THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1800
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namgniwdlog
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:43 pm
Location: Auburn, CA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800A

THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by namgniwdlog »



It has taken me 15 years to locate an intermittent starting issue on my 2003 GL1800A. In the following I will describe a TEST and SOLUTION that can be performed in 10 minutes. Any GL1800 that has the large Negative Battery Cable connecting to the Reverse Shifting Cables mount on the right side of the engine is suspect for this issue. I recommend you perform this test and solution even if you're not experiencing the starting problem. This may affect a great many GL1800.

What's normal? Everything! At all other times the motorcycle runs strong without any electrical issues or engine stalls.

Problem: Engine fails to start. Absolutely no hint of firing. (Strictly random in occurrence)
* Starter turns over strong.
* All indications normal (panel lamps and fuel pump operation.)
* Jumping the motorcycle battery with another battery has always resulted in a successful start
* The motorcycle can be push started always

The problem is in the Grounding System. It can only be identified while cranking the starter motor. I do assume that your battery cable connections have been inspected and clean. Many postings refer to a Ground Point Bolt located under the fuel tank. This is NOT related to this issue. However, this has been known to cause issues.

Tools needed: A voltage meter that can measure voltage less than 1 volt on the DC scale.
A 10MM socket.

Procedure: Remove the Left Side Cover to expose the battery and fuse box.
* Remove the F1/IGN fuse (we don't want the engine to start).
Remove the Right Side Front Engine Cover (chrome).

Refer to photo #1. Connect the Negative lead of your volt meter to the Negative Battery terminal.
Set your meter to a scale sensitive enough to read as low as 1 volt DC.
Refer to photo #2. Cross over to the right side of the motorcycle and touch your positive meter lead
to the area in the photo labeled "touch"
Turn on your ignition switch and press the starter button while paying close attention to the voltage meter. The engine should not start. Crank the engine for 2-5 seconds. IF YOU READ MORE THAN .1 VOLT (THAT'S 1/10 VOLT) you need to perform the solution. (MY READING WAS .7 VOLTS)

SOLUTION: Using photo #2 as a reference, remove the two bolts that secure the cable plate to the engine. The large Negative Battery Cable is connected to the left-most-bolt. Compare the removed bolts to photo #3. You will notice that the factory put on a bolt locking material. This material has hardened and has formed an insulator between the bolt threads and the engine. Because of very high current required by the starter, the engine and frame ground are pulled more towards the positive voltage thereby starving the Engine Control Module of voltage equal to the reading you obtained (only while starter is running).
Using soap or just about any cleaning agent, remove this thread compound from both bolts. Blow out the bolt holes to ensure they are clean. DON'T use any locking agent and reinstall these two bolts.
Perform another engine cranking test. You should now see voltage below .1V If still high in value, repeat the removal/ cleaning procedure.

Hopes this helps others. My 15 year old problem is GONE!!









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keithg64
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:47 pm
Location: Geneseo, IL
Motorcycle: 2007 Gl1800HPNA Blue
2000 GL1500 Pearl Coranado Blue -sold

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by keithg64 »

Good job. I will check those 2 bolts too. Last year I saw this and added it to the same location as those 2 bolts.


It's not what you buy, it's what you build.

namgniwdlog
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:43 pm
Location: Auburn, CA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800A

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by namgniwdlog »

Thanks Keith64. Just one comment. Your solution indeed solves the voltage starvation to the Engine Control Module. However, the Engine Ground (Starter motor ground) may still suffer from an insufficient Negative return path to the battery. Meaning, the starter motor itself can't perform to its full potential due to ground-return voltage losses caused by those two bolts.
After the fix, my starter motor rotates faster with engine start occurring with almost no notable rotation of the engine....very quick!
My motorcycle has NEVER demonstrated this quick reaction in the starting phase.

Don

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GramKate
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: New Columbia, PA
Motorcycle: 2012 Honda Shadow Aero 750 and 2008 GL 1800

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by GramKate »

Thank you for sharing this information and all of your hard work. I will be sure to pass this on to my husband.

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Rwilkerson
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:27 pm
Location: Laveen, Az.
Motorcycle: 2002 Honda Gl 1800

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by Rwilkerson »

One of the first repairs I did was to #1: repair all the led wiring ran them in vinyl tubing to match the factory wiring. (last owner had the half a**ed all over the place) #2 removed the tank and cleaned F1 and ran a tap to clean the treads soldered all the lugs #3 Cleaned and tap the above mentioned threads (I believe that is F2). I have never had a starting problem (except when the dura don't last battery) died (Autozone 90 day battery warranty) changed to YUSA. While you are inspecting check all under seat connections for shorts at the green grounds (another known problem) I also used some dielectric grease. At the age of these bikes all becomes a standard maintenance issue.
Some like to follow the masses but many lose the "m"

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keithg64
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:47 pm
Location: Geneseo, IL
Motorcycle: 2007 Gl1800HPNA Blue
2000 GL1500 Pearl Coranado Blue -sold

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by keithg64 »

I cleaned those 2 bolts yesterday, retapped the holes and ran a die over the bolt threads and wire brushed the bolt threads also. They definitely where covered with factory sealant. Good job and thank you.
It's not what you buy, it's what you build.

Ridgeback
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:50 pm
Location: Cambridge UK
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by Ridgeback »

Thank you for sharing your hard earned knowledge. I'm sure there will be many of us very grateful to you for preventing the many years you suffered with this problem.

dfugate
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:33 pm
Location: sturtevant wi
Motorcycle: 2001 gl1800

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by dfugate »

I ha ve had this problem on and off for 10 years wow so easy to fix .Thank you so much.

lindsay
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:11 pm
Location: New Zealand
Motorcycle: 2009 Honda GL1800 Goldwing.

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by lindsay »

New Zealand also has the same issues with GL1800 Goldwings as the rest of the world. I took on a 2009 GL1800 that would not run for a friend who was being charged outrageous money by a dealership to try and get it going with no success. As a retired automotive electrician and having worked in the diagnostic field of that world for many years I had the false illusion I was going fix this motorcycle for my friend without too much trouble."WRONG." I was put onto this web-site by a friend. To this point I have followed the path of this article to the letter and everything described was exactly as you say. If the neutral light comes on when the ignition is turned on it will go. When it turned off the neutral light does not go and neither the motor. The starter motor does not even operate. Disconnect the battery and come back the next day and it may go once. I am at the point where I believe the gear position switch is possibly faulty. Can anybody tell me where to find this please? All help will be much appreciated. Lindsay Pinker.

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keithg64
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:47 pm
Location: Geneseo, IL
Motorcycle: 2007 Gl1800HPNA Blue
2000 GL1500 Pearl Coranado Blue -sold

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by keithg64 »

This should help. Its behind the front timing cover.

https://www.gl1800riders.com/threads/wh ... ed.168691/
It's not what you buy, it's what you build.

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keithg64
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:47 pm
Location: Geneseo, IL
Motorcycle: 2007 Gl1800HPNA Blue
2000 GL1500 Pearl Coranado Blue -sold

Re: THIS MAY SOLVE YOUR Intermittent Engine not starting

Post by keithg64 »

Here is a picture that may help.
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It's not what you buy, it's what you build.

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