Need help, bike won't start


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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SebastianB
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:04 am
Location: Gauteng
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing GL1100

Need help, bike won't start

Post by SebastianB »



Hi, I'm new to the forum and have seen how helpful everyone here is and am hoping someone can help me solve this issue.
I recently bought a 1983 GL1100 (about 2 weeks ago) and it's been running smoothly up until yesterday when it started to lose power and cut out (it felt like when a bike has run out of fuel, it jerked a little and then cut out). After that it would not turn over at all when trying to start it again. The gauge said I had fuel left in my reserve tank and when i took off the fuel gauge meter under the seat I could see that I still had fuel left. When I try and start it, it just makes one click from the solenoid and then nothing. All the dash lights and headlights come on.
After reading these forums trying to figure out whats wrong I've tried testing the following things:
-Checked the voltage on the battery, shows 12-12.5V.
-Jump started the battery but still just one click and then nothing.
-Jumped the pos and neg terminals on the top of the solenoid, the bike started right up and ran fine.
-Tested the voltage on the pos and neg terminals on the top of the solenoid, red shows 12v but black shows 0v even when pressing the starter button.
-Tested the 30A fuse in front of the solenoid, test with a multi-meter shows its fine (what I do find strange though is there is a piece of copper wire connecting the 2 terminals together, I'm sure this isn't normal and something the previous owner must have done?) .
-Removed the spark plugs and turned the motor over (thought it might be hydrolocked but no fuel came out) (and it runs fine when jumping the solenoid).
-Had a look at the wires going into the clutch, they're coated in insulation but don't feel loose.
One other thing that I'll add seeing as this seems to be an electrical issue, although I don't think it's the issue, the previous owner installed a "Dimensions system micro computer horn" system.

I greatly appreciate any help!
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The wire connecting the terminals on the fuse
The wire connecting the terminals on the fuse


The horn system
The horn system



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thrasherg
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by thrasherg »

I am not familiar with the 1200 electrics, but if jumping the starter solenoid causes the bike to start and run perfectly as you describe, it sounds like the issue is with the starter circuit not the engine. Usually the starter solenoid has a simple circuit, one side of the solenoid is connected to ground (negative battery terminal) and the other side is connected to a simple circuit involving a clutch cut out switch, the neutral indicator light, a starter switch on the handlebar and then to a positive supply that is switched by the ignition switch. Some goldwings also have a reverse system that inhibits the starter motor. I think you need to get a wiring diagram for the 1200 and just look at the circuit for the starter relay, it should be fairly easy to work out what has gone wrong. You say there is a click when you push the start button, I would try touching the starter relay with your finger and then press the start button and see if the solenoid is operating and making the click, if it is, i would suspect the solenoid has failed. If the solenoid is not operating then the click is probably a relay in the starter circuit, so you will need to find what else is in the starter circuit and just check each part with a multimeter. Hopefully someone on here can post a schematic if you don't have it.

Regards Gary
chrisz
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by chrisz »

If you have a manual (shop) there is a procedure for testing the solenoid using a DMM. BTW, the copper wire across the 30A connectors you should replace with the dog bone fuse, I can see you have a spare dog bone fuse located in the fuse holder (below the copper wire).
chrisz
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by chrisz »

Also, I don't like the way the copper wire appears to be touching the other metal part on the left side. Replace the wire with the dog bone fuse and see what happens.
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DWade1990
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1983 GL1100 Aspencade
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by DWade1990 »

That copper wire makes me nervous. Why did somebody put that in, when there is a spare dogbone fuse in the fuse holder? Was there a different issue that was burning up the dogbone fuses and somebody "put in a higher amp fuse" with copper wire? Very suspicious. Get that thing out of there A.S.A.P. before it starts a fire somewhere else.

Seriously, that's asking for trouble. Start by putting in that extra fuse in the picture and throw that wire in the trash. That's the first place to start, and probably the cause of your not starting issue.
chrisz
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by chrisz »

Regarding that spare dog bone fuse, most likely who put the copper wire on, didn't know that the spare fuse existed.
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RBGERSON
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had every year from 75 to 83

Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by RBGERSON »

Once you are sure that the safety circuits(clutch,side stand) not sure if the 83 had the side stand switch?? are not the issue..then most likely a bad solenoid..by the way replace the dog bone fuse with a blade fuse holder easy to do just bolt to the two screws there.


Just add eyes to the wires
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB
SebastianB
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:04 am
Location: Gauteng
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing GL1100

Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by SebastianB »

Thank you all so much for the replies.
I took the spare fuse out to put it in but the one side of it was broken. So I've had to order from Honda as no one here stocks them. I'll be getting them tomorrow morning so will give it a go. In the meantime I'm going to take apart my starter button and see if it's all good inside.
Thanks again for the help, I'll update tomorrow again once I have the new fuse.

