1100 died while moving


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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GoldWingRev
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1980 CB900 Custom (parted and sold)
1988 GL1500 (dark side 175/75-16)
Pull-behind trailer (my design)

1100 died while moving

Postby GoldWingRev » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:38 pm



Hey everyone!
I've been lurking this forum for some time, and now that I own a GoldWing at last (as of this June) and am in need of some pointers/assistance, it's high time for me to post.
The Machine: 1983 GL1100 Interstate, with some extra lights added. By "extra" I, of course, mean almost 2 dozen. The wiring is shoddily done but I'm working on it.
Situation: I got the bike with 111,700 miles (my older friends that know the Wing always chuckle and say "oh, just need some new oil and she's good to go"). I've put 5000 miles on it since then (I got it about 3 months ago). I made a 2000 mile trip to the East Coast on it, and was headed back when the bike started "coughing", or chugging. It felt like it ran out of gas for a moment, but what got my attention was the headlight flickering. I pulled over, and found that this thing here:

had come loose. That's the right side--the floor board is showing.

I don't think that had anything to do with what followed, but it happened. I had performed a few test rides, and the bike performed alright. At this point it was about 0200 and I was 110 miles from home. I figured what the hell, and continued on. The bike performed FLAWLESSLY for 30 miles, before it literally died while I was passing a truck. Nothing came on--lights, engine...nothing. I pulled over (this was essentially the Chicago Skyway--no easy feat despite the late hour). I had no idea where to start, but I hit the clock button to see and it came on. It also charged my phone (I called for a tow).

It's in my garage now, with a fully charged and functioning battery, which rules out the alternator (is there one? I thought the stator was the preferred). I've been told maybe a loose wire somewhere. My problem now is I don't know the bike well enough to know where things are. Has anybody come across this? If so, any ideas? You can even take rudimentary pictures and draw big red circles around them if you'd like. I DO have a repair guide from a Honda shop for the '80-'83 1100 (Clymer combines both 1000s and 1100s and only goes to '82), so I can try to follow. I just don't know where to start.

I'm sorry for the novel, I'm a bit of a writer. I'm also decades younger than most GW riders, and completely respect and look up to a lot of the members on here, and defer to your good judgements. Thanks, especially if i get a response.


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to." (Bilbo Baggins)

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wjnfirearms
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby wjnfirearms » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:11 pm

Welcome.

You're describing what sounds like an electrical gremlin. Problem is that something like this often takes a bit of detective work to pinpoint. Here's where I'd start. This will be a bit time consuming, but it's pretty much unavoidable. And there are no short cuts.

By fully functioning battery, do you mean that it has been load tested? Just because it shows a full charge doesn't mean that it doesn't have an internal problem. More common than you may believe and way too often overlooked. If you don't have a load tester, take it to some place like Auto Zone. They have one and will check it for free.

Ruling out the battery, check all cables starting with the battery. Check for corrosion, damage, burning. Of primary importance are all wiring in the starting and ignition circuits. Don't forget to check and clean all connectors and wiring blocks. Take the opportunity to clean anything that is cruddy whether or not it fixes the problem. Be proactive. If it looks iffy, fix or replace it. If you splice any wires, I'd STRONGLY recommend soldering the wires. I minimally trust crimp connectors for important wiring on a motorcycle.

Carefully check all fuses and the fuse block itself. Corrosion here is not uncommon. Carefully clean all the fuse terminals with a small file, emery cloth or a Dremel tool (nobody should be without a Dremel tool. I use it so much that I usually go through them every couple of years). Check the wiring to the rear of the block also.

If you haven't corrected the problem by this point, then it's time to delve more in depth. One step at a time.
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WingAdmin
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:18 pm

The fact that it is dying cold points to an electrical problem. The loose thing you're pointing to is a cover on the fuel pump. It shouldn't be loose, but I don't think it has anything to do with your problem.

I'd start by looking at two things. First is the "dogbone fuse" - the 30 amp master fuse that is located in the solenoid enclosure, on the left side next to the battery. It can develop cracks and open up intermittently, causing electrical failure when it does. When I experienced electrical failure like you describe, the dogbone fuse crumbled to dust in my fingers when I touched it.

The other is your ignition switch. The switch contacts inside it can get worn and/or dirty. If the bike dies, try wiggling the key and working the switch a bit to see if it comes back to life.

Start with those and get back to us!

