GL1000 reading over 16 volts


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Lastwachter
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GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Lastwachter » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:42 pm



On my 1978 GL1000 when I start it up the meter rises and sits in the middle of the gauge. When I start to rev it or ride it, it slowly climbs till it is past 16 volts. The needle is as far to the right as it can go. From what I have read, my most likely options are...
-Loose ground
-Bad regulator
-Bad meter

I know nothing about electrical work. Besides checking and rechecking that all green wires are attached to the frame properly, what steps in sequential order should I take to try and nail this gremlin down?

I have a multimeter.

Thanks for all your help guys, this is the last hurdle before my wing is finally ready for a nice long test ride! Very excited and I couldn't have done it without you.



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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Placerville » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:50 pm

First, ignore your voltage meter for now. It may, or may not, be lying to you. It's clear that something's wrong and you need to find the truth.

A 12-volt battery should not receive any more than 14.4 volts to charge it. If your voltage meter is reading more than that, you need to start at the very beginning and start testing. Your first stop will be your stator to figure out how much voltage it's producing. From there, you'll work your way through each component to track down the problem.

I suggest you go here and read through this tutorial.
Placerville- 1976 Yellow
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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:37 pm

First thing I would do is put your multimeter on your battery terminals and read the actual voltage while the bike is running - just to make sure your bike's voltmeter isn't lying to you.

How old is the battery in your bike?

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Lastwachter » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:34 am

It is new this season. So get the bike running and when the volt gauge
Is up above 16 use my multimeter on the low volt setting and put it to the batteries two terminals. If it's reading less than the 16 volts, the on board gauge is incorrect. Is this right?

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:03 am

Lastwachter wrote:It is new this season. So get the bike running and when the volt gauge
Is up above 16 use my multimeter on the low volt setting and put it to the batteries two terminals. If it's reading less than the 16 volts, the on board gauge is incorrect. Is this right?


Correct. First thing we need to do, before trying to find the source of the problem, is to make sure that there is in fact a problem. So we need to first make sure the bike's voltmeter is in fact reading that high voltage correctly.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Lastwachter » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:57 am

Ok, I did just that and yes it is high. It is reading 18 volts.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:51 am

The 1000 uses a separate regulator from the diode block.
It has just a few wires.The black wire....Measure the volts on it to the battery negative terminal.
It should be close to the battery volts.If it is,look close at its green ground and yellow wire connection.scrutinize the yellow connections at the diode block too.
Remove and clean all the ground connections at the frame that relate to the diode block and regulator module.
If the volts on that black wire is low,over 0.6 volts below the battery,temporarily jump a wire from it to the battery positive post and test again.This is the regulator sense wire.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:18 pm

virgilmobile wrote:The 1000 uses a separate regulator from the diode block.
It has just a few wires.The black wire....Measure the volts on it to the battery negative terminal.
It should be close to the battery volts.If it is,look close at its green ground and yellow wire connection.scrutinize the yellow connections at the diode block too.
Remove and clean all the ground connections at the frame that relate to the diode block and regulator module.
If the volts on that black wire is low,over 0.6 volts below the battery,temporarily jump a wire from it to the battery positive post and test again.This is the regulator sense wire.


An easier way to measure that is to measure the black (sense) wire of the regulator against the battery positive terminal when the bike is running. If it's anything other than zero (or very close to zero), then there's your problem. If not, then there is a bad connection on that sense wire, probably in the ignition switch. Measure the green (ground) wire against the battery positive terminal, which should read close or very close to the battery voltage. If not, then there is a bad ground someplace.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Lastwachter » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:14 pm

Ok so here is what I just did.

Started the bike up and revved it until the volt gauge went up above 16 volts. I tested the battery again using the positive and negative terminals and once again was getting numbers just above 18 volts on my multimeter.

I then placed the black tester into the back of the regulator plugs black wire so it was touching the metal clip and the red tester onto the positive terminal of the battery and was getting readings jumping around from 5.25 to 3.49...ish.

So that means the regulator is bad and needs replacing? If so do you have any recommendations as to whether I should get another used OEM regulator or a new aftermarket one?

