No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Gbowers
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Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »



I have scoured the internet and this forum for information, but nothing like my situation.

1989 GL1500. I press the starter button and it just clicks. Hold the clutch, side stand up... nothing. No neutral light. Verified its in neutral. Jumped the solenoid and the starter runs, but no spark. (Yes ignition is on and kill switch is on) turn the kill switch from off to on and I can hear the fuel pump prime. I assume that means it is working properly.

Something electrical is preventing it from getting spark and I have no clue what to try. Everybody keeps saying to wiggle the reverse lever. I've just reached my finger around and tapped the switch a lot, but still nothing.

When I press the starter button, there is no voltage at the starter side of the solenoid. As mentioned previously, if I jump the posts with a screwdriver, the starter spins.

What are my options?

I know the neutral light works because when I was swapping relays around, I noticed when the top right relay (Tail) is removed, there are no dashlights, but when I press the starter button, the neutral light comes on as if the starter button is turning it on. It's so weird.


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Rambozo
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Rambozo »

My guess is you probably have more than one problem.
Do you have a service manual and wiring diagram for the correct year?
That would be the first step. Then you have to start tracing the power and ground for the starting system.
Because of the complexity of reverse, there is a whole chapter on troubleshooting the starting/reverse system.
Do you have power at the ignition coils?


Last edited by Rambozo on Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

I want to first say thank you for your time. I do not have a manual and have not checked coil power. My assumption was that some sort of safety feature is preventing the bike from getting spark. Before I dive too deep into this project, I'd like to see it run.

If there is anything I can bypass to get some spark, I'm confident that it will run.
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Rambozo
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Rambozo »

Safeties to check are bank Angle sensor, side stand switch, clutch and neutral switches, fuses and relays.
Try to do as many tests in circuit as you can, you will learn more in less time. Pulling a switch and testing it tells you if the switch is good or bad. Testing in circuit can often tell you the condition of everything else in that circuit.


If you don't know the history of the bike, just assume that everything is bad until proven good. :shock:
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

Thank you for those diagrams. As confusing as those seem at first glance, I'm recognizing some wires that I read about. The black and white wire from the ecu could be grounded to get spark to the coils right?

My instinct says to start with cutting off all outside influences to simply run the bike and then isolate each feature one by one until I've found the problem. A quick lesson on resistance reading might do me good though.
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Rambozo
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Rambozo »

Not exactly. The blk/white wire is the positive to the coils. You should have +12 volts on that wire any time the key is on and the kill switch is set to run. It gets power from relay 3 and fuse 8. Also fuse 11 is required to actuate relay 3. Almost every device on the GoldWing is dependent on a chain of other devices.
Resistance is futile. :roll:
You are better off looking for +12v and -12v at various test locations. Such as looking for +12v at the blk/wht wire on the coils.

A good visual inspection would be the first thing to do. Especially look for any wiring that has mice chewing or corrosion damage.
Then I would start with the starter circuit. Along the way you may also discover why there is no spark. But getting it to crank over with the button will ensure a bunch of stuff is working as it should. It's also the easier circuit to troubleshoot as it is built of pretty simple components that are easy to test and understand. Switches, relays and a few diodes. The ignition module on the other hand is not really well documented.

Once you get the engine cranking over you will also have to verify the battery voltage while cranking. The 1500 requires a tip top battery to make spark while cranking. To be honest the 88 and 89 are a lot different so I don't know if they are better or worse than the later bikes, but low voltage is a known issue.
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

Okay, time to get to it then. It was sitting out on the edge of a field and is currently pretty dirty. I have to agree that some corrosion and/or mice damage could exist. Thank you for the suggestions. I think those are great ideas so I'll get to work on that.
Megreenusmc1969
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Megreenusmc1969 »

@Gbowers - To me, the one I would check first would be the BAS, bank angle sensor under the seat. When I bought my 1991 GL1500a Trike I spent several years and several thousand dollars chasing a ghost and it turned out that it was the BAS. I had the same click, no neutral light, no clutch switch, but it was a simple fix. Since I have a trike, the previous owner bypassed the BAS and did a poor job of taping things up without even twisting the wires. Once I fixed that, no more issues.

Good Luck and be safe,
Mark
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

Thanks for the suggestion! I am actually reading forum posts on BAS right this moment. I don't want to throw parts at it and just replace every fuse, relay, sensor, etc. From what I read, I can bypass the BAS by jumping the outside terminals, is that correct?

