Electrical problems


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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eoc321
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:08 pm
Location: longview, texas
Motorcycle: 1980 gl1100

Electrical problems

Postby eoc321 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:58 pm



OK, I have a problem. I have been trying to get my bike to fire. I finally got instrument lights when I turn the key on. Don't know how but they are there. When I push the start button I hear a click down near the battery and the lights dim a little. But nothing. If I jump from the battery to the starter it spins the motor. I haven't check yet to see if I have a spark. I am betting I don't. If not where do I look first. Is the starter problem and not spark in any way connected? Any help would be appeciated.



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WingAdmin
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Re: Electrical problems

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:44 pm

If the motor isn't turning over, it won't even try to generate spark. You need to look at the first problem first, and that's the starter. Sounds like you have a problem with your starter solenoid. If you short out the starter solenoid, does the starter crank the engine? (make sure you're in neutral first!)

eoc321
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Re: Electrical problems

Postby eoc321 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:34 am

I haven't tryed at the solenoid yet ( I haven't found it). But I used a jumper cable and went from the battery to the starter and it spun the motor normally. I am going to take the seat and false tank off so I can get to everything else. Is there anything special about the Honda solenoid? I have several old solenoids in my shop. Could I use one of these as a replacement (even if temporarily)?

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WingAdmin
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Re: Electrical problems

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:13 am

The solenoid is right near the battery, and also contains the master (dogbone) fuse. It's what is making the click noise when you hit the starter button. It looks like this:

GL1100 Solenoid
GL1100 Solenoid


The two large screw terminals on the back are the high-amperage switch portion of the solenoid. Short them together with a screwdriver or other metal object, and the starter should crank over. If it does, you've got a bad solenoid. If it doesn't, you've got a problem either with the wire from the battery to the solenoid, or from the solenoid to the starter. I'm going to bet it's one of your wires, not the solenoid...but we'll see. :)

81mtbike
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Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 9:53 am
Location: Great Falls, MT
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I
1982 GL500I

Re: Electrical problems

Postby 81mtbike » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:27 am

I had the same electrical problems on my 81 wing.

I went to Oreilly's and bought an 30A inline fuse assembly for about $3 or $4.

I removed the "Dogbone" fuse. I installed "eye" connectors on each end of the wires and mounted them on the same screws used to mount the dogbone fuse.

That did the trick. I had power and life in my bike again. It cranks (and runs) very well, now.

Hope this helps,

81MTBike

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WingAdmin
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Re: Electrical problems

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:40 am

I don't know that the dogbone fuse is the problem here, I suspect it might be the solenoid switch itself.

That said, it IS a good idea to replace that dogbone fuse: Replace dogbone fuse

eoc321
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Re: Electrical problems

Postby eoc321 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:28 pm

Well, I got a chance to check the solenoid last night. I shorted between the posts and the starter worked. So now i suppose the thing to do is to buy a new solenoid. I have purchased a 30 amp fuse to replace the dogbone so can I buy a solenoid without the fuse. Maybe an aftermarket solenoid? Ford uses a fender mounted solenoid. Would this work?

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WingAdmin
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1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Electrical problems

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:31 pm

I've seen a couple other people who shoehorned automotive solenoids in there, but it's hard to find one that's small enough to fit in there. No reason it shouldn't work, though.

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thrasherg
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Re: Electrical problems

Postby thrasherg » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:30 pm

As WingAdmin says, if you can fit it in the space and it's 12 volt operating, any starter solenoid will do.
The bigger the better as it will take longer for the contacts to wear out, but the standard one usually works for many years!!

Gary

eoc321
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Re: Electrical problems

Postby eoc321 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:22 pm

Thanks for the help and advice.

cbach1981
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Location: Salem, ME
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I Interstate

Re: Electrical problems

Postby cbach1981 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:01 pm

Might want to replace it with an updated solenoid that takes a standard blade style fuse. Make sure it's got a 30 Amp fuse. Pic is attached. find them all over ebay and other places
Attachments
    You only need two tools in life - wd-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the wd-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape!

eoc321
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:08 pm
Location: longview, texas
Motorcycle: 1980 gl1100

Re: Electrical problems

Postby eoc321 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:51 am

Well, I changed the solenoid with a used one off of Ebay. I got it cheap enough that if it did not fix the problem at least I hadn't spent alot of money. But the bike did start. I still have problems though. The bike had set for a long time and had old gas in the tank. I drained the tank and put in good gas plus a little Heat to dissipate any water that might be in the tank. I changed the plugs and oil and filter. It doesn't want to fire up as easily as I think it should. And the time it did crank it ran rough. I might have cracked one of the plugs when I was installing them so I am going to just get 4 more and replace them. It won't hurt to have some extras I suppose. I am hoping that I can get to crank and run long enough for the good gas to work its way through the carbs. But thanks again for the help and advise on the solenoid.




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