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littlebeaver
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby littlebeaver » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:23 pm

Do not forget to check the ground at the frame that goes to the battery, also the common burnt plug connection from the Stator to the RR regulator recticifer plug, it lives above the battery side under the cover..three yellow wires......It sometimes over heats melting things.. :D

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GoldWingRev
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1980 CB900 Custom (parted and sold)
1988 GL1500 (dark side 175/75-16)
Pull-behind trailer (my design)

Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby GoldWingRev » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:28 am

Thank you all! This is why I joined.

Will do all this in the morning, God willing. I've been fighting a terrible stomach flu all night. I will get back to you all in a few hours.
"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to." (Bilbo Baggins)

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GoldWingRev
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:28 am
Location: Waukesha, WI
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1980 CB900 Custom (parted and sold)
1988 GL1500 (dark side 175/75-16)
Pull-behind trailer (my design)

Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby GoldWingRev » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:03 pm

Alright,
I went to take a look at the main fuse and this is what I saw:


A nasty melted mess. Is this something I can order from my favourite motorcycle shop, or is it something I can get at an auto-parts store? My repair manual is mum on the procedures for replacing this, but it looks straightforward.

Of some concern to me is the oxidation on the wires coming out of the top. I'm not very good with wires and things like that. I wonder if there is still a ground somewhere and that's why it melted. Could it be from age and distance? Or does this mean chasing more wires about?

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JDMAG
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby JDMAG » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:09 pm

Note to self....this might be a good spare part to carry! :shock:

Welcome to the forum! I appreciate your post although I am sorry for your inconvenience. I like you am learning. :)

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Oldbear
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby Oldbear » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:25 pm

Read this one:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=15398

It might help.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

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WingAdmin
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:53 pm

GoldWingRev wrote:Alright,A nasty melted mess. Is this something I can order from my favourite motorcycle shop, or is it something I can get at an auto-parts store? My repair manual is mum on the procedures for replacing this, but it looks straightforward.

Of some concern to me is the oxidation on the wires coming out of the top. I'm not very good with wires and things like that. I wonder if there is still a ground somewhere and that's why it melted. Could it be from age and distance? Or does this mean chasing more wires about?


Ouch. You're lucky the whole bike didn't go up in flames.

Unfortunately this is not a stock item, it's custom to GL1100's, and they haven't been made for years. It also contains the solenoid for the starter motor, so you're going to need to find a replacement used on eBay. There are new aftermarket replacements that integrate a 30 amp blade fuse as well.

As for the oxidation, as long as it's just the terminals, they can be cleaned, and that will no longer be an issue.

The reason it melted is because the fuse failed - partially - and created a tremendous amount of heat due to the resistance it was presenting.

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littlebeaver
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:54 pm

Wow, that was worse than mine was...You gotta love this site... :D

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mytown
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby mytown » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:08 am

I found one like this on eBay. I had to make a minor alteration to the plug that goes into it in order to make it fit but it works fine. to find one, eBay search "GL1100 solenoid".

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littlebeaver
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby littlebeaver » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:07 am

Should be up and running shortly, great, good luck...

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mytown
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby mytown » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:01 am

mytown wrote:I found one like this on eBay. I had to make a minor alteration to the plug that goes into it in order to make it fit but it works fine. to find one, eBay search "GL1100 solenoid".
solenoid.jpg

You can see that it is pretty straight forward with the B for Battery and M for motor (actually to the starter). the bottom of the solenoid will fit in the rubber ring which appears to be OK in your picture. What I'd be concerned with if I were you is the integrity of the plug that plugs into the top of the solenoid. It looks like it could be damaged.

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Oldbear
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby Oldbear » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:53 am

I'd be hunting for a new plug - that kind of heat will often heat up the connections inside the plastic - this makes them move and can cause a short later. This is also what happens when the previous owner put a 100w bulb in one of the sockets for my garage opener... metal migrates inside plastic :shock:
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

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GoldWingRev
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1980 CB900 Custom (parted and sold)
1988 GL1500 (dark side 175/75-16)
Pull-behind trailer (my design)

Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby GoldWingRev » Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:55 pm

What do you mean by modifications? Aren't all those solenoids the same? I did indeed find some on eBay--are they model/year specific (in this case '83 interstate) before I purchase one?
"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to." (Bilbo Baggins)

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mytown
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby mytown » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:59 pm

GoldWingRev wrote:What do you mean by modifications? Aren't all those solenoids the same? I did indeed find some on eBay--are they model/year specific (in this case '83 interstate) before I purchase one?


