GL 1100 solenoid question


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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henrybo
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GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby henrybo » Wed May 05, 2010 8:38 am



I know this has been covered pretty much in this forum, but, is the solenoid and the starter relay one in the same? If so, what are my alternatives to avoid buying from Honda(the $75.00 one)? Is there an aftermarket one I can use which requires little or no alterations?
Thanks



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WingAdmin
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby WingAdmin » Wed May 05, 2010 9:17 am

Yes, they're the same thing. I've heard of a few people who have put regular automotive solenoids in there - whatever you can fit in the space can make it work. Or, you can buy a used one online for much less than new OEM.

henrybo
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby henrybo » Wed May 05, 2010 9:29 am

That's where I get foggy. Are all solenoids the same except for their physical size? Or do they have different wiring configurations and voltages etc.?

Jeeper
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby Jeeper » Wed May 05, 2010 10:48 am

A solenoid at the basic level is the same no matter what vehicle it comes from. Its designed to use a low power source, from a switch, to send direct battery power to the starter motor. If you tried to run the amperage that a starter draws through a regular switch, it would not be able to handle it, so a relay is used.

All solenoids work the same on the basic level, the way they are designed differs. For example, for years now Chevy solenoids are part of the starter and wouldn't work in this applications. I've read that solenoids from Honda small engines fit nicely and I suspect that your GW doesn't draw much more power than a Honda tractor.

I just recently put a Ford solenoid in my '83 Aspencade. The reason I went that route is Honda wanted $120 for the OEM one and they would have to order it. I went to the local auto parts store and bought a '85 Ford F-150 solenoid for less than $20 and they had it in stock. The reason I chose that particular solenoid is for years Ford has an externally mounted solenoid, so it's not part of the starter motor like Chevy's. They typically come in 3 post or 4 post and in the GW you only use 3. This solenoid is small enough to fit in the space the OEM was in, with a little work. Basically just making sure all the wires are protected and aren't going to short out on anything.

My Goldwing gets all its power from the solenoid. There is a direct line from the battery to the B post, from there power goes through the 30 amp dog bone fuse to 2 terminals which send power to the rest of the bike. Removing the OEM solenoid you loose this fuse so I also bought an inline 30 amp blade fuse and holder that I wired in. I also didn't want to cut off the original wire connector, so I bought some male spade connectors and made a mini harness to go from the Ford solenoid to the original plug.

The Ford solenoid that I bought has 4 posts, two are large lugs for the battery power, one marked B which connects to the battery and the other marked M which goes to the starter motor. I had to ream the stock connectors a little bit to fit the larger lugs. There are two smaller connectors marked S and I. The I one is for an ignition and would goto the coil in a Ford application. In our situation, its not used. The S is for the wire from the starter button.

The short wire harness I made has 4 wires. I have the inline 30 amp fuse with a large enough connector to attach to the B lug along with the battery terminal. After the fuse it splits into 2 12 gauge wires with male connectors. These plug into the Red and Red/White wires on the connector and are the main power feeds for the bike. The 3rd wire has a male spade on one and and a smaller lug on the other and connects from the S terminal to the yellow wire in the connector. This is the starter button feed. The final wire which connects to the Green/Red wire needs to be connected to the metal case on the solenoid and is a ground. What I did was use a small bolt and nut and just attached it to one of the mounting holes with a wire lug. You do not want to ground the solenoid to the frame if possible, because the Goldwing uses this ground wire for the neutral interlock. If you ground the solenoid, the bike will start in gear without the clutch in. The other wire is the large gauge that goes to the starter motor and is connected to the M terminal.

Once connected I just made sure nothing could short out against the frame of the bike by protecting all the connections. Then I worked it into the space where the OEM solenoid was next to the battery. I used a couple wire ties to hold in it place. I also made sure the side cover fit without issue, which it did.

henrybo
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby henrybo » Wed May 05, 2010 1:31 pm

Thanks Jeepers. That's some good info for me. Good explanation too.

henrybo
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby henrybo » Thu May 06, 2010 7:10 am

Now yesterday when I got home she started right up. The problem I had been having is a sluggish starter as described in many other posts here. I have about 11 volts at the starter so that tells me that the solenoid/relay is operating. Is there such a thing as an intermitant solenoid problem, or do they either work or not? When the bike is running I get 13.5 V at the battery terminals. I did not jump out the starter from the + terminal yet. To me it seems like time for a starter rebuild. Right?

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby RBGERSON » Thu May 06, 2010 8:38 am

Your starter may need cleaning out or rebuilding....lots of carbon dust can stop it or slow it down ..a lot of of guys buy lawn tractor solenoids as replacements too.
Last edited by RBGERSON on Thu May 06, 2010 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

Jeeper
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby Jeeper » Thu May 06, 2010 2:58 pm

Even when it doesn't start, you should be able to hear the solenoid click when you push the start button. Its possible that its intermittent, but not likely. They tend to either work or not as they are very simple mechanisms. If you hear this click from the solenoid, than chances are its working. As others have posted, the culprit is most likely the starter. Thats the exact problem I have where my starter was sluggish and now it won't start at all.

