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I just replaced my battery, the old one had a dead cell. Now the first trip around the block everything slowly went dead and finally the bike quit. Had to push it home! I jumped it off the car and it ran long enough to get it to the garage. I just had it in the shop for a tire and had the charging system checked. They said it needed a battery but the charging system was putting out 14 volts. Any ideas?
 

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I know the battery you installed was new and fully charged and the terminals are clean and tight......Right?

I would recommend checking the alternator output.

Check the voltage at the battery with the engine off. Should be around 12.3 volts.

Check the voltage at the battery with the engine at idle (800 - 850 RPM's. Make a mental note of the voltage.

Increase the RPM's to around 1800 - 2000, check the voltage at the battery. Should be around 13.5 - 13.8 volts.

If you have a Comp-U-Fire alternator, the voltage at the higher RPM's will probably be 14 to 14.5 volts.

If you do not have an increase in voltage at the higher RPM's, this would indicate alternator problems. Some possibilities could be brushes sticking in the brush holders, brushes worn out, a bad rotor or a bad voltage regulator.
 

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Hopefully tomorrow I can check out a few things, I did get it running this AM and rode it to work, about 30 miles one way. Seemed ok but on the return trip started fine and after about a half mile all power went out for an instant backfired once and was running again. It did this twice in about a mile and then was fine the rest of the trip. Took it to town tonight and it was ok until after we stopped for a while, it restarted but kept stalling unless I kept it revved up. I have read that the Goldwing doesn't charge below 1800 RPM's not sure if this is true. It acts like something is shorting out. I will remove the seat and see if there are any bare wires and do some voltage checks, with my limited tool assortment. I also noticed(not sure if this is related) that I have had to replace 2 aux. tail light bulbs and now 1 fog light is out.
 

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The stock GL1500 alternator starts charging at around 1100 RPM's. I would suspect the burnt out bulbs are unrelated to the issue. It's not necessarily uncommon for bulbs to burn out.

While you have the seat off, check the wires in the 22-pin connector (left rear corner). There have been known problems (not necessarily common) with that connector. The connector is "white" on the Aspencade and "blue" on the SE.

But I am thinking battery or alternator related problems.
 

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Thanks for the reply, I believe I found the problem, the voltage tested ok 12.4 at idle and up to 14.10 at 2000 RPM it appears that it was just a bad connection on the battery. The new battery didn't align with the connectors very well and therefore wasn't making a good contact. This battery has threaded holes on top and sides, with the seat off I could see that the connectors weren't flat on the battery so I reconfigured the connector (with a hammer) and mounted them on the top instead of the side everything seems better now. Took a short ride no problems even appears to run smoother (maybe just my imagination)
 

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spitfire14724 wrote:
Thanks for the reply, I believe I found the problem, the voltage tested ok 12.4 at idle and up to 14.10 at 2000 RPM it appears that it was just a bad connection on the battery. The new battery didn't align with the connectors very well and therefore wasn't making a good contact. This battery has threaded holes on top and sides, with the seat off I could see that the connectors weren't flat on the battery so I reconfigured the connector (with a hammer) and mounted them on the top instead of the side everything seems better now. Took a short ride no problems even appears to run smoother (maybe just my imagination)
Spitfire, I am going to make a wager here, based on you description you have a Deka, Big Crank or Westco SVR battery.

If this is correct, there are spacers (look like washers) that need to be placed between the battery terminal and the battery cable. This moves the battery cable out to be flush with the front side of the battery. These spacers come with the battery on a small square red piece of plastic. Some folks have been known to through them away, even though there are instructions with the battery to use them.

There is no need to alter the ends of the battery cables with the Deka, Big Crank or Westco SVR batteries.

I have been using Deka batteries for quite a few years, they perform quite well.

The Big Crank and Westco SVR are actually Deka batteries made by East-Penn manufacturing in Lyon Station, PA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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You are indeed correct! (on all counts) I do have the washers maybe I will try to put them on so I can connect to the front instead of the top.
 

