GL1500 Turn Signal Fix


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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Richman2000
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GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Richman2000 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:16 am



I have been having issues with my turn signal switch for some time. My switch would not stay on when I would use it, so I was resorting to holding it when signaling for a left or right turn. That gets difficult to do when you're turning, and shifting. I have read a few posts about what to do, and I tried it all short of opening up the entire switch. Since I was going to have to open it up, I decided to take some pix and hopefully help out some others that are having switch problems.


After removing the 2 bolts from underneath the switch unit, you have access to the innards.

This is the lower portion that you will be performing surgery on. If you can remove your left grip, it will make things easier.


This is what the top portion of the controls look like for the folks that need to open those up.


After removing the inside cover plate, you will have access to the switch. From this point, the parts are small, so working inside a plastic bag can help. There are 2 ball bearings that will look for any opportunity to have you crawling on the ground and play hide and seek.


This plate has contacts on it. Be careful not to bend the 2 tabs.


Carefully lift the next part out. Under the brass clip at the top is where the spring and bearings are.


When you remove the brass clip, you will find the spring. The spring in the pic is a ball point pen spring I tried to use. It does not work using the pen spring alone.[/b] I had to open the hole slightly to get the pen spring to fit inside, then I had to shorten the spring to get it inside the housing.


Here are the parts from inside the switch. I carefully cleaned the 18 years of gunk of each component, then sprayed it with lubricated electrical cleaner. The dime is for reference, there should not be one inside the switch. The small spring was broken, so I applied a little solder to it. It allows the spring to function, but I put it inside the other spring to help it out. I didn’t get a picture of that, because when it went together and worked, I was not going to take it apart again.


Here is the OEM spring before I soldered it back together.


Here it is all back together. I recommend you make sure the choke cable is reattached before you close things up. It gets easier each time you open things up.

Good luck with your repairs, and Ride Safe



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minimac
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby minimac » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:04 pm

Great write up and pics for a somewhat common problem. Thanks for thinking of others.

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Snowmoer
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Snowmoer » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:37 pm

Nice work. When I cleaned my switch, I did not have to remove the grip. There was enough room to do the work, but still a pain with all the small parts!! I did this with all my switches. I had 25 years of sticky goo to clean out. They all work great now.

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dj norm
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Location: Quebec, Quebec, Canada
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby dj norm » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:28 pm

is there any preventive maint to avoid this situation ?
Norm.
Arte et Marte

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Kactus59
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Location: Eastham, MA
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500 SE

Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Kactus59 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:34 pm

Speaking of turn signal switches, Is there any way to adjust the length of time that the turn signal stays on? My 98 SE runs about 25 yards or so and shuts off. I live in an area where you really need to advertise that you are turning or you might get rear ended. So a lot of time I will be putting my signal on two or three times. I assume that there is a modulator somewhere that connects into the odometer, because if it were just a timer it would cancel when waiting for those never changing red lights! Any knowledge would be great. Thanks

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WingAdmin
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:36 pm

Kactus59 wrote:Speaking of turn signal switches, Is there any way to adjust the length of time that the turn signal stays on? My 98 SE runs about 25 yards or so and shuts off. I live in an area where you really need to advertise that you are turning or you might get rear ended. So a lot of time I will be putting my signal on two or three times. I assume that there is a modulator somewhere that connects into the odometer, because if it were just a timer it would cancel when waiting for those never changing red lights! Any knowledge would be great. Thanks


It is actually a timer, but it adjusts its time based on the speed of the bike, as well as the angle of the handlebars. It's a mysterious little cylindrical box that lives inside the steering stem, near the bottom, and I'm quite sure there is no way to adjust it.

Image

Richman2000
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Richman2000 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:04 am

There is an adjustment on the bottom of the mysterious
WingAdmin wrote:
Kactus59 wrote:Speaking of turn signal switches, Is there any way to adjust the length of time that the turn signal stays on? My 98 SE runs about 25 yards or so and shuts off. I live in an area where you really need to advertise that you are turning or you might get rear ended. So a lot of time I will be putting my signal on two or three times. I assume that there is a modulator somewhere that connects into the odometer, because if it were just a timer it would cancel when waiting for those never changing red lights! Any knowledge would be great. Thanks


It is actually a timer, but it adjusts its time based on the speed of the bike, as well as the angle of the handlebars. It's a mysterious little cylindrical box that lives inside the steering stem, near the bottom, and I'm quite sure there is no way to adjust it.

