Electrical gremlins


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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charliem
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:32 pm
Location: Dayton, Maryland
Motorcycle: 2001 GL1800

Electrical gremlins

Postby charliem » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:54 pm



I’m experiencing an electrical problem that I’m sure some of you will be able to resolve. I have a 2001 Gl1800 with 105,000 miles that has run flawlessly up until now. About three weeks ago the clock and trip odometer started resetting themselves when I started the bike. A short while later the cruise control would not set. After reading a few posts I concluded that the battery was in its final hours of existence. The battery had a sticker applied by the previous owner dated April 13, 2008, the date they installed the battery. Not a bad run. The alternator was replaced by the previous owner (not sure of the date). I purchased a new “sealed” battery and installed it in the bike. The battery was supposed to be ready to go, fully charged. It would not crank the engine. I check the battery and it read 9.?? volts. I charged the battery over night and it read 12.64 volts. Installed it in the bike, hit the start button and it started without hesitation. I checked the voltage while running and it read 14.6. I rode the bike for approximately 20 miles and the bike started acting up. I stopped to visit a friend and the bike wouldn’t start. I coasted down hill and jump started the bike. After about a mile the gauges stopped working, no tachometer, no speedometer. Then the engine started missing and I cut it off. After I returned home I charged the battery over night and it read 12.64 volts. The bike started and I tested the volts while running. The multimeter read 11.74 volts. Now it appears that the alternator is not working. I’m not sure if I damaged the alternator or if the battery is defective and causing the low alternator reading. Plan A is to return the battery for a new replacement and hope the alternator is still good.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Charlie



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cbx4evr
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Re: Electrical gremlins

Postby cbx4evr » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:16 pm

I had a similar situation on my 1500 with differing readings. Turned out one of the alternator brushes was sticking and loosing contact. I don't think your battery is the problem. I'd be checking the alternator.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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MikeB
Posts: 1228
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade.
2003 - GL1800A

Re: Electrical gremlins

Postby MikeB » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:49 pm

In any vehicle charging system you have the holy trinity; Battery, Alternator and Regulator. Any one of the three can cause any one of the others to fail.

Your battery may very will be your issue. A fully charged motorcycle battery that has been charged and then removed from a charger and let sit unconnected for 24 hours should yield a voltage of no less than 12.75 volts. Most will have a charge of 12.9 volts or better. The fact that you received a battery that was supposed to be good and fully charged but only measured 9.?? volts should have given you pause. It should have gone back to the supplier and a new one received, checked and installed.

Get a good battery and install it. Check the system again and if it is still not giving you 14.0 volts when running, you most likely now have a bad alternator/regulator combination (the regulator is part of the alternator).
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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Bluewaterhooker0
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE

Re: Electrical gremlins

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:19 pm

I don't have an 1800, but figured the 1500 is probably similar. You have a 100A main fuse, referred to as Main Fuse B. I don't know the structure of that fuse. On a 1500, it is called a dogbone fuse, is 55A, and is a flat piece of metal that can crack in a way that is barely visible. I would start at that fuse for cracks if possible, or good solid connections otherwise. If it is faulty, you will have battery charging issues, as that is the main alternator path. You might also check the integrity of the 'trigger' wire that tells the alternator at what rate to charge. Cracked, weak, or broken connections could cause intermittent problems such as you are experiencing.

I had a similar experience in purchasing a new battery. Took it right back to the seller, as a battery at that 'state', in my opinion will have a shortened life, at best. From what I read, all new batteries should be charged with a quality powersport battery charger when new, until they are completely charged to peak voltage. Then, given an opportunity to 'rest' before use. It has to do with conditioning the new battery. But, 9V is below any acceptable initial charge state.

From the GL1800 Service manual.
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charliem
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:32 pm
Location: Dayton, Maryland
Motorcycle: 2001 GL1800

Re: Electrical gremlins

Postby charliem » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:53 pm

UPDATE:
I returned the battery to Advanced Auto. Turns out the battery was manufactured in April of 2014. The other batteries they had were also defective. I purchased a new battery at Heyser Cycle (Honda Dealer). The voltage is 12.82. With the bike running the voltage reads 12.16. I think I fried the alternator. I'm going to go through the factory service manual trouble shooting directions to confirm that the alternator is bad.

Any advice where to purchase a new alternator if needed? Has anyone removed the alternator without taking the bike apart?

Thanks,
Charlie

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ka4yqi
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Location: Carrollton, Ga.
Motorcycle: 1998 Goldwing SE
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Re: Electrical gremlins

Postby ka4yqi » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:00 pm

If you have a good alternator/starter shop close, you should be able to take it off and let the rebuild it. They are not to different from automotive style. Good luck with it, and check out the rebuilders in your area.

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MikeB
Posts: 1228
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade.
2003 - GL1800A

Re: Electrical gremlins

Postby MikeB » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:44 pm

You can Google "gl1800 alternator replacement" and get lots of You Tube hits on the replacement. No matter what route you take to replace the alternator, it will be a bit of a journey and a learning experience.


MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA


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