Starter Problems


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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ShoMeStyle
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:33 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100i Interstate

Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »



So this 81 gl1100 I got, just started having issues starting. I have the feeling that it's the starter causing the problem, but I'm not sure. Full battery at 12.6v. Bike will sometimes crank, and sometimes will just click. Almost like the starter doesn't have enough torque sometimes. I've taken it apart and it is definitely the original starter, brushes look okay, wire that connects to the stud was loose from the stud internally. Re soldered the connection, cleaned up the armature and put it back together.

Bench test the starter turns fine, although not as strong as I would think. A light grip will suppress any feelings of it trying to twist off and run away.

Tested the solenoid. Battery voltage at and past solenoid. However with the starter connected, while pressing the start button, my voltage drops to 7v or 8v.

Is the starter drawing too much power? I've cleaned all connections, ground to frame, solenoid connections etc.

I just can't see anything in the starter that could cause this problem.


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winguyjo
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by winguyjo »

i would have the battery load tested. 12.6v doesn't tell the whole story when it comes to batteries.
ShoMeStyle
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »

Battery is less than a month old. I know it's possible to get a bad one. I haven't considered that.

Makes sense though. When I take the big battery off my boat and jump the starter on the bike directly with it. It will crank over just fine. Although that bypasses the solenoid and button, it technically shows the starter as good I suppose.
ShoMeStyle
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »

Also has me wondering what size /CCA these bikes take. When I got the bike, without thinking I replaced the battery with the same size that was in it. Not knowing if that was even the correct size. Wondering if it might be too low on cranking amps or something as well.
ShoMeStyle
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »

I'm having my wife take the battery in to get it tested since I'm at work.

I got it from Advanced Auto.

50-n18l-a2 is the number. Anyone know if this is the correct size?

If the battery tests good, and it's the correct size, I'm half tempted to mount the starting battery from my boat in one of the saddle bags and run wires to the existing. As opposed to forking out the cash for a new starter. Unless there are any cheap and reliable aftermarket options for starters for the GL1100.
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by WingAdmin »

ShoMeStyle wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 12:04 pm I'm having my wife take the battery in to get it tested since I'm at work.

I got it from Advanced Auto.

50-n18l-a2 is the number. Anyone know if this is the correct size?

If the battery tests good, and it's the correct size, I'm half tempted to mount the starting battery from my boat in one of the saddle bags and run wires to the existing. As opposed to forking out the cash for a new starter. Unless there are any cheap and reliable aftermarket options for starters for the GL1100.
Problem is, that's a traditional flooded wet-cell battery. It's rated for 240CCA. The four-cylinder wings, with their shunt regulators, tend to boil off electrolyte in wet cell batteries.

You'd be much better off with an AGM battery. I use Motobatt in my bikes, and the Motobatt MBTX24U will fit your 1100. They put out 300 CCA, and last much longer in motorcycle applications. They're also sealed, and don't require topping up of electrolyte solution.
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ShoMeStyle
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Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100i Interstate

Re: Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »

WingAdmin wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 12:10 pm
ShoMeStyle wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 12:04 pm I'm having my wife take the battery in to get it tested since I'm at work.

I got it from Advanced Auto.

50-n18l-a2 is the number. Anyone know if this is the correct size?

If the battery tests good, and it's the correct size, I'm half tempted to mount the starting battery from my boat in one of the saddle bags and run wires to the existing. As opposed to forking out the cash for a new starter. Unless there are any cheap and reliable aftermarket options for starters for the GL1100.
Problem is, that's a traditional flooded wet-cell battery. It's rated for 240CCA. The four-cylinder wings, with their shunt regulators, tend to boil off electrolyte in wet cell batteries.

You'd be much better off with an AGM battery. I use Motobatt in my bikes, and the Motobatt MBTX24U will fit your 1100. They put out 300 CCA, and last much longer in motorcycle applications. They're also sealed, and don't require topping up of electrolyte solution.
I see. I read about that. I noticed, while running the regulator would peak output to almost 15v and figured eventually it could boil the solution off.

That price isn't too bad either. I will consider that option once I know 100% the starter isn't the problem.
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Rambozo
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by Rambozo »

Can you measure the amp draw when using your boat battery vs bike battery?
ShoMeStyle
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »

Rambozo wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 2:05 pm Can you measure the amp draw when using your boat battery vs bike battery?
Not really sure how to do that. I have the basic cheapo multi meter from harbor fright. I can test voltage and check continuity/resistance, that's about as far as my electrical expertise goes.
ShoMeStyle
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »

Wife said their tester at advanced said to replace battery. Luckily it's free replacement for 3 months. I will start there and see how it goes. Maybe I should upgrade if they have it in stock when I go back.
ShoMeStyle
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »

Well replaced the battery, charged it up, put it on the bike and it started right up. Rode for a little, came back home and shut it down.

Went to crank it with the kill switch on just to see how fast she would turn over while hot. And the starter let out all the smoke and now does nothing. Guess that answers that question. Lol

I'm going to try my luck with one of those Amazon starters for 90 bucks, that's about all I can afford right now.
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winguyjo
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Re: Starter Problems

Post by winguyjo »

i buy my batteries from a small, family-owned battery shop and for a starter i would look for a used oem and A) hope it works but, B) be ready to rebuild it yourself or have a starter alternator shop do it. advance auto is not your friend. aftermarket parts, generally, are not your friends.
ShoMeStyle
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:33 am
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Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100i Interstate

Re: Starter Problems

Post by ShoMeStyle »

Got the starter and it seemed to solve the problem.

The Amazon starter seems great so far, although I cannot speak on its longevity yet. Bike turns over so fast now. Unbelievable how fast compared to the old one. Time will tell.

If you happen to buy and give the one off Amazon a shot, the shaft is just a hair longer than oem, so you really have to work to get it in.

Figured I would update ya'll.


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