04 GL1800 intermittent start


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aboversite
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04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »



My Goldwing refused to start at the shopping ctr. the other day. I boosted it and it started. Took it home and the next day it would not start again. So I started throwing parts at it: New battery, new relay A and relay B. I then took apart the right hand control start button and reverse button. I was hoping to see a lot of crud on the start button contacts but it was reasonably clean. So I cleaned the start and reverse buttons and put in a little dilithium grease.

When I turn on the key, all the correct lights come on. The sidestand indicator works if I cycle the sidestand position. The kill switch indicator works likewise when cycled. When I push the start button, the headlight dims and the radio mutes. The releays A and B click but the starter doesn't engage.

I have tried this 50 times, then today it started normally! I let it run for a while then shut it off. Now it will not start again. Just the clicking relays. Tonight I checked the voltage when pressing the start button. There is no drop in voltage. So does that mean the problem is possibly a loose connection between the relays and the starter? Do I need to remove the tank to check?

Any help appreciated. Thanks
Collin


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tamathumper
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by tamathumper »

Sounds to me like a loose connection, or a gummed up starter.

Try whacking the starter lightly with a hammer and see if it starts then. That will help a few times, but the starter will have to be cleaned and/or rebuilt if that's the actual problem.
'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

OK Thanks. I will give it a try.
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by GoldWingrGreg »

Are you saying that at times you do not hear the starter spinning ???
Techdude2000
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by Techdude2000 »

aboversite wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:45 pm My Goldwing refused to start at the shopping ctr. the other day. I boosted it and it started. Took it home and the next day it would not start again. So I started throwing parts at it: New battery, new relay A and relay B. I then took apart the right hand control start button and reverse button. I was hoping to see a lot of crud on the start button contacts but it was reasonably clean. So I cleaned the start and reverse buttons and put in a little dilithium grease.

When I turn on the key, all the correct lights come on. The sidestand indicator works if I cycle the sidestand position. The kill switch indicator works likewise when cycled. When I push the start button, the headlight dims and the radio mutes. The releays A and B click but the starter doesn't engage.

I have tried this 50 times, then today it started normally! I let it run for a while then shut it off. Now it will not start again. Just the clicking relays. Tonight I checked the voltage when pressing the start button. There is no drop in voltage. So does that mean the problem is possibly a loose connection between the relays and the starter? Do I need to remove the tank to check?

Any help appreciated. Thanks
Collin
Check the voltage on the fuse labeled “RVS FUSE A” while you are holding the starter button in with the bike in neutral and the key on. If you read battery power on the fuse, then it’s your starter or the cable connected at the starter. That fuse is a sample of the voltage leaving the B starter relay heading to the starter.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

OK so here I am almost a year later. I stripped the bike down, removed the fuel tank, all to confirm that the starter was actually working. Put power to it and it works fine. Reassembled everything and put dielectric grease in every connection I could get at. I hit the button and it fired right up. In fact I rode it around the block a couple of times and probably started and stopped it 10 times. Problem solved, right? Nope. I washed all the dust off the bike and gave it a wax job. This morning I went out to start it and I'm back to square one. HIt the button, all the proper lights on the dash do their thing and the relay clicks. Thats all.
So obviously it's a moisture problem. Trying to dry out the ignition switch with compressed air as well as the starter/kill switch assembly. Honestly I don't know where else to check.
Techdude2000
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by Techdude2000 »

aboversite wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 7:47 pm OK so here I am almost a year later. I stripped the bike down, removed the fuel tank, all to confirm that the starter was actually working. Put power to it and it works fine. Reassembled everything and put dielectric grease in every connection I could get at. I hit the button and it fired right up. In fact I rode it around the block a couple of times and probably started and stopped it 10 times. Problem solved, right? Nope. I washed all the dust off the bike and gave it a wax job. This morning I went out to start it and I'm back to square one. HIt the button, all the proper lights on the dash do their thing and the relay clicks. Thats all.
So obviously it's a moisture problem. Trying to dry out the ignition switch with compressed air as well as the starter/kill switch assembly. Honestly I don't know where else to check.
Since it’s acting up, check the voltages from my last post in 8/2020 above. The voltage measurements on the RVS A and B fuses will tell us whether or not both relays are working. Let me know what it reads on both fuses and we’ll go from there.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

Thanks for reply. I will check and report back.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

Ok so here is what i measured: 2004 GL1800A New battery at 12.6v
Reverse Start 5 amp fuse is good
Key off 11.10 v
Key on 10.40v
Push starter 10.45v
Reverse A fuse 5 amp fuse is good
Key off 12.10v
Key on 11.40v
Push starter 11.45v
Reverse B fuse 5 amp fuse is good
Key off 11.40v
Key on 10.60v
Push starter 10.70v
Techdude2000
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by Techdude2000 »

Ok, something is weird. Both of the RVS A and B fuses should have NO voltage on them until you push the starter button switch. Make sure you using the battery negative post for ground with the meter. I hope this diagram works. It doesn’t show the RVS A fuse, but if it did you would see it tied into the wire at the top of the starter motor and the other end of it runs to the cruise/reverse control module. The RVS A fuse is a sample of the voltage that runs to the starter motor during cranking and the RVS B fuse is the trigger voltage for the B starter relay that comes from the A starter relay when it’s energized with the starter button switch. Please keep us posted.