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I replaced the washers, and reconnected everything being sure all connections were tight, still having problems. It seems to start right up but after about 10 miles all electric slowly goes dead then the motor quits. On the interstate I was able to keep the motor turning over because of the highway speeds until it restarted and then all was fine. The return trip went ok, but after sitting a couple of days the same scenario 10 miles then no power, coast started then ok. Today on a back road ride after 10 miles no power and not enough speed to coast to restart. Luckily my buddy was able to jump start it. It ran about 2 miles and quit jumped again, ran 100 feet, jumped again ran fine 10 miles home.
I am wondering if the battery never got fully charged or if there could be an intermittent alternator problem. I have heard that this type of battery needs to be charged with a trickle charger not a standard car battery charger is this true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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I went out and started the bike tonight, started right up, set the throttle lock to run it a 2000 rpm and let it run. After about 10 min. the lights all went dim and I put a voltage tester on the battery and it was at 8 volts and dropping. Revving the engine didn't change anything and at 6 volts it quit. left the tester on the battery and it slowly came back to 11.5 but not enough to start the bike. I jumped it and tested voltage again 11.9 at idle and the best I got was 12.75 at 3000 RPM. Is this an indication that the alternator is going bad?
 

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I have not studied your previous post but the brushes in the alternator do have a tendancy to stick and thus no charging. Once I saw my voltage drop while riding and then suddenly pick back up after crossing soe railroad tracks. just one possibility.
 

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treker8098 wrote:
I have not studied your previous post but the brushes in the alternator do have a tendancy to stick and thus no charging. Once I saw my voltage drop while riding and then suddenly pick back up after crossing soe railroad tracks. just one possibility.
same kinda behavior for me when the kill switch went south... DBohrer seems to be hot on the chase of good open circuit somewhere...
 

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There might be something to the kill switch being the culprit, I remember when I changed the battery that I hung my helmet on the handlebars and changed the battery. After changing the battery the bike wouldn't start, turned over good but no spark it was then that I checked the kill switch and noticed that I had bumped it with my helmet, had the problem every since. How would I go about checking the switch and how do you change it?
 

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How'd I fix it -- I pulled a known good one off of another cycle :)

After looking at my "take off" switch - you should be able to open the switch case and clean it up a bit (and re-lube) -- Radio Shack stocks a spray cleaner/lubricant product that is a bit pricey but gets good reviews here for help in cleaning/clearing-up these sort of issues. I tend to lean toward "CRC QD Elecronic Cleaner" - to each their own. Just remember to protect anything you wanna not have overspray on - the CRC stuff is plastic safe, but still strips wax and oils off of shiney stuff, the Radio Shack tuner cleaner/lubricant has mineral oil that leaves a film - so protection is a good thing

I'd be a good idea to clean the starter switch while you're in there as well ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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I opened up the hand grip case and sprayed electronic cleaner on all the switches. started right up put the tester on the battery showed 11.8 and dropping even at 3000 RPM watched it drop to 7.5 then it turned around and went up to 13.5 but wouldn't stay there slowly went back to about 12.5 down to 11.8 at idle never went back over 12.75 even at high RPM's.
Is this an indication of the alternator failing? Looks like I may have to borrow a trailer and take it to someone who knows what they are doing (that wouldn't be me)
 

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I also had a case where the windings inside the alternator were periodically shorting which cause the same symptoms. I was able to pull the alternator and have a local automotive alterntor/starter shop check the unit out. After they dicovered the short, they ordered the parts to repair it. I think I paid about $60 for the repair; I had it back in 3 days. They had to spin the alternator with an old belt on the blades of the alternator. The alternator is easy to remove.
 

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Good advice Hugh.
 

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Ah well -- sounds like that's the good route - to me, I'd say that your brushes are nearing the end of their useful life- or hanging (I'd suspect hanging unless you've got a bunch of extra draw at only 74K-miles - based on ypur forum profile)

Alternator removal is a snap, really:


    • - Once you've pulled the battery connection (so stuff won't short as you're working).
    • - Pull the output wire and field connector - it helps to remove the noise suppressor if equipped
  1. - 3 bolts hold the alt to the engine (on the 88 and 89 the alt is positioned by shoulders on the bolts, other year by pins)
  2. - I usually break all 3bolts loose first, then remove the bottom bolt, leavingone top finger tight (not that the alt goes anywhere, just force of habit)
  3. - The alt then "backs away" from the engine and with a twist will come out through the frame rails.
If you've got the alternator out, and you've not replaced the drive rubbers, it's well worth the time to pull and change the 4 rubber drive cushions (Honda part, lots'a vendors including Venco Wings)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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good news and bad news, the alternator had a broken brush holder so I thought that would take care of it. I reinstalled the alternator and started the bike voltmeter on battery showed 12.75 at 3000 RPM with all accessories running, 13 with accessories off, but didn't drop to the point of killing the engine. So I'm still not sure it is charging the way is should. It ran for 20 min. at 2000 RPM without dropping below 11.8 but never topped 12.75. I need to ride it to be sure but not until this nasty snow melts!
 
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