gets warm sputters out, wont restart


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thesprinklerguy1960
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gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:40 pm



1995 1500 Goldwing SE... I rode around town for an hour and it started spitting and sputtering.. less than 1 minute later almost cut off at light...then at next stoplight it cut off.. restarted and went to nest stoplight cut off would not restart...starter solenoid would click... had it towed home. I noticed one bolt loose on starter solenoid so I tightened it down.. The next day it started right up and idled fine... I started it up and ran 10 to 15 minutes a day in driveway for 3 days.. next day I warmed it up for 10 minutes.. rode around the block.. about 2 miles.. started bogging out again.. Then cut off at next light..starter solenoid clicked when i tried to start it....i pressed on the wires and tried to start it and it clicked as I wiggled the wires but acted like battery was weak... I pushed down a small hill that I just happened to stop on... i popped clutch and started it.. rode home about a half mile and sputtered as i came in neighborhood.. made it to driveway and it cut off as i released the gas.. would not restart.. acted like battery was weak... I left it for an hour and came to check it.. It started right up... then cut off when i tried to give it gas... would not restart...starter solenoid clicked...replaced with aftermarket solenoid I ordered last week when problem first happened.. would not even click until i pressed on connector with the 4 metal prongs on the side of the solenoid... it would click or turn over like battery was weak... I just went out and it turned over and almost started but battery is weak now from all the trying I have been doing.. I will put it on the tender and it will start right up in the morning i am sure of it... The problem appears to be as it warms up it starts spitting and sputtering... it is not a fuel problem but appears to be electrical problem that repairs itself when it cools down... anybody have a clue please sound off PLEASE!!!



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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:03 pm

How old is your battery ? I would fully charge it and the do some testing, for resting voltage (about an hour after you stop charging it), then when you put it back in the bike - measure it again - to see if there is some parasitic drain happening, then turn ignition on and measure it, then start it, with particular attention to what the battery voltage drops down to when cranking the motor - do that with kill switch set to off. When satisfied with the voltage, start the bike normally, then measure the battery voltage at idle, at 2500 rpm and 3000 rpm. Let us know the results.

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby Pam » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:32 am

I agree with Aussie. Start with the battery, At an idle it does not charge to much

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby spiralout » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:51 am

The title of this thread reminded me of myself in my old age.....

thesprinklerguy1960
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:53 pm

OK I charged up the battery and let it sit for a day or 2 and it was still at 12v... When I turn key on to crank it stayed at 12.. when I tried to start it with kill switch engaged it dropped to 10... I did this 3 times and kept going right back to 12.. as I tried to start it it would drop down to 10... I disengaged the kill switch and started it up.. it dropped to 10 while cranking and as soon as it cranked it jumped to 14... It held at 14 while choked until it warmed up.. It stayed at 14 no matter what rpm was... 2000, 2500, 3000.. was the same... it stayed at 14 and I left it at about 3,000 rpm for about 10 minutes revving it every now and then... I finally let it go down to 1000 rpm and cut it off.. when I turned key back on to start it .. it was at 12.. and the setting dropped to 10 while cranking and after it cranked it went back up to 11 and stayed there... it never went above 11 again... I waited an hour and went to try again... When I turned key on it was sitting at 12.. when I cranked it it would drop down to 10 and once it cranked it jumped back to 11... no matter how much I revved it up 2500 3000 0r 4000 it would not go above 11.. I cut it off and back on and it stayed at 11.. when I tried to crank it dropped to 10 and once running went back to 11... would not go over 11 again...

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby ka4yqi » Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:55 pm

Sounds like you alternator is not charging and you are running off the battery.

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:12 pm

The first lot souded if it was charging at 14V which is fine.

As long as it doesn't go under 10V when cranking I think the battery is OK. Getting a consistent voltage on running is also good - 14V is fine - but your last mention was saying 11V only - no matter what revs - that is concerning.

Ceck your alternator connection for any corrosion build up? or get that checked by a shop.

