GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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anwarg
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Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:04 am
Location: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1500 SE
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GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby anwarg » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:24 pm



I have a 2003 1500 SE which runs like a low-flying 'plane once it starts but most days I have to ask the neighbour to give me a push. Then she starts first time. With the starter she swings and doesn't even splutter. On cold days I don't even try the starter because I'll just swing the battery flat. I'm convinced it's an electrical problem related to the ignition system. I've found that it's a complicated system of diodes which then gets a coil to fire the plugs. The plugs are all new and gaps, firing, etc. are all sorted. What gets me is that a little push of 5 or 6 meters gets her started first time but swinging with the starter doesn't even get a splutter!

Any suggestions?



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Dusty Boots
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500Aspencade

Re: GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby Dusty Boots » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:47 pm

You should correct your typo error of what year your 1500 is as the last year they were in production was 2000. ;)

How old and in what condition is your battery? Is it reading 12.6 volts when you put a multi meter on it?
The 1500s need a very healthy battery to spark life to it.

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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: GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:55 pm

The 1500 uses a computer controlled ignition system.It does not work well,if at all,when the supply voltage to it drops below 10.5 volts.
I saw my volt meter showing 12.6 volts at first and drop to 9.8 when I was cranking the engine.
My 88 gl1500 will crank ok but not start if the battery is just a little weak.
I also noticed that when I try to start it after setting a month without a charger ,the tach does not move...no spark.
I've sense then keep a maintenance charger when I park it.
I'll get a AGM battery next time.
I also keep a "jump box" in the bike...

anwarg
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:04 am
Location: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1500 SE
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Re: GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby anwarg » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:24 am

It took me months to find out which model my baby is until I found this website. Wingadmin told me to look on the frame in front of the right handle where my stamp says 2003 Ohio. There is still a discrepancy, though, because the VIN starts with an "S" which he says is the frame's VIN! So, now I'm wondering if my bike is made up of different parts! It's ok if that's so because it runs just fine. I've downloaded the 2003 manuals so, when I get a chance to do a little stripping again (with the proper manuals this time), I'll check if the 2003 manuals match my bike.

The battery voltage explanation makes sense because that would explain why a push start works immediately: The spark would then be supplied by the alternator and not the battery.

The bad news is that my neighbour is moving. Here's hoping the new neighbours are as friendly and helpful as the present ones and you guys.

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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: GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:04 am

The spark is supplied by the battery.Its voltage is higher when you don't crank the bike.
When you crank the bike,the voltage drops.If it drops too low (below 10 volts) the ignition quits working.
The alternator does not put out any power until it gets turning pretty fast.Usually around 500 engine rpm.

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Dwight_n_Sue
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Motorcycle: '96 GoldWing GL1500 SE w\ 2004 Lehman GTL Trike conversion

Re: GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby Dwight_n_Sue » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:31 am

My '96 GL1500 SE has a cold start issue. I found an article that said if I hit the starter for 3 or so seconds and release, possible 5 or 6 times, the bike will start. Seems the voltage will increase after the starter is released and the coasting engine will use the higher voltage to engage all of the systems needed to get it running. I have a newer battery on a battery tender in the cold months and the trike is stored in an unheated garage. I have been able to start the bike using this method in all but the coldest of days. I have no problem starting my trike when temps are over 50 (F). I'll go looking for the information and post a link.

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:01 am

anwarg wrote:It took me months to find out which model my baby is until I found this website. Wingadmin told me to look on the frame in front of the right handle where my stamp says 2003 Ohio. There is still a discrepancy, though, because the VIN starts with an "S" which he says is the frame's VIN! So, now I'm wondering if my bike is made up of different parts! It's ok if that's so because it runs just fine. I've downloaded the 2003 manuals so, when I get a chance to do a little stripping again (with the proper manuals this time), I'll check if the 2003 manuals match my bike.

The battery voltage explanation makes sense because that would explain why a push start works immediately: The spark would then be supplied by the alternator and not the battery.

The bad news is that my neighbour is moving. Here's hoping the new neighbours are as friendly and helpful as the present ones and you guys.


If it is a 2003, it is not a GL1500, it is a GL1800. And if it is a GL1500, it is not a 2003.

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TheChief
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Location: Richmond, Virginia
Motorcycle: 1992 Yamaha Venture Royale, 2003 Harley 883 Sportster, 1999 Goldwing Aspencade SE GL-1500
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Re: GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby TheChief » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:36 pm

I ran into this same problem with my "new" '99 1500. Turns out the battery had a bad cell. With a new battery she fires right up.

With that said, give the battery cables a once over. If you find green corrosion on the positive lead, replace it. Clean the battery terminals and the cable lugs (a small brass or stainless steel brush is your friend). Make sure the connections are tight and then coat them with some "battery terminal grease" or petroleum jelly. Deltran Battery tenders are lifesavers....
Cliff Hipsher
ICC USN (Ret.)
'03 883 XLH
'91 Yamaha Venture Royale
'99 Honda Goldwing Aspencade SE
I.A.M.B.K.
Safety is NO accident.
I Ride. Therefore I am....

anwarg
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:04 am
Location: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1500 SE
Contact:

Re: GL1500 SE Cold Start Problem

Postby anwarg » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:23 am

Thanx for the advice. Bought a portable jump starter and now she starts first time, every time. Took the battery out just to check and found that all the cells were completely dry! I could see the plates clearly right to the bottom. The amazing thing is that the battery charged up to well over 12V with these dry cells.

Anyway, that's all sorted now. I jump the battery at home and, once she's started, I don't need the jumper anymore so I leave it at home. The jump starter also comes in handy for my van which also had a dry battery!

Killed two birds with one stone!




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