battery voltage woes


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fuzzyone
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Motorcycle: 1980 gl 1100

battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:39 am



Not sure if you guys on this forum require an intro thread or not but I'm getting ready to set fire to all 3 of my 1100s and haul em off for scrap. My latest addition is the only one of the three that runs. But myissue is it doesn't seem to be charging the battery. I have 3 batteries I ve been using to try and figure it out. It seems the one in it now yields the best results. While the bike is warm and idleing I can read 13 volts across the accessory terminals in the fuse area. But across the battery only 12.7 volts. When I raise rpms to 1200 to 1800 (give or take going by the bouncy tach) it will get up to around 14 volts at the accessory terminals and only 13.1 at the battery. And then when I rev higher to the 3500 rpm test point or over 2k rpms period the voltage will fall to 12.5 at the battery and about the same at the accessory terminals. I ve tested that stator wires. All 3 test yield equal results all across. I ve swapped between 3 reg/recs and no change. I ve replaced the corroded battery cables and the solenoid block which also had corrosion in it. I am at my wits end and need help. I'm not in a position to pay a shop to fix it nor do I even think they would work on something this old. Honda shops won't around here.



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virgilmobile
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:58 am

When you measure the volts at both points,are you using the same "ground" ?
When measuring battery volts,attach your meter leads directly to the battery posts.
Generally the bikes voltage will stabilize when the electrical connections have been "improved"
Some will just scrape clean the plugs,others (like me) cut the plugs off,scrape the oxidation from the wires and solder them direct.
Do expect to see a few tenths of a volt loss in wiring...but no more than 0.5 volts.
Voltage loss can be traced.example...bike running..DVM positive lead on the battery positive post..DVM negative lead on the black wire feeding the regulator.
I usually see 0.3 volts or less.
There suppose to be the same volts but corrosion will reduce the volts.
One last note.volage measurements can vary a bit within seconds.
A good system will idle (950 rpm) at 13.2 and peak at no more than 14.4 volts.
Search "soldering". I've done this to all my bikes.

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virgilmobile
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:16 am

I was thinking. Higher volts at the acc terminal than at the battery...
When this happens,using the battery negative post on your meter,measure the volts(or drop) at the battery...then the 2 red wires on the start solenoid,one at a time.see if the loss is between those.
I've cut the 2 red wires off mine and soldered a fuse holder to them and attached it to the battery post to bypass the solenoid "fuse" parts.
This area is the only parts that would explain higher volts at the acc than the battery.
The acc would be fed from the charging system not the battery .the charging system and the main feed for the bike join at the start solenoid (the 2 red wires).

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:55 am

I ll try that here in a moment. Even tho there is a difference in voltage its not the only thing bothering me. The voltage raising up to 13.5 but then dropping to 12.5 or so at higher rpms. Which would mean at highway speed it's discharging the battery.

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virgilmobile
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:24 am

True.current will take the easiest path thus the need for absolutely perfect connections.Even crimped connections can have oxidized wiring.easy to see.the shiny copper turns black.Now it won't carry electrons down parts of the wire.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:41 am

Ok so just because I'm out of ideas I was reading up a little and read that if I unplug the black wire coming from the rectifier that voltage should go thru the roof. So I unplugged it and guess what I'm getting 14.8 across the battery. At 4500 rpm. I am now completely lost as to what's wrong with this thing other than possibly wiring.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:53 am

Also I did the voltage test like you said and the readings between pos accessory terminal and battery ground were the same as just using the accessory terminals. But just across the battery remained different. That was before I unplugged the black rectifier wire

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virgilmobile
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:41 pm

Ok.your test confirmed that the ground system is fine.
The black wire on the regulator is a input wire.it measures (suppose to) the battery volts and adjust the regulator output.if that voltage is low(unhooked) the regulator should try to max out.
That you have a higher voltage on the acc terminal than the battery post leads me to loss from the terminal to the battery.
If you follow...the acc terminal is fed by a switched wire from the ignition switch... It gets power from the large red wire at the start solenoid.It gets power through the dogbone fuse which is connected to the battery post on the solenoid.
I suspect the loss is between the battery post and the large red wire.
It can be measured.DVM red on the battery positive.DVM black lead on the large red wire.run the bike.There should be zero volts.
If you want to verify...unhook the acc fuse.find which one is 12 volts with the key on.
Start the bike and attach a #10 wire from it to the battery.
This bypasses the entire fuse and switch.escentily back feeding power direct to the battery.
Not safe to keep it but this would verify that there is a loss somewhere between the battery and switched power.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:53 pm

So possibly a loss between the red wires at the reg/rec and where they plug into the solenoid? Just replaced solenoid with a brand new Honda oem solenoid. Where does the black wire hook into the loom? I ll check more when I get home. And that's what I was thinking not safe to leave that wire unplugged because it may boil the battery or cause it to explode and I quite like my left butt cheek. What wires would you suspect to be broken, pinched or corroded?. And would corrosion on the black wire cause a problem? I figure that increased resistance in the sensing wire would make the reg/rec think that battery voltage is lower not higher because it seems that it's cutting voltage down when the black wire is connected

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virgilmobile
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:49 pm

The output of the regulator module is controlled by what it "sees" on the black wire...You have more volts on the switched circuit than on the battery...This means there is loss between the switched circuit and the battery....
To find where the loss is..Use your DVM...
Red lead on the battery positive...Run the bike...Idling is OK...1200 rpm is preferred...
DVM black lead.....This is where you start the test...

