Author Topic: Alternator died  (Read 1609 times)

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Offline Bradley

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Alternator died
« on: April 17, 2016, 08:17:44 pm »
My alternator died last week on the way home from work.  I have about 121k miles on the bike.  I had some symptoms leading up to the failure.  For a couple weeks the bike would appear to not charge for a little while, but it started charging again so I put off looking into it. Last week the 30A fuse blew a couple times, a couple days apart.  First time I thought "hey, 121k, the fuse was tired", second time I figured something was wrong.  Then a day later no charging at all.

Oddly, I was thinking brushes or loose wire due to the odd symptoms.  I've had a stator coil go on a Honda, and they just stop charging.  So on pulling it apart, it looks like a brush is stuck in the housing.  The other one has about 6mm, and the wire on the bad one looks like it would be the same if I could get it out.  I scratched it trying.

So it looks like I need a new brush housing, but damn, they want $83 for a new OEM one.  At least, I think, it includes the brushes which go for $20/each.  I'm thinking I might be better off getting a whole alternator off of eBay so I have spare parts.

Should i test the rest of the alternator, or figure the brush is the only issue?   I'm not sure why it did what it did.   I do have the manual, but it sounds like I have to pull the alternator to test it completely.

Thanks, Bradley

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 09:15:05 pm »
just by one from a parted out bike, mucho cheap..

as to why it fried, better be checking the connection on the harness coming from the unit, its located up and behind the starter solenoid, on tyghe fat harness, all taped up...
they melt down and short out when subjected to high loads, and or invisible resistive coating inside on the 2 blades... its a white connector, trace the wires back and up...

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Offline who me?

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 09:44:48 pm »
Or find a zr/zx 1200? alternator
Cant remember which is the drop in /fairly easy upgrade
I have no idea about anything.
95 C10 The Mule
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08 FJR Self identifies as a C13

Offline Bradley

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 10:09:42 pm »
The first thing I checked was the 2 pin connector, since I hear it was sometimes a failure point.  It looks perfect.  All the wire and connections look good.

I considered the ZZR1200 upgrade, but they seem to run $200 on eBay, and it looks like more work than I want to deal with.

Offline fred-houston

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2016, 10:09:56 pm »
Or find a zr/zx 1200? alternator
Cant remember which is the drop in /fairly easy upgrade

ZZR1200
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Offline oldsmoboat

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2016, 11:11:49 pm »

Offline Bradley

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2016, 07:03:42 am »
I cleaned out the bad brush.  Is there an easy to get replacement brush from some place like Napa?

Offline who me?

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 10:33:49 am »
Or find a zr/zx 1200? alternator
Cant remember which is the drop in /fairly easy upgrade

ZZR1200
thanks fred
I have no idea about anything.
95 C10 The Mule
02 C10 parts are parts
08 FJR Self identifies as a C13

Offline Jerry R

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 05:15:06 pm »
When my alternator died (at about your mileage) the brushes had worn out.  I found replacements at the second Ace hardware store I tried.  It wasn't an exact fit but I was able to file them down.  It's been good since. 

If you don't find the brushes locally you can try http://www.mcmaster.com/#electric-motor-brushes/=121dnch.

Replacing brushes is your frugal approach.  It's a bit less work to replace the alternator. 

Good luck.

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 05:17:29 pm »
alternators are cheap. I have a few nice ones. Steve
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Offline Bradley

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2016, 07:31:25 pm »
I already ordered an alternator off of eBay.   So that's my fallback plan.

I normally commute on my bike, and hate down time and driving.  So I was hoping there was something I could do to get it back on the road right away.  I think I'll try finding a similar brush at the hardware store.  I mean it's just carbon and a copper wire. 

Offline JDM

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 12:14:18 pm »
I already ordered an alternator off of eBay.   So that's my fallback plan.

I normally commute on my bike, and hate down time and driving.  So I was hoping there was something I could do to get it back on the road right away.  I think I'll try finding a similar brush at the hardware store.  I mean it's just carbon and a copper wire.

