voltage drop


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:13 pm



I have electrical issues on my 1981 1100. I have had starting issues on an off for a while now. Had a bad battery, replaced it and fixed the problem. After a while problem came back. Melted plug at dog bone replaced with new connections and 30 amp fuse, fixed the problem. After a while problem came back, found broken post on starter. Replaced starter, fixed problem. Started to prep bike for this season and problem is back. I forgot to mention that through all of this I have had to wiggle my ignition key sometimes in order to get power too neutral light and start button. So I replaced the ignition switch believing that it was faulty, problem still exist. I have 14 volts going to ignition switch, and with the key in (Acc) I have 14 volts on the (Acc) terminals in the fuse box. When I turn the key to the (On) position, the neutral light doesn't come on and the start button does nothing. No blinkers, no headlight, no radio, Horn makes a very faint click when pushed. I checked voltage at the fuse box in this position and everything is at 5 volts, including the (Acc) terminals that had been at 14 volts before. Any ideas why and how to fix this?



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virgilmobile
Posts: 7649
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
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: voltage drop

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:39 pm

With the key on and 5 volts at the ACC. Terminal,continue with you volt meter testing.Attach the meter to the engine casting or one of the bolts.From there probe starting at the battery positive terminal.It should be around 12 volts.If it is low,probe the battery negative terminal.I know this sounds weird but a corroded ground can cause this.The negative post should read zero volts.
Probe both of the large red wires on the starter solenoid.They should also be the same as the battery positive.
Going into the ignition switch is that red wire.It leaves the ignition switch on a large black wire.Probe it.Whats the volts there.That black wire goes to the fuse block.find which wire has the wrong volts..the problem exists between there and the battery.

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:13 am

Thanks I will do some more testing tonight when I can get back out in the garage.

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:49 pm

cleaned every connection and did some testing of components. tried jumping across solenoid, nothing. tried going directly to starter, nothing. Unplugged rectifier, and wires on solenoid, starter cables. grabbed another battery and and went straight to the stared, it cranked over. hooked everything back up and with the newly hooked up battery it fired up and ran, everything worked as it should. the next night went out to start it again and it started to crank then the instrument panel dimmed again and the positive cable started smoking. I unhooked it and am at a stand still. Just for grins I put my multimeter on Ohms and went from the cable stud on the starer to the frame and it went to 0.000. Is my new starter shorted out or should it read like this. I don't know what else to check. Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7649
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
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: voltage drop

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:03 pm

Reading very low ohms wouldn't suprise me.However your starter may be bad if it smoked the battery cable.Id be pulling the starter apart for a look inside.Be very careful with the cable stud.Do not let it turn as you loosen the nut.I have a thin 10mm wrench I use on the first nut.That stud is soldered to some pretty heavy wire.It can be easily broken loose.

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Thanks I will give that a look. The reason I have the new starter is because I found out the hard way about not holding the second nut. Thanks also for reminding me that I need to locate a thin wrench.

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7649
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
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: voltage drop

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:08 pm

Look close at the cables too,the connections are crimped on and are subject to corrosion.A auto store,marine shop or such place may have suitable replacements.

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:29 am

Out messing around in the shop today pondering pulling my starter. I thought I would test hooking the battery back up, it arced big time. I unplugged the three yellow wires, haven't had a problem with them before so they are still factory. Connector was a pain to unplug, found melting going on so now i have altered that connection. Tried to hook battery back up and still getting arc and starter is trying to crank engine over. Can a starter draw voltage through an open solenoid? I have checked and the solenoid is defiantly open. I also left all of the wires off of the solenoid except for the battery and the starter.

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:35 pm

I may have this figured out in my head. I happened to remember some thing I heard that power comes from the Neg side of the battery and flows though the frame of the bike. If this is true and the stud on the starter is not insulated from the case then electricity will continue to flow from the starter through the cable to the solenoid through the solenoid and back to the Pos side of the battery completing a circuit and making the starter crank over, I think! Now going back out and pull the starter off too see if my theory is correct.

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:59 pm

Pulled the starter and tested it on the floor, starter works as it should. Starting over hooking things back up 1 at a time in order to better isolate the issue. Installed starter without connecting anything to it. I ran jumper cables from battery to starter and frame, starter cranked over as it should.Hooked starter cable up to stud without connecting solenoid and ran jumper cables from battery to cable and frame, starter cranked as it should. Hooked solenoid to starter cable, without connecting to anything else. Hooked jumper cables from battery to battery side of solenoid and frame, nothing happened as it shouldn't do anything. Still good at this point. Then with the connection at regulator unplugged and the blade fuse pulled from the three yellow wires I added the red wire and the red/w wire to the outside of the solenoid, nothing else. So far so good! I turned the key to the on position, the lights come on the neutral light and the air compressor light comes on. Still all good! I push the start button, nothing happens, This is good because the wire isn't plugged into the solenoid yet. Going back out to add the starter button wire to the solenoid next, crossing my fingers. Maybe it was just the dreaded three yellow wires, that I should have fixed 5 years ago.

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:54 pm

I added the start button wire to the solenoid, pushed the button and she cranked over as it should. I added the last wire to the solenoid, pushed the start button again. Again it cranked over as it should, so I stared her up! It ran fine, so I shut her down and added more. I plugged the connector back together at the regulator, pushed the button and started right up. I shut her down again and put the blade fuse back into the three yellow wires, pushed the button and started her up again. I shut her down, double checked to see if I had left anything off and proceeded to start her again. It didn't start on the first crank, so I choked it and tried again. It cranked but didn't start right away, so I let off not wanting to over crank it. The starter continued to crank, so I turned the key to off. It continued to crank, so I disconnected the battery. I started disconnecting stuff in the reverse order from the way I had added them. In between each one with the key in the off position I touched the cable back to the battery and the starter cranked every time, all the way down until there is nothing left hooked up but the large cable from the solenoid to the starter and when I touch the battery cable it continues to crank. What can cause this to happen with the key off and nothing else hooked to the battery other than the solenoid and the starter?

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littlebeaver
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Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: voltage drop

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:34 pm

Maybe a bad solenoid...

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:55 pm

I just had an idea. I was looking into my fix on the yellow wires and it didn't make sense to me. I was going from memory to fix this and I think my memory failed me. I tied the three yellow wires together too form 1 big wire and put a blade fuse in place of the connection. This is what happens when the plug melts and that is why it fails. I changed this so that each wire is tied to a single wire keeping the three wires just eliminating the plug. Then I tapped on the solenoid with the butt of a screw driver. I connected everything else back up all at once, then touched the battery and it didn't arc. I hooked up the battery, turned the key, pushed the start button and started her up. I shut it down and started it up 4 times with no more issues. I even tooted the horn ran all the lights flashers, and radio. All worked great, I'm done for the day while everything is working. I will check it out again tomorrow to see if it was a fluke, wish me luck.

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littlebeaver
Posts: 4420
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:11 pm
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: voltage drop

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:08 pm

I hope nobody on this site told you to tie those all together like that,, they are separate and it doesn't matter which wires goes to which when re soldering them,, No fuse in that line... Only the main 30amp one by the solenoid.. I'd keep an eye on the solenoid but with the wires tied together like that... it was probably your problem. :D

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dough0216
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Wyoming,MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard dressed in Vetter

Re: voltage drop

Postby dough0216 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:28 am

I think I was just getting a couple of fixes mixed up. I was going from what I thought I had read 5 years or so ago, without confirming the proper way to do it. I have seen nothing but good information on this site. Thanks guys for the help! Ride safe and enjoy!




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