Electrical box. What is it?


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mervk
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Electrical box. What is it?

Postby mervk » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:28 am



Hi. I have an 86 Aspencade fuel injected, with an earth problem somewhere, so decided to clean all connectors and earths. Have removed dummy tank, seat, and covers so most of the wiring is exposed. Started at the rear, and found a black box securely mounted beneath the topbox, just forward of the helmet locks on the rear. It is about the size of a car radio, and has "10 watt" marked on one side. I also had a quick look at my 85 GL 1200, and it also has one. I guess the connectors on the plugs on it will also need cleaning, however before I start twirling a spanner to remove it, can anyone tell me what it is?

Reason for suspecting bad wiring, after riding through an hour of steady rain, the speedo dropped out, as well as the temp guage rose rapidly. Over a 600k ride home, it alternated between boiling, and quite cool, and the only thing I noticed was when I heard the fan running, it run cool, and when it boiled, I could not hear the fan. So, doing 60mph on a warm day, is the fan required for cooling? Or should enough air get past the front wheel to cool the radiator without the fan?

All advice is welcome.

Cheers

Mervk
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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby trike lady » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:10 pm

From the placement and what you're describing it sounds like the ECM for the CFI.
The electrical box has a series of lights on the left side (when seated on bike) that emit a code when it detects a fault. Check all connections and clean them at this unit.
I.M.B.B.A. Technician II Certified

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mervk
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1986 1200 SEI and Trigg Trike kit.
1993 'Black Beauty' 1500 SE and chair.
1993 GL1500 Trike.
+ about 20 bikes from 1914 to current.
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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby mervk » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:04 pm

Thank you for replying, and I found the 4 led's so that's what it is. I removed it from it's mounting, and looked under the rubber sleeve, and besides looking very clean and untouched, it looked complicated, so I just reinstalled it. If when I'm finished I still have a problem, I'll revisit it.

Cheers

Mervk
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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby Mooseman » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:31 pm

"it alternated between boiling, and quite cool, and the only thing I noticed was when I heard the fan running, it run cool, and when it boiled, I could not hear the fan"
"So, doing 60mph on a warm day, is the fan required for cooling? Or should enough air get past the front wheel to cool the radiator without the fan?"

Sounds like a thermostat problem. Running at 60mph on flat ground even on a warm day below 85 degress, your MC should not run hot.
Enjoy the ride. They are all good, just some better than others.
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mervk
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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby mervk » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:26 am

Thanks, it's as I thought. Will replace the thermostat, and switch, just to be sure, even though a test ride today showed 3 bars only on the temp guage. I think it sticks in the closed position intermittently.

Have other things to worry about now though. Seperated every electrical connecter I could reach without removing any of the fairing, sprayed with contact cleaner, then re-connected. Also paid special attention to earth wire from the battery. Test ride showed speedo working, so thought I had nailed it, however after a mile, thick white smoke started blowing out of each exhaust. Thought I was on mosquito patrol, it was so bad. Mystery, as motor sounds good, and no water in the oil. Done some 700 miles since last topping up the oil. Local thunderstorm, so waiting to investigate further.

It's such a lovely bike to ride, and I'm so disappointed. I must have disturbed something to do with the fuel system (it's injected, 86 model) though I was careful to undo one plug only, at a time. Anyone got any suggestions?

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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:58 am

Best diagnostic tool for exhaust smoke is your nose. If it smells sweet, it's burning coolant. If it smells burnt, it's burning oil. It could also be steam from water in the fuel system, but the bike would be running rough if this was the case.

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mervk
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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby mervk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:57 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Best diagnostic tool for exhaust smoke is your nose. If it smells sweet, it's burning coolant. If it smells burnt, it's burning oil. It could also be steam from water in the fuel system, but the bike would be running rough if this was the case.


Finally got a chance to get back to this, and it isn't smoke coming from the exhausts - it's STEAM! So, investigation tells me:

The motor runs smooth.
Compression test shows approx. 150 psi each cylinder.
There is no water in the oil.
Temp guage is normal.
It is losing water out of the topup tank.

This bike got hot by the guage on a recent trip, though I wouldn't have thought it hot enough to cause damage. But how can water get into the exhaust, when the compression seems to indicate the cylinders, heads and head gaskets are ok? I rode about 60 miles on this tankful of fuel without the steam, so doubt it's water in the fuel system. At first thought, the water jacket must be cracked in the vicinity of the exhaust port somewhere.

It doesn't blow steam until the guage reaches it's normal setting of 3 bars. Not sure if this is where the thermostat opens, allowing the water to gain access to wherever the damage is, or if perhaps there is a crack that doesn't open until hot.

Before I start pulling bits off willy nilly, any suggestions on what engine component might cause this?

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trukr
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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby trukr » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:06 am

Have you pulled the the plugs and checked for coolant in the cylinders? My 84 had a head gasket problem and had the same characteristics, only I had water in the#2 cylinder. You could possibly have a hairline crack in a head between the water port and exhaust valve that opens up when the motor warms up. Like wingadmin said, use your nose coolant burning will smell very sweet. Good luck.

