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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 GW trike conversion. My voltmeter reads sporadically. I can be driving down the road and it may fall to 12, stop at a lie and it drops to 11-, take off again and may read 16 then drop to 15. I have looked down and saw the meter reading nothing drive a ways and it is reading 16 again. I have stopped turned motor off and tried to restart and the starter groaned, maybe starts maybe not. I use a tender at home and it starts fine at home, but a day trip starting and stopping could leave be in a lurch if I can't get a jump start. The battery is new as I replaced it a few months ago because the old one was bad. During a parade the gages (digital) went crazy and everything reset itself. As I watched the voltmeter it would show charging all over the scale ad totally stop charging. Was told the battery being bad would cause the gages to flash and do crazy things. Gages worked fine with new battery, but my voltmeter (non-digital) was still reading crazy. I think it is the alternator brushes are bad but I am not able to work on the trike because of physical issues. Does my guess seem right and how much would brush replacement opposed to alternator replacement cost. Any thoughts.
 

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Check the ground on the voltmeter.
 

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I have a 2002 GW trike conversion. My voltmeter reads sporadically. I can be driving down the road and it may fall to 12, stop at a lie and it drops to 11-, take off again and may read 16 then drop to 15. I have looked down and saw the meter reading nothing drive a ways and it is reading 16 again. I have stopped turned motor off and tried to restart and the starter groaned, maybe starts maybe not. I use a tender at home and it starts fine at home, but a day trip starting and stopping could leave be in a lurch if I can't get a jump start. The battery is new as I replaced it a few months ago because the old one was bad. During a parade the gages (digital) went crazy and everything reset itself. As I watched the voltmeter it would show charging all over the scale ad totally stop charging. Was told the battery being bad would cause the gages to flash and do crazy things. Gages worked fine with new battery, but my voltmeter (non-digital) was still reading crazy. I think it is the alternator brushes are bad but I am not able to work on the trike because of physical issues. Does my guess seem right and how much would brush replacement opposed to alternator replacement cost. Any thoughts.
I put the Honda volt meter on an '08 I had to keep up with what was going on. The only problem I had was a loose connection. Your problem can be narrowed down by checking connections first and then put a hand held meter to the battery while running at about 2K rpm. You should be getting all the voltage the reg. will show there. You may have an alternator problem but my bike had over a 100K and never gave a problem. I'm not sure if these alt. have brush's or if they are diode type, but both can be rebuilt fairly cheaply. Good luck
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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If you have one of the Honda marine analog type meters, it's probably the meter or a wire for the meter. Checking the battery voltage with a handheld meter is the first thing you should do.
 

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Make sure you battery connections are clean and tight. That cn be a big source of your problems.

Also have the battery tested. Just because its new doesn't mean its good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Battery does drain

If you have one of the Honda marine analog type meters, it's probably the meter or a wire for the meter. Checking the battery voltage with a handheld meter is the first thing you should do.
The battery does drain when the voltmeter shows no charge, and at times almost won't start because of the drain. I will check the charge at the battery and see if it is good. Thanks
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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The battery does drain when the voltmeter shows no charge, and at times almost won't start because of the drain. I will check the charge at the battery and see if it is good. Thanks
If the connections on the battery are clean and tight and a handheld meter does the same thing, you could have a brush sticking in it's holder in the alternator. If you can catch it jumping around you could try tapping on the alternator case and see if it makes a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
2002 alternator

If the connections on the battery are clean and tight and a handheld meter does the same thing, you could have a brush sticking in it's holder in the alternator. If you can catch it jumping around you could try tapping on the alternator case and see if it makes a difference.
Turns out it was the volt meter. After I had a shop put a new alt on, it was doing the same thing. I replaced the meter and it read correctly then. The shop did not offer to refund any o th $500 for their mistake . I have the one they took off for sale for $150 if anyone needs one.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Turns out it was the volt meter. After I had a shop put a new alt on, it was doing the same thing. I replaced the meter and it read correctly then. The shop did not offer to refund any o th $500 for their mistake . I have the one they took off for sale for $150 if anyone needs one.
Glad you found the culprit, sorry it cost so much to find it. Did a handheld meter also jump around? Did the shop troubleshoot it before changing the alternator?
 

