starter solenoid B


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
Post Reply
flyingdragracer
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:30 pm
Location: 1158 Chesnee rd Columbus NC 28722
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 Goldwing SE

starter solenoid B

Post by flyingdragracer » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:22 pm



I know this has been discussed somewhere in these forums but I have looked for hours and not found anything addressing my specific issue. I have 1996 1500 SE My starter works great when the engine is cold,spins the motor over with authority. However when the motor is at operating temperature the starter will only click the solenoid and drains the voltage down in the battery visibly dimming the headlight. I have discovered the that if I short across solenoid B while pressing the starter switch it will start right up when at operating temperature.
My question, is this an indication that solenoid B is definitely bad or could it be any of the safety switches that are failing and by me shorting solenoid B I am just bypassing the real issue.
Thanks I am a new Goldwing owner and so far really look forward to riding many miles this summer.



User avatar
4given
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:19 pm
Location: danville/PA/
Motorcycle: 1996 honda goldwing aspencade GL1500
Contact:

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by 4given » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:25 am

Did you check for loose connections and corrosion at all terminals?

User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1255
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by DenverWinger » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:33 am

flyingdragracer wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:22 pm
However when the motor is at operating temperature the starter will only click the solenoid and drains the voltage down in the battery visibly dimming the headlight. I have discovered the that if I short across solenoid B while pressing the starter switch it will start right up when at operating temperature.
Actually, the headlight isn't dimming when you push the start button, there's contacts in the start button which cut power to the headlight when you push "Start" providing that extra power to the starter.

Keep your voltmeter handy, and next time it acts up check to see if there's voltage on the two small "trigger" wires to Start Relay "B" when you push "Start". If you do indeed see voltage there then the relay is bad. If no voltage on relay trigger leads, it has to flow thru several components to get there, we'll have to troubleshoot further.

Another quick test when it's acting up - Hold start button and give relay "B" a smart "whack" with a screwdriver handle or something and see what happens.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

flyingdragracer
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:30 pm
Location: 1158 Chesnee rd Columbus NC 28722
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 Goldwing SE

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by flyingdragracer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:05 am

Hello Denverwinger, thanks for your comment and explanation. I will test the solenoid in the manner you described and report back so that anyone else with this issue may be able to apply the same repair procedure. Thanks again Mitch

flyingdragracer
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:30 pm
Location: 1158 Chesnee rd Columbus NC 28722
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 Goldwing SE

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by flyingdragracer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:18 pm

Hello Denver Winger, I tested the Solenoid this evening after getting the bike to operating temperature and thus causing the starter to fail.
My findings are there is approximately 12 volts on both the yellow/Red and Green/Red wires going to/from the solenoid when the starter is inoperative. Also while the starter was inoperative I tapped/whacked the solenoid but that didn't affect the issue either.

When the starter is operating properly only the Yellow/red wire has voltage. While the Green/Red wire has approximately zero voltage.

I am not sure if this indicates a bad solenoid or other issues. Thanks for any suggestions you may have. Mitch

User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1255
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by DenverWinger » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:57 pm

Mitch, Your findings indicate relay "B" is OK.

If things are operating correctly there should be no voltage on the green/red wire when measuring to ground as that is the "ground" side of the relay coil. If you are reading voltage on that wire when pressing Start button, this means the ground is missing on this circuit.

The route to ground is thru the reverse diode assembly and finally the reverse switch which is right by Relay "B" (see diagram).


When it is acting up again, check voltage on the green/orange wire on the reverse switch terminal. If you see voltage there when you press the start button, either the reverse switch is faulty or the transmission is not fully shifted out of "reverse". Try shifting the reverse lever in/out of reverse and see if the relay B starts working. This might be as simple as the reverse shifting cables needing adjustment.

If you do NOT see voltage at the reverse switch when pressing start button while bike is acting up, could be faulty reverse diode assembly (less likely) or a bad connection somewhere (more likely).

Check voltage at the reverse switch when pressing start button while starter is acting up and report back.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

flyingdragracer
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:30 pm
Location: 1158 Chesnee rd Columbus NC 28722
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 Goldwing SE

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by flyingdragracer » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:58 pm

Ok Denver Winger, this is whats happening. Checking the reverse switch when the starter is nonoperational it reads approximately 12volts.

As you stated when the starter is operational zero or nominal voltage is present.

As a side note I rode the bike with side covers removed and the starter didn't fail in the normal fashion. Put the side covers back on go for a ride and the starter fails. I can only attribute this to additional heat being confined into the switch causing it to fail.

