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What are the tell tale signs of an alt failure or what to look for and hear. I have 17k my 98 SE, is putting out 14v at speed and seems to be fine. Just wondering what to expect if it does start to fail. Thanks
 

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Sometimes they just die. One minute they are fine, the next they are not. But many times they will give you warning ahead of time if you have a volt meter installed. That was one of the first things I always put on my personal bike is a voltmeter. That one thing can warn you that something is not right so you can check the charging system and the battery.

Kit
 

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Seems like there is not a lot of warning for most of them like Kit said. Unless you are really paying attention you may not even notice it until your battery is drained and the electronics start screwing up and then the bikes dies.
 

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When the reg/ rec failed on my 1200 I noticed the voltage drop and I was able to pull the headlight fuse to conserve power and head for home.

After about a half hour the motor began to miss and died in another half mile. A nearby shop gave my battery a recharge and I made it home.

If it wasn't for the voltmeter I wouldn't have had the warning and would have been stuck further from home.
 

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I have a 96 GL1500 that alt quit charging on mine about a year ago. No signs no problems. It kust quit. The only problem was the brushes. The place that rebuilt it said with the Honda alt it is common. He said there brushes are soft and wear unusally fast. He said he had replaced many sets on bikes with 20 to 40 thousand miles. If you are nervous about it just opull the alt have brushes replaced. I had brushes and a new shaft bearing installed and was only $40 labor and all. Onlky takes about 5 minutes to remove alt from a 1500.
 

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Thanks for the response to my ? about the alt. I will put it altogether and form my very factual based opinion and take it from there,( ha ha). Ride on!!
 

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The digital part of my dash started to flicker and then about 30 sec. later the bike died.Happens pretty quick.Just stuck brushes in mine.
 

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Whiskerfish wrote:
Seems like there is not a lot of warning for most of them like Kit said. Unless you are really paying attention you may not even notice it until your battery is drained and the electronics start screwing up and then the bikes dies.
Wasn't there a post showing the replacement of the brushes in a 1500 alt ?? Seems like it was pretty simple..
 

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DITTOE's on them brushes need cleaning.

Air compressed mine clean at about 75K and lasted till this spring, at 120K.
Replaced the brushes $5.00 and also $5.50 for the rear bearing change.
NOT TOO SHABBY for $10.50

Only 2 hard parts to this repair.
1.) Splitting the case the first time.
2.) Desoldering the 3 field wires.
. . . . I was afraid to break one. NOT! their really pliable.
 

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And the flip side - I replaced my brushes/small bearing at about 89,000 miles with no symtoms from the bike. Did it as a preventative measure.
 

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I've had 2 failures on my alternator... The regulator module failed at about 65K and I replaced that and all was well...

The next failure just a few weeks ago while on a trip to Arkansas riding the twisties there, my alternator brushes hung up... That was pretty much a roadside fix once we got back to the hotel... Just pulled the alternator and cleaned the brush housings... When I returned home, I pulled the alternator again and replaced the brushes as they were pretty well worn...

I saw the above failure starting to happen as the voltmeter on my bike dropped progressively downward while on the ride... As the voltage approached less than 10 volts, we stopped on the side of the road and checked a few things and I slapped the side of the alternator with a wrench and saw the voltage start to climb... That was the big clue on the stuck brushes...

I would suggest getting a decent voltmeter on the bike - it will be a valuable tool in diagnosing an alternator failure...

Les
 

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On my wifes 89 trike...CB went dead, AM/FM went dead, instrument cluster and lights started going out, bike died.
I thought battery. Changed the battery and continued on a trip (about another 1000 miles) without any problems. One evening while riding, the exact same thing happened. This time I headed home for the trailer (only 40 miles from home). Before I got home, she called the house to say bike was running and she was headed home. Finally removed the alt and replaced the brushes and not a problem since...
 

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I would recommend installing a voltmeter so you can have some notice of when it stops charging. That way you can arrange to get somewhere convenient to stop instead of being forced to stop when the battery dies. Here is a link to where I got one for mine. I got the one that flush mounts where the badge is now on the key panel.

http://www.davescyclesupply.com/products.php?category_id=197
 
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