Lost running/brake lights


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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CCjon
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE with Champion sidecar
Renovated and sold 1982 Goldwing

Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:38 pm



Hi, newbie here, not to motorcycles but to Goldwings. Bought a 1994 GL1500 with a Champion sidecar.

After following all the great "How To" articles here, serviced the spline, gear box, oil change, changed all three air filters, new spark plugs, mounted CT on rear, rear MC tire on front and replaced the ten year old sidecar tire. Checked brake pads - OK, greased axles, check all fuses, cleaned up some rat's nest wiring. Install a voltmeter. Am no stranger to working on my own bike, but this Wing os the most complicated bike I have ever worked on.

Put everything back together, Bike started up fine, everything working. Took it around the block slowly to check out my work when suddenly it loses running lights and brake lights. Back in the garage, bike starts and runs fine, headlight comes on, turn signals work, air compressor works, electric fuel pump in sidecar works, electric trim on sidecar works, but none of the running lights, brake lights or gauges (fuel and temp gauges) come on.

Checked the right side, both main fuses and reverse fuses, all okay. Checked the fuses on the left side, all okay. Now scratching my head, where to look next???

Help please. What should I check next?

CCjon



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WingAdmin
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:21 pm

CCjon wrote:Hi, newbie here, not to motorcycles but to Goldwings. Bought a 1994 GL1500 with a Champion sidecar.

After following all the great "How To" articles here, serviced the spline, gear box, oil change, changed all three air filters, new spark plugs, mounted CT on rear, rear MC tire on front and replaced the ten year old sidecar tire. Checked brake pads - OK, greased axles, check all fuses, cleaned up some rat's nest wiring. Install a voltmeter. Am no stranger to working on my own bike, but this Wing os the most complicated bike I have ever worked on.

Put everything back together, Bike started up fine, everything working. Took it around the block slowly to check out my work when suddenly it loses running lights and brake lights. Back in the garage, bike starts and runs fine, headlight comes on, turn signals work, air compressor works, electric fuel pump in sidecar works, electric trim on sidecar works, but none of the running lights, brake lights or gauges (fuel and temp gauges) come on.

Checked the right side, both main fuses and reverse fuses, all okay. Checked the fuses on the left side, all okay. Now scratching my head, where to look next???

Help please. What should I check next?

CCjon


That is a head scratcher - because you named items that use two different power sources (gauges/running lights, brake lights). Each uses different fuses. I would start by checking relay 3 - swap it with relay 1 (horn and turn signals) and see if it makes any difference.

GL1500 Relays
GL1500 Relays

CCjon
Posts: 31
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE with Champion sidecar
Renovated and sold 1982 Goldwing

Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:40 pm

Looks like you have to remove the left saddlebag to get to those relays, right?

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:43 pm

CCjon wrote:Looks like you have to remove the left saddlebag to get to those relays, right?


You can get to it by just loosening it - remove the side bolts and loosen the bottom bolts (all inside the saddlebag) and pull the saddlebag away slightly.

CCjon
Posts: 31
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:56 pm

Swapped relays #1 and #3', no change in situation.

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:05 am

Alright, well let's start with the tail and brake lights. The only thing they share is a ground. So remove the trunk under cover (see the first five steps of How to remove and replace your rear wheel. Underneath the trunk, you'll see all the wiring for the rear lights on the trunk, connected with several connectors. Pull one of these connectors down, and identify the ground wire (it's green, with no stripe - make sure it is solid green). Take a piece of wire, ground one end of it (connect it to the battery negative terminal, or to a solid piece of frame or engine), and push the other end into the back of the connector where the green wire goes in. This should contact the back of the ground terminal, and provide a known good ground. If your lights start working when you do this, then we know you've got a bad ground somewhere.