If you're going to tackle the cleaning as outlined here I would recommend you go ahead and order a brush kit. That will usually come with new brushes and the mounting plate. It will save you some time in the long run as the odds are good your brushes are worn.

henrybo
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby henrybo » Fri May 07, 2010 5:51 am

Thanks again Jeeper. Antyone have a good place to order the kit from? Is there one specifically for a 1981 GL1100?

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guitarlos
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby guitarlos » Fri May 07, 2010 6:19 am

Ive seen them on eBay, but then again, Ive never really actively searched on any....I think that the cost was about $30-35 buckaroos.

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby guitarlos » Fri May 07, 2010 6:21 am

just a note of mention....if you are in there anyways, may as well replace that dreaded dog-bone fuse. If it cracks, hard to see, it'll gig ya and its not pretty to be stuck anywhere. I would suggest to add a blade type waterproof fuse holder with a 30 amp fuse as well.

Jeeper
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby Jeeper » Fri May 07, 2010 6:48 am

I've seen the rebuilt kits on eBay as well. The brush only kits typically run around $20. The entire rebuilt kits are more like $35 but they include new bushings, gaskets, etc.

henrybo
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby henrybo » Fri May 07, 2010 7:05 am

Thanks guys. Is there a fuse inside the starter?

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby Jeeper » Fri May 07, 2010 7:23 am

henrybo wrote:Thanks guys. Is there a fuse inside the starter?


No, the fuse is on the front of the solenoid. Typically under the rubber boot that covers the connector thats plugged into it. If the tab isn't broken off, you need to remove the plastic wire connector and open the little door on the front to expose the fuse. If the tab is broken off like it was on mine, you can open the door without removing the connector.

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby guitarlos » Fri May 07, 2010 7:29 am

henrybo wrote:Thanks guys. Is there a fuse inside the starter?


The dogbone fuse is held in with two cross head screws. Its behind the area of the solenoid. Simply remove the dogbone fuse and install the wires to where the fuse was located.

henrybo
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby henrybo » Fri May 07, 2010 8:16 am

Okay, The previous owner had the fuse switched already so I am good from that perspective. I'm just going rebuild the starter and that should clear things up. Once again, I thank you for all of your help.

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby littlebeaver » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:13 am

Hey Jeeper, I have a question, How long have you had the ford solenoid on your bike? How does it work for you.? littlebeaver

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby Jeeper » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:36 am

I had it on the bike for a couple weeks. I replaced it because I had gotten a used OEM one for free. There was nothing wrong with the Ford one, and I still have it just in case. The only reason I replaced it was the OEM one fits next to the battery better. I would actually look at relays from a tractor to see if its smaller. The only key is it has to be 12V, externally mounted and have at least 3 terminals.

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby littlebeaver » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:25 pm

I ordered one from Auto Zone today and had the wife pick up on way home from work, it has four terminals, two big post, and two smaller ones, one is S like you said and one is I for the ignition like you said, but neither of the big post are marked, as battery or motor, so if the s is to the right [3 o'clock] looking down at the solenoid is the battery post south [6 ' oclock]or north 12o'clock]..or does this even matter as they didn't bother marking them in the first place..I'm thinking of cutting off one side of the base plate for more room..

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littlebeaver
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:44 am

hey Jeeper,,, the one I ordered was eleven dollars and change, the web site shows 19 bucks but the price they charged was 11 and change.. I know it will work using your instructions, the one I have is old, I want a new part, the used ones are old too, that's why I'm trying this idea...I'll let you know how it works out..just look at the terminal posts on one of those old ones and they will tell you how old they really are...Oh man I'm feeling old now, I'm only 50.. later littlebeaver

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby Jeeper » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:07 am

The two big posts doesn't really matter which one goes to where, just put it so it will mount on the big properly.

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littlebeaver
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:22 am

Jeeper, I thought so, I'm going to rig it up today and I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks for the info...littlebeaver I understand all the rest....cool

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littlebeaver
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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:34 pm

Jeeper: You are the Man....I rigged up the Ford Solenoid just the way you instructed and I couldn't wait to push that little red button and whamo- jamo it fired right up the first time, and the time after that and after that, and the day before it would hang up, I knew it was the solenoid because I cleaned up the starter really good, all connections too, New Parts are better, now my GL is part GEO Metro xfi [fan switch] and part Ford f-150 thanks to you Jeeper..You saved me some bucks dude, thank you...The older OEM solenoid would never hang up the starter in the mornings while cold just after it was warmed up real well...I'm no sparky but I got the job done thanks to you...New parts are better than old parts any day of the week...What a smart idea..later littlebeaver

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby Jeeper » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:17 am

I appreciate the kudos but can't really take the credit. I got the idea of another wing site after someone else did it. I just posted my experience in case someone like yourself could benefit from it.

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Re: GL 1100 solenoid question

Postby littlebeaver » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:13 pm

Hey Jeeper, you should get all the credit for this because the guys on this site like me may have never read this information on another site, and your instructions were written in plain English not too high tech for us all to understand...I never saw this on any other site... This site is really a good site and I'm sure I'm not the only guy that's going to read this and use this idea, Yes, the original brain behind this should get the full credit, but so should you for passing it on...later Littlebeaver




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