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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
I have my first goldwing!
It is a 1989 gl 1500...
I have gone through it, changing the timing belts, oil, coolant, and all filters! I feel I have done well, because it is up and running!
However...i keep killing the batery.
My question is...
Will this bike charge a batery while at an idle?
I have a new batery but while going through the bike i had to tighten the wires on the alt. Because they where loose.
It is still killing the batery at an idle.
Any help is appreciated.
 

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Maybe the idle speed is too low for the alternator to keep up. How long are you letting it idle?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe the idle speed is too low for the alternator to keep up. How long are you letting it idle?
It idles at about 900 -1000
I let it idle for about 1/2 hr.
While watching the temp guage.
I also listened to the radio at this time.
 

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That is plenty fast for the alternator to keep up.

Do you have a voltmeter to test the battery voltage when running? If not they can be had for $5 at Harbor Freight. Just test the battery voltage with the engine running. If the voltage is going up you are probably in need of just a battery. If the voltage is counting down you probably need an alternator or wiring work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That is plenty fast for the alternator to keep up.

Do you have a voltmeter to test the battery voltage when running? If not they can be had for $5 at Harbor Freight. Just test the battery voltage with the engine running. If the voltage is going up you are probably in need of just a battery. If the voltage is counting down you probably need an alternator or wiring work.
Thank you...
Already ordered an alternator today. (Just in case)
But when charging is correct, will the bike still run the batery down at idle speed?
 

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The early alternators like yours (If you still have the stock one) are the best ones they put in the 1500s. Maybe it needs opened up and checked over. Clean the carbon dust out. New brushes, bearings? Do you have a alternator shop near you that can do this, or do it your self. If the fans are running, I doubt that any stock 1500 alternator will keep up for long. .
gumbyred
 

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1991 GL1500 Interstate Cinnamon Beige
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If you had a lot of "extra" draw on your battery/alternator at idle such as a bunch of aftermarket lighting "farkles", it might be possible to overwhelm the alternator at idle.

Use a DVM (digital volt meter) to check your battery voltage with nothing turned on. Then turn key on and check the battery voltage, , , then as you hit the start button, see what the voltage drops to at the battery. It is possible that you have a bad cell in your battery, or low fluid if its a wet-cell battery. How old is that battery? If the battery checks out problem-free, ,get to the alternator next to see what the output is.

You say you keep killing the battery, , once the battery and alternator check out problem-free, you might troubleshoot the system for a parasitic draw somewhere. Take care of the battery and alternator first though.
 

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1998 GL1500 Asp and 2017 GL1800 4AC
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At idle, a bone stock GL1500 OEM alternator does not put out enough current to charge the battery. It does put out enough to maintain the battery and the battery should not discharge. But if you have more than the stock lighting, there could be enough draw to discharge the battery, particularly if the radiator cooling fans are running.

With a volt meter, put the voltmeter leads on the battery terminals and check the voltage with the bike at rest and the key off. Voltage should be about 12.7 volts. Turn the key on, the voltage may drop to 12.4 or a little less. Push the start button. If the voltage drops below 10 volts. the battery needs to be charged or replaced, it is weak.

Once the engine is running, the voltage at idle should be be about 12.9 volts. Run the RPM up to about 1200 RPM. The voltage should be 13.8 volts or more. If not, then the alternator is either weak or the connections to the alternator and battery are not clean and tight.

If you can not get at least 13 volts while at 1200 RPM, you should think about installing a high output alternator. I've had a high output alternator in my '98 GL1500 since I bought it in 2004. The voltage at idle has always been 14.2 volts or more.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
The early alternators like yours (If you still have the stock one) are the best ones they put in the 1500s. Maybe it needs opened up and checked over. Clean the carbon dust out. New brushes, bearings? Do you have a alternator shop near you that can do this, or do it your self. If the fans are running, I doubt that any stock 1500 alternator will keep up for long. .
gumbyred
The early alternators like yours (If you still have the stock one) are the best ones they put in the 1500s. Maybe it needs opened up and checked over. Clean the carbon dust out. New brushes, bearings? Do you have a alternator shop near you that can do this, or do it your self. If the fans are running, I doubt that any stock 1500 alternator will keep up for long. .
gumbyred
Thank you...
Yes the fans where working...
Would riding it make a difference or could I end up on the side of the road?

