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Discussion Starter #1
Yea, I know, when it fails. I just got my '98 Aspy and read all about this is one of the years they had problems with alternators. Is the only way to tell it is having problems is when it fails? Don't want to be on a run and have that happen. I have added a bunch of the lighted bars in place of the reflectors and front running lights and know I have added stress to the alternator. What are the tell-tell signs?
 

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call a dealer and ask for the service dept. have them run your vin to see if the alternator has been replaced under warrenty
 

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Golddigger the Doc has given you a place to start. You could also have them check the alternator (but you can do that yourself).

You are correct the 1500 alternators are a weak point although it's mostly because of the add ons. You can figure out the load you have put on it by adding up the Watts of lighting & divide by the Voltage. I usually use 12 volts to be safe although it is typically higher.

I did a major trip this year so last year I took the plunge & installed a Compufire Alternator so I wouldn't have any troubles & I also wanted to add ability to use Heated Clothing. Best of luck.

Ride Safe.
 

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Ditto on what Fossil said I replaced mine this summer with the Compufire as well. Probably some of the best money you'll spend on your wing other than chrome. :D
 

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Mine went south recently and was replaced with a Compufire. A little known tid-bit of information is the 1996-2000 GL1500's had alternators that were made by Hitachi in China, when Japan shipped the production there. I had the original and it lasted a long time, however I did notice signs of possible failure looming on the horizon. I purchased the package that has the battery included with the alternator. It's a good investment.
 

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The alternator itself usually doesn't fail, it's usually just the brushes and they can be replaced but you need a soldering gun to it. I would think about replacing the at about 70,000 miles if not sooner, but as Matt said, if you have a lot of extra lights on your bike you might think about the Compufire, also if you have extra lights, put them on a switch then you only have to run them at night and you save a lot of wear and tear on the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
alternator

O.K., I added a ton of lights to the rear plus the two lower running lights. I really like them on during the day for safety soooo it sounds like I need to bite the bullet and get the compufire.

Now, tell me how difficult replacement is. I am very mechanical and have the tools...built a street rod that got published in "Hot Rod" magazine.

What are the things I need to "watch" on installation? There are always tricks to the trade and I know you guys know them. Thanks.
 

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Follow the instruction that come with the Compufire. The position and angle of the alternator are important as you work it into place. I also found it helps to attach the battery cable before you try seating it. leave the nut lose, it can be tightened once the unit is in place. It is a tight fit but it can be done. Also replace the dampener blocks while you have the alternator out.
Before you put the new one feel just inside to the right there are a couple of hoses tucked back in there push them back into the corner as far as you can. Besure to get a sealed battery also.
From the Northwest Corner.
Ride Safe.
Ron
 

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Ron is correct. just follow the instructions & you will have no trouble. The other things he mentions are good tips. I would add that I put a dab of grease on the blocks so they stuck. That way they didn't fall out while trying to line them up. Believe me this is self explanatory when you see them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
With my '98 Aspy, newly acquired, it has 126K so am not sure if the alternator has already been replaced. How would I know what alternator it has on it? Where can I find a "brand" tag?
 

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On the original it has a small tag that reads Hitachi,Ltd. with LR140-708 with a small diode pack on the outside that's OEM. If it looks like the one in the picture below, you have the Compufire alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
alternator

I just checked it and it is the Hitachi alternator. I am concerned because of all the extra lights I added and was planning a trip with the wife to Orange Beach for T'giving. What do I do if I get down there and it goes out? Don't have time to change it here now.
 

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I just checked it and it is the Hitachi alternator. I am concerned because of all the extra lights I added and was planning a trip with the wife to Orange Beach for T'giving. What do I do if I get down there and it goes out? Don't have time to change it here now.
Some people have carried a spare battery and battery tender with them just in case. You can also pull fuses to all nonessential lights and accessories to get yourself home. Remember the bike is running on battery only.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You are very helpful trike lady. What do you mean it is running only on the battery. What does the alternator do? Or are you speaking about when the alternator goes out?
 

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When the alternator stops working, no more electricity is being generated to recharge the battery, so what is in the battery is going to be powering the necessary lights and ECM. That is why fuses are pulled to unnecessary accessories and lights.
I suspected problems with the alternator on my Wing one day, as the headlight wasn't quite as bright and putting a volt meter across the battery terminals and bringing the RPM's up to 2500, I noticed it was only sending 8 volts back to the battery and the next day the alternator went south, I had returned home from shopping and it felt like the bike had a bad pulse generator, as it began to run rough; I had just pulled into the garage when it died. It was also the original alternator from 1993.
If the voltage is too low the ECM will not have the necessary power it needs to run the ignition system. The GL-1500 charging system is/was not designed to handle all the accessories the Wing owner added to the bikes and power delivery was spread a little thin.
Take a volt meter with you and check for any drops in charging output. I don't believe you should have any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just ordered the CompuFire plus battery. Will take my ohm meter and check the output now so I can check it when I get to Orange Beach for comparison. Will take my charger also...don't have a trickle charger. Glad you gave me that idea. Hopefully I will get ther and back. Will put lower running lights on a switch when I get back.
Put the modulator on and had no problem. Again, thanks for all the help. This is why I joined this forum.
 

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You're very welcome, that is why I'm here to share information and help others. I get my blessings from the man upstairs for being good to others.
You're doing the right thing by ordering the package, you get a new battery which is a big plus.
Have a safe trip, ride safe.
 

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Try a Honda dealer with your vin# and see if there is a record of it being done with Honda parts under warranty like mentioned above. All warranty related issues can be tracked by dealers. If the shop is really with it, (and you know where the work may have been done) they very likley have in on their computer files. Not sure about visual clues as to what kind of alt you have though.
 

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He may have a problem because some Honda dealers are using the '10 year rule', if the bike is more than 10 years old they won't work on it. I've heard a lot of people voicing their opinion on that one many times and some aren't happy about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks guys, I got the new Compu-Fire alternator and battery and installed them. Not a bad install. I love having riders with mechanical experience giving advice. Thanks.
 
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