Clicking at relay


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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FlashBack
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:56 pm
Location: Cheshire, Oregon
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda GL1100 Interstate

Clicking at relay

Postby FlashBack » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:17 pm



Good day.
So i decided to change the plug wires on my 83 GL1100i. Pulled the air filter and shelter off so i could get to the coils. Relaced the origional wires ( i know huh?) with 7mm solid copper wire, ensured that they where connected correctley to each cyclinder, put the air filter on and the bike ran great. I did this wire change as it apperead i had a voltage leak on the #4 wire that was presenting an annoying miss at around 2000rpm while parked. Intermittent while riding.

Shut the bike down after i was satisied with the way oit was running. Put the shelter and seat back on and went to fire it up again. It turned over somewhat slowly and had a backfire and i am only getting a click at the relay now. I just figured it was the #4 plug burning off any risedual build up it had from the miss on that cylinder.
Tried putting a charger to it. No luck. Took the relay out of the holder and checked the connection for the starter and battery terminal. Both okay. Starter was replaced in March. Rechecked my cylinder connections in relation to the coils and all are correct. 30 amp fuse looks good but i don't think that would cause this symptom. put it in gear and rocked it backwards and could hear a noise like disingaging from the starter. What would make that noise?

I had that click happen about a week ago when i was riding to work at 6:30am. Stopped to get a donuaght and when i came out, it just clicked at the relay. Disconnected the battery and re connected it and all was well. It has happened a couple of other time since.

I am at a loss right now. Could the motor be backed up and not allowing the engine to crank? Any other thoughts. My goal was to get it to run better not kill it....lol.



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Sagebrush
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby Sagebrush » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:46 am

I could be the starter relay (its not really a solenoid but everyone calls it that) or the battery itself. Even though you charged the battery it may not be able to handle the load of the starter any longer. The only way to tell for sure is to have it load tested. Most auto parts stores can do this for you. If you have a multi-meter you can measure the voltage while cranking the engine. If the voltage goes below 10v then that battery is certainly suspect. In the case of the relay, when it clicks you can bypass it by jumping from the positive side of the battery to the post on the starter itself. This will only work if you have a good battery though. You can use an external car battery, to do the same thing just don't run the car engine while its connected to the bike. If the starter turns over with the relay bypassed then its the relay.

Another common issue are connections at the relay and the main ground connection from the battery negative located under the left side triangular upper rear engine mount. Its a good idea to remove, clean and apply dielectric grease to all these connections from time to time to ensure reliable operation of your starter circuits.

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FlashBack
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby FlashBack » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:17 am

Good advice. Thank You. Battery is new and was purchased two weeks ago. I am going to check the ground connection as you suggested this evening. based on your post, i am sure it is something simple like a cable given that i have had it occur. If the connection is good, i will pull the plugs and see if it is hydro locked.
Thanks again

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FlashBack
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby FlashBack » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:50 pm

Update:
So when i got home, i set out to begin tracking this issue.
I had disconnected the battery last night so connected it.
Attempted to start the bike, same issue when starter button is pressed- click, click at the relay. I repeated this a few times and held the button in looking to see if either the positive or negative cables where getting warm. Neither where. Loosened the plugs thinking maybe hydro locked. Tried cranking the engine. Still clicking. Tightened plugs a put caps back on. It appears all my electrical is working. Headlight goes off when pressing the starter button then right back on. Everything looks as it should.

Disconnected the battery, disconnected the starter wire and pulled the relay. Examination showed it to be in decent condition for original. No signs of arc, or anything. I took the screw out of the top of the relay as well as the nuts on the posts. I tapped it a couple of times on the bench, then blew it out with air. I then noticed the diagram on the front of the dog bone cover and I noticed it indicated a spare dog bone fuse. I took it out and it was in excellent condition. So i changed them out. The one that had been there looked really dielectric. I figured it couldn't hurt.

Put it back together and will put it in tomorrow night and see if it works. If it still clicks, i will jump the starter directly to determine if it's the relay or starter.
New starter was just put in back in March, but, stranger things have happened...
I know i should be using a volt meter to diagnose and trace down this issue and it would simplify the process immensely. But when i really want to learn something, i seem to take the hardest route purposely as it makes me think things through and look at it as an opportunity to learn as well as get to know the bike as this is my first GoldWIng. So I appreciate the help and suggestions and patience with my methodology. Part of the fun of owning vintage is working on them.
Relay off my bike-83 GL1100i
Relay off my bike-83 GL1100i

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FlashBack
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby FlashBack » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:32 pm

Well, I have determined the starter is shot. As i had stated, i like taking the hard route first. So I:
A) Hooked the relay back up, tried to start and click. Same symptom
B) Tapped the starter a few times and she fired up. Let the bike run for a bit then shut it off and tried starting again....Just a click
C) Tapped the starter again and started with hesitation at the starter. Turned it off. Starter is done.

After this, i broke out the multimeter. I had:
A) 12.3 Volts at the starter post on the relay
B) 12.3 at the starter terminal. So this validated my caveman ways.
Well, it's November in Oregon which means cool, wet weather for the winter. I guess i'll be learning how to rebuild a starter.

Is there a good place to purchase starters should i decide to go that route?

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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby kirbb9 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:12 am

Rebuild kits available and easy to install, new brushes make a big difference.
You,ll think you just tuned the motor up!


Brady

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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:29 pm

Like he said, probably just need new brushes in the starter.

