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Hey guys, I hope you can help us on this one. My father has a 1994 GL1500 and recently had an alternator failure. I had to drive to NY with the trailer to pick him and my Mom up! Anyway, he bought and installed a new alternator and since then, the Goldwing skips and sputters, has very little power and runs very rough. He also changed the timing belts while he was at it.

The timing is spot-on, so that's not an issue. I'm wondering if something was damaged (i.e. ignition coils, regulator, or spark control system) when the alternator failed. I'll speak with him tomorrow and get a better description of the trouble he's having. Basically, since his alternator died, the engine runs rough, it skips, and he's lost a lot of power. There's also the smell of raw fuel when it's running, no doubt from the fact that there's some cylinders that are not firing, thus just pumping the fuel out the tailpipe unburned.

Thanks for any input you might have. I'll be back here soon to follow up. He's very upset and frustrated by this because that bike is his baby and he doesn't have a lot of money to take it to the shop for repairs. He's incredibly skilled mechanically but when it comes to electrical issues (which this seems to be) he's at a loss.

-Steve - Reggie's son. I'll teach him how to use this forum soon so he can input/discuss directly
 

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hello reggie and steve welcome to GWOF. it sounds like the timing is off by one tooth
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.
There are several things it could be. How did the alternator fail, did it just quit charging or did it short out? Was the bike jump started after the failure? Did he possibly knock a vacuum hose off as he replaced the alternator? We need more information to be able to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you guys very much for the help so far. I'll speak with my Dad (Reggie) tomorrow and try to get better details. I asked him if he was certain the timing belts were put on correctly and he insists they are (that was my first guess as well.) I wasn't there when he did the belts or the alternator swap, so I can't know for sure. I know how easy it can be to put a belt off by one tooth - when the timing belt broke in my Chrysler LeBaron a few years ago we put in a new one and even though we double-checked everything, lo and behold the car ran rough... and it turned out the belt was off a tooth.

I doubt he knocked any vacuum lines off when he did the work. As far as the alternator failure, as I understand it he was riding with my mother and the bike started acting "bubbly" as my mother describes it. It was surging in and out, slowly losing power, skipping and sputtering until it finally quit. The battery was nearly dead (dim lights, weak starting attempts) when I finally showed up with the trailer. When we got the bike to my uncles shop, I put a meter on the batter and only saw 11 volts. My Dad started the bike and I watched the meter... 11.3, 11.1, 10.8, 10.6 volts until it was clear the alternator had failed.

Nothing mechanically is wrong with the old alternator - the bearings are nice and free and there's no signs of thermal damage. It's not like it let loose or anything... but my thoughts point to the voltage regulator. It probably burned out, but I'm wondering if it let a surge loose before or during the time it failed and possibly cooked some sensitive electrical device downstream from it. I don't know... I'll talk with my Dad tomorrow and get a better perspective. At any rate, thanks for your help gentlemen. Together, we'll get to the bottom of this!

-Steve, Reggies son (the one who knows how to use a computer! :))
 
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