Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

· Registered
1985 Honda Goldwing GL1200, 1995 GL1500SE
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just aquired this '95 GL1500SE. The alternator seems to not be charging. When I was taking it off, I noticed that there seems to be an extra condenser on the side. Looks like it is attached between the main terminal and the alternator case. Any idea why there could be a condenser mounted there? The square condenser is also on the alternator.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Gas Automotive design Bumper


Also, I took the alternator apart to check the brushes. The brushes looked fine, but the contacts were dirty, so I cleaned them up and put it back together. I thought I could do a bench test with a drill on the main shaft nut but I have no reading between the main terminal (white) and the ground. Is there a trick to bench testing the alternator? On the other forums, people recommend taking to an alternator guy to check. Seems that it should be easy to test. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks
 

· Registered
1993 GL1500 Aspy 1980 GL1100 STD
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
That condenser is noise reduction - it is supposed to help keep alternator "whine" out of your stereo....

You need power to the field coils in the rotor and an appropriate load on the output to do a reasonable alternator test. A battery is the best load. Without proper loading or a battery, the voltage regulator will be hunting like crazy to regulate an unloaded alternator.

Without excitation voltage to the rotor you can spin the alternator all day and it will output nothing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rlajbsmith

· Pwhoever
Joined
·
3,576 Posts
I think that condenser on side is a noise filter like @DenverWinger mentions but not for stereo. It only comes on the SE models IIRC and is for the CB which also only comes stock on the SE.

Now as far as the alternators, there were several years where there was problems with the windings and they were prone to breaking and creating an open circuit/no charge condition. I remember there was a gentleman named Ken Heming who lived just outside Merrillville IN and was well known for his rebuilt and high output Goldwing alternators but unfortunately he passed away not too long ago. I remember talking with him and learned about the winding issue and I believe the 1995 was one that suffered from that. Bad windings and alternator needs to be replaced. It's quite possible that has happened to yours. OEM alternators are usually the best way to go but will set you back about $400 plus shipping. Don't forget to replace the rubber
spacers that fit between the front alternator vanes and engine coupler.


Be very careful about the cheap aftermarket versions. I keep hearing nothing but problems over and over with those.
 

· Pwhoever
Joined
·
3,576 Posts
Just to add further, that noise filter won't show up in the diagram for the alternator. It is hidden in the wiring harness diagram. If you look there, it is part #31 but you will also find it is now unavailable.


Now if you look under wiring harness for the Aspencades, you will see the exact same diagram but you will notice #31 does not show up in the listing. It's in the SE list only...
 

· Registered
1985 Honda Goldwing GL1200, 1995 GL1500SE
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think that condenser on side is a noise filter like @DenverWinger mentions but not for stereo. It only comes on the SE models IIRC and is for the CB which also only comes stock on the SE.

Now as far as the alternators, there were several years where there was problems with the windings and they were prone to breaking and creating an open circuit/no charge condition. I remember there was a gentleman named Ken Heming who lived just outside Merrillville IN and was well known for his rebuilt and high output Goldwing alternators but unfortunately he passed away not too long ago. I remember talking with him and learned about the winding issue and I believe the 1995 was one that suffered from that. Bad windings and alternator needs to be replaced. It's quite possible that has happened to yours. OEM alternators are usually the best way to go but will set you back about $400 plus shipping. Don't forget to replace the rubber
spacers that fit between the front alternator vanes and engine coupler.


Be very careful about the cheap aftermarket versions. I keep hearing nothing but problems over and over with those.
It appears that this alternator has been off before because there were rubber dampers missing between the engine and the altenator. One of the remaining dampers is broken. I'll need to replace them for sure. Any advice about a used unit from ebay? It may be risky but figured I could buy several OEM's for what a new one costs...

Some of the other forums were saying that the 1996 and newer were the alternators with the problems with the windings. This GL has 117k miles on it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,625 Posts
I have heard that in 97 Hitachi moved their alternator manufacturing to China from Japan and that the quality went down.
If you search for it there are forum postings on the wiring breaks in the alternators and repair info. I don't recall if it was by Ken Heming, but could be.
 

· Pwhoever
Joined
·
3,576 Posts
I couldn't recall the years with bad windings but you may be right with 96 or 97 on up. I knew it was a result of moving production from Japan. I can't give any advice on used alternators, that's a buyer beware thing and a roll of the dice. But I will offer advice on the rubber dampers. Make sure to replace all 4. Cyclemax sells a set of them:


When installing, the correct was is for the strap for each pair to face forward into the engine coupler and fit between the vanes inside the engine coupler. Then the vanes on the alternator fit in between each set. Some will install each set with straps on the rear over the vanes inside the engine coupler. Although it will probably work, that's not correct. It might actually make it more difficult fitting the alternator back in and that's hard enough as it is...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
I like the Compufiire alternators for reliability. The early 1500 alternators that said 'Made In Japan" on the I.D. sticker on side of alternator were the best stock alternators. If it does NOT say made in Japan on sticker, I assume it is Chinese made.(Not good) I used a alternator from a 1989 Gold Wing for many years, and miles on my 1500s.
gumbyredd
 

· Registered
1985 Honda Goldwing GL1200, 1995 GL1500SE
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I couldn't recall the years with bad windings but you may be right with 96 or 97 on up. I knew it was a result of moving production from Japan. I can't give any advice on used alternators, that's a buyer beware thing and a roll of the dice. But I will offer advice on the rubber dampers. Make sure to replace all 4. Cyclemax sells a set of them:


When installing, the correct was is for the strap for each pair to face forward into the engine coupler and fit between the vanes inside the engine coupler. Then the vanes on the alternator fit in between each set. Some will install each set with straps on the rear over the vanes inside the engine coupler. Although it will probably work, that's not correct. It might actually make it more difficult fitting the alternator back in and that's hard enough as it is...
Thanks. I already ordered the dampers. Should be here in a week. Also, thanks for the advice about installing dampers.
 

· Registered
1985 Honda Goldwing GL1200, 1995 GL1500SE
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do the brushes move freely within their brush holders? The brushes on my 1996 GL1500SE filled with carbon dust and got stuck in the brush holders. The brushes did not make contact with the collector rings.
They move freely.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
The windings would tend to fracture are on the Chinese made alternators, creating a open circuit.

This created jobs for people like Ken who used to rewind these alternators till he unfortunately passed away a few years ago.
per Ken the '88-'95 are the yrs to have. picked up a low mileage one from a part out on ebay a few yrs ago for $70. they still can be found.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I have a 96 SE and needed a new alternator ...don't play games and get an OEM.
What games are you talking about? Aftermarket units? My '99 SE has had a Compufire alternator since 2004 and it has been running strong. With over 129,206 miles traveled since installing it. The OEM only took it to 55,380 before totally giving up.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top