning on 2 or 3 layers inside separate shrink tubes for positive and ground.
I have done this before for homemade jumper cables stored on the bike.
Very flexible, stores less than a tennis ball. Works quite fine!


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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by RockportDave » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:50 am

My OEM went out in July 2018 and after trying to get a LActrical (couldn’t reach them) I purchased one that was advertised as LActrical, but when I received it, it was a WPS (World Power Systems, a part of WAI Global) sold by Discount Starter and Alternator. It’s a 90 amp and has performed great since Last July. I purchased it off of Amazon for $162.
I researched alternators and couldn’t find one that wasn’t made in China or used Chinese parts to build them.
I bought a replacement regulator for my OEM alternator and it said it was LActrical, but is a Transpo brand, also WAI Global owned brand.


I haven’t tested the OEM yet, so not sure if it is ok.
If anyone finds an alternator or parts that are made in Japan or US I would like to know.
Dave
1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by AZgl1800 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:31 pm

Wing--Man wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:09 pm
Another LAST question. (sorry)
Which alternator in the picture is better suited, the open air design or the OEM style?

If I go with the open air design, and for safety reasons, considering surrounding the open design with aluminum screen in case a small metal item is dropped.

Other thoughts?

zz1600.jpg

Thank you again.

Oh, between the bike and trailer batteries.
I already have a spool of 1/4 inch wide flat tinned grounding strap.
Planning on 2 or 3 layers inside separate shrink tubes for positive and ground.
I have done this before for homemade jumper cables stored on the bike.
Very flexible, stores less than a tennis ball. Works quite fine!
zzzz1600.jpg
I would go for the open frame design for slightly better cooling.

the flat tinned Ground Straps are awesome for carrying high current.
my 1951 Plymouth had one about 1.5 inches wide, by 1/8" thick used to bond the motor to the frame of the car.
~John

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by wingdings » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:07 am

Hi - saw your post there - most wingers fit this one - watch the vid -

this shows you how to swop them over -



I use a Motobatt battery -Motobatt Batteries are Fully Sealed - Fully Charged - Maintenance Free -
Have High Cranking Power & Most Have Four Posts For Adding Electrical Accessories.

A Sealed AGM Battery will last longer without charge so are perfect for all bikes left standing for long periods.
AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat which have a much lower discharge rate than other batteries.

The ability for the battery to discharge down to 30% of its capacity and then recover repeatedly
under a standard alternator charge is far superior than acid & gel batteries.

A Motobatt battery is a Factory Activated battery which means it is
conditioned for optimum performance before it leaves the factory.

Whilst Motobatts have a very low discharge rate compared with conventional designs,
from time to time you may need to charge your battery.

purchase from ebay - eBay item number:
192795322231 you will also have to put in another dog bone fuse so doubling up to cope with the extra load again watch the vid !!

Hope this may help - :D :D :D :D

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by wingdings » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:28 am

I see also in your post you intend to fit more electric gear too - be careful of this -you can run the risk of burning out the earth grounds on the bike - I recently saw this on a wing I was buying spare parts from the sad owner - the bike was immaculate - had lots of bits on it too - however the owner had hacked into the main harness to power all that stuff - the main harness was only made to do what honda made it for - the best way round it is to fit a Denali Powerhub 2 Motorcycle Fuse Block with Wiring Harness -

Here is the tec-no - info on it -

Denali Powerhub 2 Motorcycle Fuse Block with Wiring Harness
The PowerHub2 Power Distribution Module, manufactured by Denali is made in the USA and allows you to safely connect up to 6 electronic devices to your motorcycle in a clean, workmanlike manner. It's canbus compatible and includes six 15-amp rated and fused outputs, six ground posts, and a plug-and-play wiring harness for direct battery hookup. Each of the six outputs can be individually set as "always on" or "switched" on/off with the ignition of the motorcycle. Instead of attaching multiple ring terminals to your battery, use a PowerHub2!

Denali designed the CANbus-safe PowerHub2 to allow simple and easy installation of electrical components. Each unit has six individually fused outputs. These are not your ordinary outputs. Simply plug the fuse in to the left or the right on the circuit board to make the accessory live all of the time or switched on/off with the bike's ignition.

The entire unit is rated for 30 Amps (360 watts). Each of the six circuits can handle up to 15A (180W) each - without exceeding a total sum of 30 Amps simultaneously.

