85 1200 Goldwing Alt. Conversion or not?? Opinions please [Archive] - Honda Goldwing Forums

: 85 1200 Goldwing Alt. Conversion or not?? Opinions please


Combatflyer
01-02-2010, 09:23 PM
Hi All,
I'm Ben and new to the forum as well as a new (used) 85 GL 1200 Interstate. My first ever Wing and man I love it!! And to boot a pretty clean bike at 25 years of age, 53,000 miles. I want this project done by March and ready for the summer. I'll be pulling most all of the aftermarket stuff as I'd like to make the bike as much original as possible EXCEPT for my charging system it'snot putting any voltage at all at any rpm. I was by trade a mechanic for ford for around 30 years, so I know wrenches and tools, a big plus in my mind here.

The motor on the bike looks pretty easy to pull with the sub=frame Honda offered on this model, should I decide to go back with a new stator but from what I'm hearing and reading these stators seem to go out a lot in 84-87 models. So I'm thinking of going ahead with the mods needed and do the "Alt. Conversion Kit". These conversions I think look pretty cool and down the road should it go bad, it would be a much easier fix. I have acess to a welder, all tools needed (Pretty sure) and I live in a very small town with lots of auto salvage yards for parts like small brackets and the Alt.

So what my question is, does anyone know the cost of the kits offered on the net?
And what do you think? which way would you go? Either way will be done cleanly and with much care.

I'm looking forward to someone saying, Nice Bike! and be able to say thank you, that bike's 25 years old!!:D

Thanks everyone and Happy NEW YEAR!!!!

Ben

Carl334
01-03-2010, 07:46 AM
There is a lot of info on web on this subject. There was a posting here, I think in the last week. Google it, I think it was something like "Poor ' ? ' Alternator". Maybe some here will help out, can't remember exact name.

Combatflyer
01-03-2010, 01:57 PM
Hi Carl,
I'm sure that would have been me that brought the subject up in the new members section where I indtoduced myself and my new project, I ask about it there and thought I'd start a thread about the conversion in the proper place, "Engine Work". The name of the company mentioned before was "poorboy alternator conversion" and yes the links are loaded with good info. There may be others that offer the conversion???

I was just wondering if others out there in GW world have tried the conversion and if so are they pleased or wish they had just replaced the stator? What I wish is that the other 85 Wing stators with higher am ratings would fit my Interstate, like the ones that have many, many more buttons and options. Like the ltd models. I'm sorry but I'm not sure of the names on the higher end models that do have the higher output Alt.

I'm just pretty much looking for the best way to go to cut down on the same problem in the future.

Thank You for the reply!! Just a Happy new (used) Goldwing owner asking a bunch of questions and wanting to be ready to RIDE this spring on a nice and good running Wing!!... :D

Thanks again,
Ben

Combatflyer
01-04-2010, 10:23 PM
Well Guys, I've sent an e-mail to the address on the link with poorboy conversion kits last night asking about pricing info and so on. I've not had a reply so far, does anyone know if the kit is offered anywhere on the market for sale?

Thanks,
Ben

detdrbuzzard
01-05-2010, 05:44 AM
don will reply to your email, just give him a chance. when i emailed him he replied back in a day or two

Robdog
01-05-2010, 09:15 AM
Hi Ben . I have experience with both removing the engine and replacing the stator and a poor boy alternator set-up. I too was a auto mechanic (look at my profile), In my opinion replacing the stator would be the easiest and most cost effective way to fix the problem. The reason it burned up was proably the battery went bad and overworked the charging system. There is a Aftermarket stator availiable and the job to pull the engine isn't too bad , I mean it's a lot of crap but if you are a little set up ,air tools etc , you can do it in a afternoon. The poor boy alternator drives a alt off the camshaft via a belt which looks cumbersome and the cams are too slow to spin a alt that are supposed to spin fast ,Think of the pulley sizes on regular cars. I'll look for the stator and get back with you. Rob

Combatflyer
01-05-2010, 12:17 PM
don will reply to your email, just give him a chance. when i emailed him he replied back in a day or two


Hi Buzzard,

I had an e-mail from Donald come in Monday just after making the post above. He sent pictures of all parts in the kit. Pulley, two Brackets, bolts and so on but the alt used in the conversion (Not included) was from a Geo Metro 3 cly. car. ( I think that's what it was?) I kinda have a feeling that alt. may be pretty pricey to replace should my first have problems. Even found a rebuilt GM newly chromed (Even the cooling fins) alt. for 89 bucks. I was hoping for a GM internal reg. type alt. EASY FIND!. Just the bolt up kit listed above was over 200.00 plus belts, shipping and the Alt. lus I'd much rather have a kit (should I decide to go that way) that runs right off the crankshaft, not the camshaft..

