Fuel guage and Temperature guage


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Solina Dave
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Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby Solina Dave » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:49 pm



Hi everybody. I'm back!

I have a 1978 Honda GL1000. The fuel and temperature guages are acting unusual. First, let me say that the 12 volt to 7 volt regulator tested good with a 6.99 volt output.
The owners manual says that the normal operating temperature of the motorcycle is indicated when the needle of the temperature guage is in the white zone. When my engine is up to highway running speed, the needle sits about 1/3 of the way into the black area, up from the blue (cool end). The only time that I see it into the white, is when I'm idling, and the engine warms up and approaches the point at which the cooling fan will kick in. Hot, and into the red, is obviously bad news, but is an indication that I'm apparently running unusually cool, a problem. I alway figured that cool would be better, but the manual says, normal is in the white section, and of course, I want to be normal.
Also, my fuel guage reads at the 1st line, below the full line, even when the tank is topped right up. Normally the fuel guage needle would be slightly above the full mark when the tank was completely full. Do you think my fuel tank sending unit is defective, or at least, out of calibration. I see that apparently, there is a calibration adjuster on the sender.

Any input would be welcome. Thank you..................Dave


"Assume Nothing"

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:21 pm

Dave,

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

If your 7V regulator is showing 6.99volts I think that's great. I wouldn't really worry about where the gauge reads only to the extent it stays well to the left out of the red zone.
Ambient temperature and the type of riding you do (stop start or highway or just cruising), the correct level and mix of coolant, and how hard you ride the bike are all influencing factors on the motor temperature. If the gauge shows just above the thinner portion of the white line in these conditions everything is working as it should. If it gets to halfway and the fan kicks in - then that is good also. If it goes up quickly and the fan doesn't kick in - then that is not good. Riding in Alaska and Florida there would be differences in where the gauge shows with the same riding conditions apart from ambient temperature.

With my current ride being a CX500 Custom (very similar radiator), it goes over the thinner white line when the weather is really hot and I am riding aggressively or keeping the revs up, but drops back to normal when I settle back and relax.

Even the Goldwing in over 100 degree heat yesterday and with plain water in the radiator managed to get to halfway in about 10 minutes of idling, and revving the motor - I wanted to make sure the fan kicked in (I have an override switch as well). When the old coolant was in the radiator it struggled to get the fan kicking in and into the thicker white line.

The fuel gauge I would not touch - if it is just a hair out.

Expecting another day over the old 100 scale

:D

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tom84std
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Re: Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby tom84std » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:27 pm

With the bikes I have now, the only fuel gauge I have to go by is the tripometer. Even when I was riding my Goldwings I still used the tripometer. I just got used to it. It was like a backup. Fill the tank and reset the meter. Ride it 150 miles and see where the gauge sits and that can be your benchmark.
Without replacing your thermostat, about all you can do is the 'feel' test. With the engine cool, you can start the bike and monitor the gauge and wait for the top hose to get warm, indicating that the thermostat has opened.
If yours is like most, the fan should come on at about 2/3 of the white range marking, then go back off at about 1/3 of the same. That's about where both of my Goldwings operated.
The bike I have now is liquid cooled, but only has an overheat indicator, no gauge. I miss it too.

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Solina Dave
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Re: Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby Solina Dave » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:27 pm

Thank you gentlemen.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it". I've heard that advice all my life. I have two problems with that. One being, anything that isn't working the way it was designed, to me is broken. And secondly, I'm a cronic tinkerer. I just like to tinker. I've had this motorcycle since I bought it new in the fall of 1977, and 650,000+ kms. later it still takes me about 20,000 kms. every season. And, my riding season is only 6 months long.
I agree with you Charlie, when you say basically, if it's running cool, and the fan comes on when it should, not to worry. Also, the fuel guage is out by about 25%, which I think is a little more than a hair.
And Tom, I agree with you regarding the use of the trip meter. I'm quite vigilant in keeping a close eye on my fuel levels. I've never run out of fuel. I do however, appreciate the reserve section of my fuel tank from time to time. That was good thinking!
I guess the part that catches my attention the most, is that since day one, my temperature guage always ran in the centre when I was all warmed up, and my fuel guage always sat just a bit above the full mark when the tank was filled up, and both scenarios changed at about the same time last spring. That's pretty coincidental. Anyway it's nice talking with you. I really appreciate having the opportunity to communicate with people, like yourselves, who understand. It helps me get through the winter!

Cheers................Dave
"Assume Nothing"

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:42 am

Dave,

Just throw another thought at you. My new to me wing did not want to play the game with the fuel gauge - very slow to respond and same with the temp gauge - I took the tank gauge wiring on top of the tank off and cleaned the contacts until they were a lot cleaner than when I started. Put some spray "lanoshield" over them and reinstalled. The fuel gauge responded a lot quicker, and showed a hair more than before. The temp gauge - my wiring has been played with a fair bit - and a manual toggle in line switch included. Basically the fan switch had some extensions run from it back to the temp sensor, and the fan hookup. I cleaned these and found the fan does kick in by itself (means thermo switch is good). These connections were also quite corroded and are now nice and clean.

Might be time for a bit of cleaning ?

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tom84std
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Re: Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby tom84std » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:36 am

Aussie, you reminded me of something kinda funny. My 84 used to be my brother's. He gave it to me about five years ago. When I got it from him it had a toggle switch inside the fuel cap recess, under the locked fuel door. He told me that his fan had stopped working so he installed the switch. When it got too warm, he stopped the bike, turned on the fan and continued.
I didn't like that. I was a factory field rep for a machinery company for 27 years. I'd spent my life going behind people and removing TIP's "Technician Installed Problems" and returning machinery to factory specs. Basically undoing things people had done in an attempt to repair something.
I got the factory schematic, discovered the fuse located under the seat. Found it blown. Renewed it, removed the toggle switch and returned the wiring to factory specs. It's worked perfectly since.
When the fan had stopped working, he assumed the thermal switch was bad, so he had wired in the switch. I just looked at the schematic.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:32 pm

It's possible still that your voltage regulator might be failing. When you measured it, did you measure it with any load? Or did you pull it out and check it outside the bike? Check the output of the voltage regulator when it is installed in the bike, and when the gauges are not reading properly - make sure it is still showing ~7 volts. It's possible it is failing under load, and the output voltage is dropping as a result.

Also, check the voltage right at the meters - make sure it is still getting ~7 volts there, to ensure it's not a wiring/connector issue.

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Solina Dave
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!977 Honda CB550F (my 1st motorcycle)

Re: Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby Solina Dave » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:22 pm

Thank you, that's a good point. I did check the voltage output with no load and I have to admit that I was very impressed with the full 7 volt output. Do you think that it's possible to still read a full 7 volts, even under load, or will there always be a certain amount of voltage drop with any load? That, assuming all the connections are perfect.
I 'll have to wait for Mother Nature to back off a little bit, so that I don't freeze to death working inside my storage shed. Then, I'll test everything under load at the guage terminals.
I wonder if these regulators are tested under load, by the manufacturer's quality control department, when they're made? I'm thinking that the output voltage, under load, would be dependent on the quality of the regulators internal construction, and could vary as a result. But then I am somewhat of a sceptic. Or, maybe just old and grumpy!

Thanks again................Dave
"Assume Nothing"

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WingAdmin
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Re: Fuel guage and Temperature guage

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:55 pm

The regulators should put out a full 7 volts up to their design current. At that point, the voltage will very likely drop off - to the point where the regulator itself fails. So being that the draw of the meters is below the design current of the regulator, you should be seeing a full 7 volts at the meters.




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