Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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4 posts • Page 1 of 1
- Posts: 147
- Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 11:17 am
- Location: Hitchcock, Tx
- Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1982 GL1100 STD
1976 GL1000 "800lb Canary"
It could be low water in the battery if you have the "old type". Check the water level, clean the connections, give it a good charge. Then watch the volt meter. If you have say 12.5v and it drops below about 10v when you push the button, you most likey need a new one.
- Posts: 2
- Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:15 pm
- Location: alton, Illinois
- Motorcycle: 1984 Honda Goldwing
Thanks a bunch, I just purchased the bike and supposidly the battery was new, it looks rather new, have not looked for date stamp, the first and only time I took it out since I bought it, went to the gas station 2 miles away, shut if off and it would not start again, pushed to start and when I got home it never tried to crank over again. I did try to use a jump start charger to no avail, it never cranked after that.
- Posts: 12
- Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:23 am
- Location: Council Bluffs, IA
- Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
Hey Gary, A good way to test the starter is to hook a jump box directly to the starter. The long bolts that hold the endcaps on to the starter make an easy clip point for the negative lead (black) on the jump box and guarantee a good ground. Then clip the red (positive) to the input bolt on the starter after you disconnect the starter wire. With the bike in neutral and the kill switch set to off (unless of course u want to start the bike then turn the ignition on also) turn your jump box on and see if the starter cranks. If it doesnt you either have a bad jump box or a bad starter. If it does turn over it is time to start tracing the problem from there. I just replaced my starter two weeks ago on my 85 LTD. I got extremely lucky when I replaced it because I bought a used starter on ebay that nobody else bid on for 24.99 and figured I would take chance on it for a couple of reasons. One, It was 24.99! Cheapest ones I could find at the local bike shops in the Omaha area was $195+tax(new). Some as much as 350$!!! Cheapest ones I could find new online were about 95$ Not bad but I still thought I could do it for cheaper and I hate having to deal with mail order returns if something is wrong. The second reason was this site's how to articles. I read one about rebuilding a starter by Tim Wentzell. It is under the how to articals section above. The link is viewtopic.php?f=11&t=259. After I read his article I looked online for a rebuild kit for the starter because the article was very detailed and It didnt sound out of my league as far as tools and time and mechanical ability are concerned. Plus I figured I would have an extra starter to practice on before I rebuilt the new to me, used starter. The rebuild kit I found on ebay was 28$ and came with everything I needed to rebuild my starter. So all together with shipping I would have 60$ invested. Cheaper than 95$ and way cheaper than 195$ (although it would have been nice to get one that day!) And that attitude right there is what caused the way it really turned out (lack of patience). When I got the new starter I tested it with the jumpbox method I mentioned above. (Both starters on the workbench side by side--yes I labeled the new used one because I'm forgetful.) The old starter wouldnt turn over on the bike--made kind of a growly grinding noise with the jump box hooked to it but wouldnt turn the bike over. Even smacked it a couple times with a rubber mallet for good measure. Still wouldnt turn. On the bench the old starter would turn over though and seemed to work. When I compared the two side by side I noticed the new one off ebay seemed to be turning at about three times as fast as the old one i took off the bike. This made me happy because the new one seemed strong and for a second I wondered why the old starter worked off the bike but not on it. Here is where the patience came into play. I knew I had this really strong used starter that i felt like I stole for 25$ and I was still waiting on the rebuild kit and exhaust manifold gaskets. I ordered the gaskets later when I realized on my bike I had to drop the exhaust and one of the manifold studs just to get the darn starter out! And If they would have made the case or the shaft of the starter just a 1/16th of an inch shorter removing all that crap wouldnt be necessary. Yeah I thought about grinding some off the splined end of the new starter just for ease of removal later! I am pretty sure it would still function fine with a slightly shorter splined shaft but I dont recommend trying that just to be safe. Anyway, I wanted to go riding instead of waiting on parts plus I couldnt wait to hear my bike start because for the longest time I thought my slow starting problems were alternator and battery related. I purchased it with a Poor Boy add on alternator kit and some people have had problems due to small pulleys that come with it for the crank and that sounded like my issues. So like any impatient person would do I installed the new used starter without replacing the exhaust gaskets or rebuilding the starter. For 2 weeks now the bike has started faster than ever and my battery and charging volatages have even been about a half volt higher than normal which has me baffled. If anyone can explain how replacing the starter would make my bike charge at 13.6v max instead of 13.1v max please explain. As a bandaid for my problem I was having I bought a battery tender to keep the bike charged when I wasnt riding it because despite the new battery it seemed to always be dead plud they say that those extend the life of batteries quite a bit and and I fugured If it made it through winter it would already have paid for itself. I was also lucky because when i put the exhaust back on the old gaskets didnt leak the last 2 weeks. So I got lazy and decided to finish out the riding season and this winter I will rebuild the extra starter I have assuming the armature checks out since all the other parts are basically new. Think i might take a look at the timing belts and possibly install a larger pulley on the crank for my Poor boy kit this winter also. Sorry to be so windy but since I just replaced mine I figured you would find the pricing options handy since they would be current. (The rebuild kits and exhaust gaskets should be easy to find) Take a look at that rebuild article before you do anything (including testing) There are alot of good tips such as holding the 12v input stud on the starter with another wrench so you dont break the insulator inside. You will need to do this if you plan to use the jump box testing method when you remove the starter wire. It took me about 8 hours to take exhaust and starter off and reinstall but I am a novice and most of my tools were given to me at different christmases. And my mom picked them out not my dad
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