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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2007 GL1800 VIIA (Audio, Nav., Comfort, ABS). The bike now has
129,406 miles.

I thought it was the battery that went bad while I was riding as everything
went dead. So, I replaced the battery and rode home thinking that was all
that was wrong. This was in November 2021 at 127,602 miles. The next time I
rode it the same thing happened; everything went dead while it was sitting
idling. I trailered the bike home. It started after sitting for around an
hour and I rode it onto the trailer. Once home I checked and found that the
battery was not charging. All testing indicated the original alternator was
not working.

I ordered a new alternator from AJ Electric and installed it in December of
2021 at 127,637 miles. I checked it and the new alternator was charging
properly at the time and everything was working properly. I had no problems
and put over 1,700 miles on the bike with no problems.

On June 6 of 2022 we loaded the bike and hooked up the trailer and set off
to PA to see Fallingwater (the house). We hadn't gone more than 20 miles and
I looked down and all the gauges were at zero and the navigation screen was
blank. I knew from the previous 2 occasions that the bike was going dead
again. I turned around and within 4 miles got off the road and the bike
died. Again, I got the bike (and trailer) home on a trailer. Again, when I
returned the bike started and I rode it up onto the trailer. But things were
not right electrically as there was no gauges and display screen was not
working.

Threw stuff in car and went.

Once back I checked all that I knew to check and even consulted some Gold
Wing message boards and forums.
The battery had regenerated enough after the initial dying out to restart
the bike enough to
get it on to the trailer. This, in my mind, eliminated the battery as being
bad almost immediately.
I checked connections at alternator, battery and plastic
snap in (4 pin) plug on alternator for tightness and battery voltage; Main
fuse B (visually); Cruise Control fuse; Charged battery and started bike
several times to do checks, holding charge; No voltage out put noticed at
battery or the terminal on the alternator (positive cable connection going
to battery). I checked the 4 pin (only 2 used) to the alternator. There is
a black/white wire that goes into the top right. No voltage switch off,
battery voltage switch on. Bottom left black wire, no voltage switch off, a
little over 4 volts switch on.

Everything I checked indicated the new alternator was bad. I contacted Jim
at AJ Electric to see if there was anything else I should check. I checked
all that he knew to check on the bike side. Still not wanting to blame the
new alternator, I returned the alternator to AJ. They checked it and found
it to be functioning properly. Even under a heavy load test at high
temperatures. They are going to send another new alternator anyway but I
don't want to go through this scenario again.

What else is there to check? Have you run into this situation before? I
really think there is something on the bike end that is not functioning
correctly. I don't want another failure in 1,769 miles.

Thank you.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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21,504 Posts
I have a 2007 GL1800 VIIA (Audio, Nav., Comfort, ABS). The bike now has
129,406 miles.

I thought it was the battery that went bad while I was riding as everything
went dead. So, I replaced the battery and rode home thinking that was all
that was wrong. This was in November 2021 at 127,602 miles. The next time I
rode it the same thing happened; everything went dead while it was sitting
idling. I trailered the bike home. It started after sitting for around an
hour and I rode it onto the trailer. Once home I checked and found that the
battery was not charging. All testing indicated the original alternator was
not working.

I ordered a new alternator from AJ Electric and installed it in December of
2021 at 127,637 miles. I checked it and the new alternator was charging
properly at the time and everything was working properly. I had no problems
and put over 1,700 miles on the bike with no problems.

On June 6 of 2022 we loaded the bike and hooked up the trailer and set off
to PA to see Fallingwater (the house). We hadn't gone more than 20 miles and
I looked down and all the gauges were at zero and the navigation screen was
blank. I knew from the previous 2 occasions that the bike was going dead
again. I turned around and within 4 miles got off the road and the bike
died. Again, I got the bike (and trailer) home on a trailer. Again, when I
returned the bike started and I rode it up onto the trailer. But things were
not right electrically as there was no gauges and display screen was not
working.

Threw stuff in car and went.

