Electrical problems


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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jdjones1956
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 9:28 pm
Location: Bluffton
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500/6 Goldwing

Electrical problems

Postby jdjones1956 » Thu May 24, 2012 10:58 pm



I bought a 1998 GL1500/6 two weeks ago. I've ridden it every day. This morning I noticed that two of the side trunk lights were not working. One on each side. I pulled out my tools and got the covers off to replace the bulbs. I noticed when I opened the cases that both the rear lights, one of each side had been removed from the housing and taped up but both had bulbs in them. I pulled the tape off the bulbs, inspected the wires and replaced everything. Upon checking the lights they worked fine. However, after changing into riding clothes I started the bike and realized the headlight wasn't working. Thinking it was a simple fix I pulled off the cover and checked the fuse for the headlight. The headlight fuse was fine but the rear lights fuse was blown. I also noticed that it was a 30A fuse in what the cover described as a 15A slot. Now the real headache started. I replaced the fuse with a 15A which blew as soon as I turned the key. Replaced fuse with another 30A fuse and after about 10 seconds it blew as well. I checked all the other fuses which were fine. Pulled off both trunk side lights and checked for pinched wires. Left them off and removed all the bulbs (A total of 6). Leaving the burned fuse in I started the bike. Looking it over I discovered that the headlights, tail lights, running lights, dash lights, Neutral light, side stand light, fuel gauge and temp gauge were not working. Leaving the bike running I put it in reverse. No Reverse light came on and when pushing the start button the bike wouldn't back up. I reset the reverse handle, tried again and rocked the bike back and forth. It was engaged as the bike wouldn't move. I again hit the starter switch. The bike wouldn't move but I could hear what appeared to be the starter motor running. Since I'm retired, tomorrow I'll start tracing wires. Did I just open a can of worms? Any advise would be helpful.



daveinozbikes
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:45 am
Location: Dawesville, Western Australia
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500 SE Black and Chrome..

Re: Electrical problems

Postby daveinozbikes » Fri May 25, 2012 8:33 am

Don"t forget to try and swap all the relays..problem might be there. Best of luck as I don"t envy you and I have the factory and troubleshooting manuals. Same bike. Also. look on Google for "finding a short 12v"...might help.

User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 7663
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: Electrical problems

Postby virgilmobile » Fri May 25, 2012 1:16 pm

Here's something I do to help locate a short.
If it blows a 15 amp fuse it's drawing over 180 watts.

On a drain like that,I will use a 55 watt halogen lamp or a car headlight.They will get HOT too.

Remove the fuse and attach the light in place of it not across it.Remove the fuse and let the light act as a fuse.It just won't blow,just light up.

Don't use a little light,like a marker light.Not for this much current.

Obviously the short will no longer blow the fuse,it will simply light up the light.
When the short is removed the light won't go completely out but will go to about half brightness.

It's easier than a ohm meter as the circuit will show very low ohms under normal conditions.
Example....Ohm readings on a dual headlight is close to 3 ohms.Add a shorted wire on the other end of the bike and it drops to 2 ohms.

jdjones1956
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 9:28 pm
Location: Bluffton
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500/6 Goldwing

Re: Electrical problems

Postby jdjones1956 » Fri May 25, 2012 5:47 pm

Spent part of the day checking wires and plugs I could see with the side covers and seat off. I did find where the previous owner had installed an Amp gauge and a power point which are very nice items to have. Power point is used to run the satellite radio and GPS. The Amp gauge is proving to be the most important item in my current situation. The gauge is showing around 13.4, 13.6 so the charging system is doing it's job. However, even though the previous owner kept good records on fluid, filter and tire changes, the installation of the power point and Amp gauge needed some help. All the positive leads had in-line fuses which is good but all the connections were simply done by twisting the wires together and wrapping in electrical tape. Pulled all of that apart, soldered the wires and sealed with heat shrink. I keep being drawn to the rear of the bike as that is the only area I was working on when the problem started. I remembered when I bought the bike that the previous owner had pulled a trailer and I had seen the hitch but as I stood there looking I realized I did not see the electrical plug for the trailer. Ahhhhhhhhh, I may have found the problem as I got down and looked under the rear of the bike, low and behold, 6 stripped wires. YES, as I pumped my fist. Grabbing my snippers I cut the stripped wiring and used heat shrink to seal the ends. At this point I can only assume these wires were for the trailer wiring. Then I found a plug that was disconnected from it's mate. It's a 3 wire plug and is located on the left side of the bike rear between the exhaust tip and frame. I didn't plug it back in as it looked like it had been disconnected long ago. I inspected and cleaned the plugs. I installed a new 30A fuse and turned the ignition to on. All the gauges and headlights sprang to life...........for about 15 seconds then the fuse blew. I was bunned at first but having fixed some connections and capped some stray wires my day wasn't a complete loss. I noticed that there are quite a few plugs right at the space where the seat and trunk meet. I can't get my fingers under there to inspect so tomorrow I'll remove the trunk <sure that's gonna be a job in itself> and inspect those plugs and wiring.

Thanks for the input so far. I've Googled checking for shorts in 12v systems which help quite a bit. If I can't figure it out by tomorrow I'll try the 55w light route.

jdjones1956
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 9:28 pm
Location: Bluffton
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500/6 Goldwing

Re: Electrical problems

Postby jdjones1956 » Sat May 26, 2012 9:58 pm

Found it!!!!! It did end up being a pinched wire in the saddle bag lights. Thanks for all the help.

User avatar
thrasherg
Posts: 1838
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Plano, TX
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800, 2005 Honda Shadow 750, 2008 Yamaha R6 with RG500 engine, CRF450X, CRF230, CRF250X, XR200, CR500

Re: Electrical problems

Postby thrasherg » Sun May 27, 2012 10:59 am

Glad to hear you fixed it, wiring issues can be a real bugger to find and fix..
Have fun riding the bike..

Gary




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