78 GL1000 electical woes


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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eightangrybears
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 - "Christine"
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78 GL1000 electical woes

Post by eightangrybears »



I just recently finished up my 78gl1000 project and put in a fully charged battery. In the "remodel" I put in new LED front turn signals, a rear LED brake/running/turn signal light bar, side running/brake lights in the saddlebags and new headlights. I had to cut and resolder the wiring together at the headlight because of the way that it was gerry-rigged by the previous owner. It also has a non-stock gauge cluster, but I rode this bike thousands of miles with that and it all worked fine before cutting.

So, I put in the battery and hooked it all up and went through the lights. I cannot start the bike yet because it has no gasoline in it, but here is what happens in the various switch positions:

- OFF: nothing
- First key position: nothing
- ACC (second position): headlight comes on, tail light and oil pressure light on. Also have the lights on the fuel and volt meter pods but not the gauge cluster)
- ON: nothing (no headlight, no oil pressure light...nothing)

Also have no brake light when pulling handle or stepping on pedal. I cannot be certain that the LED tail/stop/turn is not in the STOP position instead of running light but the saddlebag stop lights do not come on and they are not on in the running position either.

CONCERNS:

My MAIN concern is the neutral light. I checked to make sure it is neutral many times and I checked the bulb in the gauge pod. The bulb for the high beam works so I swapped them out to make sure it wasn't the bulb...it's not. It's possible the connection from the non-stock gauge pod to the main wiring harness is bad so I am going to check that but if that is not the issue, what would you check next? Is it possible the neutral switch (wherever it is) could be bad and it needs to be replaced?

SECOND
concern is that the turn signals are acting funny. For one, the light on the gauges does not light up or flash when they are activated. I don't know if that's because the bike needs to be running for that or what, but both signal wires are combined into one single "TURN" signal light on the dash. SO regardless of the direction, the light goes on. When I rode this bike that worked fine, but again, I had to rewire them when I cut the connections apart to remove the old headlight so it could be a bad connection somewhere. On top of that, both the front turn signals go on solid at the same time, regardless of the direction chosen. The rear light does one side or the other (solid, not flashing) but both the fronts go on at the same time. That's an issue too. Could it be that the relay is bad? The rear signals do go off separately but none of them flash. In my mind, that's because the bike isn't running. Like they won't flash unless the bike is running. SO the fact they both come on up front may be a crossed wire somewhere...

THIRD is the brake light. I would think that the light would go on when the lever is pulled or the pedal is pushed regardless of the key position. But at the very least, that it would go on in the ACC or ON positions when they are depressed. None of the brake lights seem to be operating currently. Could this be a hidden fuse somewhere or the fact that since the fuse in the glovebox is too big and thus it wouldn't work properly?

Since most of my issues deal with the gauge pod (no neutral light, no turn light, no gauge illumination), my first thought is that it is a simple wiring issue at the connections between the gauge pod and the wiring harness. I checked the fuses in the glove box and while they are all the wrong size fuse (usually too big), the fuses seem to be fine and operational. I took the headlight fuse out and it would not come on, put it back in and it works fine.

In terms of the turn signals, I had heard that when replacing with LEDs, I may have the issue of the signals flashing too quick, and that I would need resistors, which I have on hand in case that was an issue. The rear signals were already LEDs so I thought it might have had them somewhere already. I had not heard of them being on solid though. That, I read COULD be a grounding issue. I used ground wires that were already operational though so that doesn't seem like as likely a solution.

I am wondering if my grounding is an issue across the board...the front turn signals don't flash, the rear signals don't flash, the brake light doesn't seem to work (or maybe it is always on) and the saddlebag lights don't work at all. Could it be a wire thickness issue? I would have a hard time believing that they wouldn't work at all if the wires were too small but I am no electrician. Could it be that I spliced the power to the tail light too many times for all three lights in the back to work? Instead of having one tail light and two single turn signals, now I have three tail lights and three brake lights (center and saddle bags) and then the two turn signals in the LED strip. Could that be too much current or load for them to work at all?

I know I said a lot and asked a lot of questions, but I was trying to be thorough about my issues to try and find out ways to find out what the problem is. If the connections in the harness are good and the bulbs are all good, what could the problems be? Could any of these issues be happening because the bike just simply isn't running? Like the turn signal flasher on the dash board or the tach/speedo bulbs in the gauge cluster? I KNOW the neutral light should come on regardless though, so there must be at least an issue with either the wiring or the neutral switch, right? I am totally lost and could use some help. I realize it's not easy to diagnose electrical issues like this but anything might help, even if it's just advice on HOW to troubleshoot the wiring issues since electrical stuff is like chinese to me...

Thanks in advance...


Last edited by eightangrybears on Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1978 GL1000K2 - "Christine" - working on version 3.0 currently
eightangrybears
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 - "Christine"
Contact:

Re: 78 GL1000 electical woes

Post by eightangrybears »

After a bit of googling I saw some people recommended "high output flashers" for turn signals that are solid. Could that be the same as the resistors I got? I'm thinking not but I already have those and thought I'd at least ask...

The lights are designed for 12V systems and most people said you DON'T need resistors but they're not familiar with ancient goldwings...
1978 GL1000K2 - "Christine" - working on version 3.0 currently
eightangrybears
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 - "Christine"
Contact:

Re: 78 GL1000 electical woes

Post by eightangrybears »

After doing a little more reading on this site, I think I found that the turn signals being on all the time is an issue with the flasher relay. Since they are now LED signals, I need more amperage going through the wires so I either need to install a "transistorized flasher" instead of the relay in place. Could I accomplish the same thing putting the resistors I have in line on the turn signals? I think that will solve the signals not flashing, but will it also solve the fact that both sides light up simultaneously?

I am thinking the fact that both signals are wired to one indicator bulb may the culprit here. Maybe that sort of puts them in the same circuit. If that is the issue, how can I wire both signals to the single indicator bulb? The gauges that I have on the bike only have one bulb for the signal indicator. So regardless of which signal is on, the one light (it says "TURN" with an arrow on either side of it) goes on and off.

Lastly, could the signals not firing cause the indicator bulb not to flash or would it only flash when the bike is running? I haven't ridden this thing in 6 years so I don't remember how it worked before...
1978 GL1000K2 - "Christine" - working on version 3.0 currently
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