Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE


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wingpilot08
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Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:24 pm



1996 SE with 202,598 miles....Just started this morning. Took the Wing out for a ride and noticed that both of my blinker dash lights were on..but dimly. When I tried to use the turn signals, I would get no response. Also noticed that my saddlebag light and brake lights were out and brake light did not work!..HOWEVER..this was only when the bike was IN GEAR. In neutral, the turn signals worked, brake lights work, the saddlebag light were on and all seemed good. Turned around and went home to troubleshoot.

Before the questions begin:

1. Saddlebag, trunk, ring of fire, side trunk lights, hand control lights and side lights on fairing were changed to LED / LED strips 2years ago and have been working fine since.
2. Some of the bulbs in the dash were change to LED..still working, changed over about the same time as above.
3. Nothing new..except a new outlet for my GPS has recently been install (on a completely separate ckt).
4. As I said the bike was running fine yesterday when I took a run to the store....now today I have issues

I'm assuming the issue may be a bad relay (#2 or #3)..but I have rotated multiple relays with no change...go in gear...light go out!

Will take any thoughts ...suggestions


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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby trike lady » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:43 pm

I'm thinking of a missing ground.
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby MikeB » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:43 pm

Check the connectors for the #3 relay on the rear of the relay panel. The #3 relay passes a lot of current and the connections get really warm if the connections aren't 100% perfect. Of course, no connection is perfect so there may well be issues there.
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:10 pm

You've got a bad ground. When your bike is in neutral, the lights are finding a ground through your neutral switch, which connects its line to ground when in neutral.

My best guess at the location of the bad ground, based on what isn't working on your bike, would be the grounding point on the frame, just above the oil dipstick. That is a central grounding point for many circuits.

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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:13 pm

Will be doing some digging on it later today..work back from my last wiring.
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:13 am

That ground point mentioned...right above it,sometimes taped attached to the harness is a plug.
It contained several green wires.It is a common harness ground link.Many grounds feed into it and one goes to the frame.Theres one on the other side too.
I have seen pictures of this plug with a couple of burnt/corroded terminals.
Any bad ones can be bypassed out of the block and direct grounded.
Take pictures if you find something please.

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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:09 am

I looked at all possible ground point that I had made and looked at many of the connectors....about to replace both Relays 2 & 3....but one thing came to mind....my battery, even though shows a good voltage, I wondering if this could be the culprit..Looking at my records, it was last replaced in 2007...so that makes the battery at least 7 years old. I know if the battery terminals are loose/corroded, this can cause some issues...so thinking my battery doesn't have a good enough output to support the bike. thoughts?
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby hugger-4641 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:44 pm

If your battery is still starting the engine, then it is not a problem yet. I would lean towards the ground point or the ground bus connector previously mentioned as the problem.

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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:51 pm

I may have misunderstood what was being said about the "common grounding points"..but from another site...this opened my eyes...gonna pull off more of the Tupperware look at the connectors and maybe try this fix.....

These were my symptoms exactly!

Symptoms:
-Engine dies when put in gear, or occasionally when running. NOPE (Runs ok in neutral)
-Occasional glowing indicator lamps (One or both turn signals) YES
-Weak horn YES
-Buzzing relay#3, when engine dies NOPE
-Loss of brake lights YES

http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/2-goldwing-technical-forum/384168-gl1500-common-ground-gremlin.html

As for the battery...I ordered one to be safe...7 yrs is good for the battery...I have a use for the old one anyway! (got a Big Crank on sale!)
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:14 pm

this is not my bike....just think of the ground and power issues....

10502164_10204283279661002_4081980675274322123_n.jpg
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:47 pm

Yup that's the common grounding connector I mentioned.
Good life from the battery too.Only rocks live forever.
Sorry,I should have added a picture...my bad.
Still keep us posted and take pictures...I'm sure your not the only one with this problem.

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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:10 pm

Those pictures were posted on here before in a thread somewhere...let me see if I can find and link to them.