CCjon
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:33 pm

Will try that tonight and post results.
Thank you

CCjon
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:29 pm

Tonight after supper, disconnected wire coupling under trunk, plugged jumper wire into green wire socket, other end to bare frame.. nothing. No reaction of any kind. reconnected those wires, then tried again by disconnecting the wires going to the left saddlebag lights, jumper wire into green wire socket coming from bike, other end to bare frame...nothing.

A possible cause of the problem may have to do with how I installed the Heads Up voltage monitor. The monitor was wired to the two wires, green and light green, going to the left front fairing running lights. The short ride was taken right after that install. I have since cut loose the two monitor wires. Even cutting those did not change anything. Or maybe it was a coincidence? Am thinking if I shorted something, a fuse would blow, but none did. Is it possible to burn out all those light bulbs without blowing a fuse? Will check a few of them now. Checked, bulbs fine.

Only other recent wiring/ lighting changes made were to remove two old halogen driving lights and tried some new LED bulbs that ended up not fitting. Cleaned up the multiple wires going to the battery by installing an auxiliary fuseblock that feeds the trailer lights,(which I don't plan on using, even removed the trailer hitch which I'll sell later), also feeds the switch gang block mounted on the clutch reservoir, switches are for the driving lights and the aux tank fuel pump. Fuel pump is working, driving lights removed. The fuses in the aux fuseblock are all good. That tells me the problem is in the OEM wiring, not the add on wiring.

Where to look now??? Is there a way to test a relay with the analog multimeter?

I ordered the maintenance/service manual and electrical troubleshooting books. Until they arrive, will keep trying whatever you guys suggest. When it comes to electrical problems, many heads are better than one.

CCjon
Posts: 31
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE with Champion sidecar
Renovated and sold 1982 Goldwing

Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:43 am

Re-tested the fuses in the left side box. All fuses tested as okay.

Turned on the ignition, but not start the bike, then retested each fuse. All but the 10 amp Parking fuse show voltage. Swapped the ten amp fuse with another. Same reading, no current in the Parking fuse.

But what does that mean? Not getting power from the battery or the ground on that circuit is faulty? Or is this circuit not energized until the bike is running?

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:39 am

CCjon wrote:Re-tested the fuses in the left side box. All fuses tested as okay.

Turned on the ignition, but not start the bike, then retested each fuse. All but the 10 amp Parking fuse show voltage. Swapped the ten amp fuse with another. Same reading, no current in the Parking fuse.

But what does that mean? Not getting power from the battery or the ground on that circuit is faulty? Or is this circuit not energized until the bike is running?


The Park fuse only has power when the ignition is switched to "P". Actually, that's a good test, as it powers the lights through that different circuit. When you switch the bike into "P", do you get any lights?

No need to test relays, they are all the same - just swap the relay with a known good one from a different circuit. If things start to work, then you know that was your problem.

CCjon
Posts: 31
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:23 am

WingAdmin wrote:
The Park fuse only has power when the ignition is switched to "P". Actually, that's a good test, as it powers the lights through that different circuit. When you switch the bike into "P", do you get any lights?


Yes, but only taillight comes on when key is turned to "P". Nothing lights up on front nor trunk lights. Saddlebags are off so don't know about them.

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:46 am

CCjon wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:
The Park fuse only has power when the ignition is switched to "P". Actually, that's a good test, as it powers the lights through that different circuit. When you switch the bike into "P", do you get any lights?


Yes, but only taillight comes on when key is turned to "P". Nothing lights up on front nor trunk lights. Saddlebags are off so don't know about them.


That's all that is supposed to come on. The fact that they come on when in P, but not when in ON, lets us know that the wiring at the back of the bike is OK, the problem is farther into the bike. Let me see if I can find a common place/connector that might be causing it. Meanwhile, do check that relay.

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:04 pm

Will check relays tonight after work.

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby Uncle Fester » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:28 pm

just a guess here, but could he have a key switch going weird / bad on him ?
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CCjon
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:31 pm

Tested all the relays in the left side box by putting them into the horn circuit. All tested out okay. Reassemble the rear end since the problem is not back there. Turned the key to "P", the rear center and saddlebag lights come on. None other.