During the period when the starter was and was not operational I would slowly move the reverse lever in and out of reverse gear trying to compensate for the linkage not being adjusted properly,no affects were noted from this action. At this point I think with your invaluable help I have determined it to have a faulty reverse switch. If you feel this is correct I will order one and see if it resolves the issue. Thanks again Mitch

User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1255
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by DenverWinger » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:26 am

Well Mitch, It looks like we've found the culprit. :D

Much better to do logical troubleshooting than just throwing parts at a problem and hope that fixes it. Many people would have already put in a new "B" relay without fixing anything! :lol:

But this culprit depends on proper mechanical actuation in order to perform correctly, so if the reverse shift cable is not adjusted correctly a new switch won't work right either.

Check Reverse cable adjustments.


If Adjustments are found to be correct then the switch comes out. Might only need cleaning, there's not that much to the switch. I'll let YOU be the judge of that. :)


Switch installation mentions a new Sealing Washer, you should be able to find a suitable crush washer (like used in fuel injection systems) at your local auto parts store.

Don't forget to report back on Final Resolution! :D :D :D Ride Safe! ~Mark
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

flyingdragracer
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:30 pm
Location: 1158 Chesnee rd Columbus NC 28722
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 Goldwing SE

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by flyingdragracer » Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:01 pm

Well yet again your information has been invaluable and saved me many dollars in guess buying of parts. I adjusted the reverse mechanism to the specifications you provided and all seems to be working properly at this point in time. The wife and I went for a 100+mile ride today with a few stops along the way and the Wing started perfectly every time. So I am going to call this one solved and say Thanks again for taking your time to answer my questions and provide the proper test procedures to find the issue.

Now if yu are game my old Goldwing had a hard life by its previous owner and it has a couple other electrical issue that need to be resolved. So if you are interested my Cruise control doesn't work. The cruise light on the dash illuminates when pressing the cruise power button. And occasionally the cruise set will illuminate on the dash "but not every time" I press the set button. whether the cruise set light is illuminated or not the cruise does not engage,I have tried it a various speeds thinking it may only work within a given speed range.

If that ones to much trouble the back lighting in my dash is also inoperable so night riding I have no view of my instrument. Thanks again Mitch

User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1255
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: starter solenoid B

Post by DenverWinger » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:26 am

Mitch, Glad to hear of SUCCESS :D :D

For the dashboard backlighting, I checked the schematics, the dashboard lighting gets its power from the same circuit/fuse as all the other running lights, so the dark dash problem isn't a fuse. So you either have a bunch of burned out bulbs, or there's a bad connection in the "20 Pin White" connector attaching the instrument cluster to the bike. Bulbs lighting the speedo/tach are on a brown/white wire thru that connector. If your turn signal indicators work, the ground circuit for the speedo/tach lights is good.

I have no experience with the dash bulbs but many others have done it, some converting the dash to LED bulbs. So I can't speak as to how much of a PITA the bulbs or the connector are to access.
Here's a series of pictures showing how to get in there.....
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=851

If that looks a little daunting might start a new thread about it, maybe some of the dashboard gurus will step in.

The Cruise Control will only operate above 30-35 MPH, and only in 4th or 5th gear. So if those conditions are met the Cruise should set. Since your CC will SET intermittently the most likely problem is a "cancel" switch. There are four of them, any one of them activated and the CC won't set. One on the throttle cancels CC if the throttle is twisted back to Idle position (not very likely), one on the rear brake pedal (not very likely), one on the front brake lever (quite likely) and one on the clutch lever (also quite likely). Usual failure mode on the brake and clutch lever switches isn't the switches themselves, but the bushings in the levers get worn down and the little switches don't get actuated well. Or "Aftermarket" clutch/brake levers can cause this, too.

You can test this by driving down the road, try to set the CC, if it doesn't set push the levers AWAY from the handlebar and try to set the CC again. Or with the bike parked, if you move the levers slowly from fully out position you should hear TWO switches click. On the brake one click will be the CC Cancel switch, the other click the Brake Lights. On the Clutch you will hear the CC Cancel click when you first move the lever, then the switch allowing engine start will click when the clutch is fully disengaged.

Here's a "How-to" for changing the clutch lever bushing, the brake lever should be the same.
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=12622

This should address the Cruise SET not working consistently, whether or not it actually controls the throttle is another issue. We'll get into that after you get it to SET.


♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

Post Reply