Lights shutting off with no loss of power


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Strykr
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 1:36 pm
Location: Van Buren AR
Motorcycle: 1981 gl1100 interstate

Lights shutting off with no loss of power

Post by Strykr »



I have an ‘81 gold wing GL 1100. I have discovered that when I hit about 45 mph all the light turn off, I lose the battery voltage meter, clock, and the instrument panel lights all come on. When I speed up to 65 to 70 mph everything comes back on. The battery charges normally and I have checked the 3 yellow stator wires and I get around 9 volts on all 3 wires. I hope that someone has run into this issue before and can help.

Thank you


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DenverWinger
Posts: 1938
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Lights shutting off with no loss of power

Post by DenverWinger »

I see this is your first post, Welcome to the forum :D

A common electrical fault in the 1100 is the 40 year old glass fuse caps and holders can corrode where they fit into the holder. Check your fuses, may need to clean off some oxidation. Also some times the fuse element can become detached from the end cap internally, this too can cause intermittent loss of power.

The headlight power also goes thru the starter switch. Push the button, you get starter. Release the button, you get headlight. The headlight contacts in this switch are a common fail point, too. Next time the headlights go out, try fiddling with the starter button (you can push and release it while driving in gear, it won't hurt anything). If it turns out the start button is the problem you can try some CRC electrical contact cleaner spray into the button (obtainable at Home Depot), don't use WD-40, that attracts dirt and grime and ultimately makes things worse. Might have to disassemble the switch housing for a good cleaning.

Check these easy fixes and report back.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
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AZgl1800
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'02 GL1800 lives in Dawsonville, GA now.
My son is going to enjoy it for many years to come.

Re: Lights shutting off with no loss of power

Post by AZgl1800 »

you mentioned checking the 3 yellow wires and got 9 volts.

sorry, but that is not the proper way to test the 3 yellow wires, because they are A/C, not D/C.
They provide a 3 phase A/C voltage and current to the Rectifier/Regulator package.

IF, you ever decide to check them, they must be disconnected from the Rect/Reg by pulling a plug, or cutting them in two....

then you measure between any two yellow wires with A/C voltmeter and the RPM set to 3,000.
there should be 50 to 70 VAC at that test.

I 2nd the prior suggestion, you have a loose connection that involves a bad fuse, fuse holder connection, etc.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
Strykr
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 1:36 pm
Location: Van Buren AR
Motorcycle: 1981 gl1100 interstate

Re: Lights shutting off with no loss of power

Post by Strykr »

I will try out your suggestions. I will check the fuses and the fuse holder and then when I drive tonight I will check the starter button to see if that is the issue.

Thank you.
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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Lights shutting off with no loss of power

Post by WingAdmin »

Please be careful when checking the voltage on the stator wires. When the engine is running, it should be producing 48 VAC across each of the leads, which is potentially LETHAL voltage. Treat those leads as you would live wires connected to a wall socket.

That said, also check the master (dogbone) fuse - it's a common source of failure. Most of us replace it with a blade fuse holder.
Strykr
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 1:36 pm
Location: Van Buren AR
Motorcycle: 1981 gl1100 interstate

Re: Lights shutting off with no loss of power

Post by Strykr »

Good morning all.

I want to thank you all for the responses that I received, they were all informational and helpful. I found a few wires that had rubbed through the insulation, but were not the culprit.
I found that the front fairing is vibrating and shifts on rough road a when the wind catches it and pushes the large wiring bundle that goes into the fairing up against the false tank and causes the lights to flicker and go out. I will have to check the the fairing mounting bolts and tighten them, an hopefully that will solve the issue. If not I will have to come up with some other solution.

Again thank you all. Hope this helps others that may run into this issue.


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