Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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staygoldwing
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Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby staygoldwing » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:45 am



How many posts can start with "Argh, my bike won't start"? Sorry, here's another one. Just got a '78 GL1000 and the thing won't start. My lady was riding bike sputtered and died as she was coming to a red light, wouldn't quite turn over so she switched it to the reserve tank, rode it a couple more blocks, came up to another stop and it died again. She said that it was turning over when she pushed the start button but when I got there the start wasn't working at all. Trying to diagnose the problem now and one point in particular is confusing to me. When I press the start button I hear a single click in the solenoid. I'm used to working on slightly newer bikes and was surprised that it's a single click and not a series of fast clicks, which I'm used to. But reading a little bit on this site I've seen a couple of times people talk about A click from the solenoid, not clicks. Just the way this bike is built?
Thanks ahead of time.



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dingdong
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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby dingdong » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:00 am

Not sure why it was dying to start with but It sounds like you may have a weak battery that is preventing it from spinning the starter. A single click is normal. As long as you hold the start button the solenoid remains activated. First step. Check battery.
Tom

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wjnfirearms
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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby wjnfirearms » Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:10 am

Yep, double d has a good suggestion. It sounds more like an electrical issue than fuel. Either the charging system isn't charging the battery and it just plain ran down or a load short may have developed in the battery due to vibration and now won't crank the engine. A mechanical failure within the battery can only be verified by load testing the battery. It can show a full charge but still be junk.

Another possibility is that a connection broke or came loose within the battery circuit. Also, corrosion in one of these connections could cause the same problem. It has been known to cause issues more suddenly on occasion.
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staygoldwing
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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby staygoldwing » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:35 am

Yep, figured it was the electrical system (my least favorite) :( but the battery is new so I don't think it's that

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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:56 am

A series of clicks is what you normally hear from bendix-type starters with an integrated solenoid, like in a car. You engage the starter, the solenoid closes, pushing the starter out to engage the flywheel, and connecting the battery to the starter at the same time. The starter puts a huge load on the battery as it tries to crank the engine. The battery, not having enough capacity to handle the load, drops its voltage. The drop in voltage causes the bendix spring to override the solenoid, retracting the starter and in turn disconnecting the starter from the battery. Now that the starter is no longer presenting a load, the battery voltage comes back up, enough to re-engage the solenoid, and the cycle repeats, rapidly.

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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:02 pm

Yes to all above.Charge the battery,if it still won't crank,let us know.
Do test the battery volts after its running to see if it is actually charging.
Expect above 13 volts at 3000 rpm.

staygoldwing
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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby staygoldwing » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:15 pm

Thanks for all the info. Charged the battery, checked it's charge, and put it back in. The solenoid still clicks but the bike won't turn over. I noticed the headlight was dying when the starter was engaged so I checked to see if the wire was worn and grounding out on the fram but it seems to be in ok condition and the connection at the starter looks tight. Sorry if this all sounds pretty basic but electtics is all greek to me.

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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby kirbb9 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:13 pm

The headlight going out is caused by starter switch (less drain on battery). If you short the two
main solenoid posts this will send battery voltage to the starter. If it still won't turn over it is
probably the starter. To further diagnose connect a jumper cable from another bike straight
to the starter.

Brady

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Fred Camper
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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby Fred Camper » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:19 pm

Cleaning out a starter is not a bad job, well documented on this site. Made my old starter run like new last year, and still runs like new today.

staygoldwing
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Re: Basic Solenoid Question '78 GL1000

Postby staygoldwing » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:29 am

Thanks for all the help! Used a screwdriver between the solenoid contacts and she started right up. I'm a 'fraidy cat so all the sparks scared the bejeezus out of me. Part is in the mail and I'm super grateful for all the help!




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