1978 GL1000 wiring problem

Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000

1978 GL1000 wiring problem

Post by stevetheroze » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:08 pm


I have a 1978 GL1000 with Vetter fairing. When I turn the key on, it starts and runs perfectly, but my headlight will not turn on and the blinkers do not blink. Originally, my radio also did not work. I found that the contacts were bad in my start switch and thought that would take care of my problem. Now, my radio works great, but I still do not have a headlight or blinkers (they just do not blink). Any help would be appreciated.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 wiring problem

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:53 am

You could have two different problems. Do the turn signals turn on but don't flash? If that's the case, you might want to look at your turn signal. Also check the voltage coming from your battery - low battery voltage can cause turn signals not to flash.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 wiring problem

Post by goldtr6c » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:14 am

Start with your ground wire. Run a jumper to test if need be.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 wiring problem

Post by thrasherg » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:40 am

As wing man says, do the blinkers light up, but not flash or do they not light up at all? If they light up but don't flash, then I would suspect the flasher relay or a bad earth. If they don't light up at all, then I would suspect a fuse, wiring issue or bad flasher relay..
It should be fairly easy to diagnose the problem if you can find the flasher relay. There are 2 or 3 wires going to the flasher relay.
One is a positive 12 volt supply, the second goes to the blinker lights and the third wire (if present) is a ground. If you can find the relay check the 12 volts is present, if it isn't you need to trace back to the fuse and find if it's a fuse or wiring issue.
If 12volts is present then try using a jumper wire to bridge the 12 volts to the wire going to the blinker bulbs. If the bulbs light up then your Flasher relay is bad, if they don't light up then you either have dead bulbs or a wiring issue. You will need to take a volt meter and see if you have 12 volts at the bulb (put the negative lead of the voltmeter on the battery negative connection and use the positive lead to trace the 12 volts). If you have 12 volts at the bulb, then your earth is bad, if you don't have 12 volts then the wiring is damaged between the flasher relay and the bulb.

Hope this helps. It's not as complicated as it sounds.. :)


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Re: 1978 GL1000 wiring problem

Post by 78AzWing » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:57 pm

The Vetter is an aftermarket item on the '78. :ugeek:

As you are sitting on the bike there should be a square plug and receptacle on the left side between the fairing and the neck on the bike. It is a nine pin plug.
If it was wired right by whom-ever installed the fairing in the first place.

Unsnap the cover on that side of the fairing and you can see the inside part of the receptacle that is mounted on the wall of the pocket area. You can see all the wires and where they go from there.

Holding the plug in one hand and the inside part of the receptacle in the other, press them firmly together. With a little luck your lights will now work.

If not , then disconnect the plug and use your voltmeter to check to see if you have power to the different pins.

Oh, yeah. And check your fuses also.

The turn signals should also act as running lights on the front. So they should be lit any time the bike is running, just like the rear turn signal lights do.
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Re: 1978 GL1000 wiring problem

Post by stevetheroze » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:44 pm

Solved the problem: cheap clamps on connectors behind the cover over the orignal headlight. Cut out the bad connections, stripped the wires, and wire nutted them together and we are good to go. Thank you all for your suggestions!

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