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Good evening! First time on this forum (great, btw!) as I just bought a used 1992 GL1500A on Saturday. Unfortunately, I think I may have a problem so I thought I'd ask before getting stuck somewhere.

When leaving the dealer, the switch was left on for about 2 minutes; after that, there was not enough juice to start the engine. Dealer changed the battery and I rode happily home.... I noticed though that the voltage wasn't as high as I expected - around 11.7 when idling in traffic and about 12.8 when at about 2500 RPM. Hmm.

Yesterday, it seemed that the warmer things got (late afternoon in Las Vegas - 93 degrees), the lower the voltage "average" was. I saw it as low as 10.8 when idling; about 12.1 in traffic and up to 13.6 on the freeway. This morning, when it was nice and cool out, it was about 12.5 when idling and 13.7 in traffic. So.... do I have something to worry about?

I "think" all of the accessories are off (except perhaps for some accessory side lights). I am not riding with the accessory driving lights, radio, etc. The only variable on these trips (electrically) is the radiator fan. I'm having a hard time hearing when it is running except when I'm stopped & paying attention.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice!

Rick
 

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:waving::waving:Welcome to the Best Goldwing Site on the Internet Rick!:waving::waving:

It doesn't sound too healthy to me, it should go up over 14V at 3500rpm. Less than 12 is not good anytime. Luckily you just bought it and already let the dealer know there's a problem. Obviously the battery didn't fix it, take it back and have them make it good. The alternator is easy to check, it only takes a few minutes to remove and test it. You're lucky you have a volt meter on the bike the standard set up doesn't. The readings you're getting this morning are not bad, but they shouldn't drop like that when hot. You might want to verify the voltage with another voltmeter directly on the battery.
 

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Thanks, exavid - I'm hoping that the dealer will make it good. There are two other minor things that they agreed to fix when I picked up the bike (reverse not working unless the engine is running - could be related to voltage(?) and an intermittent cruise control switch).

In case I end up being the one that has to figure this out, is there any one particular component to start with? The apparent relationship to temperature is interesting... I know I need to pick up a service manual - I would have made them throw one into the deal when I bought it, but thought about it too late :(.

Rick
 

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Heat kills batteries, but in your case, I'd guess that the alternator is the culprit. Brushes probably shot.

I agree with Exavid, have the dealer perform an alternator output test.

The brushes can be replaced (~$9.00 parts 2 hours labor), as can the alternator(~$350.00 parts 1/4 hour labor).

If the dealer opts to change the brushes, make sure the outer bearing in the alternator isn't making noise.
 

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ricklaut wrote:
Thanks, exavid - I'm hoping that the dealer will make it good. There are two other minor things that they agreed to fix when I picked up the bike (reverse not working unless the engine is running - could be related to voltage(?) and an intermittent cruise control switch).

Rick
I don't believe the reverse is supposed to work with the engine off, mine won't. Otherwise you'd run the battery down pretty fast. Iffy cruise could be the switches on the clutch and brake levers, if the cruise doesn't want to go on, wiggle those levers a bit and see if it will set. a shot of WD40 on the lever pivots and in the hole where the clutch rod goes between the lever and the master plus a little spritz in the three handle bar control switches does help keep things working.
 

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Intermittant cruise control could also be worn clutch or brake lever pivot bushings, most dealers carry this part (~$2.00) just need to remove the pivot bolt push the old bushing out and drop in a new one.
 

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Sounds very much like the alternator is on the way out and you might be fortunate to just need brushes.


The engine has to be running for reverse to operate.
 

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Thanks for the input from everyone! I haven't had a chance to get back to the dealer yet, but the voltage seems to have stabilized to some degree (routinely in the high 13's and low 14's). Of course it will probably test out perfectly when I get it to the dealer. My luck.....

Rick
 
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