Thanks very much for the reply but I think I'll dig a little further before I decide on which way to go here. But in all honestly I need to get something done pretty quick, kinda stuck in my rebuild until this is ironed out, I'm ready to GO!!.

Oh and either way the motor would be pulled for a good cleaning and adding some chome parts and also polishing which would be much easier with the motor out. Check seals and so on.

Regards,
Ben

Combatflyer
01-05-2010, 12:33 PM
Hi Ben . I have experience with both removing the engine and replacing the stator and a poor boy alternator set-up. I too was a auto mechanic (look at my profile), In my opinion replacing the stator would be the easiest and most cost effective way to fix the problem. The reason it burned up was proably the battery went bad and overworked the charging system. There is a Aftermarket stator availiable and the job to pull the engine isn't too bad , I mean it's a lot of crap but if you are a little set up ,air tools etc , you can do it in a afternoon. The poor boy alternator drives a alt off the camshaft via a belt which looks cumbersome and the cams are too slow to spin a alt that are supposed to spin fast ,Think of the pulley sizes on regular cars. I'll look for the stator and get back with you. Rob


Robdog, THANK YOU!!!! Please let me know what you find. I'll be pulling the motor out either way for a good cleaning and so on. I'm set up with air-tools and all work will be done inside a heated garage. It's just that when I finish this project I'm hoping it ends my problems. There will be a aftermarket volt meter installed also so I can keep a good eye on the charging system. The inside of my fairing where gauges should be like Charging System, I see nothing on the 85 interstate and having never owned a Goldwing I'm not sure what's missing or should be on a stock bike from the factory. If anyone can post a picture of the inside area of the fairing showing what It should look like (Gauges and warning lights) would be a HUGE HELP!!!

Again, THANK YOU and let me know what you locate!

Regards,
Ben

Robdog
01-05-2010, 10:17 PM
Hi Ben heres the site for your stator .http://www.electrosport.com/products/product-detail-416.php . I don't think those wings had a gauge or any warning light . I had this problem with my 96 , when it shut down dead at a intersection with no voltage and several hundred miles from home. I got a compufire alt for my wing it's a 10 minute job to replace one on a 1500. After that I installed a heads up voltage monitor I bought from chrome world. It's a small led that is green at 12-15v yellow 11-12v red 10-11, flashing red below 10v ,flashing green above 15v ,About 40.00. Real simple to install and i don't want to look for a gauge while my gps is connected to the internet via bluetooth. No distractions please im ridin.

kwatts
01-06-2010, 03:02 PM
.... The poor boy alternator drives a alt off the camshaft via a belt which looks cumbersome and the cams are too slow to spin a alt that are supposed to spin fast ,Think of the pulley sizes on regular cars. I'll look for the stator and get back with you. Rob

Not true! The "Poorboy" conversion uses a pulley attached to the crank. Robdog must be referring to the Dupliplex alternator conversion, that one runs off of the cam and does look problematic.

Combat flyer, you can download free repair manuals for your 1200 at this place, all you have to do is register.

http://www.goldwingdocs.com/

And this link is to a forum that is dedicated just to the GL1200, where you will find a thread about the alternator conversion, among many other helpful topics.

http://www.gl1200goldwings.com/index.php

The beauty of the external alternator is that if it goes bad on you while you are on a road trip you can usually get it fixed or replaced a lot easier, being the engine has to come out for the stator change. Also, it allows you to run more electrical gadgets without worrying about the charging system not being able to keep up with the load.

Robdog
01-06-2010, 06:52 PM
The only one i ever saw ran off the back of one of the cams of course the crank would be way better . I saw a post about how long a stator should last and my answer is the life of the vehicle. Honda put too small of leads coming out of it and they burn up when the battery goes bad and overdraws the system. The stators work fine on my 1980 atc's

Combatflyer
01-06-2010, 09:55 PM
Well, I love it and just what I hoped would happen!! I want to here the GO's and WOWS!!!! on both sides. It's all good to know info and explains lots to a new Goldwing Ower (And I say that with pride! :D I'm taking it all in and so far:

First It would have to run from the crank and use a older syle GM internal reg. These are a dime a dozen here in the country where I live and I'd like chrome. One on-line auction Chrome and rebuilt 89.00!

