Turn signals work when they want to...


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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vv0350
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Earlsboro, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 97 GL1500 SE

Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by vv0350 »



1997 GL1500se...For several years now, we have encountered this issue...Sometimes the turn signals work, and sometimes they don't..The first time we notice was after spending the night at a park and waking up to a humid day...Another GL rider that was camping near by told us it had to do with the humidity...and it would dry out and they would work fine...a couple of hours later they began to work. BUT, that was about 4 years ago and the problem still exists and I just cannot really say for sure it is due to humidity affecting the electrics...It happens, for a while at least, almost every time we ride..summer, winter, fall or spring. They never actually totally fail to work during a ride, they just work when they want to...


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newday777
Posts: 2146
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by newday777 »

The cause is dirty switches usually from people using power washers that force in dirt and water that gum up the old grease.
You need to clean all your switches yearly.
Go to wally world or auto parts store and get a can of CRC electrical contact cleaner and spray in the switches and work the switches back and forth, in and out, spray again and work the switches more.
Be sure to cover the windshield and painted plastic to protect from over spray and drips! Do not get it on plastic lenses of your eye glasses. Use safety glasses.

https://www.amazon.com/CRC-05103-Electr ... ref=sr_1_2
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User avatar
vv0350
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Earlsboro, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 97 GL1500 SE

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by vv0350 »

Thanks....got a can and now to "clean"...
User avatar
newday777
Posts: 2146
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by newday777 »

vv0350 wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:41 am Thanks....got a can and now to "clean"...
😉

Post a reply of your results here.
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Snowmoer
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Location: Cedar City UT
Motorcycle: 2012 GL 1800
1977 GL 1000
2012 KLR 650

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by Snowmoer »

The CRC is just a band aid on these types of switches. To do it right, you need to pull the switch apart, clean out the old grease, clean the contacts, then put in new Dialectic grease. My older bikes including my 88 wing had this problem. After replacing the grease, I have not had any problems. On the 88 I just sold, this was done 10 years ago and they were still working like they should without any additional cleaning. If you do take the switch apart, there is a ball bearing in there that you need to make sure you do not loose!

The CRC is great on the radio volume, channel, cruse up and down switches. These are dry (no dialectic grease) momentary switches and the CRC is great for cleaning those contacts.
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vv0350
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Earlsboro, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 97 GL1500 SE

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by vv0350 »

Took the switch covers apart enough to get in there with the eletronics cleaner...and cleaned well...A week later, took a ride and nothing was any better...just the same...Sees like they never works when you first drive off....an hour or so into a trip, they both begin working...this has happened several times the same way...then, after a bit, they fail again... BUT...

Could it be the turn signal relay..???? On a straight bike I see it is on top of the rear fender...as this is a trike, I guess I will have to search around and see where it was put...
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MikeB
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Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
Contact:

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by MikeB »

A dirty turn signal switch is only one of the possible problems. Since you have taken yours apart and cleaned them, that eliminates that switch as the source of the problem. The turn signal flasher is another possibility. If you want to check the turn signal flasher relay, it should be mounted in the same place on your trike as a non-triked GL1500.

When I had problems with my flashers, I found some bad connections in a multi pin connector under the seat.


This is on left side of the bike under the seat near the frame tube. I separated the connector and this is what I found:




I cleaned it up found that only one of the connector pins were beyond repair. So, I added a wire that bypassed the connector.


MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
User avatar
newday777
Posts: 2146
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by newday777 »

MikeB wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:40 am A dirty turn signal switch is only one of the possible problems. Since you have taken yours apart and cleaned them, that eliminates that switch as the source of the problem. The turn signal flasher is another possibility. If you want to check the turn signal flasher relay, it should be mounted in the same place on your trike as a non-triked GL1500.

When I had problems with my flashers, I found some bad connections in a multi pin connector under the seat.
Connector_Location.jpg
This is on left side of the bike under the seat near the frame tube. I separated the connector and this is what I found:
Connector_Female.jpg
Connector_Male.jpg
I cleaned it up found that only one of the connector pins were beyond repair. So, I added a wire that bypassed the connector.
repaired_connection.jpg
Was that the green/silver(dash) ground wire?
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vv0350
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Earlsboro, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 97 GL1500 SE

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by vv0350 »

Ok, more things to check...thanks... Say, you did a real neat job on your connector bypass....
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MikeB
Posts: 3463
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
Contact:

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by MikeB »

Yes, it was the ground wire that was connected to the burnt connector pins. I bypassed it with a bit of surplus wire I had available.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
User avatar
newday777
Posts: 2146
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by newday777 »

MikeB wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:28 pm Yes, it was the ground wire that was connected to the burnt connector pins. I bypassed it with a bit of surplus wire I had available.
This happens on bikes with added lights that used the plug and play harnesses that were sold. The stock harness on the bike was wire sized for few lights that came on the bike. The addition of side lights in the trunk, bags and extra tail lights to the rear have taken their toll on the ground.
Swap out all incandescent bulbs to LED to save more damage from continuing.
User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 3463
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
Contact:

Re: Turn signals work when they want to...

Post by MikeB »

newday777 wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:02 pm
MikeB wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:28 pm Yes, it was the ground wire that was connected to the burnt connector pins. I bypassed it with a bit of surplus wire I had available.
This happens on bikes with added lights that used the plug and play harnesses that were sold. The stock harness on the bike was wire sized for few lights that came on the bike. The addition of side lights in the trunk, bags and extra tail lights to the rear have taken their toll on the ground.
Swap out all incandescent bulbs to LED to save more damage from continuing.
Very true. I have nothing but LED's now in the bike and my trailers.


MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
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