Gl1500 with no spark


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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basher
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Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:52 pm



Finally got my 1500 all back together but have no spark. Have had it running a while back after an engine swap,did have the same problem then but pulling the clutch seemed to sort it but now that isn't working. It's a 1989 bike.
As ever welcoming any advice.
Many thanks, Bash



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WingAdmin
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:11 am

Usually electrical problems that resolve by pulling in the clutch lever indicate a bad ground somewhere. Being that you've had that issue previously, that's where I would start looking.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:26 pm

I'll believe anything nowadays too.Its even possible the pulling in the clutch lever moved the handlebars...moving the cables that feed the kill switch.Id be looking for power feeding and exiting that switch.Right near it.
If the right side cover is off,you can probe the black/white wire that feeds the ECM.It should have power with the key on.
The power for the ignition goes through the kill switch and bank angle sensor.

basher
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:20 pm
Location: scarborough United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1988 gl 1500 trike

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:57 pm

Okay checked the common ground red plugs on either side,have checked the kill switch and there's power in and out, have a car battery hooked in and still no spark.
Where do I look for the black and white wire and ecn.
Cheers, Bash

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virgilmobile
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:30 pm

As I remember,the 88/89 ECM is mounted just below the gas cap area.On the right side.I believe switched 12 volts should be on the Plug feeding the ECM.Its a black wire with a white tracer.It must have at least 10.5 volts during cranking.
If the voltage falls below 9.7 volts,the bike will crank but there will be no spark.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:46 pm

If the volts are above 10.5 during cranking,the next step is the safety circuits.They can be tested right at the ECM plug.
I also know that a bad kick stand switch will kill the ignition.
Just like trying to put it in gear with the kick stand down kills the engine.

basher
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Location: scarborough United Kingdom
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:30 am

okay I took the battery of my 1800 knowing its a good battery,topped the charge up and installed.
while installing the battery I noticed the green ground wire was only held on by a couple of threads so feeling quite confident I had fixed it I turned her on.
all the lights are really bright and the engine turns over quickly but with my volt meter on the black and white wire in the 4pin white multiplug next to the ecm it read 12.4v but on cranking it went down to 9.5v.
don't know if it means anything but my headlight dosent come on anymore when I switch the ignition on.
many thanks,Bash

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WingAdmin
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:40 am

basher wrote:okay I took the battery of my 1800 knowing its a good battery,topped the charge up and installed.
while installing the battery I noticed the green ground wire was only held on by a couple of threads so feeling quite confident I had fixed it I turned her on.
all the lights are really bright and the engine turns over quickly but with my volt meter on the black and white wire in the 4pin white multiplug next to the ecm it read 12.4v but on cranking it went down to 9.5v.
don't know if it means anything but my headlight dosent come on anymore when I switch the ignition on.
many thanks,Bash


Put your voltmeter directly on the battery terminals, and measure again when cranking.

basher
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Location: scarborough United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1988 gl 1500 trike

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:53 am

drops from 12.6v to 10.4v
cheers,Bash

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virgilmobile
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:01 pm

9.5 volts at the ECM isn't enough to get it to run/spark.
Same thought here too!!
Move your meter to the battery posts.Crank the engine...does it also drop to 9.5 volts or stay above 11volts.?
Just finding out where the voltage drop is at.
If the volts directly across both posts stays above 11.5 volts,move the meter ground wire to the frame.The ground bolt just below the ECM is a good ground..Test crank it again.If its 9.5 volts,the battery ground or cable is the problem.
If the volts are still OK,Swap the main relay.It feeds power to the kill switch.
Somewhere the volts are dropping too low.Possibly the dog bone fuse.It can be removed for inspection.They can hairline crack.
The bank angle sensor energizes the ignition relay,so it's not the problem.
Main switched power comes from the ignition switch to the kill switch then to the relay and back to the ignition system.
As far as the headlight...turn on the key and wiggle or "mess with" the start button.It controls power to the headlight relays and can have poor connections in it.

basher
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:20 pm
Location: scarborough United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1988 gl 1500 trike

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:35 pm

across the battery terminals drops from 12.6 to 10.4v so I think as you say I may be losing power somewhere.
cheers,Bash

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virgilmobile
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:13 pm

If you could get the 10.4 at the ECM,it would(should)spark.
A 1 volt drop in the system is a bit high.
I think my 88 had a 0.5 volt drop.
The battery is a bit low on volts while cranking too.Generally I see around 11.5 and up on a fresh battery.
Before you jump around chasing down a voltage drop,you could try one thing.
I call it "augmenting".
Attach a heavy wire (# 10 or # 12) direct to the battery..
Attach the other end to the black/white wire on the ECM( the one that's at 9.5 volts) turn on the key and see if it fires or has spark.
If it fires up,you proved that it needs more volts to the ECM.
After this you have 2 choices..chase down the voltage loss or bypass it.
I actually use a relay powered from that wire and battery fused wire feeding the switch part of the relay.Output of the relay feeds the ECM.
This eliminates voltage drop and maintains the safety system.

