Intermittent charging problem


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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DragonRider
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Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Thu May 19, 2011 11:28 am



I own a 1982 and a 1983 GL1100 Aspencade, reciently both bikes have begun having an intermittent problem charging the battery. Sometimes the bike starts other time it requires a jump (after the jumpstart bike starts fine for a few start ups).
I have hooked up a battery voltmeter so I can guage amount of charge in the battery, and all shows good while riding, then I shut off bike to fuel or get supplies or to rest up and when I go to start it acts like the battery is dead (turns starter very slowly).
I have had a new starter and a new stator installed in the '83 and both bikes have same problem and both bikes have battery's less than 6 months old ('82 has a gel battery, '83 has a standard battery).
I have cleaned and tightened all battery connections yet problem presists.

I have been thinking the rectifyer may be bad but the '82 had a new one installed about a year ago.

ANY IDEAS?



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virgilmobile
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby virgilmobile » Thu May 19, 2011 1:56 pm

2 points come to mind.The stator plug next to the battery,was it removed and hard wired(3 yellow wires)2nd,have either bikes ground cable been removed from the frame,scraped clean and re-bolted?3rd,(this just came to mind)remove the dog-bone fuse,throw it far away and replace it with a real water-proof automotive type fuseholder.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 19, 2011 3:56 pm

virgilmobile wrote:2 points come to mind.The stator plug next to the battery,was it removed and hard wired(3 yellow wires)2nd,have either bikes ground cable been removed from the frame,scraped clean and re-bolted?3rd,(this just came to mind)remove the dog-bone fuse,throw it far away and replace it with a real water-proof automotive type fuseholder.


I was going to suggest exactly those three things, but you beat me to it. He's 100% correct, that's what you need to look at, in that order.

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Thu May 19, 2011 4:04 pm

All wires on stator plug were hardwired some time ago, all cables were taken off cleaned and reinstalled the last item is the "dogbone fuse" should I replace the entire fuse holder? and what about the main fuse does that need to be changed over?

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 19, 2011 8:31 pm

The dogbone fuse IS the main fuse. It screws into place, but age and vibration can cause it to crack invisibly, and cause intermittent electrical failures like you're experiencing. Besides the design flaw of the fuse in which it is subject to vibration induced failure, if you find yourself stranded somewhere with a broken fuse, you're unlikely to find a replacement at the local gas station.

For that reason, a lot of us replace it with a blade fuse holder. Blade fuses are easily replaced and just about any gas station will have them.

Have a look at this post, it has a couple pictures of what you're looking for. The dogbone fuse is held in place with two screw terminals, and the fuse screws into place as you can see.

Then have a look at this post, where you can see the replacement I used. I took a couple large spade lug terminals and crimped them onto the ends of the wire coming out of the blade fuse holder. I then just screwed the two terminals in place of the dogbone fuse. That's all there is to it, really. Make sure it's rated for 30 amps.

DragonRider
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Fri May 20, 2011 12:08 pm

OK, on the 1982 GL1100 I cleaned "all" the connections (took out battery and polished everything all the way to starter) I did find a spot I missed (my Bad) the '82 has already been upgraded to a 30a blade type fuse and the yellow wires are hardwired.
The 1983 GL1100 all cables have been cleaned again (since this is my ride I did not miss any spots the first time) and the yellow wires are also hardwired but it still has the old dogbone main fuse, for now I took that apart and polished it up and put it back together (just dont have $$ right now to buy anything)

I will let everyone know over next week or so if problem continues.
Thank you all great advice....

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Sun May 22, 2011 6:43 pm

Been a couple of days but the '83 quit on me again, I guess I will have to break down and replace the main fuse after payday. so far the '82 is starting ok but wife has been afrade to ride it, she is worried about being stuck (even though there is set of jumper cables in saddle bags). Ill update as things change. Thank You all...

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 26, 2011 3:33 pm

Radio Shack sells that 30 amp fuse holder for around $5. A 30 amp fuse shouldn't be more than 50 cents or so.

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Sun May 29, 2011 9:49 am

UPDATE; The '82 has been down a few days due to a broken speedometer (guess while down ill change fork speings and seals, put on new speedo once it comes in0 and hope that is all for awhile.
The '83 is another story, it quit on me right down the road from my local battery shop. So after getting bike there, they found three chambers real low on fluid (because battery has a black case you cannot see level) they filled battery, charged it up, and tested it so now all should be good. cost $000...

I will switch over dogbone just as soon as I can but at least I found the problem, and I will remember not to buy a batter with a black case unless it has a view strip somewhere on it.

