Temperature Guage Question


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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OldZX11Rider
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Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:32 pm



Its getting close to my bedtime (getting old you know) so I thought I'd post a question about something that's been bothering me.
I've had my 1500 nearly a month now. At first, I thought my temperature gauge was not working at all. However, after I have rode a while, long enough it should be at normal operating temperature, after stopping somewheres, then getting back on and starting it, my temperature gauge does come up a little bit.
It bothers me in that it's not coming up to where I would think "normal" would be. Has this happened to anyone else, or everyone else? Or does the 1500 just run on the "cool" side?
I know I have an antifreeze leak that I've got to chase down. I have smelled antifreeze a couple times and It's low in the recovery tank. I checked it after riding for 25 - 30 miles.
The previous owner told me that he had recently changed the sending unit. Should I worry about this or just fix my coolant leak and keep on riding? :|


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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:16 pm

I replaced my coolant - and even with some more recent hotter temperatures it has not risen to the same level it was running a few months ago. It could be your coolant is now working better or properly and the bike is now operating in the normal temp range - but an extended run and sitting in some traffic might show something different.

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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby joeincalif » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:27 pm

I have owned 3 1500's none of them ran near the middle when riding, if you get in stop and go traffic the gauge will go up about 1/2 way or a little more but will drop once you start moving again.
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby bstig60 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:57 pm

Is the gauge coming up at all? If the PO replaced the temp sending unit, that is the first place I would look for a coolant leak. Check all your hose clamps as well. Particularily the small hose thats at the base of the carbs.
Bill

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Charlie1Horse
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby Charlie1Horse » Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:57 pm

Just three words; Therm - O - Stat. Seriously, the thermostat controls the temperature that the engine coolant runs. Check the temperature that it opens (you have to remove it for that test) or just replace it to be sure.
My 92 Interstate usually runs a little below half. In stop and go traffic situations it climbs to nearly three quarters and then when moving again it comes back down to half again.
Russell

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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:57 am

My '97 takes a bit of running to get to operating temperature, but once it gets there, while driving, it will generally sit around the 1/4 above cold range. In warmer weather, it might run a bit higher, but still in the 1/4 up range. In stop and go traffic, it will easily hit the half way mark in warm weather, and proceed up to the 3/4 range with extended stop and go, or extended idling. At that point, the fans turn on and they will continue to cycle until speed is maintained once again. Generally, once any reasonable speed is attained, the fans stop cycling, and the gauge needle drops back into its normal operating range.

For tests, you may want to let it sit, idling, and see if it will creep up to the 3/4 range to cycle the fans on. The sensor for the fans is separate from the gauge sensor, so even if the gauge sensor is faulty, the fans should still kick on. And, if the thermostat is at fault (stuck open), I am pretty sure the bike will still heat up enough to cycle the fans, while it sits still with no air flowing through the radiators. That might let you see at what point the gauge rests when the fans cycle, and verify that your fans are working. It gets pretty warm before they kick on.

Attached is the page from a '94 service manual for testing the sensor and gauge. I would pay close attention to the cautionary statement about leaving the gauge sensor wire attached to ground for too long.

I would think you could do a cursory check of the sensor while still attached to the bike. Since it reads 104 ohms, at 140*F, I suspect that is the base temperature at which the needle begins to be affected. If you check its resistance while on a 'cold' bike, say 70*F, it should read at least that 104 ohm reading, maybe even in the 150-200 range. It might give you some information to get started with.

If the gauge seems to behave properly while at idle, I.E. reads in normal ranges, rises, rises more and turns on the fans, then you probably do have a thermostat issue. That could cause it to run cold all the time while at speed, especially in colder weather. I learned from experience, that you need a properly functioning thermostat. A 'cold' engine is not a good thing.