Now where to look or what to test????? Feel like I'm lost in a maze here, anybody got a map or electric circuit GPS...lol

CCjon
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:19 pm

Uncle Fester wrote:just a guess here, but could he have a key switch going weird / bad on him ?


Any way to test this???

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby Uncle Fester » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:12 pm

That I do not know. . . . WA ?
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:33 pm

OK, so this definitely narrows it down. We've got one of three potential causes:

1. Bad ignition switch
2. Bad connection at C58
3. Bad connection at C10

We'll start with C58. It is a black, 8-pin connector located behind the left front side of the fairing. If you remove the left position light, you can see it through the place where it mounts.

C58
C58


We are looking for a brown wire exiting from that connector. Push your voltmeter positive lead probe into the back of the connector where you see the brown wire, so that it contacts the terminal from behind. Place the negative lead on a known good ground. With the ignition switch in ON, you should see +12 volts. If not, then there is a problem with the ignition switch, or that connector. If there is 12 volts at that connector, then the problem is either at C10, or a broken wire somewhere between C10 and 58.

Also, check the brown/white wire at C58, it should also see +12 volts when the ignition is ON. If there is not +12 volts there, then we have a different problem.

C10 is a 22-pin connector, which is blue on the SE, white on the Aspencade (for year 2000, I don't have a listing for earlier years - but it should be the same). It is located below the left rear of the seat. Again, check the brown wire, it should have +12 volts when the ignition switch is ON.

C10
C10


If you do not see +12 volts on the brown wire at C58, try this: connect a wire to the brown wire at C58, and connect the other end to the accessory terminal on the fuse block. Turn the ignition on. If your lights light up, then you know the problem is either the ignition switch, or C58.

CCjon
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:26 pm

Thank you WA, luckily we have a nice long weekend coming up to patiently work through this.

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby Uncle Fester » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:12 pm

How the heck does he know all this stuff ? We are lucky to have WA and the other brains on this site !

Thank you all for your help with this and all the other problems we come across !
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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CCjon
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:53 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE with Champion sidecar
Renovated and sold 1982 Goldwing

Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:22 pm

Let's try again. Checking the C10 under the seat first. Am not getting anything there. Connector is Blue, but was inside a black cover case.
Will now remove front fairing and check C58.

If I connect a wire from C58 to acc terminal, connect to + or to - ???

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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:58 am

Uncle Fester wrote:How the heck does he know all this stuff ? We are lucky to have WA and the other brains on this site !

Thank you all for your help with this and all the other problems we come across !


I don't know it all, but I can read electrical schematics fairly well. :)

CCjon
Posts: 31
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:08 pm

Had to go out of town on a project for a few weeks, my friend Doug said he would take a stab at tracking down the problem.

Last I heard, he found a fuse blown that had tested okay for me. Replaced it, lights came on, then off again. Said at dusk he could see some lights coming on dimly.

Will post up what we finally find, when we find it. Might help someone else on down the line.

CCjon
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Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:53 am
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Re: Lost running/brake lights

Postby CCjon » Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:20 pm

Could not find any short in the wiring circuits.
However, did find what we think is the source of the problem. When whoever mounted the sidecar and wired it into the bike's operating system, they did not use a relay. After riding for 5 minutes the fuse for that circuit overheats and blows, or melts. Replaced the fuse, after 15 minutes of riding, it blows when the radiator fan comes on, overloading that circuit. Replaced again, let bike idle for 15 minutes, when fan came on, fuse blew.

Disconnected the sidecar wiring, rode until fan came on, no problem. Lights stayed on. Fuse okay. We could not find a relay on that circuit, so are wiring in one now. Hopefully that will cure the mystery of no lights and no reverse.

Thanks to everyone for all of their help and suggestions.




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