Help me troubleshoot my starter issue


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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sbaugz
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Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by sbaugz »



Hello,
Thanks for the help.

I have a GL1100 that decided not to start this spring. It is a new-ish battery from last summer. It was fully charged. Turned the ignition key on, lights go on, hit the starter button. it turns over slower than usual. bike won't start. I try this a few more times until I get nothing. Just a click.

My first thought is checking the battery. voltage is down a little but I have also been trying to start the bike. Put it back on the charger. Get it fully charged and try again. This time I only get a click. Nothing else. Just to check and rule out the battery, I hook up my boat battery and same thing. Click. Starter motor doesn't turn over.

Using an ohmeter, I check a few things. I have continuity between the start motor positive terminal and my negative battery terminal, meaning that its grounding OK. When I click the starter button, I use the voltmeter and I am getting around 12V at starter positive terminal. At this point, I assume its the starter motor.

I remove the starter motor and dissassemble. Everything looks really clean. The brushes have plenty of life. Unfortunately the positive terminal that goes from the coils to the positive broke off while removing. I soldered a new terminal back on. With the motor out of the bike, I hooked up to battery and it works. It re-install the starter motor and try again. Click each time I push starter button but nothing else. As a final test, (not sure I should have done this), but I eliminated the starter solenoid from the circuit and I simply touched a positive lead from the battery directly to the positive terminal on the starter motor. Starter motor clicks and nothing else.

Seems to me like its the starter motor? Is that a correct assumption? Any other diagnostic testing I should try before pulling the trigger on a $100 starter motor?


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Maz
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by Maz »

Engine may be hydrolocked from a flooding carb. Remove spark plugs and try starter again. WARNING: Put rags over plug holes as raw fuel (if this is the problem) will spray out!
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sbaugz
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by sbaugz »

I tried what you suggested. I removed the plugs. Of note, one of the plugs looked a little wet on the tip.

I hooked the positive of the starter motor directly to the battery again. It turned over very slowly a couple times, then stopped. Now, I am getting the click again.

Suggestions? I am not familiar with hydrolock on this particular bike. Do you still think it could be that? Any other tips?
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by WingAdmin »

sbaugz wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 12:14 pm I tried what you suggested. I removed the plugs. Of note, one of the plugs looked a little wet on the tip.

I hooked the positive of the starter motor directly to the battery again. It turned over very slowly a couple times, then stopped. Now, I am getting the click again.

Suggestions? I am not familiar with hydrolock on this particular bike. Do you still think it could be that? Any other tips?
If it's turning over at all, it's not hydrolocked.

What is the voltage reading on the battery while you are trying to crank the engine?
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Maz
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by Maz »

If all 4 plugs are out and it's turning over, then it is not hydrolocked. Did any liquid spray out of the plug holes? Measure the voltage at the starter positive connection again, with respect to ground on the engine itself, while cranking with the plugs still out. If it's lower than about 10.5 - 11, try again between starter positive terminal and battery negative terminal. If it's higher like this, you have a poor engine ground connection.
Other things that could stop the engine turning are more serious - broken timing belt, lack of engine oil etc, but try to rule out the battery and starter itself first.
Maz
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winguyjo
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by winguyjo »

are you sure the boat battery is good ? they can suffer the same fate as a motorcycle battery, having sat all winter. if it wasn't on a battery tender then it is suspect.
sbaugz
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by sbaugz »

appreciate all the help.

So here is some more info:

Voltage at battery positive and battery negative terminals 12.7
Voltage at battery positive with ground at ENGINE case is 12.6

Voltage at battery positive and battery negative terminals when starter button depressed 9.2
Voltage at battery positive terminal and ground at the ENGINE case while starter depressed is 8.9

Voltage at positive starter solenoid terminal and battery negative terminal when starter button depressed 9.2
Voltage at positive terminal on starter motor and negative battery terminal when starter button depressed still 9.1

Once again, the motor does not turn over at all. I just get a click. Since the voltage is dropping down to 9.4 at the battery when I depress the starter button, My assumption would be a bad battery?

I guess that still doesn't explain why the same thing happens (just a click) when I ran a positive lead directly from my boat battery to the positive terminal on the starter motor ( i can't imagine the boat battery is bad. I literally got it last september after my boat was already in storage and its reading 12.8 volts).
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julimike54
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by julimike54 »

Sounds like a bad battery, take it and get it load tested. That will confirm or deny battery condition.
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sbaugz
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by sbaugz »

agree with taking battery in for load testing. Will try that next.
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Wilcoy02
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Re: Help me troubleshoot my starter issue

Post by Wilcoy02 »

Try jumping it from a car. With the car off. With only 9.2 depressing the starter button not enough battery to turn it over.

If it does not urn over then I would next look at the solenoid.


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