81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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sbeardsley51
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:10 pm
Location: cedar rapids, ia
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate
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81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by sbeardsley51 »



A few weeks ago I went out to go for a ride on my bike. Inserted the key and turned. Got nothing.

Early last year I was having issues with the bike starting all the time. The starter would just spin. Changed the starter. Problem remained. Changed the starter solenoid. The bike ran all year with no problems. By all year with the hot rainy weather last summer I was able to ride 66 miles.

Then this year the issues started. The bike would drain the battery overnight. Had to charge it everyday. Then that one morning there was nothing.

I have stripped off the seat and false tank to get to the electrical system. For the past three weeks I have been cleaning contacts and following voltage and omhs thru the system. I did find that the rectifier was bad and changed that out. The ignition switch checked out as functional.

I also dismantled the starter stop switch and the start button on the right handle bar. They were both badly corroded and greasy. Cleaned the contacts and put it back together.

I did find that when having the volt meter hooked up to the negative post on the battery and testing everything that if I hold the red lead in my hand and touch the frame of the bike I get a reading as if I were touching across the battery contacts.

Help. I am at a loss.

Any insights would be helpful.

Thanks


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eklimek
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:55 pm
Location: St Catharines Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 81, 82, 83 GL1100 in stasis, CB350f x many, 2017 cb500x daily driver, 2017 zx6r (August 2019 157 mph Loring Maine)

Re: 81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by eklimek »

If you have a corroded ground you would have the voltmeter reading as you describe. The voltage is different betwen frame and negative pole of battery versus positive pole.

But where is the an ongoing short that is causing your drained battery.

One way to isolate the circuits and begin to focus is to pull the fuses one at a time measuring the ammeter draw at the battery or voltage change. If no change then it is not among the fused connections.

The big remaining unfused connection is to through the solenoid and starter. I think you said you fixed this. Nevertheless do the same test in this circuit.

The only other thought is, Why were the dash lights are out? Is this your short circuit?

That's all I know. Others may be able to chime in if you post more results .

Good luck.
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Britanicus
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:38 pm
Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 GoldWing

Re: 81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by Britanicus »

The dash lights issue may not be related, check the fuses under the airbox in the false tank. I bet you have a bad fuse, prolly the 10 amp one.
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eklimek
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:55 pm
Location: St Catharines Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 81, 82, 83 GL1100 in stasis, CB350f x many, 2017 cb500x daily driver, 2017 zx6r (August 2019 157 mph Loring Maine)

Re: 81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by eklimek »

Brittanicus

I note you are in Belleville. A fellow just moved to Belleville and is looking to start a local Goldwing chapter


"Paul Cuddy" <paulcuddy@hotmail.com>

You mght give him an email.

Regards
sbeardsley51
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:10 pm
Location: cedar rapids, ia
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate
Contact:

Re: 81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by sbeardsley51 »

I have pulled the fuses one by one and the voltage doesn't change at all.

I pulled off the ground cable it didn't appear corroded, but i wire brushed it down to get a better connection anway.

Still no results.

I think that I will replace all of the fuses one by one with new ones and see what that does.

Thanks

Steve
sbeardsley51
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:10 pm
Location: cedar rapids, ia
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate
Contact:

Re: 81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by sbeardsley51 »

This last week I noticed that one of the tail lights have the wires broken. Will this cause a major break in the circut causing no power to any lights?
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OldguyGlen
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:55 am
Location: Mound,MN
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 STD/Vetters
1966 Honda 90

Re: 81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by OldguyGlen »

WOW ! 5 years between posts on the same topic.
Has the bike been sitting for 5 yrs w/o being fixed? Or did you have it fixed, but now a new problem?
To answer your question at face value... A broken taillight wire would not cause a failure of all lights by itself. But if it was the power wire, and it touched ground even momentarily, it would blow the fuse and affect other lights. The tail light, like the headlight, is ON all the time by law for safety. So it could have touched ground and blown the fuse at some point in time.
sbeardsley51
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:10 pm
Location: cedar rapids, ia
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate
Contact:

Re: 81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by sbeardsley51 »

The bike has been sitting unfixed for the 5 years. I now have RA and my wife had a knee replaced. So, neither one of us can get our legs over the bike to ride it. Thus the reason for selling it.

But, I have another gentleman on here that has been helping me with this isseue.

I pulled the ground wire off. It was ground to the motor. Cleaned up the rusty connection. Reconnected on a clean metal frame bolt on the side motor mount.

Turned the key and I have lights.

Yeah
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OldguyGlen
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:55 am
Location: Mound,MN
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 STD/Vetters
1966 Honda 90

Re: 81 GL1100 Electrical Issues - No Dash Lights

Post by OldguyGlen »

Sorry to hear of your health problems. Glad you solved the electrical issue. I suppose we all have to give up the bike eventually. I'm not so young myself. Good luck.


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