gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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virgilmobile
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gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:22 am



This testing is aimed at the gl1200 carb model bikes.It may prove useful to others as well.

My 1200 doesn't do this yet,but as I was on the phone and probing around on mine...IT DIED...right there..Talk about surprise :o

I devised this test method specifically to help identify why "your" 1200 intermittently dies on the road and can start right back up.

First,rather than using my fancy dancy equipment...I waltzed into Wal Mart and bought the cheapest analog volt meter they had.It's in automotive not household.It cost $10.
Here's the pix and a video.
The measurements are interesting in that it simply shows what happens if the ECM looses power due to a intermittent ignition switch or kill switch by reading no volts when it dies.
However,if the pulse coil should open and kill the engine,the volts go up as the ECM is now unloaded by the coil.
So while riding,simply look at the meter and when it dies,you will be able to tell which area to look at.
I did find on mine that the 4 conductor plug next to the stator plug was also corroded,As I touched it...the engine died.
WAL mart $10 in the auto dept.
WAL mart $10 in the auto dept.
probe placement in the shelter.Wires Y/W and W/Y..meter red goes on the Y/W..this is the 6 wire plug
probe placement in the shelter.Wires Y/W and W/Y..meter red goes on the Y/W..this is the 6 wire plug
Key on..engine running at 1500 rpm
Key on..engine running at 1500 rpm
As I bumped the kill switch the volts drop to zero.
As I bumped the kill switch the volts drop to zero.
as I pulled the pulse coil loose for a intermittent connection the volts go UP
as I pulled the pulse coil loose for a intermittent connection the volts go UP
This is the meter setting.It's on the 2.5 volts DC scale
This is the meter setting.It's on the 2.5 volts DC scale
meter set up with the finest attachment ready to test run.
meter set up with the finest attachment ready to test run.

I also made a video for yall to watch...you know...for those that prefer moving pictures :D




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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: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:28 am

Upon further deep thought,(4 or 5 minutes) this should work on any pulse coil while driving and it dies.

It shouldn't matter if it's a gl1100,1200 aspy with 3 pulse coils or the 1500 with 2.
There would be a definite change in volts across the leads should a coil go thermal.

I assumed something...That you know where the plug is...
On the interstate,it's in the shelter above the air cleaner.On the left side there are 3 plugs.It's the middle one with 6 wires on it.Just in front of the regulator.
SORRY GUYS.

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WingAdmin
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Re: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:08 am

This is great thinking, and when you think about it, makes perfect sense.

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virgilmobile
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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: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:39 am

I know "The Book" says not to measure the module.
It is in reference to measuring the resistance....An OHMS type of measurement could damage the module as a OHM test actually applies a voltage across the terminals.Usually 1.5 volts.

My measurements are for volts only and will not damage the module.

Obviously the module applies a small bias voltage to the coil and looks for a change in that bias when the coil is pulsed.
When the coil goes dead the bias voltage spikes.

I can see the pulses with a scope but it isn't something everybody can get their hands on.
I chose the cheapest meter that is common everywhere so anybody can afford it who wants to test for this problem.

If the volts jump up when it dies,it indicates ONLY that from that plug to the coil 'somewhere' is intermittent.At least it points in one direction and can avoid just throwing parts at it.

Remember that there are 2 coils on the bike too.Each one can be tested the same way.

On my 1200,when it died,I found the plug at the battery box was corroded on one terminal.I will cut it off just like the stator and solder it together.

jae56
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Location: Detroit, Michigan
Motorcycle: 1986 Aspencade and 1993 SE

Re: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby jae56 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:09 pm

Thanks! I will try this out as soon as the bike will start again. It's been about 2 hours and it takes a while longer before it cools off enough. (Very strange).

Bdt766
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: Lynde, WA
Motorcycle: 1994 Gl1500 SE

Re: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby Bdt766 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:08 pm

Thanks for the great idea. I'm a little slow so I need to ask a question. I'm helping a friend with a gL 1200 ltd and the wiring diagram shows a Y/W wire going to the GL sensor, which would be the cam PG is that right? and I don't have a list for a W/Y wire. I'm quessing its because of different color codes on the wiring between the carb version, versus the injected. If you could tell me what wires you are hooking your meter to (Ns or GL or GR) according to your wiring diagram version, I should be able to figure out which ones i need to connect to. Thank You
I'm looking forward to giving it the test.

Thanks for your good ideas, keep them coming ;)

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7649
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
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Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:00 pm

The theory is the pulse coil has a little volts on it provided by the CFI module.When running,that voltage pulses a little,to small and fast to see with a meter.
My test shows what it looks like when it's running(almost a steady voltage) and when the CFI quits(the voltage drops to zero)and finally if the pulse coil or connection is bad(the voltage goes up)
I tested this on my 1200 with carbs,but a pulse coil is a pulse coil regardless of it's function.
I would probe the wires directly into the plug of the CFI module.You can find all the colors there.
If the meter reads backward when the key is on,simply reverse the leads.
I'm not concerned what the voltage is,I'm only watching for what it does when it quits.
My pulse coils measured very low volts,somewhere around 0.3 volts DC.other bikes and pulse coils may be a little different.It's of no concern for this test.We just want to see a go/no-go effect.

Bdt766
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: Lynde, WA
Motorcycle: 1994 Gl1500 SE

Re: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby Bdt766 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:42 pm

Thank you this is very useful and quite ingenuous on your part :idea:
Thanks for the quick response. you guys are great on this site. This site has been super helpful. just reading the posts have helped me with quite a few of my projects.

Thanks can't wait till I can try this out.

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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: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:06 pm

You problem may very well be a thermal pulse coil.
Mine was a corroded connector.
I devised this test to be able to positively identify what has failed.I hate wasting gas money on buying parts and hoping it will fix something.
I do have a tendency to overanalyze a problem, but it is my time to waste.

Bdt766
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: Lynde, WA
Motorcycle: 1994 Gl1500 SE

Re: gl1200 ignition system test.Quits when driving

Postby Bdt766 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:28 pm

I can relate, we have thrown a couple items at it already and I'm not really wanting to stock pile a lot of spare parts. I would much rather know for sure its a bad part. Besides its a lot more rewarding when you get it all done and it works :D

Thanks again




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