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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:16 am

Thank you guys for all your replies. My gauge only moves about 1/8 inch off the cold peg when it is, or should be, warmed up.
The fans will come on when it gets hot. They'll run for a little bit, stop for little bit, then come back on again. I think they're operating normally.
The only time they have come on though, is when I first bought the bike and we were loading it on the trailer. I didn't see the temperature gauge at that time because the previous owner was on it. (The weight of the bike was so much more than anything I had rode in the previous 14 - 15 years, I was afraid of dropping it!)
From all your replies, and the age of the bike, I think it would be prudent for me to replace all the hoses and the thermostat while I have it's pants off.
Another question now. Can I just go to the NAPA or O'Reilly's auto parts and buy 10 feet of heater hose or is each hose a special made part only Honda will have?
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Charlie1Horse
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby Charlie1Horse » Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:07 pm

Check around your area for an independent bike shop and see about ordering parts through them. I found a local bike shop here that orders factory OEM parts for me and only charges a fraction of the price. They can get third party parts from their supplier which would be even less expensive. Some parts, like hoses, I only like the OEM parts. They seem to last longer and are curved in all the right places so as not to kink or rub against other parts.
Good luck and keep us informed.
Russell

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:42 pm

If the oem parts last the longest, that's what I'll look for. I'll probably have to look online for the hoses.
It seems most all the independent mechanics around just want to work on Harleys. There's only one in the local area that's friendly towards anyone not riding a Harley.
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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:09 pm

The best luck I have had for OEM parts, for both price, availability, and service, is Partzilla. Ordered 4-5 times without a hitch, including a new OEM seat. Any questions can also be a dressed over the phone.

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:30 pm

Partzilla. Great I'll look them up this evening and see what this is gonna run me.
I don't know now when I'm going to be able to start. Its turned cold and rainy.
Things have come up this weekend that are now demanding my attention.
Seems like things are starting to pile up on me and I can't get out and do what I want to do. Retirement is not supposed to be like this. :o
Maybe I can get all my parts ordered so when I do start, I can get everything done.
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby HALBUDD » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:07 pm

If you look at the top of this site you will see parts reference tab if you open it up it will give you a list of parts and cross reference parts. You will also see the brands and the auto part dealers that carry them. This is a good place to look for parts.-------------------------------Hal
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:13 pm

Okay. I'll see if I can find that cross reference tab now.
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:47 pm

I didn't find a lot about the hoses for a 1500. Could be I'm doing something wrong. Don't have a computer, just this little Wal-Mart phone.
Oh, I think I did see a cross reference for the thermostat and it's best to use Honda gaskets on it.
Thank you.
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:07 pm

I think I'm going to like Partzilla. With their diagrams, anything I need to order should be easy.
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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:18 pm

If you follow this link to the parts listing for 1994 GL1500 SE, you should find just about all the hoses you are looking for, as well as the OEM thermostat. Look under the headings for Radiator, Water Pipe, and Water Pump. You might need a new thermostat gasket, if it isn't included with the thermostat. The coolant temperature sending unit is also on those pages (the part supposedly changed by your PO)

http://www.partzilla.com/parts/search/H ... parts.html

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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:29 pm

I decided I was going to fix my bike first, other things can wait. I read the "How to change your sub and cruise air filters" another rider recommended reading first.
I dressed warmly, went out to the shop and started working. I've discovered missing screws, wrong screws, broken tabs and more wires to nothing. (I've already taken about 10 feet of wire hooked to nothing out.)
I discovered on the left radiator, the hose going down from it, I could see where antifreeze had been running down it. I was only able to tighten the hose clamp about 1/4 turn. It wasn't really loose.
Anyhow, I've got the top off, the seat off, fairing pockets out, the sides off and the front, below the radiators, off. I can see the airbox, at least that's what I think it is, the radiator fans, my reverse cables and a whole bunch of other stuff.
What I'm not seeing is the thermostat housing and all the hoses I thought I'd see on the top of the engine. I'm beginning to believe this job may be beyond my capabilities. That maybe I should button it up and take it to someone who knows what they're doing.
I've quit for today. I'll sleep on it and take another look tomorrow.
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby Charlie1Horse » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:13 pm

Find a service manual, or someone nearby who has one and check out the procedure. It's really not hard. You do however have to remove the radiators to access the thermostat according to the manual, (not hard at all). Looks like you are almost there anyway. Don't give up OldZX11Rider. They're not all that hard to repair when you find all the right info.

