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Alternator Conversion by Sundance
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The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

#1 10-01-2007, 08:49 PM,
Excellent and Informative post!!! It answered quite a few questions I had concerning the alternator conversion.

One question I have is why a smaller pully on the alternator can't be used?
1985 Limited Edition
#2 10-01-2007, 09:27 PM,
Nice I was planning to take alot of pictures as we went thru the install but of course we dove right in and thought of the camera later..

Very nice!

I will take some of mine completed to show its final mounting position.
Tim and Carol
1985 Aspencade 1200
1984 Interstate Donor Pile
1975 ts75 Suzuki Grandkids Learner
2001 KDX 50 Kawasaki Grandkids Learner
"A free Motorcycle, the most exspensive item in the world!" Unknown
#3 10-02-2007, 06:09 AM,
Regarding the question about a smaller alternator pulley, I couldn't find one small enough to change the ratio as much as I wanted. I think I could have gained about 1/4 inch max. So.... the crank at 2 1/2 and the alt at 2 1/4 wouldn't have made any difference at all. As it is I have a 2 to 1 size ratio which is about what you'd find on an auto. Just this week I installed a new volt meter and it says I'm charging 14.25 at idle with lights, radio and CB on.

I admit it wasn't necessary to do all this extra, but if you planned it with the install it's very little extra work. And it amazes the techs at the local dealership. :wink: You know, the ones who said it couldn't be done. :?
#4 10-02-2007, 07:45 AM,
Very well done, nicely laid out and extremely informative. Thanks for the great work and excellent sharing. Big Grin
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#5 10-02-2007, 08:17 AM,
roscoepc Wrote:Excellent and Informative post!!! It answered quite a few questions I had concerning the alternator conversion.

One question I have is why a smaller pully on the alternator can't be used?

If you go any smaller on the the pulley size it can create problems with the drive belt due to the fact that the belt must compress down to such a small size to make the turn around the pulley, heat is created when a minimum size is reached and this heat translates into friction and high belt wear.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#6 10-02-2007, 08:21 AM,
Hey Sundance,

I don't want this to to come off as a smartaleck remark but a honest question. Moving the fan to the front makes it look like there's this wart coming off the front of the engine. Did you find a way to hide the fan a bit?

Next time you think you're perfect, try walking on water.
#7 10-02-2007, 06:15 PM,
If you stay with the smaller pulley then there is room behind the rad for the same fan.
Maybe a 3" would give just enough extra RPM to satisfy those who don't feel that there is adequate charging at idle speed and there should still be room behind the rad for a pulley that size.

Even the stock alternator doesnt give 12 volts on idle.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

#8 10-02-2007, 07:14 PM,
There is an additional picture and description that has been added to the post as of October 2nd
It is an alternative mounting bracket.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

#9 10-02-2007, 07:54 PM,
Actually there's room back there for the 5" pulley I used. However, it's a bit cramped so if you want room to reach in there and twist a bolt or something it's easier with the fan on the front. I actually got the idea from Boss Hoss. They mount a very large fan on the front of their radiator. I suppose it looks a bit strange to some but I like having it there. It works well and is easy to get to should it need service or to be changed. With the lower fairing in place it looks like it belongs there.
#10 10-02-2007, 07:58 PM,
I had a fan on the front but found out the fender was hitting it which would prevent the wheel from being turned during hard stops, which is asking for trouble.
Although mine is an 1100 I think the 1200 would have the same problem, especially with a fan as thick as that is.

Dont get me wrong, your installation is well done, I just wanted to point this out so people know to watch for this and decide if they want to take that chance.
#11 10-21-2007, 07:47 PM,
I haven't been to this post for a while, so I'll address the front fan again. The fan I used is 2 1/2" inches thick. It's mounted on the top of the radiator. I've tested the location and with the forks depressed as far as they will go there's still over 2" between the fender and fan. It may be that it's a tighter fit on some bikes but I've got plenty of room.

I've been playing around with the lower fairing and have been riding with them off for a while. Other older wingers notice the alternator and comment on it.

The fan may look like a wart, :lol: but it's not as bad as some warts I've seen in the saddle. :roll:

the information provided is to help those who want to do the conversion but need more info. It's NOT provided to try and convince anyone to do it my way. Enjoy. Big Grin
#12 10-22-2007, 07:58 AM,
Hi and thanks to all …This is a fantastic site, I have spent many hours reading over and over different articles … I bought my first Wing 1200GL 1985. Blue pic to follow someday. Winter has set in NB Canada .. so I have begun the project of converting
over to a external alternator and from the sound of all the comments regarding the white smoke, I need to change the right head gasket… as I have experienced the smell of sweet smoke from the right side . My first question is I am having trouble removing or at least loosing the crank bolt. The cam bolts are easy but the crank no so ……
#13 11-16-2007, 01:09 PM,
The dreaded crank bolt Smile

Put it in a high gear and have a friend apply the rear brake while you use a long handled wrench.
Failing that see if you can get an impact gun.

Mine came off with the wrench.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

#14 11-16-2007, 02:21 PM,
Thanks man .. can you explain why High gear and not low ... just for the knowledge bank.....

#15 11-16-2007, 03:46 PM,

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