Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables


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1994Aspencade
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A Aspencade

Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by 1994Aspencade » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:57 pm



Okay, I've posted before with this same bike and realized I know even less than I thought I didn't.

The bike in question is a 1994 GW Aspencade GL1500A which has a new battery, fuel pump, and Relay B (A? the one on the lower right frame, not the one next to the battery with an integrated fuse.)

With a fully charged battery and all ground lugs sanded and secured the bike will not start when the start button is depressed. The headlight goes out and there is a relay click when the start button is depressed but nothing happens with the engine or the starter.

If I use cables to direct wire to Relay B from the + battery terminal (bypassing Relay A? {the one with the integrated fuse next to the battery}, the dogbone fuse, and the + battery cable) the starter turns over, the engine fires, and it will run and take throttle. There is 12v across relay A (the one next to the battery) but 0V across the posts of Relay B (the one on the lower right frame) even with the new relay.

The neutral light never turns on. The side stand light turns on. Bike is definitely in mechanical neutral as the rear wheel freewheels even under throttle.

Please help, I'm at the end of my rope, in the middle of nowhere, the closest shop is a month behind, and I know squat about motorcycles or electrical systems and I need to get this thing running so I can clean it and sell it.



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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by Bluewaterhooker0 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:21 am

I don't know my models well enough, but does that bike have reverse ? If so, be sure the reverse lever is seated all the way down. You need to see that neutral light. If it's seated, try working it up and down to try to get the neutral light. There is a switch on that lever that is prone to failure. It may be acting up.

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Erdeniz Umman
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:55 am

After reading your inputs, I suspect the reverse lever switch too. Since it provides the positive voltage to the N light (ground comes from gear position sw), and to the reverse relay switch under the seat next to the 65A fuse.

Move the reverse lever up and down several times and try again, if it does not help remove the inner cover and reach the switch behind the lever. Clean and check the switch works properly with a multimeter.

04 Spirit
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by 04 Spirit » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:53 am

+1 on the reverse lever switch. Had the same problem with mine last year. Replaced the switch with a new one and no issues since.

1994Aspencade
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by 1994Aspencade » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:35 pm

I've seen other mention about the reverse lever causing issues (it has reverse). I've cycled the lever up and down a bunch of times and haven't seen a change - neither R nor N light up. The reverse light does come on when I turn the key and then goes out again. How would I go about testing the reverse switch with the multimeter (I have one) and what are you referring to when you say "inner cover"? Thank you for the suggestions, it's driving me crazy and I'm starting to just throw parts at it.

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Erdeniz Umman
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:59 am

1994Aspencade wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:35 pm
I've seen other mention about the reverse lever causing issues (it has reverse). I've cycled the lever up and down a bunch of times and haven't seen a change - neither R nor N light up. The reverse light does come on when I turn the key and then goes out again. How would I go about testing the reverse switch with the multimeter (I have one) and what are you referring to when you say "inner cover"? Thank you for the suggestions, it's driving me crazy and I'm starting to just throw parts at it.
The lights come on when you turn the key on because there is a bulb test unit inside the LCD unit. It only tests the bulbs, not the systems. After this test, R light will only come on when the bike is running, the reverse control unit uses oil pressure as an input to turn the R light on.

So at this point it does not mean anything to solve your problem.

Inner cover is the part that has the air vents and reverse lever on it. If you haven't removed it before, be careful not to break the plastics. This link will help you to remove the inner cover.viewtopic.php?f=14&t=11036

Go ahead and remove the inner cover and check the reverse lever switch. Sometimes the bracket infront of the switch may need alignment or adjustment to operate the switch.

Then we can continue troubleshooting.

1994Aspencade
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by 1994Aspencade » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:53 pm

Okay, first, thanks for the recommendations!

I was able to get to the bike this evening (it's 40 minutes away so troubleshooting is extra difficult).

I cleaned up the reverse switch on the right side of the engine, removed the left side inner cover, cycled the reverse lever several times, and fiddled with the reverse switch it activates. I jumped the starter relays and got it running. Then I held the button for reverse. Everything worked as expected, light came on, motor engaged, and wheel cycled backwards. At no point did the N light come on - not at key turn, not at ignition, at no time during testing reverse.