On the other side, I'd be keeping the bike pretty much origanal but with the odds that this will/may hapen again. :( The stator that "Roddog" adding a link for above like like a quality look very nice! It states it's more powerful but how strong and would it carry pretty a Unlimited light pull ,,,Amps??

I must say that havivg power to spare as a FINE thing to have!

Thanks all and please keep the info coming.. Thank You!

Ben

85 Goldwing Interstate Newbie:D

Robdog
01-06-2010, 11:15 PM
Ben , I an intrested in this topic because several years ago i was intrested in a gl1200 before i found my 1500. I knew about the stator problem from 20 years ago from a friends wing and researched the problem before buying another bike. I didn't want you to think im some nut . The aftermarket stator says 350 watts thats 29 amps at 12v. A lot for a cycle but not with a bunch of aftermarket stuff or anything heated. Hope it helps.

Combatflyer
01-08-2010, 10:50 AM
Ben , I an intrested in this topic because several years ago i was intrested in a gl1200 before i found my 1500. I knew about the stator problem from 20 years ago from a friends wing and researched the problem before buying another bike. I didn't want you to think im some nut . The aftermarket stator says 350 watts thats 29 amps at 12v. A lot for a cycle but not with a bunch of aftermarket stuff or anything heated. Hope it helps.

Robdog,
It's not that way at all! Thanks for just blending in here and helping as you have.... When I bought this Wing I was in a hurry to buy and found this 1200 listed on cragslist about 20 mins. from my house! Took a look at the bike, it sounded good, Started Easy (Even cold!) but I didn't think to check the charging system as I knew no better and did not do the proper research as I should have!!!:( If I had, you can bet a volt meter would have been with me when I checked the bike out. But the bike looked and ran good and the rest is history. I should have thought something was up when the asking price was 2900.00 and I left and told him I'd have to think about it. When I got home a couple of hours later the guy called me and asked if I had made a desicion on the bike, I said not yet but was thinking about it. Then the guy said I really need the money, just what would you give today cash??? I said I'll give 1800.00 today in cash. He said DEAL! So bottom line I'm pretty sure he knew about the problem and I wish he would have let me know, chances are I would have still bought it. It's REALLY a Pretty bike and at that price I thought even if it does need some work I'll still come out pretty good... I really like the bike, but I have no idea what the bike is really worth and will be worth after I fix everything and she's rolling down the road looking SWEET!!

On the aftermarket Stator, I'm still undecided. I don't plan on having a bunch of lights on this bike, in fact I'll be removing many! It may have 4 extra lights when done. I do want a set of Fog Lights that kind of point off to the side for spotting Deer out in the country where I live we have PLENTY! Really all I want is for the bike to hold voltage even if it has to Idel for long periods rather than running the battery dead.

So for a Wing Nebie like me, any and all info helps just as your posts have!

Thanks ALL!!
Best Regards
Ben

1985 1200 Goldwing Interstate:D

kwatts
01-08-2010, 11:23 AM
Combatflyer,

I got this from the NADA website

PRICING for a 1985 Honda GL1200 Interstate

Excellent:....$4,400
Very Good:..$2,750
Good:..........$1,600
Fair:.............$ 950

So if you bought it for $1800, and it is in very good condition (excluding the minor stator problem) then you are way ahead. My 85 Interstate had 39,xxx on it when I bought it from the dealer. It was in very good condition, and I paid $3100 for it.

I went with the external alternator because I was going on a round trip from SD to OR and wanted the security of knowing I would not have any charging system problems while traveling through some of the remote areas on the way. I made my own brackets and pulley bushing, total cost was around $100 to convert to external, and I did it over a weekend.

Whatever way you decide to go, I am sure you will get as big of a smile on your face as any of us do when we are riding our excellent touring machines.:)

Combatflyer
01-08-2010, 12:24 PM
Are you using the GM Alt. I'm thinking of going for it and going external Alt.. I'll be trying a little twist with solid mounts on the alt. bolts and mounting a belt tensioner. Not sure how that will work but I have time to play with it. I planned on pulling the motor today, now I'll have to THINK more.:confused:;);)

What amp alt. you using and do you show +12 volts at idel?