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby MikeB » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:36 pm

Alternator. It sounds like the brushes are worn or stuck. You will have to take out the alternator and disassemble it. It may just need new brushes.
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thesprinklerguy1960
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:36 pm

Okay I am gonna go out on a limb here and ask a question about alternator... If it was charging at 14 and later dropped to 11 that would not be the alternator would it?? It either works or does not... if it is going up and down then wouldn't that be the voltage regulator?? Is that inside the alternator or is it seperate ? how can I check that? Is voltage regulator and /or the alternator something I can get to easy? I bought an alternator when I bought the bike last year.. If I have to take it out to check brushes then I would just put the new one in and have old one checked and or fixed as a spare... But could it be the regulator instead? Where is the regulator located and where is the alternator located? Is the regulator inside the alt or somewhere else like the old cars used to have it sit on the firewall... how can I check either without removing alternator? Thanks for all the input so far.. It has been helpful and I am learning...

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby MikeB » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:45 pm

The regulator is inside the alternator. The alternator is easy to get to. If you have a spare alternator, replace it with the new one. Take the old one in for repair. All indications lead to the alternator being the root of your problem.
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thesprinklerguy1960
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:44 am

Thanks a lot for the input, I really appreciate it. If you can give me an Idea of where the alternator is and how to get to it and get it off would help... I have bought the manual on ebay but it wont get here till next week... thanks for any more help.. Miss riding my dependable goldwing... .. Thanks again... Chris

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby MikeB » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:58 am

Here is an installation video that should help you out:


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thesprinklerguy1960
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:35 pm

NEW UPDATE!!! I bought a brand new alternator and installed it... I could not get to the other end of the wire that goes to the connector up beside the gas tank so I clipped the wire and spliced it... after I got it all back connected and battery cables reconnected..When I tried to crank it there was nothing.. then I remembered the solenoid had a loose wire last year.. I pushed the wire with my finger while i pressed the start button.. I felt it click with my finger and started right up... I took it out for a test run... It ran great... I stopped for gas and cranked right back up... everything worked..turn signals, lights, radio, horn....I rode for about 20 minutes or more.... then it sputtered... i turned around to head home and got about 1/4 mile down the road and it cut off completely... it would not start... battery was very low... I called wrecker to tow it home... when i got home I immediately hooked up charger.. it did diagnostic and said battery was at 3%... it was fully charged to 100% in about 30 minutes to an hour... it was still fully charged today when I went out to test it... same thing happened.. when I tried to start it there was nothing until I pushed the wire on the solenoid with my finger.. then it heard it and felt a click and it started right up...started up fine and ran fine... i left it on choke at about 2,000 rpms for about 5 minutes... i got my tester and measured battery at terminals and it was 12v... after the ten minutes it was still on 12v.... I turned it off and hooked dignostic charger back up and battery was down to 53%... it has been charging now for almost an hour and is back up to 85%...could it be the other end of the wire that I spliced ?? It had a white clip on it but I could not reach the end of the wire to disconnect old clip and plug new clip in... It was up beside the gas tank and behind part of the frame that does not remove.. is there a trick to getting to the other end to disconnect that clip and reclip the new one? I ran my finger up the old cord as long as the new one was and felt no clip at all... anybody have any ideas?? I would appreciate any and all advice... I can not take it to a shop.. I dont have the money or a trailer with wheel chock to transport it so I have to get that new alternator working...

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby aj1500 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:55 pm

test your charging voltage at the battery when it's running. if it is putting good voltage from the alternator I would say the battery is shot
a battery can show good voltage but not be able to handle a load at all
also I installed a new rebuilt alternator earlier this year only to find it had a broken wire inside and was not charging
Also replace or repair the connector on the wire your pushing to get it to start, that very well might be causing the problem if it's needed to energize anything after the bike is running as well as to get it to start

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby bntyhntr6975 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:06 pm

Take that battery and have it load tested. Ive seen some pretty strange things happen from a battery that is shorting out.
And fix that loose connection, as has been stated. Even if its not the culprit, youre just asking for troubles. At the very least, itll rule out the possibility.