Image


There is an adjustment. On the bottom of the box, is a flat piece that you use to "Center" your turn signals. If your left stays on for a longer distance than your right, you can adjust it on the bottom by turning the piece on the bottom. I messed with mine when I did my Steering head bearing. It's been trial and error to get it adjusted correctly.

Ride Safe,
Rich

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Kactus59
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Kactus59 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:33 pm

That is interesting to note Rich, but from that info I see it is only a balance timing, not a length of time adjustment. Maybe I could disconnect it all and use an aftermarket timer. Is this module assessable without removing a ton of plastic or removing half the engine? Thanks, Kurt

Richman2000
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Richman2000 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:52 pm

It's easy to get to. The unit is between the front forks, and the wiring is inside the steering stem into the cockpit. Look at this link, and it will show you how to remove the unit. viewtopic.php?f=14&t=12367 This is for the Steering Head Bearing, but it does show how to get to what you need.

Ride Safe,
Rich

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virgilmobile
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:14 pm

Kactus59 wrote: Maybe I could disconnect it all and use an after market timer. Is this module assessable without removing a ton of plastic or removing half the engine? Thanks, Kurt


I'll poke in a little...The "thingy" on the bottom is a variable resistor,much like a volume control..the canceler uses it's output to tell if you've moved the handle bars...that's one input for the auto shutoff.
The canceler also has a speed pulse input...theoretically it uses it to auto cancel when it reaches 20 MPH or so...
One last thing..the canceler has a internal timer...if it doesn't receive a handlebar movement or wheel pulses,it's suppose to auto cancel after 45 seconds.....

Many of these work fairly well...some not so good....

Now onto the interesting (for me) part....A replacement could be built depending on skill and needs....A simple timer..yes..as long as you don't want any other features and can satisfy the inputs from the switches....
Don't forget..the turn signal switch is actually 3 switches...A "enable" left and right momentary contact...A "disable" momentary push switch and the third is the direction switch...it stays connected to that direction until it's switched to the other direction...thus the reason the canceler removes the ground from the flasher....

Can it be removed.???.sure...just a few screws on the bottom and the handle bar cover...Pull a bunch of slack out of the cable from the top...it unpluges from the bottom...

I think I'll formulate a diagram that should fit the bill....maybe a adjustable timer with a wheel pulse disable....forget the angle sensor...

Richman2000
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Richman2000 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:37 pm

Thanks Virgil, that's exactly what I meant to say.

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Kactus59
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Kactus59 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:25 pm

Thanks for the updates. The diagram is a big help to understand just what happens when you flip the switch. I never imagined that just that little module does so much. amazing to think! Thanks, Kurt

JLB
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Location: HUIZEN, NH, Netherlands
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby JLB » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:36 am

The problem I have is that the switch doesn’t return to its original position in the centre.
So every time I have to push it back but then it also is pushed into the unit.
So I had hoped to solve the problem and had the box opened following your instructions.
But I couldn’t find any spring in there so it must have fallen out some time ago.
And as I couldn’t see where it should have been mounted I decided to put it all together again.
I must admit that It took me a lot more time to put it all together again then dissembling it ;) .
So I’m back to where I started. Could you perhaps draw the part in the switch where the spring needs to be fitted? Then I will try to find a spring that is short and strong enough to do the work and put it in.

Regards,
Hans Bruijn
Holland

ram1009
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby ram1009 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:50 pm

The author has no doubt found this out by now but for the rest, the bad news is you can't solder a spring. Even if it appears to hold, it won't. Even if you could heat the wire enough to "weld" it together the heat would take the temper out of the material and it would no longer be a spring. Springs of all descriptions are available on line you just have to wait for them. This is a compression spring and can be ordered by specifying the wire diameter, the outside diameter and the free length.

