No power at all


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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billcountryman
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:54 am
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

No power at all

Postby billcountryman » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:16 pm



I have a fully charged battery and the last time I hit the starter button the bike cranked right up. Now after doing nothing their is no power period. I've checked the fuse right by the battery and it appears okay......in fact I don't see any fuse problem. I've checked the kill switch to see if something could have gone haywire there. I'm at a loss at this time.........any suggestions would be appreciated.



Ghostrider52005
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:19 pm
Location: Olive Hill Kentucky
Motorcycle: 1985 GL 1200 LTD, 1984 GL1200 Interstate, VS 700 Suzuki Intruder.

Re: No power at all

Postby Ghostrider52005 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:14 pm

You may have already checked this but there is a second dogbone fuse down line from the one at the battery, serves as a secondary fuse. It might be blown. Look behind the battery deeper toward the inside of the bike and youll find it.
If you mean no power at all no lights no radio no nothing, a lot of 84 I wings were known to have a defective ignition switch. Even a few other models of the 1200 cropped with the same problem.
On the 84 interstate model if your bike falls into the serial number catagory that was affected Honda will still replace it since it was a nation transportation board mandatory safety recall. You can find out by calling Hondas national customer service. Not saying this is your problem but if it is you can probably wiggle and jiggle the key switch and get it to come on again.

billcountryman
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:54 am
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

Re: No power at all

Postby billcountryman » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks Ghostrider. I'm kind of a novice at this. Never really worked on bikes and such. Bought this trike conversion mid July and had it running just fine. I tore it apart and had it painted and started to reassemble the fairing and all and now this. I've not seen the second dogbone! I'm convinced its a main line thing though, cuz I got absolutely nothing. I've tried jiggling the key in the ignition...nothing. The main fuse hangs from the positive on the battery and up the line a little is a another in line fuse but it's not a dogbone. I'm presuming by dogbone you mean the strip of wire that just looks like a dogbone. I've not looked behind the battery. Is that what you are meaning? What is the main dogbone fuse plugged into.......the round capicitor looking thing. :oops: Thanks. Bill

billcountryman
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:54 am
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

Re: No power at all

Postby billcountryman » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:55 pm

I see that the round capacitor looking thing is a solenoid. I've not taken the dog bone out as it looks okay but maybe that's the problem......it just looks okay. Where does one buy a dogbone fuse like that.

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kwild
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:44 am
Location: Anaheim Calif.
Motorcycle: 84 Standard
85 Aspencade

Re: No power at all

Postby kwild » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:17 pm

You will need to unscrew the Dogbone fuse to inspect it properly. After 28+ years they become very brittle and crack (they may look OK inside the holder) but its probably cooked at the screws. Your Honda dealer should have them in stock about 1.50 each, or you could convert to a 30amp auto blade type fuse. Also check for burnt connectors at the solenoid.
84 Standard
85 Aspencade

If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?

Ghostrider52005
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:19 pm
Location: Olive Hill Kentucky
Motorcycle: 1985 GL 1200 LTD, 1984 GL1200 Interstate, VS 700 Suzuki Intruder.

Re: No power at all

Postby Ghostrider52005 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:23 pm

Is the fuse hanging from the post on the battery a 30 am blade type fuse? If so then the PO has already done away with the dogbone fuse. The round capacitor thing you are talking about is actually your starter solenoid. Depending on if the PO modified the main fuse to a blade type fuse there may or may not be a plug just up line from the fuse. If there is there will be two large red white stripe wires going into the plug and some smaller ones.
To really know what the deal is in that area one would need to know if the main fuse has been moded to a blade type inline which is part of a common solenoid plug and main fuse mod.
If it hasnt been moded then there are some plug connections etc there that could be the problem but if it has and its been done right then that plug etc will already be gone.

billcountryman
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:54 am
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

Re: No power at all

Postby billcountryman » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:29 pm

It's defintely a dog bone connected to the solenoid right off the battery hot. Tomorrow I'll unscrew the dogbone......I'm hoping that's the problem......if not I think I'll drop back 15 yards and punt. :) Thanks for the input guys.

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wjnfirearms
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Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1980 KZ750 LTD
2007 H-D XL1200C
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Re: No power at all

Postby wjnfirearms » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:57 am

If the dogbone checks out good, then there are usually only a couple of reasons for a total 12 volt power loss.

One may be the ignition switch. I see that it was mentioned that there is a higher than average failure rate for the '84 switches. That would make me suspect, but not necessarily the first place I'd start.

It's more common for a complete power loss to be at the battery. You didn't mention the age of yours. While corrosion at the terminals is less common for motorcycles than autos, it's still a concern. While the white and green puffy corrosion is something you don't routinely see in bikes, the development of a film between the terminal and the battery post can be. This film can shut down the power in a flash and is hard to see. What is more commonplace is the development of a load short due to plate separation within the internal structure of the battery. This can totally disrupt the power supply. This condition is caused by vibration over time. The gel cell batteries are more immune to this occurrence, but lead/acid wet cells are vulnerable and this happens way too frequently.