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virgilmobile
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84 GL 1200 I

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:16 pm

One more thing.The battery.You might check the acid level(if its that type)... It really should stay above 11.5 while cranking.

basher
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:25 pm

Will connecting this new wire to the 4 pin plug with the black and white wire be okay or does it need to be into the ecm.
Cheers, Bash

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virgilmobile
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:28 pm

Leave the ECM hooked up.
Just connect the battery direct power to that wire that had the 9.5 volts on it to see if it fires.
This should Effectivly bypass everything that may be bad.
We're just trying to increase the voltage to the ECM.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:40 pm

And yes,it's the white plug with 6 wires in it.The yellow ones feed the ignition coils.You have to leave it plugged in.Just add on the battery power wire to it temporary to see if it fires.
You can/should watch the volts at the ECM while you try to start it.
If it works,you will have to take the wire off to kill the engine.This is a bypass test.
With it hooked up,even the key won't shut it down.

basher
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:05 am

Okay I have added the extra wire direct to the battery and before turning the key on thought I would give it a try and it still drops below 10v. Checked the battery and that was showing 12.7v.
Turned the key on and same again.
Cheers. Bash

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virgilmobile
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84 GL 1200 I

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:33 am

Ok,with the 2 foot piece of heavy wire attached to the battery post....It attached to the ECM and the key on...cranking the engine...is the voltage at the ECM above 10.5 volts.
The ECM voltage should now be EXACTLY the same as the battery volts.The purpose of the jumper bypass wire.

basher
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Location: scarborough United Kingdom
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:00 pm

Have the heavy wire in place and into the White multi plug and it's still dropping below 10v when cranking.
Cheers. Bash

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virgilmobile
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82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:15 pm

The the battery is dropping below 10 volts also.correct?

basher
Posts: 56
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Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:48 pm

No, battery stayed around 11.7v

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virgilmobile
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83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:56 pm

Let me get this straight.
While cranking...the battery stays above 11.5 volts and you measure below 10 volts at the ECM at the end of a 2 foot piece of wire.?
There can't be that much drop in that wire.
Are you using the same ground connection on the meter?
Is it the battery post or the frame.
Sorry for all the questions,this doesn't make sense yet.

basher
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:20 pm
Location: scarborough United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1988 gl 1500 trike

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:10 pm

Hey thanks for the questions,apart from the bike not starting I'm quite enjoying trying to start the beast. I will double check those results in the morning and let you know.
Cheers. Bash

basher
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:20 pm
Location: scarborough United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1988 gl 1500 trike

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby basher » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:27 am

Okay it's pulling the battery down to 10v no matter how I beef up the battery.
Have the battery out of my diesel car hooked in.
What I have tried is to run a wire from the extra battery into the black and white wire and a ground from the same battery into the green wire.
On cranking I had 11.7v to the black and white wire and still no spark.
Cheers Bash

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virgilmobile
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78 GL1000
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82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Gl1500 with no spark

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:58 am

With my limited knowledge,I've got a plan...
You will need a volt meter/ohm meter for further testing to find where the problem may be...
I make the assumption that the bike used to start but had a problem...now the problem cannot be resolved by operating the clutch...
Question...Does the neutral lamp light at all.?
Now that "we" have the proper volts to run the spark,let's find out why it wont work..

The test...
At the ECM plugs...
White plug...unplug it from the ECM...Turn on the key...Measure to ground
Black/white
Yellow/white
Yellow/blue
Yellow/red......they all should have battery volts on them...
Turn the key OFF....
Measure the Green wire(ohms) it should be zero ohms...a short to ground...

Next plug..The red one..key still off
unplug it...Light green should be shorted to ground...zero ohms.
green/white...not grounded until the sidestand is in the up position....

Next plugs..the blue one and the black one...Unplug both...key still off.
On the blue plug,attach the meter test lead to the green/black wire....
Probe ( on the black plug ) the White/blue wire....It should measure 400 to 500 ohms..
Then probe (on the black plug ) the White/yellow wire...it also should measure 400 to 500 ohms..
These are the pulse coils...

I won't say never,but I haven't read about a bad ECM in the 88/89 bikes...One of those tests should show what's wrong and what can be done to fix it.




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