Lights acting funny


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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wbetheajr
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Motorcycle: 1982 gl1100i interstate

Lights acting funny

Postby wbetheajr » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:13 pm



When I was out riding last night my turn signal indicators came on, all the way through town everytime I pulled in the clutch the lights would go dim. Braking didn't affect them. When I got home and put the bike in neutral the light got bright, then when I pulled the brake lever they would go dim. Today when I went out and cranked the bike the lights were not on. When I pulled up the reverse lever the lights came on again, when I pushed the button to back up the bike will only move a couple of inches, pushed the lever back down and the lights got bright, pulled the lever back up the lights go dim and push the button and the bike only moves a couple inches, I done this over and over till I got the bike backed up. The turn signals are working fine, at least for now. Anybody else experience this?



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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:45 pm

Is this bike a 82 interstate??It sounds like your describing a gl1500
I usually like "funny" problems to solve...But your talking about the same bike I've got,so I'm quite interested now.
No,so far I've not experienced any of your symptoms.
Can you clarify about the lights?Dash indicators,headlights,or marker lights when you pulled in the clutch.
It will take me a while,after I compile each failure area in the schematic,to identify a common problem.
While we wait....
1st...Before you do anything,Use a volt meter and accurately measure the "not running"volts on the posts(expect 12.2-12.8 volts).Start the bike and re-measure it again.Expect 13.2-14.6 volts.

After that,look at the battery posts and dog bone fuses for corrosion and cracking.
Pull the seat and look at the dog bone fuse under there too.They can hairline crack right the screw and look good,so you might physically remove them for inspection.

Remove the battery,go to Auto Zone and have them load test it.

Usually weird electrical problems have a common source.I suspect it's battery related.

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wbetheajr
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby wbetheajr » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:08 pm

It only affected the turn signal indicators, it is a gl1500. The battery and alternator are new and the alternator is one of the high output alt. the bike cranks good.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:20 pm

So the turn signal indicator lights on the dash are the ones that are acting funny and not any other lights?

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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:37 pm

I forgot to ask.what year is it.?

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wbetheajr
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby wbetheajr » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:30 pm

Its a 92 aspencade and yes the turn signal indicator lights on the dash are the only ones acting up so far, at least for now anyway

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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:52 am

Thanks,I'll pull the schematic and see what I can figure out.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:49 pm

I've compiled the schematic from all I can find.The only possible reason JUST the turn signal indicators came on without the turn signal lights being on also,is possibly a bad ground at the plug behind the instrument cluster.The indicator lamp is wired directly to the same wire as the turn signal lamps.
A intermittent ground could allow feedback voltage to be dumped into a small light instead of a high power signal light.
Unfortunately you may never prove it.So many times just moving a harness will provide enough movement on a mechanical connector that it will pixi dust cure the problem.
So for now,the best advice I can give is when it acts up,wiggle every harness plug you can get to to at least identify where the intermittent connection may be,and clean from there.
You have way too many weird symptoms across different systems for it to be a power source problem.It has to be a ground loss.Even a loose bolt where the ground wires attach to the frame.

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wbetheajr
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby wbetheajr » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:12 pm

Ok, I done a little more trouble shooting on it today. Ok, when I first cranked the bike the lights were not on, as soon as i put the bike in gear the lights came on, I could pull in the clutch lever and the lights would go real dim, proceed down the road and the lights are real bright until I pull in the clutch lever, each time I pull the lever they go real dim and when I release the lever they brighten back up. When I got back home and put the bike in the garage, I left it running in neutral, the lights were on but they were dim, pulled and released the clutch lever and it did not affect the lights, they remained the same. then I pulled on the brake lever and the lights got bright. release the lever and the light went dim again. nothing else I done affected the lights until I pulled up the reverse lever and they got bright again, push the lever back down and they go dim again, so I pulled up the brake lever again and pushed the starter button and the lights started flashing like the four ways were on the bike would only back up a couple of inches. I have to push the lever down and back up to get it to back up a few inches at the time. I am afraid this is going to really cost to get this one figured out.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:00 pm

This is weird.Too many different,non related circuits for it to be a component failing or a voltage feed problem too.
It has to be a bad ground.Ill look at mine when I get home.It's a 88,so I can only hope that the harness is similar.
I'll look for some specific places to look or measure volts ,at and ground points.
I seem to remember the main ground lug is on the outside of the frame above the dipstick,and there is a bundle of green wires terminated on the harness just above there.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:27 pm

Im still looking on mine for some test points you can get to.
Till then,here's a pix from the right side of the bike,just above the dipstick.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:04 pm

I've exhausted everything easy you can check.At this point there is just one thing left to do.
***I am assuming that when the indicator lamp is on,the turn signal is off, just the lamp on.***
You gonna have to pull some plastic off.Get to the right side and inspect the grounds at the frame and the bundled green mass on the harness.
If all that's good,if your up to it,you'll need to remove the instrument cluster.we need to get right to the 2 wires that operate the turn signal lamp.If we can determine by measuring the volts on the two wires we can tell what's wrong.
By the schematic,the indicator lamp is tied directly to turn signal lamp,so the only way it can light and the turn signal stays off is if the ground is bad at the indicator lamp circuit.It's either right on the back of the instruments or the main ground that's just above the dipstick.
I truly believe if we can nail down the lamp problem alll the weird stuff will quit as well.
Keep us posted if you run into problems.Take pictures too.
.

furnacedoc
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby furnacedoc » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:42 pm

Hello, It sounds to me like a ground issue for sure. I would check all your ground point connections, remove them and clean them and out an anti oxident on them starting at the battery and main connection points first. See ya on the road.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:12 pm

In my experience, any time you have a) multiple seemingly unrelated things malfunctioning, and/or b) electrical malfunctions that seem to defy logic, the cause is virtually always a grounding problem. I spent about three hours chasing my tail on Saturday trying to fix something that simply didn't make sense, until I figured out that it was a grounding problem, and had it fixed in minutes after that.

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wbetheajr
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby wbetheajr » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:55 pm

Replaced the battery today, that didn't work. Checked under the seat and started unplugging connectors, There are 2 identical black boxes one on each side. Unplugged the black connector on the right side and that didn't work, unplugged the white connector on the left side and they went out, plugged it back up and it is working fine for now. Must have been a little corrosion. Thanks for the help everyone.

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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:01 pm

Clean those connectors out, then to prevent it from happening again!

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virgilmobile
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:37 pm

I'll bet a dozen donuts that that plug has a corroded ground lug in it,and the physical movement cleaned enough to get it grounded again(for a while).
It created a false ground that ended up feeding the dash lights,using the higher current turn lamp as the ground.

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noeleo
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Re: Lights acting funny

Postby noeleo » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:00 pm

I would also suggest to disconnect and reconnect them several times and add dielectric grease to prevent further corrosion. That has saved my tail several times.


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