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:17 am

I promised an update and here it is.
1) the '83 after I refilled the battery with disstilled water and cleaned all the connections bike starts great, has a few areas of concern but that seems more like the key or starter button since I turn off key, count to ten and turn key on and bike starts, and that only happens once and awhile.
2) the '82- we were both going for a ride and stopped to gas up and the '82 would not start. I jumped it with my '83 but it took several attempts before the battery had enough charge to turn over starter. once we were back home my wife informed me that some time ago she took bike over to Hurricane Battery (where we buy our batteries) and they tested it and told her it was not keeping a charge. Had I truely had that information I would have replaced the battery. now with having to replace fork seals and springs on the '82 ans fork seals leaking on the '83 I dont know when I will have the $$ for a new battery. I am thinking of buying the battery first and letting her ride it as is two more weeks until we have $$ (not like can hurt fork springs or seals anymore than they are) she only uses bike to go back and forth to work about 60 mile round trip.

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby TGStorm » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:50 am

virgilmobile wrote:2 points come to mind.The stator plug next to the battery,was it removed and hard wired(3 yellow wires)2nd,have either bikes ground cable been removed from the frame,scraped clean and re-bolted?3rd,(this just came to mind)remove the dog-bone fuse,throw it far away and replace it with a real water-proof automotive type fuseholder.


Hi, Seems I am having a few issues but not sure what you mean by Stator wire and hard wiring it??? Well first let me start by saying what my full problem is,,,, I noticed a few days ago my volt meter was only going to about the 10 or 11 volt mark, then it came up to above 12,,, today, it will not rise above the 11 mark, so I put a digital meter on my batt and with engine off it read 11.65 volts, started the bike it dropped to 11.30 volts and stayed there (bounced between .29 and.31) when I would rev the engine it would only climb to 11.70 volts... the battery was replaced about 2 months ago, and the Rectifyer was replaced last year... what should I do?

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:15 pm

Hi, Seems I am having a few issues but not sure what you mean by Stator wire and hard wiring it??? Well first let me start by saying what my full problem is,,,, I noticed a few days ago my volt meter was only going to about the 10 or 11 volt mark, then it came up to above 12,,, today, it will not rise above the 11 mark, so I put a digital meter on my batt and with engine off it read 11.65 volts, started the bike it dropped to 11.30 volts and stayed there (bounced between .29 and.31) when I would rev the engine it would only climb to 11.70 volts... the battery was replaced about 2 months ago, and the Rectifyer was replaced last year... what should I do?[/quote]


Ok lets start here, look at battery compartment, to the left of the battery (foward on bike) you will see a plug with 3 yellow wires going in and comming out. Those are the stator wires and that plug causes alot of problems.
It is best to remove the plug completely. cut one wire at top of plug and one wire at bottom and solder those wires together. repeat the process until all 3 wires are done. NOTE use heat shrink on each wire so they dont touch. It is a simple job just do 1 wire at a time.
This should bring voltage back up. while your at it clean all batter connections and make sure they are tight.

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TGStorm
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby TGStorm » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:20 pm

Thanks,, will go try that now,, I found those 3 wires too while waiting for a reply, lol they were the only 3 yellow wires right by the battery :)

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby TGStorm » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:23 pm

That was it,, Thanks a Million... I Love this Site!!!!!!!!!!, this weekend when I have time, I will change that wishbone fuse out... just where does the grounding wire plug into the body??? I tried to follow it but with all the chrome added it is not easy to see.

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:29 pm

TGStorm wrote:That was it,, Thanks a Million... I Love this Site!!!!!!!!!!, this weekend when I have time, I will change that wishbone fuse out... just where does the grounding wire plug into the body??? I tried to follow it but with all the chrome added it is not easy to see.



When you read this go to the top of the topic page and scroll down to the 2nd reply from "wingadmin" he has a link on there that shows everything you need to know about replacing that DOGBONE FUSE

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby TGStorm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:22 am

yeah,, never fails, when I am in a hurry to finish and head to work and try to place a post real fast I always screw the wording up,, :lol: I meant dogbone,, not wishbone.... and as for my question it was regarding the ground wire, and where on the frame is it attached not on how to replace the fuse. I have tried to follow it from the battery but the prior owner chromed out this bike, therefore making it hard to "see" into the bike. I will add some pic's to better explain.

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:11 pm

TGStorm wrote:yeah,, never fails, when I am in a hurry to finish and head to work and try to place a post real fast I always screw the wording up,, :lol: I meant dogbone,, not wishbone.... and as for my question it was regarding the ground wire, and where on the frame is it attached not on how to replace the fuse. I have tried to follow it from the battery but the prior owner chromed out this bike, therefore making it hard to "see" into the bike. I will add some pic's to better explain.


