84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!


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Nitewing7994
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:34 pm
Location: Pierron, IL
Motorcycle: 1984 Goldwing GL1200I Interstate

84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Nitewing7994 »



Hello everybody,

I just bought an 84 gl1200I from a PO and I'm having a problem.

Heres the situation.

I purchased the bike last week. It started right up and ran great. I rode the bike from Indiana to Southern Illinois. About 90 miles into a 150 mile ride, the bike sputtered, lost power and I ended up on the side of the highway. The bike had no power. I was able to jump the bike and it fired right up. I rode for another 3 miles and the same problem, died and no power. Ended up using roadside assistance to get a flatbed.

I've since ordered some parts, after doing ALOT of reading on these forums, including a new solenoid, R/R, tune-up gear (timing belts, plugs, air and oil filters, etc.). I replaced the stock solenoid today (the dogbone looked terrible) and jumped the bike. It will run for about 3 - 5 minutes off the jump, then rpms drop steadily until it dies.. no power (no lights, no dash, nothing). It will start right up again with a jump and as long as I leave it connected to the jumping vehicle, it'll run until i shut it down. BUT, if I pull the jumper cables off, it'll again run for a few minutes then die without power. I am at a loss. I have tried a few of thew things I found on here, including directly connecting the three yellow stator wires. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any posts with the problem I'm having...

Basically, the bike will run if I leave jumper cables on to another vehicle, but loses power when disconnected. I know the battery is new (it tested good this last weekend), but it seems like the bike isn't charging and the battery won't run it for long. It's been almost 20 years since I last rode and I'm dying to get back out there. And fellas, I need help.

Would a bad stator cause this issue? Could it be the R/R? I'm guessing the battery is being drained and not charging, so could it just be wiring (corrosion, bad ground)? The fuses look good, and I don 't know if the bike would start and run with bad fuses... especially since it will continue to run without a hiccup if connected to another vehicle.

Any help... would be more than appreciated. I haven't been this frustrated since I had my third deployment to Iraq!

Thank you all in advance!



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Maz
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Maz »

You need to establish whether or not the battery is charging. I'm guessing it's not. Measure the battery voltage with a digital multi meter with and without the motor running. Bring the revs up to about 3k and check that you're getting about 13.6 volts. If not, the battery won't charge and will cause the symptoms you have.
Maz
Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!

Nitewing7994
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:34 pm
Location: Pierron, IL
Motorcycle: 1984 Goldwing GL1200I Interstate

Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Nitewing7994 »

My guess is, the guy I bought it from either just charged the battery or literally just put it in the bike before I got there. I can also reasonablly assume the battery was charged enough to run the bike for the 90 or so miles I was able to ride before being completely drained. I noticed that during the last half of the ride, as it got darker out, my headlights seemed to steadily dim. All that being said, I'm sure you're right and the battery isn't charging. I did replace that solenoid and I have hooked up a new R/R to see if that helps. I'm going to put the battery on a charger overnight and see if it holds a charge. Then I'll try it out tomorrow. I appreciate the quick response!

All things being equal, if the battery holds a charge but runs down without charging tomorrow, where should I look next? I've checked the connectors and wiring, cleaning and taping where necessary. All fuses are good and grounds are tight and clean. If it comes down to it, I'll be doing the conversion to alternator. Could a bad battery be the simple culprit here?

Ideas?

Thank you all... I love these forums!!

Ride Safe :D
Scott

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oldishwinger
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Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by oldishwinger »

yep a bad battery can cause your symptoms for sure, if the battery drops under about 11 volts, the bike will stop and not start again, and thats probably why it will keep running when hooked through jumper leads.

the battery need to be right before you can do any more tests really, so a new one would be a good place to start. then if the problem persists you can do a stator and rectifier test from there.

good luck,

Nitewing7994
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Motorcycle: 1984 Goldwing GL1200I Interstate

Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Nitewing7994 »

That was my initial hope. I'll be charging (or attempting to) the battery tonight and then, if it holds a charge, checking voltages after i reinstall it. As for the battery being fully drained, am I correct in assuming that the horrendous corrosion on the solenoid or a bad R/R may have allowed it to run down? I've still got my fingers crossed that with those two parts changed, a charged battery will allow the bike to run properly and charge like it should while riding. If the battery checks out good (it is new, only two months old by the sale stamp on it) and it still won't charge while riding, I should probably start looking at the stator, right? Or would there be another reason besides stator, R/R, and solenoid?

