Sudden failure left me stranded


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Goofaroo
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Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »



I’ve been enjoying my Wing and it has been very reliable until yesterday. I was running about 80 on the interstate and I suddenly started feeling an odd shudder or vibration. I looked down to see if my front tire was down but it wasn’t. I started to suspect a final drive issue. Power started decreasing rapidly and I had to work it to get over to a safe spot to pull over. It finally died completely and I coasted to a stop. It would turn over but not restart.

Oddly, my wife happened to be in the same area and happened to see me pull over from the other side of the highway. She pulled up behind me in the shoulder before I could get my phone out and call her! So she took me home and I came back with my trailer. Let’s just say that wrestling my Wing onto my three rail dirt bike trailer is something I don’t want to repeat.

I got it home and put it on the lift. The way it was acting with the shuddering and progressive power loss I suspected a timing belt issue. When I bought this bike the PO claimed that he had replaced the timing belts. I have always wanted to have a look for myself so I pulled the covers. Everything was fine and in time and the belts are as new.

So I pulled the plugs and they were oddly clean. I suspected a lean condition so I tested the fuel pump. I unhooked the line going to the carbs and ran a line off the pump into a container. I spun the motor and fuel pulsed into the container. Is that enough to verify fuel delivery?

I also checked each cylinder for compression and all is well. This bike only has 45k miles and mechanically seems very healthy.

So I decided to check for spark. Each plug has spark but it looks very weak. I’m going to dig a bit deeper this afternoon but I would appreciate any info that might help me diagnose this problem. I’m hoping to find a weak ground or something along those lines.

As for the shudder, does that sound familiar to anyone? I am hoping that this boxer configuration just tends to really shake when it’s misfiring. I have it on the center stand and the rear wheel spins freely with no sign of failure in the final drive but the way this thing was shaking I was fearing the worst.

Any input is appreciated.



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WingAdmin
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by WingAdmin »

You've done exactly the diagnostic steps I would have performed, although it's probably easier to check for fuel delivery by smelling the tailpipe after cranking the engine. :) But what you have done is validate that fuel is in fact being delivered.

Have you checked your battery voltage? How about the infamous "three yellow wires"? If your stator stopped charging, the bike will run until the battery is depleted enough that it won't supply a strong enough spark. Is it cranking strongly, or does it seem to crank a bit slowly?

And yes, if you are getting intermittent ignition, you will get lots of shaking and vibration.

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Aussie81Interstate »

Has it run out of fuel or got bad fuel in it?, maybe a clogged fuel filter, clogged petcock?

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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

The battery checked at only 11.76 volts. For the first time I checked the dogbone and it doesn’t appear to be blown but you can tell the wires going to it have been hot before. The fix the previous owner performed was not exactly glamorous.

The stator is new but is still plugged into the harness. As I recall I read somewhere that I should hardwire it to the harness so I will do that while I have it on the lift. I also need to service the final drive but I’d like to get it running first.

Anyway, I have the battery on a trickle charger and I’m curios to see if it charges properly.
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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

The battery could very well be low just from me cranking it to test spark and compression and trying to get it fired up on the side of the road.

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dingdong
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by dingdong »

The dogbone fuse can easily have an intermittent hairline crack. Especially if it has overheated. It may look good but have a hairline crack that separates when hot. By the looks of the pic of that circuit you need to replace it anyway.

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Aussie81Interstate »

Time to rethink your current wiring and maybe replace some of it.. The whole fuse assembly looks like it has suffered from heat over a period of time. The fuse I would definitely replace with a modern blade fuse. The 3 pin yellow wire connector - I would back track on that and see if the connections are corroded or correctly joined together.

If you have a new alternator/stator then that battery voltage looks not good as well.

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by AZgl1800 »

I just have a feeling that the charging system is not up to snuff.

then the battery voltage fell below what is required to keep the spark nice and hot....

that caused a loss of power, and then it would not restart, because the battery is too low.

Definitely inspect all 3 of the yellow wires to be sure they are good and solid.
if there is any signs of being hot, repair as needed with new wire to replace the bad joints.
solder them together...

the stator should put out ~50 VAC or more at 3,000 rpm if you can get it running.
that is across any two of the 3 wires, a to b, b to c, c to a.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

I’m hoping the stator is still healthy. I didn’t have a chance to work on it today but I’ll dig in a bit tomorrow and see what I can find.

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

I’m finally getting around to looking at my wing. I pulled the battery and seat to give me some access.

My first question is about how hot it appears to have gotten at some point where the wiring goes into the solenoid. Also, someone had used crimp connectors on the 4 wires going to the solenoid. I’m going to solder those up and protect them with heat shrink. The wires don’t look like they’ve been damaged by heat so I’m hoping to just tidy them up.