Features:
Replaceable 30 amp Tyco/Bosch micro relay
Water-resistant
Compact
Durable
Choice between switched and constant power

Specs:
Dimensions: L 3" x W 4" x H 1"
6 circuits can handle up to 15A (180W) each
CANbus-compatible
60 inch long 10 gauge wiring harness with Posi-lock connector

What's in the Box:
PowerHub2 fuse block
2 ring terminals
Wiring harness for connecting PowerHub2 to battery (includes switched "trigger" wire with Posi-tap connector)
Self-adhesive hook and loop pad for providing a quick-release attachment method for connecting the PowerHub2 to a flat surface

see - vids - for fitting -

/



It is a far safer way to fit electric stuff to the wing as you don't hack into the main harness and running the risk of burning out the main grounds on the main wiring harness - buy on ebay - hope this may help !! :D :D :D :D :D

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Sidcar » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:48 am

The alternator has just failed on my 95 GL1500 SE. I took it off and checked the brushes which where ok, clean everything I could and refitted it but no go. I have a WPC high output alternator which I took off my previous GL1500 so I fitted that. A test ride up the road reminded me why I took it off, the vibration it created 2000 rpm and below was awful, so even though it was pushing out 20 amps at idle it won't do.
There's not a lot of choice over here, if you think a Compufire is expensive try adding import duty and shipping on top.
Two retailers are selling Arrowhead alternators (one in the UK and one in Italy) at affordable prices but the only customer review I can find says they don't last long. Anyone heard of or fitted one of these?

Sid

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by wingdings » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:03 pm

Another !! - Big job high priority - with high benefits is to fit a volt meter into the dash board I think most wing owners would agree too - view topic viewtopic.php?t=36120 beats pushing your wing home when you don't know what hells wrong with it - :D :D :D :D

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Sidcar » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:49 pm

What is it with Honda alternators? I've had two GL1500's, an 89 and a 95, both had alternator failure yet the "high" mileage one has only done 47000 mls. Add to that a replacement alternator that causes engine vibration and that's not much of a track record.

Sid

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Sidcar » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:35 pm

Saw this on YouTube.
It interested me because, apart from you can use a car alternator as a donor, the fault was a failed rotor. I've had two OEM alternators fail both due to faulty rotors. Pity you can't buy replacement rotors for the original units, I could put two units back in service.




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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by hemi-roid » Wed May 01, 2019 3:09 pm

I have replacement rewound rotors for $100 exchange plus shipping.
I rebuild GL1500, GL1800, and COMPUFIRES.
ken 219-947-4038

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by harry37 » Wed May 01, 2019 6:08 pm

Could anyone confirm if compu fire alternator will fit a 97 gl1500se and are these alternars available in the UK.

Thank you.

Harry

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by WingAdmin » Wed May 01, 2019 7:04 pm

harry37 wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:08 pm
Could anyone confirm if compu fire alternator will fit a 97 gl1500se and are these alternars available in the UK.

Thank you.

Harry
They definitely fit all GL1500's, as I've got one on mine. Whether or not there is a vendor in the UK or that will ship there, I can't say.

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Mh434 » Wed May 01, 2019 7:06 pm

The Compufire will fit your bike. You can order one, but the shipping cost may be...painful.

There are also a few far-cheaper high output alternatives available. I personally bought an LActrical 95-amp unit online & had it shipped to me in Canada, so the shipping to the UK wouldn’t be much different than mine was. The alternator’s cost was surprisingly low.

It puts out more than 3X as much current at idle as my Honda unit did maxed out, and has been completely reliable & quiet so far. My “electrical budget” is now essentially unlimited. It is wise to also install an AGM-style battery at the same time, as high-output alternators can boil a standard battery dry in short order.

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Re: Which alternator for HIGH Amps?

Post by Wing--Man » Wed May 01, 2019 9:23 pm

I have read many posts and will be using the majority of ideas already, aka: "tried-n-true".

I will not be utilizing the OEM wire loom for accessories, leaving that stock for obvious reason.
Ground will be the frame, best way I know to keep extraneous number of wires to a minimum.

Power will be drawn from the battery to 2 separate power blocks, each their own fuse.
1 up front, most likely fairing left side, the other in the trunk.

:geek: I am still hunting the high output alternator.
Read several posts of China Alts not lasting so the 'Hemi-roid' Alt may be my go to unit.

So far all looks good and still watching this thread for more ideas.
THANK YOU ALL for these ideas. 👍


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Smile for yourself when you wake up, you have another fine day to live.

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