Stranded with electrical problem


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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Newfiegeezer
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: Lewisporte, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Motorcycle: 2003 GL 1800

Stranded with electrical problem

Postby Newfiegeezer » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:26 am



I own a 2003 1800, purchased a year ago in April. Just this past Monday when 300 kms (185 miles) from my home while returning from a 3200 km (2000 miles) trip and in the pouring rain my bike started missing. I lost the speedometer and tach, smelled something burning and the bike eventually failed. I coasted to the side of the road of a busy highway. Volts were showing 10. There was no prior indication of any trouble. I called a brother who lived in the area who helped me do some preliminary investigation; checking connector block for wire damage, blown fuses in fuse block, etc., but nothing was evident. I ended up having to trailer my bike home. I am suspecting a alternator or voltage regulator problem. My Honda dealer cannot look at my bike until sometime in early August due to mechanic holidays and their schedule being booked solid. I will have to tackle it myself. Seeking advice!



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virgilmobile
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Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:42 am

I am by no means a 1800 mechanic but I suspect that if you disconnect the battery first and extract the alternator,someone should be able to test it for you.It wouldn't be the first time I've heard of one failing.
Having a volt meter on the bike indicated that it quit charging.Its a good idea.
While the battery is unhooked,put it on a trickle charger for a day or two.
Your sudden drop in volts and burning smell may have been the alternator or its internal regulator.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:53 am

Also, if an electrical component has burned enough that you smelled it while sitting on the bike, the remnants of that burning smell will hang around. If you put your nose up to the back of the alternator (where the regulator is) and you can smell that electrical burning smell quite strongly, it's a good indication that this was the cause of your problem.

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FM-USA
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Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby FM-USA » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:39 pm

Quite right, getting your nose into the problem area.
For those deeper areas, take a 2 to 3 foot small diameter hose and use it as a stethoscope. Breath in with the hose near your nose (cup in palm works well) and aim the other end wherever.
That will ZOOM you in. ;)
Be at the ready with the smelling salts. :twisted:
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

Newfiegeezer
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Location: Lewisporte, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Motorcycle: 2003 GL 1800

Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby Newfiegeezer » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:25 am

Newfiegeezer wrote:I own a 2003 1800, purchased a year ago in April. Just this past Monday when 300 kms (185 miles) from my home while returning from a 3200 km (2000 miles) trip and in the pouring rain my bike started missing. I lost the speedometer and tach, smelled something burning and the bike eventually failed. I coasted to the side of the road of a busy highway. Volts were showing 10. There was no prior indication of any trouble. I called a brother who lived in the area who helped me do some preliminary investigation; checking connector block for wire damage, blown fuses in fuse block, etc., but nothing was evident. I ended up having to trailer my bike home. I am suspecting a alternator or voltage regulator problem. My Honda dealer cannot look at my bike until sometime in early August due to mechanic holidays and their schedule being booked solid. I will have to tackle it myself. Seeking advice!


I did pull the alternator and had a shop test it. As suspected, it was the alternator; bearings and not putting out. Am awaiting a quote on a rebuild and if too expensive, I will opt for a new one.

Thanks everyone!

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FM-USA
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iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
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HD friends PACIFIED."
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Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby FM-USA » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:40 am

GLAD you found the problem and reported back.
Now we know and case closed.
.
NEXT?

.
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

harvey01
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Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby harvey01 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:03 am

A rebuild will probably be cheaper than a new OEM. Be wary of aftermarket units as some folks have gone that route and wound up getting an OEM alternator. Pricing can vary between online sellers and your local dealer may match those prices.
harvey
Ride Safe and Ride Often

348bigblock
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Location: New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800 (Motor Trike)

Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby 348bigblock » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:55 pm

Hey guys, I have a 2007 GL1800, and about three weeks ago on a trip, I noticed no speedo, no RPM, no tail lights. I found a blown 20 amp fuse blown, changed it and looked ok for a very short time. At home I checked the rear upper lid harness, found some broken wires, fixed those and replaced the fuse, looked all good, the instrument panel worked fine and all lights were turned on in rear. trailered the trike to the destination, where we did a daily trip. when I started the wing in the toy hauler, noticed the gauges weren't working any more. replaced that 20 amp fuse and it did not survive 2 seconds. so I followed my friends (BMWs) on the trip and came back in day light because I had no tail lamps as well and noticed the GPS did not have the video going, it search several times, the mileage on the GPS did not change. not too sure on what to start looking for, do not want to pay $125.00/hrs unless I need to! any thoughts!

