Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area


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Aladinbama
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Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby Aladinbama » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:11 am



1992 Goldwing 1500A
I need some electrical system help. I've apparently got several "shorts" that when the bike is in neutral "things" work and when switched in gear they go out. I hear when in neutral they are grounding through the neutral switch, but when in gear they loose that ground.
Known affected systems are; Radio, rear lights - I'm pretty sure there are other areas downas well, I just haven't been able to get it legal to determine what else. If anybody knows of a mechanic in or around the Houston, Tx area who KNOWS the electrical system(s) or would like to offer a hand to an electrically challenged person PLEASE let me know.
I do have the Manual and the ETM for the bike and could be walked through it, but have no idea of where to start (other than the three grounds are good). HELP! :?



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WingAdmin
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:22 am

That doesn't sound like a short, it sounds like a broken (or bad) ground wire.

I don't know the 1500 schematic well enough to offer a valid opinion; someone else might be able to help. If not, I can pull out the manual and try to see if I can find a likely smoking gun for you.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:54 am

Does this thing have a kick stand switch?My old venture would quit when the kick stand switch broke and you tried to put it in gear.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:45 pm

If you would be more specific about what works and what happens please.What lights are going out and when?Yes the bike does utilize safety interlock switches and grounds to keep it running.Center standed?side stand?Dies when in gear?Lights cut off when you do something?

Aladinbama
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby Aladinbama » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:16 pm

Sorry, I guess I omitted some very important information. It runs fine, it doesn't die - the fact that it runs so well is theonly thing that has gotten me to keep it.
I bought it as a project needing "some" help a couple years ago. I fixed the thermostat leak, replaced tires and brakes and took many of the "added" lights off due to the brake lights actually dimming when I applied the brakes instead of the normal brightening. It sat for a short while and took it for a ride and was told I had no rear lights. In neutral they work, in gear they go out. I also know that the radio goes out when switched in gear (though I had that temporarily fixed before). The fairing/front lights still work fine. Oh, both the blinker indicators on the dash come on when it is shifted into gear and the blinker lights (in the rear) come on - they even try to blink when the blinker is activated. The regular running lights just go out then and the brake lights don't work when applied.
I took the bags and trunk off thinking there may have been a "connection" either from disconnected lights or from some other PO reason under that area keeping the rear lights from working, but everything looked good and the wires tested in neutral, of course "out" in gear.
There are other known issues - front end needs rebuilding shocks/head bearings; rear compressor doesn't come on and I doubt the CB works, reverse engages then disengages by itself.
I just really want to get it on the road without spending 1K. I guess I'll check the ground wires again when I get home - maybe I missed a loose connection of something (but they've been checked several times - first thing anybody has told me - maybe I'm missing something).
Sidestand switches seem to work.

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thrasherg
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby thrasherg » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:25 pm

It does sound like a ground problem. I would try keeping the bike in gear and then take a good bit of cable, connect one end to the negative terminal of the battery and then go around touching various parts of the frame and see if the lights come back on. If they do, it would indicate that you have a problem with you ground circuit to that area. Then either find the fault or run a new ground wire to that area.. I would love to help, but I don't have the time available to drive to Houston at the moment.

Gary

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virgilmobile
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:17 pm

By your description,is sounds like a no ground scenario.This is a easy way to isolate the problem.Get a good quality voltmeter,not a test probe.Preferably a DVM.About $15.00.Well , mediocre one.Use the DVM to measure the battery volts(so you know what it reads)eg.13.5 vdc.Connect the ground meter lead directly to the battery post,NOT the frame.
Step one....Go to the rear lights that go out.Probe the wires to find which one is hot(13 vdc) and which wire is ground(0vdc).
Step two...Make the lights go out.Probe the same 2 wires with the DVM to determine what failed.Either it lost volts or ground.

Step three...If it lost ground,you will see some volts on both wires.
Step four...If it lost ground(for a temporary fix)bare the ground wire,add a length of wire to it and attach directly to the battery ground post.This should restore the light function.Test it of course.

My theory is when trying to run,the electrical system will return power any way it can,even through all the lights.If a ground fault exists,it will use any system necessary to get the return path.eg multiple circuit failures.

Aladinbama
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby Aladinbama » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:47 pm

Thanks - Those sounds like very doable tests. I'll get to them and see what happens.

