Dead as a door nail!


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Mean Wing
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:46 am
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Motorcycle: 1978 Honda GL1000 (K3)
2002 Honda GL1800

Dead as a door nail!

Postby Mean Wing » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:18 pm



I was in the process of starting my 1978 GL1000, and after five, strong cranks, everything just stopped and went dark. I checked the Main Fuse and it's good. The Deka (AGM) Battery was installed last October and has been maintained on a Battery Tender since then, so that's not it. I'm completely (and literally) in the dark on this one. Can one of you incredibly talented Goldwing Docs please assist me in this troubleshooting process?



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virgilmobile
Posts: 7644
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Dead as a door nail!

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:44 pm

Do you have a test probe or volt meter?
Also,if your positive the battery is OK,remove its cables and clean them.This includes where the ground cable bolts to the frame.

User avatar
Mean Wing
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:46 am
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Motorcycle: 1978 Honda GL1000 (K3)
2002 Honda GL1800

Re: Dead as a door nail!

Postby Mean Wing » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:53 pm

Do you have a test probe or volt meter?


Yes, I do have a Volt Meter. However, I'm at the low end of the totem pole when it comes to "motorcycle maintenance" and "mechanical knowledge," so you'll have to be very "basic" and use simple terms if you have any troubleshooting suggestions. As far as the cables and connections, they are as clean as a whistle and secure. Remember, I was in the middle of a start sequence (and not moving) when all went dark and quiet . . .

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7644
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Dead as a door nail!

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:25 pm

Do not discount a corroded connection because it went dead.There's a lot of power drawn off the battery during cranking and any weak connection can fail.
As far as the next step...
Find the volts first...
Turn on the key...****This is necessary****
Use your volt meter,attaching each lead directly to the battery posts.Both of them.Not the frame or a wire or the bolt..touching the lead posts.
If the battery is good you should see at least 12 volts.Move the negative meter lead only to a bolt holding the carb on.You should still see 12 volts.
Move the meter positive lead to either red wire on the starter solenoid.12 volts should be there too,on both of them.You make connection by probing in the back of the plug.Do not unplug it.
Move the meter positive lead to the fusebox fuses.They should have volts also.
Where is there no volts and where are you touching the meter leads to when its gone?

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Mean Wing
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:46 am
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Motorcycle: 1978 Honda GL1000 (K3)
2002 Honda GL1800

Re: Dead as a door nail!

Postby Mean Wing » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:08 am

virgilmobile,

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but you've been kind enough to assist me, so here it goes. I started with my Volt meter this morning, and it pegged at "GOOD," only to then die on me the second time I went to use/check it. At the same time, I noticed the NEG terminal bolt appeared to be a bit discolored, almost as if it had been affected by heat. As I'm investigating all this, I realize that the bolt has worked its way loose, because I'm able to turn it with my fingers. Of course, no sooner do I rectify this with a Phillips head screwdriver, all my instrument lights come to life--Problem solved! From a cursory glance, yesterday's inspection gave me the impression that the connections were secure. Now I know better, to check them regardless. Back to being a happy camper!

I'll embarrass myself, again, while I'm at it. My little Radio Shack Volt meter only has "BATT" settings for "0.5V, 9V, and 1.5V." Is this not an appropriate tool for testing Automotive batteries? In other words, are there different Volt meters out there for mechanics?

User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 7644
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Dead as a door nail!

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:56 am

Even wall mart has cheap voltmeters that work well enough for what you need.I just got a free one with another purchase at Harbor freight.
Glad your bike is OK.




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