Since I have two batteries...
I can charge both...use one and take the other as a back-up.
I'm trying to go through this bike before putting it on the road.
Thanks for all the help..
I will let you know how it turns out!
If you had a lot of "extra" draw on your battery/alternator at idle such as a bunch of aftermarket lighting "farkles", it might be possible to overwhelm the alternator at idle.

Use a DVM (digital volt meter) to check your battery voltage with nothing turned on. Then turn key on and check the battery voltage, , , then as you hit the start button, see what the voltage drops to at the battery. It is possible that you have a bad cell in your battery, or low fluid if its a wet-cell battery. How old is that battery? If the battery checks out problem-free, ,get to the alternator next to see what the output is.

You say you keep killing the battery, , once the battery and alternator check out problem-free, you might troubleshoot the system for a parasitic draw somewhere. Take care of the battery and alternator first though.
Thank you...
I am recharging batteries now,
I have. The batery that came with the bike and a new one.
It started with both of them but I get it idle with the radio on for about 1/2 hr. And no juice left.
Same for both bateries.
The bike is stock...no extras not even curb lights. Oh the lights where also on..automaticaly
 

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Your answer is ....NO.....!!!!!!
Your answer is ....NO.....!!!!!!
Hi Dave,
I have doubts but not positive
Ben, Here is the break even point for a 1998 - 2000 Gold Wing SE. OEM alternator...!!

When the engine is turning 1,475 RPM'S (2,655 alternator RPM'S) the alternator is generating 292.05 watts of output (2,655 x .11 = 292.05). 292.05 watts divided by 14 volts = 20.86 amps.

Note: Break even point for a 1998 – 2000 Gold Wing SE (with no additional lights)

Your 1989 break even point would be around 1275 - 1300 RPM's. (You don't have the full time accessory lights or spoiler light)

So at 1,000 (or less) engine RPM's, you are discharging the battery

This should help explain your problem.....!!!i.
Hi Dave,
I have to say I am not sure this is valid. In the equation they used 14 volts as the divisor. If you asked if the battery could be completely charged at idle I would agree.If you had a dead battery say, 12.3 volts you would only need to produce 12.4 volts at the battery to charge the battery but not fully.

I compare it to this. My car tire is flat. It only has 18 PSI. My air compressor only makes 25 PSI. Will it inflate my tire ? The answer of course is yes it will inflate the tire but not all the way.
I might be wrong but I think that if a battery is dead and good, if you put a voltmeter on the bike running the voltage would creep up slowly. It is charging S-L-O-W-L-Y and will not charge completely. That is why I suggested checking with a voltmeter at the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes if an OEM (or compatible) alternator rated for about 40-amps......!!!!!

Just curious.....Which alternator did you purchase...??

Ben, There was a recall for the Bank Angle Sensor (BAS) on your 1989 Gold Wing. You should check to see if it was performed.

If the BAS fails, you will be walking.....!!! Unless you know how to bypass the BAS...!!

It is the ground source for the ignition relay....!!!

BTW.....Be careful when getting electrical support from others. Starting and ignition circuits are different from 1988 - 1992 compared to 1993 - 2000.
Thank you...
I want to check the easy stuff first...
You are way over my head on the electrical stuff.
 

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1991 GL1500 Interstate Cinnamon Beige
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Similar problem on another (sister) site was resolved when the male connector on the alternator (Red wire I believe) was found to not be "seated" properly. Once it was re-seated, charging was fine and no more battery problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've got to say no...
I changed the following items.
Air filter, fuel filter, oil filter and oil, coolant, final drive 80/90 gear lube, all spark plugs, new rubbers on the alternator, a new battery, and both timing belts.

Please explain about the other filters...I am trying to do this the best I can... this is my first wing and want to do it right!
 

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I've got to say no...
I changed the following items.
Air filter, fuel filter, oil filter and oil, coolant, final drive 80/90 gear lube, all spark plugs, new rubbers on the alternator, a new battery, and both timing belts.

Please explain about the other filters...I am trying to do this the best I can... this is my first wing and want to do it right!
Ben, just curious, why are you idling the bike for 1/2 hour?
 
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