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virgilmobile
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83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:30 pm

Ok...I'm not well versed in the 1800's but i'll lend some sound troubleshooting skills...
You have a shorted wire somewhere and it blows a 20 amp fuse...
Use this method to isolate the area...rather than checking and blowing $20 worth of fuses
Attach by any method you can a large 12 volt light in place of the fuse...Preferably a old headlight...They take 5 or 6 amps to get them to light up full brightness...
Attach a battery charger to the bike to keep the battery charged and "kill" the ignition with the kill/stop switch..
Turn on the key and keep the light away from the plastic as it will get hot..
With this method,the light won't blow like the fuse..it simply lights up when the circuit has a short and goes dim when the short is removed.
Then start poking about...unplug the main plug to the rear of the bike thats under the seat first...I suspect the rear is the most likley area of a possible problem....
As soon as you move the touching wire or locate the bad area , the light your using (instead of the fuse) will dim about half way and the bikes lights should come back on dim as well.

Keep in mind..the lamp you use in place of the fuse must be a 55-65 watt headlight or spotlight.It will get hot..
Don't use a low power test light...It doesn't draw enough power for this test.

348bigblock
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Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby 348bigblock » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:51 pm

Great, I will try that in the morning, my head aches form trying to look for this tonight! appreciate the respond, I will let you know once I get this sorted out! :D
Ray

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FM-USA
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MADE_IT!_200K_Oct_17/2016
iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
"You don't buy yourself a
HD to be SATISFIED,...
you buy it to keep your
HD friends PACIFIED."
================
|
ANTAGONISTS need not post.
|
==================

Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby FM-USA » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:05 am

Loss of eventual non-replacement electronics on a vehicle is the main reason I want the old gauges.
(HOPE someone's reading this..... all you Mfg's)
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

348bigblock
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:28 pm
Location: New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800 (Motor Trike)

Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby 348bigblock » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:37 pm

OK!!!! we found the issue with my 20 amp fuse that kept blowing on my 2007 trike Goldwing GL1800! that fuse would operate the speedo, tack, RPM, gas gauge, GPS video, Signal cancelation, cruise control, rear tail lamps and fog lamps. I got a friend that had a fuse saver, so I didn't try the sealed beam as mentioned, (smart idea if you don't have a fuse saver) so that saved me fuses, I already blew 11 fuses!! So what we did, I remember about disconnecting the rear harness, but what I done, is disconnect every factory plugs, including the one for the fog lamp and 4-way flashers. Put the key on, the dash would light up, headlamps and radio, nothing else. So I connected from the front of the trike, being the fog lamps, all good, I shook the wires to make sure they weren't touching and causing a short, all good, did the same for the 4-way flashers, dash kept being lite up and the gas gauge would show as half full, then I went under the seat area where there are hundreds of plugs (LOL!!!) so one of the larger one, light gray in color, it runs the rear tail and signals, so when I plugged it in, the dash when dark and no gas gauge again. SO! I unplugged that one, then went to every other plugs one by one, checked the dash as a good source of no issues, and after all was plugged back in and I shook the wires and pulled, all good!!! so I plugged that one large rectangular light gray plug and poof!! again. so my friend that had the fuse saver tool, had a ground check tool that would buzz when the ground was good and buzz intermittently when ground was not good. So we shook wires in the back, some were between the trikes rear faring assy, not made for people!!!!! very tight area. anyhow, touched one wire that was going to the rear luggage compartment's light and it was hot. Looked at the compartment light and could see rust in at the bulb!!! disconnected the wire for that and VOILA!!! all is good. so this was my bad ground! so now I got to put the trike together, if would have known about that light inside the rear luggage compartment that we never use, it would have been a simple 25 second job and I have been at this (in evening only) for a week and a half. Thought this could help some later about ground, add-on lights and their ground, corrosion! Thanks for the input and the idea of the sealed beam and unplugging harnesses and start from there.
Have fun guys, be safe and enjoy!!!
Ray Poirier :D

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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: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:36 am

Great to hear its solved.
The secret is in the test procedure to isolate the problem area

Good job. :ugeek:

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wing rider 2012
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Re: Stranded with electrical problem

Postby wing rider 2012 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:10 am

Glad you found the problem, troubleshooting an electrical problem can be a nightmare, especially on a Gold Wing, the only other bike I can think of that might be worse is the BMW K1600GTL. This is the reason I'm not a huge fan of a lot of electronic gadgets, so when I hear Gold Wing owners express the idea of more electronics on the bike I have to think, be careful what you ask for. I worked in the electronics field for 35 years (communication electronics, design engineer for Motorola International and AT&T wireless) and I know that the more electronics one adds, the possible problems grows exponentially.


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