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I just installed a new compufire in my '08 1800 and it is very loud. It is making a whirring sound similar to what you might expect from an alternator that is working hard. It is also making a gear noise, similar to what you might hear when the gears do not have enough clearance. It is audible with the side cover on as well. During the install, I had to use the three mounting bolts to draw the alt into position. I could not even get the unit's O ring up to the engine case. I tightened the bolts as uniformly as possible. I called compufire and asked if the noise was to be expected from their unit and he said, "I don't know". :rolleyes: :mad: He suggested returning it to be checked out. After his response and reading about others' experiences with their customer service, I hesitate to do that. According to my aftermarket volt meter the unit is producing acceptable voltage.
I have read several reports of compufires being louder on 1500s but I haven't read anything about the gear noise. I am wondering if anyone has installed a compufire on an 1800 and experienced similar noises and, if so, how long did the unit last? Thanks.
 

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I just installed a new compufire in my '08 1800 and it is very loud. It is making a whirring sound similar to what you might expect from an alternator that is working hard. It is also making a gear noise, similar to what you might hear when the gears do not have enough clearance. It is audible with the side cover on as well. During the install, I had to use the three mounting bolts to draw the alt into position. I could not even get the unit's O ring up to the engine case. I tightened the bolts as uniformly as possible. I called compufire and asked if the noise was to be expected from their unit and he said, "I don't know". :rolleyes: :mad: He suggested returning it to be checked out. After his response and reading about others' experiences with their customer service, I hesitate to do that. According to my aftermarket volt meter the unit is producing acceptable voltage.
I have read several reports of compufires being louder on 1500s but I haven't read anything about the gear noise. I am wondering if anyone has installed a compufire on an 1800 and experienced similar noises and, if so, how long did the unit last? Thanks.
Never even heard of anyone using a compufire on an 1800 but pulling it in with the bolts was a mistake. The original alternators are pretty robust and seldom fail. I would see about having the original repaired if it failed.
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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CompuFire did not ever make an alternator the 1800s that I have ever heard of.

The alternator should just slide in real easy, if you had to force it in, the alternator frame is wrong, take it off before you break the ADG ( alternator drive gears )
 

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My 2006 Gold Wing started making a noise similar to a vaccuum cleaner coming from the alternator at around 100,000 miles. I assumed it had a bad alternator bearing since it never quit charging. I drove it that way about 1,000 miles since I was at a rally at the time. Checking with my Honda dealer they said Compufire does indeed make a alternator for the 1800, but that hey were having problems with them. Rercommended a factory Honda Gold Wing alternator. They were close to $850.00. The Compufire was a few hundred dollars less. I decided to go with the factory Honda alternator,, but not the new one. I found, and bought one from a 2003 Gold Wing that was said to be low miles, and worked great on eBay.. Taking that claim for what it was worth, naturally I had a trusted alternator shop open it up, clean it out, check bearings and test for charging. All checked out well, and by looking at the brushes, it was a low mileage alternator. Swapped out alternators, and runs much quieter now. Not sure when they upped the wattage in these alternators. Some people say 2006, but the Honda parts catalog shows 2008. Which ever, if you order a new Honda alternator now, it will be the higher wattage one for all years.2001 through 2010. Keeping original alternator for rebuilding maybe at latter date. I want to add a voltmeter this spring sometime.
gumbyredd
 

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I also have two alternators, the OEM that came with the 1800 and is now a spare 'just in case'.
only reason I bought it, was the bike was "new to me" like a couple of months, and with planning on a 5,000 mile round trip event, I just arbitrarily decided to get a new OEM from Partzilla.

the original one went into my tagalong trailer, 'just in case' and it is still there :)
 