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:02 pm

If I read your method correctly,you have a voltage drop on the black wire feeding the regulator of above 4 volts.this is a significant drop and the direct cause of the high voltage.i usually suggest a relay to fix this but because your drop is so large,I'm gonna suggest a few other things.
First the test method is correct.
Black wire from volt meter on the battery positive...red wire from the meter on the black wire of the regulator....maximum voltage I expect is 0.6 volts.
Yours is above 3 volts.
Check this the same way..meter black wire to the battery positive.red test lead to the red wire on the diode block.this also should be zero volts.Move the red meter lead to the fuse box.This is the output from the ignition switch.All the switched fuses should also be zero volts.
I'll bet seven cents that the red wire is ok and all the fuses measure volts above 3 volts.
Iffin I'm right,the ignition switch is bad.
You can verify this by using a piece of wire connected to the fuse block and the other end stuffed into the red wire on the diode block(TESTING ONLY).

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:17 pm

Also look at the plug on the ignition switch.Another cause can be corroded connections.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Lastwachter » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:35 pm

Ok, looking at my Mechanics service manual the photo for the 78 gl1000 does not show the diode block and when I googled a picture of it, I did not see that dark red/brownish box on the left side of my bike. So I couldn't test that yet. :) However I did place the red tester on each of the fuses and they all registered above 1. The top one around 2 and the bottom one around 5. All of them above 1.0

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:18 pm

A quick and easy way to confirm it is the sense wire that is the problem is to take a wire and use it to connect the positive post of the battery to the black wire in the regulator - don't leave it like this, do it for testing only! Once you've done that, start the bike up and see if the voltage rises like it did before. I'm betting that this will fix the problem. If so, then like Virgil said, a relay is in your future. I did the exact same thing to fix the exact same problem on my GL1100 and it works great.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:51 pm

A relay would fix the overvoltage problem but will not affect the low volts on the switched wire that operates the bike.
A 3-5 volt drop indicates a impending failiture somewhere.
Tend to that first then add the relay if the voltage drop persists.Usually a weak circuit is at 1.5 volts or less and can be fixed with the relay circuit.
a 4 volt drop on all the switched circuits feeling the headlight and ignition is more of a concern.
You need to get the voltage drop reduced to below 1.5 volt or less to keep the bike running,then tend to the overcharge problem.
As the drop decreases,so will the overcharge.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Lastwachter » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:51 am

Ok so what I am reading from both of your posts (thank you very much, by the way), is I should run a relay from the black wire on the regulator (where I tested before) to the positive terminal on the battery. I check with a wire to make sure this works in getting the volts where they need to be. If so I then create a permanent relay, which would consist of a wire with a fuse in it. Is this correct? If so what size wire and fuse would you recommend?

Also, because of the high volt readings this also means most likely a device on the bike is faulty and if left alone will eventually fail. Correct? If so I also need to find out what this is exactly. Should I still be looking at the ignition as a possible culprit? Even though the fuses were all reading high. How should I test the items to find out who is at fault?

Thanks again guys!

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:40 am

Fix the large voltage drop problem.
It's most likely corrosion at the ignition switch,the switch itself,corroded ground connections,or even a connection problem at the start solenoid and dog bone fuse....
All connections must be cleaned first before a relay mod can be done.
PM sent..Virgil

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:51 am

Lastwachter wrote:Also, because of the high volt readings this also means most likely a device on the bike is faulty and if left alone will eventually fail. Correct? If so I also need to find out what this is exactly. Should I still be looking at the ignition as a possible culprit? Even though the fuses were all reading high. How should I test the items to find out who is at fault?

Thanks again guys!


It's not going to be a device failing that is causing the high voltage. The problem, as Virgil noted, is likely with your ignition switch, or a connector in between there and your regulator.

The black wire on the regulator is the "sense" wire. It is connected to your ignition switch, and gets switched 12 volts when the bike is turned on. When the regulator sees no voltage on the sense wire, it turns itself off. When you turn the bike on, it supplies power from the battery on this sense wire. The regulator looks at that voltage, and depending on the voltage it sees, adjusts the amount of voltage it is putting out from the stator.

