Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Kregeman
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:21 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Standard

Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by Kregeman »



Hello all, I'm in desperate need of some assistance. The problem is that my starter button just randomly stopped working. I've been trying to find some information on this problem but haven't had much luck. I have been able to jump directly from the positive terminal on the battery to the solenoid. And that works. It will turn over and start. I have also replaced the whole right side switch assembly. With starter button and kill switch. It just won't work! It will dim the headlight when pressed. It won't click. It's just nothing happening. Neutral light works perfect. I just can't seem to figure out this switch! Please help! Thanks in advance everybody.


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RBGERSON
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by RBGERSON »

Could be the clutch safe circuit is engaged..which will stop the bike from starting..try jumping that switch..or a break in the wiring from the right side switch to the solenoid. Check that with a meter set on ohms..from each wire end..switch and solenoid??
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WingAdmin
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by WingAdmin »

Are you getting a click from the solenoid when you press the start button? I would have a look at that as the primary suspect at this point.
Kregeman
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by Kregeman »

Thank you for the quick replies. How do I jump the clutch safety switch? And I have been having trouble finding my multimeter! I seem to have lost it. And there's no click from the solenoid when the button is pressed.
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by WingAdmin »

Kregeman wrote:Thank you for the quick replies. How do I jump the clutch safety switch? And I have been having trouble finding my multimeter! I seem to have lost it. And there's no click from the solenoid when the button is pressed.
On the switch mounted to the clutch lever bracket, there are two wire connectors pressed onto tabs. Pull the connectors off the switch, and use a small piece of wire to short the connectors on the end of the wires together. If this fixes the problem, then the problem is your clutch switch.

That said, the bike should start if it is in neutral, regardless of the condition of the clutch switch.
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virgilmobile
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by virgilmobile »

Yes but be warned,if jumping the switch works,it will also allow the bike to crank while in gear.
Be careful.
Kregeman
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by Kregeman »

Just tried that. It didn't work. I guess it is the wiring running from the plug into the solenoid. I just don't know how to go about checking those. It's hard to tell where they are running through.
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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 »

Any time you're trying to figure out what is (electrically... particularly) wrong with a 32 year old motorcycle, corrosion is a likely suspect. There has been a recent epidemic of dog bone fuse failures as the cause of a lot of electrical problems with GL1100's... not that I believe, necessarily, that the god bone fuse is the culprit in your case... it is something not to rule out.

Here's what I'd do if I had the same trouble you're having. I would start by removing the battery and placing it on "charge"....

While the battery is out, I would start to systematically remove every connector I could get my hands on (ONE AT A TIME) cleaning the connector(s) while inspecting for obvious signs of shorting or open(s) due to corrosion. Get some dielectric grease to coat the connectors with prior to putting them back together. While you're taking things apart and cleaning them, you may as well pull the leads off the solenoid (from the battery, to the starter and from the start switch), check all the grounds you can find. Also pull fuses ands inspect for proper connection, amperage and condition. Replace any fuses that don't look right or that may be defective..

Once you get everything cleaned, greased and put back together close to the battery box, I'd put the freshly charged battery back in and try the start switch. If it is dimming the headlight, I expect it has current to the switch. If the switch still won't start the bike, the next thing I would do is pull the switch apart (CAREFULLY) to inspect the inside for spider webs, gnats, rust, dirt, water... you get the picture. While taking the switch apart, pay close attention to how and where everything goes. Clean thoroughly, put a slight amount of dielectric grease on the contacts and put the switch back together.

If you get through all this and the motorcycle still won't start, then I would suspect there's an open between the puch button and the start solenoid somewhere.

Let us know where you are, progress-wise and if you fix the problem...
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.
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virgilmobile
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by virgilmobile »

You can pick up a cheap test light that can help.There just a buck or two.
No click from the solenoid.
3 possibles.
No power going to it when you push the start button
No ground path to the neutral circuit.
Or the solenoid is bad.
With your test probe grounded at the battery,locate the 2 small wires that plug into the solenoid (not the red ones)...turn on the key,press the start button...probe each one.
One should have volts when you push the button.The other one should not have volts when you push the button.
Both red wires should have volts all the time.
Let us know what happens.with this test we can guide you to the next test area.
Abowyer91
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by Abowyer91 »

Hi guys to jump onto this. I just purchased a 1980 gl1100. I’m thinking I have a bad solenoid. My starter button doesn’t even click but I can jump the solenoid and it works. I did the voltage test and when I press the start button it I do get volts to one of the wires. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-Alex
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Rambozo
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by Rambozo »

If the solenoid looks new, chances are it is wired wrong. The new aftermarket ones come wired wrong for a GoldWing.
Abowyer91
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by Abowyer91 »

Awesome I bit the bullet and bought an oem solenoid. It will be in next week and I will post an update. The price for the Amazon ones are nice but not worth the hassle
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by Abowyer91 »

Ok, so I put in the oem solenoid and it still does not start. I am still able to jump the solenoid to start the bike. I am at a bit of a loss on how to proceeds from here. Could it be the starter that’s bad. Or is there a bad ground that I am missing. Also would it be worth replacing the wire from the Solenoid to the starter? Any advice would help.

-Alex
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winguyjo
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by winguyjo »

you have already proven that the starter works, and for now, i would assume that your brand new oem solenoid is good. you should inspect the cable from the battery to the solenoid and clean the connectors. then i would move up to the start button. 42 year-old handlebar switches can be mighty dirty/corroded.
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Rambozo
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by Rambozo »

How about get a meter or even a test light along with the wiring diagram and trace out the problem?
Do you understand how the starting circuit works?
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made2care
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by made2care »

virgilmobile wrote: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:04 am You can pick up a cheap test light that can help.There just a buck or two.
No click from the solenoid.
3 possibles.
No power going to it when you push the start button
No ground path to the neutral circuit.
Or the solenoid is bad.
With your test probe grounded at the battery,locate the 2 small wires that plug into the solenoid (not the red ones)...turn on the key,press the start button...probe each one.
One should have volts when you push the button.The other one should not have volts when you push the button.
Both red wires should have volts all the time.
Let us know what happens.with this test we can guide you to the next test area.
Same problem here. I put a test light on the 2 small wires on solenoid and each wire lights up when pressing the start button . What’s going on? You mentioned only one small wire should light up
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by DenverWinger »

No ground path on the ground side of the solenoid. One of the wires comes from the starter button and should light the test light, the other should find ground thru either the clutch lever switch or the neutral switch. Test light on this wire will only come on if there's no ground from either of these two switches.
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made2care
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Re: Help!! Starter Button doesn't work!

Post by made2care »

Awesome. I will check


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