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My 2006 Gold Wing started making a noise similar to a vaccuum cleaner coming from the alternator at around 100,000 miles. I assumed it had a bad alternator bearing since it never quit charging. I drove it that way about 1,000 miles since I was at a rally at the time. Checking with my Honda dealer they said Compufire does indeed make a alternator for the 1800, but that hey were having problems with them. Rercommended a factory Honda Gold Wing alternator. They were close to $850.00. The Compufire was a few hundred dollars less. I decided to go with the factory Honda alternator,, but not the new one. I found, and bought one from a 2003 Gold Wing that was said to be low miles, and worked great on eBay.. Taking that claim for what it was worth, naturally I had a trusted alternator shop open it up, clean it out, check bearings and test for charging. All checked out well, and by looking at the brushes, it was a low mileage alternator. Swapped out alternators, and runs much quieter now. Not sure when they upped the wattage in these alternators. Some people say 2006, but the Honda parts catalog shows 2008. Which ever, if you order a new Honda alternator now, it will be the higher wattage one for all years.2001 through 2010. Keeping original alternator for rebuilding maybe at latter date. I want to add a voltmeter this spring sometime.
gumbyredd
They upped it from 1000 watts to 1200 in 06. Don't know what anyone would be able to add that would require the power from either one.
 

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Pwhoever
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There was no 1800 until 2001 & why would anyone need a 150 amp alternator?
I agree that 2001 was first GL1800. No idea why it's listed that way. It's just what was posted on their site. That would be enough for me to avoid when they can't even get small details like that right...
 

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FWIW, I wanted to have a spare available for my 2007 as it isn't getting any younger. No problems with my alternator but for piece of mind, I felt a spare would be a good idea. I found this on ebay and it is an OEM for 06-17. I have seen a lot of negative info on many aftermarket alternators including compufire. I felt OEM was the best way to go and the price was the best I could find. It is definitely a new OEM from a Honda dealership and came in the proper packaging. The listing shows that they only have one more available at this price.


What really sold me was that for some reason, I had a $50 coupon from ebay. Don't remember why but even with tax and shipping, I still payed less than the listed price so I was happy.
 

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1998 GL1500 Asp and 2017 GL1800 4AC
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.... During the install, I had to use the three mounting bolts to draw the alt into position. I could not even get the unit's O ring up to the engine case. I tightened the bolts as uniformly as possible. ...
I hope you did not damage the Alternator Drive Gear (ADG) in the process of forcing the alternator in place. I don't believe that forcing things is the best way for any installation.
 
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Can't believe how many people purchase prophylactic alternators, wouldn't have thought to do it, and I ride all over the place.
 

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Never have heard of windings going bad in a 1800 alternator. Alternator drive gear, or in my case, bearings going bad, sure. I changed out a alternator in my old 1500 one time coming back from a rally along side the road. Took about an hour with waiting for cool down. Didn`t have a 10 mm socket, or less time. Volt meters help so you do not kill battery completely.
Prophylactic alternators? I missed that part of the conversation.
gumbyred
 

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Never have heard of windings going bad in a 1800 alternator.
That's me too, the extremely rare failures and the fact that I worked on Honda cars for 35 years and the failure rate on them is extremely small so I don't worry about it. A lot of components have been replaced when there was nothing wrong with it, the problem turns out to be something else like a blown fuse or broken wire.
 

