No spark?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Melloreel
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No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:51 pm



Ok guys. Another problem. Bike has been skipping since I bought it. I figured carb problem from sitting up!? It seems as though it would skip, then run smooth. I just pulled spark plugs to check, and found that the two middle cylinder plugs look brand new? I assume this was a problem the previous owner had so he changed the plugs. Spark tester showed no spark on these two cylinders?
So could it be a bad coil (s) how many does it have? Is this a common problem! Sitting in garage stumped :( thanks again!!!



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RBGERSON
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Re: No spark?

Postby RBGERSON » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:40 pm

3 could be bad coil or loose wiring
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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WingAdmin
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Re: No spark?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:39 pm

Melloreel wrote:Ok guys. Another problem. Bike has been skipping since I bought it. I figured carb problem from sitting up!? It seems as though it would skip, then run smooth. I just pulled spark plugs to check, and found that the two middle cylinder plugs look brand new? I assume this was a problem the previous owner had so he changed the plugs. Spark tester showed no spark on these two cylinders?
So could it be a bad coil (s) how many does it have? Is this a common problem! Sitting in garage stumped :( thanks again!!!


Three coils, one for cylinders 1-2, one for 3-4, and one for 5-6. So it sounds like your second coil is not functioning - or one of the wires to either of the plugs is bad (if one is bad, neither will spark).

Melloreel
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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:55 pm

Ok. I have taken what seems like the whole bike apart, but haven't gotten to coils yet! Are they under the air box? Or do I have to pull radiators out?
Can I swap the coil wires when I find them to see if it fires on the middle cylinders? How could I tell if it's a bad plug wire? Your thoughts admin?
And thanks to everyone for the replys :D

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ct1500
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Re: No spark?

Postby ct1500 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:26 pm

Not true about the one plug wire not firing will cause its brother on other side not to spark, no idea where these myths originate from and read it by a few posters on various Forums. Check for yourself I tell others, pull one wire off now go pull its brother on the other side, you WILL get a further drop in RPM. :) And no you will not ruin your ignition system. :roll: If I was a u tuber I would make a clip showing this not to be true once and for all.

To the OP you need to diagnose what the problem is before ripping everything apart. Measure resistance between coil wiring pairs as a start and listening for spark jumping while slowly removing plug wire.

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Last edited by ct1500 on Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:41 pm

Thanks ct. I was already going to take off to clean air filter etc, but I just read you have to remove carbs to get coils off-ugh!!!!!
I will look a little further tomorrow, but can't imagine it being at least a bad coil? I know there is a lot more to it, but I might as well go a hunting :o

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ct1500
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Re: No spark?

Postby ct1500 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:04 pm

The ign system on the 15 is pretty much bullet proof with no known weak points. Wiring on the other hand as in connectors is another matter, a simple test for that is a wiggle test of wiring which I would do with engine running at coil and ECU harnesses, followed by a visual check of the connectors themselves.

You might also want to check pulse coil connector at front and connectors top right fan.
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Re: No spark?

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:12 pm

Just a note.Sense you have 2 out of 3 working,you could first compare resistance measurements between the plug pair,then measure for 12 volts (with the ECM unplugged) at the ECM module plug to confirm primary continuity for each coil.
If this makes sense.
I've not heard of a bad ECM in this fashion so I'm inclined to lean more toward loss of volts to that one coil(at the coil) bad ignition wires(maybe but unlikely) or just a dead coil.
thus the continuity test.
Just like suggested before.
Take pictures and post your findings please.

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virgilmobile
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Re: No spark?

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:22 pm

Yet another note.
It's my understanding that the 1500 does have "pulse coils"
However they are not used in the same manner as the 1100 and 1200,where 1 pulse coil operates 1 ECM module and one coil.
At least on my 88,it has 2 "pulse" coils.
1 determines the number of ignition pulses and the 2nd one determines what cylinders to fire.
It's all a mapped computer program ,thus 2 pulse coils instead of 3.
So..at least on the 1500,if any cylinders are running,you can eliminate the pulse coils as a problem.

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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:42 pm

Thanks again ct.
Gotta tell ya Virgil. I'm just a hobby mechanic and I'm well acquainted with Harley's, but I'm a little dazed and confused by your instructions :roll: :D :D
I will keep digging and post what I do or don't find. When I took off a lot of the Tupperware, I believe I've seen aero planes that had less wiring and switches :shock: I thought it was just a motorcycle, not a rolling computer :)

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Re: No spark?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:29 pm

ct1500 wrote:Not true about the one plug wire not firing will cause its brother on other side not to spark, no idea where these myths originate from and read it by a few posters on various Forums.


