Lighting problem


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Lighting problem

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 01, 2014 1:43 pm



I got a message from user BullCBX about a wiring problem he's having on his (I think) GL1500.

I'm at work and don't have my diagrams to pull out and trace, so I thought I'd post it here - someone might be able to jump on this and help him out before I get the chance:

BullCBX wrote:WindAdmin,
I have been searching through the web site looking for any information that might help me with a major electrical issue I am having with my 96SE. Below is a response you made in an old message from 2012.
WingAdmin wrote:The power for the headlight goes to the switch, which then splits it to send it on one of two routes - low and high beam, each with a separate wire. Normally the failure point is the switch, but if you have an aftermarket added DPDT switch for passing lights, that would be the first place I'd look.

Currently I have a headlight issue (as in no lights). The bulbs are good and I can directly wire them and confirm this. I have been thru all the “standard” fixes trying to resolve this issue, including checking and validating the relays, checking fuses, I have dismantled both the hand controls, cleaning both the hi/low beams switch and the start switch. After all of this I believe I have tracked down “the reason” for my issue, but it raises a bigger issue. The previous owner had a pair of halogen fog lights mounted on the front of the bike and during the course of my investigation; I have tracked the issue to this wiring. It looked like he tried to do the right thing by using a relay under the right hand fairing pocket. This relay had a power source directly off the + terminal (fused), a trigger by tapping into the BROWN wire feeding the light on the side of the fairing, a wire spliced in to the GREEN wire on the same light for the ground, and a split lead going to each of the lights. Pretty straight forward. What makes absolutely no sense is the BROWN wire (+12VDC) had a splice. I traced this wire and found a wire going into the LH controls had been cut, and this (+12VDC) power was connected to the BLUE/White wire going to the Hi/Low beam switch. I have scratched my head trying to understand the reasoning for this but just cannot come up with anything solid. Only thing that I can come up was if there was a problem somewhere along the wiring for the reverse system that was preventing power being sent along this wire, he took it upon himself to “bypass” the issue and supply power directly to this circuit. When I got the bike, one of the headlamps was out, so I got some new H4 Sylvania bulbs. Based on your statement above, I am guessing this BLUE/White wire (L/W in my Clymer manual schematic) is the power source for the lights. These new bulbs (along with both operational) were overloading the aux light circuit, and causing my fuse (15amp) to blow (I believe this was fuse #8 but I am going from memory). Right now I have removed the driving lights and removed all of the wiring associated with them. After replacing the fuse, everything works except the headlights. I have tried “reconnecting” the BLUE/White wire where it was severed, but there is no power on any of the3 wires feeding Hi/Low beam switch. Right now I am extremely frustrated and frankly running out of ideas where to look. To be honest I am about ready to run a purely manual switch and new relay for the headlights and remove them from the factory harness. Can you offer any suggestions? I have tried to follow the wiring diagrams but I cannot confirm where the power feeding the Hi/Low beam switch comes from. If it is the BLUE/White wire, then the only option I see is to try and trace it from connector to connector look for another break somewhere. The only other thing I can confirm is the reverse function is not working correctly. When I took delivery, the first thing I did was do a baseline maint (oil, filters, ect) and had removed the reverse handle and figured I had something out of adjustment. Since this BLUE/White wire is routed thru several reverse control devices, could it be possible something in the reverse circuit is preventing the +12VDC from being sent to the BLUE/White wire?
I have never had a bike issue like this cause me so many headaches and I am really starting to get discouraged. In the old west, I would be contemplating putting the old girl out of here misery, but I haven’t had the pleasure of a good trip on her yet. These things cannot be THAT difficult can they? I apologize for ranting on, but you seem like the kind of person who really understands the wiring on these beasts and since the explanation was so long winded, thought a PM might be a better way to start than to post a message. If you think a new post would be a better approach, I can go that route, but being a new guy, I do not have a comfort level with all of the major players. Based on my research, I believe both you and virgilmobile seem to be the most knowledgeable on the electrical troubleshooting. Again, I really appreciate all that you are doing with the site and could not have gotten as far along as I have without it. Just now I’ve hit a roadblock and not sure exactly where to look next. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Again I apologize for being long winded.
Respectfully,

George Newman
Loganville, GA



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Re: Lighting problem

Postby virgilmobile » Thu May 01, 2014 2:23 pm

I'll get right to it.also at "work". :D

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Thu May 01, 2014 2:45 pm

Sure cannot ask for anything more than that. Thanks a lot guys.

George

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby virgilmobile » Thu May 01, 2014 3:01 pm

Would you clarify what bike this is....make and year?

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Thu May 01, 2014 3:02 pm

it is in there but easily missed. It is a 96 (GL1500) SE

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby virgilmobile » Thu May 01, 2014 3:24 pm

What I find with your description....
The Start switch failed......
It has the wire that feeds power to the hi/low switch...the bypass was taking the brown wire(park circuit) and tying it to the hi/low switch...
The output from the hi/low switch clicks the relays....