Digging for info while thinking of maybe some improvements.

Thanks for the pricing info! I feel better now as the bikes pretty nice. Has 2 like new Dunlops, Front and rear brakes that feel AWESOME! I've replaced the pipes to all stock (Now that was pricey!) I'll feel pretty safe my first few rides but it's going to be a big change! (I do remember being young!) It's a heavy bike and will take some getting used to I'm sure. I've owned 750's, old honda 350 4 cyl (I think they may be rare now?) All kinds of bikes but never a CRUSIER! Can't wait!!

Thanks ALL!!!
Ben

Proud 85 Interstate owner

kwatts
01-08-2010, 08:34 PM
I am using the Nippondenso alternator from a Geo Metro. I used a 4.25" pulley from a power steering unit out of a 93 Toyota Camry for the crank pulley. With the larger crank pulley I am able to get 14.3 volts at idle. With the stock stator you get around 12.5 volts at idle, and you don't get anywhere near 14 volts until you get up past 2500 rpm.

A lot of guys have fabricated their own parts for doing the conversion. Your idea about the belt tensioner sounds interesting. Be sure and post pics of your conversion (if you go that route). Or just post some pics of your new cruiser!

Robdog
01-08-2010, 11:26 PM
Hey Ben , probably a good weekend to do it . Last weekend I pulled apart my wing to install the wiring kit to incorporate my garmin zumo into the radio/intercom on the bike. Nice to have bluetooth so i can answer phone while on the road. Let us know how it goes. Rob

Combatflyer
01-09-2010, 09:05 PM
Kwatts, AWESOME info!! THANK YOU!! I'll start searching for pulleys, The bolt for the crank plus make some brackets, it may take some extra time but hope the end product to be worth the work. (I just have dreams of that cool looking chrome alt. sitting just under the left cover doing any job I ask of it!!:D:D and Guys, I'd love to post pictures of the bike as it sits and all along the way through the conversion and rebuild, I have the camera and can post on e-bay and e-mail pics but I've tried many, MANY times over to post pics on forums with no luck at all. I'd like it and would be very cool but I'm not very good with computers and feel lucky to even get to post my questions here and just talk with you guys, (VERY OLD SCHOOL!!!:eek:)Forums are the BEST thing ever for the newbies of today and when I'm ready I will post here looking for a group ride somewhere... My first nice ride will be the Natchez-Trace Parkway, 10 miles from home!

Thanks everyone!
Can't wait!

Ben
85 Goldwing 1200 Interstate!:)

Combatflyer
01-09-2010, 09:26 PM
Oh!! By the way, does anyone have a couple of helments for sale?? I could use one XL and One L. It will be a while before my wife rides with me as I'd like to get used to the bike before Placing my family on it. So the XL would be ok for now, A matching set would be even better. I don't really care for full face ( I know there safer) but I like the 2/3 full I guess you could call it??? It never hurts to ask!:D

Thanks ALL!!
Ben
85 Goldwing 1200 Interstate :)

ghostrider52005
01-10-2010, 02:24 AM
Do the alternator off the crank. youll thank yourself a million times over. Since you have the tools and welder you dont need the kit. With a bit of measurement and junk yard looking around you can find the pulley you need for the crank and run a v belt of you want. We did my buddys 84 interstate with a chevy sprint alternator coverted to one wire hookup, v belt, made the mounts etc for about 75 bucks includeing the alternator 2 years ago. He rides all summer and most of the winter on the bike instead of driving a car plus several long trips. Still on the same belt and nary a problem. And you cant see it unless youve had it pointed out to you. I still have the stator on my 85 ltd since its fine and I can get it home on a long trip by pulling some bulbs and using a small battery charger I carry anyway. If and when it goes (nothing lasts forever) itll get the conversion like my friends.

Combatflyer
01-12-2010, 05:43 PM
Hi Ghostrider,

Did yout buddy that did the conversion place any sort of plate or maybe plexiglass in front of the Alt. to keep weather out? I wont be riding in the rain when I leave home but you can bet that there will always be a couple of nice good quilty rain suites on-board at all times, as you just never know... But I was wondering about protecting the alt. should a storm come up. And YES, I am thinking of going V belt because it's not near as wide as the surp. type set-ups and lets face it room for the conversion is kind of tight..