Once back I checked all that I knew to check and even consulted some Gold
Wing message boards and forums.
The battery had regenerated enough after the initial dying out to restart
the bike enough to
get it on to the trailer. This, in my mind, eliminated the battery as being
bad almost immediately.
I checked connections at alternator, battery and plastic
snap in (4 pin) plug on alternator for tightness and battery voltage; Main
fuse B (visually); Cruise Control fuse; Charged battery and started bike
several times to do checks, holding charge; No voltage out put noticed at
battery or the terminal on the alternator (positive cable connection going
to battery). I checked the 4 pin (only 2 used) to the alternator. There is
a black/white wire that goes into the top right. No voltage switch off,
battery voltage switch on. Bottom left black wire, no voltage switch off, a
little over 4 volts switch on.

Everything I checked indicated the new alternator was bad. I contacted Jim
at AJ Electric to see if there was anything else I should check. I checked
all that he knew to check on the bike side. Still not wanting to blame the
new alternator, I returned the alternator to AJ. They checked it and found
it to be functioning properly. Even under a heavy load test at high
temperatures. They are going to send another new alternator anyway but I
don't want to go through this scenario again.

What else is there to check? Have you run into this situation before? I
really think there is something on the bike end that is not functioning
correctly. I don't want another failure in 1,769 miles.

Thank you.
You should have a black/yellow wire at the alternator that should have battery voltage on it with the key on and a solid black wire that runs to the ECM and Honda doesn’t tell us what we should read on it. If the power is good on the black/yellow wire, then you need to check the continuity of the black wire to the ECM’s connector. If it checks good, then it may be the ECM. I don’t trust aftermarket alternators no matter what brand they are, so I would check the wire to the ECM and try to find someone near you that will let you try another ECM in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Techdude do you know anyone anywhere that will let you borrow an ECM? Also, it is a Mitsubishi alternator, new not rebuilt, same brand as Honda OEM. I had 4 volts on the black wire with switch on, 0 with switch off. Wouldn't that indicate continuity? Black/yellow has battery voltage with switch on, 0 with switch off.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Techdude do you know anyone anywhere that will let you borrow an ECM? Also, it is a Mitsubishi alternator, new not rebuilt, same brand as Honda OEM. I had 4 volts on the black wire with switch on, 0 with switch off. Wouldn't that indicate continuity? Black/yellow has battery voltage with switch on, 0 with switch off.
If it doesn’t have Honda on the box, the quality may not be the same. The ECM controls whether it charges or not, Honda just doesn’t tell us how it does it or what a correct signal should look like. Fred Harmon used to loan out an 01-05 ECM for testing, but I haven’t heard of anyone loaning out the newer version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, looking the other way, is there a way to test the current ECM? Is there a way to plug it in to a tester to do a diagnostic on the ECM? Our local GW guy at the Honda dealership retired. Their labor rate is $100/hr. too rich for me! Honda Mitsubishi alternator $990, if you can find one, + shipping (My local Honda dealer could not get one) or Mitsubishi alternator $297 shipping included in hand. You do the math and compute the logic. Where is Fred Harmon located (general area)?
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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So, looking the other way, is there a way to test the current ECM? Is there a way to plug it in to a tester to do a diagnostic on the ECM? Our local GW guy at the Honda dealership retired. Their labor rate is $100/hr. too rich for me! Honda Mitsubishi alternator $990, if you can find one, + shipping (My local Honda dealer could not get one) or Mitsubishi alternator $297 shipping included in hand. You do the math and compute the logic. Where is Fred Harmon located (general area)?
He’s a board member and I’m not sure where he’s living these days. He used to be in Texas, but he moved. @Fred H.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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One of the frustrating things about this system, is one schematic shows the L or lamp wire connection going to the ECM and another diagram shows the FR or field return line going to the ECM. It’s not both.
 

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Honda Mitsubishi alternator $990, if you can find one, + shipping (My local Honda dealer could not get one) or Mitsubishi alternator $297 shipping included in hand. You do the math and compute the logic. Where is Fred Harmon located (general area)?
Sorry to say this. But "doing the math", suggests that your $297 alternator went bad. People have had lots of trouble with less expensive alternator replacements. I know that sucks.