Anything above 0.4 volts is a significant loss and that wire/connection is suspect...
1. Probe the threaded post on the start solenoid... and the 2 big red wires,right into the wire not the connector itself....I bet you see a voltage loss on one of them.


By what your saying...Acc volts are up and battery post voltage is lower..
The regulator is putting out power and it is traveling all the way to the solenoid (one red wire)...It jumpers over to the other red wire and makes the trip all the way through the ignition switch and to the acc terminal....
Power seems to be flowing along this circuit fine..
This means that it's not making the trip from the 2 solenoid connections into the battery.....
There's only 2 parts..the solenoid connections and the cable from the battery to the solenoid...
Yes the short battery cable is prone to corrosion too...Check for voltage drop.It has to be somewhere you don't expect..Assume nothing..verify each circuit under load testing..

By the way..the 2 red wires at the regulator...About 6" into the harness,they are bonded into one red wire...it goes direct to the solenoid...the other red wire on the solenoid goes to the ignition switch....

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:08 pm

Alright so put my red lead on the battery terminal on the solenoid. Then poke the red wires in the 4 wire plug?

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virgilmobile
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:04 pm

Nope.red DVM lead on the battery post.
DVM black lead to the threads on the start solenoid.
Your measuring for voltage drop between the battery and where it hooks up.
If its zero volts,move the black DVM lead to each of the 2 red wires on solenoid.
On of the 2 has to show volts...my gut says so.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:15 pm

Will do when I get home and I ll post results the only remaining place for there to be resistance is in the wiring connections or the wire itself. Also read a post about a guy who had the same problems as me. Icould ride the bike forever but if I stop fill it up and then try to start it won't start unless I push start it. But if I let it sit for an hour it will start by itself.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:16 pm

Believe he said after he changed the main fuse block and accessory terminals problem was solved

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virgilmobile
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84 GL 1200 I

Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:25 pm

Keep in mind about the bike wire connection methods used by Honda..There not water or moisture proof.
30 years ago,they took a chunk of stranded shiny wire and crimped a connector on it....30 years later the copper has oxidized...my copper wire actually turns black..all the strands...now that large wire is only making connection on the outside edges..the center is a non conductor being insulated by the oxidation...
I've had to cut connectors off,scrape all the strands and solder the whole thing back ....

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:27 pm

I ll do the test and run down the red wires and the the black wire. I ll even pull the fuse block out and clean the heck out of it or I can swap it for one I know works off my first gl1100. It runs and charges properly but it's a basketcase apart from the good motor and good electricals

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:10 pm

Ok so tested everything and it all checks out. 0.04 is the only voltage difference I found at the solenoid wiring. So I checked everything else again from handle bar to rec the black wire has a total of 0.05 volts difference. No continuity from any stator wire to ground. But I ve got a ridiculous idea in mind. Could the stator coils just be perfectly equally weak? Again with the black wire at the rec undone the highest voltage with everything plugged in and running at 4500 plus rpm is 14.4 volts. But with it plugged in it will rise to 13.2 at 1500 rpm and then above 1500 rpm it will drop to 12.5.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:15 pm

The only way to know if the coils are equally weak is to know what the absolute maximum voltage the rec will throw to the battery. I can't seem to figure anything out as far as the ac volts test across any 2 of the 3 stator wires. Everytime I try I set my multimeter to acv 200 setting. And when I check it says 16.9 across all of themsupposedly that's wrong but Idk if I'm even doing it right

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:47 am

Alright so I ve got everything plugged in and back together but left the black sensing wire out of the reg/rec connector. Now I'm getting 13 volts at idle and up to 14.3 to 14.t at 3k rpm up to redline.

Also don't know if it's of any significance but with the black wire plugged in at idle the headlight is normal brightness. When I rev it it will get brighter for a second the get dimmer than what it is at idle but not much dimmer.

With the black sensing wire removed from the connector the headlight gets brighter all the way thru the rpms. Like on a scope of 1 to ten on brightness it's like this

Idle- 6
1200 rpm- 8
1500 to 7000 rpm- 9 or 10

Bychance would anyone know what the max voltage the reg/rec will put out is? And if so does it also have a safety where if it reaches x amount of volts it won't let more thru?

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virgilmobile
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:14 am

With the black lead unhooked,I've heard of 16+ volts coming out of the regulator.
The 3 yellow wires unhooked from the regulator measured 24 VAC at 1000 rpm and over 60 VAC above 3000 rpm.
This is unloaded.
Plugged back in there was about 12 volts AC between pairs.
Clamp on amp meter showed near 8 amp AC flowing on each leg.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:49 am

Ok I ll go back thru and test the stators ac voltage. I need somewhere around 24 at idle and 60 at 3k Rpm. Right? But what if Im setting up my multimeter wrong. I know I can measure batteries volts but I'm not electric wonder

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virgilmobile
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82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:46 pm

Is it a digital or analog meter.
Either one should have a setting for AC volts.
Sometimes indicated by this..~
Unless its a digital auto ranging ,set the meter on a 120 volt scale or higher.
Just like you would test a house outlet.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:05 pm

Well I was getting 20 vac according to the multimeter from each leg to ground. Still not sure about it. It's all equal just low. I just noticed my temp and fuel gauge are dead. Could the 7 volt regulator cause my problems?

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virgilmobile
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83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: battery voltage woes

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:45 pm

This is a 3 phase alternator.there is no reference to ground.
Voltages are measured between pairs of yellow wires only.

fuzzyone
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Re: battery voltage woes

Postby fuzzyone » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:52 pm

So measuring to ground is irrelevant. Crap. I ll go measure between pairs. With the stator unplugged (unloaded) right?




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