83 Aspencade won't start


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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DWade1990
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:27 pm
Location: Akron, OH
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1981 CB750K
2006 FJR1300

83 Aspencade won't start

Post by DWade1990 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:26 pm



Hey everybody,

I'm just looking to pick some brains while I wait on my parts to show up. I went to fire up my restored 1983 Aspencade yesterday. It's been sleeping since September 1st of last year. I had surgery the next day and wasn't able to ride until now, so she had a long winter. I made sure to take care of all of the normal winter stuff, changed the oil, Sta-biled the gas, ran some through the carbs, then topped the tank off, pumped up the tires, gave her a good wax, and put her away for a long nap.

Well, yesterday I took the battery off of the tender and tried to get her to fire up. It cranked ok for a few seconds with the ignition and fuel off, just to get the oil flowing. Next I turned the ignition and fuel on, full choke, and it cranked a bit slower, which I thought was odd with a fresh battery. Next I cracked the throttle a few times to squirt some fuel, cranked it again, and it sputtered to life, but just for a second, which is normal when sitting for as long as it did.

When I went to turn the motor over again, all I got was the starter solenoid "click". I didn't have my multimeter on me, but I can't possibly imagine the battery went dead after 3 or 4 rounds of trying to start. I wasn't about to give up that quickly, so out come the jumper cables. I hooked them to my girlfriends car, engine off, with the same results. Just the solenoid click. Then I tried jumping the starter solenoid, thinking maybe it was bad, and I didn't get any spark at all.

After no luck with the solenoid, I bypassed the entire starting system. Negative cable to the frame, positive cable directly to the starter stud. Not even a spark. I touched the positive to the frame just to make sure I had good connections, and it sparked like crazy.

So my thinking is that the battery cable stud on the starter must be broken off inside. It may have been hanging on just by a hair, which would explain the slow cranking, and the added resistance of a smaller connection was enough to burn it out completely. Since I got no spark whatsoever with the jumper cables, it means that stud is not completing a circuit back to ground through the chassis. Does this sound right to you guys?

I already have a new starter on order, and it should be here tomorrow, so I'm just looking for opinions. I said last fall, "The starter is literally the only thing I didn't replace or rebuild on this bike. I hope it works in the spring." :?



User avatar
Wilcoy02
Posts: 912
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:37 pm
Location: Marengo, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 I purchased 3/16

1983 GL1100I frame with an 80 engine. poor boy installed with C-5 ignition--DIED in Grande Prairie Alberta Canada 8/15


98 valkyrie sold 8/16

Re: 83 Aspencade won't start

Post by Wilcoy02 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:58 pm

Did you check the dog bone fuse? They may look good but when touched they turn to dust.

User avatar
DWade1990
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:27 pm
Location: Akron, OH
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1981 CB750K
2006 FJR1300

Re: 83 Aspencade won't start

Post by DWade1990 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:01 pm

Ya i forgot to mention that. I used both the one in there and the spare. No difference.everything else on the bike is functional.

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DenverWinger
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: 1980 GL-1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL-1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL-350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS-550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL-1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: 83 Aspencade won't start

Post by DenverWinger » Tue May 01, 2018 10:15 pm

Starter brushes wear out, and are cheap & easy to replace. If no action putting power directly to the starter terminal, brushes are a good bet.
They say 98% of all Hardleys ever made are still on the road..... The other 2% made it home. :lol:
(I stole this from somebody on another GW site...) :roll:

User avatar
DWade1990
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:27 pm
Location: Akron, OH
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1981 CB750K
2006 FJR1300

Re: 83 Aspencade won't start

Post by DWade1990 » Tue May 01, 2018 10:19 pm

I thought about replacing the brushes, but a new unit is easier at this point, as I'm trying to get the bike out of my old apartment garage and into my house asap. The new starter showed up today, and theres a huge difference in the amount of slop in my old starter vs the new one.

Worst case I could rebuild the old one and keep it for a spare. Hopefully I'll post back tomorrow morning with good news!

User avatar
DWade1990
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:27 pm
Location: Akron, OH
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1981 CB750K
2006 FJR1300

Re: 83 Aspencade won't start

Post by DWade1990 » Wed May 02, 2018 12:34 pm

Just an update:

I put the new starter in, and the bike fired up instantly. There's not much left of the brushes in the original starter.

On a side note, now my air compressor went out, so still no riding for me.

User avatar
Wilcoy02
Posts: 912
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:37 pm
Location: Marengo, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 I purchased 3/16

1983 GL1100I frame with an 80 engine. poor boy installed with C-5 ignition--DIED in Grande Prairie Alberta Canada 8/15


98 valkyrie sold 8/16

Re: 83 Aspencade won't start

Post by Wilcoy02 » Wed May 02, 2018 7:48 pm

I may have an air compressor if I did not throw it away.
pm me if interested.

User avatar
DWade1990
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:27 pm
Location: Akron, OH
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1981 CB750K
2006 FJR1300

Re: 83 Aspencade won't start

Post by DWade1990 » Wed May 02, 2018 7:54 pm

Thanks Wilcoy but I bought a used one off eBay this morning. It's the whole air system for $50. I'm a sucker for spare parts!



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