Let's have a look at a simplified wasted spark circuit:



The coil primary (1) receives a pulse from whatever ignition system (points, CDI, whatever) is creating the ignition pulse. This induces a large voltage in the coil secondary (2). The electric current is "pulled" from the ground on one plug, across that plug's spark gap, through the coil secondary, across the second plug's gap, and back to ground. The circuit is complete.

Now let's say that one of the spark wires is broken (it could be a broken plug, whatever:

Modified wasted spark
Modified wasted spark


Where is the circuit? You are not going to be pushing any current through that coil, because there's nothing connected to one side of it. Which means the other plug is not going to fire, either. You have about as much chance of the plugs firing as if you took a light and cut one of the wires feeding it electricity.

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ct1500
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Re: No spark?

Postby ct1500 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:19 am

Lots of theory Scott but it does not work that way in practical hands on application. :)

I have worked on a lot of GL's from 11 to 15's and have also advised many how to diagnose engine problems by pulling plug wires and myself nor anyone else ever reported both cylinders going dead. Many other mechanics have concurred this point.

Go to the garage and check it for yourself. :) The 5 & 6 wires are easy access.
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Re: No spark?

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:49 am

Melloreel wrote:Thanks again ct.
Gotta tell ya Virgil. I'm just a hobby mechanic and I'm well acquainted with Harley's, but I'm a little dazed and confused by your instructions :roll: :D :D


You know the old saying...If you can't dazzle them with brilliance...baffle them with b***S*** :lol:

This may help a little to clear the fog..

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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:06 am

Hey Virgil. If you could just ride over to the house if you're not busy, maybe you could show me how this thing works :lol: you're only 14 or so hours away :D

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Re: No spark?

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:37 pm

Sure thing ;)
I got 80 degree weather for the next 3 days.

Oh wait....I have to work this week....sorry :D
I'll have to help from here.

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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:05 pm


Ok got the coil pack loose. All the checks you suggested Virgil check out. The only one was the 12 volts test, but it can't tell from the diagram where that is! iPad makes it blurry I guess? Anyhow everything checks out? So just order another coil pack I assume is all I can do now?
Don't wanna ever take out another coil on a goldwing :shock: never :)

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Re: No spark?

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:22 pm

The 12 volt test...it can be substituted with the ohms test....Probably quicker too...The plug is on the right side,just below the gas cap area...You'll see the ECM there too.

I'm a bit concerned that what you tested showed OK...
If the primary winding is in the 3 ohm range or similar to the other 2 and the plug wire measurements in the 20k range just like the other 2....where is the problem.????...
It leads me to two possibilities...
First..the coil is arcing inside and needs to be replaced....
****for a quick test while you wait you could swap coils***....
If the spark problem follows the coil... then it's confirmed..a bad coil....
You don't even need to put the carbs back on...just a quick crank will show the spark....If it stays the same...other tests are needed...

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virgilmobile
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Re: No spark?

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:32 pm

If you don't want to change the coils..you could pull all the caps,lay spare plugs in them swap.the push on connector between the known good coil and the suspect coil...Just swap the wires....
Were NOT trying to start the engine...just check for spark....If the spark stays out..that coil is bad...if it moves with the wire,the wire or ECM is bad....

Each coil has a black wire..it's suppose to be 12 volts with the key...the other ones can be swapped...As long as you remove the plug wires from the plugs.

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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:36 pm

Do you mean swap the ground wire and other colored wire on top of coils?
Your answer came before I sent this so going back outside for one last test then I'm done for the day!
I still believe I could have found gold in the desert easier than getting to the coil :lol:
And thanks for the help!

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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:04 pm

Ok no spark even when I swap wires? So I hope that means bad coil? Will order Tonight and up date
When something changes!

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Re: No spark?

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:13 pm

Sounds like you confirmed it.swap wires and still no spark.bad coil.

Good job.Kinda hard to do,but that's why you make the big bucks.
Your no longer a parts changer but good at diagnosing a problem to the part that failed.
I'll give you a thumbs up too when one is available to be posted.:-)

Melloreel
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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:08 pm

Called used parts dealer. They have one to fit a 92 interstate, and one to fit a 97 aspencade? Anyone know if the 97 will work? Thinking newer part maybe better luck?

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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:16 pm

Just want to update for those searching in the future. Found out "by replacing" the igniter that it was the problem. Bought a used one off eBay, installed and spark returned :D
The local dealers mechanic said he had never seen a bad igniter in 32 years! We'll I have one ;)

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virgilmobile
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Re: No spark?

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:52 pm

Makes me wonder why.
Did something cause it?

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Re: No spark?

Postby Melloreel » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:21 pm

Not sure Vigil? Cmose's bike has same problem, and he said he would update when he put on new igniter? I went thru all the years of 1500's and can't find the part number I have now anywhere. But did you notice that 92 is the only year they used the MY4 #??
The one I bought is MAF- think it might be off euro bike or something?




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