I do not remember anyone needing an ECM for a charging problem. Unfortunately, I can not brag about my memory. o_O I am "betting" that your replacement alternator will get you up and running again ..... for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This doesn't answer your original questions but will help with monitoring the problem. Recommend installing the below item. I install them behind the left speaker grill and run the wiring with a disconnect down to the accessory plug connector under the left pocket. It will show if the system is charging or not and what voltage is.
That is what I'm looking for! Now...! I'll probably invest in one. With all the love of gadgets and wires Honda has I'm really surprised they didn't include a charging gauge or at least a low volt warning light (until battery went dead).
 

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Here is what I would do.
Have the battery load tested. I have a load tester from Snap-On from when I did fleet service. It comes in handy at times.
Next, I would not trust that replacement alternator. The $297 price you quoted raises a huge Red flag in my opinion. I go with Honda OEM, as I have had issues with other and rebuilt alternators. OEM has always solved my charging issues.

Corventure Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry to say this. But "doing the math", suggests that your $297 alternator went bad. People have had lots of trouble with less expensive alternator replacements. I know that sucks.

I do not remember anyone needing an ECM for a charging problem. Unfortunately, I can not brag about my memory. o_O I am "betting" that your replacement alternator will get you up and running again ..... for a while.
Obviously you missed this in my OP "They checked it and found it to be functioning properly. Even under a heavy load test at high temperatures." Here it is: a Mitsubishi alternator is a Mitsubishi alternator. The name on the box is in ink. I can give you many examples of this with everything from eggs to rack and pinion steering units to air bag actuators. Same product different packaging. I used to buy my Dodge/Plymouth Colt parts from the Mitsubishi dealer because they were less expensive. Same parts, just eliminated the middle man (Chrysler Corp.) getting their cut of profits on Mitsubishi parts they were selling at their own Mopar dealerships. Unfortunately all the current Mitsubishi alternators are made in China. They are not the high quality Japanese products we used to get from Japan, even with Honda printed on the box.
 

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Obviously you missed this in my OP "They checked it and found it to be functioning properly. Even under a heavy load test at high temperatures." Here it is: a Mitsubishi alternator is a Mitsubishi alternator. The name on the box is in ink. I can give you many examples of this with everything from eggs to rack and pinion steering units to air bag actuators. Same product different packaging. I used to buy my Dodge/Plymouth Colt parts from the Mitsubishi dealer because they were less expensive. Same parts, just eliminated the middle man (Chrysler Corp.) getting their cut of profits on Mitsubishi parts they were selling at their own Mopar dealerships. Unfortunately all the current Mitsubishi alternators are made in China. They are not the high quality Japanese products we used to get from Japan, even with Honda printed on the box.
I did not miss it. I stand by my opinion. Good luck!
 

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Have you installed the second new alternator yet? What was the result?

If they had confidence in the alternator you returned why would they send you a new one?

Good luck in your search.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Why play an expensive finger X'ing game, BUY OME and be done!

Ronnie
 

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@1FreeRider Happened to stop by electricalconnection shop this morning. Casey said they only have one of the voltmeters left in stock so if you are wanting one might want to order asap. Just letting you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@1FreeRider Happened to stop by electricalconnection shop this morning. Casey said they only have one of the voltmeters left in stock so if you are wanting one might want to order asap. Just letting you know.
ssncob, Thanks. I just got the order in to them. Hopefully I'll get it. I had battery load tested today and it is good. Waiting for alternator and now a voltmeter. I'll be here for a while riding out covid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Replacement Alternator arrived yesterday, and I installed it today. I cleaned all terminal ends the best I could (Dremel tool with wire brush). Cleaned the battery posts and reinstalled it all. I started bike and let it warm until the fans came on and went off, then shut bike off. Turned on high beams and running lights restarted bike and brought to 2000 rpm. Voltage reading 15.5 like shop manual said it should. I have the Electrical Connection voltmeter on order. I'll have to see how this one does for how long. Who knows?
 
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