Regards
Sebastian

EDIT: Thanks RBGERSON, I saw your post just as I finished typing this. I'll check the clutch safety as well and I'll definitely be replacing the fuse as you suggested.
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RBGERSON
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by RBGERSON »

Be careful taking the starter button apart can result in the little plastic box falling apart..it all very old and brittle..better to check at the wire ends with a meter for activation when the button is pushed..ohms/volt readings will change. does your headlight go out when it's pushed?? it should.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB
SebastianB
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:04 am
Location: Gauteng
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing GL1100

Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by SebastianB »

Thanks RBGERSON

I was just about to take it apart. I tried it now and when I hold the clutch in and press the start button the headlight stays on. Would that indicate an issue in the start button?

EDIT: the wires coming out of the start button casing are all sealed up. I'd have to either open it or cut the insulation to test them?

EDIT 2: I opened up the start button housing and tested the button wires. Shows 12v and when pressed drops to 0v
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thrasherg
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by thrasherg »

Can anyone post the schematic of the starter circuit so we can suggest how to debug this issue?

Gary
SebastianB
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Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing GL1100

Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by SebastianB »

Thrasherg, I pulled this from a different thread, is this the diagram you mean?
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thrasherg
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by thrasherg »

Many thanks Sebastien, that is the circuit.
So we need to check that the starter solenoid is operating, for that to happen we need 12 volts to appear on the G/R and Y/R wires coming to the solenoid. The first thin I would suggest is check that the G/R wire is grounded, to do that connect the plus lead of your multimeter to the Positive terminal of the battery, then connect the negative lead of your multimeter to the G/R wire, turn on the ignition, make sure the bike is in neutral and the multimeter should show 12 volts. If it doesn't then that tells us the negative side of the starter motor has an issue and you will need to trace the G/R wire back to where it connects to the Neutral switch/clutch switch.

If you did get 12 volts, then we know the negative side is good, so we need to test the positive side. to do that connect the negative lead of your multimeter to the negative terminal of the battery and then connect the positive lead of your multimeter to the Y/R lead, again turn on the ignition and press the start button, you should see 12 volts.. If you do then it would indicate the control circuits for the starter solenoid are good and the solenoid is defective. If you don't see 12 volts when you press the start switch then we have an issue with the positive control side. According to the schematic there is only the starter switch and the ignition switch in the positive control circuit, so first thing is to leave the negative lead of the multimeter connected to the negative terminal of the battery and try to find a way to connect the positive lead of your multimeter to the Y/R lead as close to the starter switch as possible, then turn on the ignition and press the start button, if the multimeter shows 12 volts then you have a broken Y/R wire between the solenoid and the starter button, if the multimeter does not show 12 volts, you need to connect the positive lead of the multimeter to the Br wire ( the wire that is bringing the switched 12 volts to the starter button) if that shows 12 volts with the ignition turned on then the starter button is defective. If the Br wire does NOT show 12 volts then you probably have a defective ignition switch..

I hope that helps.

Gary
SebastianB
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:04 am
Location: Gauteng
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing GL1100

Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by SebastianB »

Thank you very much. After tracing the wiring and finding it all goes into this black box (see pics), I took off the front fairing to get it open and found one of the fuses in there has died. Is it normal for these bikes to have so many fuses spread allthe oever the place? Or where these added afterwards?
Anyway, I'm off to get some more fuses now, will update once they're in. Thanks again everyone.
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Dead fuse
Dead fuse


Black box
Black box

SebastianB
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Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing GL1100

Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by SebastianB »

Alrighty then all seems to be good. Thank you all very much for your help in solving this issue.

I replaced the relays after testing as per thrashergs instructions. Still no joy. So I went ahead and replaced the solenoid. Unfortunately I couldn't get a gl1100 solenoid so I replaced it with a Vf 1100 83-86 solenoid instead which matched up nicely other than the height. But it still fits snuggly. I'll attach a photo of the 2 side by side.

It's just odd now, if I turn it off and on again the starter spins but doesn't turn over, I have to put it in first and then neutral again before it'll turn the motor over.
Can the Vf 1100 83-86 solenoid cause damage? Should I rather try and source a gl1100 solenoid?

EDIT: it only spins without turning over if you don't wait a little while before trying to restart, but if anyone has tried this before, is it safe?
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thrasherg
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Re: Need help, bike won't start

Post by thrasherg »

It sounds like your spray clutch might need cleaning if the starter motor spins but not the engine. Several people have added detergents (Seafoam) to their engine oil, let the engine idle for a while and then change the oil. The detergents get the sludge out of the starter clutch, You can add it to you fuel system or your engine oil and it just cleans crap out of either system. Using the other solenoid will do NO harm to your bike, if the contacts are not rated for enough current it won't last as long as the original solenoid, but I would think a VF1100 starter motor would require similar currents to an 1100wing, so it will probably last as long as a wing solenoid. I would not worry about the solenoid at all, but I would consider draining a quart of oil from your engine, adding a quart of sea foam and then taking the bike for a gentle 30 mile ride and as soon as you get back change the oil, the seafoam will remove all sorts of crap from inside the engine and help the starter motor, then replace the oil filter and add a good quality engine oil and just enjoy your wing.

Gary


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