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FlashBack
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby FlashBack » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:36 pm

Understood. Easy enough. My concern is pulling and putting the starter back in given the cog sprocket and chain. I have read to do it on side stand as well as center stand. What is the best method? Don't want to have issues putting starter in and creating larger issues.
Thank you

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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:47 pm

I found that the sprocket lines up easier when the bike is on the side stand...I remove it on the center stand just because it's easier to get to....Once refitted,it can be centerstanded again to finish the install...
Use a little lube on the starter "O" ring so it slides in easier
ALWAYS use a 10mm wrench on the starter lug nut to keep it from turm
ning as you tighten the top nut....It's a must to have the back wrench there onremoval and refit of the starter cable.

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Sagebrush
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Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100
1982 GL1100
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby Sagebrush » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:15 pm

I know folks that I trust that say they have had good service with this starter.

1100 starter

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FlashBack
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby FlashBack » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:18 am

Sagebrush wrote:I know folks that I trust that say they have had good service with this starter.

1100 starter



I'll check it out. Thanks. Looks like they manufacture for OEM replacement, huh? This is a drag. I was hoping for at least a few more days of riding before winter set in here in the Pacific Northwest

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FlashBack
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby FlashBack » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:55 pm

Update.
Well, in short, i got my starter replaced and it fired up so quickly I hardly had time to get my finger off the start button. This is good news. If you want to read my proccess, see below.

I went to CyclePsycho which is a motorcycle salvage here in Eugene, Or. I picked up a salvaged OEM starter for a 1983 GL1100i for $20.00
Starter as i got it from salvage yard
Starter as i got it from salvage yard

It spun so i decided when i got home to take it apart to see what condition it was in.
Salvage starter taken apart
Salvage starter taken apart

Brush Plate was different from what was indicated in the rebuild starter DYI article but decided to proceed.
Top view of disaasembled Salvage starter
Top view of disaasembled Salvage starter

I disassembled everything and cleaned really good. Brushes where within specs, actuater was cleaned with Mineral spirits, bearing was good on the gear end. Cleaned it up and repacked with grease then re assembled the starter after giving it a nice paint job with engine enamle.
Re Assembled starter
Re Assembled starter

Once it was re assembled, i hooked it up to a 12V Battery. The starter spun like no ones business.
Saturday, i began the process of pulling the old starter. I quickly realized that in order to reach the lower 8mm bolt for the starter, it was going to be necessary to remove EVERYTHING from the left side. Gear shift, Crash Cage, Running Boards and dropping the exhaust. Needless to say, i was not up for this much work on a chilly day as i had to do it outdoors. I was frustrated when i came to this realization, shelved it for the day, thought about the process that evening and tackled it on Sunday.
When i was undoing the nut for the crash cage and floorboard bracket, i think i may have messed up the bolt that these items are attached to.
I'll move that issue to another thread. http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19793.
Removed everything from the left side and had access to the starter bolts. The bottom bolt is a real bear to get to. Nevertheless, i removed both bolts then placed the bike on the sidestand. Got down on the ground and was able to pull the old starter (Pictures of it are at the end of this post) put a new oring on the new starter and remarkably, it went in to the cog gear on the first try. Put the top bolt in and put the bike back on the centerstand, put the bottom starter bolt in, bolted up the exhaust, reconnected power, then prayed.... :D
Turned on the ignition, opened the fuel petcock, gave it some choke and pushed the starter button. Fired right up. As a matter of fact, i couldn't get my finger off the starter button quick enough. I repated this a few times and it fires up quickly and consistently. I was doing the happy dance in the driveway.
Now i just have to put everything back that i took off provided my mounting bolt issue is not critical.
Now to the starter i pulled out
Sunday evening, i dis assembled the starter i pulled. First thing that caught my eye was the "Made in Tawain" sticker near the power post. Aftermarket starter that the previous owner had purchased. I had it put on the bike in March when i got it. Went out in 6 months. What a piece of crap.
Anyways, no grease in the planetary gears to speak of, brushes where way below 5.5mm, actuator was black, burnt wire, carbon built up and yeah. No wonder it wouldnt start. Pictures below.
View of Taiwan starter
View of Taiwan starter

Check out the actuator
Check out the actuator

Another Shot
Another Shot

Close up
Close up

I just wanted to update all who participated in this thread. The takeaway from all of this for me is:
A) Don't install cheap aftermarket products. The addage, "you get what you pay for" is so true. I would rather put quality items in than have to go back six months later and fix again.
B) I was intimitaed by this whole starter replacement process. Now, having done it, my intimidation was unwarrented. I'm not new to bikes but new to GoldWings, so i never worked on one before.
C) Do homework and research if unsure about a process.
Thanks again

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Sagebrush
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1982 GL1100
2001 GL1800 CSC Trike
2002 GL1800

Re: Clicking at relay

Postby Sagebrush » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:59 pm

Its hard to tell from the pictures but is that an o-ring that goes between the starter body and the planetary assembly? Its been my limited experience that aftermarket starters have an o-ring but OEM does not. Might be an easy way to tell what a bike has without removing the starter and tearing into it.

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FlashBack
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Re: Clicking at relay

Postby FlashBack » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:10 pm

Sagebrush wrote:Its hard to tell from the pictures but is that an o-ring that goes between the starter body and the planetary assembly? Its been my limited experience that aftermarket starters have an o-ring but OEM does not. Might be an easy way to tell what a bike has without removing the starter and tearing into it.


By comparing the two the oem starter had none. The aftermarket had a thin gasket in it.




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