Once I bypass everything and get some spark, I'll start reconnecting to see what stops it from running and then I'll replace that part.
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by the_big_h »

In my opinion, bypassing things till it works is not a good troubleshooting technique. In doing the bypassing, you are likely to damage or break things that are in fact perfectly good. For example, earlier you suggested grounding the black/white wire in an attempt to get spark - but in fact grounding that wire would at best blow a fuse, at worst burn up some wiring or components.
As Rambozo told you, it's a lot more productive (and safer) to use a meter or test light to see where you do and do not have power. Follow the wiring diagram, methodically check through the circuit to find where you don't have power when you should have it.
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

I appreciate your time and suggestions. Grounding that wire was a suggestion I saw on this site in another forum so that must have been incorrect. I'm grateful to have those diagrams now so that I can run down the list. I'm eager to know that this motorcycle will run. Now that I'm better educated, I don't intent to just apply power to or ground wires without first checking with the test light to be sure.
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Rambozo
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Rambozo »

If you just want to know if it will run. Just do a compression test or better yet a leakdown test. If it fails that, there is no point in looking at electrical as it won't run without internal engine work. If it passes then you know that while everything on the outside of the engine might be bad, (ignition, carbs, etc.) If you fix all that it should be able to run.
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

I got a video with the timestamp of the bike running so I'm confident it's good to go. They replaced the clutch master cylinder and the fuel pump. Now it's in my hands.

I have it all stripped down now and ready to start chasing wires. No obvious signs of corrosion or rodent chewed wires yet. After looking at the starting circuit diagram, it looks like all of those things are simply just to run the starter. I can do that already just by jumping the solenoid so I'll tackle that later.

The voltage on the battery drops to 11.3 ish when the starter is going so from what I've read, that's enough voltage to get spark.
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

Okay good news. The starter switch works again. It's now turning over the engine. Still no spark, but it's better than it was.

The solution: previously I was holding the bike upright. I would pull in the clutch and pickup the side stand, but nothing would happen. I tried the center stand, but I couldn't get enough leverage to get it there so I had quit. For whatever reason, I decided to get my floor jack to lift the bike in order to get the center stand down and the starter button worked again.

Now I am still trying to figure out why the neutral light will not come on and why I'm not getting spark.
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Rambozo
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Rambozo »

There is no switch on the center stand, so maybe something was disturbed by the jack?
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

I know right?! Zero clue why that would do anything because I thought I bypassed the bank angle sensor so it couldn't have been the lean angle. I removed all my bypasses and it kept cranking. The only thing it does not like is the side stand, no matter if the clutch was pulled or not.

There is still not a neutral light. If I remove relay #3 there will be no dash light at all BUT with relay 3 pulled, if I push the starter button, the neutral light will come on. It turns off when I release the button and back on when I press it.
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

UPDATE // SOLVED!!!

I'll start by saying that the neutral light still does not operate.

After tracing wires on the circuit diagram that you provided to me, I found that the pulse generator connector was unplugged. I plugged it back in, the grounded spark plug gave me some spark so I put the plug back in, sprayed some starter fluid and it fired right up!!

Now the final issues are getting the neutral light on and a fuel leak from that diaphragm thing next to the fuel fill cap. It's a really bad leak.

Any suggestions on the neutral light?
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Rambozo
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Rambozo »

The part next to the fuel cap is a vacuum fuel shutoff. You can get a rebuilt kit for it that will take care of the leaks.

As to the neutral light, check that the neutral switch is grounding the wire when in neutral. Then check that the reverse lever switch has power and is passing it to the light wire. If the side stand light works that will tell you that the fuses and relays that feed the neutral light are good. There is an inline diode that can be burned out by jumping the bike wrong. I'm not sure where it is on an 89, but it plugs in the harness on the side on the later years.
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

I have to say thank you for providing the wire diagrams and helping me stick to the basics of just checking everything for corrosion, rodent damage and, in my case, unplugged connectors.

I ordered the petcock rebuild kit with new diaphragms. The Ohm meter was bouncing all over the place when testing the reverse switch by the handle. I went ahead and ordered a new one to be sure.

I'll check in when the parts arrive late next week. I'm happy to report these findings because I had a lot of trouble finding everything I need in the forums.
Gbowers
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Re: No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

It's been a while so I wanted to update the group. The no crank was caused by the switch at the clutch and the neutral light being out while the side stand was down. All of the safety features prevented it from starting. I tied the clutch switch wires together and put the bike on the center stand and it cranked. Then I wasn't getting spark. I traced it to a row of electrical connectors that are hidden on the right side of the bike on top of the fan that pulls air through the radiator. One of the connectors was unplugged. I forget the name of it, but it's for the sensors on the timing belt I believe. Once I plugged that back in, the bike fired right up. The only problem I had after that was having to sit on the bike with the sidestand up, just to turn on the bike and get it warmed up. I've ridden it for a while now and the neutral light started working again randomly! At first it was rare and now it's more rare that the light doesn't work. Still don't know which connection is loose, but if it works, cool but if not, I just start it with the sidestand up or the centerstand down.

I hope this helps others out there. The hardest part of every forum is when people figure it out and move on without sharing the resolution.
Gbowers
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FIXED!! No Crank, No neutral light, no clutch switch

Post by Gbowers »

Changed the title to fixed so others can find it easier.


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