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Thu May 01, 2014 3:29 pm

virgilmobile wrote:What I find with your description....
The Start switch failed......
It has the wire that feeds power to the hi/low switch...the bypass was taking the brown wire(park circuit) and tying it to the hi/low switch...
The output from the hi/low switch clicks the relays....


Virgil,
I cannot say the start switch "failed". As part of my process of elimination, I did take it apart and clean contacts and stretched the springs a little. As everything sits right now, I have no power on the 3 wires feeding into the Hi/Low beam switch. I have to assume one of these should be powered. For some reason, the PO had tied a a hot lead from the parking light circuit to the L/W wire feeding into the Hi/Low switch. I cannot think of a reason to do this and I'm just baffled by it.

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby virgilmobile » Thu May 01, 2014 4:04 pm

With the key on,the blue/white wire should have 12 volts on it..USE A TEST LIGHT,not a volt meter...A test light will load the switch a meter will not...Corrosion will pass voltage for a meter but not enough to light a test light very well...
This is on the right switch harness.Just split open the cover and expose the wires...no need to open the switches yet.

The blue/white wire is from the start button and feeds the hi/low switch with 12 volts until the start button is pushed....If the bike starts,the Head relay fuse # 12 must be OK and power to the start switch is OK....The blue/white wire must have volts on it with the key on...If it's not there,the headlights will never work..

The blue white wire goes from the start switch across to the high/low switch....it's the power feed for it and then each relay...

The output of the low beam position (white) feeds the relay #8 and makes it click. The output of the relay (white/black) has the power to the low beam lamp..

The output in the high beam position (blue) feeds the relay #4 and makes it click.The output of that relay (blue/black) has the power for the high beam lamp.

Both relays have a main feed wire..it's a blue/white and is fused at 15 amp at fuse #5.

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Thu May 01, 2014 6:26 pm

OK Virgil, this is the kind of information I needed confirmed. Right now there is a break in the BLUE/White wire between the RH and LH controls. I will confirm the 12VDC at the RH (start switch) and then track the wire across to the LH Hi/Low beam switch. I will get a test light set up to use in lieu of the meter (although the start switch is bright and clean as of now). Thank you very much for the new info and I'll make sure and keep you posted on how things are going. I have an appointment this evening that will prevent me from working the bike, but will hit it as soon as I get home tomorrow. Hopefully will have some good news come Saturday morning. Stand by.....

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby ct1500 » Thu May 01, 2014 8:27 pm

Fuse #12 (5A) is the feed for the wire you have no power on. It is located on the relay side of fuse panel under relay #8
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Re: Lighting problem

Postby virgilmobile » Thu May 01, 2014 9:50 pm

This fuse is correct..... but....as I read a schematic,it feeds the start switch.The starter works so the fuse must be OK.
Now If the fuse were after the start switch it would kill both hi and lo beams.

Is there a different wiring diagram that I don't have????

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby ct1500 » Fri May 02, 2014 5:21 am

BullCBX wrote:OK Virgil, this is the kind of information I needed confirmed. Right now there is a break in the BLUE/White wire between the RH and LH controls. I will confirm the 12VDC at the RH (start switch) and then track the wire across to the LH Hi/Low beam switch.


Just sayin there is a good chance that fuse would be blown by now as the OP does not now know. And you cannot take anything for granted.
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Re: Lighting problem

Postby robb » Fri May 02, 2014 9:36 am

I agree, check fuse # 12. It says start circuit, but it is actually - Headlights (high & low relay coils) circuit.

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Fri May 02, 2014 1:13 pm

Virgil,

When looking at the images you posted, is it safe to assume the "breaks" shown in the wire, (where there is a "Letter" and Number like C47 and C94) that these identify a factory plug connections in the wiring harness?

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby virgilmobile » Fri May 02, 2014 6:06 pm

Yes.Those are the plug number.The triangle is a "continued on another page"

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Fri May 02, 2014 9:06 pm

Just a quick update: With the help from fellow member hondageorge (who just happens to live with a few miles from me), I was able to find a clean cut in the BLUE/White wire under the air duct on the RH side of the fairing. Break is like a clean cut (doesn't look chewed or burned). Will take some photos tomorrow as I fix and splice. Right now I'm hopeful this is the problem and will have things fixed this weekend. Stay tuned for further updates........

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby virgilmobile » Fri May 02, 2014 9:42 pm

Fingers crossed.........

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Mon May 05, 2014 8:44 am

OK, wanted to take a minute and wrap things up. Currently the wing is functional (headlights are working). They function the way Honda originally designed them to work, but unfortunately they are not wired the way the factory originally wired them. Armed with the info from Virgil, on Friday evening I removed both of the internal air ducts from the fairing and found the broken wire in the photo below.