Another is a bad main ground. These are more subject to corrosion. When I was restoring the KZ750, the main ground looked a bit shaky. I replaced it with a heavier gauge one and I noticed an improvement in the charging rate (this bike has a factory voltimeter) even though it was acceptable before. Too many don't realize the importance of grounds and let them become neglected. This is a more commonplace issue with older cars & trucks, but bikes are not immune either.

Hope you find the problem in short order.
Member, Patriot Guard Riders, Blue Knights LEMC, PA VII

jeblack
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 8:43 pm
Location: Carmel, New York
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Re: No power at all

Postby jeblack » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:21 am

I also have this problem. I was riding, the bike had a sort of "hiccup" then, shortly latter, died completely. This problem is driving me nuts! I have gone through most of the electrical system. Found my Regulator/Rectifier was bad and bought a new one from RMStator. It was bad. Sent it back. They sent me another bad one. Canadian distributer selling Chinese parts! Even though the rectifier is bad that should not cut all electrics to bike (I've been told). Have checked battery ground, main fuse, continuity from fuse to ignition switch, and ignition switch. They have all tested as good. I am trying to track down the other frame grounds beside the battery ground. Have yet to find where they are. Does anyone know? '86 Interstate.
By the way, love the site. I have learned a lot by reading through the forums and the articles have been outstanding! You guys have really helped me in my quest to refurbish this bike. Have done a lot to her. Have a lot more to do.

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tricky
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Re: No power at all

Postby tricky » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:07 pm

Disconnect the switch coupler (8 pin black under the rubber cover right inner fairing well) check for voltage at the RED wire.....

No voltage = problems at the main fuse.

Voltage = possible problems with the switch.
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jeblack
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 8:43 pm
Location: Carmel, New York
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Re: No power at all

Postby jeblack » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:17 pm

Just got done working on it some more. Have been checking rof continuity on all the wires. Have power going to ignition switch. Ignition switch passed all continuity tests. Checked continuity of harness from ignition switch to fuse box. They all checked out. I ran a jumper to the acc positive in the fuse box from the battery and got some confusing results. That seemed to power up the fuses but still no lights, etc.. Found the frame ground, cleaned it and it checks out. I did take out a 30 amp fuse that was in the acc slot in the fuse box and have been checking continuity through the fuse box harness and the fuse slots. That was about the time I started to get confused. Will keep working on it. No choice really............ just frustrating.

jeblack
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 8:43 pm
Location: Carmel, New York
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Re: No power at all

Postby jeblack » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:28 pm

Update on power outage. After many long hours of frustration, testing and more frustration, decided to start at the beginning again. Checked and cleaned all grounds. Confirmed continuity of each wire in most of the harnesses. Ran tests on starter relay and ignition, they passed. Confirmed fuse box to be in working order. As I was doing all of this, for the third time, I made sure to clean all the contacts and lube them with dielectric grease. Rerouted all PO's accessories wireing and eliminated unneeded and unused miscellaneous wireing. Put it all back together and there was light! It seems to me the problem was slightly corroded harness connectors between the ignition switch and fuse box which gave me some confusing continuity readings initially. Went through and cleaned ALL connectors and used dielectric grease on all as they were dry to begin with and I never want this to happen again!!!!!
Thanks for the help. It is appreciated. Learned quite a bit about the electrical system of the 1986 Honda Goldwing GL 1200 Interstate, more than I ever wanted.

pudd750
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:23 am
Location: wacousta Mi
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 interstate
1980 GN400
1979 CB750
1996 1200 Sportster
1961 T120R sold
1975 Norton sold
1972 Moto Guzzi 750
1976 Goldwing sold
1972 SL125 sold
Honda Fat Cat
RD350 sold

Re: No power at all

Postby pudd750 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:45 am

do not lube contacts with dielelctric grease, it hinders electrons moving from wire to wire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dielectric
there are many greases available to lube and protect connectors - if its sold as dielectric its not one of them - i use axle or moly grease in connectors, pretty sure theyre not dielectric-- not sure what to use to wash dielectric grease out of a connector- brakleen maybe-
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition ... c-material hope this helps-

pudd750
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:23 am
Location: wacousta Mi
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 interstate
1980 GN400
1979 CB750
1996 1200 Sportster
1961 T120R sold
1975 Norton sold
1972 Moto Guzzi 750
1976 Goldwing sold
1972 SL125 sold
Honda Fat Cat
RD350 sold