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If you have one of the Honda marine analog type meters, it's probably the meter or a wire for the meter. Checking the battery voltage with a handheld meter is the first thing you should do.
wow, great call.

glad you got it fixed.
 

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I like to read this stuff for fun..........;)

A bad voltmeter would for sure not cause the bike to not wish to start.

If an electrical system is checked out with a meter, you have a new battery and it checks out, all connections are tight and clean, yet the battery still is not being charged then the alternator has a problem.

Perhaps there were two problems and all is well. Voltmeters are known to go bad it is not uncommon. However a battery lack of charge with a good battery relates to the alternator.

So perhaps the shop did find a problem with the alternator. If all is well now, it was not the voltmeter as that is just an indicator.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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I like to read this stuff for fun..........;)

A bad voltmeter would for sure not cause the bike to not wish to start.

If an electrical system is checked out with a meter, you have a new battery and it checks out, all connections are tight and clean, yet the battery still is not being charged then the alternator has a problem.

Perhaps there were two problems and all is well. Voltmeters are known to go bad it is not uncommon. However a battery lack of charge with a good battery relates to the alternator.

So perhaps the shop did find a problem with the alternator. If all is well now, it was not the voltmeter as that is just an indicator.
:agree: The meter definitely didn't cause the no start condition, but based on a handheld meter reading, the charging state of the alternator could be seen. Of course, an intermittent issue with the alternator is always possible that may not show up at the moment you are measuring the voltage.
 

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Loose/dirty battery terminal connections will cause gauges to blink, zero out, not function, give erroneous readings, or cause intermittent cranking problems, variable voltages, poor charging, etc. I'm very suspicious of a voltmeter causing these problems.

This doesn't mean the voltmeter wasn't bad. I'm just sitting here scratching my head about this one. . .

Glad you solved the problem. Too often parts get changed without thorough troubleshooting. Sorry it cost you so much.
 

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1800 Alternators

so many people have said how long their Goldwings have gone with no problems, but not my 05 wing but to answer one of your questions check this guy out he rebuilds alternators for both 1800's and 1500's Ken Heming at [email protected] or call him at 219-947-4038
 

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+1 for Ken Heming! He sent me a nice rebuilt Alternator, but UPS damaged it. The housing was actually broken and I could not find all the chunks. Ken replaced it for me in short order. Great guy... fer sure.
:thumbup:

Corventure Dave
 

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I've added volt meters to many bikes but nevr a GW"

Like I said I've added V meters to a most of my bikes but with the technology {massive amounts of electrical} I am wondering if there is a specific place to shoot for? Normally for me I would add a relay to the + side of the ignition and then straight to the meter, Then the neg. side straight to the neg- side of the battery. I have a GW shop manual 2001-2005 mine being a 2005 but can't seem to locate if they had a port such as they do for some other accessories?

Thanks everyone new to GW forum and the motorcycle but gotta tell you I really like so far, can actually hear the radio without blasting it unlike some of my other toys!! ;)
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Like I said I've added V meters to a most of my bikes but with the technology {massive amounts of electrical} I am wondering if there is a specific place to shoot for? Normally for me I would add a relay to the + side of the ignition and then straight to the meter, Then the neg. side straight to the neg- side of the battery. I have a GW shop manual 2001-2005 mine being a 2005 but can't seem to locate if they had a port such as they do for some other accessories?

Thanks everyone new to GW forum and the motorcycle but gotta tell you I really like so far, can actually hear the radio without blasting it unlike some of my other toys!! ;)
Welcome to the board. Your relay idea is a good one. There is an accessory power plug on the 05 under the left fairing pocket. I don't like hooking a voltmeter to it due to the voltage drop of the bike's harness making the voltmeter read lower than the battery actually is. You can trigger your relay from the accessory terminals at the fuse box.
 
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