If you can find a set of brushes that are close to the size you need, you can file them down to fit. HTH JD

Offline Bradley

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 10:06:50 pm »
If you can find a set of brushes that are close to the size you need, you can file them down to fit. HTH JD


Yeah, that's what Jerry said above.   It looks like I might find a Denso brush kit from an auto parts store. Here's a pic on eBay that looks similar.   http://r.ebay.com/674puZ  Would be nice if a $6 part is a direct replacement for an $83 part.  I kind of suspect the shaft on the car alternator is larger.

As a side note, the alternator I ordered off eBay is from a seller in Florida.  But I doubt it's SISF.  It still hasn't shipped yet.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 10:11:25 pm by Bradley »

Offline Bradley

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2016, 04:43:04 am »
Reply to my reply.   I got the new used alternator in and it works.   Brushes on it were 8.8mm, was said to have 66k miles on it.

I also found a brush that appears to be an exact replacement,  $5/set of 2 at O'Reillys.  I bought a set, and it definitely fits.  It seems like it fits ALOT of vehicles, so probably available at other auto parts places.  Napa has it as part ECH E601.  Other part numbers, AIRTEX / WELLS 5A1000, and ACDELCO E731.  So who is the keeper of the cross reference list?

So I'll repair my old alternator,and have a spare if it fails again.

Offline JDM

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2016, 10:52:02 am »
Reply to my reply.   I got the new used alternator in and it works.   Brushes on it were 8.8mm, was said to have 66k miles on it.

I also found a brush that appears to be an exact replacement,  $5/set of 2 at O'Reillys.  I bought a set, and it definitely fits.  It seems like it fits ALOT of vehicles, so probably available at other auto parts places.  Napa has it as part ECH E601.  Other part numbers, AIRTEX / WELLS 5A1000, and ACDELCO E731.  So who is the keeper of the cross reference list?

Good Job, my hat's off to you. JD

So I'll repair my old alternator,and have a spare if it fails again.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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alternator repair... brushes....
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2016, 07:10:06 pm »
common replacement alternator brushes someone found...
http://forum.cog-online.org/index.php?topic=65311.msg531098#msg531098
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/IDI0/320123/01471.oap?ck=Search_01471_1175947_-1&pt=01471&ppt=C0330

forum member Bradley notes this...
I also found a brush that appears to be an exact replacement,  $5/set of 2 at O'Reillys.  I bought a set, and it definitely fits.  It seems like it fits ALOT of vehicles, so probably available at other auto parts places.  Napa has it as part ECH E601.  Other part numbers, AIRTEX / WELLS 5A1000, and ACDELCO E731.  So who is the keeper of the cross reference list? 
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 07:16:18 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW
and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2016, 07:15:44 pm »
Reply to my reply.   I got the new used alternator in and it works.   Brushes on it were 8.8mm, was said to have 66k miles on it.

I also found a brush that appears to be an exact replacement,  $5/set of 2 at O'Reillys.  I bought a set, and it definitely fits.  It seems like it fits ALOT of vehicles, so probably available at other auto parts places.  Napa has it as part ECH E601.  Other part numbers, AIRTEX / WELLS 5A1000, and ACDELCO E731.  So who is the keeper of the cross reference list?

So I'll repair my old alternator,and have a spare if it fails again.


I stuck this up in tips and tricks sticky for you... thank you greatly.... :great: :great:

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW
and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...

Offline RWulf

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2016, 08:14:28 pm »
Like the great sage "Steve in Florida" once said

"Start with the simple stuff first."

Offline Camper Dave

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Re: alternator repair... brushes....
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2016, 10:22:58 pm »
Quote from: MAN OF BLUES link=topic=48282.msg531233#msg531233 date=1461355806 So who is the keeper of the cross reference list?
[/quote
Oh, it looks like someone who no longer has a position, ummm authorization  ::)
<--- is there any mechanism in place to deal with a non- productive, antagonistic, former non- member such as this?

Offline Bradley

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Re: Alternator died
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2016, 04:27:29 pm »
I wanted to do a follow up in case anyone is stuck somewhere and needs to fix the brushes.  I have a pic below of the old and new brush together.  Plus I have a pic of the brushes installed in the holder.

I think the hardest part was de-soldering the old brush.  The second hardest part was setting the brush height while soldering the copper lead.  You have to hold the brush, and wire while also measuring the brush height.  Then grab the soldering iron and solder while holding the brush height.   The manual says 10.5mm, I got mine at about 10.2mm.