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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having trouble with the battery in my beloved 1996 GL1500 aspencade.

3 weeks ago I noticed it sounded a little sluggish prior to starting as if the battery was starting to die. This happened for a couple of days and then one day I was about to retun home from town and when I tried to start it there was a coulple of weak winds and then nothing. I walked to the nearby Honda shop who jump started it and told me the battery was dead and ordered a new one.

I installed the battery a few days later and all was good until a week later when the same thing happened again. It appeared to me that it had to be an alternator problem.

I rang my friendle auto electrician who made a house call, jump started the bike and did all the tests on the alternator which was fine!!??

I charged the battery and ensured all connections were on and firm. Today (almost one week later) the same thing has happened again and it has me stumped.

I'm sorrry about the long winded question but i'm getting really frustrated as the weather is beautiful and all i want tio do is ride.

Does anyone have any suggestions

Thanks
 

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Hi kiwing and welcome to the forum. I am sure more experienced members will have more "in depth" answers for you, but since you have a new battery, two main reasons come to mind. 1) An external drain to the battery ie: accessory that is still drawing current when the bike is off..??, or 2) Did the auto guy check the alternator under full load?...as there are many posts relating to the alternator seemingly working fine, but breaking down due to needing a rebuild, ie: brushes and a good clean. I am contemplating doing this myself soon as I doubt this has been done in the life of the bike. Also, there were several years of Honda using a Chinese manufactured alternator I think of "dubious" quality, perhaps the '96 "Wing has one?..
I have't got a voltmeter installed yet and Santa didn't bring me one this year, but for peace of mind I shall be fitting one soon.
I think there should be between 13.5 to 14.5 volts across the battery when running at around 3000rpm, but I guess this doesen't necessarily mean that the alternator is working 100% all of the time..?
Cheers,
Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cheers Peter.
He tested the alternator at 3000 rpm and all seemed fine, he also tested the old battery under load and that was fine too.

I am now thinking that somethiong is draining the battery when it's at rest but it won't be the clock cause that does not maintain the correct time and never has since I've owned the bike
 

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kiwing
As Peter said, was the alternator is probably a Chinese, which when hot will loose the connection inside the windings, did it get checked at full hot?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No it was just checked almost straight after jump statring, thanks that gives me another possible cause.
 

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Hi again kiwing, if it does turn out to be the "chinese" type of alternator and is the cause of the issue, I get the impression from Stu's reply that the "usual" refurb (brushes etc) may not actually fix the problem, if the windings are the cause, I am guessing that either rewinding or replacement may be the way to go?..another member will have a definitive answer on this I am sure, or a forum search may give you the answer..just a thought.
Cheers,
Peter.
 

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96 was the first year of Honda using the Chinese alternator. Ken Hemmings rebuilds them (member) or get a Compufire 90 amp and an AGM battery if you didn't when you replaced the battery.
Ken's website has his prices. Many have liked his work. Do a forum search on him.
http://myplace.frontier.com/~hemi-roid/

My friend Dan that left my bike to me put on a Compufire in 01 just after he got the bike as the original chinese one went out around 10,000 miles. It has over 64,000 on it and still puts out at 14.5 volts at idle.
Do not buy the cheap Chinese fleebay alternator.
 

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And if you don't have a volt meter on the bike get one to keep an eye on the voltage output. My bike has a Firecreek digital LED numerical volt meter as an early warning if there happens to be a failure. I prefer it over an analog meter or a slide meter.
http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/4231


Or you can get a heads up monitor
http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/70605
 

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Hi again kiwing, if it does turn out to be the "chinese" type of alternator and is the cause of the issue, I get the impression from Stu's reply that the "usual" refurb (brushes etc) may not actually fix the problem, if the windings are the cause, I am guessing that either rewinding or replacement may be the way to go?..another member will have a definitive answer on this I am sure, or a forum search may give you the answer..just a thought.
Cheers,
Peter.
You are correct Peter, the windings would need to be rewound properly or get a replacement alternator. There was a post on someone soldering the break back together but I can't do a search on my phone within the forum (somethings can't be done with my phone like searching for a topic or posting pictures with this new forum system even using the android app. Grrrrrrr!
Hope you have had a wonderful Christmas there!
 

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The other way you could go would be to find a Japan alternator off a 90-95 wing and put in brushes, bearings and a new seal. 88-89 are different.
 

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No it was just checked almost straight after jump statring, thanks that gives me another possible cause.
The alternator on my 1997 put 14.6 volts to the battery when it was cold. Riding the bike for a few miles & the output would fall to 13, then 12, then nothing as the alternator heated up. Ride your bike for a few miles then check your output at the large lug on the alt.....-Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks very much to you all for your help I'm sure I can sort this thing nout withall the info you've given. I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year. Thanks
 

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Check the connection's at the 55 amp dog bone fuse, make sure the screws tight.
 

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Trust us on this one... it IS the alternator. They can fool ya on any given day, but if one of those crimped connections in the windings arcs, or breaks contact, the diodes are being damaged. These regulate the charging voltage, as well as change the alternators current from alternating to DC. Due to the fact your new battery died so quickly, tells me this. Ken Hemmings will do a great re-build of your original alternator, and vastly improve its longivity/output. Best of luck with it, I got mine done in 7 days turnaround. jimsjinx
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks very much to everyone for your help, This web site and all the people are awesome!! I have the mechanical skills of a coffee table but you all make it so easy!!
Thanks again
 
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