Fan Thermo Switch Replacement

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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1980 GL1100 STD/Vetters
1966 Honda 90

Fan Thermo Switch Replacement

Post by OldguyGlen »

Not looking for help really... Just want to vent my frustration.
There it is... hiding behind the radiator fan... daring me to extract and replace it. Well, I got it out without too much trouble. Slip-joint pliers to remove the connector, then a 1-1/16" socket (who has a 26mm deep socket ??). Tested with a jumper in the connector to verify fan was good. Ordered replacement on line, and tested old & new switches in boiling water to verify. So far, so good, now just have to finish up.
Now the install... what a nightmare. Smeared dielectric grease onto the pins. Multiple attempts to start the new switch into the threaded hole, using socket, then fingers, then socket. Socket and extension doesn't quite line up straight, so it's wiggle and fuss and try again. Now to attach the connector. Smeared more dielectric grease around the rim just to lubricate it as it must slip over the larger diameter of the switch body (hex shape, with six corners, can't get it to stretch over all of them at once.) Many, many attempts. Sometimes the boot started over the hex body, only to stall out as the pins don't line up with the holes in the connector. Try to twist it to line up the pins and the connector tilts and the boot end slips off the hex body and we start the whole process over again. Time to make a new plan. Finally decide to remove the shelter to gain a little more room. Have to do that anyway to access the radiator cap for refill. Let's see... to remove the shelter, have to remove the fairing (or loosen and tilt it), Ok, front bolts are out. Need to remove rear bolts... have to remove seat first... wait, saddle bags are in the way.. key release on bags hasn't been used in ages and won't release. Finally, I get the connector on the switch after a dozen new attempt. The shelter removal helped, but only a little bit.
Mixed new 50:50 silicate free antifreeze. Fill the radiator. How to "burp" the air out? Bike has been winterized already (carbs drained, fogged, battery out, etc,) I wanted to get this switch done now so I'll be ready to ride on the first spring day. I only discovered the fan wouldn't run during the winterization, as I don't ride in heavy traffic and the bike runs cool on the open road.
So there she sits... still half apart, under the covers, waiting till spring so I can warm it up with the radiator cap still accessible and top off the radiator. By then I will have lost or mixed up the various mounting bolts, etc.
Thanks for sharing my tale of woe. Still love the bike anyway. A good relationship with her is worth some frustration.

Thermoswitch... resting in its Hidey-Hole !
Thermoswitch... resting in its Hidey-Hole !

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Motorcycle: wing 8 : 1982 gl1100 standard.

Re: Fan Thermo Switch Replacement

Post by winguyjo »

i think we can all relate. they can be irksome beasts to work on a times, but once you are in the saddle and underway, all is forgiven.
spring is just around the corner, right ?
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