Re: No power at all

Postby pudd750 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:53 pm

i joined the " dead in the parking lot, solenoid proved to have 2 red wires going to it that were toasted, crunchy, so i cut them off, and cleaned the solenoid up to (hope) new connectors would bring it back to life and went back in the kmart that i just was in to look for an electrical wire crimp pliers, and some new connectors, and they did, so i got happy voltage where it was supposed to be and the bikes perceptibly smoother, with that main fuse connection cleaned up " club today-
so is i wanting to delete that main fuse and go around it with a high quality (30A?) inline fuse? A chap wandered by as i was working on it and said thats the 2nd mid- eighties Wing hes seen burn the solenoid up (because its got the main fuse in it)?
the fuse itself wasnt burned or "blued" from heat, just the 2 red connections in the small 4 wire signal plug-(actually the 2 red ones are quite heavy gauge , to feed the whole bike)
fixing that and finished the ride in splendor was awesome- i can now say ppphhhht- this thing, if it breaks, its simple enough to fix "by the side of the road" (sic)
should that solenoid be replaced when it got that hot? its working- did anyone put a suitably sized inline fuseholder in ? (in lieu of the stock setup)

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kwild
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Location: Anaheim Calif.
Motorcycle: 84 Standard
85 Aspencade

Re: No power at all

Postby kwild » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:24 pm

You won't need to replace the solenoid, and the 30amp blade fuse works just fine. Here is a pic of what I found one fine morning.
I have been using the blade fuse for 2 yrs now without a problem. Just need to have good connections and you'll be trouble free.

I replaced the same fuse on my 84 Standard before it went ka-poot too.
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84 Standard
85 Aspencade

If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?

pudd750
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:23 am
Location: wacousta Mi
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 interstate
1980 GN400
1979 CB750
1996 1200 Sportster
1961 T120R sold
1975 Norton sold
1972 Moto Guzzi 750
1976 Goldwing sold
1972 SL125 sold
Honda Fat Cat
RD350 sold

Re: No power at all

Postby pudd750 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:33 pm

your melted and burned solenoid is an exact replica of mine, and finding units with an integral blade fuse for $13 /free shipping in ebay, its sort of a no- brainer to just jettison my ( probably) original -

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kwild
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85 Aspencade

Re: No power at all

Postby kwild » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:46 pm

I think that with that type solenoid you would be reproducing the same problem. Those dang red wires get really hot, and plugging them into basically the same configuration as the stock solenoid is asking for it. I think your better off with the inline fuse and eliminate the hot connections on the solenoid.
84 Standard
85 Aspencade

If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?

pudd750
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:23 am
Location: wacousta Mi
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 interstate
1980 GN400
1979 CB750
1996 1200 Sportster
1961 T120R sold
1975 Norton sold
1972 Moto Guzzi 750
1976 Goldwing sold
1972 SL125 sold
Honda Fat Cat
RD350 sold

Re: No power at all

Postby pudd750 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:15 pm

makes sense to me to remove the source of heat from the solenoid- ill need to figure which of the reds needs to stay in circuit with the solenoid so i can run an external (remote) blade fuse- im assuming the solenoid (start) circuit is fused at the main fusebox on top

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kwild
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Location: Anaheim Calif.
Motorcycle: 84 Standard
85 Aspencade

Re: No power at all

Postby kwild » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:31 pm

Connect one end of the inline fuse to positive terminal (solenoid), clip both red wires (burnt areas) and connect them to the other end of the inline fuse. This also eliminates the dog bone fuse.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... agpspn=pla
84 Standard
85 Aspencade

If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?

pudd750
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:23 am
Location: wacousta Mi
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 interstate
1980 GN400
1979 CB750
1996 1200 Sportster
1961 T120R sold
1975 Norton sold
1972 Moto Guzzi 750
1976 Goldwing sold
1972 SL125 sold
Honda Fat Cat
RD350 sold

Re: No power at all

Postby pudd750 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:35 am

ahhah- will configure- thanks- the inline fuse would automatically shed heat better than the oem fuse- (being stand alone) -im now thinking that the electrical joints on the fuseholder wires should be soldered (crimping isnt all that "hot") oops, sorry , sorta pun there

pudd750
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:23 am
Location: wacousta Mi
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 interstate
1980 GN400
1979 CB750
1996 1200 Sportster
1961 T120R sold
1975 Norton sold
1972 Moto Guzzi 750
1976 Goldwing sold
1972 SL125 sold
Honda Fat Cat
RD350 sold

Re: No power at all

Postby pudd750 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:06 pm

kwild wrote:Connect one end of the inline fuse to positive terminal (solenoid), clip both red wires (burnt areas) and connect them to the other end of the inline fuse. This also eliminates the dog bone fuse.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... agpspn=pla

which positive on the solenoid should i hook the inline fuse to? the big positive nut/stud from the battery? now that i have access to my VOM itll be a bit better to do

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kwild
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Motorcycle: 84 Standard
85 Aspencade

Re: No power at all

Postby kwild » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:57 pm

Yup, in the above pic...connect one end to the red post. the other end is connected to the red & red white wires. It is best to solder and wrap the connections.


84 Standard
85 Aspencade

If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?


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