thesprinklerguy1960
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:24 pm

I understand I need to have the battery tested and the loose wire is not a loose wire it is where the 4 prong connector connects to the starter solenoid... that is where the loose connection is... That is only to start the bike.. after that it serves no other purpose and it does not charge the battery... if that were the problem of not charging the system then when I mashed the wire to improve the connection then the volts from the alternator would also rise but it does not... True I may need another solenoid and maybe even the cable that connects the 4 prongs to the solenoid... this has been like this for over a year... I have replaced the solenoid twice... I can mash the wire... start the bike and ride all day and EVERYTHING works fine ... that is not the problem...that has been like that and replaced before and never had this problem... the problem is (NOW) the alternator is not supplying power to the engine and therefore the engine is drawing power from the battery until the battery dies...this is the problem I can not solve...I have followed the ground wire back to the battery but that is not the one I need... I can not follow the cable from the alternator up beside the gas tank but under the frame where I can not follow it with my hand or my eyes... I have used drop lights and flashlights and pulled the wire and pushed the wire and cannot find the connector at the end of that wire... where is it? Any help with that would really be appreciated...any secret tips on following that wire or getting to the other end of it from a different direction could be really helpful... That connector could be the entire problem... It could be corroded or a loose connection like the solenoid ...thank you in advance for any help...

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:50 pm

"when i got home I immediately hooked up charger.. it did diagnostic and said battery was at 3%... it was fully charged to 100% in about 30 minutes to an hour"

What type of charger are you using that will bring a battery back from 3% to 100% in 30-60 minutes ? Not the correct charger for a motorcycle battery.

"i got my tester and measured battery at terminals and it was 12v... after the ten minutes it was still on 12v"

Your alternator is clearly not doing its job. The wire with the white plug is the 'exciter' wire that provides voltage to the alternator, controlling how much voltage and amperage is output from the alternator to your battery.

"It had a white clip on it but I could not reach the end of the wire to disconnect old clip and plug new clip in... It was up beside the gas tank and behind part of the frame that does not remove.. is there a trick to getting to the other end to disconnect that clip and reclip the new one?"

I approached my alternator replacement the same way you did. I "spliced" in the new wire, however I duplicated the OEM connection by adding a matching 2-pin plug. However, if your wire or plug is compromised somewhere up the line, you will have charging issues, as you suspect. Since I spliced mine, I never hunted down the original white plug, but my understanding is that it is located behind the left side panel that require removal of the reverse lever to access. I don't think you'll be able to get to it without removal of that panel.

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:06 am

Thank you for that response... I may have exagerated the 30 minute to an hour charge a little bit but it was faster than normal... I am using a harley davidson charger or was purchased at the harley dealership...and when you first plug it in it does a diagnostic and tells me the strength of the battery as it is charging.. once it is fully charged then it maintains it... i don't understand the part where you said you duplicated the 2 pin connector on your alternator unless that is just what it is called... Mine only had one small wire in that exciter wire we are talking about... that does seem like a very small wire to be supplying power to the bike,,, the ground wire going back to the battery is a much bigger wire like a regular battery cable... if the only way to get to that wire is by taking off the panel with the reverse lever then how would I do that? does the whole front faring have to come off? how does that handle even come off? . I see no connectors or screws holding that handle on??? That wire appears to go behind part of the frame that does not look like it comes apart at all...I am not a mechanic but would do what ever I can to get this fixed... Otherwise it is just a very large paperweight... LOL I know changing the alternator was not very easy but much easier than in my old 1200 goldwing where the whole engine had to come out.. they did make the 1500 easier but why would they make the exciter wire not accessible without taking the whole bike apart again??? I know engineers design is not from a repairmans point of view but it should be taken into account in the design... Ok I am done banging my head on the bike... that will not make designers change anything but at least I can wish... LOL any tips on removing that lever or that panel or another way to get to that elusive exciter wire would be greatly appreciated... It still seems like there should be an easier way to get to that clip... (making a hook from a clothes hanger and pulling wire up beside gas tank or something like that) problem is I still can not even see the top end of that wire to hook it anyways...