Yup, here they are:

Bad Ground Left Side 1
Bad Ground Left Side 1


Bad Ground Left Side 2
Bad Ground Left Side 2


Bad Ground Left Side 3
Bad Ground Left Side 3


Bad Ground Left Side 4
Bad Ground Left Side 4


Common Ground Right Side
Common Ground Right Side

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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:30 pm

Well.....after removing all the Tupperware and finding the two common ground connectors...this is not my problem! They looked factory fresh, with the exception of tape residue and dirt of 202,000+ miles. I did spray them with a contact cleaner/lub and then taped them back in to the harness....I also replace Relays 2 & 3 with brand new relays. My thoughts are now with it being the battery. I currently have the battery on a charger and it fully charged overnight. After a few minutes of having the bike turned on ..running..(Volt meter showed 14.2 V), then turning off the bike...the charger was in process of charging again!
P1000606.JPG
P1000607.JPG
P1000608.JPG
P1000609.JPG
P1000610.JPG

I removed anything I had previously done to the bike...all lights added were checked for bad connections...SO...I do believe the battery may be the culprit! Should know by Friday or Sat...when the new Big Crank Battery arrives!!

I don't have a lot of extra lights on the bike..actually replaced most with LED's or LED strips. I am running with a Compufire and an AGM battery. Only the turn signals and brake lights are incandescent bulbs..and of course the headlights. I do pull a trailer and yes it has an isolator.. I also have a taillight Wigwag that was working but now currently is not, due to my issue.

I still have the left saddlebag off the bike to access the relay panel and fuses..but most of the other plastic is back firmly in place..hoping not to have to remove it again.

Crossing fingers! :shock:

WingAdmin...you pictures and tutorials are as usual a big help..don't know why I didn't see them here!
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:02 am

Ok...so next question is...what deity do I have to make a sacrifice to to clear up this freaking grounding issue??? :cry: I have been all over this Wing trying to correct the problem. I have replaced relays 2 & 3, pull off every piece of plastic looking at ground point, cleaned and cleared multiple connectors, checked fuses and replaced a 7 year old battery. If I had more hair on my head I'd be pulling it out! I was hoping to be out riding before the weekend, but it appears not...will be spending my Saturday troubleshooting the issue. And to make matters a bit worse...last night my water heater decided to spill it self in my laundry room! :shock: (it has been replaced already however...but took me away from the bike for a few hours).
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:08 pm

Bad grounds can be tough to find. When I've spent hours of desperation trying to find one with no success, I end up using the brute force method: I get a long wire, and connect one end to the battery negative terminal. The other end I move around and connect to the various ground wires that I find - on Goldwings, they're almost always solid green. You can do this by shoving your test ground into the back of a connector, to contact the ground wire terminal from behind. More often than not you'll eventually find one that when you connect it, fixes the problem. If the harness is exposed, you can then sometimes trace downward and find exactly where the bad ground is...or, you could just take your "temporary" test wire and wire it in permanently, providing a new ground and abandoning the old, bad one.

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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:49 pm

WingAdmin wrote:I end up using the brute force method: I get a long wire, and connect one end to the battery negative terminal. The other end I move around and connect to the various ground wires that I find - on Goldwings, they're almost always solid green.


Well that did work!!! :D Finally back together. And running just fine. It seemed the bad ground Watson the brake/turn signals.
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby MikeB » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:48 pm

Well that did work!!! :D Finally back together. And running just fine. It seemed the bad ground Watson the brake/turn signals.


I don't understand. Where?
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:07 am

MikeB wrote:
Well that did work!!! :D Finally back together. And running just fine. It seemed the bad ground Watson the brake/turn signals.


I don't understand. Where?


Fat finger typing and no glasses and auto spell correction! :D . Was on the brake/turn signals ground,
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:17 pm

After getting everything back together..we took a ride today. Everything seemed to be working fine...the the issue starts again......This time however, there was a strong acrid smell that was coming from the trunk area....brake light would go out while in gear!! Turns out that my wig-wag unit took it's last wag and caused the loss of brakelights! Don't remember who made it, but it was installed in 1996, so I got my money's worth!
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby MikeB » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:28 pm

I was wondering where the brake/turn signal ground was that caused the issue. I see it now.
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Re: Odd Electrical Issue...1996 SE

Postby wingpilot08 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:03 am

MikeB wrote:I was wondering where the brake/turn signal ground was that caused the issue. I see it now.

Yep..all is good..but I do miss the Wig-Wag feature...always thought it attracted attention..may just have to get another one some day.


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