I know I keep repeating myself with these questions and I hope everybody bears with me. It's just that searching through the forums, I find ALOT of posts that are similar to my problem, but far enough away that I'm just not sure...

Thank you!
Scott

As an aside.... I am planning on doing the alternator conversion. I was just hoping to put it off for a bit if possible :)

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oldishwinger
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by oldishwinger »

Nitewing7994 wrote:That was my initial hope. I'll be charging (or attempting to) the battery tonight and then, if it holds a charge, checking voltages after i reinstall it. As for the battery being fully drained, am I correct in assuming that the horrendous corrosion on the solenoid or a bad R/R may have allowed it to run down? I've still got my fingers crossed that with those two parts changed, a charged battery will allow the bike to run properly and charge like it should while riding. If the battery checks out good (it is new, only two months old by the sale stamp on it) and it still won't charge while riding, I should probably start looking at the stator, right? Or would there be another reason besides stator, R/R, and solenoid?

I know I keep repeating myself with these questions and I hope everybody bears with me. It's just that searching through the forums, I find ALOT of posts that are similar to my problem, but far enough away that I'm just not sure...

Thank you!
Scott

As an aside.... I am planning on doing the alternator conversion. I was just hoping to put it off for a bit if possible :)
its possible bad corrosion at the solenoid could cause charging issues, as part of the rectifier wiring goes through one of the connectors there, although soleniod issues usually make the displays play up, it can make the bike stop too (been there) so if your happy with the battery, and the solenoid area, then a test at the battery would be the way to go. at rest ignition off the battery should show around 12 to 13 volts. start the bike, at 3000rpm the charge at the battery should be a around 14.5volts but not exceed that. if the charge to the battery drops below the 11 volts it will stop and a stator wiring stator/ rectifier test would probably be the next step.

Nitewing7994
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:34 pm
Location: Pierron, IL
Motorcycle: 1984 Goldwing GL1200I Interstate

Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Nitewing7994 »

oldishwinger wrote:
Nitewing7994 wrote:That was my initial hope. I'll be charging (or attempting to) the battery tonight and then, if it holds a charge, checking voltages after i reinstall it. As for the battery being fully drained, am I correct in assuming that the horrendous corrosion on the solenoid or a bad R/R may have allowed it to run down? I've still got my fingers crossed that with those two parts changed, a charged battery will allow the bike to run properly and charge like it should while riding. If the battery checks out good (it is new, only two months old by the sale stamp on it) and it still won't charge while riding, I should probably start looking at the stator, right? Or would there be another reason besides stator, R/R, and solenoid?

I know I keep repeating myself with these questions and I hope everybody bears with me. It's just that searching through the forums, I find ALOT of posts that are similar to my problem, but far enough away that I'm just not sure...

Thank you!
Scott

As an aside.... I am planning on doing the alternator conversion. I was just hoping to put it off for a bit if possible :)
its possible bad corrosion at the solenoid could cause charging issues, as part of the rectifier wiring goes through one of the connectors there, although soleniod issues usually make the displays play up, it can make the bike stop too (been there) so if your happy with the battery, and the solenoid area, then a test at the battery would be the way to go. at rest ignition off the battery should show around 12 to 13 volts. start the bike, at 3000rpm the charge at the battery should be a around 14.5volts but not exceed that. if the charge to the battery drops below the 11 volts it will stop and a stator wiring stator/ rectifier test would probably be the next step.
I'll be checking these voltages after I put the battery back in. As a preemptive question... The R/R I put in is aftermarket and I'm sure it doesn't have the sense wire (the original R/R only had one connector, not the two I've read about in some other posts).. Will it cause problems if the voltage above idle is over 14.5 volts (like 15 or so)?

