Spark not sparking


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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CDoeg9589
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:21 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000
1983 Kawasaki LTD1100

Spark not sparking

Post by CDoeg9589 »



Hello all,

79 GL1000

I'm not getting spark on one coil. The coil tests normal with resistance test, as well as all the resistors in the boots. But when I do the basic spark check by leaving the plug laying on the valve cover, and hitting the starter, no spark on two of the four cylinders. The two cylinders are on the same coil. I have tried two coils now, and as you may know they are not easy to come by. At all.

So.........

What else can I check and how?

Can anyone point me in the right direction for a retrofit of coils?


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DenverWinger
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1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
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1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
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1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by DenverWinger »

If it has stock ignition check for a shorted capacitor or points not opening (inside the cover on the rear of the left side cylinder head). There's two capacitors and two sets of points, one for each coil. Not sure where the capacitors are located on a GL1000, one of the gurus will need to chime in.

If you have aftermarket retrofit electronic ignition one of the sensors (one for each coil) may have failed.
♫ 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
CDoeg9589
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:21 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000
1983 Kawasaki LTD1100

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by CDoeg9589 »

Is the picture attached the capacitor?
Attachments


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DenverWinger
Posts: 1733
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: Spark not sparking

Post by DenverWinger »

No, that looks like a turn signal flasher. I think the capacitors are nestled up with the coils somewhere.
♫ 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
W109driver
Posts: 89
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Location: Devon. England
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by W109driver »

No where near a guru but as DW says, logically if the coils are testing good , but still no spark, the fault must be upstream.
Points?
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Maz
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Location: Kent, UK
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000K1
1976 CB500T
1979 CB750L
1990 Yamaha FJ1200
1993 Suzuki GS500E

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by Maz »

The capacitors (condensers) are by the battery. One has a yellow wire and one blue.
Check for volts at each coil on the black/white wires. The other wire on each coil is grounded by the points closing so check that the points are opening and closing correctly and are actually grounding the Yellow and Blue wires when closed.
Maz
Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!
CDoeg9589
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:21 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000
1983 Kawasaki LTD1100

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by CDoeg9589 »

W109driver wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:32 am No where near a guru but as DW says, logically if the coils are testing good , but still no spark, the fault must be upstream.
Points?
I agree, I'm new to electrical. I can turn wrenches, but electrical has never been my strong suit.
CDoeg9589
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:21 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000
1983 Kawasaki LTD1100

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by CDoeg9589 »

Maz wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:05 pm The capacitors (condensers) are by the battery. One has a yellow wire and one blue.
Check for volts at each coil on the black/white wires. The other wire on each coil is grounded by the points closing so check that the points are opening and closing correctly and are actually grounding the Yellow and Blue wires when closed.
Maz
Will do, thank you.

Do I need to check Volts while cranking? The points are moving freely. Looks like someone before me was in there as the screws to hold the points in are stripped pretty good. I'm likely going to replace anyways this winter as I get this thing running because of the shotty install on the ones there.
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Maz
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Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000K1
1976 CB500T
1979 CB750L
1990 Yamaha FJ1200
1993 Suzuki GS500E

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by Maz »

CDoeg9589 wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:26 am
Maz wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:05 pm The capacitors (condensers) are by the battery. One has a yellow wire and one blue.
Check for volts at each coil on the black/white wires. The other wire on each coil is grounded by the points closing so check that the points are opening and closing correctly and are actually grounding the Yellow and Blue wires when closed.
Maz
Will do, thank you.

Do I need to check Volts while cranking? The points are moving freely. Looks like someone before me was in there as the screws to hold the points in are stripped pretty good. I'm likely going to replace anyways this winter as I get this thing running because of the shotty install on the ones there.
Check without cranking first. Should be around 8 or 9 volts if you still have the ballast resistor. When cranking, you should see a full 12v (or as near to battery volts), as the ballast is bypassed during cranking.
Maz
Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!
CDoeg9589
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:21 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000
1983 Kawasaki LTD1100

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by CDoeg9589 »

I found the condenser down by the battery. It goes from zero volts to .223 volts just sitting there.

I found a few on ebay that I will use to replace the one I have installed. However, does anyone know a reliable source for wiring diagram for these bikes? I found some wires tied together and not spliced correctly, and I want to go through them before I keep dumping parts into the bike when it could be someone else mixed a few wires up!
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Maz
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:43 am
Location: Kent, UK
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000K1
1976 CB500T
1979 CB750L
1990 Yamaha FJ1200
1993 Suzuki GS500E

Re: Spark not sparking

Post by Maz »

CDoeg9589 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:44 pm I found the condenser down by the battery. It goes from zero volts to .223 volts just sitting there.

I found a few on ebay that I will use to replace the one I have installed. However, does anyone know a reliable source for wiring diagram for these bikes? I found some wires tied together and not spliced correctly, and I want to go through them before I keep dumping parts into the bike when it could be someone else mixed a few wires up!
Hit the 'Manuals' button at the top of any page on here. Select the one you need from the list.
Maz


Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!
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