Solenoid? Or relay?


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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SKMURDOCK
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Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby SKMURDOCK » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:33 pm



Help please.

I am having starting problems with my 84 Interstate. As in, it won't start without jumping to the starter side of the solenoid.

It is reading about 17 volts at the new battery, and the same on both sides of the dogbone. (I know that needs to be changed some day) It reads 0 volts on the starter side of the solenoid with the starter button engaged. The solenoid does click, but no turning of the starter without jumping to that side. The starter turns nice and strong when jumped.

I did talk to the head service guy at the local Honda dealer, and he mentioned it could also be a bad relay keeping power from the solenoid. He gave me a couple of tests, the other one of which I promptly forgot. I think the test I mentioned above (good voltage at the dogbone none on starter side of solenoid) is what he said would pinpoint the solenoid, but I am at best a poor mechanic.

Am I on the right track, thinking new solenoid, or should I also do a test for, or look for, the elusive relay buried in the nether regions of my bike?

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Stan



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seabee_
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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby seabee_ » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:08 pm

There are two things to test out. Sorry, but I can.t think of them now. I will get my manual out after I get off work and post the test points for you. Or someone else might check in and let you know. I believe it is the gear selection switch and clutch switch.
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dingdong
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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby dingdong » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:53 am

If the solenoid is clicking then the relay is working. You have a defective solenoid. I hope 17 volts at the battery is a typo or you have another problem. Voltage at the battery should be between 12 and 13 volts with the engine not running.
Tom

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SKMURDOCK
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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby SKMURDOCK » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:05 pm

dingdong wrote:If the solenoid is clicking then the relay is working. You have a defective solenoid. I hope 17 volts at the battery is a typo or you have another problem. Voltage at the battery should be between 12 and 13 volts with the engine not running.


Nope, not a typo. Brand new battery, right out of the box yesterday, filled with acid, and put on the bike. Just checked again with my multi meter and it shows 16.5 to 17 volts. Multi meter problem? Maybe, but this battery has never gotten any charge from the bike - other than the couple of minutes it ran while I was jumping to the solenoid to try and isolate the problem.

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:55 pm

If that's the reading you're getting from the battery with the bike NOT running, then you need to toss that multimeter in the trash and go get a new one. 6-cell lead-acid batteries are not capable of putting out that kind of voltage. Incidentally, if you read the instructions that come with your battery, you should be filling the battery with acid, and slow-charging it for 24 hours before putting it into service. Not doing that will seriously affect the longevity of the battery.

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SKMURDOCK
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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby SKMURDOCK » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:16 pm

WingAdmin wrote:If that's the reading you're getting from the battery with the bike NOT running, then you need to toss that multimeter in the trash and go get a new one. 6-cell lead-acid batteries are not capable of putting out that kind of voltage. Incidentally, if you read the instructions that come with your battery, you should be filling the battery with acid, and slow-charging it for 24 hours before putting it into service. Not doing that will seriously affect the longevity of the battery.


Thanks, multi-meter going away. Battery is not truly in service, just put it on the bike to try and solve the problem. Proper charging is following.

Now, back to my original problem. Seems to be the solenoid.

Anyone have experince with the K & S Universals? There are two options - which look exactly the same on web sites. One is labeled "starter solenoid" - runs about $35, the other "starter relay" for about $45. J&P Cycles shows the solenoid one as a replacement for my Wing. It has the blade fuse, which is good.

Are they plug and play? Or do I need to get OEM (about $85 at the local Honda dealer)

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SilverDave
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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby SilverDave » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Starter Solenoid and starter relay are terms for the same thing , I believe.

In general, for electrical stuff, on a 1200... OEM will work as they are supposed to, while aftermarket items may / may not. and usually electrical stuff is not replacable and not returnable.
You pays your money, and you takes your choice.

But ... I agree with others !!
17 volts !!!! WOW ..
serious error there somewhere... if its true !!

Borrow a meter from a friend, or somewhere and do a another voltage check ... and that should not be fixed " someday" but immediately, before starting it up..

SilverDave

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:09 am

SilverDave wrote:Starter Solenoid and starter relay are terms for the same thing , I believe.


Almost.