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oldishwinger
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by oldishwinger »

Nitewing7994 wrote:
oldishwinger wrote:
Nitewing7994 wrote:That was my initial hope. I'll be charging (or attempting to) the battery tonight and then, if it holds a charge, checking voltages after i reinstall it. As for the battery being fully drained, am I correct in assuming that the horrendous corrosion on the solenoid or a bad R/R may have allowed it to run down? I've still got my fingers crossed that with those two parts changed, a charged battery will allow the bike to run properly and charge like it should while riding. If the battery checks out good (it is new, only two months old by the sale stamp on it) and it still won't charge while riding, I should probably start looking at the stator, right? Or would there be another reason besides stator, R/R, and solenoid?

I know I keep repeating myself with these questions and I hope everybody bears with me. It's just that searching through the forums, I find ALOT of posts that are similar to my problem, but far enough away that I'm just not sure...

Thank you!
Scott

As an aside.... I am planning on doing the alternator conversion. I was just hoping to put it off for a bit if possible :)
its possible bad corrosion at the solenoid could cause charging issues, as part of the rectifier wiring goes through one of the connectors there, although soleniod issues usually make the displays play up, it can make the bike stop too (been there) so if your happy with the battery, and the solenoid area, then a test at the battery would be the way to go. at rest ignition off the battery should show around 12 to 13 volts. start the bike, at 3000rpm the charge at the battery should be a around 14.5volts but not exceed that. if the charge to the battery drops below the 11 volts it will stop and a stator wiring stator/ rectifier test would probably be the next step.
I'll be checking these voltages after I put the battery back in. As a preemptive question... The R/R I put in is aftermarket and I'm sure it doesn't have the sense wire (the original R/R only had one connector, not the two I've read about in some other posts).. Will it cause problems if the voltage above idle is over 14.5 volts (like 15 or so)?
In my very humble opinion, I would not entertain any rectifier that was not made specifically to fit the 1200, i would be very wary of any aftermarket unless it came from a dealer like ricks etc. it has to fit and connect perfectly or you will definitely have issues

Nitewing7994
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Motorcycle: 1984 Goldwing GL1200I Interstate

Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Nitewing7994 »

The rectifier is a specific model for the gl1200. The bike only has one plug harness as well. The original shindengen that came out only had the one plug. It is a perfect fit (in form at least)... not sure about function yet... waiting for the battery charge.

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oldishwinger
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by oldishwinger »

Nitewing7994 wrote:The rectifier is a specific model for the gl1200. The bike only has one plug harness as well. The original shindengen that came out only had the one plug. It is a perfect fit (in form at least)... not sure about function yet... waiting for the battery charge.
Cool, then in answer to your question, the charge to the battery should not exceed 14.5 volts anything over that can cause wiring, rectifier and stator issues (dont ask how I know that lol)

Nitewing7994
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Nitewing7994 »

Thats one of the things I'm concerned about. Alot of the posts I've read have said that these aftermarket R/R without the sense plug would sometimes provide overvoltage to the battery... in excess of 15 volts. Since the original one in the bike didn't have the second connector some have mentioned, I don't know if this is a valid concern or not...

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oldishwinger
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by oldishwinger »

Nitewing7994 wrote:Thats one of the things I'm concerned about. Alot of the posts I've read have said that these aftermarket R/R without the sense plug would sometimes provide overvoltage to the battery... in excess of 15 volts. Since the original one in the bike didn't have the second connector some have mentioned, I don't know if this is a valid concern or not...
Isnt it just the ltd and sei with the second connector? not sure about that but anyway if the R/R fits the bikes single connector then I reckon you should be good to to go test

Nitewing7994
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Nitewing7994 »

Update: I finally got a chance to check the battery today (It's been raining like Noah might stop by!).. Two dead cells... I just returned it to the store the PO got it from and they exchanged it for me under warranty.. a bit of good luck for a change. After charging, I'll stick it in the bike and start the voltage tests... wish me luck Wingers!