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby Pam » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:24 am

I think I would load test that battery, It may have volts but no amps. Then I would use a multi meter to check and see what the alternator is putting out buy checking right at the alternator. Then I would use the multi meter to do a continuity test and start probing connectors to track down the ends of that elusive wire., and if necessary just run a new wire rather than use the old one. I would be fixing loose starter solenoid connection also Just my thoughts

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:42 am

Yes I would test the alternator if I knew how... Auto zone can test a car alternator but not these because they don't use a fan belt... they have no way to test it... How do you test one while still in the bike? Also If I knew where the other end of that wire was going to then I would replace it very quickly!!! Where does it go to? If it only goes to one place where I can get to and replace that section...then it can go to other places after that...that would be a simple solution... where does it go?? Any reference point or pictures or even a good description would help... Thank You...

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby MikeB » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:53 am

thesprinklerguy1960 wrote:... How do you test one while still in the bike?


With the engine running and everything hooked up like it is supposed to be, check the voltage on the battery. It should be reading a 12.7 volts minimum at idle. As the RPM's are increased to 1000 or more, the voltage should go up. The voltage typically will read 13.9 to 14.2 volts. If the voltage does NOT go up, the alternator is not putting out the voltage needed to keep the bike runing.
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby Pam » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:45 pm

With he engine running use a multi meter set to DV volts and measure the output right at the alternator stud. AS for the elusive wire use the multi meter set to continuity connect one lead to the end of the wire you can get at and take the other lead and probe the connectors and other wires until you get a circuit. That will be the other end of the elusive wire

thesprinklerguy1960
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby thesprinklerguy1960 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:45 pm

Okay I tested the alternator from the stud on the back of the alternator... When I hook the meter to it and ground to frame i get 12v... when i turn the key on it stays at 12 volts... when i crank it .. it drops to 11 for a second then goes back to 12 volts and stays there no matter how much the rpm is raised... when I cut it off it is still at 12v... Now my question at this point is if I am getting 12v at the rear stud then doesn't that mean that the elusive other wire and connector is indeed intact and functioning properly?? Otherwise how could I get 12v from the rear stud and ground??? The rear stud is the ground is it not?? So this leads me to believe that the NEW alternator that I got is faulty??? Like I said before I am not a mechanic but I do have some common sense... any comments on this idea please chime in... thank you all...

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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby MikeB » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:53 pm

The post on the rear of the alternator is always at the same potential as the battery because it is comnected to the positive terminal of the battery.

If the voltage does not increase with RPM then the alternator is not getting the excitation voltage from that small wire you spliced OR the alternator is defective.
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Re: gets warm sputters out, wont restart

Postby ct1500 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:11 pm

MikeB wrote:With the engine running and everything hooked up like it is supposed to be, check the voltage on the battery. It should be reading a 12.7 volts minimum at idle.


Your particular ride may only get 12V but does not make it correct or desireable for the others, Hondas' own MINIMUM spec is 13.5V

It is very important to take idle voltage readings at the manufacturer specified 800 RPM with no brake lights or fans running, a 100 RPM difference will 99% of the time give different voltage results due to the barely adequate amperage output of OEM alternator during idle. This is for an OEM equipped (electrically) machine. Many will add lights or other devices or readjust idle to prevent surging and now think voltage readings on their machine are gospel and representative of the product line. :)

I have extensively tested amp draws of various 1500 circuits along with voltage readings on many different 1500's and have a strong background in the testing, repair and rebuilding of alternators throughout the transportation industry for many years. Lots of misinformation out there regarding the 1500 gleaned only from reading on the Net.

Some of my 1500 alternator repair parts inventory some good some bad from the many I have cracked open. :D

To the OP the alternator ignition wire connects here on the left side. White connector above red center of pic.
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