Image
Last edited by Techdude2000 on Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

OK thanks for this. I am out of my depth tracing circuits but I have a friend who is a retired Honda mechanic so I will take the bike to him with this info. Appreciate your input.
Techdude2000
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by Techdude2000 »

aboversite wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:28 pm OK thanks for this. I am out of my depth tracing circuits but I have a friend who is a retired Honda mechanic so I will take the bike to him with this info. Appreciate your input.
Ok, I added some more info to the last post in case he needs it.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

OK so my guy is not available for a few weeks so i took a stab at checking the relays again. Both Relay A (black boot) and B (blue boot) are new out of the box from Honda. This is what I measured:

With the key on or off:
Relay A 1 pole 12.5 v, 1 pole 0v
Relay B Both poles 12.5v

Push starter button
Relay A clicks 1 pole at 12.5v and the other pole 0v
Relay B clicks and voltage drops from 12.5v to 0 on each pole.

I suppose it's possible one or the other is defective from the factory.
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by Techdude2000 »

aboversite wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:23 am OK so my guy is not available for a few weeks so i took a stab at checking the relays again. Both Relay A (black boot) and B (blue boot) are new out of the box from Honda. This is what I measured:

With the key on or off:
Relay A 1 pole 12.5 v, 1 pole 0v
Relay B Both poles 12.5v

Push starter button
Relay A clicks 1 pole at 12.5v and the other pole 0v
Relay B clicks and voltage drops from 12.5v to 0 on each pole.

I suppose it's possible one or the other is defective from the factory.
Ok, so when you refer to the “poles” I’m assuming you are referring to the large cable attachments? If so, there’s definitely something weird. Let me post a diagram of the cable routing to make sure they are attached in the correct order. This has color added for clarity. The peppermint striped cable runs to the starter motor. The yellow arrow is pointing to the cable coming from the battery positive post and attached to the rearward A relay terminal, the purple arrow is the short jumper cable attachment to the forward A relay terminal and it jumps to the forward B relay terminal(green arrow), the blue/red arrow is pointing to the rearward B relay terminal and the attachment of the starter motor cable. Make sure yours is wired exactly like this. Normal key off or on readings should be no voltage on either cable on the B relay and none on the forward A relay terminal with battery power on the rearward A relay terminal only. When the key is on, in neutral, and you push the starter button, you should see battery power on both A relay terminals and both B relay terminals. Don’t forget to disconnect the battery negative cable if you need to make a change, don’t want to blow up something or throw sparks everywhere!

Image
Last edited by Techdude2000 on Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

Yes, by poles I was referring to the two terminals on each relay. OK let me absorb this info and report back. Thanks.
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

I disconnected and reconnected the terminals for Relay A and Relay B with the addition of some dielectric grease. The voltages are now as you describe: key off or on and there is only voltage to rear terminal on Relay A, nothing at Relay B. When I push the starter button there is 12.5v at all the terminals. The relays both click but starter doesn't go.

Reviewing your earlier post,I once again pulled the fuse on Reverse Fuse A and tested the circuit. With the key on there is 0 v. When the starter is pressed, it shows 12.5v. Release the starter button and it goes back to 0v.
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by Rambozo »

Now that both relays are doing what they are supposed to, the next thing is to check for voltage right at the starter. You may need to clean that connection, too. Also when you check, ground the negative lead of your meter right to the starter body. If you show voltage with the meter grounded to the negative battery terminal, but not using the starter body, it's time to check your ground connections.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

Ok I will need a week to get back to it. I appreciate all the input.
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by Techdude2000 »

aboversite wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:48 pm I disconnected and reconnected the terminals for Relay A and Relay B with the addition of some dielectric grease. The voltages are now as you describe: key off or on and there is only voltage to rear terminal on Relay A, nothing at Relay B. When I push the starter button there is 12.5v at all the terminals. The relays both click but starter doesn't go.

Reviewing your earlier post,I once again pulled the fuse on Reverse Fuse A and tested the circuit. With the key on there is 0 v. When the starter is pressed, it shows 12.5v. Release the starter button and it goes back to 0v.
Ok, so when you got power at all the terminals, but the starter didn’t spin, this points to an issue with the starter itself or the cable connection on it. May just be a bad winding in the armature of it or stuck brushes. Looks like you need to pull the tank and check the cable and starter motor. Just a quick note, if you pull the starter motor out and fix it or replace it, don’t use the bolts to pull it back into the engine. Use hands only and don’t force it or you could catch a tooth on the reverse idler gear and break it. Even dealer wrenches have done it, so be careful.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

OK thanks everyone for their help. You have arrived at the correct answer, despite my false leads. It is the starter sticking, just as a couple of you had suggested. My problem was I was tapping it too gently. Three or four hard raps and it started right up. Since then I have cycled the starter about 10 times without fault.
Great. It is a relief just knowing what the problem is. I am confidant I can change it out with the caution from Techdude2000. Any thoughts on OEM starters vs aftermarket starters?
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by MikeB »

OEM for sure. Heard too many horror stories about aftermarket starters and alternators damaging the engine.
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Techdude2000
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by Techdude2000 »

MikeB wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:42 pm OEM for sure. Heard too many horror stories about aftermarket starters and alternators damaging the engine.
I agree, aftermarket are junk for the wing. Check around for the best prices, Mrcycles.com has decent prices. You should pull it apart and check the continuity of the armature windings. If they all check good, then it more than likely just needs some brushes.
aboversite
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Re: 04 GL1800 intermittent start

Post by aboversite »

Thanks, yeah, I went to the local Honda dealer and asked for a price check on an OEM starter for the 04 GL1800. $1080.00 cdn dollars!!! Outrageous. I will pull the existing one and change the brushes.


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