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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby seabee_ » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:30 am

Could be the head gasket. I've worked on cars that had good compression but when I did a block test with a chemical test kit I've found hydrocarbons in the coolant which normally means bad head gasket. I've seen head gaskets with the smallest tear, crack and even folded over corners that caused this.
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mervk
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:51 am
Location: Australia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1986 1200 SEI and Trigg Trike kit.
1993 'Black Beauty' 1500 SE and chair.
1993 GL1500 Trike.
+ about 20 bikes from 1914 to current.
Contact:

Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby mervk » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:22 am

Thanks guys. Plugs are burning a nice straw color, and there is no water in any of the cylinders. Guess I'm going to have to put it on the hoist, and remove the exhaust system. Then maybe when I run it, I'll be able to see which cylinder is at fault. I'll post back on what I find, but may be a little while before I attack it again. It's stopped raining, and I'm having too much fun on my 85 LTD.

Any other suggestions are still welcome.
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seabee_
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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby seabee_ » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:40 am

You might try to find a shop that can do a pressure test to see if there are leaks in the cooling system.
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mervk
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:51 am
Location: Australia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1986 1200 SEI and Trigg Trike kit.
1993 'Black Beauty' 1500 SE and chair.
1993 GL1500 Trike.
+ about 20 bikes from 1914 to current.
Contact:

Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby mervk » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:45 am

Finally got some time to have a look at this, and removing the 4 engine pipes shows discoloration in the right hand rear exhaust port, so need to pull the RH head off to investigate. So, have removed seat, dummy tank, lower fairing, radiator, timing belt covers, and RH timing belt. Using a repair manual that is short on info and big on "refer chapter X", which doesn't even mention removing a head on a fuel injected model.

The book says to remove the valve gear before removing the head. It looks like it should come away with the head though. Am I missing something?

The timing belt compartment backing plate appears to be split level with the bottom of the head, and appears as if it should come away with the head, timing pully and all. Again, am I missing something?

Have located the inspection plug for the T1 timing mark, however only way I could posibly reach it would be to remove the motor. There's a lot of hardware hanging off these engines! Have marked the main crankshaft pulley, and the outer camshaft pulleys are well marked already, and as there is a considerable movement of the center pully required to get even 1 tooth out with a timimg belt, I'm sure I will be ok with valve timing.

Does the switch in the thermostat housing control the fan, or is it solely for the temp guage? I intend replacing temp sender, thermostat, fan switch while I have them removed.

All advice appreciated.

Merv Kroll
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Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby seabee_ » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:44 pm

That's a good idea to go ahead and replace those parts while you already have it apart. They are not the easiest to get to. How long ago were the timing belts replaced? Now would be a good time to take care of those too. Keep us informed on what you find. Best of luck.
Paul
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1981 to 2002
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mervk
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:51 am
Location: Australia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1986 1200 SEI and Trigg Trike kit.
1993 'Black Beauty' 1500 SE and chair.
1993 GL1500 Trike.
+ about 20 bikes from 1914 to current.
Contact:

Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby mervk » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Finally got back to this. Head comes off with valve gear still attached, which is great. Found right hand rear head cavity, cylinder and piston shiny clean, so know where my steam from the exhaust is coming from. Both head and gasket have brown discoloration about an inch long, so suspect water was pulled into the cylinder on the suck stroke, as the leak was not sufficient to allow water into the cylinder while stationary.

Head is to be crack tested on Monday just for peace of mind. Have new timing belts ($97 each thru Honda Australia), new Thermostat ($85) and various O rings ($5 each). Top end gasket set was some $320, but none in Australia, so ordered one head gasket (at $111), only to be told it would have to come from Japan and take 3 weeks! Now, we are a country of some 22 million souls, 99% of who are motorcycle crazy. You'd think Honda Australia would keep one 1200 head gasket in the country? Fortunatly, finished up with two NOS gaskets from Bert Kingston Parts in Brisbane for $40 each!

So hopefully, this old bike will be back on the road by the end of next week. In the meantime, I had a wonderful 160 mile ride yesterday on my 85 GLI. Ain't life wonderful? Thanks to all for the advice and help.

Cheers
Merv Kroll
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mervk
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:51 am
Location: Australia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1986 1200 SEI and Trigg Trike kit.
1993 'Black Beauty' 1500 SE and chair.
1993 GL1500 Trike.
+ about 20 bikes from 1914 to current.
Contact:

Re: Electrical box. What is it?

Postby mervk » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:53 am

Head pressure tested ok, so had it skimmed at the same time. New head gasket, timing belts and thermostat, and it no longer blows steam. Boy, what a job though - there's so much to remove and replace.... was a real eye opener for someone used to working on old British bikes. I believe a sticking thermostat was the initial cause of the problem, causing the head gasket to fail when it over heated.So, now to trace some more wiring and overcome the electrical/speedo problems, and I'll have an uncle Bob.

This old bike looks like it has been around the world a couple of times, but there was not the slightest sign of a lip or any wear in the cylinder. I have never seen this before in any bike I have owned. I can see no reason why I shouldn't take it around the world again. Hondas rule!

Cheers


Merv Kroll
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