To repair or rewire that is the question


Information, ideas, experiences and help with camping, pulling a trailer and roughing it on your Goldwing
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LDodge
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Location: Smithville, Tn
Motorcycle: 1985 1200 Aspencade (sold)
1995 1500 SE (sold *sigh*)
1996 1500 Aspencade

To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by LDodge »



Hi all --
So I have a trailer that I use a lot on my 1500 and all was well until I had the rear tire replaced. The mechanic moved the exhaust pipes out of the way and wiggled the tire off and then wiggled the new tire back in place. The next time I plugged my trailer in, she was dark -- NO lights at all.
I put a ohm meter on the trailer and got continuity with all the pins. When I put the meter on the bike side, nothing at all (I got continuity from one pin when I grounded directly to the bike instead of the ground pin).
My questions are:
1. Generally where are all the connections made when hooking up a trailer plug. It came already wired so I don't know where to start looking for the connections. I REALLY don't want to lift / remove the trunk assembly so I am hoping the connectors are either under the seat or in the trunk (*crossing my fingers).
2. Would it be easier to just cut the old wires and run new wires?

Any help or thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated as I need to get this job done asap -- not a good idea to tow a black out trailer at night :shock:
thank you much

See you at WingDing 2019 -- it's just down the road from me in Nashville :D


On the road again ..YIPPIE. Riding with the Green Hornet and Kato :mrgreen:
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DenverWinger
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1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
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Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by DenverWinger »

Do you have a lighting isolator on the 1500? If the power fuse to the isolator box is blown you won't have any voltage on any of the pins, nor will you get any continuity readings on any of the pins except the ground pin.

That being the case, replacing the fuse you should be good to go. Use a test light on the bike connector before connecting the trailer to confirm function, if there's a short in the trailer wiring you'll just blow the fuse again.

The lighting connectors are accessed by removing the trunk underside cover (4 screws) and if there's an isolator box you'll probably find it in there, with connections to the left and right side lights in the trunk. It will have a red wire going to power somewhere (usually direct to the battery) with an in-line fuse holder, probably very close to the battery.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
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dingdong
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Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by dingdong »

Personally I always convert "rewire" the trailer to have separate brake and signal lights. I don't like the idea of one of my brake lights being over ridden by the signal light. Especially with them being the same color. Brake lights red signal lights amber. No converter necessary.
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Andy Cote
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Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by Andy Cote »

There is probably no way for us to answer that question. There are a dozen ways this plug could be wired into the bike and really no plug and play solution that was common on the GL1500. You will need to trace the harness back. It could be under the rear cover under the trunk that DenverWinger talks about but it could also be under the seat. If it has an isolator, that could be behind the side cover or even in one of the saddlebags. Whether it is a direct wire to the trailer plug or it is using an isolator harness, there needs to be connections to the stock wiring, probably using those squeeze on "vampire" connections which were common years ago but cause us to shudder now. If there is an isolator then there needs to be a power connection with a fuse but if it's direct wire, the stock fuses are carrying the load of the trailer as well as the bike.

So if I think about the recent work, if the guy that changed the tire pinched something, certainly that could blow a fuse but the pinched wire needs to be found and fixed before a new fuse is installed.

It's possible that if you have a five wire to four wire converter that unit may have died. Some of those carry the taillight circuit thru them so it could kill tail lights as well as directional/brake lights.

Sorry.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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LDodge
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:29 pm
Location: Smithville, Tn
Motorcycle: 1985 1200 Aspencade (sold)
1995 1500 SE (sold *sigh*)
1996 1500 Aspencade

Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by LDodge »

Thank you much :) I am not sure if it has an isolator, honestly don't even know what it looks like. Any chance someone could send me a picture so I know what I am looking for?

As for the truck under cover, is that right above the license plate?
Thanks again :)
DenverWinger wrote: Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:40 am Do you have a lighting isolator on the 1500? If the power fuse to the isolator box is blown you won't have any voltage on any of the pins, nor will you get any continuity readings on any of the pins except the ground pin.

That being the case, replacing the fuse you should be good to go. Use a test light on the bike connector before connecting the trailer to confirm function, if there's a short in the trailer wiring you'll just blow the fuse again.

The lighting connectors are accessed by removing the trunk underside cover (4 screws) and if there's an isolator box you'll probably find it in there, with connections to the left and right side lights in the trunk. It will have a red wire going to power somewhere (usually direct to the battery) with an in-line fuse holder, probably very close to the battery.
On the road again ..YIPPIE. Riding with the Green Hornet and Kato :mrgreen:
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newday777
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Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by newday777 »

"As for the truck under cover, is that right above the license plate?
Thanks again"

Yes. 4 small Phillips head, actually JIS head, screws hold it in place.
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newday777
Posts: 2146
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by newday777 »

User avatar
newday777
Posts: 2146
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by newday777 »

I have found poorly crimped pins in accessory harnesses that have been the fault on non operative lights...one being the ground pin.

You said the tire got wiggled out when changed. Did the wiggling hit the trailer connector??? It might have pulled out a wire(s).(not knowing where you connector is mounted)
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LDodge
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:29 pm
Location: Smithville, Tn
Motorcycle: 1985 1200 Aspencade (sold)
1995 1500 SE (sold *sigh*)
1996 1500 Aspencade

Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by LDodge »

I used the term "wiggle" as I know it is a challenge to get the rear tire off with the bags still in place. I was assuming getting the tire changed and the trailer lights not working were related, but now I am not sure as I just found out I have no brake lights.

Off with the Tupperware :D let's play the electric wire spaghetti bowl game. thanks for your thoughts -- I need as much help as possible; electrical is NOT my forte.
On the road again ..YIPPIE. Riding with the Green Hornet and Kato :mrgreen:
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madmtnmotors
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Re: To repair or rewire that is the question

Post by madmtnmotors »

Part of the approach that I use to resolve electrical problems is figuring out what it's not. As mentioned you should start with the fuses with the trailer disconnected. If you find a blown fuse check the lights after you replace the fuse but before you reconnect the trailer. If the fuse blows without the trailer connected then the problem has been isolated to the bike harness. If the fuse blows after the trailer is connected then the problem is likely with the trailer. If there are no fuses blown then you may have a connector pulled loose in the bike harness or all of your bulbs failed at once. Pull one or more of the bulbs and making sure the bulbs are functional would be part of the process of elimination.

Use a methodical approach, it will try your patience.


Wilbur


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