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Discussion Starter #1
I just installed a Compu-Fire alternator/battery in my '98 Aspy. Put new bumpers in with it. It sure makes a noisy whine. Is this normal?
Also, after a short ride today, I noticed some grinding, bumping noises coming from the front of the bike and noticed the temp gauge was rising...in 60 deg. temp I didn't think it should be rising. If it were an auto, I would say it sounded like the water pump. Could it be that? Any suggestions.
After I got home and shut it down, I let it cool down. Later cranked it up and only had the alternator whine. So I assume the noise was not the alternator.
thanks for the help.
 

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Yes, mine was noisy and it took a while to get used to it. It may be the water pump, just check for leaks.
 

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I am going left field on this one: It sounds like you have a thermostat that is not opening properly. They can be quite noisy and sound like a water hammer lock. The temp rises and can do so rapidly. It can be an intermittent problem. The next time you may go out everything may be normal, no noise, no high temp, because the thermostat doesn't stick. Then you can get a false sense of security and the next time you go out it may stick shut and that is when you can get a loud water hammer lock noise, and the water temp will rise rapidly. Water pump bearing may also be on the way out and can be noisy but that does make the temp rise unless the is a coolant loss, which would indicate a water pump issue. A water pump that is on the way out will not suddenly go quite. Use a screw driver to the ear to locate where the noise is comming from. Hope this helps. Eric
 

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Unfortunately, I think all the compufires are a little noisy. Can't help you on the temp thing, Eric might be onto something.
From the Northwest Corner
Ron
 

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Wow! I guess I was the lucky one. The one I put on my '93 didn't make any noise at all and is still working fine today. Along with the sealed battery...
 

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Oh, that was back in 2002...
 

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Does the noise come through on your sound system, or just audible noise direct from the alternator. If it's coming through tthe sudio/speakers, a noise supressor would help. Electrical Connection or maybe Radio Shack would have them. I'd seriously check the thermostat for correct operation, and waterpumps do fail as mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No there is no sound through the audio. I took my mechanical stethoscope and located it to come directly from the alternator. It is more than a whine, it is a grinding, knocking noise and that is what bothers me. Not knowing if this is normal or if the alternator is defective is the question.
Don't know where the thermostat is and how do you check it. I know how to check an auto thermostat but would probably just change it if I knew where to look for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
trike lady, how long was it before it seated in without the noise. I have run it only about 40 miles thus far. In all of my years working on cars I would have jerked this thing off and taken it back to the parts store. It is definitely coming from the alternator. I took my auto stethoscope and sounded it out to be from the alternator. Not having replaced a Compu-fire before and not having heard anyone else's, leaves me in a quandary as to the quality of the unit. Even as a modified auto alternator, I don't understand why it has to have grinding, knocking parts. Just doesn't sound right.
I looked at your link and don't see where it can help me. Am I missing something.

I don't think this sound is coming from a sticking thermostat. I don't think it is a vapor lock since it is directly from the alternator.
Has anyone contacted Compu-fire concerning this issue? If so, what did they say?
 

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GoldDigger: Grinding , knocking parts that just isn't right. I've had two on my 93 and the noise I had was more an electral whine.
Call Compufire and see what they have to say.
From the Northwest Corner
Ron
 

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Mine started out noisy and between the local riding, the trip over to Satellite Beach in September, the sound began to decay. As of now the sound is nothing more than a light whine. The unit was installed in August 2010 and I'll say it took about two months maybe less for the sound to vanish. He could have gotten a loud one, if the sound doesn't go away I would get worried.
Ron if you've had two of their units, they don't seem to have a long service life.
Well, I have the original to rebuild and a back up unit in storage.
 

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My first one had about 100,000 miles on it and had a small oil leak. So this spring before we left for our trip to the east coast from Washington state, I decided to put in a new Compufire. The old one was working fine just had that oil leak and with a trip of almost 8,000 miles ahead of me I just felt safer with the new unit. Still have the old one on the shelf if any body brakes down around here.
From the Northwest Corner.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ron, you still don't say what your "noise" sounded like. Was it just a whining sound or was it some grinding and knocking? I took it to my local shop today and he said it sounded like a tensioner pulley on the belts. He is going to check it for me.
 

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Golddigger:
Mine is an electrical whine. No Knocking or grinding.
I can't see how the Compufire would cause a problem with the tensioner on the belts. I suppose it could be a coincidence.
If in doubt give compufire a call, it can't hurt any.
From the Northwest Corner
Ron
(check the post above Trikeladys last post);)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Called them and they say to put a .100 washer to pull the bearing away from the bike. They feel that the bearing may be in a bind. I told him that I thought I may just ride it to see if gets better or worse. He agreed. Now with my local shops diagosis will wait to see what he says... I realize that the alternator has nothing to do with anything else like the tensioner, water pump, thermostat, etc. and I am one that doesn't put a lot of credit to coincidence. I still think it is in the alternator. Will see.
Ron, check my thread on planning a trip to Anchorage in 2012 and reply please. Thanks.
 

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Mine the sound eventually went away. Could have been something to do with the rubber isolator put in.
 

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Golddigger:
Now that you mentioned it a few years ago on the GWRRA Bulletin Board there was talk about putting washer between the Alternator and and engine. The drive fins on the front of the compufire are considerably longer then the ones on the stock unit. It could be that they might be putting excess pressure in the drive unit.
I'll check you trip for 2012.
From the Northwest Corner.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ron, the update on the alternator is that I placed shims between the alternator and engine as they rep. said and it worked. So I guess it had to be the fins knocking against the engine. While I was at it I went ahead and changed the belts also. They did look thin and worn in spots and that was a good decision.
The next thing I want to do is change the water pump and front springs and seals. Don't know that I can change the springs since it shows that I need a special tool. Do you have an suggestions about the tool?
I will eventually get this little babe all dolled up and quit pestering you guys. You have been a great help.
 

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Golddigger Are you talking about the seal driver tool. I can check with my friend from B.C. if that's what you are talking about. They also talk about using a Hydraulic press to remove the slider needle bearings If you want copies of the manual on the front forks I can snail mail them to you.
From the Northwest Corner.
Ron
 
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