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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby robb » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:45 pm

I agree it is a bad ground. Was checking the manual and stand switch has nothing to do with the lights. There is quite a number of lights that share a common ground. First check the ground at the battery, clean and retighten at battery and frame. If that is good make sure the alternator is operating correctly. A weak battery will show when the kick stand goes up and all functions are activated, reverse controls and such; and alternator is expected to take up the load. Usually the light load will be first to go. If that test OK try running a wire from battery to a point in rear and attach to common ground wire in wire harness, it is common to every light on back of bike. Lights stay on there is a break in ground and the test wire can be hidden away and left to replace bad wire. The same common wire is also common to radio.

Aladinbama
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby Aladinbama » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:04 pm

Progress!
I took a wire and connected it to the negative terminal of the battery and touched it to a wire the PO used for ????? - the lights work, blinkers work (though the brake lights want to blink too) and the brake lights still don't. In gear I have the same results, but the lights are dimmer. This tells me that I'm at least on the right track. I think the PO had the rear grounded to this 20 (maybe 22) gauge wire - I don't think it's big enough for everything on the back so I will attempt to find a larger neg. wire in that same area/system to ground to the battery. I don't have an issue with a "new" ground wire on the negative terminal - I just want to ride the darn thing.
If I'm off track with my idea let me know - I can't tell what else is effected due to the fact I have most everything stripped off of it (in attempts to fix it). I suppose I could start putting it back together ;)

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virgilmobile
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:04 am

It sounds like your on the right track.Look at the ground for the brake light also.And by the way,a #20 wire is suitable for a single light,not the whole back end.Thats why you normally see several wires at a ground point under a single ring connector.It sounds like the PO removed a common ground lug and taped it off.

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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby thrasherg » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:14 am

Keep at it, we will get you riding soon enough!! :D

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virgilmobile
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:02 pm

It looks like all the ground distribution lines use GREEN wires.Look in the harness for multiple wire connections,eg..three smaller green wires soldered to a larger green wire.If you can find this junction,attach a #10 wire to it and ground to the frame as close as possible.Sense I can't see the harness I suspect it's like this...tail light wires go to a small harness,then turn signal wires enter the harness a bit later,closer to the center of the bike,more and more wires enter the harness,at some point the green wires are bonded to larger wires until a single large ground exits to the frame.It's broken off somewhere.Usually where SOMEBODY has tried to modify the wiring or forgot to re-attach the ground lug under that bolt.

Aladinbama
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby Aladinbama » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:39 pm

Well, it took me a while and about 8 15A fuses to figure it out, but it works. It's not fixed, but all my lights work.
One of the brake light wires was previously shaved so I took it upon myself to hook up another ground wire to it. The lights stabilized (didn't dim/bright slightly with the blinkers), but everytime I applied the brakes the lights would get slightly brighter and nothing - they wouldn't dim back down - then they wouldn't even get slightly brighter again. I checked the relays - they were ok. Then I checked the fuse - burned beyond burned - Replaced it and did it all over again, a few times. I sat a while to "think". I decided that both grounds were probably messing something up so I disconnected the one I hooked up last night and voila - everything worked as it should.
I basically have a ground wire hooked directly to the ground side of one brake light and connected to the ground under the seat - all the blinkers work, brake lights work, and they are all good a bright (with the exception of the center bulbs (around tag) which I believe are burned out). So now, to put it back together - I've got quite a bit to do when I get home from work tomorrow.
I would like to extend a BIG THANKS to Virgilmobile, Thrasherg, and Robb (and WingAdmin) - you guys helped me do what others elsewhere couldn't. :D

Aladinbama
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby Aladinbama » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:58 pm

I got more parts and pieces put on it tonight and took it to the gas station to get some gas because it was getting close to "E". Only 3 gallons - go figure.
Radio works and I suspect a few other things that didn't do also, but I don't want to get too excited. I'll get it all back together and take it for a spin this weekend and check the cruise, suspension, reverse, etc. Right now I'm just tickled that it's road worthy (or sort of). :D

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robb
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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby robb » Sun May 01, 2011 6:22 pm

Just to be safe why not test all the lights while you can. May have a bad socket or one that has been damp and beginning to rust as this will blow the fuse.

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Re: Need Electrical Help In Houston, Tx Area

Postby terryj » Tue May 03, 2011 7:27 pm

Check your relays, mine did some strange stuff like that also, the #3 relay was loose. Mines a 98




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