Ride Safe,
Scott

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oldishwinger
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by oldishwinger »

Nitewing7994 wrote:Update: I finally got a chance to check the battery today (It's been raining like Noah might stop by!).. Two dead cells... I just returned it to the store the PO got it from and they exchanged it for me under warranty.. a bit of good luck for a change. After charging, I'll stick it in the bike and start the voltage tests... wish me luck Wingers!

Ride Safe,
Scott
congrats on the find good luck

Nitewing7994
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Nitewing7994 »

Finally got to do the tests...

Looks like the stator is bad.

A-B 8.8
A-C 6.8
B-C 10.1

Tested with voltmeter set to ACV 750...

Also tested regulator output... it matched battery output which slowly decreased as the bike ran...
Tested across the battery terminals before start 13.2
After start at IDLE 12.64
Engine choked to 3000 RPM (No extra hands, lol) 12.60 and falling slowly....

She's definitely running off battery.

Cut and soldered stator wires and cleaned up regulator harness (tried both original and aftermarket regulators).

Is there any place besides the 3 yellow plug next to the battery (removed and fixed) that could cause stator output to be low without the stator being bad? Another wire plug, jump, splice maybe? Or with the above info, does it sound like I'll be investing in the poorboy conversion (I will not go through the trouble of changing the stator with a good quality part that will require pulling the engine and spending almost as much, just to have to do it again down the road)?

Thank you for the advice... just wish I had guys like you close enough to give me some hands on help!
Scott

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oldishwinger
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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by oldishwinger »

Nitewing7994 wrote:Finally got to do the tests...

Looks like the stator is bad.

A-B 8.8
A-C 6.8
B-C 10.1

Tested with voltmeter set to ACV 750...

Also tested regulator output... it matched battery output which slowly decreased as the bike ran...
Tested across the battery terminals before start 13.2
After start at IDLE 12.64
Engine choked to 3000 RPM (No extra hands, lol) 12.60 and falling slowly....

She's definitely running off battery.

Cut and soldered stator wires and cleaned up regulator harness (tried both original and aftermarket regulators).

Is there any place besides the 3 yellow plug next to the battery (removed and fixed) that could cause stator output to be low without the stator being bad? Another wire plug, jump, splice maybe? Or with the above info, does it sound like I'll be investing in the poorboy conversion (I will not go through the trouble of changing the stator with a good quality part that will require pulling the engine and spending almost as much, just to have to do it again down the road)?

Thank you for the advice... just wish I had guys like you close enough to give me some hands on help!
Scott
sorry to see those fiqures, it sounds like a bad stator, the 3 yellow wires leading into the rectifier connector can burn and short also, and sometimes can be hard to see as it will right up inside the plastic cover. have to say unfortunately it does sound like stator. I've not long completed the poorboy conversion, and while I learnt some new swear words its so far works well.

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Re: 84 GL1200I electrical - Please Help!

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Had the stator go out on my '85 LTD. The internal wiring is probably the issue. The decision to go with a stator or the alternator conversion is yours, but there are a lot of alternator installs out there that have been operating for a long time. I've got 8000 kms on mine and no issues to date. The cost of the alternator modification for me was less than the cost of a stator. I had pulled the engine to do the stator but opted out not to for a variety of reasons. Did some additional work to the engine when it was out so no loss all round.

Had many discussions with a friend who worked on HDs for quite a while. We discussed the stator issue and when I mentioned the alternator mod that was being done his recommendation to me was cut the wires and put in the alternator. Older HDs had more issues than GWs, HDs had 2 phase stators at one time, HD had glued on magnets instead of encapsulated ones for a while (an unmitigated disaster I was told) , and so on.

You will be able to tuck a 40 amp alternator up under the fairings so that no one unless you are asked, will know the alternator is there. Besides, if you don't like it you can always revert back to a stator.

Just a few thoughts on the issue. I concur with oldishwinger.

Cheers


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