Battery Leads Arcing


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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nickyt44
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: United States

Battery Leads Arcing

Postby nickyt44 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:34 pm



Just purchased an '81 Goldwing. It arrived with a dead battery, although delivery driver said he had started it. Bought a new battery. With bike in neutral and key removed, installed battery. No matter which lead I attach first, the second lead arcs like crazy and I hear a whine (maybe the starter?). Any ideas? Thanks.



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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)
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Re: Battery Leads Arcing

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:37 am

Could definitely be the starter solenoid. If the solenoid is stuck on, as soon as the battery is connected, it will spark (because the starter draws lots of current), and turn the starter, even if the bike is turned off (key removed). That's also a pretty good indication as to why the battery it arrived with was dead!

Try giving the solenoid a few gentle raps with the end of a screwdriver to see if you can jog it loose (follow the thick cable down from the battery - it connects to the solenoid at the bottom rear of the engine, and there is a rubber boot over the cable where it attaches to the solenoid). Then reconnect the battery and see if it fixes the problem.

If not, it's time to pull the starter out and see what part of it is jammed.

nickyt44
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: United States

Re: Battery Leads Arcing

Postby nickyt44 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:39 am

Solved. The PO had taped together a number of wires under the seat going to the positive terminal. When I took them from under the seat and removed the vinyl tape, no more arcing. I was able to complete the battery installation. I now have power (lights, horn, etc), but still not starting.

nickyt44
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: United States

Re: Battery Leads Arcing

Postby nickyt44 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:47 am

Thanks, WingAdmin. Still no joy. Now I just get 2 clicks, one when I push the starter button and one when I release. Seems to come from the solenoid area. PO says it's a new solenoid, he still has the box. I'm guessing it's bad, though.

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
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: Battery Leads Arcing

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:42 pm

If you have a voltmeter, put it across the battery, and watch the voltage when you press the starter and you hear the clicks. If the voltage is dropping significantly (like down to 9 volts or less) when you press the starter, then you've got an issue with your starter motor. If the voltage is more or less staying the same, then it's a solenoid problem.




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