So if it sees 14 volts on that wire, it will reduce its output so as to not overcharge the battery. If it sees only 11 volts, it will boost its output to compensate to bring the voltage back up.

In your case, a bad connection somewhere is restricting the amount of voltage the regulator is seeing on the sense wire. You said you were seeing between a 3-5 volt difference between that sense wire and the battery terminal, so this means even though the bike's system voltage is at 16 volts, the regulator is seeing only 11-12 volts. As a result, it continues to try to boost the voltage, which is why you're seeing very high voltages.

The first thing to do is to fix whatever is causing the voltage drop. A 3-5 volt drop is significant enough that it indicates a very poor connection - corrosion in a connector is a likely cause. It's possible that fixing this will cause the drop to lower down to 0.5 volts, in which case your problem is solved.

In the case of my GL1100, the combination of 4-5 connectors all 30+ years old, was dropping the voltage by almost 2 volts. Nothing I did fixed it. So I installed a relay: The sense wire was disconnected from the regulator, and instead connected to the coil of the relay. Instead of turning the regulator on, it turned the relay on. I then ran a fused wire from the battery positive terminal, through the relay, and into the regulator, in place of the old sense wire. This provides the regulator with a very direct connection (and very accurate reading of voltage) to the battery, so that it regulates the system voltage accurately.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Lastwachter » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:01 pm

Wanted to check in and let you guys know what I turned up. I found that the 30amp inline fuse was corroded. So after I replaced that I did another line check with the bike under load I found that the ignition switch was the issue.

If I bypassed it the volts came down to normal. So I purchased a new switch.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:45 pm

Good news! An easy fix.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby Lastwachter » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:53 pm

Yup :) But of course now, while working on that I started getting oil out of the exhaust! Just won't end. ;)

Ill be putting together a post for that soon.

Thanks for all your help!

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby mytown » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:44 am

WingAdmin wrote:
In the case of my GL1100, the combination of 4-5 connectors all 30+ years old, was dropping the voltage by almost 2 volts. Nothing I did fixed it. So I installed a relay: The sense wire was disconnected from the regulator, and instead connected to the coil of the relay. Instead of turning the regulator on, it turned the relay on. I then ran a fused wire from the battery positive terminal, through the relay, and into the regulator, in place of the old sense wire. This provides the regulator with a very direct connection (and very accurate reading of voltage) to the battery, so that it regulates the system voltage accurately.

Thanks for this explanation. Now that I think I understand this, I'm wondering if the same problem might affect voltmeter readings. If so, is there a relay solution for both the regulator and the voltmeter? I'm talking about a typical voltmeter like the one found in an old gauge cluster which is what I have.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:57 am

The volt meter is tied to the switched ignition wire and if its a bit low,the meter will display that.If you find this annoying the same relay could provide the voltage from the battery to the regulator black wire AND the voltmeter.
This is where I hooked my digital one to.

Make note that the relay mod will not improve the voltage on the harness black wire,so anything connected to it will be running on the "old" wiring.
This includes the headlight and ignition.
Usually not noticible but too much loss and the lights can get a touch dimmer.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby mytown » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:14 am

virgilmobile wrote:The volt meter is tied to the switched ignition wire and if its a bit low,the meter will display that.If you find this annoying the same relay could provide the voltage from the battery to the regulator black wire AND the voltmeter.


OK, so is it best to just split the output wire coming out of a single relay and send it to the regulator and the voltmeter; or to use two separate relays like this one (ignoring 87a);
or use something like this that sends juice from the battery (30, correct?) to two separate places:

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:47 am

Just split the output of the relay to both and connect "fused 10 amp" battery power to terminal #87.
Use terminal #30 to feed the regulator black and voltmeter.
#85 is grounded and #86 is connected to the harness black.
You must cut the wire (12 volt ignition)off the meter and insulate it.This wire would be hot with the key on so insulate (dog it off) it.
A # 14 wire is sufficient for these circuits.

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Re: GL1000 reading over 16 volts

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:06 am

Here's the pictures Virgil posted the last time he explained this:

Image

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