GL1100 electrical problem


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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ALinUTAH
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Heber City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

GL1100 electrical problem

Postby ALinUTAH » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:32 pm



I was riding my 1983 GL1100 this morning when it suddenly started sputtering and running rough and lost power. As I limped it home I noticed that the fuel and temp gauge didn't work and also the turn signals didn't work. I also discovered that if I honked the horn I got a surge of power. And when I switched the headlight off I lost power. (My low beam is burned out so I turned it off by switching from hi to lo.) So when I put a load on the electrical system things improve and when I remove load things worsen. This must be a clue but I'm not sure how. Any suggestions about where to start looking? Thanks. Al



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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:44 pm

That's an odd one. First I would check your dogbone (master) fuse. Actually remove it, don't just look at it - it can fail invisibly.

It almost sounds like a bad ground, and a surge of current temporarily gives you a good ground, which is backwards to what you would expect. Check that your battery terminals are tight, and that the ground strap where it connects to the frame is tight and corrosion-free.

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7663
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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: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:28 pm

WingAdmin wrote: Check that your battery terminals are tight, and that the ground strap where it connects to the frame is tight and corrosion-free.


What the Admin said....Corrosion at the frame lug or battery posts....Pull a heavy load and it burns through the corrosion for a second creating a new path for electric to flow...for another second or so...

Take pictures....we like confirmation of what you find....pictures are cool... :D

ALinUTAH
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Heber City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby ALinUTAH » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:32 pm

A bad ground was my first instinct too. When I noticed my gauges and turn signals didn't work, I checked the horn just to see if it was also affected, and was surprised to get a surge of power. In fact, holding the horn button down was the only way I made it up a couple hills. My neighbors probably think I've lost my marbles LOL. I just parked it and headed to work so I'll let you know later what I find.

ALinUTAH
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Heber City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby ALinUTAH » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:07 pm

The battery cables all looked good and clean. In fact all the connections on the starter solenoid look like new. But when I touched the dog bone fuse it broke. I'm guessing it shouldn't be that delicate. Now to figure out what kind of fuse holder to replace it with. Still not sure how a weak fuse would make it behave like it did with the horn and headlight. Al

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:32 pm

That's two members with similar problems in one day that the solution was the main fuse. How strange is that? Glad you found the bad fuse. Good call Admin.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:56 pm

ALinUTAH wrote:The battery cables all looked good and clean. In fact all the connections on the starter solenoid look like new. But when I touched the dog bone fuse it broke. I'm guessing it shouldn't be that delicate. Now to figure out what kind of fuse holder to replace it with. Still not sure how a weak fuse would make it behave like it did with the horn and headlight. Al


Yup, this is a very common failure. You can use a standard 30 amp fuse holder - see this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1350&p=4396#p4396

ALinUTAH
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Heber City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby ALinUTAH » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:56 pm

I looked some more and have to take back what I said about the new looking connections on the relay. One of the 4 connectors in the white plug had some corrosion, the green/red wire.

ALinUTAH
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Heber City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby ALinUTAH » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:24 pm

Okay, so I checked the wiring diagram to see what the green/red wire is. Clutch switch, which is just a switched ground I believe. So I looked at the clutch switch and the rubber boot on the green/red wire is in bad shape. Looks melted, but I don't know why a ground switch wire would get hot. Maybe it's just cracked from 30 years of sun.

Thanks for your help. Sites like this are a godsend when you pick up a new old bike.

Al

ALinUTAH
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Heber City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby ALinUTAH » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:42 pm

My electrical engineer friend suggested that maybe the almost-blown dog bone fuse was acting like a thermal reed, similar to the mechanical flashers, and the increased current from the horn caused it to expand and transmit more current for the ignition.

I have a fuse holder that I will install tonight. Hopefully that's the problem and I don't still have something else going on. Al

ALinUTAH
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Heber City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby ALinUTAH » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:02 pm

A new main fuse fixed me up. Al

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Wilcoy02
Posts: 726
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:37 pm
Location: Marengo, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 I purchased 3/16

1983 GL1100I frame with an 80 engine. poor boy installed with C-5 ignition--DIED in Grande Prairie Alberta Canada 8/15


98 valkyrie sold 8/16

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby Wilcoy02 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:08 pm

Sure glad you came back and told us how you solved the problem.
A lot of people do not say how they got a remedy and we just keep on wondering.

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Wingsconsin
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Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby Wingsconsin » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:16 am

Old Fuses are a real problem for the GL1100's
I had to redo my entire fuse block when I had it ..
Here is a thread to see what happened...

-->> viewtopic.php?f=4&t=14320&hilit=+fuse
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


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http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

ALinUTAH
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Heber City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 electrical problem

Postby ALinUTAH » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:16 pm

I have a box of lights and mirrors and stuff arriving from dime city tomorrow, so I'll be removing the fairing soon. We'll see what I discover in there. But I was impressed with how clean everything looked at the starter solenoid. Al




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