1980 GL1100 Tail light


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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davefx
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1980 GL1100 Tail light

Postby davefx » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:22 pm



i have a problem with my 1980 GL1100 that i just purchased. When the key is in the running position i have a brake light but no tail light. but if i turn the key to the far right position all other functions turn off but the tail light comes on.
any guesses as to the problem? would it be in the ignition switch? the fuses are all good.
as such i cannot ride at night. any suggestions would be helpful, thank you



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WingAdmin
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Re: 1980 GL1100 Tail light

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:58 pm

The tail light can light up through one of two different fuses, depending on the position of the key switch.

If the key switch is in the park position, the tail light is connected to +12V via the 5 amp PARK fuse. This tells us that the wiring between the ignition switch and the tail light is intact.

If the key switch is in the ON position, the tail light is powered through the 5 amp TAIL fuse. This fuse also powers the turn signals and dash lights.

So...if your dash lights and turn signals also do not work when the ignition is in the ON position, the problem is likely going to be with the tail light fuse.

If the dash lights and turn signals DO work with the ignition in the ON position, I would guess that the most likely culprit is the ignition switch itself. Follow the wires coming from the ignition switch - you will see two wires, both colored brown with white stripe. With the switch in the ON position, short these two wires together. If your tail light comes on, then the problem is with your ignition switch. If not...well, if not, then reply to this message and we'll go on with the next step of troubleshooting. :)

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davefx
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Re: 1980 GL1100 Tail light

Postby davefx » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:38 pm

yes, the bike is new to me. when the key is in the ON position the headlight works as well as all blinkers. the ntl. light works so does the high beam. but i have no tail lights, no dash light and the gauges or tech work. when the key is in the p position the tail light and only the tail light comes on.
its putting a real damper on night riding. other then that the bike is in great shape

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Re: 1980 GL1100 Tail light

Postby sparrowhawwk » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:03 pm

It is hard to tell if the tail light is working when the brake light is on. Pull the tail lens off so you can see the bulbs and determine if one or both filaments in the bulbs are lit. If both are lit then pull the wires off of the front brake light switch. If that is not it then turn the adjuster nut on the rear brake light switch until you are sure the switch is returning far enough to be in the off position. I'm betting the rear switch if you have two filaments on. If you only have one filament on have someone put the brake on while you watch the bulb. If the second filament lights then follow the wires to where they are plugged in wrong. If not follow them anyway to see if one is unplugged. That's the simple stuff. Now onto the fuses and ignition switch. A good shot of WD40 in the ignition switch will sometimes provide temporary success.

Forgot to mention. The full right position on the key is park. It allows you to remove the key and leave the tail light on if parked on the side of the road. :mrgreen:

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davefx
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Re: 1980 GL1100 Tail light

Postby davefx » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:40 am

Thank you gentlemen for your quick reply to my problem and for your advise.
With a newly purchased test light I discovered that the second fuse connection prongs from the right on the fuse block, "parking" are dead. Why? I dont know. So I found a wire hot with the key on and ran a wire back to the tail lights. It functions fine.
I still have no dashboard cluster lights and my fuel, temp. gauges and tech still dont work but these are a much less concern for now.
I can ride at night !!

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Re: 1980 GL1100 Tail light

Postby Wingsconsin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:06 am

It may be the fuse block itself is going bad causing corosion and heat to develop.
I found this when I had a problem with the headlight and ended up replacing the fuse block and upgrading to modern balde fuses...
Here is the thread that covers that...if you want to fix everything in there..

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=14320
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littlebeaver
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Re: 1980 GL1100 Tail light

Postby littlebeaver » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:59 pm

davefx wrote:Thank you gentlemen for your quick reply to my problem and for your advise.
With a newly purchased test light I discovered that the second fuse connection prongs from the right on the fuse block, "parking" are dead. Why? I dont know. So I found a wire hot with the key on and ran a wire back to the tail lights. It functions fine.
I still have no dashboard cluster lights and my fuel, temp. gauges and tech still dont work but these are a much less concern for now.
I can ride at night !!

Isn't that a 7 volt regulator issue WingAdmin. the gauges not working like that?

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WingAdmin
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Re: 1980 GL1100 Tail light

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:43 pm

Running a hot wire manually back to the taillight is the wrong way to fix this problem. As I noted, with the symptoms you describe, the problem is with the fuse for the tail lights. Have you checked for voltage on BOTH sides of the tail light fuse? If you remove the fuse, test it, and it still checks out OK, you need to remove the fuse block itself and check for a broken wire or corrosion.




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