electrically dead at roadside


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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bernyboy
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Cranbrook,British Columbia,Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

electrically dead at roadside

Post by bernyboy »



I went for a nice ride yesterday, a beautiful, sunny day. Stopped and shut off the bike (a 1984 GL1200 Standard) a few times, just taking breaks ... my wife on her Shadow is new to riding. Stopped one last time and when I went to start up there was absolutely no response. Nothing lit up, nothing clicked or cranked ... no electricity to anything. I checked a few fuses and found no problem. It was getting late and it was a relatively safe place to leave it, so I rode my wife's bike home with her behind. I went back this morning thinking it had to be a main fuse or the battery ground because everything was off. My test light lit up when I went from battery positive post to frame, I believe indicating that the battery ground is good. Also a visual inspection indicated that. The main fuse by the solenoid is good. I didn't see any other faulty fuses either. We trailered the bike home and I am looking for information as to how to most efficiently figure this thing out and fix it. Thanks.



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WingAdmin
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Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by WingAdmin »

It sure sounds like the main (dogbone) fuse - how did you check it? Those fuses are notorious for developing hairline cracks that make them look like they are fine, but they are not. Try removing it to check it - a lot of the time they will crumble into dust when they are removed, evidence that they have completely failed.

bernyboy
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Cranbrook,British Columbia,Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by bernyboy »

Where is the "dogbone" fuse? Has it been replaced in my bike by a 30 amp blade fuse on the side of the solenoid holder? That 30 amp fuse definitely passes the test, visually and with a fuse tester. Is there another fuse I'm looking for?

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dingdong
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Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
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Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by dingdong »

Since you have the 30a blade fuse your dogbone has been replaced. I would next check the ignition switch.

bernyboy
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Cranbrook,British Columbia,Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by bernyboy »

Yes, I think I will test the ignition switch tonight. Thanks.

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HALBUDD
Posts: 879
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Location: New Albany In
Motorcycle: 1984 gl1200a&1985GL1200A & 1996 gl 1500 aspy. us army 74-77

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by HALBUDD »

The 84s had a recall on the ignition switches as they would cause this same problem. My 84 aspy had the same problem it would just die as I was making a sharp turn. I had a parts bike and took the one off of it and put it one the 84 also put some moly 60 grease on the contacts it fixed it. You need to check with a Honda dealer about the recall. Some dealers dont want to do it but you may need to press the issue. good luck-----------------------------------Hal
A woman that can use tools is worth her weight in gold !!

bernyboy
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Cranbrook,British Columbia,Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by bernyboy »

I have been reading about that recall and would like to try to pursue it. What is the best way to go about it? Contact my local Honda dealer with the VIN and the recall number, I guess. Interestingly, today I was looking the bike over, joggling a few things, nothing significant, turned the key and everything was ready to go. Tried it again right now, same thing ... all lit up and ready. But, I don't feel that I can trust it.
I am finding it kind of difficult to access the ignition switch for testing. I know I have to trace the wires back to the connector and then separate the connector and test on the switch side for continuity as described in the manual, but it seems that I'll have to take a bunch of stuff apart to get anywhere. Anyone else with experience on a 1984 GL1200 Standard?

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ekvh
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Location: Grand Forks, ND
Motorcycle: 1977 gl1000

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by ekvh »

Main ignition key switch can do this. As can a bad fuse) I had a 77 with the same symptoms. It probably won't hurt to check if the harness at the base of the switch is on tight or maybe a bit loose. I believe it's a 90 degree connector with six wires.

If you have a fairing on, it's tough to get to.

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HALBUDD
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Motorcycle: 1984 gl1200a&1985GL1200A & 1996 gl 1500 aspy. us army 74-77

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by HALBUDD »

I found that you will need to take the false tank off. Get yourself a long extension for your ratchet and I believe a 10mm socket. If you look up between the front wheel and the radiator you will see the bottom of the ignition switch. There are two nuts on both sides of the switch. You will need to get them off,then you can move the switch out of the way and get to the connector to get it apart. The old switches had a plastic cap on the bottom with two small screws to hold it on with. The new replacement switches have three screws to hold the cap to the bottom of the switch . You can contact your local Honda dealer to see if they can get the replacement switch. If not you may have to go on e-bay and find a used one or a bike breakers site. I found that putting the switch back on wasnt to bad oh I should have told you that it will help if you have a swivel on the end of your extension. Put some tape around the swivel when you go to put the nuts back on it will keep the swivel from flopping around.--------Good luck--------------------------Hal
A woman that can use tools is worth her weight in gold !!

bernyboy
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Cranbrook,British Columbia,Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by bernyboy »

Thanks, guys. This morning I accessed my ignition switch and was able to do the testing. It was easier to access than I had thought it would be. I had to remove the headlight housing and was then able to trace the wires from the ignition switch to the two connectors and test for continuity as described in the manual. The switch passed all the tests. Remember, the switch is now functioning properly .... turn the key and the bike lights up, hit the start button and it fires up. I wish I could have tested it when the bike was dead. I detected a little looseness in the bottom plate of the ignition switch unit and tried to pull it away while turning the key but it made no difference ... the ignition switch worked properly. I wedged some plastic to hold that bottom plate tight. I don't think I accomplished anything in particular. I think I will ride now, but take appropriate tools with me to access and test the switch if the problem reoccurs. I will also stay close to home until I have more clarity. I may prepare a couple toggle switches to use to bypass (replace) the ignition switch if it malfunctions(again?). In truth, I am still not sure that the switch is the culprit.

bernyboy
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Cranbrook,British Columbia,Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by bernyboy »

So I made a couple of pigtails that I will carry with me on the bike. If the ignition switch fails I can bi-pass it with the pigtails and keep riding. Easy to install, no tools required. Later, I may make a more elaborate bi-pass with toggles located in the fuse area in the false tank. At this point I still don't know if it was just the ignition switch that caused the shut-down.

bernyboy
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Cranbrook,British Columbia,Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by bernyboy »

So I rode. The bike went dead again - would not show anything electrical when I tried to start it after a brief intentional shutdown. I installed the pigtails to bi-pass the ignition switch.Still nothing ... oh oh. I had visions of trailering it home again as I started checking a few things. The main blade fuse by the solenoid looked good but I noticed a little melting of the plastic on the electrical connector there. So I pulled it apart. Sure enough, there seemed to be a problem there. I used a fingernail emery board to clean up two of the four contacts as best I could (after disconnecting the negative battery terminal), put the connector back together tightly, reconnected the battery and everything was good. So, I think it was that connector all the time. I have ordered a new solenoid just to be sure of good contacts. I would like to replace the plastic four-wire connector if I can. Mine is a little melted and distorted (though it does still fit properly) and at least one female contact looks a little burned. Does anyone know of a source for that connector? Am I better off replacing it with four individual insulated crimp-on female spade connectors?

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Rednaxs60
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Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by Rednaxs60 »

You can get a new connector for the aftermarket solenoid on line. I put a new starter solenoid in and just used four individual insulated crimp-on female spade connectors - works just as well.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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SilverDave
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Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 GoldWing Aspy

Re: electrically dead at roadside

Post by SilverDave »

The best crimp-om connectors , any type ( butt, spade , etc ) are from a quality marine supply store . They are stronger, and mostly waterproof.

...........and for a little more money, they even have crimp-ons that can be heated, like shrink wrap. to totally enclose and waterproof your connection.

I used these in several spots when adding my Electrical Connections GL1200 harness about 15 years ago.. and all the connections are still tight and dry and non - corroded.
SilverDave



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