Elect. Switch Cleaning


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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Blueknightrider
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Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by Blueknightrider »



How and what do I use to clean the electric switches on my 1800. A friend has one switch (cruise) that will not lock in and the reverse switch is getting to the point that is does not want to release. What can I use and not damage the plastic of the switch?


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Steve F
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by Steve F »

"To ride is the reason, the destination's the excuse."
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baumedagn
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by baumedagn »

Try using CRC Contact Cleaner to flush out the switch. It won't harm the plastic parts like some others.
liflyboy
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by liflyboy »

I would try a few things first, before I disassembled the switch. The contact cleaner is a good start. I've also used WD40. I may take a few minutes or longer, and you may have to repeat the process a few days in a row.

I had the cruise switch stop working. It was making good contact, but would NOT stay in. I flushed and worked the switch until my fingers were tired for almost a week. Then Saturday rolled around and I was going to take it apart. I figured, let me try one more time. Guess what! It's worked fine every since.

Same thing with the Push-to-talk on the CB, which probably has not been pushed for 10 years (2006). Days of pushing, wiggling, Contact cleaner and WD40, and FINALLY it started working. At the beginning of the day, I still have to work it a bit to wake it up, but then it works fine. I think I'll get in there with some more spray to see if I can make it better.

Don't give up. Taking that switch assembly apart is a little tricky. Lots of little parts to fly across the garage. Some have advised opening the switch assembly inside a bucket. Take a photo of the open assembly, just to me sure you get everything back where it belongs.

There is Dielectric grease inside theses assemblies. It gets old, like the rest of us. At some point, I will take them both apart and clean them out and put fresh grease in them. Unless, of course, Honda upgrades the new Goldwing and then the dealer can do it after I trade it in for my new one.
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jeffmd2
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by jeffmd2 »

The best and only real way to fix your sticky switch problems is to disassemble and clean all the internal parts. The problem comes from the grease that Honda uses when put together in the factory. It gets gooey and sticky over time and fails to be a lubricant. As many others have noted, this is a detailed and tricky task. I recommend getting out your digital camera and taking close up pictures of each step so you can look back on them to see how it goes back together. The other highly recommended step is take the switch apart while in a large zip lock bag. There are small parts that will disappear when you are not looking. After the switch is apart, you will see green gooey grease. Get all of that out and replace with bulb grease. Clean all the contacts with isopropyl alcohol. Reassemble and all will be good. I have done this task with the switches in my 95 1500, and my 2003 1800 with great results.
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WingAdmin
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by WingAdmin »

Don't use WD-40 - it leaves behind an oily residue (it's supposed to) which attracts dust and grit and makes the problem even worse.

Really the only way to fix this permanently is to disassemble the switch. I took some snapshots with my phone the last time I did this, this is the hazard switch from a GL1800:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=36244&p=217872&hilit=switch#p217872
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Steve F
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by Steve F »

I've said before and now again, that the use of WD40 is OK........provided it is followed up with a thorough cleaning with contact cleaner to remove the WD40 residue. WD40 is a great solvent for cleaning up stuff and unsticking things that some contact cleaners just don't get serious about. The old grease will soften right up with the WD ;)
"To ride is the reason, the destination's the excuse."
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smilam
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by smilam »

WD40 makes a contact cleaner now. I have not used it yet but have read reports that it works really well. According to test reports on the WD40 website it does better than CRC contact cleaner. I haven't remembered to look for it at the hardware store or auto supply but intend to pick up a can we I see some to test it myself.
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MikeB
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by MikeB »

This does look interesting. I'll have to see if I can find some.

I've used CRC cleaner for years but this is, according to WD-40, better than CRC.

https://www.wd40specialist.com/products ... t-cleaner/
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
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WingAdmin
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by WingAdmin »

What?!? WD-40's own web site has a study performed by WD-40, that says that WD-40's product is superior to its competitor's product?!? That's insane!! :D
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MikeB
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by MikeB »

Insane :D or not, it's worth a look.
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
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W3JNP
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by W3JNP »

jeffmd2 wrote:The best and only real way to fix your sticky switch problems is to disassemble and clean all the internal parts. The problem comes from the grease that Honda uses when put together in the factory. It gets gooey and sticky over time and fails to be a lubricant. As many others have noted, this is a detailed and tricky task. I recommend getting out your digital camera and taking close up pictures of each step so you can look back on them to see how it goes back together. The other highly recommended step is take the switch apart while in a large zip lock bag. There are small parts that will disappear when you are not looking. After the switch is apart, you will see green gooey grease. Get all of that out and replace with bulb grease. Clean all the contacts with isopropyl alcohol. Reassemble and all will be good. I have done this task with the switches in my 95 1500, and my 2003 1800 with great results.
This post is dead on. Especially the part about disassembly in a plastic bag!

For a temporary solution use a hair dryer to blow hot air in the front of the switch for about 5 or so minutes. The heat will soften the grease and free the sticking switch. This is only temporary as eventually the grease will harden again and you'll be back to sticking.
2004 Titanium GL1800
Reading, Pa
neal66
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL 1800A

Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by neal66 »

WD-40 makes an electrical contact and switch cleaner.
Works great. I purchased it at NAPA auto parts. :D
bhulse
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by bhulse »

I've never had any switch stick or malfunction since I bought the bike new in 2003. But then I habitually cycle or use them and I believe that's the chief reason I've not suffered from 'sticking switches'.
silverbullet05
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Re: Elect. Switch Cleaning

Post by silverbullet05 »

Blueknightrider wrote:How and what do I use to clean the electric switches on my 1800. A friend has one switch (cruise) that will not lock in and the reverse switch is getting to the point that is does not want to release. What can I use and not damage the plastic of the switch?
What others haven't mentioned is it may not just be your reverse switch. Spray all your switches with CRC cleaner while working each one. My Reverse wouldn't engage. (R light was on but wouldn't enguage Turned out to be my clutch switch wasn't disengaging all the way. When doing your clutch & front brake be sure to push them FORWARD also when cleaning/lubing them.

Also everytime you change oil (While the cover is off) spray the reverse mechanism with CRC to keep it from sticking

Your reverse won't engage if your clutch & brake levers are stuck. It doesn't take much & you won't know it just by feel

Check You Tube. There may be some videos on this.


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