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I had my bike partially apart doing some other maintenance. Before putting it back together, I decided to probe the alternator with my good ol' stethoscope. I did nothave any issues with the alternator, I just wanted to probe it.

I did find outthat the rear bearing sounded really clunky and there was a rumbling noise in the front. Now would bethe time for me to order some rubber dampeners and bearings. Like I said, I was not aware of any problems, but the stethoscope told mesomething else.

I had an alternator in a truck with a bearing going bad. I let it go too long, and it froze up completely and ruined the alternator and serpentine belt. An alternator for a truck is cheap butnot for a Goldwing.I would rather replace bearings for a few bucks now thanhaving the alternator destroy itself.

If you do not have a stethoscope, it is a greattool to have for ~$5. If you have never used one, you would be amazed at what you can hear to isolate a sound.
 

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A long screwdriver or punchcan perform the same function in a pinch! :coollep:
 

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I use a dowel. 1/4"
 

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I like my electro cardio grahm for serious searching.
Seriously , harbor freight has em for about $3 here in the states. Nice tool to keep in the tool shed along with pullers rubber mallets, synch guages, and so on.
 

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Another use for stethoscopes-I remove the end peice on the tube and slip on a peice of steel tubing(like a peice of brake line,etc,). It will pin point an exhaust leak that you would otherwise be guessing at or find a vacume leak-usually at the exact source of the noise(within 1/8 of an inch).If you experiment with it -put it in the dipstick hole -near your altinator-any where ,you will discover it has a lot of real good uses as a diagonistic tool.
 
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