Starting issue


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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timwingard
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Arlington, Va
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Starting issue

Postby timwingard » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:06 pm



I have a second goldwing I am trying to bring back to life. It is a 1983 that seems to have an Aspencade wiring harness although it has regular instrumentation. The previous owner mixed a 82 Interstate and this 83 Aspencade to create an 83 hybrid. My issue is that I am not getting spark at the plugs. I think I have isolated the issue to the primary side. I know the spark units are ok, I put them in my running bike and they work. I swapped the coils with the 82 and get the same reading and believe they are ok. I am getting 12 volts into the black and while wire coming into the coil. But when I connect the black and while wire to the coil and test with the ignition on, I am only getting about 4 volts. This seems to be the issue, something is drawing down the voltage, but it happens regardless of which set of coils I have on it and like I said the spark units both work. Running resistence tests on the pickup coils test out ok as well. The guy I bought it from told me the bike was working and just quite while he was out on his test ride. So if we assume the coils are ok, and spark units are ok and the pickup coils are ok, what could be drawing down the voltage? Any ideas of how to find out where the other 8 volts are going? My 81 measures 12 volts at the black and white wire when connected to the coil so this has me puzzled. (Also, even though the manual says the 81 doesnt have a resistor in the ignition system, I can see it mounted to the bottom of the coil, just like the 82 and 83 coils and it looks like it is wired in as well. What is up with that?)



timwingard
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Arlington, Va
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Starting issue

Postby timwingard » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:23 pm

I continue to work on this issue. I am trying to check the coils to see if they are good. I suspect they are. The Ohm test seemed to be ok, but actually seeing a spark would prove it. I took off the coils and put plugs in two plug caps which are connected to one coil. I grounded the plugs with jumper cables. I grounded the coils. I disconnected the yellow wire from the applicable coil. I connected the black wire to the positive lead from a spare charge car battery. I then touched the yellow terminal of the coil to the battery ground. I got spark from the ground, but no spark at the plugs. From my understanding when I ground the yellow terminal the primary circuit should charge and when I take it away the change in magnetic field in the coil should cause a spark. I get nothning from either plug. What am I doing wrong or is there a way I can test the coils?

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7663
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: Starting issue

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:49 am

It sounds like all the parts are there.
The system is split into 3 parts...the coil,the module that pulses it and the pulse coils.
The low voltage you see is normal....To get a spark,you will have to "pulse"the pickup coil.
Personally,I'd test it on the bike...here's a link on how to test the pulse with a volt meter.viewtopic.php?t=11800&p=57244.

timwingard
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Arlington, Va
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Starting issue

Postby timwingard » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:29 pm

Virgil, I need to go and reread that link you sent me on how to pulse the coil. I haven't done that yet. I did an olmmeter test on the pulse coils and they appeared to be ok. I also did the olmmeter test on the coils and they seemed ok as well. I tested the spark units from the 83 in my 81 and they worked fine. I have an extra set of coils and tried them in the 83 and still no spark. I purchased a cheap ignition tester and hooked it on my working 81 at the plug and saw a very strong spark when cranking. Did the same on the bike with the issue and there was no spark at all. I am concerned that the coils might not be working and I want to test them but I don't want to tear down the 81 just to test them there and for me it is too hard to get to them without taking off the fairing of my working bike. I saw a youtube video on how to test a coil from a older British car which seemed to have the same type of coil and resister. I used a 12 volt car battery, ran a wire from the positive terminal to one side of primary and connected a wire with a bolt to the other side of the primary. I then connected a wire to the negative side of the terminal. I would run the wire from the negative terminal down the bolt where the nut goes. This is suppose to simulate the pulse coil and create a week spark at the secondary. This resulted in a lot of sparks at the bolt but nothing at the secondary. I would feel better knowing the coils are good. If its not the coils, then it may be the pulse coils. Like I said at the beginning, I need to reread the link on pulsing the coils and see if I can figure out how to do it.

timwingard
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Arlington, Va
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Starting issue

Postby timwingard » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:33 pm

Virgil, I am not sure I understand what you are suggesting since I am unfamiliar with some of the terminology and wiring of a 1200. What I think you are suggesting is to connect into the upper connector where one of the pulse generators wiring connects. I assume the connectors of the olmmeter are above each of the wires coming out of the pulse generator. When I crank the motor I should expect a low volt reading around 2 volts or so. If I get a higher reading, it could indicate a bad pulse generator. I should do this check for each pulse generator. Is that what you are suggesting? Thanks again. I am not very experienced in testing electical connections so I need a little more clarification.

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7663
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: Starting issue

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:02 pm

That's about it.Identify one pulse coils wires.move the meter up to the ignition module,find the same wires.probe the 2 wires with the volt meter.Turn on the key and read the volts.
Unplug the pulse coil plug next to the battery and watch the volt meter.It should go up in voltage.
Trying to see If there is a pulse is much more difficult as it is very small and lasts for a short time.
As I remember,my 1200 measured a couple of volts when the coil was unhooked and somewhere around 0.75 volts when running.My post shows the exact meter reading.
I'll try a experiment tonight to test the coil while unhooked.
I'LL BE BACK :mrgreen:

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7663
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: Starting issue

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:36 pm

OK.I just did a bench test with spare parts.Note the volt meter is set on the lowest DC scale.the needle moves very little but does move.you should unplug the ignition module and probe the pulse coil wires.Verify you do measure some ohms to prove the wires are actually going to the pulse coil.It should be somewhere around 900 ohms or so.
switch the meter to DC. volts and bump the started a few times.It should wiggle the meter.
Here's the video....


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trashtruck
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:55 pm
Location: albany, New York
Motorcycle: 1982 gl1100 interstate

Re: Starting issue

Postby trashtruck » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:32 am

this is probably a dumb question but have you checked the kill switch? it's in line to the coils and i've had bugs get into mine to wreak havok.
WHAT IS THE SPEED OF DARK?

timwingard
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Arlington, Va
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Starting issue

Postby timwingard » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:08 pm

Virgil, I was able to test the pulse generators like you suggested today. I tested at the first connector from the pulse coil and again right before the spark unit. I see the bumping just like in your video. I also measure 2 volts of dc when I turn the ignition on and measure the voltage above the first connector going to each pulse coil. So current is being passed to the pulse coils? So it appears the pulse coils are pulsing and the spark units are working because I tested them on a working bike.
Maybe I just need to get a new set of coils.

timwingard
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Arlington, Va
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Starting issue

Postby timwingard » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:42 pm

Virgil, Thanks again for the demonstration video. Seeing your meter and my meter bouncing the same along with your tailored instructions were a big help. I have been worrying that the problem may have been in the pulsating coils or the wiring from them to the first connection or even from the first connection to the spark units. This test seems to demonstrate that the coils are doing there job and the pulse is making it to the sparking units so that part of the system and wiring seems to be ok.

timwingard
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Arlington, Va
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Starting issue

Postby timwingard » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:40 pm

Trashtruck, I thought I eliminated the kill switch a while back but I can't remember what I did. When I crank it, it does resemble cranking with the kill switch on, cranks faster. But I am not going to be able to look at it for a couple weeks. Thanks for taking the time to provide your input.




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