Replacing 35year old failed coils


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
Post Reply
User avatar
wingpilot08
Posts: 685
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:43 pm
Location: Coatesville, PA
Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800-HPNA - 85,000+ miles
1995 Bunkhouse camping trailer
Darkside #1720
bikes owned:
1975 CB550-4 final mileage unknown
1982 Yamaha 650 Maximum 30,000 miles
1987 Yamaha XVZ-1300 Venture 109,000 miles
1982 CB750-F Super Sport 60,000+ miles
1996 Honda GL1500-SE 210,000 miles

Replacing 35year old failed coils

Post by wingpilot08 »



Have been working on my brothers 1988 Wing since late November 2022. Over the winter I did a multitude of upgrades to the bike that was needed. New rear pistons for the rear caliper, all fluids changed, new battery, new 95Amp alternator, oil change and filter, all fluids changed, air filter, fuel filter, added 2 USB power connectors, aftermarket heated seat pad. NEW LED light everywhere possible (except head lights). Repaired any cracked panels with ABS slurry. Just a lot of work over the winter months.

Got the bike back to him in March and after a few days of riding, he was experiencing loss of power to what felt like two of the cylinders. With the new battery and alternator, I didn't think it was because of a lack of electrical power. So started reading this site and other site to try to determine the issue. Everything I read pointed to 2 things:

1. Possibly could be an issue with the 35YO engine control module (ECM). These can be found..mostly on EBay..but at a significate price point.
2. Possibly bad or failing coil of plug wires.

I opted for the second possibility as the first resort...lower in price..but a hell of a lot more work!! I had to remove the carburators to get to the coils and I was a bit nervous about the process...but it was actually not that bad...lots of pictures and watching videos on youtube indicated that it wasn't really that difficult. So out the carbs came!

So I started to dismantle the Wing once again!


Tupperware Removed


Coils exposed






Carbs out and on bench


Nasty old coils

Had to also remove the antifreeze overflow canister to remove the coils. Measured the resistance of the cables thru the coils and readings were not in specs. So removed all the coils and cables and replaced with new coils and wires...but waiting on new resistor spark plug caps (from Goldwingparts.com). Should have them in the next couple days according to FedEX.

Currently all is back together..well the coils, wires and carbs are all reinstalled. Will be able to complete hopefully by the weekend! The test drive will tell if the issues are corrected. Fingers Crossed!!!


2008 GL1800-HPNA - Red 83,000+ miles
1995 Bunkhouse Camper
Darkside #1720
1975 CB550-4 mileage unknown
1982 Yamaha 650 Maxim 30,000 miles
1987 Yamaha XVZ-1300 Venture 109,000 miles
1982 CB750-FSS 60,000+ miles
1996 Honda GL1500-SE 210,000 miles
User avatar
wingpilot08
Posts: 685
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:43 pm
Location: Coatesville, PA
Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800-HPNA - 85,000+ miles
1995 Bunkhouse camping trailer
Darkside #1720
bikes owned:
1975 CB550-4 final mileage unknown
1982 Yamaha 650 Maximum 30,000 miles
1987 Yamaha XVZ-1300 Venture 109,000 miles
1982 CB750-F Super Sport 60,000+ miles
1996 Honda GL1500-SE 210,000 miles

Re: Replacing 35year old failed coils

Post by wingpilot08 »

Good News!! Got the replacement spark plug resistor boots from goldwingparts.com on Friday and immediately installed the plug caps. Still have the Carbs exposed to ensure no leaks from the carbs (yep..they are water cooled!) Reattached the battery negative terminal and turned the key to run, waited to hear the fuel pump, set the choke and hit the starter button...twice and the old 88' came back to life!! Let the bike warm up after checking for leaks (were none) and turned of the choke and the idle was a bit high...so set to about 850RPM! She's ALIVE! Now the real test is to hit the road for about a 100mile run, get it nice and warmed up!!

Thanks for the 37 Thumbs up.......but wondering why someone would leave a thumbs down???
2008 GL1800-HPNA - Red 83,000+ miles
1995 Bunkhouse Camper
Darkside #1720
1975 CB550-4 mileage unknown
1982 Yamaha 650 Maxim 30,000 miles
1987 Yamaha XVZ-1300 Venture 109,000 miles
1982 CB750-FSS 60,000+ miles
1996 Honda GL1500-SE 210,000 miles
Post Reply