Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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bluec10
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Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000

Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby bluec10 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:15 pm



Hey. The subject says it all. I've just spent a bunch of hours lying on my garage floor beside my '79 GL replacing the @%#*&&%%#@@! neutral safety switch. I bought a new one from Honda and believed that I was on the way to getting rid of the green light from hell. When I took it for a test drive nothing changed; in fact it was worse. Before it would glow green when it was in any gear, but brighten when it was in neutral. Now it is like a demented green beacon all the time.

The neutral light and the starter lock-out need to work to pass government safety. I had the bike inspected a week ago and everything passed except the neutral light. If I don't fix the problem and get the bike back for inspection within 30 days I have to do the whole safety inspection over again. Ahhhh.

Any help or suggestions that you can offer would be very welcome. Thanks in advance.



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Fred Camper
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby Fred Camper » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:06 am

Post soon next time, when you are dirty, defeated but not yet depressed. Not sure about a 79, but on my 1977 there is a diode in the circuit under the left side false tank cover. If this diode goes bad, it allows current to flow both ways and the condition you describe happens. Yet when I look at the wiring diagram for your 1979, these relays are gone. My bet is there is still a failed diode somewhere.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:40 am

Unhook the wire on the neutral switch.Does the light go out?If yes,the switch is at fault.If the light stays on,it's wiring.

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FADM Stern GNSF
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby FADM Stern GNSF » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:57 am

I have the same problem, and have determined the switch is bad (2 ohm nuetral, 130-500 ohm any gear). Is there a way to get it out without having to drop the engine, as the frame rail is right infront of it. anyone have any good tricks to get it out without having to drop the whole engine ?
1979 GL1000
1982CX500C

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virgilmobile
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:10 am

I loosened the engine mount right next to it,used a pry bar,and flexed the frame a little away from the engine.It only needs a little to wiggle the switch out.
Disassemble it and clean it up before you just chunk it.I cleaned mine and used new seals and checked it before I put it back in. 5 years ago.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:38 am

If the bike is on, in gear, and you pull the clutch lever in, does the neutral light come on? If so, then the diode is the problem.

bluec10
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby bluec10 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:43 pm

To get at the switch I stopped at the lumberyard and bought two packs of door shims. I drained the oil/filter, took off the exhaust, supported the engine with a jack, and removed the front and side motor mount bolts. Then I used the shims to move the frame away from the motor. I shimmed on both sides of the front motor mount until I could fit a small chisel between the motor mount and the engine. I slowly tapped in the chisel until I had enough room to take out the switch. While I was at it I cleaned the oils screen.

Some guys use a pry bar to move the frame, but I think there is a bigger chance of damaging something that way. Wooden shims don't scratch and allow you to work slowly - can't go wrong for $4.

When I rk up the energy I'll trouble shoot the electrical. Where does the neutral switch wire connect on the "north" end?

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WingAdmin
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:53 am

bluec10 wrote:When I rk up the energy I'll trouble shoot the electrical. Where does the neutral switch wire connect on the "north" end?


I too use wood door shims for all kinds of stuff other than shimming door frames. :)

There is a +12V feed that goes through the neutral light bulb, and from there to the switch. The switch connects the wire to ground (completing the circuit and thus turning the light on) when the bike is in neutral.

okstay
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby okstay » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:33 pm

The neutral wire on your goldwing is green with a red stripe. The switch only completes the ground to make the light come on. If you disconnect the wire from the switch and the light stays on, you have a short to ground in the green wire with a red stripe. In other words, your green/red wire is pinched somewhere to ground. Remember, the wire going to the neutral switch is only a ground wire. If you can't find where it is shorted to ground, disconnect it and run a new wire from the neutral switch to the neutral light. When the shifter cam, or shift drum as Honda calls it is in the neutral position, a high spot on the drum touches the neutral switch completing the ground and turns on the neutral light. If your light goes out when you disconnect the wire from the switch, then your switch is definitely bad. These neutral switches are very reliable and rarely go bad because they are so simple. However, if your bike has high mileage it is a possibility.
Also,if you recently had some work done on the front of your engine such as a water pump or the radiator removed, this is where I would look. I have had many of them pinched at a radiator mount. Good luck and let me know how you make out. Chris

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landisr
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby landisr » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:59 pm

Going back to the simple-things-first rule, have you checked to see if the in-gear illumination is bleeding over from adjacent bulbs in the instrument cluster?

Just a thought...

Ron in MI
Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.

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Fred Camper
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Re: Neutral Light: I'm Depressed, Defeated, and Dirty

Postby Fred Camper » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:07 pm

Something to keep in mind regarding dim neutral lights, or dim high beam lights. There is a plastic separation wall between those two bulbs. Honda did not intend for the high beam and neutral to be on at the same time for extended periods. So when a neutral circuit goes bad, melting a hole in that wall often results. Easy to fix if you resolve the neutral circuit, a piece of electrical tape seals it good enough.




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