It was a clean cut. Had several house projects to do on Saturday (life gets in the way sometimes), so I spent most of the day Sunday trying to resolve the issue. First order of business was to validate voltage at this break (check). Easy enough fix, right? (NOT). After repairing this break, I checked to see if there was now power at the LH control at the spot of the PO rigged fix. No joy. Still did not have any power. Only conclusion was there was a break or fault somewhere else along the way. After studying the wire harness, it appears this BLUE/White wire actually travels from the RH control, down the right hand side of the frame to the rear and then back up the left hand side to the LH control. What I ended up doing was to repair the break I found under the duct, but spliced a new lead into this repair and fed it across the front of the bike and into the PO repair. Now the dimmer switch is passing control power to the correct relay (Hi/Low) and the lights are working correctly (off when the starter button is pushed). Ended up cleaning the majority of the connections on both sides of the fairing, and along the process got the left hand cooling fan working. Went ahead and synced the carbs while I had some much off the front end and they were about a half turn on the screw out of sync. It was frustrating couple of days, but in the end we finally got there. Really do not like bypassing the factory harness, but just felt I could spend days trying to find the issue. At least now each load is assigned to their original circuits (versus having the head lights on the AUX light circuit and constantly blowing fuses). Someday when I have the back end torn apart, I’ll try to trouble shoot the circuit a little more, but for now we are back together and on the road.


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Re: Lighting problem

Postby virgilmobile » Mon May 05, 2014 9:25 am

Sheesh...what a job...
Well done.

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby WingAdmin » Mon May 05, 2014 9:53 am

Sometimes it's just the more sensible thing to do - run a replacement wire instead of spending hours and hours trying to find a break in a wire somewhere buried deep inside a harness. I've done it more than a few times.

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Mon May 05, 2014 10:07 am

Just wanted to say THANKS again to those that responded to my call for help. As a new wing owner, I have spent a tremendous amount of time reviewing the "how to" areas as well as researching old threads trying to understand all of the unique things associated with these 1500s. I've had the thing less than a month and already I have had all of the front end apart 3 times already. Nothing seems like it is easy with this bike but it surely is a keeper. Look forward to a run across the north GA mountains this weekend with the wife. She is into quilting and we are doing a shop hop across 6 or 7 shops on Saturday. Gives us a good reason to do a 300+ mile day. Thanks again and safe travels.

BullCBX

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby cbx4evr » Mon May 05, 2014 7:34 pm

Hey BullCBX. Glad to see another CBX'er here.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby BullCBX » Mon May 05, 2014 7:45 pm

cbx4evr wrote:Hey BullCBX. Glad to see another CBX'er here.


Yea, I decided to hang onto my 82 after I bought my FJR. It has been sitting covered now for about 10 years. Figured it would be my retirement project an another 15+ years. Ran the carbs dry before putting it away and fogged the cylinders. Only thing I did not do was drain the tank so I know it will be a mess. It has a good dent and will probably be replaced anyway. Looks like you are currently out of the CBX inventory. Maybe it's time for another one?

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Re: Lighting problem

Postby spiritofrodney » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:47 pm

Thanks gentlemen for your input and suggestions. I have been lamenting over my electrical problems for about 2 years to the point I stopped trying, but these post have giving me hope again. I inherited my 96 GL1500 after my repair mentor passed. RIP RODNEY PELATA AWESOME CYCLES HITCOCK TEXAS! The beast would start on a dime, but I had no low beam, running lights, turn signals or stop lights. I replaced all the relays, fuses, hi/low beam switch, and went through the wiring with test light and meter. Nothing I did corrected the problem and after all that got discouraged and didn't even sign on to the forum. Today is a brighter day. I've had a CD with the wiring scheme for several months learning the system and with this recent communication, I'm very hopeful I can find and correct my electrical issue and get the Beast back on rode the before the Lone Star Rally in November. I will keep you posted on my progress and/or failures. Thanks again.
BEAR ON THE BEAST
SGT NORMAN MILLER, RETIRED
Da Bear on Da Beast
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Re: Lighting problem

Postby hondageorge » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:59 am

Don't give up Norm. You'll find it. Like a big beast, you got to eat it just a little at a time. I couldn't find an intermittent lighting problem and with all my checking, I'd check for voltage but just ASSUMED that all connector pins were firmly in place. Doing the same thing twice or more and I'd usually get it right. I disconnected one wiring harness (again), visually inspected it again, then pushed all the pins into the connector with a small awl and sure enough, I felt one pin "click" in place. Problem solved, but was probably that way since 1997 but didn't rear it's ugly head until now. I usually find it's something simple, but we use tunnel vision & thinking to rule such simple fixes out. Keep at it, a little bit each day, you'll eventually find that culprit.
lastly, as you see from the posts above, there is a wealth of knowledge here on GWD and people willing to share and help. call out if you get stuck, chances are that you'll get correct guidance here.
hondageorge
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