Of course I am going to replace the dogbone with a blade fuse and I’m hoping that is my primary problem.

The stator was replaced just before I bought this bike and the yellow wires going to the stator don’t show any sign of getting hot. The terminal where the stator plugs in looks perfect but I intend to remove it and hardwire the stator once I have this problem resolved.

My question is about the melted plastic on the solenoid. Should I replace the solenoid or should this work just fine once I get the wires tidied up and the blade fuse installed? Is it common for it to melt like this?

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »


Here’s a pic
Here’s a pic


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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »



I pulled the whole assembly out. The dogbone is not cracked and the relay was still working but it has clearly been hot at some point. I think I’m going to order a new one.

Any input from those more knowledgeable about this would be appreciated.

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by WingAdmin »

That would definitely be getting replaced if it was my bike. Heat like that is permanent damage, and it will cause more resistance, which means more heat, which eventually is going to fail completely. Worst case, it fails BEFORE the fuse and you end up with a blowtorch for a motorcycle.

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

WingAdmin wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:24 pm
That would definitely be getting replaced if it was my bike. Heat like that is permanent damage, and it will cause more resistance, which means more heat, which eventually is going to fail completely. Worst case, it fails BEFORE the fuse and you end up with a blowtorch for a motorcycle.
Yep. It looks pretty rough.

The only OEM I’m finding is used on EBay. There are several Chinese options listed as well. Has anyone had any experience with those? Maybe buy two and carry a spare?

I’m not opposed to Chinese parts and I’ve actually had pretty good luck with them. Is there a particular one on EBay that someone can vouch for?

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

This?

https://www.amazon.com/Tuzliufi-Replace ... 3621570748

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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

This is headed my way. I’ll report back on fitment and results. I’ve used a few products from Rick’s before with good results.

https://www.partsgiant.com/p324846-rick ... E&f=109683

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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

Life got in the way but I finally got a chance to work on the wing. I installed the Rick’s Motorsport starter solenoid switch. The bike fired up and is running pretty well even though the fuel is several months old. However, I am only getting about 12.8 volts at the battery at idle and about 13.4 at 3500ish rpm. The battery had not been charged for a while but is reading 12.49 with the bike switched off. I’m still planning to hardwire the stator and tidy up the wires going to the starter solenoid before I call this project complete.

Does 13.4 at 3500 sound about right? Should I replace the regulator/rectifier in the interest of reliability? Any input is appreciated.

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by oldishwinger »

Goofaroo wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:38 pm
Life got in the way but I finally got a chance to work on the wing. I installed the Rick’s Motorsport starter solenoid switch. The bike fired up and is running pretty well even though the fuel is several months old. However, I am only getting about 12.8 volts at the battery at idle and about 13.4 at 3500ish rpm. The battery had not been charged for a while but is reading 12.49 with the bike switched off. I’m still planning to hardwire the stator and tidy up the wires going to the starter solenoid before I call this project complete.

Does 13.4 at 3500 sound about right? Should I replace the regulator/rectifier in the interest of reliability? Any input is appreciated.
Idealy at 3000rpm you should get around 14. to 14.5 volts , so the voltage is still low. standing battery at 12 to 13 volts isnt too bad, but voltage is low at rpm unfortunately I think you need to do a stator and rectifier check if the battery goes under 11 volts, the bike will turn over but not fire.

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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by CrystalPistol »

Back in the '90s Honda came out with a revised plug kit for repairing / replacement on top of the solenoid. Look at the pics below, I made notes in my book. Note the two red / white tracer wires that go into one, then into the plug into the solenoid. Then note the red wire that also connects via same plug. All the current to run that bike once started comes from the regulator / rectifier on those twin red with white tracer wires, into one, then into solenoid. There is a jumper or connect link inside the solenoid that carries that current to both the 30 amp fuse and to the red wire to the ignition switch, etc. That is why a 1200 will run with a blown 30 amp fuse, but will not start with a blown 30 amp fuse. If the fuse is blown and the bike is off, no current arrives via red with white tracer wires, thus no current to ignition switch and no current to trigger the start solenoid. If however, the bike was running when the 30 amp fuse cracked or blew, until shut off, current still arrives via those wires.
There was a bunch of burnt connectors there, it was determined to be due to heat from resistance at that very connector, so Honda revised the plug by simply adding a jumper from the "red with white tracer" wire over to the "red" wire in the plug to provide a parallel path for current to run the bike … taking the load off the connector's terminals and the link inside the solenoid.
In my notes, you will see this jumper labeled with date. I colored it blue in the other photo. The link in the solenoid still provides a link to battery power to be used by the start button and the 30 amp fuse still protects the bike wiring from current in the event of a short.




Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)

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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

CrystalPistol wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:52 am
Back in the '90s Honda came out with a revised plug kit for repairing / replacement on top of the solenoid. Look at the pics below, I made notes in my book. Note the two red / white tracer wires that go into one, then into the plug into the solenoid. Then note the red wire that also connects via same plug. All the current to run that bike once started comes from the regulator / rectifier on those twin red with white tracer wires, into one, then into solenoid. There is a jumper or connect link inside the solenoid that carries that current to both the 30 amp fuse and to the red wire to the ignition switch, etc. That is why a 1200 will run with a blown 30 amp fuse, but will not start with a blown 30 amp fuse. If the fuse is blown and the bike is off, no current arrives via red with white tracer wires, thus no current to ignition switch and no current to trigger the start solenoid. If however, the bike was running when the 30 amp fuse cracked or blew, until shut off, current still arrives via those wires.
There was a bunch of burnt connectors there, it was determined to be due to heat from resistance at that very connector, so Honda revised the plug by simply adding a jumper from the "red with white tracer" wire over to the "red" wire in the plug to provide a parallel path for current to run the bike … taking the load off the connector's terminals and the link inside the solenoid.
In my notes, you will see this jumper labeled with date. I colored it blue in the other photo. The link in the solenoid still provides a link to battery power to be used by the start button and the 30 amp fuse still protects the bike wiring from current in the event of a short. Starter Relay wireing update 1998 800w.jpg Starter Relayupdate 1998 color 750w.jpg
Interesting, but I’m not sure what all this means.lol

I didn’t get a chance to do any testing on the wing today but hopefully tomorrow. I’m going to try to test the stator output and get down to the ground truth about my charging system.

It appears that you’re suggesting a splice connecting the red wires where they go into the starter solenoid. Do I understand correctly that this will help alleviate the heat problem?

If I have to put a stator in this bike I would certainly like to upgrade the entire charging system. I don’t want to have to do it again.

I may even consider the poor boy conversion.

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CrystalPistol
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by CrystalPistol »

Yes, connect the Red with white tracer and the solid Red wire just before the connector, but leave them to the connector so you can start it. In other words, do not cut and splice them to bypass the connector.

Use gage 16 or 14 wire for jumper, just skin the other two a short ways from the connector. and wrap jumper wire ends intertwined well, solder, tape up with good 3M electrical tape. You're just duplicating the blue jumper in my diagram.
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)

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Goofaroo
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1971 Honda CT90
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

Update

I finally got back to working on the Wing. I decided to replace the regulator rectifier. I removed the old one and noticed one of the spades in the terminal was corroded and looked like it had been hit at some point. I cleaned it up and installed the new one that I purchased from Ricky’s. The starter solenoid was also from Ricky’s. Full charge on the AGM battery and it started right up. I let it warm up for a bit and then put a meter on it and at 1000 rpm idle it was reading around 13 volts. Revved it a bit and the voltage climbed to a max of around 15 volts. I let it sit there and run for a while and revved it again and it was only charging at about 13 volts. I let the bike cool for a bit and repeated the same procedure and it did the same thing. 15v at startup and later dropping. Can I assume that it is the regulator operating properly?

Other observations:

The rectifier gets very hot. I know that’s why it is finned but how hot should it get?

The three wire terminal from the stator gets warm but doesn’t show any sign of ever being hot.

With the bike idling I checked voltage from each of the three yellow wires from the stator. Each measured right around 5.8 volts.

I know I have a bit more inspection to do on the harness and some more tidying up of the connections but what do you think? Does it sound like I’m on the right track and the system is operating more or less as it should?

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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

CrystalPistol wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:46 pm
Yes, connect the Red with white tracer and the solid Red wire just before the connector, but leave them to the connector so you can start it. In other words, do not cut and splice them to bypass the connector.

Use gage 16 or 14 wire for jumper, just skin the other two a short ways from the connector. and wrap jumper wire ends intertwined well, solder, tape up with good 3M electrical tape.
You're just duplicating the blue jumper in my diagram.
And I haven’t done this yet.

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Rambozo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Rambozo »

To test you measure between a pair of yellow wires, not to ground. Also you need to be using the AC range of your meter.
If you think of the wires as A, B, C then measure
A-B, A-C, B-C You should get the same voltage from each pair at the same RPM.

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Goofaroo
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Re: Sudden failure left me stranded

Post by Goofaroo »

Rambozo wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:33 pm
To test you measure between a pair of yellow wires, not to ground. Also you need to be using the AC range of your meter.
If you think of the wires as A, B, C then measure
A-B, A-C, B-C You should get the same voltage from each pair at the same RPM.
Thanks. I’ll give that a try tomorrow. Any thoughts on the results I’m getting when I test the charging output?



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