96 GL 1500 SE Alternator - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
Did...did I do that?
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Green Country, OK
Year: 1996
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96 GL 1500 SE Alternator

96 GL1500Se with 48k on it.

Riding yesterday, two-up, after running around doing some errands. Cruise cuts out and won't re-engage. I fiddle with the pedals and grips to see if I've got something out of place. Nothing. No big deal; I'll sort it out when I get home.

A few miles later the dash starts flashing, and I lose engine power. It backfires a couple of times, then dies. I coast off to a stop.

When I try to start it, I don't even get a solenoid click, and the dash lights don't cut out like they should. A few minutes later, someone stops and offers jumper cables. After five minutes on the cables, it'll crank weakly. After 20 more minutes on the cables, it starts and idles well, until we pull the cables off. Then it dies within about a minute. By the time the tow truck got there, it had charged for another 20-ish minutes, and I was able to drive it up onto the flatbed.

With it being a 96, and the OEM alternator, (and 22 years old), I'm assuming my alternator has gone bad.

Here's my troubleshooting so far:
  • Bike off, battery shows 12.8 volts without having been charged since my breakdown. It's on a trickle charger now.
  • Bike started fine. At choke idle (about 2k RPM), battery showed 14.1 or so
  • At regular idle with no real load, battery showed 13.8 or so.
  • At regular idle with radio, driving lights and cruise turned on (but parked) it showed 12.7-ish

I know I need to check it at the alternator, but I don't know what points to test on the alternator.

I think I can do the repair itself, and I'm leaning toward the Lactrical. I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. PO says the battery is just a couple of years old.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 09:35 PM
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You may want to have the battery load tested. Does the bike have a maintenance free battery or conventional? When was the last time the alternator was opened and cleaned? It may just need a good cleaning and new brushes.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmhbob View Post

Here's my troubleshooting so far:
  • Bike off, battery shows 12.8 volts without having been charged since my breakdown. It's on a trickle charger now.
  • Bike started fine. At choke idle (about 2k RPM), battery showed 14.1 or so
  • At regular idle with no real load, battery showed 13.8 or so.
  • At regular idle with radio, driving lights and cruise turned on (but parked) it showed 12.7-ish

Your results are almost normal but after it gets good and hot it is probably failing. No need to check at the alternator itself.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
Did...did I do that?
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Green Country, OK
Year: 1996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trike lady View Post
You may want to have the battery load tested. Does the bike have a maintenance free battery or conventional? When was the last time the alternator was opened and cleaned? It may just need a good cleaning and new brushes.
Conventional battery, and it's probably about 3.5 years (adding my ownership time to PO's comment). I wondered last night about its condition. I don't charge it on a regular basis, not even a battery tender. I'm not used to hot-weather riding, either. All of my riding until 2016 was in Ohio. The heat down here can be somewhat upsetting.

AFAIK, the alternator has never been opened and is confirmed to be OEM.

Probably going to add a voltmeter during my winter project time.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 12:04 PM
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The heat down here can be somewhat upsetting.

That would mean so much more if we knew where you are. Please fill in your profile with a city and state.

Why ain't we ridin'?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
Did...did I do that?
 
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Green Country is NE OK.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 03:16 PM
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You may want to think about a maintenance free battery and cleaning the alternator inside, add a fresh set of brushes and you'll be good to go. A battery tender is a great help when you're not riding.
I know the feeling with the hot, left Bellaire Ohio with friends and came to New Mexico its really hot here.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 03:30 PM
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+1 on the AGM battery (maintenance free battery). Also, cleaning the alternator. The brushes wear and create a LOT of carbon dust that makes the brushes stick in their holders. I kind of doubt they need to be changed yet. I'd just thoroughly clean the alternator, with particular attention to the brushes and holders, and see if you're not good to go. Mine acted the reverse of yours. When cold, it would not produce voltage, and after warming up, it was good.....most of the time. I cleaned out the alternator, and all was good until the rotor winding went south 6 months later. That was the end of it, and time for an 85A Lactrical. But, I wouldn't put too much faith in the wet cell battery that I assume you are using. AGM's rule in these bikes.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cmhbob View Post
Green Country is NE OK.



if you would be more specific,



you might actually get some local help.


I'm in Oologah, 30 miles north of Tulsa.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
Did...did I do that?
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Green Country, OK
Year: 1996
Model: GL1500SE
Posts: 128
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John, we met at one of the breakfast rides over a year ago. I'm on a white 96. Of course, you had a few other things going on in your life back then. I'm in the Muskogee area.

Oh, and my boys announced they're buying me a new alternator for Father's Day.
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