JLB
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby JLB » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:12 am

Yes I have!
Springs can be ordered in all kinds of measures and strengths but they are usually only available in mass packaging and therefore quit expensive after all.
I had several springs to my disposal but the ones that fitted best jammed the switch after I put the unit together again. Probably they were just a little too small. Long enough but not wide enough.
I must have dismentaled the unit more than 15 times and then finally I found out that the little baring ball at the end of the spring in combination with the (too thin) spring caused the problem. So I took it out and saved it of course for – who knows - future use? But the unit has worked for me now for the past months. It needs just a very light touch of the thumb but it works perfectly. Hopefully for years to come because it’s the best and easiest to ride bike I ever had.
Regards,
Hans

ram1009
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby ram1009 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:29 am

I see you live in the Netherlands and I must please ignorance of spring availability there but in the US most hardware stores have a reasonable assortment of springs from which a proper spring can be made. However Honda goes overboard to "sole source" everything on their bikes so I doubt you'd find an exact match anywhere. Personally, I would probably go here http://www.mcmaster.com/#compression-springs/=wbj7s3. You're correct about having to order more than one spring on line but that shouldn't surprise anyone. If you order from the source I provided you'll have to order less than 10 and the prices are reasonable considering all the labor it took you to work around not having a proper spring. BTW, most springs are made from something called "music wire" in the US. Music wire is available in the US at some hobby shops and hardware stores and is very inexpensive. With a little practice you can wind your own custom spring. It may not be pretty but it will work.

Richman2000
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby Richman2000 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:53 am

When I used the solder to hold the spring together. The inner spring is doing the work, the stock spring is acting as a spacer. If someone can find a source for that spring it would be better.

BTW, my switch is still working fine.

ram1009
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby ram1009 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:04 pm

If you can give me the dimensions I will find or make you a spring.

JLB
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby JLB » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:24 pm

If I want to buy a spring that complies to the specifics needed here I have to go to one of the specialized manufacturers.
And that means not just buying a box with a few springs but buying a relative “truckload”.
And even then I can’t be certain if it’s the right spring until I’ve been able to test it properly.
It’s not just a matter of length or thickness. It must have the right resistance also.
But if you’re able to find or make one then that would be something!
This is what I found to be the possible measures of the spring.

Length 11,2 mm
Width 4mm
Thickness 0.40 mm

Kind tegards,
Hans

ram1009
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby ram1009 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:39 pm

Hans, I am a mechanical engineer and specify springs for work frequently. I assure you that all that is necessary to duplicate any compression spring is the wire diameter, the outside diameter (what you are calling the width) and the free length. There are some different materials that affect the performance of a spring minimally but we needn't worry about that in this case. Let me go to work.

EDIT: http://www.mcmaster.com/#9434k25/=wboxr2 This probably won't work but I'll let you decide. This spring is about .5mm larger diameter and about .005mm larger wire diameter. It's also a little too long but of course it can be cut to any length desired. The dimensional differences will produce a slightly stiffer feel but that might be a good thing. The real issue is if it will fit in the housing. What do you think? Please note you only have to buy five of them.

JLB
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Location: HUIZEN, NH, Netherlands
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby JLB » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:03 pm

Thanks!
I'm quite confident that it will fit.
And ordering just 5 is of course no problem at all
I really appreciate your advice.
I hope I can order them from the Netherlands.
But it's worth trying.
Would be great if it works.
It may take some time to get here but I will let you know when it arrives and if it works.
As I mentioned before it would be great if it does.

Regards,
Hans

ram1009
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby ram1009 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:28 pm

If you have any problems ordering let me know. I order from McMaster Carr frequently and I will get you some.

JLB
Posts: 36
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Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby JLB » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:30 am

Thank you for your kind offer.
I have asked them about the possibilities of orderdering and shipment.
So I'm waiting for their answer and if things don't work out I'll be much obliged if you can help me out.

Regards,
Hans

ram1009
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby ram1009 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:52 am

It's no big thing, Hans.

JLB
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Re: GL1500 Turn Signal Fix

Postby JLB » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:35 pm

It's in! The spring almost fitted right away.
I had to create a little more space by widening the tunnel for the spring to fit.
After drilling about half a mm or maybe a little more the spring fitted into the small tube.
You have to watch out not losing the small ball (bearing) at the end of the spring as it wants to pop out of the small tunnel.
It’s done now.
And it works as new with a brand new spring for many years to come.

Thanks to your help!

Regards,
Hans Bruijn




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