Where is the Ballast Resistor?


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Chris.N
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Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 4:08 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1978 Honda GL1000

Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by Chris.N » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:36 am



So I have a 1978 Honda Gl1000 that starts up after holding the starter button for sometime but then idles for a split second then dies. The battery is running on a low charge so I have switched it out but I am still having the issue. I believe it is the ballast resistor but I cannot locate it for the life of me, where exactly is it located?

Thanks



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Placerville
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by Placerville » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:40 pm

Chris.N wrote:So I have a 1978 Honda Gl1000 that starts up after holding the starter button for sometime but then idles for a split second then dies. The battery is running on a low charge so I have switched it out but I am still having the issue. I believe it is the ballast resistor but I cannot locate it for the life of me, where exactly is it located?

Thanks
Chris,

From what you've described above, I wouldn't consider your ballast resistor as part of the issue at this time. That is, not until you've ruled out several other possibilities. Perhaps you have so, how have you come to the conclusion that you ballast resistor is faulty?

Reading your issue, you say that you have to hold your starter button in for (what you believe to be) and extended period of time before your bike fires. Am I correct so far? You're then saying that your bike idles for a second, then dies. OK, that's clear. You're then saying that your battery was 'running on a low charge'. I don't know what you mean by that but, I'll assume that your battery was not performing properly and that you've replaced it. And, once you did that, you were still having the same problem.

First, your battery isn't part of your 'slow to fire / no idle' condition so, take that off the table. Your 'slow to fire' issue could be caused my many different things e.g., restricted fuel flow, poor spark, bad choke adjustment etc. You need to sort these possibilities out first before jumping ahead to a part of your electrical system.

When you're start your bike, are you choking it? I know this seems like a very obvious question but, you need to give us some more information on how your starting it and what's happening when you do. We can then go from there with more questions and advice.

To answer your original question, your ballast resistor is located by your coils but, I'd advise you to leave it along until you've sorted out the more obvious possibilities such as fuel flow, carburetion and spark. Go here for a wiring diagram for your '78. The resistor is by the coils in the upper right corner.
Placerville- 1976 Yellow
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aussiegold
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by aussiegold » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:11 am

Placerville is correct in everything he has said. the ballast resistor can cause those symptoms , but it is not common for them to fail. when the start button is pushed ( on US models ) the headlight circuit is bypassed along with the ballast. this ensures full current for the start system.
when the start button is released, the current is diverted back through the ballast resistor.
an easy way to eliminate the ballast as the culprit is to simply disconnect both wires and join them together. if it runs when you release the start button, you got it. if not ,you have eliminated one possibility. heres a pic showing the start system. good luck. M.



doccuke
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by doccuke » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:41 pm

aussiegold wrote:
Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:11 am
Placerville is correct in everything he has said. the ballast resistor can cause those symptoms , but it is not common for them to fail. when the start button is pushed ( on US models ) the headlight circuit is bypassed along with the ballast. this ensures full current for the start system.
when the start button is released, the current is diverted back through the ballast resistor.
an easy way to eliminate the ballast as the culprit is to simply disconnect both wires and join them together. if it runs when you release the start button, you got it. if not ,you have eliminated one possibility. heres a pic showing the start system. good luck. M.Coils%201[1].jpg
I know this is an old thread, but asking anyway
My buddy has a 1985 1200 LTD which is fuel injected. It starts but will only run as long as the starter button is depressed
On another thread another gentleman responded saying he does not believe that the ballast resistor would cause this issue on this model goldwing

To backup the original symptom was that the bike died completely. No lights, no nothing. We found that the main fuse and fuse holder were melted. Fuse and holder were replaced and now we have the starts but only runs with starter button pressed. I know that normally if there is a ballast resistor used it is bypassed when in the start position. So the question is, is this bike configured that way, if so where is the ballast resistor , and if not what else could cause this symptom?