Thanks for the reference to Partzilla, Bluewaterhooker0, as I have not been there before. I do however have an independent repair shop that can order OEM parts for way better deal than the Honda shop.
Russell

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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:11 pm

Once I drain the antifreeze and pull the radiators, will I then be able to see the hoses I want to replace and be able to replace the thermostat?
If so, I'd be inclined to keep on going. I just don't want to end up with a 900 lb. paperweight in the shop.
Before I bought this bike, I saw a couple craigslist ads in which the seller took his bike all apart and now wanted to sell it.
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby Charlie1Horse » Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:48 pm

Directly from factory service manual for my 92 GL1500I but should be the same for yours.

Radiator

Removal/Remove the following:

1, Radiator shroud
2, Fairing front cover
3, Fairing lower covers
4, Drain the coolant
5, Disconnect the thermostatic fan motor switch connector
6, Remove the bolt and collar; (outside top of radiator)
7, A & SE: Remove the bolt and auto cruise accumulator (Left Side)
8, All models: Release the radiator boss from the frame rubber hole (bottom)
9, Disconnect the radiator water hoses (3 connections) and remove the left radiator from the frame

CAUTION: Be careful not to damage the radiator fins

Repeat steps 6 through 9 for the right side radiator

THERMOSTAT, THERMO VALVE, WATER LINES
Thermostat Removal/Inspection

1, Disconnect the upper water hose from the thermostat cover
2, Remove the three bolts and the thermostat cover and O-ring
3, Remove the thermostat from the thermostat housing

Re-installation is in the reverse order

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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:33 am

Thank you Charlie1Horse. I'll be going out there after my morning coffee and give it another shot. I'm not sure what a cruise accumulator thingy is but I'm sure I can find a picture of one on here somewheres. :D
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:58 am

OldZX11Rider wrote:Thank you Charlie1Horse. I'll be going out there after my morning coffee and give it another shot. I'm not sure what a cruise accumulator thingy is but I'm sure I can find a picture of one on here somewheres. :D


The accumulator is just a plastic tank used to store spare vacuum for when it may be needed to operate the cruise actuator. It's located behind the lower left cowling:

GL1500 Cruise Control Accumulator
GL1500 Cruise Control Accumulator

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:18 am

Thank you WingAdmin. I saw that thing and know right where it is now. I'm starting to feel a little more confident about this.
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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:02 pm

I've been following the step by step instructions and it's going well. Taking a break right now.
I've got the left radiator out, and the right one is loose. I also pulled both fans out, I've taped and marked the few wires I pulled apart plus taking pictures.
Made one real big snafu. Working in a cold shop, on a cold bike with cold plastic is not good.
I'm now the proud owner of a half inch crack in my fairing. It'll be covered by the chrome trim on the right side but I just can't leave it that way.
Going to finish my Coca-Cola (can I say that?) then go back out.
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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Re: Temperature Guage Question

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:18 pm

OldZX11Rider wrote:I've been following the step by step instructions and it's going well. Taking a break right now.
I've got the left radiator out, and the right one is loose. I also pulled both fans out, I've taped and marked the few wires I pulled apart plus taking pictures.
Made one real big snafu. Working in a cold shop, on a cold bike with cold plastic is not good.
I'm now the proud owner of a half inch crack in my fairing. It'll be covered by the chrome trim on the right side but I just can't leave it that way.
Going to finish my Coca-Cola (can I say that?) then go back out.


Yeah, working on ABS fairings in cold weather is dangerous. I always heat my garage up before pulling plastic.

For cracks like that, I will cut a shallow "V" in the back along the crack. I'll then fill it with ABS slurry, and coat the area with ABS glue. I then stick a piece of ABS plastic over the whole thing and clamp it all together until it dries. The end result is stronger than the original piece.




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