I've seen elsewhere that a neutral switch may be the issue as they are equally prone to failure as the reverse switch. Any thoughts on how to approach eliminating or confirming that as the issue?

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Erdeniz Umman
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:45 am

1994Aspencade wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:53 pm
Okay, first, thanks for the recommendations!

I was able to get to the bike this evening (it's 40 minutes away so troubleshooting is extra difficult).

I cleaned up the reverse switch on the right side of the engine, removed the left side inner cover, cycled the reverse lever several times, and fiddled with the reverse switch it activates. I jumped the starter relays and got it running. Then I held the button for reverse. Everything worked as expected, light came on, motor engaged, and wheel cycled backwards. At no point did the N light come on - not at key turn, not at ignition, at no time during testing reverse.

I've seen elsewhere that a neutral switch may be the issue as they are equally prone to failure as the reverse switch. Any thoughts on how to approach eliminating or confirming that as the issue?
Ok, before answering your question, can you start the bike when the side stand is up and the clutch lever is in?

Note that you may have a blown N light bulb, and you can still start the bike with a bad N light, as long as the reverse lever switch and the gear position switch are fine.

And try shorting brown/white and black/white wires on the reverse lever switch when the lever is down. Do you have N light and can you start the bike normally now?

Can you start the bike only shorting two big terminals on the relayA. Don't do anything on the relay B since I don't know how you jumper the wire from the battery. The 5A fuse on the left side of the battery under a rubber protector provides power from relay A to relay B coil during starting, this 5A fuse may be blown, we should eliminate this also.

If you haven't downloaded yet, here are the color wiring diagrams of the systems.
http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/2-g ... agram.html

1994Aspencade
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by 1994Aspencade » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:11 pm

You're killer, thank you so much! I went in and jumped the reverse switch from the hot wire to the "not in reverse" pole and was able to activate the N light. Then, cycling the reverse handle and few times got it back up and working as it should without jumping.

Thinking I had it good to go my uncle jumped on it to help me transport it. Unfortunately him speeding at the wall of the shop and having to dump it is how we found out the rear/front brakes and the clutch were not functioning. But the BAS works apparently, so that's good. Super irresponsible, I know. But, this is my first run at fixing a super complicated Japanese motorcycle so these things are going to happen. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Got those fixed with bleeding the systems and fresh fluids. The clutch looked like it was filled with caramel sauce, what was left anyway. Clutch and brakes are confirmed working like a boss while on the center stand now. So I put all the pieces parts back on and thought I had it fixed up.

Unfortunately there is a new problem. It had been starting fine the whole time I was jumping it and the first several times after the reverse switch was fixed. But, then it started to have problems starting - having to hold the switch down or hold the button and give it some throttle to start. Then when I flip the switch to "off" it tends to sputter and choke for a couple seconds.

I fiddled with the idle adjustment but that looks mildly corroded and doesn't turn easily if at all. Adjustments weren't showing or would show up in huge jumps. I got it set to consistently idle at 800 after some trying.

I have not changed the oil yet and I have been having trouble with buttons on the handlebar clusters sticking. Could either of those be related to the problem?

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Erdeniz Umman
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:37 am

1994Aspencade wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:11 pm
You're killer, thank you so much! I went in and jumped the reverse switch from the hot wire to the "not in reverse" pole and was able to activate the N light. Then, cycling the reverse handle and few times got it back up and working as it should without jumping.

Thinking I had it good to go my uncle jumped on it to help me transport it. Unfortunately him speeding at the wall of the shop and having to dump it is how we found out the rear/front brakes and the clutch were not functioning. But the BAS works apparently, so that's good. Super irresponsible, I know. But, this is my first run at fixing a super complicated Japanese motorcycle so these things are going to happen. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Got those fixed with bleeding the systems and fresh fluids. The clutch looked like it was filled with caramel sauce, what was left anyway. Clutch and brakes are confirmed working like a boss while on the center stand now. So I put all the pieces parts back on and thought I had it fixed up.