I have not looked at it myself yet. My buddy Tim did and could not find anything obviously amiss

And suggestions welcomed

Thanks

DOC

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smittyboy734
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by smittyboy734 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:10 pm

i had the same issue on my 78 i had replaced the throttle cable and upon weaving it thru the center down to the carb area i knocked off one of the leads on the ballast resistor hooked it back up ran fine,so if you had replaced any of your cables,or had your hands in that area you may have disconnected it

doccuke
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by doccuke » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:14 pm

smittyboy734 wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:10 pm
i had the same issue on my 78 i had replaced the throttle cable and upon weaving it thru the center down to the carb area i knocked off one of the leads on the ballast resistor hooked it back up ran fine,so if you had replaced any of your cables,or had your hands in that area you may have disconnected it
That was my logic, it is pretty tight in there. It does not seem to hard to believe that a connector could get unintentionally pulled out

DaveO430
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by DaveO430 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:29 pm

smittyboy734 wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:10 pm
i had the same issue on my 78 i had replaced the throttle cable and upon weaving it thru the center down to the carb area i knocked off one of the leads on the ballast resistor hooked it back up ran fine,so if you had replaced any of your cables,or had your hands in that area you may have disconnected it
GL1000s do bypass the ballast resistor for starting, after that they do not.

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dingdong
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by dingdong » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:45 am

I know this is an old thread, but asking anyway
My buddy has a 1985 1200 LTD which is fuel injected. It starts but will only run as long as the starter button is depressed
On another thread another gentleman responded saying he does not believe that the ballast resistor would cause this issue on this model goldwing

To backup the original symptom was that the bike died completely. No lights, no nothing. We found that the main fuse and fuse holder were melted. Fuse and holder were replaced and now we have the starts but only runs with starter button pressed. I know that normally if there is a ballast resistor used it is bypassed when in the start position. So the question is, is this bike configured that way, if so where is the ballast resistor , and if not what else could cause this symptom?

I have not looked at it myself yet. My buddy Tim did and could not find anything obviously amiss

And suggestions welcomed

Thanks

DOC




No, the 1200 doesn't use a ballast resistor.
Tom

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fatalbert
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by fatalbert » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:48 pm

Measure the resistance across the ballast resistor. It should be less than approx. 2 ohms. A failed ballast resistor symptom is the engine will not continue to run after releasing the starter button. Of course it could be many other things as well. Measure the resistor and confirm if it is the problem. The melt down may have pulled too much current through the resistor and created an open.

doccuke
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by doccuke » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:38 pm

fatalbert wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:48 pm
Measure the resistance across the ballast resistor. It should be less than approx. 2 ohms. A failed ballast resistor symptom is the engine will not continue to run after releasing the starter button. Of course it could be many other things as well. Measure the resistor and confirm if it is the problem. The melt down may have pulled too much current through the resistor and created an open.
That was my thought but I have been informed by several people that this model bike does not have the ballast resistor wired in that manner.

That and I have no idea where it is on this bike. I posted a picture of what was allegedly a ballast resistor for this model

I just came from where the bike is. It definitely starts and runs but as soon as the starter button is released it dies

I am wondering if the replacement solonoid is not the correct configuration for this bike. The connector that plugs into the solonoid is keyed so it can only be plugged in one way

I need to do more research on this

Thanks

DaveO430
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by DaveO430 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:39 pm

dingdong wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:45 am




No, the 1200 doesn't use a ballast resistor.
You're right, I was thinking backward. The 80-81 1100s did but then the 82-83 didn't and I was thinking it was the later 1100s and the 1200s that did have a ballast.
I should quit thinking.

doccuke
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Re: Where is the Ballast Resistor?

Post by doccuke » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:48 pm

DaveO430 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:39 pm
dingdong wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:45 am




No, the 1200 doesn't use a ballast resistor.
You're right, I was thinking backward. The 80-81 1100s did but then the 82-83 didn't and I was thinking it was the later 1100s and the 1200s that did have a ballast.
I should quit thinking.
I keep thinkin but nuttin happens!!

LOL



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