IIRC, I trimmed the loop off the front of the plug that goes into the solenoid:


Here's the solenoid in place:


Regarding fitment the only thing I can say with any certainty is that the one I bought was advertised on eBay as being for a GL1100. Check with the seller and try to find one that pays for return shipping.

mclark38
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby mclark38 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:43 pm

Does anyone know where I can get a good set of replacement dogbone fuses? I just had to change mine out and it crumbled in my hands. The spare one that was in the bike isn't much better.

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littlebeaver
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby littlebeaver » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:52 pm

No. I don't think they sell them anymore, you could try a salvage yard, Look in the fuse box for spares, they stash them in there and also in the solenoid area too, they have spares in there tucked away, so get a flashlight and look again..Most guys today just change out the unit altogether and get the system above... I have the same one above, had it for a few years now, never a problem.. Especially after changing over to a different charging system, exterior alt...Conversion..Best thing I ever did..

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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:36 pm

mclark38 wrote:Does anyone know where I can get a good set of replacement dogbone fuses? I just had to change mine out and it crumbled in my hands. The spare one that was in the bike isn't much better.


Don't bother. Replace it with a 30 amp blade fuse holder and you'll never have this problem again.

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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby Sagebrush » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:11 pm

There have been several instances of the 30 fuse holder bought at auto parts stores heating up and melting. The culprit seems to be the connections inside the plastic holder, the fuse usually is good. Consider replacing the fuse with a 30 amp circuit breaker with bolt on terminals, they are also available at auto parts stores.


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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:07 pm

Sagebrush wrote:There have been several instances of the 30 fuse holder bought at auto parts stores heating up and melting. The culprit seems to be the connections inside the plastic holder, the fuse usually is good. Consider replacing the fuse with a 30 amp circuit breaker with bolt on terminals, they are also available at auto parts stores.



Personally I would not use a autoreset breaker...It is not designed to operate in a heated environment and if the bike blows a 30 amp fuse,I certainly don't want to to reset...I want the bad circuit to blow the fuse and stay off.
Direct specs....Operating temperature: -10° F to 150° F
Yes,poor quality fuseholders are out there,but the few I've seen melted were caused by corrosion in the plug.It's waterproof cap was not sealed.
I prefer this type....It is rated for 30 amp.I also solder it directly to the 2 red wires that I cut off the start solenoid and ring connect the other end to the battery cable....
Note that the fuseholder is the large one and not the "mini" type.
Attachments

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GoldWingRev
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1980 CB900 Custom (parted and sold)
1988 GL1500 (dark side 175/75-16)
Pull-behind trailer (my design)

Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby GoldWingRev » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:29 pm

My solenoid replacement came in, and I put it in this morning. The bike won't come on.

The plug had completely melted, so I had to splice the wires in. Anybody able to see the colors of the wires? It looks like the 2 thick reds are in the front (towards you), with the yellow on the back right and the other color (green?) on the back left.

"M" for motor is the black, and runs down and under. "B" for battery is red and runs to the positive post?
"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to." (Bilbo Baggins)

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GoldWingRev
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:28 am
Location: Waukesha, WI
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1980 CB900 Custom (parted and sold)
1988 GL1500 (dark side 175/75-16)
Pull-behind trailer (my design)

Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby GoldWingRev » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:48 pm

Success!
I had flipped the M and B terminals. While I'm on this post, I had another related question.


The bike doesn't like to start when it is cold. It'll crank and crank and not fire. I always get it to start, like today, but was wondering if there is something maybe I should tighten? It had been sitting for 3 weeks today, but even if it sits for about 12 hours it does this.
I'm looking at getting an '88 1500, and would like to get this one in tip top shape before doing so.
"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to." (Bilbo Baggins)

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Joecop
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Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby Joecop » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:19 pm

Slow starts, change out the spark plugs first.

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GoldWingRev
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:28 am
Location: Waukesha, WI
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1980 CB900 Custom (parted and sold)
1988 GL1500 (dark side 175/75-16)
Pull-behind trailer (my design)

Re: 1100 died while moving

Postby GoldWingRev » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:15 am

Oh, I hadn't thought of that. I doubt they've been changed in 5 years. Will check in the morning.


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to." (Bilbo Baggins)


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