If you look at the fuel petcock, right behind it is a triangular piece of frame, with three bolts. Looking at it, there are two bolts on the left, and one on the right. The ground cable bolts onto the one on the right. You can just barely see it in the right portion of this picture:

Image

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby TGStorm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:20 am

Perfect... Thanks WingAdmin :D

zvacman
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby zvacman » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:40 am

My battery is less than a year old. Wednesday I went to start start the bike and nothing. Hooked my battery tender up and left it overnight and it started fine. I unplugged the tender that night and the next morning it was dead again. I checked the yellow wires and the connection and there is no corrosion or melting going on. I replaced the dogbone (I have a whole bag of them from the PO) and plugged the tender back in. When I got home from work the tender was so hot that I could barely touch it and the battery barely started the bike. I didn't have my meter at home but I figured I would get some more advise here before working on it tonight. Any suggestions? I'm already planning on soldering the yellow wires and replacing the dogbone with a modern blade fuse.

Thanks, Z

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby TGStorm » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:42 am

Here are the pic's that I said I would give, and why I asked the question before,, as you can see it is not easy to "SEE" into the engine lol.

Zvacman, I thought my wires were fine (the 3 yellow wires) till I finally got the plug apart and all I can say is I wonder how it was getting by this long, I will attack a pic later to show how nasty the plug was. I am no expert in any shape or form here but WingAdmin and the rest are really great here, sure they will be able to help you.

Now I do have a question about the pic with the lights, after I did all 3 things, my charge has been great, but today I went on a nice long Fathers day ride, it was over cast so I ran these lights but near the end of my run when I was almost home I noticed my charge that was most all the ride (about an hour) that was at 14 v was now only at 12 volts, I still had about 10 min to the house didn't think much about it but then noticed it was going down kind of fast, within 5 min it was now around the 10 or 11 volt mark. I thought well crap I will need to check all my connections make sure nothing came loose and thought it would be best to turn off these drive lights to save the battery, well the moment I turned them off the meter went up to the 14 volts????? I turned them back on and boom, down it went again. These are 12volt lights so there should be no reason to be over taxing the stator right??? any thoughts?
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DragonRider
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:02 pm

Well TGStorm extra lights due tax an electrical system, Now I dont know how you have those lights wired or the size bulbs in them. I have my aux lights wired with a relay and powered directly from the battery, but even those tax the system.
The old GL's use a stator while the newer bikes use an automotive type alternator which puts out more power.
I am sure someone will likely have an idea on how to solve the problem.

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TGStorm
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby TGStorm » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:07 pm

Dragon, I have them ran thru the fuse box located in the false tank, same connection that my bar lights on the back are connected to, I was only running the drive lights. I went for another run and sure enough when I turned them on down went my meter, I turned them off and turned on my bar lights and the meter never moved, it stayed at about the 14v mark. there is one thing that I did that makes me wonder,,,,, while moving my switch that controls my bar lights I crossed a wire by accident and blow the fuse, it was a 15amp fuse and all I had/have was a 20amp so I placed that instead planning on putting back the 15amp when I get a chance to get to the store,, do you think that would cause a problem?

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WingAdmin
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:05 pm

The ACC terminal in the fuse box under the false tank has nowhere near the capacity to run a set of driving lights. You should really be running a fused wire directly from the battery for your lights, and switching them with a relay that runs off the ACC terminal. You didn't mention what size lights you have - I did some experimentation some while back, and found that the charging system on a 1100 could not support two 55-watt driving lights - it would end up running down the battery even when the bike was being ridden normally. I switched to two 35-watt lights, and it was able to support those.

That said, it really sounds like your bike is not charging at all. The state of your "three yellow wires" connector would seem to support that. I suspect that if you cut out your connector and connect those wires directly, you'll find your discharge problem has been solved.

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TGStorm
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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby TGStorm » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:02 pm

I did remove the connector and hard wired the 3 yellow wires and I have had no problem with the charging till Sunday on the run, as for the watts not sure, will have to look when I get off work.

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Re: Intermittent charging problem

Postby DragonRider » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:20 pm

Personally I would run any and all Aux lights seperately and thru a relay to protect the rest of the electrical system.
A relay usually has 4 plugs 1) goes to what you are powering 2) is a ground 3) is a fused line coming from your battery 4) is a powered line coming from any power source. Relays are also aval in many sizes make sure you get the correct amps for what you are running, 30A is standard for AUX lights.
By using a relay you get prower directly from tha battery and it helps to protect your stator and regulator.




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