1976 GL1000 sluggish starter motor


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Saltspringer
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:33 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000 in Antares Red

1976 GL1000 sluggish starter motor

Post by Saltspringer » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:26 pm



Hi, I am making progress on my winter project. So far I have rebuilt the braking system front and rear, rebuilt the carbs and replaced the belts. Various other items cropped up and the bike has new paint and a repaired and recovered seat.

After bench testing the carb rebuild for leaks I put them back on the bike and was finally able to connect up a battery. When I hit the starter the cranking speed was very low, more a feeble intermittent chug, rather than a healthy spin. Lights on the dash dimmed severely.

Checking around with a voltmeter I found that the battery voltage dropped to 6v or 7v from a resting 12.9v when I hit the starter. This voltage drop was found at the positive connection on the starter itself, at the starter side of the starter relay, and at the battery side of the starter relay..... Thinking the battery is probably weak I connected up my truck battery and found I still had the same sluggish whirr. Definitely not spinning fast enough to start. Since both batteries did the same thing I am going to assume that the batteries are OK. I cleaned up the contacts on the starter relay and the ground located on the left hand side engine mount. Although there was some corrosion the symptoms were exactly the same when I tried again.

I am assuming that my starter is probably the problem but, before I pull it out and take it all apart, do you think my diagnosis is correct and is there anything else I should check?

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers

Andy


1976 Honda GL1000, resurrected....

1946 Norton Model 18, 500cc single
1946 Harley WL45 Flathead
1960 BMW R60/2
1972 BMW R60/5
1973 BMW R75/5
1973 Norton Commando
1981 Moto Morini 500
1960 Triumph TR3A sports car, in many boxes.....

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DenverWinger
Posts: 776
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: 1976 GL1000 sluggish starter motor

Post by DenverWinger » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:55 pm

Starter sounds suspect to me. Brushes are probably worn out.
♫ 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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pidjones
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:14 pm
Location: Clinton, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800A
1978 GL1000 w/'75 engine (project)

Re: 1976 GL1000 sluggish starter motor

Post by pidjones » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:46 pm

Could be that, poor connections, or failing solenoid. Starter is easy enough to pull. On side stand, pull left header, unbolt starter, gently work it back leaving the pinion in the chain. Use care with the brushes, they are on a flimsy insulator board. Clean and re-lubricate. Dress up the commutator as needed. Look for blown solder. If any indications of that I suggest taking it to an automotive electrical shop. Gentle back in and bolt all back up and go. WARNING! If you test it out of the motor, clamp it in a vice. It has a LOT of rotational torque.

Saltspringer
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:33 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000 in Antares Red

Re: 1976 GL1000 sluggish starter motor

Post by Saltspringer » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:35 pm

Just as an update, I pulled the starter motor as suggested and opened it up. The brush assembly looked dirty, but the brushes still had some life left in them and were contacting the commutator. I pulled the winding's from the case and looked at them closely. There was some pick up on the winding's at the gear end of the shaft that leads me to believe the bearing is probably worn. More concerning was some soldering that was definitely not Honda. I think a previous owner had been in there and had repaired the starter.

Since a brand new starter is about $75 on EBay, and this one has issues beyond a simple clean and brushes, I have bought a replacement and will not spend any time or effort on troubleshooting or fixing this one.

Greatly appreciate the advice received, I will let you know if the new starter solves the issue.

Cheers

Andy
1976 Honda GL1000, resurrected....

1946 Norton Model 18, 500cc single
1946 Harley WL45 Flathead
1960 BMW R60/2
1972 BMW R60/5
1973 BMW R75/5
1973 Norton Commando
1981 Moto Morini 500
1960 Triumph TR3A sports car, in many boxes.....

User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 776
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: 1976 GL1000 sluggish starter motor

Post by DenverWinger » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:23 am

Beware the aftermarket Chinese starters, issues have been reported with poor quality reduction gears that disintegrate. Might be worthwhile swapping the gear head from your old starter onto the replacement.
♫ 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

Saltspringer
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:33 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000 in Antares Red

Re: 1976 GL1000 sluggish starter motor

Post by Saltspringer » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:12 pm

That's good advice. My original gear cluster looks in great shape.


1976 Honda GL1000, resurrected....

1946 Norton Model 18, 500cc single
1946 Harley WL45 Flathead
1960 BMW R60/2
1972 BMW R60/5
1973 BMW R75/5
1973 Norton Commando
1981 Moto Morini 500
1960 Triumph TR3A sports car, in many boxes.....

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