A starter solenoid is normally part of the starter motor itself, and is found in cars, airplanes, etc - but not typically in motorcycles. It has an actual solenoid, that when power is applied to it, the solenoid pushes the starter pinion out of the case, so that it engages the flywheel of the engine. When the solenoid is fully extended (and engaged with the flywheel), it connects contacts that power up the starter motor. This cranks the flywheel. When the engine starts, the flywheel spins faster than the starter motor. This causes the pinion to be pushed back into the starter motor, which also disengages the starter from the battery.

A starter relay is just that - a high-current relay that is used to connect the starter motor to the battery. In our motorcycles, there is a sprag clutch that is separate from the starter motor, so the solenoid/pinion/bendix found in an auto-style starter is not required.

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SKMURDOCK
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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby SKMURDOCK » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:44 pm

Success!

Ordered what is shown as a solenoid assembly, but is in reality a relay or magnetic switch, for 84-87 Wing from eBay. Aftermarket, new , uses blade fuse, and more importantly - starts the bike!

I also tossed the old multi-meter, got a new one which shows right at 13 volts on a fully charged new battery.

Finally, I got a 10 watt Battery Tender solar powered charger, as the building my Wing is in has no power nearby. Still have to get that hooked up. I will post in the future on how it works.

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby Asphalt guy » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:13 pm

I saw this thread and I bet you guys could help a 1st time owner out. I just melted the plug and 1 wire on the starter selinoid. The bike still starts? I just am not taking a charge. It seems the red wire on the plug is the worst 1 burnt to no connection. Would this cause the bike not to charge? I read that you can bust the selinoid down to where there is just the two butt conectors left, along with the pos, and neg of course. And rewire it with a mainline fuse. Before I waste my time I kinda would like a bit of advice, being that electrical issues are NOT my thing. But this rewire is easy. Connecting the red and red and white wires together, and adddind the fuse, I forget the rest, but its simple enough I'll do it if I know It'll charge for me. Thanks!

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby SKMURDOCK » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:47 am

Sorry Asphalt Guy, electrical is not my thing either. I am also a first time Wing owner and very new rider, actually just got my MC endorsement about a year ago.

About as far as I could go towards helping you is to state what you already know. Either the charge is not being "made" at the stator, or it is and is not getting to the battery.

That said, charging was never my problem. The bike would charge just fine, ONCE I got it started. Battery was getting juice, but the solenoid/relay was not getting that charge to the starter.

I know there are many on the forum that do speak "electric". I am sure one of them will have an answer that will actually do you some good. I hope you get it figured out. That is too pretty a bike to just sit!

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby Asphalt guy » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:01 pm

Thanks for the reply. I know it was charging, volt meter read as it should at 14.5 at 3000, and dropped to 12 at idle. If I can't find an answer, I'll find out the hard way. I'll rewire it the way I found out how to do somewhere on the web. Congrats on the bike! I've ridden for years, but never had my own bike, so never got endorsed. I have my temps :) When shes up and running, I'm getting the real deal.
:P

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby tricky » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:03 pm


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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby Asphalt guy » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:19 pm

THANK YOU!! I found one similar, but this is a way better explanation! I hope I show a charge when its done.

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby firemouth » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:21 am

I have a really dumb question. Please bear with me. This thread came close to answering what I was trying to find out. I recently replaced the starter in my GL1100. When I did I saw a motor with a gear or sprocket. The sprocket was not fixed onto the motor, it could slide. What held it in place was the chain that the sprocket teeth fit into which turns the motor. Now in a car starter as mentioned above, a solenoid engages the gear to the flywheel when the key is turned. When the key is released the starter disengages from the flywheel. But with the Goldwing I do not understand how the starter ever can become disengaged. What keeps it from always turning the starter when the engine is running? Thanks for any helpful replies.

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tricky
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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby tricky » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:32 am

There is a starter clutch (Item # 3)
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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby firemouth » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:35 am

Thanks for the quick reply Tricky. That's the missing piece of the puzzle

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:45 pm

The starter is permanently connected via splined shaft to a sprocket, which turns a chain, which in turn turns a larger sprocket connected to a sprag clutch. The sprag clutch is a one-way clutch, which means it engages when the starter turns, so that it cranks the engine - but as soon as the engine fires, and starts spinning faster than the starter, it disengages. This is why you can press the starter button on the bike when the engine is already running with no damage being done.

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Re: Solenoid? Or relay?

Postby firemouth » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:57 pm

Thanks wing for further explaining how that starter clutch works!

-Tony




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