Cooling fan not kicking in


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JayPoorJay
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:09 pm
Location: New York, New York.
Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Goldwing gl1200

Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by JayPoorJay » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:36 pm



Hello All.

I'm new here and just started a project, bringing a 1986 GW Aspencade back to life. It has 12,000miles on it and has sat for some time. I'm looking to flush the system but it has what looks like good green coolant in it. Not soured by rust but in my car work (2 older jags and a 86 Porsche 928) I hear the coolant can get acidic. Anywho.

I had her running/idling the other day foe the first time in a while. Fresh gas, fuel filter, new battery - and when fully warmed/hot the electric fan didn't kick over. Know, I plan on making a cafe racer of sorts out of this baby so I have taken the front fairing off and the front sides to begin the process.

Please help with pointing me in some general directions... What systems do I need to be digging into to track down the cause of the fan that won't engage?
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virgilmobile
Posts: 8723
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Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
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81 GL1100
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83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by virgilmobile » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:09 am

Locate and probe both wires feeding the fan with the key ON..There should be 12 volts on both wires...There is a 10 amp fuse that provides this power..
If it's there locate the thermal fan switch.I believe it has 2 wires on It and the temp sensor for the gauge has one wire..On the thermal switch,with the key ON,there should be the fan ground circuit having 12 volts..short this wire to ground to verify that the fan runs..
If it does,suspect the fan switch being bad.
Keep in mind that this switch operates at a specific temp..Look at the manual to verify but it should operate (on) around the 200° range.

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paneled
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:33 am
Location: kansas city mo
Motorcycle: 1986 Goldwing 1200 aspencade sei

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by paneled » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:23 pm

one thing to keep in mind, the cooling fan is there to keep it
from overheating not keep it cool. my 86 sei run 3 bars on the
gauge when rolling and in the summer sitting for a period of time
it will reach 4 and sometimes 5 and that is when the fan comes on
in cooler weather it will take quite a while to get warm enough to
make the fan come on.
86 aspy sei
54 chevy panel truck
68 chevy van
69 chevy van
64 chevy van

JayPoorJay
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:09 pm
Location: New York, New York.
Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Goldwing gl1200

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by JayPoorJay » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:03 am

Hi... Thank you both for the info... With Turkey Day, Work and some traveling I have been away from the machine a while.

So this is what I have done. I HAD removed the thermostat temporarily so i can run her while I do some other things. When I had the RAD out a few days back I tested the fan to 12v, it works. I tried to read for 12v at the hard line fan plugs and got nothing (if memory serves). Should I always have 12v with key in on position? Or,,, does the bike HAVE to be running to get the 12v?

I never found the single wire switch/sensor you mentioned Virgil (where should I be looking) but I noticed 2 other temp activated switches... I can only guess they switch to ON when temp reaches a certain upper level. One switch at the thermostat casing the other on the rails under the carbs (I've removed the carbs too)... As it is now I have Carbs out, rad undone and "hanging" and timing covers off. Lots is accessible. What tests can I run on the cooling system while things are easy to get to? Also,,, is there some serious re-wiring I will have to do because the controls and gauges on the FAIRING is no longer involved? Do I have to by-pass the circuit that would otherwise go up and to the display on the dash then back to the fans and sensor/switches? Sorry,,, I dont know how to ask that question about the removed fairing, well...

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virgilmobile
Posts: 8723
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by virgilmobile » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:30 am

There 2 diagrams may help.




12 volts on the fan when the key is on.

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SilverDave
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Location: Langley, BC
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 GoldWing Aspy

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by SilverDave » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:09 pm

There are 4 reasons a 1200 fan won't work... Remember its a 33 yo machine !
1) Fan is dead ... you've tested that .
2) Thermal switch is corroded, or gummed up inside usually from sitting around too long .
They can be cleaned by soaking in mild vinegar or CLR... and I think someone on this site told how to take one apart , and really clean it out .
I would not recommend doing that .
You can get a "good" used one without breaking the bank at a motorcycle boneyard .


3) The wires that connect it to the fan ( ground side ) and the ground (black / green) can become brittle and old . They live in a terrible environment . I cut mine as short as possible to the plug , and replaced them with new wire , soldered and shrink wrapped . I finished up my wrapping them in auto thermal split loom (from NAPA ) to help their survival in that warm environment . Keep the wire short so it cannot touch the fan ..

4) The inside of the plug, and the two round plugs on the switch can get very corroded ... again .. bad environment .
Fine emory cloth wrapped around an 1/8 drill will clean out the inside of the plug... wire brush for the stems .

IMHO #2 is the most likely .. I threw my old one away ..... but I also replaced the wires .

SilverDave

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geraldm
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Location: pumphandle Saskatchewan ,Canada
Motorcycle: 86 gl1200 Aspencade

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by geraldm » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:24 pm

I had issues with mine when i got it and after chasing everything i could think of found the fan plug itself was not plugged proper , no corrosion just not plugged in all the way ,

JayPoorJay
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:09 pm
Location: New York, New York.
Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Goldwing gl1200

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by JayPoorJay » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:17 pm

Puzzled - 1986 Honda Goldwing Apencade. Fan won't kick on...

When I let her sit and idle (950 rpms),,, I've reinstalled dash cluster just so I can watch the temp reading,,, it takes a while but she will heat up amd go to 4-5 bars...

At that point, with a volt meter connected to the female end of the fan plug, the voltage will go from a wandering zero to about 14.5 volts.

When I hard wire the fan to the battery fan will kick right on and run strong, bars will drop and temp will come down fast. At 3-4 bars the volt meter will return to zero. I've done this test more than once. Let it warm up again, volts will jump from zero to 14.5 again..

When I plug in the fan like normal and goose the volt meter to the back of the plug I will also get a reading of 14.5v when the switch kicks in at 4-5 bars. NO FAN... Is my problem an amps problem?

What say you?
Much appreciation for guidance and suggestions - in advance...

ps... removed carbs and did away with all the SAS stuff. Installed new jets and rings. Put it back together and fired right up. A smooth 900-950 rpms is the norm. Purrrrz

Brakes redone... Coolant system cleaned and washed out. Went the DexCool way.

Thanks all!

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virgilmobile
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
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Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by virgilmobile » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:25 pm

The fan wires.The blue one should have steady 12 volts with the key on.
The black wire should also have 12 volts untill the thermal switch kicks in..then it should go to zero volts turning on the fan.
Test..turn on the key...do you have the voltages described?
Use a piece of wire and short the black with to the frame..the fan should kick on..
If it does not measure the blue wire at this time.
Is the 12 volts still there?If not,replace the fan fuse.
Always test for volts "under load"...when the circuit is suppose to be working.

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CrystalPistol
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Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A
1997 GL1500SE Lehman Trike

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by CrystalPistol » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:31 pm

JayPoorJay wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:36 pm
Hello All.

Please help with pointing me in some general directions...
Look at / test temperature switch, it's what supplies ground to fan when temp gets high.
Image

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CrystalPistol
Posts: 564
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Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A
1997 GL1500SE Lehman Trike

Re: Cooling fan not kicking in

Post by CrystalPistol » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:36 pm

virgilmobile wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:25 pm
The fan wires. … etc …
The black wire should also have 12 volts untill the thermal switch kicks in..then it should go to zero volts turning on the fan.
how so?


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