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I just installed a new compufire in my '08 1800 and it is very loud. It is making a whirring sound similar to what you might expect from an alternator that is working hard. It is also making a gear noise, similar to what you might hear when the gears do not have enough clearance. It is audible with the side cover on as well. During the install, I had to use the three mounting bolts to draw the alt into position. I could not even get the unit's O ring up to the engine case. I tightened the bolts as uniformly as possible. I called compufire and asked if the noise was to be expected from their unit and he said, "I don't know". :rolleyes: :mad: He suggested returning it to be checked out. After his response and reading about others' experiences with their customer service, I hesitate to do that. According to my aftermarket volt meter the unit is producing acceptable voltage.
I have read several reports of compufires being louder on 1500s but I haven't read anything about the gear noise. I am wondering if anyone has installed a compufire on an 1800 and experienced similar noises and, if so, how long did the unit last? Thanks.
Have you taken it out again yet to examine it? I remember a few years ago I put an alternator in a 1500 Wing and something went wrong and it felt too hard being pulled in on the bolts. It also made the noise you describe when it ran. I took it straight back out and the damage to the alternator in pulling it in was immediately obvious to see. I put a replacement alternator I happened to have straight in with no problems at all which ran perfectly for thousands of miles so the problem wasn't with the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to everyone for your input. I omitted some pertinent info in my original post. I just bought the bike with 120K miles on it. When purchased, it was making what I'd call a hollow rattle from the alternator area. Using a screwdriver to listen to the engine case, front, middle and rear bearing area of the alternator, the sound was loudest at the rear, so I suspected the rear bearing to be bad. The alternator was working fine. I attempted to contact Ken (Hemi-roid) about rebuilding it but I had no success. I was not wild about ordering the compufire as I had read some negative posts here but it was $200 cheaper than the $700 dealer price, so I thought I'd give it a try. I did look into buying replacement parts at cheapcycle parts.com, however, they totalled over $100 and I'm not confident in my soldering skills.
Thanks pwhoever for the ebay tip, I purchased the last one. I was worried that the original hollow rattle was the dreaded ADG issue but I don't hear that noise now. I will update the post after I receive and install the new unit. The compufire is going back!
 

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Pwhoever
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Just an FYI, Ken unfortunately passed away end of last year so that chapter of excellent rebuilds is now over...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry to hear of Ken's passing. I was afraid of that as no one returned my vm on his phone number. Thanks for the info.

After removing the OEM unit, I expected to find slop or resistance in the bearing(s). It spun freely by hand but I assumed I could not spin it fast enough to recreate the noise/ problem.

I decided to open the original unit and it was, as expected, filthy inside. I inspected the rear bearing, it showed no obvious signs it was bad (no play and turned smoothly).

The front bearing seemed fine also but I did not press the rotor set from the front housing. I cleaned it and re-assembled it.

I removed the compufire and replaced the OEM unit. I expected the compufire to be difficult to remove but it came right out. No visible wear or damage was evident. The OEM unit charges as before (I didn't mess it up:unsure:) and the rattle was much quieter and less frequent, but still present. I will install the new unit after it arrives, around March 3rd.

I wanted to pass along a tip to others who may have to remove their alternator in the future. Two of the three mounting bolts are difficult to reach. There are a few youtube videos that show how to use a ratchet with a swivel head to reach the top bolt, that is my method of choice.

Be sure to tape the socket to the short extension so it doesn't fall off.

Once the bolts were removed, I used a dremel to cut small reliefs into the skirt of those two bolts just below the flats.

I then used a dental pick to spin the bolts by "grabbing" the slots with the pick. The slots also allow your finger tip to get a grip on the edge of the bolt so you can rotate it.

I did not think to take a pic before the install but hopefully the pic here will help demonstrate what I'm trying to describe.

The pic is especially useful on the bottom bolt as a box end wrench must be used on it and the bolt can only be turned a very small amount with each turn.
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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the BEST tool for removing / installing the 1800 Alternator is a set of wrenches modified to look like this.

I bought mine from the vendor for $85 over 5 years ago, since then, they have been copied by several to make their own. DaveO430 has done that.

324955



The black tool is used to reach behind the alternator and "Break" the bolts loose.
Once that is done, the Stainless tool is used as a Ratchet to remove the bolts with a Push/Pull action.

The Rachet part is made from a standard ratcheting End Wrench, cut off a bit and a hole drilled through the stub.

The long extension part has a chunk cut out, looks like a slot, a hole is drilled thru that and a pin bradded in place to keep it all together.

for those who would rather just order one, here is the vendor's info.

324956




a few more pix with a Ruler to help you make your own.


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Discussion Starter #20
Interesting tools! The first alt lasted over 100K miles. I'm hopeful I won't have to do this again!
 
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