Thanks,
Ben

ghostrider52005
01-13-2010, 03:02 AM
No nothing, the fairing does a decent job by itself and even in a car the alternator still gets wet from road spray. Only thing we did was the three prong plug at the back of the alternator that you dont use after the one wire hookup conversion to the alternator we filled with clear silicone to keep water out of it. He does ride in the rain snow whatever whenever and water to the alternator has never been a problem.

Two Wheel Wing
01-13-2010, 07:00 AM
Welcome to the forum from Pa and congats on your new (2 u) Wing. Ride safe.

Combatflyer
01-20-2010, 04:12 PM
Welcome to the forum from Pa and congats on your new (2 u) Wing. Ride safe.

Thank You Sir, Very much for the welcome as I'm sure new to Goldwings. Always wanted one but had to wait a while before I could have one. Also, Thanks on the "Safe Ride" you sure need it on the road!
-----------------------------------------------------------------

OK Guys, I've been very busy having new carpet and flooring installed in our home, I think I'll just MOVE before going through that again although the out-come sure looks nice and feels good on the feet!!:D

Now I'm ready to order the Alt., Crank Pulley and tensioner. I'll be replacing the timming belts also, they look great, no cracks and even parts of the belt numbers are still on the belts. They may be good belts but I have no way of knowing if they've ever been replaced?? 53,000 miles... Also the belts are VERY LOOSE!! ....
If I load the belt (Either side) against the cam I bet I can move each belt about 3/8". That's a lot of slack unless that's the way Honda wants Wings belts to be. I could adjust with the spring loaded belt tensioner, but I'm just wondering HOW they got that loose other than wear? Any info on this would be helpful....

Next question, I found a neat Alt. by GM but it's used for race cars.(One wire.) The GREAT thing is that this Alt. is just 4" in Dia and about 5" deep which would make for a very neat and easy install.. The thing is that this Alt's. ,max out-put is 35 amp. and I'm just not sure that would be enough?? Most all of the GM type Alts. can pump out 90-105 Amp. If this 35 Amp would do the job it would be great but I wanted to ask and see what you guys think. Another thing I'd like to ask, can I go too high on the amps for a wing and does anyone know what the STOCK Goldwing would max out in amps??

Thanks all, Hope to be on the road with you guys real soon!!:D
Ben

Robdog
01-22-2010, 01:07 PM
Sure , the stock stator would put out about 25 amps. But don't worry about overcharging . An alternator only puts out amps to keep the charging system at a specified voltage . So it only works as much as it has to. My wing originally had a 35 amp alt and i changed it to a 90 amp when it went bad. The only thing i had to do was replace the main fuse to accept the larger alternator,(this was in the kit supplied with the alt).

Combatflyer
01-24-2010, 05:46 PM
Hi Robdog, Was there any particular reason for going to 90 amp. rather then sticking with the 35 amp? How long did the 35 last before going out?

Thanks for your help!
Ben

85 Interstate and looking forward to Spring!!!:D

Robdog
01-25-2010, 01:12 PM
It lasted about 30,000 mi. I run a lot of accessories and have heated clothes so i wanted a bigger alt plus i found out a compufire was cheaper than a stock honda alt . Plus compufire will rebuild one of thiers for about 150.00. I understand 1500 wings have the same alt as a 95 ish saturn sl1 , just the drive and the front housing are different. I have heard too about 1200 stators going bad from bad connection in the plug . And that they should be soldered directly together (hard wired).

Combatflyer
01-25-2010, 08:50 PM
Thanks Rodog!! I plan on going back as stock as possible on my bike with very little extra lighting. Matter of fact, I',ll be pulling some lights from the bike with the exception of a set of fog type lights that will be used to point towards the ditches on dark (no moon nights) to hope for help in seeing Deer, other than that I have no plans for extra lights to ammount to anything. I live in the country and even have Deer in my back yard!

Having all the extra lights, not to mention the heaters (I'm sure they pull some pretty good amps!) that 90 amp was a wise choice! ;)

I'm new to Goldwings but have owned many Hondas in my time. Too many to even remember! Working hard to have this bike ready for springtime.

When you bought your Alt. conversion did it come with the 35 Amp, also was it a complete kit. I've looked at some conversion kits but none "So far" have not been complete. Would you mind posting the link where you purchased your stuff?

I think the 35 amp set-up may take care of my needs. After all yours lasted 30,000 miles! That's a good long run for a bike with extras added..

Thanks again for all the help here!
Regards,
Ben

85 1200 Interstate.:)