Strange electrical problem


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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reggiefavre
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:39 pm
Location: Petal, Ms
Motorcycle: 1981 GL Interstate

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by reggiefavre » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:12 pm



Had the same problem with a 76 LTD. It was the push button that made the starter work. It would stick between on/off. Took it apart and cleaned it.



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SlowTyper
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:37 am
Location: Pierre, SD
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by SlowTyper » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:24 pm

Double check that the battery cable terminals are rigid tight against the battery posts, and absolutely will not move when you pull them.

I have seen a case where the battery post screws were a hair too long, and bottomed out before the connection was super tight. This made the connections appear to be tight when checked with a wrench, but the cable would swivel if you tried to move it using a bit of force, indicating it was not truly clamped down tight.

I might note that a bad starter solenoid would cause the same symptoms (except the battery would still show voltage). The solenoid disconnects the lights before it connects the starter. Thus, if it was working halfway, everything else would go dead, but the starter would not quite engage.

Blimpie
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:04 pm
Location: Cantonment, Florida
Motorcycle: 2005 GL1800

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by Blimpie » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:45 pm

I had a similar problem of not starting during a trip from Florida to Alaska and return, in June/2017 (See Feb/18 Gold Wing 'Rider Rides'). Stopped for gas and then try to restart my 2005 GL1800 trike but everything is dead. Battery and leads were cleaned before starting the trip, along with other preventative maintenance. After several attempts and checking, my travelling companion suggests putting trike in gear with key off and 'rock it back and forth a few times'. Sounded crazy but I did it. Then I get aboard, turn the key on, press the starter, and VOILA, started each time! Haven't delved into problem but seems somewhere in starter/solenoid/or tranny.

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jeffcosmo
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:26 pm
Location: Burlington, WI (Honey Lake)
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Aspencade (parts bike)

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by jeffcosmo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:41 am

SlowTyper wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:24 pm
I might note that a bad starter solenoid would cause the same symptoms (except the battery would still show voltage). The solenoid disconnects the lights before it connects the starter. Thus, if it was working halfway, everything else would go dead, but the starter would not quite engage.
Not so. The starter button on the Honda GoldWing (and most other bikes post-headlight law) is actually two switches: in the released position, it switches power from positive to the headlight circuit, thus powering the headlight. In the pressed position, it switches power from the positive to the starter solenoid, thus providing more battery power to the starter circuit than would be available with the headlight 'on'. The solenoid itself has nothing to do with the headlight circuit.

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Mean Wing
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:46 am
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Motorcycle: 1978 Honda GL1000 (K3)
2002 Honda GL1800

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by Mean Wing » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:44 am

WingAdmin wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:25 am
You had resistance between the battery terminal and the battery lead - enough that the terminal has partially melted, and has also melted the plastic case of the battery!

Often with wet cell (flooded) batteries, the types that have vents, this is caused by the vent hose not being in place. The corrosive gases emitted by the battery, instead of being plumbed overboard by the battery vent hose, instead collect around the battery terminal, because the vent nipple is right next to it. Those corrosive gases do exactly that - corrode - the terminals, causing resistance and ending up in the situation you see there.
Thanks for that explanation Wing Admin! Though I should have realized this long ago, I now dub you the "Stu Oltman" (from GWRRA's "WingWorld mag) of "Goldwing Docs." I only wished I had contacted you first, and saved me months of frustration and lost riding opportunities . . . :oops:

donaldwren
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:04 pm
Location: dothan,al
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Goldwing

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by donaldwren » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:49 pm

I had the same issue. The problem is in the start button. The switch can be rebuilt or replacing the entire housing. I rebuilt the switch twice before I purchased a new housing. The Honda engineers designed the electrical system to kill all power to the bike while the starter is engaged.

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octane94
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:34 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by octane94 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:53 pm

The problem was definitely the battery. I got a new battery and installed it, and the bike has been perfect since.

The old battery I had sitting on the bench. I put my meter on the battery this afternoon and measured it and it was at 0 volts. I left my meter on the battery terminals, then gave the battery a whack, and the meter suddenly read 12.1 volts.

Thanks to everyone who helped out!!

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AZgl1800
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Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by AZgl1800 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:27 pm

donaldwren wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:49 pm
I had the same issue. The problem is in the start button. The switch can be rebuilt or replacing the entire housing. I rebuilt the switch twice before I purchased a new housing. The Honda engineers designed the electrical system to kill all power to the bike while the starter is engaged.

uh, no, they did not...

all the start switch does is to remove power from the headlights.
~John

See you at NASR-11 July 10th, 11th, 12th 2018

http://www.northamericangoldwings.com/c ... 9-nasr-11/

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

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:11 pm

Keep in mind that the original post indicates that the whole bike goes dead.No nuthin.No dash lights...just dead.
It's not the start button.

Shadownb
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:28 pm
Location: Sussex Corner, NB, Canada
Motorcycle: 2005 Gl1800
2006 VFR800
2012 Burgman 650

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by Shadownb » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:31 pm

I have had 2 batteries in the past separate inside to the point at times everything was dead (same brand). Some times if I tried to sort of twist the battery with a small pry bar, I would get power. First time was when refueling, found sometimes moving the bike would allow them to reconnect. It started on a boost that time. Happened a few more times, some times a boost would help, other times it wouldn't. Took a while to figure it out, wasted a lot of time checking other things out. Ended up putting battery on bench and was able to duplicate the problem. New battery cured it. Was on an 1988 Gl1500 back in 92. Then in 93, happened again, put in new battery, different brand, never had a problem after that, sold the bike in 2001 and still had that battery in it. Bike had 254,000 km on it. Thinking back at the time, it happened mostly after running the bike alot and think heat may have played a part in it, because the longer it sat, the easier it was to restore power.

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virgilmobile
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83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Strange electrical problem

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:42 pm

octane94 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:53 pm
The problem was definitely the battery. I got a new battery and installed it, and the bike has been perfect since.

The old battery I had sitting on the bench. I put my meter on the battery this afternoon and measured it and it was at 0 volts. I left my meter on the battery terminals, then gave the battery a whack, and the meter suddenly read 12.1 volts.

Thanks to everyone who helped out!!
Yeaaaaaa.A confirmed problem.Good job.
A bit more expensive than a hammer but more reliable.
Glad you found the problem.



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