Unfortunately there is a new problem. It had been starting fine the whole time I was jumping it and the first several times after the reverse switch was fixed. But, then it started to have problems starting - having to hold the switch down or hold the button and give it some throttle to start. Then when I flip the switch to "off" it tends to sputter and choke for a couple seconds.

I fiddled with the idle adjustment but that looks mildly corroded and doesn't turn easily if at all. Adjustments weren't showing or would show up in huge jumps. I got it set to consistently idle at 800 after some trying.

I have not changed the oil yet and I have been having trouble with buttons on the handlebar clusters sticking. Could either of those be related to the problem?
That is good that you fixed the first issue and the accident happened in the shop, I can't imagine it happening on the road.

I think the new starting problem is related with the battery voltage. If the battery voltage drops under 10.5v it will be hard to start, because the starter draws lots of current when cranking and the ECU can not receive enough voltage for the ignition circuit.

Most of the time this sendrom is explained as "bike starts after releasing the button".

Check the battery voltage, if it is not new replace it with an AGM battery, and get a battery tender to keep the battery charged during the bike is not used.

Also, check the spark plugs, replace them if they are not in good condition.

And if you still have this problem, you may want to make this modification that I have done on my bike.
http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/2-g ... olved.html

1994Aspencade
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by 1994Aspencade » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:23 pm

This thing is absolutely driving me nuts, one problem after the other.

Thank you a ton for the input thus far.

New problems:
After the drive which went really really well all things considered I checked the clutch MC and it was low so I filled it and bled it again. And again, and again. I'm not seeing any bubbles coming out but I'm getting no feedback at the lever like I was before the ride.

I pulled the SC and cleaned it out which did have a bunch of granular junk in it and the piston wasn't moving freely. I pulled the alternator to get to it. I cleaned out all the gunk and cycled the piston smoothly a bunch of times. I reinstalled it and bled the lines again. And again. No bubbles. I reinstalled the alternator.

Still no feedback at the lever. No bubbles in the lines and no visible leaks. Fluid level is holding steady at the MC.

Then I started up the bike and after about a minute, bike still running smoothly, gas started pouring out from underneath. I killed the bike and checked to make sure the source was the rubber tube that runs from the tank down behind the alternator to the floor pan. I started the bike again and almost immediately gas started pouring out. Killed it again.

I had to move the hose around a bunch getting to the SC but can't figure why that would cause it to start dumping or if it is something else. Tank is about half full. I did replace the fuel pump (which didn't need it but I didn't know at the time) but this is the first time anything like this has happened and the bike stil runs like it's getting plenty of fuel.

Different problem:
Mice chewed through the plug that lights up the RR trunk lights and RR marker light. I've gone through the parts catalog but can't seem to track down what actual part this section of the wiring is. I found the RR sub-harness (32101-MT8-000) but looking at it online it doesn't look like the right one. I've already bought, returned, and paid restocking fees on a number of parts so I'm trying to avoid more. Can anyone confirm if this is the right part or if there's a different one?

Thank you in advance!!

1994Aspencade
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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by 1994Aspencade » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:33 pm

Realized I left out some info - I had the choke set wrong and then set the idle wrong as a result. Once I figured that out and fixed both it seemed to fix the starting problem although the idle speed is a little variable it starts normally and shuts down cleanly. At that point, brakes and clutch working, we took it on the highway so it's in my garage now instead of a different town. The ride was 30 miles at around 75mph and everything seemed to go 100% perfectly. It was at that point that we noticed the MC level was a little low and the previous post picks up everything since. Also, have put it into gear to see if I was just misreading the pressure at the lever and the clutch is definitely not engaging as the rear wheel goes full speed as soon as the shift into 1st happens and the lever is still pulled in.

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Re: Runs only if I bypass starter relays with jumper cables

Post by DenverWinger » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:52 am

You might want to look at that slave cylinder again, if there's no external fluid leaks and you are losing clutch fluid, it's going past the slave cylinder seals and into your motor oil, which can be disastrous to engine bearings.....


They say 98% of all Hardleys ever made are still on the road..... The other 2% made it home. :lol:
(I stole this from somebody on another GW site...) :roll:

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